Food stuff

Aug. 30th, 2017 05:20 am
kengr: (Default)
Various interesting things involving food in the last week or so.

To start with, I had trouble with a large jar of green olives with pimentos I got cheap off the clearance Rack. Even with rubber gloves I couldn't the lid to move. I sat there glaring at it and decided to try something weird.

I took a small screwdriver ( about 4.5"/11 cm) and stabbed it through the middle of the lid. Jar opened with no problem after that. This is now on my list of ways to deal with stubborn jar lids. :-)

Oh yeah, I slapped a hunk of duct tape over the hole. If that sounds icky to you, you can always transfer the contents to another container.

I've also been clearing out the freezer some. I've been getting frozen meats from the food boxes faster than I've been using them up. I'm working on thinning the herd.
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[personal profile] alatefeline picked up me and [personal profile] fayanora Wednesday afternoon. My favorite winged cat-person had wanted to meet Fay and Fay was willing. since Fay had Wednesday free, that was when we did it.

It was decided to go visit Powell's again.

We browsed odd items, then browsed the books and things. We wound up talking for *hours* in the coffee shop.

Topics ranged all over the place, some ancient SA stories, various books. Silly t-shirts and more.

a good time was had buy all. Since I had some books at home that [personal profile] alatefeline wanted to read (well, re-read for the first part of the series) when they took us home, I got them to come up. They were not appalled by the apartment. :-)

I had something to eat after they left and took a nap. Got up a few hours ago and had "dinner (and the required meds).

Since I'd been digging thru the freezer a few days ago (to see what I could use up to free space) I'd pulled a roast that I'd noticed had the plastic torn. Probably a bit freezer burned. It's currently in the crockpot on low with a bunch of carrots and potatoes and various bits.

Should make good eating for a day or three.
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Today was [personal profile] fayanora's birthday. I'd been planning to drag her to the Chang's Mongolian Grill near the Winco we shop at for a long time. This seemed like a good opportunity.

I'd been going to buy her lunch, but when she'd been checking the hours online, she discovered that you can get a free meal on your birthday. So I wound up just paying for her drink and an all day bus ticket for her. Going get her something else when my SS comes in.

She'd never been to one before but she loved it. The best part is that you get to pick your own ingredients, so she was able to avoid stuff she has problems with, and try stuff she wasn't sure about. That last is because it's an all you can eat, so you add a bit of something you aren't sure of on a second or third trip.

We'd decided to postpone the big Winco trip until we get our SS money on Monday. But since we were only a block away, we did pick up a few things. I spotted a bunch of cell phone stuff in a bin marked down to $6.95 each.

I grabbed a bluetooth speaker. At that price, it wasn't a big loss if if wasn't very good. actually turns out to be not too bad (especially for the price. It's a BT-S10. I figured out how to pair it with my phone but had to go online to get more info about it because there was *no* documentation with it.

I knew it'd play stuff via bluetooth, and after looking it and the included cable over, I figured out you could also plug it into the stereo jack on a phone/tablet/whatever. but there didn't seem to be a volume copntrol, and there was something labeled a TF port.

Found docs online. Turns out the volume is controlled be the same weird switch that does play/pause and track change.

Big news is that it turns out that the "TF port" is a microSD slot and it'll play files from the card. Have to mess around with that some, but it could be useful.

Food fun

Jun. 12th, 2017 08:18 am
kengr: (Default)
Years back Lin & Kermit sent me an unexpected gift (might have been Christmas, might have been my birthday). They knew I ate a lot of ramen, so they went on Amazon and bought me two flats of the *good* stuff.

Specifically, Nong Shim Neo Guri. Much better noodles than the cheap stuff and better flavor too. They wound up getting used as a "special treat" sort of thing.

When I hit a semi-local oriental market some time after I'd run out, I found there were several other varieties available. After trying them all, I've settled down to having the Nong shim stuff once a week, and alkternating between the Neo Guri and the Shin Ramyun.

Since Neo Guri is essentially "spicy seafood", when I noticed a "seafood medley" in the frozen foods section I got it and tried using it for the "meat" in the ramen.

