We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Saturday, November 26. 2022
Turkey Hash is pretty good, and so is turkey soup (for which I am boiling a stock from one of the carcasses right now with water, onions, garlic, celery, parsley, herbs, etc - we fight over the carcasses and bones like jackals), but the main reason people in my family cook so many turkeys at Thanksgivings is for the sandwiches for a few days after.
Here's how I make them:
Squoosh the sides of bread together, and cut in half with a sharp knife. Then eat with a glass of beer. Delicious.
Then take a little nap.
How I make turkey stock:
Throw into a large stock pot a whole or chopped turkey carcass, leg bones, wings, etc. Not a bad idea to break the bones with a cleaver and/or to roast the carcass first so some of the bones brown. Cover with water. Take a bunch of celery, carrots, onions and garlic. Chop very roughly with skins on - do not peel - and sautee in butter or cooking oil until browned. (The skins add color and flavor) Then toss them into the pot. Add some cut-up raw potatoes, skins on. Throw in some salt, whole peppercorns. Then parsley, thyme, a little sage and marjoram. A little sugar. A bottle of white wine in there is optional. Simmer for 5-8 hours, adding water as needed. Then strain. That's a tasty turkey stock. It's man-cooking.
Friday, November 25. 2022
Two turkeys as usual. Lots of leftovers. This is the one on the grill, cooked over firewood:
Continue reading "Ages 2-94"
Tuesday, November 22. 2022
Sunday, November 20. 2022
It seems Turkey, roasted pumpkin, mussels, eels, cod, roasted or stewed venison, corn meal mush, and maybe lobster were on the menu: First Thanksgiving Meal.
There seem not to have been a lot of oysters nearby (maybe the Indians ate them all), but plenty of Cod. Ever heard of Cape Cod Turkey?
They had to learn to fish and how to plant. They had no milk (no livestock on Mayflower unless you count the 2 dogs), and any sugar or flour on board had been exhausted during the voyage. The Mayflower crew (30 men) returned home on starvation rations in Spring, 1621. Mayflower was an 80-foot leaky old cargo vessel which was barely suited for anything.
Saturday, November 19. 2022
Wednesday, November 16. 2022
Sunday, November 13. 2022
Of course, an array of pies are needed. We like squash pie. We like all pies.
Can you make a proper Tarte Tatin, fully-caramelized when you flip it? I have failed many times. Gotta let it cool before flipping.
7 apples, 9-10" pan, and do not use water in the below recipe. Instead, use 3-4 tbsp. of butter. Sure, you can use a frozen crust thing.
Saturday, November 5. 2022
It's perfect with simple seafood. Here's my first course (lousy photo): Warm salad of sliced octopus on a bed of sauteed fennel.
Main course (which was not really needed) - a rare filet of French beef with a jus with olives, not mushrooms. And usual Euroland runny mashed taters.
Saturday, October 22. 2022
If you do heavy labor all day, it's another matter. All I do is to work out at the gym for an hour or so every morning, and some yard work on weekends (as little as possible because I have become bored with it), and take good walks on weekends. That is sedentary.
Sometimes, though, there are occasions for a hearty breakfast.
I have always liked kippers with some eggs. In Scotland, the kippers are about a foot long. Too much. The canned kippers that you find in US supermarkets are barely OK.
Another breakfast that some hate but I love: Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast (aka shit on a shingle). A classic prep school, and military, breakfast.
Moving a bit south in the USA, there's Shrimp and Grits. Delicious.
And the ultimate American breakfast (South and Midwest especially): Biscuits and Gravy. Every family has its own recipe, so I won't link one. Those Bob Evans restaurants make a fine one, but I don't think they let you in unless you weigh over 250 pounds. Grits on the side are good.
