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hollysmokes last won the day on November 7

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About hollysmokes

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    in no particular order: smokin' meat, fermenting, cooking, preserving food, music, hiking, gardening, biodynamics

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  1. Wheeee! Busy day yesterday! So you settled on Fiver and Hazel! Those sound like good names. Fleas are the worst! Ticks are disgusting but fleas can be so hard to get rid of. We sporadically use Advantage for flea/tick prevention and it seems to work really well even though I've heard from doggie people that fleas are becoming immune to it. I hope you are on the mend and starting to feel better. I don't feel sick but feel like I might have the beginning of a sinus infection so I've been rinsing my sinuses, drinking elderberry kombucha and made a steamer with oregano oil to inhale. I'm hoping I can nip it in the bud before I actually come down with something that makes me feel yucky. I love that camping and backpacking is such an integral part of you as a couple. Driving in to work this morning I asked my husband what he thought of planning a destination hike that would challenge us enough to get motivated to spend more time moving outside as preparation and he liked the idea. We've had some amazing trips to VA, NC and SC and there's so much history on top of the beauty. We've both been to the Smokeys as kids but never together and that might be an option, too but it's the most visited national park and I don't like to be around people when I'm trying to enjoy the outdoors. My husband has mentioned campers, too but more along the lines of a small Airsteam or one of those cute teardrop campers. Right now our plan is to get a newer, more comfortable pick-up truck (ours is an old workhorse kind of truck) and use it as our camping vehicle but getting 20-25 mpg is good so I'm not crazy about that. I have very quickly gotten used to getting 40+mpg with the Prius and I love it. This year has flown by so quickly that it hadn't dawned on me to start planning next year yet but it's definitely time! We don't have Christmas or NY (aka anniversary) plans yet but I just got tickets to our first concert for 2020 so that's pretty cool. Back to the here and now, though! I need to come up with some cook-up ideas for this weekend and I might even be able to persuade my husband to help out. Last night he commented how nice it was not to have to cook dinner at all this week so he's starting to see the cook-up light! I have a pork roast so I might put it in the crockpot with some tomatillos, garlic, cilantro. I'm going to make some egg muffins to bring to a breakfast potluck at work Tuesday morning but I'm just going to prep them Monday and bake them early Tuesdays so they'll be fresh. I think this afternoon is going to involve freezing some leftovers and cleaning out my fridge and tomorrow morning will be one of running errands and going to various farmer's markets & stores. Feel better!
  2. 14 degrees this morning and Squeaky is none too happy about it! The world is his litter box and it makes him very grumpy when it's too cold, snowy or rainy to use it. That is much colder than we typically are this time of year but it's not unusual to have cold snaps. When we came up here to look at houses after returning to NO, it was the weekend before Thanksgiving and it was 17. We learned that credit cards are meant for scraping off your windshield! Thankfully we have a garage and don't have to start the day scraping ice off of the windows. Yep, my big boy could fit in the palm of your hand and still had his umbilical cord attached when the universe gave him to us. I fed him with an eye dropper at first and learned that you can get juice boxes of kitty and puppy formula. Who knew?? We had a fiend that was a vet and he told my husband not to expect Squeaky to make it but my husband was kind enough not to tell me or Squeaky that. I don't even want to know how to make that honey caramel; it sounds dangerous and I know my husband would love it. I used to make popcorn balls when I was a kid and love that sweet/salty combo. Uh oh, I might be in trouble for dredging up that memory. Now I have popcorn balls on the brain. Sounds like you had a very productive cook-up. Good for you! I don't use fresh herbs as much as I would like either. I've never gotten around to making them but I ran across "recipes" for flavor bombs. They are essentially chopped fresh herbs with some kind of fat that you freeze into cubes. The fat stops the enzymatic reactions that dulls the flavor of the herbs. I put them in my recipe software so I wouldn't forget about them; I'll send them to you. Unless I make tabbouleh I can't even use up a bunch of parsley before it goes bad but I freeze it all the time. I just chop it then spread it out on a kitchen towel so it can dry out a bit and put it in a ziplock in the freezer. It keeps its nice color and flavor. My only problem is keeping that darn cat out of it. He has a thing for parsley and will lie down in it if he can. Cat hair parsley-yum! I've made a few paleofied treats but I'm always disappointed in them. SWYPO! It's just not the same and the ingredients tend to be pricey, too. I'd rather have one piece of the real deal and just don't do it very often. It can be hard, though. I used to bake A LOT. I was making and selling desserts out of my kitchen in NO and got to the point where I either needed to quit my day job and find a commercial kitchen or stop. I stopped. Your Thanksgiving trip sounds like an all-around winner! Good, good, good for you for declining that invitation! "No" can be such a good word and by using it you said "yes" to yourself. 2020, The Year of Backpacking. That sounds awesome. And motivating. You're probably on your first training hike about now. I've been doing pretty well getting some extra movement but I need more endurance stuff. One step at a time- literally, right? We've talked about taking a trip or doing something special this year but haven't thought of anything that won't break the bank and really floats our boat. We have a couple of big anniversaries and birthdays this year and would like to do something celebratory. I need to look into it more; if I leave it up to my husband, we'll be sitting at home. Like you said, there's nothing like an event to get your ass in gear! I'm going to use that to find something for us to do. Something outside and somewhere we've never been even if it's not very far away. Happy hiking!
