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Everything posted by VickiMNE

  1. OMG! Yes! I just did this for the first time last night. Felt so 21st-Century about it, too! 😎
  2. This reminds me of the time we flew back from Europe to the States, landing late at night, and my husband was starving. The only thing open was a Drive-Thru Jack-in-the-Box (a place we never went to regularly). Unfamiliar with the menu, my husband quickly scanned the list, and then proceeded to order the highlighted Supreme Burrito but asked if it could *not* have the beans, steak instead of chicken, extra cheese, no salsa but fresh tomatoes, etc., etc., After patiently listening, the drive-thru person gently replied: "I think, sir, that you'd like the Steak Burrito". (Which was actually $1.50 cheaper! What a nice guy!) 🙂
  3. Ooh, if you do, could you remember to tag me and let me know? We live overseas, so I'm not picking it up anytime soon. But, maybe in Nov as a Christmas present to be delivered...
  4. Ooh! Can you tell me if this has a strong/distinctive odor or scent? My husband suffers from dry heels and has yet to find something really good. But he also gets migraines from strong scents..... TIA!
  5. No, don't feel yucky! I'm enjoying rooting for you all! (No chance here: said from MNE which is amongst the worst in Europe. 😞 )
  6. Like a PP, when I was diagnosed with shingles, I initially thought it was bug bites (hot, sticky weather, showed along a belt line). So anti-viral came very (very) late in my case. I *totally* concur to get as much rest as you can. It took me several months to get beyond lying around most of the day and an entire year to feel like my old self. In my case, I believe that back-to-back crises and stresses (6 months straight) led to my shingles episode. To this day, I need to pace myself with how much I pack into a day/week/month/season and actively destress my body (which, as a fairly easy-going personality surprised me as I never thought of myself as "stressed").
  7. If you haven't bought your pan yet, I've had good success with this fairly inexpensiveUSA Bakeware pan: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00127Z4E2/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
  8. Do you want to baby a new one along? Try it for the fun of saying "I did it!" or are you mainly interested in the results--sourdough bread and all the other goodies? I was able to baby mine along because...lockdown at the time. I had the time to pay attention to it.... So, I'd let that be the driving factor. Your water and flour and method will soon morph "her" starter into "your" starter, anyway, so by no means feel that beginning with a thriving starter is somehow less--it is not! OTH, since her starter is 3 weeks out, if you are up to it, you can begin (if you have time and brain bandwidth) and see how far you get! 🙂 One doesn't preclude the other.....
  9. Indeed I can! And, most of these links will take to you a site with even MORE recipes to explore. In order of how I often I make them: Sourdough Crackers I make these with EVOO, not butter, and prefer them that way. I top with sesame seeds and a bit of coarse salt. I'll occasionally use some other seasonings, but this is my tried and true because it goes so well with everything: cheese, meats, hummus, as a pita chip sub. These are often requested by friends.... Sourdough Granola I do NOT let the starter sit after mixing. I have a scale and dump everything in, one at a time. I've adapted it to our tastes--bigger to fill out my baking tray--no honey or syrup--more seeds and nuts--a bit of almond extract. I bake at 300F for thirty minutes, flip sections over with a pancake turner, bake another 30 minutes, stir up to make chunks, lower the oven to 275 and bake until done. My husband like big granola chunks because he snacks on them like a granola bar; we break them up to actually eat as granola! I make this weekly.... Savory Pancakes: I got this off the FB group when I first started (the one sponsored by the Applied Ecology Department mentioned in my PP). As you can see, this is infinitely adaptable. European Style Pancakes (akin to crepes): My first success with crepes! I think the sourdough discard gives them a bit of extra strength. 🙂 Coffee cake Tortillas -- this was especially nice to have when everything here was totally locked down..... Have fun! Sourdough starter is wonderfully resilient and a good (and tasty!) way to play in the kitchen. 😉
  10. I took on this wild sourdough challenge at the start of the pandemic. The challenge is a grad school project of the Applied Ecology Department at NC State, so I participated because they wanted successes as well as failures Since I had always failed at previous attempts, I knew that this failure, at least, would be for a good cause. 🙂 I'm happy to report my starter is still going strong 18 months later despite appearing to be a failure. How so? Well, after the requisite 10 days or so, my baby starter wasn't spoiled but neither was it doing anything. With nothing to lose and for the sake of acquiring data, I kept feeding it and recording results, when lo and behold, 20 days after beginning, my starter took off. Why did it take so long? I suspect it is because we have a cooler house which doubled the time necessary for the the yeast beasts to flourish. So, Tip 1: don't give up too quickly! and Tip 2: Acquire Starter discard recipes! I have several recipes that use discard: sourdough crackers, sourdough granola, and sourdough biscuits that I use regularly plus a few others like pancakes (both sweet and savory) and coffeecake. Best wishes for good success!