To stay multicultural, I can't omit the English Breakfast. Blood sausage:
Friday, October 21. 2022
For pottage and puddings and custards and pies
Pilgrim verse, circa 1633
Pumpkins are just one variety of winter squash. Winter Squash have the virtues of being harvested in the fall, and easily storable for keeping through the winter in a root cellar as long as they do not freeze. All winter squash (Butternut, Acorn, etc) taste pretty similar and are more or less interchangeable in recipes.
Winter Squash, along with string beans, maize (which we call "corn" in the US, and many other foods like peppers, tomatoes, and potatoes) were first genetically modified for agriculture by American Indians.
Eastern Indians had large fields in which they grew winter squash, maize, and beans (which climbed up the corn stalks) together. In fact, one of the reasons the Pilgrims decided to stay in Plymouth was for the 50-acre and 100-acre planting fields that the Indians (recently dead probably from European diseases brought in by explorers and fishermen) had prepared there.
The Pumpkin of the Americas quickly became a popular crop in many parts of the world. Our Philippino nanny rarely made a Phillipino stew without pumpkin chunks in it. (Loved that Oxtail stew with peanut sauce, potato, and pumpkin, or her winter squash and string bean stew with coconut milk plus some shrimp or chicken chunks.) And people who have read Alexander McCall Smith's series, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, know how popular pumpkin became in the African diet. As for Pumpkin pasta recipes, there are tons of them.
Here's 41 Yummy Pumpkin Recipes.
Mashed pumpkin with salt, pepper and butter is great. Same with steamed pumpkin chunks. A little chopped fresh Sage is good with them. Never boil winter squash. Steam or roast, or it will get too soggy.
As for the olde standbys, Pumpkin Pie and Pumpkin Soup, those are OK too but the spices tend to obscure the subtle flavors of the winter squashes used. (Re Pumpkin Pie, the Maggie's Farm advice is to go very light on the sugar, and serve with a spoonful of whipped cream, then drizzled with 100% Maple Syrup.)
Megan McArdle wrote this: Yes, Some of US Really Like Pumpkin
Kenyan Pumpkin Curry Recipe
EAST AFRICAN PUMPKIN STEW
Saturday, September 17. 2022
The danger is over-cooking. Squid can turn into squid chewing gum if overcooked.
Sunday, September 4. 2022
Best pizza I've ever had, at least recently. Pupette and I took Mrs. BD out to a fancy Italian dinner for her birthday but I just ordered the pizza there. Not ordinary pizza.
Very thin crust pizza, like a cracker, burned black on the bottom as I like it, with melted chunks of goat cheese and chunks of peanut-sized chopped and sauteed white truffle, (no sauce), cooked over firewood, then sprinkled with some dandelion greens and thinly-sliced fresh figs and the whole thing splashed with hot white truffle oil.
The smell of it was a meal in itself. I usually prefer a pizza bianco with wild mushrooms, but I suppose I am, unfortunately, a pizza snob. This was better than that.
Mrs. BD had their beef carpaccio as an antipasto. It was as good as you can get in Todi, but without the view. Pupette had their tuna carpaccio with dill and cucumber as her antipasto, then ate half my pizza with a bottle of Moretti. She lost 15 lbs. on her 14 hr/day film job, need to fatten her up before she returns to school.
Truffle oil - and truffle - is one proof to me of God's existence. My hope is that Obama or Bernie will make truffles free for us all, when Utopia arrives. I can't wait.
Pic is a beautiful White Truffle. Cost around $125./ounce.
That is actually "Shrimp-Shrimp", because "Scampi" is the Italian term for cooked shrimp or prawns.
In Italy and Sicily, it's just "Scampi." Not a common item over there though. More common are mixed seafood things with shrimp or prawns, squid, clams, fresh anchovies, cuttlefish, etc.
Anyway, American "Shrimp Scampi" includes, garlic, butter, wine, and parsley. Tasty, even for a shrimp-bored person like me. I'd eat dog kibbles with enough garlic and parsley.
