Friday Food and Drink Post: “I Want To Be Alone” Edition

 

So, Ricochetti: What are you doing to eat your way through the CoronApocalypse? Here at Chez She, in the very armpit of Southwestern PA, we’re going big for soup, and have worked our way through beef vegetable, mushroom barley, and (most recently) chicken noodle. We’re too far from town for meal deliveries. I’m trying not to go into town myself if I can avoid it, and, anyway, most of the little places we do like to eat are closed because they’re small businesses and it’s become too complicated and expensive for them to stay open just for take-out.

Pennsylvania seems to be well on its way to the same draconian lifestyle restrictions as California (the list of what’s allowed and what isn’t can be found here**), and it’s a good thing I’ve got the world’s finest yarn stash and (at least) several hundred sets of knitting needles, otherwise, I’d be going stir-crazy by now.

Here are the recipes for our recent Soupapalooza: Beef Vegetable, Mushroom Barley, Chicken Noodle.

On the Beef Vegetable: I used beef “Better than Bouillon” added to water in place of the called-for beef stock. Otherwise, I made it as the recipe instructs. It was delicious.

On the Mushroom Barley: My mushroom barley soup has no vegetables in it other than onions and mushrooms. So skip the carrots, celery, and peas, and add about three cups of sliced mushrooms with the onions when it calls for you to add the veg. (I generally use cremini mushrooms.) Substitute beef “Better than Bouillon” mixture for the beef broth. (There are 7-1/2 cups of liquid in the recipe. I used 2 tablespoons of BthanB.) Use real pearl barley. (Not the “quick” stuff, which I always think gives the effect of flakes of oatmeal floating around in your soup. I add a little more than it calls for, maybe about 1/2 cup barley total.) I know I’m telling you to change or ignore most of the recipe. Roll with it. “Worse things happen at sea,” as my sister is fond of saying. It’ll be fine. Very good, in fact.

On the Chicken Noodle: Yes, I used chicken “Better than Bouillon” for the chicken broth. (If you’re sensing a pattern here, that’s ok. They don’t pay me for the promotional shout-outs; their stuff is good, and it’s easy. There are several product lines, including a low(er)-sodium. They’re all fine, although I like the “roasted” best.) I had boneless chicken breasts, about 2 lbs. It’s ok to substitute half as much dried herbs for the parsley and the dill (better if you have the fresh, but I did not). Also, my noodles, although egg and flat, were not as wide as those shown in the recipe, and they were rather too long, so before I put them in the soup I crushed them, to make them shorter. It’s ok, people. You’re in charge. You can do it! You’re the boss. Noodles are not. That’s pretty much how I feel about all recipes. I’m in charge. Pettifogging specifications about particular ingredients are not. If all else fails, just wing it. (Do keep in mind, however, that there are elements of science and chemistry that work together in cooking to make food edible, and, at times, even delicious. Years ago, we had a dear neighbor, Alice, who either didn’t “get” this, or who thought the rules didn’t apply to her, and she’d freelance with every recipe at will.  I’ll never forget a Grange (Patrons of Husbandry) meeting, at which we were discussing what to have for our Washington’s Birthday Dinner. I volunteered a cherry pie for dessert. Alice’s husband, Walter (a German engineer) raised a dyspeptic eyebrow, and remarked: “You know what Alice makes for Lincoln’s Birthday?”  “No,” we said.  “What does she make?”  “Log pie,” he answered.  Poor guy.)

For all the recipes: I’ve found over the years that the meat in soups is a lot more tender if I don’t boil it to death. Barely a simmer, and don’t overdo it. I never add additional salt, because there’s enough in the bouillon. I add freshly-ground black pepper if I think it needs it.

What to eat with a delicious bowl of soup? Do you have flour? Yeast? Salt? That’s all you knead.

Today, I am going to bake cookies. Probably chocolate chip. Perhaps with nuts. Because I have some. Not because I am.

What are you doing to muddle through? Please share, and keep me from losing my ever-loving marbles here. (Full disclosure: I’ve just watched about 24 hours straight of the Animal Planet’s 94-Hour Marathon “Puppies and Kittens” Coronavirus Quarantine Programming. It’s super-cute. But mind-numbing.)