  3. Kitten palooza! Congratulations! That's how Squeaky got his name- he squeaked (a lot- can't blame him since he was only a day old) and we couldn't think of anything else. Can you tell if they're boys or girls yet? I never did read Watership Down. I like Hazel but, you're right, Fiver feels a little tongue twister-ish but you'd probably get used to it and it's pretty cool that their personalities seem to fit the names, too. My dad was king of naming pets- always something unusual but fitting and clever. I haven't been having a bread party but I've sure had a popcorn party. No adverse effects and I hope yours subside soon. Hominy isn't big in Louisiana so I hadn't eaten it until a couple of years ago in a roasted vegetable "stew" that Sean Brock made for the annual Food Summit here and I just couldn't get enough of it. I loved the taste and the texture. I was hoping the recipe would be in his cookbook but it wasn't. I haven't checked out his newest one yet, though. I didn't get around to as much of a cook-up as I hoped but I did OK. I made a mustard chicken with kale that was really good and I did individual breakfast "quiches" for my breakfasts with some gorgeous kohlrabi and kale. I also have a real treat for two lunches this week- tabbouleh! I got a couple of beautiful bunches of parsley at the farmer's market and I had some cherry tomatoes leftover from my mustard chicken dish so tabbouleh and salmon cakes for lunch. I rescued my kombucha by adding a bunch of elderberry to it so it's tasty but I'm sad that I wasted that precious grape juice. I have a sirloin tip roast that I need to do something with and I was going to treat it like a pot roast but, after doing some research, that might not be the best treatment for that cut. I've never cooked one but it was on sale... It was a beautiful weekend and we got to spend some time out on the deck yesterday mostly cleaning up giant piles of leaves but just hanging out for a bit, too. Now it's time to pay for 70 degree weather in November- rain turning to snow tonight and it's going to be 20 by tomorrow morning. We haven't tested the all wheel drive capability of the new car yet and I'm a bit apprehensive. Any Thanksgiving plans? We got invited over to some friends' house so that will be nice. They've got the proteins coveredand everything else is potluck so I just need to decide what sides or snacks to bring. I know my husband will want pecan pie so I might do that so he can get his pie fix there and I don't wind up with a whole pecan pie staring me in the face. Happy kitten-ing!
