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Messages - andiesenji

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Chit Chat / Re: What have you been doing today?
« on: April 14, 2015, 10:19:47 pm »
I've been away for a couple of months.
Had open-heart surgery to replace my aortic valve on March 3 and returned home a couple of days ago.
I went to stay at a friend's home in Orange county, CA - a hundred miles from here but much closer to Loma Linda university hopital heart institute.
I hadn't intended to stay away so long. I had an appointment for evaluation on 2/18 and drove to my friend's home on 2/17, intending to come back home a couple of days later.
The surgeon was adamant that I should not be driving as my condition was critical and I should limit my walking (which I was unable to do much of anyway), use the wheelchair and otherwise be inactive. Surgery was scheduled and I was referred for more tests.
I was in ICU post op for 3 days and another 4 days in major postop care.  I was supposed to go to a rehab facility but because of a problem with my healthcare HMO who wanted to send me to a place that I did not like, I was released to my friend's home and I did fantastic, had no pain, needed no "skilled nursing" and recovered so rapidly it startled my surgeon when I saw him 13 days post op.  He keep looking at my chart because he said he could not believe it had been just 2 weeks and one day. He even brought in two other surgeons to examine me!  They were all amazed that I had no postop pain where my chest had been cracked open and that I was healing so rapidly. 
In any event, I was curtailed from driving until last week but as I had no problems with short trips, I decided to come home. 
My house is a bit messy because I had been unable to do much the past few months but am anxious to get back into the swing of things.

Last night I made the mushroom risotto in my TMX which I had been craving - my friend's husband and son refuse to eat mushrooms and don't like "soupy" rice dishes so while I was there I missed it. 

Now I have numerous posts on this forum (as well as others) that I need to catch up on to make sure I haven't missed anything important or tantalizing.

Condiments and Sauces / Re: Mustard
« on: June 06, 2014, 06:25:35 am »
I have found that using a sweet base and applying heat to "temper" the mustard lessens both the heat and the bitterness.

An earlier post included a link to my recipe/method on eGullet but I have put it up on my blog, as of today.

Mustard recipe

« on: May 16, 2014, 05:44:45 pm »
I received an Amazon gift certificate for Mother's Day (last Sunday here in the U.S.)  so I purchased this wonderful cookbook Delights From The Garden of Eden, which has been discussed at length on a couple of foodie forums and on Facebook.
It is a thick, heavy (570 pages) book full of stories, history and wonderful recipes - Non-TMX - but still extremely interesting.

I have been delving into it since it arrived on Wednesday and am so pleased I heard about it because this is the kind of cookbook that really stimulates my imagination and ramps up my ambition to cook something different.

At the Amazon site there is the "Click to look inside" option.  Take a look at the Table of Contents, page IV, which lists some of the fascinating subjects, such as: The First "REcipe Book" in Human History.  Or,  Elements of the Medieval Baghdadi Cuisine and Affinities with Ancient Mesopotamian Cooking... 

Chit Chat / Re: What are you been cooking today
« on: April 13, 2014, 05:11:00 am »
I made a traditional Dundee Cake - the recipe from my grandmother and made with the same ingredients, no additional flavors, no vanilla, no citrus zest or other flavorings that many of the "modern" recipes include.

I posted the recipe and some photos of it in progress and finished on my blog.

This cake has the advantage of being very "forgiving" and not at all sensitive to mishandling.  On one occasion the power went out right in the middle of baking and was off for 2 hours.  I left the cake in the oven (I have only electric ovens) and reset it and finished baking it after the power came back on.

Try and do that with a boxed cake mix...  Or most cakes -  for that matter.

« on: April 09, 2014, 07:12:39 pm »
Online shock recently was buying a Jude Blureau Wholefood book off book depository and it's all in ounces. Have since looked in book shops and it's in grams for Aussies. Jude will end up a millionaire if everyone makes the same mistake as me as I have to buy the Aussie version now.

Also wanted to let you know that quirky jo's book is due for release on 5 May. Don't know how many recipes or how much. I can't wait.

If you do have a U.S. cookbook with cups, ounces and etc.,   Just use this Conversion Fix to get the correct measures.

I have several Australian Women's Weekly cookbooks that have conversion charts on the inside back cover.  Most of these I purchased in the late '80s and through the '90s.

« on: April 07, 2014, 07:29:10 pm »
I haven't bought anything in the last few days but I have been listing some of my things on ebay.