Bless. And stay safe and well, please.

** Still trying to decipher the esteemed Governor Wolf’s multi-page list telling me who in Pennsylvania is permitted to do what, and where I’m permitted to go. The last line appears to state that “Private Households” are not a “life-sustaining business” and should be shut down. Not sure how else to read it. And they say that Trump is jumbly and incoherent. Crimenutely.

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  1. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    It may turn out that turning Americans’ full and undivided attention to the problem of the covid-19 will have the blessed effect of cranking up the nation’s intellectual heat and we’ll find answers quickly not only to the current problem but to millions of other seemingly intractable problems as well. :-) :-)

     

    • #1
  2. OmegaPaladin Moderator
    OmegaPaladin
    @OmegaPaladin

    Crockpot chicken chili – all canned goods and spices.

    • 2 cans chicken
    • 2-3 cans diced tomato
    • 2 cans black beans
    • 2 cans kidney beans
    • 2 packets McCormick’s Chili seasoning
    • 2-3 tablespoons garlic
    • Variable amount of dried onion
    • chipotle pepper powder or other seasonings to taste
    • #2
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    We’ll have to check out your “Better than Bouillon.” We make two soups with whatever chicken broths are on the shelf. The split pea soup is a little more laborious, having to soak the peas. But my favorite soup is vegetable, with everything but the kitchen sink: fresh vegetables like green beans, carrots, celery, onion; then we add a can of diced tomatoes, Great Northern or cannellini beans. (I guess I shouldn’t say “we” since Mr. Susan makes the soups now.) He makes a big batch and freezes it in 2-person packages. Before he serves it, he cooks some pasta, usually rotini, to serve in it. And french bread with it is a must!

    • #3
  4. SkipSul Inactive
    SkipSul
    @skipsul

    Last night my eldest made copious stir free beef and chicken dishes with her boyfriend for all of us (things aren’t so draconian here in Ohio… yet).   Not sure what the plan will be tonight.

    I’ve been as busy as ever, so little time to cook anything, but this weekend I think I will make red beans and rice, since I have plenty of both on hand.  I’m probably also going to bust out my grain mill and start grinding wheat for bread.  

    I just wish it would stop with the bloody rain so we could get outside.  Even some time in the back yard would be welcome after all this much.

    • #4
  5. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    I had soup for lunch today! It’s cold and rainy, so it seemed right. Here is my recipe:

    1. Open a can of Campbell’s Creamy Chicken and Dumpling Soup

    2. Pour in a bowl and microwave for one minute.

    You can thank me later.

     

    • #5
  6. EODmom Coolidge
    EODmom
    @EODmom

    Yes to all of these. And yes yes yes to better than boullion. Especially roasted. I used it all the time – anywhere I’d use stock. Like garlic lemon rice made with stock.
    I’m still serving soups from the freezer made in the late fall and winter – I make gallons of a chicken base and then amend with different stuff for different meals. Add sautéed mushrooms and cream. Andouille or other sausage and chipotle. Black beans and corn over wild rice. 
    I LOVE red beans and rice @skipsul – I love andouille sausage so I’m a really big fan. My guys were just not killed about the beans part and ate it Monday’s because I made it but not fans. EODMarine voted with his feet and left home……

    Last night I made a big mess of a chicken rice casserole. A neighbor came and joined us and it’s gone. Rotisserie chicken and yes andouille sausage, green peppers, onions, grated cheese, sauced with half a can of cream of chicken soup and sour cream and milk. 
    Seacoast NH is steady as she goes for groceries. The gang at Shaw’s and On The Vine (a local market with fabulous meats and fish) are just superb. Working flat out and with a smile. Bigger smile when you thank everyone you see in the aisle you need. I bought bunches of tulips because 1. They are really beautiful and cheerful 2. Shaw’s stocked them and I hated to see them go bad. 

    and @she – I followed one of the recipe links and ended up watching more cooking videos. Now I could make bunny meringues for Easter baskets. I drove back from NC through PA on Wednesday and saw the effect of closing the rest stops on truckers. And limited to non existent food choices for them. I think Wolf has a really misguided set of policies going on. I spent the night in Gettysburg and got to go food from the bar in the hotel next door and wine in a to go cup. Great waitress with super attitude who said she couldn’t afford to work there past that night- too many limits on service and not enough customers.  Now I have to figure a dinner for tonight….. It’s raining and raw here too. 