  4. I'm so excited for you! It sounds like it was meant to be; just the way it should be. Have a wonderful birthday XO
  5. Cat news! Hurrah! Birthday kitties, to boot! I'm so happy for you and can't wait to hear how it all works out. Aren't food memories amazing? Was your lemon meringue pie the one made with condensed milk? That's always been my fave and my dad's wife makes it for my nephews now. Mmmm and banana pudding. The flavors of childhood. The very first thing I ever baked from scratch was a banana cream pie. We all had a piece of it and left it on the kitchen table. When we came back, the dog had licked all of the meringue off of the top. My ex was a good guy but being around that many police and listening to them talk definitely instilled fear over how badly they can mess up your life just because they have the power. I know most are not like that but all it takes is one... I made some foot balm last week, too. I used lots of peppermint and a little tea tree and now I realize I forgot the orange! Mandarin, actually. Thanks for turning me on to it. I really like it; it has more punch that the regular sweet orange. I did a triple batch of lotion: one unscented for my husband, one with grapefruit for me and I divided the third in half for the foot lotion and the one I like to massage my hand with- ginger and ylang ylang. Fun cook-up this weekend! Sticking with the soup theme, I made a big batch of chicken soup. I made it mostly for my husband but I split some off and added delicata squash and kale to mine so I could put lots of carrots (not my favorite vegetable) and noodles in his. I let the stock go overnight in the crockpot so it was really chicken-y and delicious. I found some beautiful radishes at the farmer's market so I got a little batch of them fermenting. I also started a new batch of kombucha but I messed up the flavoring and now I have to figure out how to fix it. I had gotten some fresh squeezed grape juice and wanted to use it but I tried to make too much and now it just tastes vaguely fruity instead of like grape. I might just add some elderberry syrup to it since the grape flavor is so diluted out anyway. I made a double batch of "hamburger helper" Saturday for lunch so we'd have lots of leftovers and then got all of my breakfast stuff done yesterday. Yesterday was one of those ADD mornings. I had a half dozen things all going at once and was spinning in circles but I finally got myself organized enough to finish everything up. I have some beautiful kale so I'm going to make a chicken dish with it tonight to use up the rest of the two chickens I got on Friday for the soup. After this, I shouldn't have to cook for the rest of the week! It'll be nice to be able to restock the freezer a bit. We're still going strong on minimizing stuff and my mom has joined us. Today we all get rid of 4 things so it's still being pretty easy. Yesterday we started a box with some socks and undershirts for a local veteran's organization so I'm looking forward to seeing how much we can contribute to them. Now if I can adjust to the miserable time change...
  6. I was thinking you had a birthday coming up. Yay for taking some time off and double yay for getting to spend two nights outside! Your jury duty experience sounds like exactly what I've always been afraid of. So may social issues all wrapped up in one big, tragic mess. I would probably be disqualified as well: I've been the victim of an armed robbery twice, I was married to the police in another life and I had a horrible experience with a corrupt, lying reserve police officer that was the buddy of the corrupt, lying sheriff. Even though I am eternally grateful for the honest, dedicated men and women that put their lives on the line to keep us safe every day, I have waaay too much experience with the lying, power hungry, sadistic ones. OK, off my soap box now. The brittle was nothing except delicious! No dragon, no binges, no discomfort. Also, no more of it. I've been super on-track the last few days and it feels good. Beans and salt...Serious eats had a nice long article about it and it confirmed what I had always done plus taught me a new trick. I've always salted them when I cooked them because it seemed to go against all flavor advice to cook them unseasoned. I also always soak them but learned that soaking them in salted water makes them hold their shape better- less splitting- so that's what I do now. Soaking also gets rid of some of the lectins and some of those extra fermentable sugars that make them the "musical fruit". I can't remember if you got a gas grill or charcoal but either way, we let the fire do most of the cleaning for us. When we use the gas grill, we crank up the fire (and set a 5-minute timer so we don't use up the whole propane can or burn the house down) then scrub the grates with one of those wire brushes made for grills. If we're lazy, we do it when we fire it up the next time but even then, there's enough residual heat that there was no raw food or debris left in there. That spice/herb combo in your soup sounds good. I have a Mediterranean herb blend that sounds very much like that and I really enjoy it; the fennel adds a nice little touch to it. My herbs got delivered yesterday so I celebrated by adding herbs de provence to our brussels sprouts last night. It went nicely with the double sized meatloaf I finally made. I topped the meatloaf with some of my homemade tomato paste and it caramelized in the oven and was so good. Is that something you do? We have a friend from Minnesota and he said that putting catsup/tomato products on meatloaf is a Southern abomination. I had no idea! Oh well, he doesn't know what he's missing. It's funny to discover things that you grew up with are totally regional. Winter is arriving today. It was in the 60's last night but is already 42 today, 32 tonight and then upper 20's by tomorrow night I wish we'd remembered to close our bedroom windows! Time to put together my pieces/parts lunch: half of a burger patty with some leftover roasted cauli, a cup of mushroom soup (needs salt but I'm liking it) and a little side salad so I can get some extra vegetables into the mix. Leftovers for dinner so no cooking tonight!
