Hey good lookin', what's cookin'?

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Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Oh, it was fun! We had both nephews and a bandmate staying with us. Other than the (rather large) bandmate flopping onto the Ikea sofa bed and breaking it (it's repairable with only a little trouble) it was pretty great. Lots of music, laughter, smart conversation - seriously, if these guys are representative of millenials, then the hype about our assured destruction is amped up way too high - good food and much appreciation. Plus a free concert - we got comped for feeding them. :)

Tonight we're doing a stand-by - ratatouille. I picked up local egglplant, zucchini, onions and peppers at the farmer's market on the weekend. I was late getting to the bakery across from our new office (DANGEROUS!!!) and missed the baguettes, but I got a loaf of sourdough and it will do.

lagatta4

I'm going to have some leftover pad thai; we were at a little Lao-Thai restaurant a bit north and east of where I live at Métro Fabre: a neighbourhood that used to be mainly Québécois francophone and Italian, where there are now also many Maghrebi people, Haitians of course, and a knot of small byow southeast Asian restaurants. Thai Sep is the proverbial hole-in-the-wall, but not a greasy-spoon as it is bright and clean. No reservations. Cash only. So we arrived early, at 6 p.m. By 8 it was completely full. I bit too noisy (echo, not music). A mango salad with dried shrimp. Intriguingly spiced homemade sausages.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Mango salad is not just easy to make, it's kind of fun.  You need a bit of red onion, sliced as thin as you can, some cilantro, some lime juice, some fish sauce, some chilis if you're into that sort of thing (mango actually cuts the heat pretty well), a bit of brown sugar, and the only tough thing to find:  an unripe mango.  Any mango you'd eat for dessert is automatically too ripe for this.  But a nice tough hard one is great.

Then you peel the mango with a vegetable peeler, and on one of the flat sides, make a series of cuts, end to end, right down to the "bone", about 3mm apart.  Then, the fun!  Take a very sharp knife, hold the mango in one hand, and with the knife "flick" across the top of the mango, taking of nice thin little strips as you do.  Do this down to the "bone" and then flip and repeat on the other side.  Mix ingredients in a bowl, let sit for a half hour or so, and dig in.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Timebandit wrote:

I've also got a couple of eggplants growing - hoping the squirrels don't get them this year. The little assholes are killing my potted pansies. 

Unsolicited advice department. Go to the local dollar store, buy one (or more) packages of bamboo skewers in the kitchen department. Put skewers into pot the damn skwrls are messing with (pointy side up of course). If they are spaced out about 1/2 inch apart, it is usually enough to discourage the little bastards.

Or, if you are more like me, set out live animal traps for them (peanut butter on stale bread is great bait) - when you capture them, take them for a ride far away... mine end up near the railway tracks that run near the municipal recyling site... it is a prime corridor for urban coyotes - I think they appreciate the extra protein.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

We have a live trap that we've used when they chewed their way into the attic crawlspace. And our neighbours on both sides will trap and relocate them to the other side of the river. 

I I think I've got bamboo skewers stashed in a drawer somewhere - will have to try that out. The coffee grounds were ineffective and ground chilis were only partly effective. Haven't tried dog hair yet, though. 

lagatta4

I'm sure I could find an unripe melon at one of the nearby southeast Asian shops. Diversity is good! I also have a Haitian takeaway counter nearby, as well as the obvious Italian, Maghrebi and Levantine places.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
I'm sure I could find an unripe melon at one of the nearby southeast Asian shops.

Mango!  Or else you just invented something new!  :)

Now if only there was some sort of tasty thing to do with an unripe avocado.  Not much of a problem finding those.

lagatta4

I meant an unripe mango. Plenty of unripe melons this rainy summer. And unripe avocados are a curse.

lagatta4

Yesterday I made sautéed eggplant/aubergines with lovely Sicilian melanzane, violet and crem coloured with silky flesh.

