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About vmsurbat1

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    Hive Mind Level 2 Worker: Nurse Bee

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  1. Going on in the vein of what to do in the moment of feeling like yelling, I've come up with the Silent Scream. Which is exactly what it sounds like. I close my eyes, grab my hair, and silently scream mouth wide-open. This incorporates physical relief of tension, acknowledges that things aren't as they should be, and is silly enough that it helps me past the negative emotions. I'm amazed at how much better I can feel after a Silent Scream, plus I haven't hurt anyone else by saying (yelling?) things I shouldn't.
  2. I like Mark Bittman's books; they often show multiple ways to vary a recipe and encourage exploration in the kitchen. But from the handful I own and cook from, none of them really teach you how to cook, just inspire you to not be afraid to cook.... I also think Cook's Illustrated is overrated--they need to keep coming up with "Best Ways" which are frankly sometimes quite bizarre.... I don't think there is just ONE resource out there that nails everything, so feel free to start with what appeals to you. If you are a visual learner, I can recommend the Great Course's original How to Cook course with Chef Briwa--the instructor is a bona fide chef, personable, and full of whys along with hows and never forgets that he is addressing home cooks..... A winning combination.
  3. On a similar note, we moved to Montenegro over 20 years ago and couldn't find turkeys at all for our expat Thanksgiving feast, so the first year we did chicken. The second year, in early fall, we spotted a backyard where the owners were obviously raising turkeys to be sold. My husband immediately went over and asked if we could buy one in November. There was much rejoicing when the answer came back yes! BUT, instead of requesting a decent 12lb. turkey, my husband, seeing what looked to him like very small turkeys in the distance, asked for "the biggest bird you have." That monster bird weighed close to 40(!!!) pounds and I could barely fit it in my oven--a mere inch on each side. I roasted it at the lowest possible temp for over 12 hours because any higher and the skin would catch fire, it was that close to the oven coils.... It actually tasted pretty good but the leftovers! We gave away containers upon containers and still had a massive amount left. Suffice it to say, we've never had turkey again for Thanksgiving. That bird did us in for our life times.... 😉
  4. This is pretty much my list--with a couple of additions: I always, always, always bring a scarf. Even in the height of summer. A good scarf doubles as a shawl, blanket, eye mask, bib, weird hair coverer 😉, as well as neck protection against the drafts of a/c blowing at me (which I dislike intensely). I also always bring some of those EmergenC packets: I take one every 12 hours throughout our flights and for the next 24 hours upon landing. The drying air on airplanes makes one more susceptible to picking up bugs--this nips them for me. Most recent addition (probably due to age more than anything) is to bring some Melatonin to help with jet lag. Enjoy your trip!
  5. I believe there was an in-depth study by the US government on "how long food lasts" because of the need to feed troops.... As I recall, nearly all packaged foods (pasta, canned goods, crackers) could go a decade and still be "serviceable"..... perhaps not ideal, but not sickness-inducing. Medicines&vitamins were two that stuck out as NOT being worth using long past dates. I personally feel comfortable to eat commercially canned goods months and even a couple of years beyond a printed date....
  6. Late to the thread, but since my family adores pie and asks for Birthday Pies instead of cake, I've learned a few tricks along the way. 1. Make your pie dough ahead of time. Gather dough into a ball, press into a thick disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate--at least 2 hours. Good for a couple of days. This gives the gluten time to relax. Note: If making a double crust pie, separate into two discs, with one "half" slightly larger than the other. The slightly larger one is for the bottom crust which needs to be rolled out slightly larger! (Credit for this goes to the King Arthur Flour site) 2. Remove dough from frig and let sit out 20-30 minutes. It needs to be cold, but roll-able. 3. I find a pastry mat and rolling pin cover indispensable for rolling out dough. I have this: pastry mat and rolling pin cover. I'm able to roll out my dough with far less flour and the handy guidelines printed on the mat help me roll out a round circle of precise circumference. This gadget has made my pie-making attempts far more enjoyable.... 4. Refrigerate pie-lined pan while finishing up filling. 5. Refrigerate ready-to-bake pie while oven is heating. 6. I brush my top crust with a bit of milk (or cream or yogurt--whatever I have on hand that is easy to use) and sprinkle sugar over. Then I cut any slits needed. 7. I almost always need to cover the edges of my crust with a foil cutout--Some cooks suggest at the beginning, some at the end -- I like covering at the beginning because I'm dealing with a cool pie plate, not a hot one. I do remove it for the last 30 minutes of baking. Happy Baking!
  7. Speaking of candles, I have (and will give) the flameless set of 5 votives (varying heights) available from Costco. Pretty realistic and remote-controlled. Everyone who has seen them, loves them!
  8. My no-fail method: let eggs sit out overnight, and then STEAM them. I put my old collapsible metal steamer in a pot, add water just til below the level of the steamer (so about an 1+ inch), add room-temp eggs, cover, turn on heat (med-high), cook 17 minutes (for large eggs), and run under cold water when done. If I'm cooking only one or two eggs, I cook a minute less, if piled in there, a minute or two more....
  9. I thought I requested to join when this first posted, but I tried just now and couldn't get in. I have 5, ages 24-32 (gulp!). Thanks so much!
  10. So many of my favorites have already been listed, but I'll add one that I've been recommending recently: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. I was glad to spend my time with that book and was sorry when it ended because I had no more to read....
  11. With 5 children (now grown!), we went with quality leather and have been very satisfied. I think leather can be quite comfortable (unlike synthetics); probably the biggest factor is the actual design of the couch.
  12. When I attended a gift exchange where you could "grab" other gifts, the most desired items were cute apron (not too frilly but with a sprightly print) and cute 1 hr timer (ladybug, I think).
  13. I think you have enough meat--45 lbs of shredded pork is almost 1/2 lb. person--but possibly not enough slider rolls if they are small. Get extra rolls--any leftovers can go into Thanksgiving stuffing. 😉 I would also up the salads just a bit, although if you are adding a couple of veggies trays, that might suffice. If you decide to up, pick the salad that can last longer (I'm guessing bean salad) as a leftover but that does depend on the recipe.... Agree with the need for extra water bottles, especially if there is going to be any kind of activity--dancing or games, for example. Are there stores in your area that would allow you to return unused bottles of water? I wouldn't add more wine punch or sweet drinks, just extra water because that satisfies when one is thirsty.... And, I agree--your spread sounds fun and fabulous. Congratulations and enjoy!
  14. If you'd LIKED to send something homemade (vs. store-bought), wrap your bread in foil and tie a red ribbon around it. Voila! A gift! 🙂
  15. I'd send a small homemade something (jam? homemade bread, quick or yeasted? cookies? spiced nuts?) as a gift, especially knowing your son and gf are going directly to her parents. I wouldn't see it as setting up some annual exchange either to continue forever. Until the young people declare themselves in a permanent relationship, I wouldn't send a card --that seems a bit too intimate to me. Disclaimer: With our daughter (and now son-in-law), that is pretty much how we handled it.... Polite small gifts==> small gifts (if convenient--we live 1000s of miles away) and written emails/notes now that we are family. 🙂
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