  7. I have never been called up for jury duty and I hope it stays that way. I know it's our civic duty and all of that but I'd really rather not. How did it go? Your kebabs sound good. I think I have some leftover yogurt marinade in the freezer from my butter chicken adventure but it's not enough for a whole recipe of butter chicken so kebabs sound like a plan; thanks for the idea. BBQ in the dark makes dark food! We even have one of those LED lights you attach to the handle and a good light next to the door that shines on the grill but we still manage to burn things in the dark. That's funny that you put the smoke detectors in the freezer! That cracked me up but it's a good idea. We have a downdraft vent and it just works soso. Part of my spice/pantry reorganization last weekend involved cleaning out the cabinet over the stove and it was so greasy! I guess I need to remember to clean it every 13 years whether it needs it or not, huh? Last night my husband put in a request for chicken soup so I guess that'll be my next soup adventure. Did I ever tell you about the time I used heirloom purple carrots in chicken soup? Just say no. Everything, including the pieces of chicken were lavender colored- not the most appetizing look for a soup. I have some of my mushroom soup for lunch today. I think it's still too thick and rich but I'll find out in a couple of hours and then try to figure out how best to fix it. I think a roast in the crockpot might be on the agenda for this weekend, too but I'm not sure what else. Meatloaf tonight. Maybe I'll use some mushroom soup as "gravy" for it. We've had almost an inch of rain since about 4 AM. The windows are all open so I was lying in bed listening to it and thinking that it would be such a game changer if it was coming down on the fires but it was just an inconvenience to factor into the morning commute here. Been feeling a little tiger blood-ish even if some peanut brittle did force it's way into my mouth yesterday afternoon!
  8. Our mushroom soups sound very similar except for that extra 2 ounces of dried mushrooms! I used chicken stock to start but thinned it out with water because I thought the chicken stock would get lost in the strong mushroom flavor. Maybe I need to thin it out some more and use chicken stock. It's pretty tasty but I'll give it a real road test for lunch tomorrow. I think a salad would nice with it to cut some of the umami richness and I happen to have a little piece of leftover sirloin that I can put in my salad so I have a plan. I've been listening to a three-part podcast series with Matthew Walker hosted by Peter Attia about sleep and the effects of sleep deprivation. It's really interesting and terrifying all at the same time- much higher risk for alzheimer's, cancer and cardiovascular disease. Rats that are completely sleep deprived die in the same amount of time as if they were food starved. The WHO has actually classified sleep deprivation as a cancer risk-factor because the evidence is so strong! I feel like I've been slowly chipping away at my sleep issues but now don't think I've been doing enough. I have more more podcast left in the series and I'm hoping for more motivation and less terror. Do you have hot water? Home projects are never simple, are they? There were so many cut-rate things done in our house that we have come to expect "unforeseen" problems in any project. Sad but true! We have more rain on the way. I wish I could "think" it in your direction (without the wind).
  9. hollysmokes

    Kirbz's Whole30 Log

    Good for you. Lot's of self love!
  10. hollysmokes

    Kirbz's Whole30 Log

    [email protected] so sorry to hear that you had to go through that but glad you're back. Is today Day 1? Good luck and I hope tiger blood finds you quickly!