Shrimp, octopus, mussels, etc. Yum! Plus, of course, various veggies. Side note, after figuring out that one of the things in the dried veggie packets that came with the Nong Shim stuff was dried seaweed, I started buying package of that to add to the regular ramen. adds a nice flavor and some other stuff.

Anyway, there I was, eating my spicy seafood and I suddenly notice that one of the noodles on my fork looks off color (did I mention that these noodles are at least twice as thick as the cheap stuff?). I took a closer look and then saw it was a tentacle that's broken off one of the octupus bits.

This gave me all sorts of silly thoughts ranging from the FSM to Cthulhu. :-)

slug fest?

Apr. 26th, 2017 09:28 am
kengr: (Default)
Came across a link to an interesting article while re-reading some old posts in other folks LJs (I'm cleaning up the old comment notifications, and read the original posts to get context)

Seems banana slugs are edible.

Another comment after the one with the link notes that you should keep them for several days and feed them on "safe" stuff to make sure they are purged of any toxins from eating things they can eat but humans can't.

even with that caution, it is tempting to go out to Forest Park to harvest some.. :-)

Oh yeah, several sorts of garden snails are edible as well. Though you have to isolate them for even longer because they may have picked up pestocides from other peoples gardens.

Fun day...

Sep. 5th, 2016 06:47 am
kengr: (Default)
That was sarcasm.

Been dealing with illness, computer problems and more

Been dealing with a low grade fever for several days. also being kinda "blah", and sleeping a *lot*.

shopping )
buses )

computer fun )
kengr: (antenna girl)
I may have mentioned the "cheater" tuna casserole recipe I got off a box of Kraft mac & cheese many *many* years back.

Basically, melt the butter/margarine and add the milk and the powdered sauce. But then add a can of cream of mushroom soup (the condensed kind) and a can (two cans now since they've shrunk so much) of tuna. Add peas. the original had a small can of canned peas, I use a cup of frozen peas instead. heat it all up and mix well. Best if you've got a pot/saucepan that can go in the oven.

Meanwhile, you've boiled the water and cooked the macaroni.

So you drain the macaroni, don't rinse. Add it to the sauce and stuff. Mix well. Put on the lid then slide it into a 350 F oven for 45 minutes or so.

Take it out, let it cool a bit and dish up. Yum.

Cheap and easy.

Well, I got a thought the other day. I've gotten some canned salmon from the food bank. So I substituted salmon for the tuna tonight.

Doesn't taste the same, but tastes ok. The cooked to much bits of bone in the salmon make an interesting "crunch" note.

It's probably better with tuna, but it's good enough with salmon.

so now I can use up more of the mac & cheese (I have way too many boxes) and salmon.

Final test will be tomorrow when I find out how it tastes cold.

Oh my.

Aug. 17th, 2016 11:19 am
kengr: (Default)
I've had some tuna steaks in the freezer for a while. Finally thawed one out and cooked it.

Oh my. I used a simple recipe off the web, took the thawed steak, rinsed it off, then pa=tted it dry with paper towels.

Put some ovile oil in a non stick skillet and set it on medium high. When the poil started smoking I put in the steak.

Recipe said to cook it for 6-9 minutes, turning once. I flipped it after 3 min, and it was a bit blacker than I liked, so I turned the heat down some and cooked it another three minutes.

When I checked it with a fork it flaked some. So I took it off plated it, and cut into it to check, It was still a bit pink in the middle, which was what the recipe said was right.

Added some salt and pepper waited a couple minutes and tried a pice.

Can you say foodgasm? Like the subject says. Oh my...

Next one I'll try marinating first.
kengr: (antenna girl)
Between keeping weird hours and rain, this is only the second time I've been out to our garden plot this year.

[ profile] fayanora's strawberries are trying to take over. and this time there are lots of ripe ones. I texted here so if she has time before she takes off for her usual Sunday stuff, she may harvest some. If not I'm going to grab them later today, weather permitting.

What I did grab were some of the "unplanned harvest". That is, edible "weeds".

I got the huge dandelion I was after but also grabbed a fair sized plantain (the herb, not the fruit).

Cooking up some of those now as part of breakfast. May try making a salad later today. I've got lettuce, and with the dandelion leaves and some cheese it'd do.