Just this morning listed the Pink  3-tier cake and pie carrier  (item 181375565213) - that I think I posted a photo of a few months back.
Already 21 views, no bids though.

I also listed some "Folkwear"  clothing patterns I bought back in the early '80s and never used.  One is Australian Bush Outfit ...
I have no idea why I bought it.  I was doing a lot of sewing back then but nothing like those outfits. (number:  181375578071)

I've got the 5 patterns bundled together because I don't want the hassle of selling them separately. 

On my FaceBook page I have been posting photos of some of my collections I am prepping for ebay.
The "Heavy Metal"  cast iron stuff - of which I literally have a ton - 

« on: March 29, 2014, 01:09:22 am »
I found this at a yard sale a few days ago - on my way home from a birthday breakfast.  One of my neighbors had this sitting out and I thought it was brown glass - it had been on top of one of her kitchen cabinets for god knows how long and was covered in greasy crud.
I finally got around to putting it through the dishwasher today and found a beautiful amethyst jug - holds a quart with plenty of headroom.
Obviously hand blown with a clean pontil or punty mark on the bottom but no maker mark.
I love purples anyway - and it just cost a dollar!

« on: March 08, 2014, 06:25:22 am »
You would certainly have to be careful with pearls. Definitely nothing acidic if you value them.

I have my great-grandmother's pearls.  The only thing I've ever used to clean them was olive oil soap, recommended by a jeweler who re-strung them for me about thirty years ago. 
they have lived in a safe-deposit box at my bank for many years as the insurance for keeping them at home got too expensive.  They are "Indian" pearls with a pinkish tinge which I was told was quite rare.  She got them as a wedding present in 1862 when she was 18. 
I am going to give them to my daughter on her birthday this year. 

« on: January 18, 2014, 06:29:50 pm »
My DS at almost 14 has the biggest feet in our house - he loves it. He's very hard on his school shoes but has been growing out of them each term, hoping his growth slows a little this year. DS has always loved shoes from the moment he started wearing them and it's one of the things we argue most about purchasing. If ever we loose him in a shopping centre, whether at home or overseas, the first place we look is the shoe stores, we normally find him with a tower of shoe boxes he is trying on. The assistants are always very friendly until they realise we have no intention of buying them. He spends most of his birthday and Christmas money purchasing shoes - a bit weird for a 14 year old boy we think  ;D

My grandson is now 21 and is huge and he was much bigger than others in his class at age 14.  I looked back at my "gifts" data for the three grandkids and when he was 14, he was wearing a size 12 shoe.  He now wear a size 16 (is 6'5" tall and weighs 280 pounds, none of it fat...  His father isn't quite 6'  but my grandfather was 6'4" and my daughter is 5'10" while I am only 5'6" - her father was also quite tall.  I don't know how it is in OZ, but giant size shoes cost more than what the shoe people consider "normal." 

On a brighter note.  I absolutely LOVE the new 3 pound breadmaker.  It will hold a double batch of the bread machine recipes and the loaves bake up perfectly (I do pull the dough out at the end of the last kneading cycle to remove the beaters in the bottom so I don't have two large holes)  and the "keep warm" function insures that I can hold the loaf right in the machine until ready to serve when I want to serve it "hot from the oven" - which impressed my guests a few days ago.  One has already ordered and received one of the machines - ordered from Amazon - and is giving it a test run today.  She phoned me at 7:30 a.m. to check on the timing of when to remove the beaters.  I was barely awake, having stayed up late watching a movie, but am pretty sure I gave her the correct info.  Hope so  :-))

« on: January 11, 2014, 05:27:13 pm »
I've checked the tea DD purchased and it's ruby red rose (I think I got the name right), I might make some this morning and leave in the fridge to cool for this afternoon.

DJ paint is still shopping and I'm sure exciting for you now that that house is coming together.

Interesting sounding bread machine Andi, do you find you get a better result with the machine over the oven?

For some breads I prefer baking them in the oven - when I want a boule or baguette baked on the stone in the bottom of my oven.  Or when I want a loaf baked in a pullman pan or other shape.
However, when I'm feeling a bit lazy, it is nice to just let the machine do its thing - with the exception of pulling the beaters out before it starts the final rise and bake cycle.