    • #6
  7. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    She: My mushroom barley soup has no vegetables in it other than onions and mushrooms.

    I read this and thought, “what an original idea…it sounds delicious.”

    I rushed to the kitchen and made up a batch.  No carrots, no barley, no vegetables at all.

    I was disappointed, to be honest.  I think that barley adds a certain heartiness that was missing.  It was thin and lifeless, really more like onion mushroom soup than mushroom barley soup.

    [EDIT: Sorry!! I read the rest of your post, and realized that you really meant no vegetables other than onions and mushrooms and barley.  Which made sense.  I just hadn’t stopped and thought about it, because I was hungry.  All we have left now in the fridge is half a can of cranberry sauce left over from Thanksgiving, which had gotten pushed to the back and is very dried out since I thought we’d eat it right away so I didn’t cover it, plus some Worcestershire Sauce which we used to use a lot of, but it became unpopular when the Mexican food craze hit in the 1970s.]

    • #7
  8. SkipSul Inactive
    SkipSul
    @skipsul

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    I had soup for lunch today! It’s cold and rainy, so it seemed right. Here is my recipe:

    1. Open a can of Campbell’s Creamy Chicken and Dumpling Soup

    2. Pour in a bowl and microwave for one minute.

    You can thank me later.

     

    I missed the part about pouring it into a bowl, and now I’m down a microwave.

    • #8
  9. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    She: My mushroom barley soup has no vegetables in it other than onions and mushrooms.

    I read this and thought, “what an original idea…it sounds delicious.”

    I rushed to the kitchen and made up a batch. No carrots, no barley, no vegetables at all.

    I was disappointed, to be honest. I think that barley adds a certain heartiness that was missing. It was thin and lifeless, really more like onion mushroom soup than mushroom barley soup.

    [EDIT: Sorry!! I read the rest of your post, and realized that you really meant no vegetables other than onions and mushrooms and barley. Which made sense. I just hadn’t stopped and thought about it, because I was hungry. All we have left now in the fridge is half a can of cranberry sauce left over from Thanksgiving, which had gotten pushed to the back and is very dried out since I thought we’d eat it right away so I didn’t cover it, plus some Worcestershire Sauce which we used to use a lot of, but it became unpopular when the Mexican food craze hit in the 1970s.]

    Oh, I am sorry.  Yes, disappointing.  Isn’t barley a grain, though?  The one that always confuses me is buckwheat, which I think is actually not a grain, but I wouldn’t call it a vegetable either.  Not sure what it is.

    The barley is essential.  I love barley.  It gives a bit of “stick” to the stock, a bit of “bite” to the soup, and I think it has a nice flavor.  (Lol, I just watched my favorite cat, Psymon, climb up the library ladder into the loft.  I wondered how he gets up there. (It’s only about an eight-foot rise, but thing is in a completely vertical orientation, and he climbs up it like, well, like a cat-burglar.  Am going to have to see if I can catch him with the camera.  He looks super-sneaky.)

    Barley is very popular in the UK, with sugar and a little lemon juice, as a comfort food, and in “lemon-barley water,” which has long been considered a tonic, and very good for either the liver or kidneys, I forget which.

    The mushroom barley soup of my childhood didn’t have any vegetables in it either (perhaps not even onions, I can’t remember).  My recipe is an attempt to recreate something of the same.  When I make it, it’s good.  Sorry your first experience wasn’t a success, and thanks for getting back to us with the “rest of the story.”

    • #9
  10. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    I had soup for lunch today! It’s cold and rainy, so it seemed right. Here is my recipe:

    1. Open a can of Campbell’s Creamy Chicken and Dumpling Soup

    2. Pour in a bowl and microwave for one minute.

    You can thank me later.

    LOL.  I like chicken and dumpling soup (and mushroom) from a can.  My only complaint is that they’ve taken most of the fat out, so I usually add some half-and-half as part of the liquid to get a creamier finish.