  11. I learned that pandemics do indeed have their own life scale. I secretly always expected the pandemic to last two years just like the Spanish Flu. (People are people and I think the divide between those willing to take measures and those not has always existed, and pandemic surge/retreat can't always be explained by the numbers--there is still a LOT that is unknown--like why UK cases are declining after an initial surge of Delta and corresponding vax rates don't explain it). HOWEVER, I *love* that we live in the age of good medicine because between vaccines, IV's, ventilators, and dedicated HCW, the toll of C-19 (currently at @200 million cases/@4.5 million deaths) doesn't even come close to the estimated 20-50 MILLION deaths from the Spanish Flu and isn't likely, too. I've learned that I like gardening when I have the time at home to do so. Plus having the time to tend to a sourdough started and actually bake with it. We've learned how to stream our Church services (Husband is a pastor) and have been pleasantly surprised at the number of followers we've gained. I'm extremely proud of my five children (all adults living on their own) and their handling of the hardships of C-19 life. So grateful that our family (and church) is not being rifted over Covid like so many.
  12. I'm pretty sure it was the Kirkland Brand.... (With Covid, we haven't been back to the States for two years, so I may be mis-remembering). In any case, we were very satisfied with its tastiness as well as convenience.
  13. I don't know how I forgot this! We love having the precooked bacon. I have to admit when I first saw that, I rolled my eyes. BUT! No frying! No splatters! No ruined shirts, dresses, aprons! The slices last for weeks and weeks so there is always have a slice or two ready to go in a salad, top a potato, make BLT's, and more. Yes, it is more pricy per pound (however, we are back down to a household-size of two with all the kids gone which helps), but still.... I loved having it on hand for all the reasons mentioned above.
  14. We've been active members for decades--way back when it was Price Club. Currently, we live overseas so we don't buy many household supplies there (detergent, tp, etc) but did when we lived Stateside. However, we ALWAYS hit up Costco twice before heading back to our tiny little country, the first trip for non-perishables, the second for perishables. Merchandise does vary a bit by location (we buy in So. California). When Stateside, we regularly use the gas station (good prices and our credit card never seems to get compromised) and the pharmacy (YMMV). So, FWIW, these are my standards for my "US wishlist": Choco. chips Soy Sauce Maple Syrup Vanilla Extract Pace Salsa Vitamins (D, Multi for men, multi for women) + others my husband buys for himself. EmergenC Kirkland Aspirin and Ibuprofen (not readily available where we live) Reading glasses (a 3pk because I misplace glasses all the time) Kirkland's Moisture Facial Wipes (I do this instead of soap/water at night). Individual Hummus cups (Kirkland brand, I think) Cheddar cheese Brie Cheese Kirkland's Nut bars Macadamia Caramel Nut Clusters (yes, we haul this overseas and indulge once weekly until it is all gone). If I'm in the States, I regularly peruse their book offerings and clothes and small appliances--these switch all the time so no guarantees but I've gotten some decent items over the years--from electric candles to cast iron to dress shirts to socks to cookbooks.... Costco has a wonderful return policy, so I feel confident buying without trying on because I know I can return an unusable item with no problem. HTH!