  11. My vote is smarter! I used to be such a night owl but, over the years, my work schedule has gradually drifted earlier and earlier. My husband is a major early bird, too, so I've adapted and really struggle to stay up late nowadays. As much as I love going to see live music, I really have to push myself to go to a show that starts after I'm typically in bed. I'm such a party animal! I partied this weekend, though- with my spice cabinet! Woo-hoo, rock-n-roll!! It's crazy how pumped I am about cleaning out my spice drawer, restocking about 6 different blends, including some Sunrise Spice AND got a running start on cleaning out the pantry. I tossed a couple of things that I brought with us from NO (!!) - yeah, I think it was time- 15 year old spice blends that smelled like sawdust and I sent their yucky plastic containers to recycling. I am officially out of marjoram now so I inventoried everything and ordered from Spice House. I was out of tarragon, too and almost out of herbs de provence and bay leaves. I use bay leaves a lot so that would have been a crisis. I did a small-ish cookup and got some leftovers stashed in the freezer. I didn't get to make lotion or start a new (to me) ferment but I am, at the very least, going to make some lotion this evening. I like the Sunrise spice and put it in some ground lamb for my breakfast. I really enjoyed it this morning: a little lamb patty, a couple of scrambled eggs and a Swiss chard/delicata squash saute. Then I had a major brain fart and will probably have a supply of cream of mushroom soup until the end of time. I had looked at Nomnom's magic mushroom seasoning and was thinking about making it. It called for 3 ounces of dried mushroom and the soup called for 1/2 ounce of dried mushrooms. Wellll, I put 3 ounces of dried 'shrooms in the soup and made mud. It was so thick I had a hard time blending it in my Vitamix and, of course, it's a lovely poopy, brown color. I wound up putting it back in the pot, adding more liquid and seasoning and I think I salvaged it but now I have a whole lot of mushroom soup! I reserved half of the fresh mushrooms to add at the end for texture and I'm glad I did but now I have to figure out how I'm going to freeze it all. My husband was cracking up! The rain wasn't as severe as predicted but we still got almost 2 inches. It made for a nice day to stay home and work on spices but now we're looking at a light freeze this coming weekend; it might be time for that pot of chili. Some nearby areas had 70 mph straight-line winds so I'm very thankful we escaped that. Glad to hear that the fires aren't threatening you but it's so awful and the big news is that LeBron James had to evacuate. Really? What about all of the animals and the people that don't have his resources??! Gah! News makes my head want to explode! Please keep being boring and uneventful! I've found that being tired leads to unwise food choices as well. I didn't sleep very well last night and when I was walking down the hall to my lab this morning, I saw a donut box in the trash. The first thing that came to mind was that I wanted one! I reeled that idea back and ate my delicious breakfast that didn't involve sugar, wheat and crappy oil! I'm over it now. Tomorrow is the 3rd birthday of my shoulder injury so I bought it a present- a 10 lb medicine ball I'm still finding ways to improve my strength and mobility in my shoulder and I thought a ball would be a fun way to work it a little differently. My husband and I threw it around a little yesterday evening. Fun! And very different. I think I'm inspiring him to move more, too. He's thinking about moving the futon out of the basement so we have more room to workout and move. He also mentioned that he should join me in the mornings so I guess I need to adjust my expectation of privacy! Not sure if that's a good thing or not but I'm trying to convince myself it is. Take care and have a marvelous week!
  12. The snake got himself out. Apparently he didn't want to be in our bathroom any more than we wanted him there. The vents are in the floor so we closed the vent after he went back down it and, thankfully, never saw him again. The water heater we got was a Rinnai and it's gas which is much more efficient than the electric ones. I wish we had a grey water collection system! I struck out trying get help from All-Clad. Even though I acknowledged in my email that the pan had been abused, all they sent me was warranty information. Scrap metal it is, then! Yep, actual rain. Starting any moment now and lasting until Sunday morning. It's been really cool here; low 40's in the mornings and upper 60's/low 70's in the afternoon. The nice thing is that our A/C has been turned off for over two weeks now. I always look forward to sleeping with the windows open but it's been a bit chilly for that. Haha, your husband sounds like Squeaky! He can sense a disruption in the force if a door is closed! Since I just moved my morning routine downstairs, I'm still working the logistics out but I like the idea of a little sign. Maybe I could stick it to the wall at the top of the stairs so he doesn't even come down (my husband, not Squeaky- he's hopeless!). I woke up a little early this morning so I managed 30 minutes and added in some weights and stability ball! There's a very good chance I might be a little sore tomorrow! A hike sounds lovely. Even though the weather will keep me indoors this weekend, I have more than enough projects to keep me occupied. I'm really looking forward to reorganizing my pantry. After I quit grains, I never did reorganize. I had LOTS of baking ingredients and pans and such that I either don't have any more or don't use. Your friend sounds interesting. How was the book group?