This seems simple, and is, but there is a trick. After cubing them, you have to wrap them in towelling; it could be just paper towels but much nicer to wrap them in clean cotton dishtowels that you reserve for such cooking purposes. They are cheap in many "bargain" stores. They should be left for at least an hour so the excess moisture (for this purpose) is sucked up. I was able to sautée them after that treatment with very little olive oil. Added garlic and herbs.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Do you also salt them?  I've seen lots of recipes that call for salting eggplant or zucchini or even cucumber "to draw out impurities" but that's sometimes struck me as alchemy more than kitchen wisdom.

Sidebar:  have you ever had Thai eggplant?  They're round, a bit bigger than a ping-pong ball, and patterned like a little dinosaur egg.  I used to order a green curry takeout from a local joint that always included some, and they were mushy and creamy and stole the show from the beef.  Hard to imagine that they'd be more related to the big purple globe eggplant than to a wee gooseberry.

Tonight's dinner:  soft tacos with homemade salsa verde (see above) and homemade wheat tortillas (see way, way above).

progressive17 progressive17's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
I'm sure I could find an unripe melon at one of the nearby southeast Asian shops.

Mango!  Or else you just invented something new!  :)

Now if only there was some sort of tasty thing to do with an unripe avocado.  Not much of a problem finding those.

The only tasty thing you can do with an unripe avocado is wait. Unless you like eating green rubber...

lagatta4

Unfortunately many unripe avocados seem to go straight from green rubber to brown mush. I got a perfect one today, which was a treat.

I've never happened to have a Thai eggplant; of course I've had Chinese ones, and Indian ones that are the size and shape you specify, but otherwise not much different from those more standard here.

No, I didn't salt the eggplant, because I wanted to see if the towel trick worked on its own, and I wanted to add fish sauce to my dish. I think salting them is more to draw out bitterness, but modern eggplant, especially the type I'd bought, are scarcely bitter at all.

Have you ever bought Red Boat Fish Sauce, a premium brand (and much more expensive than others) but said to have a very complex flavour? http://redboatfishsauce.com/ At about $10 per bottle, hardly expensive for a "gourmet" ingredient. I was thinking of trying it, not for everything of course, but in certain applications where it would shine.

lagatta4

Another great simple recipe from Rachel Roddy of the Guardian, an English food writer who lives in Testaccio, Rome with her Sicilian husband and their little boy:

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/aug/29/spaghetti-with-cour... Note that there are no hard-to-find ingredients.

The series: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/series/kitchen-sink-tales That lemon olive-oil coffee cake (not too sweet) looks very good.

This site on the Mediterranean diet (diet as in way of eating, not weight-loss plan) is worth a look too, based on Greek foods and foodways. The Mediterranean diet is based on traditional foodways in Ikaria, a Greek island, with a control group in Sardinia. It does not refer to souvlakia or pepperoni pizza...

http://www.olivetomato.com/

Another Greek site along the same lines, based in Ikaria:

http://www.dianekochilas.com/greek-recipes/

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Oh, that looks nice! I've been looking for something a little different to do with zucchini. I've got a couple of nice, big mint plants in my garden, too.

Last night I did another stand-by pasta dish - zucchini with fresh thyme from my garden and tomato. I've been struggling with a really bad bout of insomnia lately and am at a low ebb on imagination when it comes to food right now.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Have you ever bought Red Boat Fish Sauce, a premium brand (and much more expensive than others) but said to have a very complex flavour?

Never heard of it before, but now I MUST find it.  :)

Sadly, I checked at three of the four grocers in Chinatown today and none carried it.  The fourth might, as they tend to have a slightly different selection of things, but then again they might not. 

Quote:
at a low ebb on imagination when it comes to food right now.

I get that way about four times a year, near the end of every season.  Right now I'm almost grilled out, and yet it's a bit too early for stews and such.  What I think I need most of all is for someone to discover a new, tasty animal -- it seems like we're always saying "well, we had chicken yesterday, and beef the day before..."