Saturday, September 3. 2022
Readers know that the Soft-Shelled Crab (ie moulting Blue Crab) in all of its forms is perhaps my favorite food. My friends and I would catch them at the shore with bacon tied to string and bring a bucket of them home to Mom. She'd steam the hard-shelled ones, and sautee the soft-shells.
I love the soft-shells fried, sauteed, in a sandwich with mayo, Chinese-style - or anything. A perfect combination of juiciness and crunchiness, and you just eat the whole darn thing feathers and all.
Here's an easy one: Soft-Shelled Crabs on Toast.
Methods of crabbing.
Delicious photos of soft-shell crab recipes.
Soft-shells are often frozen for use through the crab season.
Tuesday, August 30. 2022
Wednesday, August 24. 2022
No, Eve did not eat an apple. It's called poetic license by the translator.
A small mountainside apple originated in the hills of Kazahistan. This heritage apple (in the Rose family) was probably the size of a rose hip.
It took me decades to realize that I don't like apples unless they are cooked in some way. Occasionally a thin slice with some cheese.
Are apples "healthy"? Not much. Mostly sugar.
Sunday, August 21. 2022
A pal sent me this:
I have the perfect method of producing boiled, peelable eggs.
Steam them. Put them in a vegetable steamer basket and bring the water to a boil. Top on the pan, reduce heat to where steam is barely escaping the pan. If you have four eggs cook 12 minutes. Add 1 minute for every 2 extra eggs.
Don’t do more than 8 eggs at a time. Do them in batches. Drain the pan at the timer’s chime and fill with cold water.
Then change water and add some ice cubes to the water to bring down the temp fast and avoid the dreaded grey mantle of sulfur.
Perfect peelable eggs. Try it.
Friday, August 12. 2022
Wednesday, August 3. 2022
I have not been much of a fan of fruit since I was a kid, but I do love grilled fruit for dessert or even as a side dish. Grilled Pineapple is the best thing with grilled Swordfish.
Most kinds of fruit can be grilled (apples and pears take longer than most). In Italy, fresh or grilled fruit is the usual dessert. (Gelato is not dessert - it's a street snack.)
No need for a recipe, but you can sprinkle some sugar on the fruit while on the grill.
Tuesday, August 2. 2022
My Mom called me The Little Lemon-eater. I still like to eat lemons, whether slices or quarters, skin and all. Apparently some people like to put some salt on the pieces too. I need to try that.
The best lemons I have ever had were in Sicily, just off the tree. Larger than supermarket lemons, but thinner pith.
After they have been cooked with something they are good too, maybe even better. With some fish of course, roast chicken, and also veal scallopini or, back to Sicilian food, roast piglet. Piglet + lemon is a good combo. Try it sometime if you have a spare piglet around.
Saturday, July 30. 2022
Best way to eat this grain. I like to grill it with the husk on until the husk is burnt, but the Central Americans tend to grill it with husk off. Done right, no butter needed - but salt always.
This grain was genetically-engineered in Central American centuries ago. Agronomists have made it sweeter now.
Friday, July 8. 2022
If you plan a 12-mile hike, or intend to do farm labor (I mean labour) all day, it seems ok. In Scotland, substitute kippers for the bangers.
For me, a good breakfast is a coffee before workout and another one afterwards - maybe with a little sinful tobacco.
Can any of our readers eat this sort of breakfast below? And why is the fork on the right side of the plate? Is that an English thing?
Thursday, July 7. 2022
Wednesday, July 6. 2022
Cod is perhaps my favorite fish (besides Grouper). Sadly, their populations on George's Bank, the Grand Banks, and around England have been overfished. Tragedy of the Commons. You can no longer be confident that you can catch one off the Maine coast.
NB: overcooking fish is criminal.
Sunday, July 3. 2022
Orlando Promotes Fireworks By Saying People ‘Probably Don’t Want to Celebrate Our Nation Right Now’ Because It’s Full of ‘Hate’
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