    Our local supermarket also does a pretty good line of soup, and I sometimes buy that.  Their tomato basil is really good.

    • #10
  11. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    EODmom (View Comment):

    Yes to all of these. And yes yes yes to better than boullion. Especially roasted. I used it all the time – anywhere I’d use stock. Like garlic lemon rice made with stock.
    I’m still serving soups from the freezer made in the late fall and winter – I make gallons of a chicken base and then amend with different stuff for different meals. Add sautéed mushrooms and cream. Andouille or other sausage and chipotle. Black beans and corn over wild rice.
    I LOVE red beans and rice @skipsul – I love andouille sausage so I’m a really big fan. My guys were just not killed about the beans part and ate it Monday’s because I made it but not fans. EODMarine voted with his feet and left home……

    Last night I made a big mess of a chicken rice casserole. A neighbor came and joined us and it’s gone. Rotisserie chicken and yes andouille sausage, green peppers, onions, grated cheese, sauced with half a can of cream of chicken soup and sour cream and milk.
    Seacoast NH is steady as she goes for groceries. The gang at Shaw’s and On The Vine (a local market with fabulous meats and fish) are just superb. Working flat out and with a smile. Bigger smile when you thank everyone you see in the aisle you need. I bought bunches of tulips because 1. They are really beautiful and cheerful 2. Shaw’s stocked them and I hated to see them go bad.

    and @she – I followed one of the recipe links and ended up watching more cooking videos. Now I could make bunny meringues for Easter baskets. I drove back from NC through PA on Wednesday and saw the effect of closing the rest stops on truckers. And limited to non existent food choices for them. I think Wolf has a really misguided set of policies going on. I spent the night in Gettysburg and got to go food from the bar in the hotel next door and wine in a to go cup. Great waitress with super attitude who said she couldn’t afford to work there past that night- too many limits on service and not enough customers. Now I have to figure a dinner for tonight….. It’s raining and raw here too.

    Mmm.  All of these sound excellent. Hope you came up with something lovely for dinner, and thanks for the insights on your travels through PA.  I’m not a fan of Tom Wolf on general principles, and my opinion isn’t on the upswing as a result of this.

    • #11
  12. SkipSul Inactive
    SkipSul
    @skipsul

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    We’ll have to check out your “Better than Bouillon.” We make two soups with whatever chicken broths are on the shelf. The split pea soup is a little more laborious, having to soak the peas. But my favorite soup is vegetable, with everything but the kitchen sink: fresh vegetables like green beans, carrots, celery, onion; then we add a can of diced tomatoes, Great Northern or cannellini beans. (I guess I shouldn’t say “we” since Mr. Susan makes the soups now.) He makes a big batch and freezes it in 2-person packages. Before he serves it, he cooks some pasta, usually rotini, to serve in it. And french bread with it is a must!

    I use this product too, quite a lot, but it does have its drawbacks.  It’s a paste, and to stabilize it they use flour, and there are some other ingredients in there, so it’s not gluten free or soy free, for those who need to be careful.

    My first preference is always to use stock I’ve made myself (I have the stuff in the freezer, in 1-pint containers), but the paste is great when you want something already quite concentrated, and need it now.  It’s good to have on hand – they have beef, chicken, and vegetable pastes.

    • #12
  13. SkipSul Inactive
    SkipSul
    @skipsul

    She (View Comment):
    Oh, I am sorry. Yes, disappointing. Isn’t barley a grain, though? The one that always confuses me is buckwheat, which I think is actually not a grain, but I wouldn’t call it a vegetable either. Not sure what it is.

    It’s a seed.

    One of the families at my church occasionally makes a big batch of it, with all sorts of veggie, as a side for coffee hour.

    • #13
  14. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    We’ll have to check out your “Better than Bouillon.” We make two soups with whatever chicken broths are on the shelf. The split pea soup is a little more laborious, having to soak the peas. But my favorite soup is vegetable, with everything but the kitchen sink: fresh vegetables like green beans, carrots, celery, onion; then we add a can of diced tomatoes, Great Northern or cannellini beans. (I guess I shouldn’t say “we” since Mr. Susan makes the soups now.) He makes a big batch and freezes it in 2-person packages. Before he serves it, he cooks some pasta, usually rotini, to serve in it. And french bread with it is a must!