Gotta see about removing the leftover stalks and stuff from last year, and the non-edible weeds. Also need to find out what Fay wants to do with the excess strawberry plants. My vote is to offer them to other folks for their plots.

I also need to find out what the neal is with the raised planters (basicly stock tanks full of dirt). They're intended for the folks who don't bend over so well, and I definitely qualify. If we can get assigned one, I'll plant the carrot and radish seeds in there, and then we'll see what we can get at the nursery to but in the plot.

Also need to find out who is taking over Marty's plot since she moved out. I'd like to transplant some of her rhubarb.
kengr: (Default)
Due to food boxes plus my buying habits for "just in case" food, I have a fair amount of canned goods for an apartment dweller.

I was sorting thru the box that had soups in it checking to see what was past "pull date".

Note: for camnned goods the dates are "best by", not "Oh god, throw it it!" dates.

A certain friend who shall remain nameless annoyed the heck out of Fay and me when she posted about having been given several boxes of canned stufgf by someone who was moving and said she'd thrown most of it out because of the dates on the cans. At the time both Fay and I were kinda tight on money, and we'd *cheerfully have taken those "expired" cans....

Anyway, in the process of digging thru the soups, I found a can of tomato soup that had some dark stuff around the rim of the lid (not a good sign unless you've spilled something on it). Worse, I could see that the lid was bulging noticeably.

That one went straight into the dumpster (and buried under something so it'd be unlikely to get grabbed by something dumpster diving).

The next day while shuffling stuff in the "should be used soon" box around, I noticed another can that looked like it had a slight bulge. I checked it against yet another can. On the other can, if I poressed hard on the lid, nothing happened. On the suspcious one, a slight push caused the lid to indent a bit.

Yipe. Another one for the dumpster.

Everything else checked out ok. But tis is a reminder to actually check your stockpiles and make sure you rotate things.

Other bad signs. If you open a can that wasn't "vacuum packed" and there's a his, that preetty much means *something* generated gas in there. Not a good sign unless it's a can of pop.

and don't forget, clean the can opener after you throw out the can!
kengr: (Default)
Fay and I hit the food pantry yesterday. We got our monthly food box (I always hit them the last Saturday of the month as it's about thenm things are getting pretty bare in my cupboards).

We also got the free produce.

I am *so* glad that some nice stores donate stuff as well as the more "generic" stuff.A few items of note:

A package of Tofurkey garlic sesame chicken
a pound of ground bison
a can of artichoke hearts
a *huge* zuccinni (over 18" long and 3-4" thick)
an orange bell pepper
some nice "spring greens"

The "stone salad" was some of the spring greens, mushrooms, red onion, cucumber, some of the garlic "chicken", pepper jack, aretichoke hearts, pepperjack cheese and dressing

Everything but the cheese and dressing came from thefood pantry.

And I'll be able to make several more.

the various other veggies always tuurn my ramen from something barely nutritious (ie carbs) into something reasonably good for me and tasty as well. And other things stretch my food a *lot*.
kengr: (Default)
Saturday was Produce day. I went to the food pantry for the regular Saturday produce distribution.

Had to turn down a lot of things as I already had them. The red lettuce in the garden had looked more than ready to harvest and when Fay did so on friday it pretty much *doubled* the amount of lettuce I had. Which was way too much to start with. I did grab a few leaves of swiss chard to go with the red chard I already had. Wound up with more broccoli (I can always find a use for broccoli).

Got some apples and an orange, some juice and several other things.

Fay had been going to go with me, but her alarm didn't go off. Oh well, that meant I could go by bike and take less than half an hour round trip instead of a couple of hours.

Still had to wait over an hour at the pantry though. They "start" at 10, but at 9 there are usually half a dozen folks in line. I got there early enough to be #5.

Afte I got home, I rested a bit then Fay and I went to check out two of the farmer's markets I've mentioned. Rossi Farms is nice, but their prices may be a bit high. I got some purple potato fingerlings, some green and yellow beans, and they threw in 3 zuccinnis (green, yellow and striped) for free.

They've got some jams that looked interesting, but I need to see if the Moppethill Farms booth at Saturday market can take those senior produce checks. If they can, I'll stick with them.

We also swung by the Ron Spada Farms booth (and it was a literal *booth*. Most fireworks stands are bigger!). They had various berries and other fruit. I note that their cherries were almost as cheap as the ones I got thursday.