I recently bought up a bunch of frozen chicken breast at NoFrills -- about a kilogram or so for about five bucks.  It's not something I'd usually buy frozen, but the price got me curious!  Probably not nice enough for the grill, but possibly OK for soup or curry or sandwiches.  Tonight I'm going to smash up a fresh curry paste in the mortar and make an ad hoc chicken curry with somen noodles.  Maybe a bit of thai basil from the garden, if any is still thriving. 

I also picked up a bag of fresh lime leaf today that'll definitely have a role in this.  I like to buy a bag of fresh and do whatever I can with it, then put the remainder in a colander and let the leaves dry out for storage.  It's one of those "once a year" things.

 

 

cco

Mr. Magoo wrote:

What I think I need most of all is for someone to discover a new, tasty animal

I wonder what wild pushmi-pullyu tastes like?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
I wonder what wild pushmi-pullyu tastes like?

Probably leaner and more gamey than farmed pushmi-pullyu.

lagatta4

I made Three Sisters succotash; fresh corn, beans (I happened to have red ones, but any New World bean would do) and squash - mine was the first little "potimarron" I found this year. It seems to be the same  squash as red kuri (remember that babbler? I hope she is well.) So far it is vegetarian, but I want it to be a slightly soupy stew, so it will get of some the stock I made, which is mostly poultry bones. You can also add meat; I'd love some duck or game...

It is nasty weather here, rainy, grey and cool. Often Labour Day weekend is beautiful, but not this year. I don't mind because I'm very busy working, on documents connected with the celebration of the 10th anniversary of UNDRIP, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. But as we know, the Canadian government (under Harper) as well as those of the US, Australia and New Zealand took years to sign it.

lagatta4

As for ceramic knives, they have quite a few at Home Hardware; the franchise closest to chez moi is in Little Portugal, due south of here. It has been Quincaillerie Azores for ages, and still is; I guess they just find it advantageous to be connected to a chain. They have a lot of housewares and kitchen supplies, but unlike Quincaillerie Dante just up the street from me, they are still an actual hardware. Dante has become "Kill it and cook it", as a friend from the wilds of Abitibi puts it: they sell cookware, as well as guns and other hunting equipment.

Azores is at one corner of Parc du Portugal, and just around the corner from Leonard Cohen's little house.

lagatta4

A friend gave me a Cuisinart mandoline - she bought it and never used it. This friend is mildly addicted to buying gadgets.

I can't quite figure it out. I'm sure it would be good for making coleslaw - or curtido - which I'd been making by hand with a sharp knife as a grater turns the cabbage to mush. Ideas?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
A friend gave me a Cuisinart mandoline - she bought it and never used it. This friend is mildly addicted to buying gadgets.

Well, I hope you learn to play it!  I'm sure there are plenty of Québecois folk songs that call for one.

Quote:
I'm sure it would be good for making coleslaw - or curtido - which I'd been making by hand with a sharp knife as a grater turns the cabbage to mush. Ideas?

Jokes aside, I have a pretty decent one.  I don't get it out all that often, partly because I don't mind having to use a knife, and partly because it means having to wash three things instead of one (and OK, partly because I know how badly it wants to shred my fingers) but it IS good for some things.

Anything you want julienned both finely and consistently (eg: shredded carrot, or as you say coleslaw or for that matter, sauerkraut). 

I also use it with the smallest transverse blade (the "rakey" looking blade) to cut up potatoes for latkas.  When you cut the potatoes so nicely, you can easily make a vegan latka -- a sprinkle of flour on the spuds is more than enough to bind them, no egg needed.  I'll usually add a bit of similarly cut carrot or yam.

Also, if you want to make scalloped potatoes, you can slice them as thin as a potato chip and they all just sort of fuse together into a delicious creamy mass when cooked.  And I guess, if you can do that, you can also make potato chips!

Anyway, keep it, but don't throw your knives away.  :)

lagatta4

I actually had a musical mandolin as a teen; not so much Québécois folk music, more music from the Mediterranean...

My red cabbage slaw turned out very well.

I don't think I've mentioned crockpot polenta upthread. A revelation, after a bit of stirring at the beginning to avoid lumps, it pretty much makes itself (about three measures of water to one of cornmeal), starting on high and then cooking on low for several hours. There are many recipes on the Internet, but they are all variations on the same general idea.