  13. Uh oh! I hope the need for a new water heater didn't involve lots of water on the floor. We used the first excuse ours gave us to replace it with a tankless version. It's in the garage and, even though it doesn't freeze in there, it gets pretty cold in the winter so it was just sucking up electricity. We've had it over 12 years now and it's never given us any trouble. My only regret is that it's still in the garage so it takes forever to get hot water up to our bathroom two floors away. The joys of home ownership! We had the A/C ducts in the basement rerun on Monday and found where that snake got in. The snake removal company was going to use the snake equivalent of a roach motel. Sorry that's just cruel and disgusting no matter what kind of critter it is; nothing deserves to die that way. I was just appalled! I have no idea how to recycle pots and pans. I have an old abused All-Clad non-stick skillet that needs to be recycled so I just emailed them to find out how to do it. It's been sitting in the garage for a couple of years and I can't donate it in good conscience knowing that awful non-stick stuff is coming off. I also have an inexpensive ceramic skillet that is ready to be retired so I'm hoping All-Clad has some information. I think the dump that we use has a separate pile for scrap metal so the skillets may qualify. The restaurant supply store we used closed but they're supposed to reopen after their building is remodeled. I hope they do; it was so convenient and their prices were good. I'm probably the only person that has never eaten at Chipotle! I've seen where they have two W30 approved dishes but you have to order them on-line and I think one of them is a temporary special. I don't remember what the compliant ingredients were but you can a la carte it, too. We have lots of dining out options but it seems like most of them aren't very good or, if they are, they're really pricey. I'm having beans today, too. I have a little succotash to go with my last container of braised oxtails and vegetables- eating totally out of the freezer for lunch today! Roasted garlic is one of my freezer staples and I use it whenever I want that nice mellow garlic flavor in something. After our last garlic harvest, I had so much that I was looking for ways to preserve it and I confit-ed it. Is that a word? Win! Win! The olive oil is in the fridge and is so delicious and the garlic came out like roasted garlic so I mushed it up and put it in the freezer so I can carve a chunk off whenever I want it. All of my ferments are doing their thing. They're so pretty and colorful; I'll have to take a pic. The Indian-spiced one (my mom and I named it Kashmir Kraut) smells amazing. I've made it before but I tweaked it a bit this time and added more spices and turmeric. I'm going to try to get some lotions made this weekend now that my fermenting to-do list is under control. It's supposed to storm (2-4 inches!) all weekend so I need inside projects. I've moved my morning movement into the basement and I've been trying to increase the amount of time- 25 minutes yesterday and today. There are some dumbbells and my stability ball down there already so it gives me more variety. Now if I can convince my husband to stay out until I'm finished, it would help.
  14. I love tarragon. It sounds a little weird but it pairs really well with brussels sprouts. I usually cheat by steaming them a little then put them in a skillet with browned butter ghee and add either tarragon or herbs de provence to them. I bet it would be good in those shrimp patties; I'll have to do that. I do make my own ghee. I can get Kerrygold butter at Costco so I try to keep ghee, browned butter ghee and MJ's better butter stocked up all the time. Those are items like roasted garlic or roasted bell peppers. If I have to cook something before I can cook something, I won't do it so I try to keep a stash of pain-in-the-butt ingredients ready to go. I have never cooked a tri-tip either and I don't know if I've ever eaten one. I think they're much like brisket in that you have to braise them low and slow and I think they're cheaper, too. I used Christmas lima beans for my soup. They're big limas and are mottled red and white and are very pretty. Yep, NomNom's Instapot mushroom soup is the one but I don't have an Instapot. I just adapt it to cooking on the stove top. I've only made it once but it was really good. Do you have access to an Asian grocery store? I got a big bag of dried shiitake mushrooms for a decent price (not Whole Paycheck kind of price) so I can make NomNom's magic mushroom powder. Of course, I've had the mushrooms for about a year and still haven't gotten around to it... I get a little OCD about cabbage, too. I pick out the thicker pieces and re-slice them so everything is about the same size. For kraut and slaw, I cut it by hand if I just need a little or I whip out my mandolin if I need a lot. I do like it pretty thin, kind of in strings. I got an inexpensive Benriner mandolin (and Kevlar gloves!) a few years ago and it does a great job. My only complaint about it is that the thickness of the slices is set with two tiny screws and there are no measurements so it's trial and error to get it the way you want. For really big jobs like slaw for Hoedown when I have to shred several heads, I have a ridiculously gigantic mandolin- about three feet long- and will break out that big daddy. I would think that pre-shredded cabbage would be fine as long as it didn't any kind of sneaky preservative on it. The only problem that you might run into is that it will be drier than freshly shredded so you might have to add a little brine to make enough to keep it all covered. Of course, that can happen with fresh cabbage, too. Some of the storage cabbages do not have a lot of moisture to them. The thinner the cabbage is sliced, the quicker it's ready. I like mine fermented about three months. At that point, it has softened but still has texture but there is no right or wrong. It's ready when you like the texture and sourness of it. No snacks yesterday. I could probably have included some more vegetables but it was a good day. I slept pretty well and I got some movement in this morning so I feel good. Here's to your stomach wobbling less!