Didn't get anything there.

Walking between the two "markets we passed a 7-11 and I suddenly remembered what day it was. So Fay and I each got a free slurpee.

We took the 21 bus home so I could stop at the hardware store and replace the sprinkler that had disappeared from our garden plot. Yeah, the other day somebody cut one of the hoses and used it to siphon gas from someone's car. They also broke another sprinkler (still usable, as it was just the "frame" that got busted). And for whatever reason, they seem to have taken our sprinkler.

$7 poorer I have a new one. And it comes back inside with me after use.

If I'm feeling ambitious I may make a run to the storage locker and/or Saturday Market (it's open on Sundays too) later.

total distance: 3.03 miles
max speed: 15.5 mph
avg speed: 6.8
moving time 26 min
kengr: (Default)
A month or two back, I got a letter offering me a chance at some "checks" for the Seniors Farm Direct Nutrition Program. I sent back the form and last mmonth I got the checks (either I got lucky in the lottery or there weren't that many folks applying).

So I had 6 $4 checks that can be spent with vendors at farmer's markets. One thing to beware of is that they don't give change. So you either buy more than $4 worth of stuff and pay cash for the rest, or you "lose" some of the money.

There was a partial list of "local" (within 20 miles or so of Portland) farmer's markets, and a link for a complete list (which I haven't gotten around to checking.

Yesterdauyy I tried calling the numbers for several of the markets on the list, but only got thru to one. It was the Cully Farmer's Market, which is only open on Thursdays. That much I already had, but from the person on the phone, I got tne hours.

BTW, none of the others answered or returned my call.

Anyway, Fay and I were going to check out the Cully market as it's the nearest one. She didn't get enough sleep last night and bowed out. So that meant that instead of wasting an hour on the bus, I was able to take my bike. Only took about 10 minutesto get there.

Pretty small, they're in a restaurant's parking lot. And only two or three booths that had actual produce (the one I'm not sure about was selling edible plants).

There were several crafty ttype booths one selling drinks, and a bakery booth. I was tempted by a couple of things at the bakery, but not at the prices.

The two produce booths were one with apricots, blueberries, and two kinds of cherries. I'm not much for apricots, and blueberries weren't doing it for me. But I got two pints of cherries. One of the red& yellow sort and one of the deep purple kind. That was $5. So I handed over one of the $4 checks and a $1 bill. %0 cents a pint for cherries. Oh yeah.

The other produce booth had figs(meh) gojiberries (didn't have any out) butter lettuce and chard. I had both lettuce andchard, so I didn't buy any, but when I need more, I'll keep them in mind.

There's market down in the Hollywood district that's open on Sasturdays. That's on the list to check out. There's one that's way out on 122nd, but the bus that runs past her runs past it as well. And it's supposed to be open 7 days a week. But we dont know the hours. And their phone wasn't answering. Probably have to waste a bus trip to check for their hours.

There's another one a few blocks off the same bus, a bit farther along.

Ooops. Missed another that's on the same bus.

So we have a few places to check out.

total distance 2.33 miles
moving time 25 min
max speed 14.2 mph
avg moving: 5.6 mph
kengr: (Default)
The other day, Fay noticed a post that mentioned a plant we'd seen in our garden plot. And pulled as a weed.

Turns out that plantain (no relation to the banana-like fruit of the same name) is a useful herb and an edible plant.

I went ouyt and did some gardening tyhis morning and mentioned it to Marty. After looking it over, I found a couple in a section of her plot she hadn't gotten around to weeding yet.

She let me have them and will keep an eye out for more.

I'm gonna try some in a salad tonight. Since Fay will bee over, she can try some too.

And I''ll have to get back to Marty, because she may want some for the herbal properties, from what she was saying.

Folks, it really dooes pay to check out the plants growing in your garden *before* you pull them as weeds.

I've been grabbing dandelion greens since last year, but now I'll be adding plantain to my "list".

Also, unlike dandelion, they are rooted fairly shallow, so I'll be able to transplant them to their own corner of the plot.
kengr: (Default)
I can't thank Lin & Kermit enough for sending me a couple of flats of Nongshim Neo Guri ramen for Christmas some years back. It's *far better than Top Ramen and the like.