I made a kind of gratin a friend from Argentina makes: some grated cheese is added at the end, after turning off the crockpot, stirred in, then layered with a bit of tomato sauce, basil, more cheese. Yes, it is stodgy comfort food. Just don't eat too much and enjoy it with either a green salad or some sautéed greens. I poured the polenta and other layers into an enamelled iron oval dish, like Le Creuset, but an old one from Belgium, bought at a bazaar.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Sounds like you have cabbage, and a mandoline.  If you've got some non-iodized salt (sea salt or kosher salt) and a few mason jars, try your hand at sauerkraut!

Homemade sauerkraut would take nearly a year to get even half as "sour" as storebought (unless you cheat, like they do, with some vinegar).  But even a few weeks in, it's naturally probiotic, very digestible, and actually pretty awesome in slaw.  I know that cabbage is affordable and available all year 'round, but it's still kind of fun to preserve some.  It's fascinating to me how it stays crisp and fresh long after a head of cabbage in a plastic bag would have gone to the green bin.

I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but I'mma mention it again:  I have a nice little old timey recipe book for preserving that has a great sauerkraut recipe that begins with "66 cabbages..."  Naturally it just ASSUMES you have a barrel.  :)

lagatta4

I see that I had mentioned crockpot polenta upthread, which indicates not only a glitch in my memory but also in rabble's search engine - "polenta" shouldn't have been hard to find. In terms of the creamy vs firm texture, that is a matter of water to cornmeal ratio. Some creamy polenta also incorporates milk ... or cream, or coconut milk, but not all.

Putting things up in barrels was very common, even in urban settings, but I don't really have room for a barrel. I guess it is just a matter of fine shredding and salting, nothing else? I' like it less sour than commercial sauerkraut; I've had "natural foods shop" sauerkraut that is thus, but it is absurdly expensive given the low cost of cabbages, even organic ones. My salad is very good.

Now I can't find the main blade of the contraption. I had thrown out no trash or recycling, so it must be in the flat somewhere. I can't imagine where it could be. I washed and replaced all the other blades (some need a little brush to get all the tiny bits of food out) but the contraption is useless without the main one. And I'd only used it in a specific place - a wheeled stainless-steel Ikea cart I use for food prep and storage. I guess I'll just have to go through everything.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Prune plums are in season, so it's coffee cake time for me. I've already done three and another with peaches (good but not as good as plum). A couple cakes worth of plums in the fridge and I'm leaving town tomorrow, so a busy night tonight. 

Ive probably posted it before, but it's a riff on a Marcella Hazan recipe. Olive oil instead of butter, I use less sugar and more liquid than she does. Nice, dense cake flavoured with lemon and zingy plums! 

lagatta4

Those are the small, dark plums called susini in Italian?

You can also make a clafoutis with those. Not much sugar, but rather rich with the egg batter (similar to a crêpe batter).

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Those are the plums! The Okanagan ones are the best. You don't see them outside the season.

If there are still any around when I get home, I'll try and find a clafoutis recipe. The plum cake is much beloved at Chez Bandit, if I freeze enough it will last through Christmas. :)

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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I guess it is just a matter of fine shredding and salting, nothing else?

That's pretty much it.  Shred the cabbage, salt it and let it sit out for 24-48 hours, pack in jars (packing the cabbage down firmly to try to raise the liquid level to cover the cabbage), top with a bit of salty water if necessary, and pop the jar in the fridge, lidded loosely. 

Then, wait.

NorthReport
Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

plummy!

A quick repost because I like the picture, and it no longer shows up earlier in this thread where we had nearly the exact same plum discussion a year ago.  :)

lagatta4

They are so pretty! Why on earth did they disappear? And why couldn't I search for "polenta"?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Why on earth did they disappear?

When the site was upgraded, lots of old images were improperly parsed and converted, so they don't show up as inline images, they show up as clickable links.