    I use this product too, quite a lot, but it does have its drawbacks. It’s a paste, and to stabilize it they use flour, and there are some other ingredients in there, so it’s not gluten free or soy free, for those who need to be careful.

    Great points, thanks.  Yes, sometimes its pastiness is a challenge, so I always put it in hot water.

    My first preference is always to use stock I’ve made myself (I have the stuff in the freezer, in 1-pint containers), but the paste is great when you want something already quite concentrated, and need it now. It’s good to have on hand – they have beef, chicken, and vegetable pastes.  

    I sometimes buy up a nice bag of beef soup bones and make my own (the dogs love it when I do, I freeze the bones after and dole them out as I see fit).  I also freeze chicken/turkey bones (if the meat I buy wasn’t frozen before, and if I bone it before I prepare it), so that I have a nice pile of them for chicken stock.  But I always run out.  Better than Bouillon is just the best of the store-bought alternatives I’ve found.  There may be nicer prepared full-strength stocks in cans, jars, or boxes, but I’m not willing to give that much shelf space to something I haven’t made myself.

     

    • #14
  15. SkipSul Inactive
    SkipSul
    @skipsul

    She (View Comment):
    Better than Bouillon is just the best of the store-bought alternatives I’ve found.

    Agreed 100%.  I think it was my mother who put me onto it when she gave me a jar for Christmas one year.

    And occasionally, very occasionally, I’ve made lamb stock when I’ve been able to find bone-in lamb.

    • #15
  16. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):
    Better than Bouillon is just the best of the store-bought alternatives I’ve found.

    Agreed 100%. I think it was my mother who put me onto it when she gave me a jar for Christmas one year.

    And occasionally, very occasionally, I’ve made lamb stock when I’ve been able to find bone-in lamb.

    Yeah.  I love lamb.  Haven’t eaten it for years, as I got out of the habit when I was worried that my evening meal might closely involve someone I knew.  Not a concern so much anymore, as we’ve cut back a lot, and no longer send lambs to the auction at Easter.  Still.

    I mean, could you?  Really?

    • #16
  17. SkipSul Inactive
    SkipSul
    @skipsul

    She (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):
    Better than Bouillon is just the best of the store-bought alternatives I’ve found.

    Agreed 100%. I think it was my mother who put me onto it when she gave me a jar for Christmas one year.

    And occasionally, very occasionally, I’ve made lamb stock when I’ve been able to find bone-in lamb.

    Yeah. I love lamb. Haven’t eaten it for years, as I got out of the habit when I was worried that my evening meal might closely involve someone I knew. Not a concern so much anymore, as we’ve cut back a lot, and no longer send lambs to the auction at Easter. Still.

    I mean, could you? Really?

    If I had raised it myself, then no I don’t think I could at all.  And dear heaven’s the little guy has grown fast!

    • #17
  18. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):Yeah. I love lamb. Haven’t eaten it for years, as I got out of the habit when I was worried that my evening meal might closely involve someone I knew. Not a concern so much anymore, as we’ve cut back a lot, and no longer send lambs to the auction at Easter. Still.

    I mean, could you? Really?

    If I had raised it myself, then no I don’t think I could at all. And dear heaven’s the little guy has grown fast!

    She’s huge.  Spends most days outside, unless it’s really foul.  I still bring her in at night because the weather’s been so unpredictable.  Bottle-fed lambs just aren’t as resilient as those that were raised with their mothers, and I don’t want to wake up one morning and find that she’s expired in the field.

    • #18
  19. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    I had soup for lunch today! It’s cold and rainy, so it seemed right. Here is my recipe:

    1. Open a can of Campbell’s Creamy Chicken and Dumpling Soup

    2. Pour in a bowl and microwave for one minute.

    You can thank me later.

     

    RA,

    Hey, that’s my recipe too. How strange is that?

    Regards,

    Jim

     

    • #19
  20. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    She (View Comment):
    Oh, I am sorry. Yes, disappointing. Isn’t barley a grain, though?