It's spendier too, so I generally have on Sundays. And when I'm fighting a cold, because spiciness helps.

Today, after that produce run, I got extra creative. Normally I make my ramen with some red chard, broccoli and Bar-S Cheeese Sausage.

The sausage (chopped up) and the chard goi in at the start. The boroccoli goes in after things come to a boil.

Well, since I had so many good things on hand, I used two sausages (I misremembered how many packages I had in the freezer when I did this months Winco run), chard, fresh green beans, sliced mushrooms, a bit of chopped red bell pepper, and broccoli. Used a bigger pot than usual too, because of alll the extra stuff.

Turned out great.
kengr: (Default)
Decided to ride the bike to the Saturday produce poickup at the food box place.

It was less than 15 min each way (as opposed to 45 or so minutes by bus). Got there at quarter to 9. Had 4 people in line ahead of me. Note that they don't actually start running people thru until 10.

I brought a book, so I was pok. Next time I'll remember to bring a hat. My bike helmetis ok when riding the bike but not so hot when sitting around.

Got some good stuff. Pineapple juice, a cantaloupe, some green onion, mushrooms, green beans and a grapefruit. Got some apples carrots and spuds too.

Oh yeah, got some salad greens. And a bag of black rice from the "we need to get rid of thios stuff" box at the end of the line. I grabbed some one before and it was ok. I figure I can use it to make some interesting variations on my usual rice dishes.

I did *not* take any of the chopped jalapenos or the whole ones. :-)

Gonna be able to make a few nice salads, and (since I bough eggs for a recipe last week) gonna have some killer omelets.

bike stats
2.8 miles round trip,
max: 13.5 mph
avg: 6.1 mph
kengr: (Default)
This year I once again made the mistake of buying one of the WinCo "Fruit & nut rings".

It was as bad as many people claim fruitcake is. Among other thing's less tham half the height was actual cake". The glace fruit and nuts were sort of piled on top and slightly stuck togeher by the stickiness.

Tjhe cake part was pretty dry.

After that, I had vague memories that I hadn't been that happy with the "fruit & nut dessert cake" that Albertson's sold. And at $9 for a 1 pound cake (fairly small) I decided not to risk it.

But tonight I saw several of them on the bakery mark down rack for only $3. I grabbed a couple. I just had a slice and it's not bad. Doesn't have enough fruit for a prper fruitcake, but it's moist and has decent flavor.

Given that they''ll keep for months, if anyt are left tommorrow I'll probably buy them. It'll take me a long time to go thru them if I keep the slices small, but I can freeze some of them.

Turkey day

Nov. 27th, 2014 01:10 pm
kengr: (Default)
Well, this year, for the first time in ages, I had the spare cash to take advantage of a deal. They had a buy one, get one free on turkey breasts. So I managed to score a couple of 8+ lb turkey breasts for $29 and change.

One's in the oven now. The other is still in the freezer. When it gets out, I'll make gravy from the drippings and the "mix" that was packed with it.

While it's "resting", I can make the mashed potatoes (gonna cheat and use the instant, but with rreal butter & milk), the stuffing (Stove Top) and start steaming some brussels sprouts. I can also reheat the butterflake rollls I picked up.

Got a deal on those too. If you buy the fresh ones the normal way, it's $2.99 a lb. Which gets spendy if you like them as much as I do. But the Albertsons *also* sells them on the stalk. For $3.99 a stalk. Once you get the hang of it, it's not that hard slicing them off the stalk with a big knife. From one stalk I got arounf 5 lbs of them.

I've been nibbling on "appetizers" since breakfast. mostly sliced bits of cheese (cheddar & pepperjack) and slices of summer sausage on townhouse crackers. Also got lots of black olives, and I can break out the sweet pickles later.

I bought two kinds of stuffing. I'll be making the cornbread tonight. I also have a double box of the "regular" turkey stuiffing. I'll make one of those when the cornbread stuffing runs out. The other will get saved for Christmas.

I've got eggnog that I haven't opened yet, and for dessert I have pumpkin pie and mince pie. Mince pies are *spendy*. Winco didn't have any and Albertsons (where I got it) sells them for $9.99. But I gotta have my mince pie when it's in season.