As for searching, babble's search engine has always been wonky, even before the upgrade.  I can often -- though not always -- find what I'm looking for by Googling.  Just enter the search like this:

site:rabble.ca crockpot polenta

Perhaps this is the mention you were thinking of?

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

So last year, if I recall correctly, I was out of ketchup, and NoFrills had the monstrous, 1.5 l bottle of Heinz on sale for about three bucks, so I bought it -- that's about 2/3 off and I couldn't resist.

Now it's almost gone, so today I bought a bottle of French's!  I'm dying to try it.  I was dying to try it last year, too, but when you have a litre and a half in the fridge, you don't really need another bottle.

Curiously, NoFrills had a 750ml bottle of French's for $2.97, and a one litre bottle of French's for... $2.97.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

It would take us at least a year to eat that much ketchup! The fridge is full of hot sauces, though. The blond guy and Bug Girl (aka Thing 1) love them. 

I think I remember the plum convo from last year. But plum cake is a big deal!

im trying to decide if I should make Christmas cake. I love my mother's fruitcake. If she's feeling favourably toward me I might get some for Christmas, but last year she was mad at me and I had none. I have the recipe, might just do my own. Really should have started in July, though. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
It would take us at least a year to eat that much ketchup!

Oh, I hear you!  It took us about a year too!  We only really eat it on:

-  french fries of whatever sort, or junk-food equivalent (e.g. "tater tots")

- grilled cheese sandwiches

- fried egg sandwiches (or "westerns")

-  some smoked rib or smoked chicken glazes that call for some

It's not really my "go to" gloop.

Quote:
I have the recipe, might just do my own. Really should have started in July, though.

Tomorrow's probably close enough.  Get those raisins and currants and dried apricots and suchlike into some rum or brandy, and if you don't end up making fruitcake, have the best ice cream sundae ever.

cco

Seeing that there's Christmas cake conversation already, I think it's vital I intervene and begin discussion of Thanksgiving. Three weeks from now, I'll be plotting out 2017's Canadian Thanksgiving dinner. (Being half of a mixed marriage, we always celebrate both Thanksgivings, because who can argue with extra turkey?) Taking turkey and potatoes as stipulated, what are everybody else's recommended dishes?

lagatta4

No specific idea, but some autumnal squash.

I wish turkey parts were more readily available. There is no way I could deal with such a thing. I only have a countertop convection oven, and nothing big enough to braise a huge bird.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

For me, stuffing is non-negotiable and I don't mean the kind that gets cooked outside the bird! I make sure I check temperatures carefully to avoid hazards. I mostly do a mix of diced day old French bread, onion, celery, sage, maybe some apple, raisins and nuts (like cashews, almonds, or pecans). Might add savoury or thyme, too. No two iterations of my stuffing are exactly alike. 

Sometimes I do carrots and parsnips as a side, and/or some kind of green. 

My mother's Thanksgiving sides are all either in some sort of sugar-based sauce or encased in jello. So much sugar...

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Once turkey and spuds are a given, I'm with TB:  you NEED some awesome stuffing.  Personally, I'm partial to a simple sausage stuffing -- squeeze the filling out of a pack of breakfast links (or two, if your bird is huge) and fry up until brown.  Add a diced onion, some diced celery and cook until just soft.  Add a whack of stale bread, cut or torn into small chunks, some salt and pepper, and some sage or savoury (and/or the other herbs of your choice) and stir over heat until the bread has absorbed all the fat/liquid from the pan.  Let it cool, then pack as much of it into the cavity as possible -- really lean into it if you have to -- and then seal the cavity with a skewer or tie the drumsticks across the cavity with some kitchen twine.

If you don't like pork, try one or two lamb merguez sausages.  If you can find it, use dark pumpernickel bread, or a good rye bread.  And of course anything else you want to throw in is just value added.

For the vegetables, consider roasted instead of boiled/steamed/pureed/whatever.  Pick any or all of the following, and toss them into a heavy, oven safe pan or skillet with a goodly glug of olive oil and some salt and pepper and optional herbs:

-  carrots, peeled or not, cut in two inch lengths.