  15. And Happy Monday to you! It's good to hear some pep in your step again. You rocked your cook-up! I haven't tried MJ's Sunrise Spice but it looks really good; I sent it to my home email so I won't forget about it. I love that it includes marjoram. I had never used it very much until recently and really like it. I have a couple of other spice/herb blends that I need to replenish so I'll add that one to the list and do them all at once as part of my reorganizing effort. I didn't work on my pantry or spices this weekend but I had a good cook-up and, I guess you could call it, a ferment-up. The pastrami came out great! I'm so excited about it AND bonus points for getting my husband to eat sauerkraut and he decided it was delicious! Unfortunately I'm almost out of it and it takes three months so I got a 1/2 gallon jar of plain kraut going, another one of hot & smokey using smoked salt and a couple of hot peppers to jazz it up, another one of curried cauliflower and I still have two more to put together: one is an Indian-spiced kraut and the other is red kraut with ginger. The smoked version and the red one are both experiments with new flavors so we'll see how they turn out. Soup! 'tis the season, right? I just saw NomNom's mushroom soup and I think I'm going to make some. I made it once before and it was deliciously creamy and mushroom-y. I love lentil soup; it's one of the soups my mom always had on the menu at her restaurant and it's super easy but I haven't had any in years. Yesterday I made a big pot of bean soup with Rancho Gordo's Christmas lima beans. Are you familiar with Rancho Gordo? They're bringing back lots of heirloom varieties and are pretty amazing. Anyway, I want to incorporate some beans from time to time but wanted to dilute them out with lots of vegetables and some meat so I used chicken stock as the liquid, lots of onion, garlic and poblano pepper strips (still trying to use the last of them from the garden) then added a bunch of chopped kale, a little bit of carrot and some smoked sausage and diced chicken breast, thyme, marjoram and a little rosemary. So good! Your off road breakfast sounds seriously delicious. We wound up eating late (compliant) breakfast Saturday and Sunday so then we didn't eat lunch until mid-afternoon and weren't hungry for dinner. Once again, snacks instead of dinner. Saturday was popcorn again. I guess I need to buy much smaller amounts so I have some portion control but right now I'm out of ghee so that's my portion control for the moment. Last night was a bit better and we had a small serving of bean soup. I got a hash made for my breakfasts this week so I'm in good shape there. I'm going to focus on template this week so my bike will stop wobblingso much. No more boiled peanuts in the house either. My husband turned me on to those years ago. In Florida, they sell them on the side of the road so I'd put a towel in my lap (they're drippy) and peel peanuts for us while he drove. People say they're a lot like grits and if you didn't grow up eating them, they're an acquired taste. They're soft and squishy and peanut-y and yummy but they take forever to cook if you do it yourself. I remember Boston Baked Beans! Those were a favorite of mine, too. The guys I mentioned that were doing their first W30 are starting a second round today. They liked it so much that they kept eating W30 but added in a few non-complaint things. Now they decided they want to keep reaping the benefits so they're re-starting. Talking to them yesterday afternoon got me motivated to clean up my act so here we go!