  15. I know a previous poster or two mentioned the possibility of seeking out Physical Therapy. I would recommend going down that avenue as well as following up with the cardiologist. In Feb., I had pain in my back, by early April my back, neck, shoulder, and arm seriously hurt all the time. I tried exercises and stretches on my own but to no avail. By mid-April I sought medical care. Step one (since pain on right side, not left. Whew) was Physical Therapy. I was convinced there had to be more to it (like cancer or something because I hadn't "injured" myself in anyway). And the Dr. concluded there might be, but recommended PT to see how far that got me before taking more drastic measures. And, I am amazed at how much it is helping me, even getting rid of some of the aches and pains that I associated with age....
  16. This reminded me of the time we were able to attend a much beloved church after not being there for awhile. During the announcements, the elder made a little announcement about "the silver-haired gentleman and his wife here for a visit." We looked around to see who these visitors were--and were shocked to realize it was us. Up to that moment, I would have sincerely said my husband had brown hair..... but in reality, it *was* completely gray.
  17. For us, meds were number one. Sheets that fit the actual beds (dorm rooms vary) was number two. Everything else was way, way, way down the list. Especially as they will probably have roommates who are ALSO bringing things. If your child gets roomie info ahead of time, they can co-ordinate who buys what--silly to have two teakettles (for example). Double-triple check anything to do with electricity/electrical appliances and putting things on the wall. A PP suggested a multi-outlet because not enough plugs.... That would be a strong NO in a number of situations. Our daughter couldn't hang the flag of her native country even following the "how to put things on the wall" rules--it was considered a fire hazard.... (She was able to keep it inside a Wardrobe--hanging inside the door, so still somewhat visible.) Less is definitely more--all that stuff has to be moved/stored AGAIN in a relatively short time....
  18. Yes, it will be delicious! And, we love polenta here as well.... so thanks for the good idea!
  19. There is also a Frank Lloyd Wright house to visit. Made for a not-too-long pleasant outing....
  20. I just made this delicious dish: Tomato-poached Fish with Chile Oil and Herbs giving me even MORE reason to freeze summer's abundance of cherry tomatoes....
  21. For freezing I just wash, dry, de-stem, and lay on a cookie sheet. Package in a Ziplock when frozen solid. I don't bother with blanching.... I don't blanch when eating fresh..... I also make dehydrated cherry tomato snacks. They work great as a savory tidbit, in salads, chopped up in breads/savory muffins, or anywhere dried tomatoes might be used. Wash, dry, halve, lay on trays. Sprinkle with some salt, some sugar, some basil, and drizzle the tiniest bit of olive oil over. (I have a special olive oil pourer--if you didn't have a way to spray or drizzle with control, I'd brush the halves FIRST with oil, then sprinkle with salt, sugar, basil.) Dehydrate until pliable. I store in the frig. SO good. If you didn't want to halve them, I would definitely prick them so the moisture can escape more easily. Otherwise, it might take a very long time..... I've also really enjoyed this Tomato Chutney recipe.... To my mind, it is a flavorful ketchup which is how I use it--any where I might want ketchup.... (As opposed to chutney eaten with Indian food) I planning on making a triple batch this year.....
  22. Tomato Cobbler! (It is a savory dish and SO delicious. I freeze a dozen bags of cherry tomatoes so I can make this all year around....) And, I most often just make my own version of biscuit topping, with or without cheese. Leftovers freeze and reheat beautifully. Works as a side or main....
  23. We are ex-pats living overseas--we got vaccinated via the local gov't drives. Like others have said, US expats are ALL over the world -- I never would expect the US gov't to provide ME with a vaccine while living in another country. If we weren't able to get one here or only ones we didn't want, we'd undergo the inconvenience of flying back to the States for vaccines. Living abroad has plusses and minuses...
  24. Late boomer. First real job out of college in the mid-80s. As the newest person on board, I was given the task of encouraging/following up with all my colleagues to donate to the quarterly Red Cross blood drive. I was very diligent about asking/reminding and finally one of my workmates explained that it just wasn't safe for him to give because he was gay. He had mentioned earlier about going to a certain beach which he *thought* explained everything, but since it wasn't on my radar, his hint went right over my head....
  25. We met in college at a 36-hour dance marathon (a fundraiser). He wasn't the friend I went with, but by the end of 36 hours (!), everyone had danced with everyone. We continued to meet up and 3 years later were married--recently celebrated 39 years!
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