-  beets, peeled and quartered

-  brussels sprouts (you might even like them this way!) cleaned

-  parsnip (cut like the carrot, and maybe split on the really fat end)

-  large button or cremini mushrooms, whole

-  baby sweet peppers, if you can find them, whole, seeded

-  sweet potato or yam, peeled and cut in chunks

-  some cauliflower florets, about the size of a toonie

-  celeriac, fennel bulb, kohlrabi, or any other vegetable that looks like it came from the props closet from Alien

-  any sturdy and tasty vegetable I've forgotten or that you like

Shake the pan to make sure everything gets a bit of oil and seasoning, then cover with foil and roast in the oven with the bird for 30-45 minutes.  Remove foil, give the veg another shake, and roast for another 30 minutes or until cooked through nicely.  Some added butter never hurts right before serving.

It's a nice, and seasonal alternative to some of the other cooking methods.  And I'm not kidding when I say it might make a brussels sprouts believer out of you.

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
I wish turkey parts were more readily available. There is no way I could deal with such a thing. I only have a countertop convection oven, and nothing big enough to braise a huge bird.

Turkey parts in small portions may be hard to come by, but cleavers and freezer bags aren't.  :)

My Metro often has turkey breast (it's still pretty huge), turkey drums and thighs, and sometimes turkey wings.  I expect there'll be plenty to choose from after Thanksgiving, and at reasonable prices, too.

Sometimes Metro even has turkey "backs" for a buck or two, for making stock. 

I think the only problem with turkey is that it's become the go-to "heart smart" animal protein.  Turkey sausages, turkey bacon, ground turkey in tacos (!) and so on means the prices don't really dip down as much as you'd hope after Thanksgiving.

Here's what I wish:  I wish I could go to Metro or NoFrills and buy fresh duck parts, or fresh goose parts.  I don't believe I've ever seen goose parts anywhere!  Not even once.

lagatta4

Duck parts, yes, and I can often score a duck carcass, sometimes with quite a bit of meat, for stock, at La Boucherie du Marché. We also have a shop in the market that specializes in duck, Les canards libérés. Alas, they don't have enough staff at Lac Brome to properly butcher the ducks and they've been throwing out the little livers, hearts and gizzards, which I love and that are cheap. A crime! They have experienced two major fires, and I guess a lot of staff has moved elsewhere or found other jobs in the region. A whole duck isn't so much to deal with anyway, in a small kitchen.

Unfortunately, I'm terrified of cleavers.

Timebandit, how did your mum develop a fixation on toxic levels of white sugar in savoury foods? Mine never did.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Regional and generational reasons, I think. The prairies were big on jellied salads from the 1950s through the 1980s. My mother learned to cook in the mid to late 1950s, so the sugary stuff and convenience foods were cool and fashionable. She kind of moved away from them but seems to have gone back to them as she's gotten older. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Somewhere I've got a half-dozen or so cookbooks from that era, part of a "Time-Life series" from the late sixties or some such, and man are they GLORIOUS.  I either found them, or bought them for 50 cents each or so.

The recipes are full of mini-marshmallows, Velveeta, ginger-ale, canned things, white sugar, aspic, maraschino cherries, processed meat and convenience.

The photos are to die for!  Imagine June Cleaver serving up "Candied Hawaiian Spam" to Ward and some kids straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting (all poorly offset printed in slightly too-saturated colours) and you've got the gestalt of it.  They're like opening a food time capsule.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Yep, the many wonders of canned pineapple!

One of the special dishes when I was a kid was "24 hour salad" - green and red maraschino cherries, tinned pineapple chunks, mini marshmallows and Cool Whip. 

I love vintage cookbooks, but I generally go for the teens and 20s up to the 50s. Then food got weird for a while. It's like they got convenience foods and didn't want to look like slackers, so they put all kinds of effort into complicating them all over again. All eras' cookbooks say something about the social orders of their time. In the 20s it was all about conserving the number of eggs and thrifty tips, at the dawn of the 60s it was 1001 things to do with canned goods. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I think I may have actually made things from the Fanny Farmer cookbook (c. 1896) but I don't think I ever made anything from those Time-Life books.  I totally agree that things went all "canned pear"-shaped in the 1960's, but that's what I love the most about those books!  And I totally agree that all eras' cookbooks say something about the social orders of their time -- again, why I love those books!