« on: January 10, 2014, 06:37:37 pm »
I have a new bread machine.  My 2-pound machine - 2 beaters in the bottom of the pan - had worked beautifully but abruptly one of the beaters stopped turning - I could spin the beater when the pan was in the machine, so apparently whatever drives it was broken.  Since I had not paid a huge amount for it, I dumped it and ordered a brand-new-to-the-market, at least here in the U.S.
THREE-POUND breadmaker.  Said to have the greatest capacity of any on the market, available beginning in November 2013.

Made by Black and Decker.  

On one food forum there was a post about a machine with this capacity (1400 gm) available in the UK - made by Bielmeier  but when I checked it was much more expensive and is not available here in the US.

So far I have made a fruit and nut loaf that I could not bake in my old breadmaker (without removing a third of the dough before it began the baking cycle) because it rises quite high - as do many doughs containing more sugar than regular.
I do pull the dough out of the machine at the end of the last kneading and remove the beaters so there are no large holes in the bottom of the loaf - just two small ones where the shafts are. 
I also made a brioche-type loaf, allowing it to bake in the machine - which again was impossible in the old one.  It turned out beautifully. 

« on: December 12, 2013, 03:14:26 am »
I'm a tea nut also.  I have far more than I "need" but sometimes can't resist when something new appears, especially the Republic of Tea site.

My tea cupboard from a couple of years ago - there are more now.

A couple of decades back a friend in Mt. Dandenong used to send me Ty-Nee tips tea,  I think that was the name, a loose tea which I really liked - she had some with here when she lived here for a year and left me her supply when she returned to OZ.
  It's been a long time, I may have the name wrong. 

« on: November 30, 2013, 12:29:29 am »
With the Breville at first I seemed to get a bit stuck to the sides that was hard to get off but now I don't seem to have that problem. It is a little fiddly getting the ice cream off the paddle, but like with the TMX you find your own way of doing it after a few goes. Depending on the recipe some ice creams seem to freeze much harder and stay harder as I'm scooping into the container for the freezer, while others stay more firm. With Tenina's chocolate (a staple here) it seems to melt quickly, while the peppermint choc chip from the forum stays more firm. The kids also haven't noticed a difference in batches where we have made the custard in advance from those where we have put it into the ice cream machine while still warm. During DD's exams she was making the peppermint custard and putting it straight from cooking in the TMX to the ice cream machine and then eating. It took a while longer for it to churn but only by about 15 mins she said.  I ended up paying $360 for my Breville and am very happy with it.

Let me give you a tip to try with getting the ice cream off the paddle.  I've been using self-contained ice cream freezers for decades, since I got my first Simac back in the '80s.
I used to use a nylon pastry brush - the stiffer type - but now I use a SILICONE BASTING BRUSH.  It gets into the nooks and crannies and cleans the stuff off the paddles quickly. 

My machine lives on a large metal tray - actually it is a full-size sheet pan for baking, but since I no longer have my big oven, I have repurposed the sheet pans for other uses.  It catches all the drips and I can lay the paddle down on it as well as scoops and spoons and it is easy to clean.   I know they are available from some vendors in OZ because my friend who lives in Victoria uses them in her cheesemaking - also to catch drips from draining cheeses.  She is off on a trip right now so I can't ask but I'm sure one of you knowledgeable folks will find the info, if you don't already have it.

« on: November 17, 2013, 06:38:44 pm »
A couple weekends ago my washing machine of 16 years decided to die. I decided that I wasn't going to waste money getting it fixed again so off I went washing machine shopping, come home with a 10kg samsung front loader which come with 2 years worth of washing powder (doubt it will last me 2 years with 7 people in the house)
So far I'm very impressed with the way it washes, I have never seen DHs work clothes so clean and I have never had a front loader before.

I got the high capacity LG front loader 4 years ago and it has been a marvel. It has the "steam-clean" function too, which is great for heavy, thick items that don't always get fully washed in one cycle. (The dog bed and rugs.)

« on: November 03, 2013, 02:34:05 am »
Staclee, i normally spray the tray with a little oil, do you think it makes a difference using the liners?

Decided after spending all the money on the ice cream maker that I really should buy an ice cream book so decided on "The Perfect Scoop" by David Lebovitz.

That is the best book for ice cream recipes.  David is a wizard when it comes to imagining new recipes and then making them work.
I've been following his blog  HERE since he started it.  I recommend you read it when you have already had a meal, otherwise, you will find yourself in the kitchen at midnight, trying one of his delicious-sounding recipes.

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