Got Cool Whip to go with the pumpkin pie. Oh yeah, it was odd about the pumpkin pie. Seems the had the *big* 3+ lb ones for $7.99 at winco. But they also had 1.5 lb ones for $2.98. Gee..

So I bought too of the 1.5 pounders.

I've got desserts set for a week or so with those pies. :-)

Probably be having stuffing with stuff for a while as well.

But I'm *really* looking forward to all the turkey sandwiches I'll be having. (but those won't be until Friday or even Saturday, today the turkey gets eaten with the trimmings).

Some of you may have noticed I don't mention cranberry sauce. While I don't hate it or anything, I'm not that into it.

I *am* drinking Canada Dry Cranberry Ginger Ale as a "holiday punch" substitute.

Have to think about Christmas. I'll have the second turkey breast, but I an also considering a ham. Leftover ham for sandwiches is good. Though I could do a beef roast...

food help

Aug. 13th, 2014 11:09 am
kengr: (Default)
I've got a friend with IBS. Sghe has so far discovered that she can't have anything spicy, can't have diary, and can't have anything in the onion/garlic familiy or the family that includes bell peppers and stuff like jalsapenos.

She needs suggestions for stuff she can get or make cheap. And given the way she reacts to the current hot spell, minimal cooking is good.
kengr: (Default)
Been able to harvest the radishes for the last week or so. Doing it for the leaves as much as the actual root.

I have tried some raw in a sandwhich (sort of like lettuce or spinach), but the odd texture is a factor. Steamed or bioled (as part of my daily batch of ramen works better. Heck, the last time I got store bought radishes, the leaves weren't the typical slimy mess so I washed them off and used them in stuff. But fresh from my own garden is better.

Someone got a bunch of plants from the food bank and Marty oversaw the split between the folks who have garden plots. Our share was three red lettuce, and three of some sort of Italian "dandelion thing (Fay looked at the tag, I didn't).

We got those planted in the garden last night. They went in the area where I'd planted some old radish & carrot seeds. All of two carrots coming up, and a handful of radishes. On the other hand, the section where I switch to new radish seeds has had top be thinned twice (no usable root, but some nice leaves).

Also did some weeding as part of picking spots for the new plants. In the process I got around to doing something I'd been intending to do for a while. There were a bunch of wild dandelions sprouting, and I harvested them. Had the leaves in the batch of ramen I'm eating now. Hey, they're edible and they made the mistake of growing in my plot. :-)

Also harvested the red garlic that was a leftover from when my plot was Marty's. Some of one stalk got chopped up (like a skinny scallion) and went it the ramen too.

What I'd originally thought was grass in the section of the plot turned out to be volunteer garlic. It seems to have seeded itself *way* too well last year. I'm just letting those grow this year. They're pretty thick on the ground, but from previous experience, they likely won't be harvestable this year. Next year (or late this year, I'll thin them out some and use the tops in food. Then next year I'll have a bunch that are usable, I hope. Then ones I harvested this year were leftover from last year).

Oh yeah, a few years back I got some broccoli starts. They went to seed because I waied too long (the heads were *tiny* and I'd been hoping they'd get bigger, A couple years ago, I'd planted some of the gazillion seed pods I'd gotten from those. Seems like a few of the seeds sprouted this year. I'got six or eight volunteer broccoli too. They were one of the reasons the lettuce and Italian dandelion are planted with odd spacing.

I don't expect big heads, given last year. But I'll get a fair amount of usable *leaves* from them. Ptretty typical given that they were probably some sort of hybrid and didn't breed true.

Also scored some goodies at the store yesterday. I was handing in my monthly set of prescriptions, and I wandered through the meat department. They had some marked down packages of "pub burgers". Normally $5 for two patties, but the two packages I spotted (the large "shreds" of cheddar in the patties had caught my attention) had $2 off stickers on them. I decided that while it was a bit spendy even then, I'd grab them.

Wasn't until I opened a package to fry one up that I realized it wasn't just cheddar mixed in but *bacon* as well. Oh my. Delicious. And quite worth the $1.50 each.

Heck, I may keep an eye out for them because they're worth it as an occasional luxury even at full price!

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