    No apologies needed!  It was my fault.  I think that you are probably right, it’s definitely a grain and it’s probably not a vegetable.  Wikipedia was diplomatic on the issue, initially saying it IS a vegetable, just to keep people like me hanging on as readers, but then coyly admitting that it’s not a vegetable in polite society.

    I didn’t learn that buckwheat isn’t a grain until I was an adult, and it has made me look back at all the crap I learned in highschool.

    It’s a wonder I can think at all.

    • #20
  21. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    She (View Comment):

    Yeah. I love lamb. Haven’t eaten it for years, as I got out of the habit when I was worried that my evening meal might closely involve someone I knew. Not a concern so much anymore, as we’ve cut back a lot, and no longer send lambs to the auction at Easter. Still.

    I mean, could you? Really?

    After it grew up and started destroying things, probably.  

    • #21
  22. SkipSul Inactive
    SkipSul
    @skipsul

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):
    Oh, I am sorry. Yes, disappointing. Isn’t barley a grain, though?

    No apologies needed! It was my fault. I think that you are probably right, it’s definitely a grain and it’s probably not a vegetable. Wikipedia was diplomatic on the issue, initially saying it IS a vegetable, just to keep people like me hanging on as readers, but then coyly admitting that it’s not a vegetable in polite society.

    I didn’t learn that buckwheat isn’t a grain until I was an adult, and it has made me look back at all the crap I learned in highschool.

    It’s a wonder I can think at all.

    Well your lack of education hasn’t hurt you none.

    • #22
  23. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):
    Oh, I am sorry. Yes, disappointing. Isn’t barley a grain, though? The one that always confuses me is buckwheat, which I think is actually not a grain, but I wouldn’t call it a vegetable either. Not sure what it is.

    It’s a seed.

    One of the families at my church occasionally makes a big batch of it, with all sorts of veggie, as a side for coffee hour.

    It makes a good cover crop in the portions of our vegetable garden that we don’t use in any given year. I mix it with some vetch or field peas that can then climb on the buckwheat while fixing nitrogen for the soil. I hate to disappoint the members of Ricochet, but it puts more carbon in the soil instead of in the atmosphere, where it is said to belong. 

    In 2010 I came across a water-powered mill in northern Indiana, where buckwheat was ground into flour. It was a family operation, and also included a ma-and-pa electrical utility to provide electricity for the neighborhood, while selling the excess to Northern Indiana Power. I don’t think it’s still in business; I know the family was having a tough time making a go of it back in 2010, after more or less inheriting it from some relatives.  Maybe the neighbors live in darkness now. It’s about day’s ride from home; I should go and take a look. 

    • #23
  24. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):
    Oh, I am sorry. Yes, disappointing. Isn’t barley a grain, though?

    No apologies needed! It was my fault. I think that you are probably right, it’s definitely a grain and it’s probably not a vegetable. Wikipedia was diplomatic on the issue, initially saying it IS a vegetable, just to keep people like me hanging on as readers, but then coyly admitting that it’s not a vegetable in polite society.

    I didn’t learn that buckwheat isn’t a grain until I was an adult, and it has made me look back at all the crap I learned in highschool.

    It’s a wonder I can think at all.

    Well your lack of education hasn’t hurt you none.

    True, but I can read the…

    Oh, never mind.

    • #24
  25. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    I mix it with some vetch or field peas that can then climb on the buckwheat while fixing nitrogen for the soil…

    …Maybe the neighbors live in darkness now. It’s about day’s ride from home; I should go and take a look.

    Well, stop your vetching and pedal over there.

     

    • #25
  26. KirkianWanderer Coolidge
    KirkianWanderer
    @KirkianWanderer

    If you live near an Asian market, there are a lot of options that will keep well (in case further shopping becomes difficult or impossible) and can be prepared in a variety of ways. Admittedly, most of these are things that I normally keep in stock (or rather, that my poor parents will have to turn to when all of the other food runs out, because I think I built up a good amount at home before I went back to college over Christmas break), but they would also make ‘fun’ pandemic options.