Also, realistically, whatever was big in the US in the late 60's was what was big in my little isolated chunk of Canada in the early 70's, which was when I was becoming aware of stuff and noticing stuff.  Part of our family -- my mother's sister and her husband and kids -- were early adopters of aerosol cheese and chocolate milk powder and Kraft recipes, so I guess I have a nostalgia for it that I can't really claim for the foods of the 40's and 30's and beyond.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

I like the hands-on-ness of the old books. I have one that was meant as a new bride's kitchen manual that spells out what other books take for granted. 

I think I'm around your age or a little older, but Cheez Wiz and Kraft singles and the generic version of Tang were staples around our house. The switch from canned veg to frozen was momentous. I'm so grateful my dad's uncle was a market gardener and my grandmother had a massive vegetable garden so there was affordable fresh stuff on the table half the year. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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I think I'm around your age or a little older

I have the same sense.  Canada is almost exactly 100 years older than me.  You?

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Cheez Wiz and Kraft singles and the generic version of Tang were staples around our house.

Aww yiss!  When I was a kid, I started every day I could with a peanut butter and Cheez Whiz sandwich.

As an adult, I've bought it once or twice, out of nostalgia, but like most nostalgia, it's somehow not the same.

Quote:
The switch from canned veg to frozen was momentous. I'm so grateful my dad's uncle was a market gardener and my grandmother had a massive vegetable garden so there was affordable fresh stuff on the table half the year.

My parents were odd that way.  They'd scold my uncle for buying a frozen steak, then they'd use canned mushrooms in a recipe.  They'd buy fresh, real cheese, but then cook rice in a bag.  I think that whole decade was a big food mess.

 

 

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Yes, we're of a similar vintage!

My dad was into hunting and gathering. Between his uncle and mother's veggies, wild food like saskatoons and fiddlehead greens, fresh fish and venison, ducks and upland game birds, we escaped the canned, boring and bland some of the time. He also knew the guy in Quappelle Valley who grew mushrooms when grocery stores only had them in cans, so now and then we'd get fresh ones. But tinned were just what everyone thought mushrooms were at the time. 

Then there was the powdered milk phase my mother went through. More effort but cheaper. I think that's why I got more cavities around that time period. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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etween his uncle and mother's veggies, wild food like saskatoons and fiddlehead greens, fresh fish and venison, ducks and upland game birds, we escaped the canned, boring and bland some of the time.

I hear that.  My father, a construction worker, seemed to always "know a guy" who'd hunted some venison or moose, so we had venison and moose more often than most.  And living on a lake we ate lots of either bought our caught freshwater fish like perch and pickerel and trout.  But then also rice in a bag!!?

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He also knew the guy in Quappelle Valley who grew mushrooms when grocery stores only had them in cans, so now and then we'd get fresh ones. But tinned were just what everyone thought mushrooms were at the time.

Sometimes, when we'd visit some in-laws in Strathroy, the elders would make a road trip out to a mushroom farm nearby and grab up 5 lb boxes of fresh buttons -- us kids would eat as we wanted of them from the box and barely make a dent.  But still, there were canned mushrooms.  I guess the adults were "complicated".

And if I still like Cheez Whiz -- which I do -- maybe I'm also complicated?

 

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

I would only eat Cheez Wiz on celery. But I might do that. My kids think it's bonkers. 

My my dad would shoot a moose and we'd eat moose for a year. Or same with elk. You'd get sick of it eventually, although it was good stuff. 

We didn't do rice in a bag, but we only ever used Minute Rice. I didn't have the slightest notion how to cook regular rice when I left home. Totally borked the first few potfuls once I got the courage to try. Well, wild rice I had sort of figured out, since dad brought some home from somewhere but we were guessing and mother wouldn't touch it. 

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