    1. Ttteok/Tubular Rice Cakes: These are a Korean staple, and they can be frozen or refrigerated for aeons. Variations in size, shape, and, on occasion, filling are also often available. My preferred method is to combine 150 grams of the rice cakes with 1/2 tablespoon of gochujang, 1/3 tablespoon sugar, 1 finely minced clove of garlic, 1/4 teaspoon soy sauce, 1/4 teaspoon powdered Japanese dashi, and water to cover. Simmer until the liquid has become a thick sauce and serve, bok choi is a wonderful addition. (The dashi isn’t strictly necessary, but does wonders in creating a more complex flavor).
    2. Fresh pack noodles and instant broths: A lot of Asian markets carry fresh pack or fresh frozen noodles, a healthier alternative to deep fried ramen and with a pretty decent shelf life, although many people squirm at the appearance. Combined with an instant dash powder, or other soup base, like I mentioned above, some extra spices and flavor enhancers, and a protein and you have a pretty winning meal. Fried garlic and a quick, soft boiled tea egg can never go wrong.
    3. Preserved veggies and fruit: Pickled Japanese black garlic, pickled Thai bird’s eye chilis, Umeboshi plums, kimchi, and salted preserved seaweed all have a great range of uses, particularly when fresh food may be hard to find. A selection of them with with an egg and a bowl of sticky rice is a great combo, as well as a unique accompaniment to tea (especially the wide range that you can find in such markets, corn silk is my favorite). Preserved eggs and meat are magnificent at doing the same, but sometimes take some adjustment for the western palate.
    4. Rice flour (particularly Japanese): While this may seem like a pretty boring buy, I assure you that it isn’t. Two types to it mixed with a little water and formed into balls (boiled and then seared) become dango, which welcomes a variety of sauces that can be made with quite few ingredients. Combined with yeast, flavoring and mung bean it can become Banh Bo. And 糖油粑粑, sweet rice pancakes in a delicious brown sugar sauce.

    I hope someone finds a way to enjoy! And don’t hesitate to ask for recipes if anything does look good.

    • #26
  27. Richard Finlay Member
    Richard Finlay
    @RichardFinlay

    She (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):
    Better than Bouillon is just the best of the store-bought alternatives I’ve found.

    Agreed 100%. I think it was my mother who put me onto it when she gave me a jar for Christmas one year.

    And occasionally, very occasionally, I’ve made lamb stock when I’ve been able to find bone-in lamb.

    Yeah. I love lamb. Haven’t eaten it for years, as I got out of the habit when I was worried that my evening meal might closely involve someone I knew. Not a concern so much anymore, as we’ve cut back a lot, and no longer send lambs to the auction at Easter. Still.

    I mean, could you? Really?

    As a youngun on a farm, I had no say in the matter.  We ate lamburgers, among other versions.  That I may have been bottle feeding the thing a few months earlier was something to just not think about.  We (at least I) tried to make jokes about it, but Dad stopped that; little sister began to tear up, I believe.

    Not really fond of lamb to this day.

    • #27
  28. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    I had soup for lunch today! It’s cold and rainy, so it seemed right. Here is my recipe:

    1. Open a can of Campbell’s Creamy Chicken and Dumpling Soup

    2. Pour in a bowl and microwave for one minute.

    You can thank me later.

    I might have skipped the microwave part, so I’ll thank you now.  Would you recommend a dollop of hot sauce?  Two dollops?

    Actually, I thought that was a picture of you in the main post, but since you didn’t say anything, I guess it was somebody else who hates people. :)

    • #28
  29. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Mmm.  Today (Saturday) was meatloaf and mashed potatoes and gravy.  I tried this meatloaf recipe.  Elegantly (if that is ever a term that can be applied to meatloaf) simple and delicious.

    I (uncharacteristically for me) followed the recipe exactly, with the following exceptions:  My 1 cup of dried breadcrumbs came from the heels of loaves that I’ve dried out and ground up over the preceding few months.  Mostly, they were seeded rye, I think.  And the mustard I used for the poured on glaze was honey mustard, because that’s what I had.

    It was delicious.  Highly recommended, and incredibly simple.  I’ve sliced the rest, and am putting it in the freezer.

    • #29