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LoreD

Learning to DIY

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Since I retired I have been trying to DIY food as much as possible.  I'm a wannabe foodie, and I have started making the items that used to be a little expensive.  I make my own ginger beer concentrate, and use the leftover ginger to make crystallized ginger candy.  I make my own spreadable cheeses, ricotta, goat cheese, creme fraiche, etc.

 

I was in a local store that sold some really fancy, expensive products.  I saw these bottles of "sipping vinegars,"  also called "shrubs."  Pretty bottle and fancy packaging.  I looked on the back, and the ingredients were tart cherry juice concentrate and apple cider vinegar.  I thought I can do that.  I got a 16 oz bottle of locally made tart cherry juice for $10, and a good quality apple cider for $3.  32 ounces of cherry "shrub" for $13.  Mixed them  together and poured them back in the bottles.

 

The 16 ounce bottle with the fancy packaging was $16.95.  My 32 ounces was $13, and all I had to do was mix it together.

 

I think we need to stop assuming that a lot of these packaged items are difficult to make.  Most of them are pretty easy.

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I've been making beer and mead since 1990. (Cider a couple of times too.)

 

I've made soft goat cheese, kimchi, sauerkraut, sausages, and lox.

 

Cooking is kind of relaxing once you're goid enough at it that you don't have to think much. 

 

One of my favorite things to make when my wife is under the weather and sleeps in on the weekend is blintzes. They're basically very thin pancakes (that don't rise) rolled up with some filling. For the filling I like cream cheese and sugar, slightly softened with coffee and maybe a bit of liqueur.

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DIY extracts: vanilla cinnamon and more if you poke around the web

 seems like you might like this recipe

 

Ingredients:
  1. 8 oz. Glass Bottle or Jar.
  2. 7 Vanilla Beans.
  3. 1 cup Vodka 70 Proof/35% Alcohol (or you can also use Bourbon, Rum or Brandy; any brand/quality)

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here is some poor mans  truffle salt  yumyum   

rosemary is another handy  salt to have around as well as jumping into bath salts lavendar if you grow any ?

 

 

 

 

Directions

  1. Grind dried mushrooms in a food processor, spice/coffee grinder, or in a mortar and pestle until the mushrooms resemble the size of sea salt granules.
  2. Mix in salt. If desired, add a few drops of truffle oil and mix.
  3. Keep in an air tight container in a cool dry place. The longer that the salt sits, the more the mushrooms will infuse it.
  4. Notes: Any other dried mushrooms can be used in this recipe. Shiitakes provide a subtle taste, whereas morels or actual truffles offer more pungency. I added a bit of truffle oil to my salt to boost the flavor.

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A while ago I posted two recipes for limoncello: 

 

 

You can find some interesting information in this thread: 

 

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I'm slowly sipping a little shot of that limoncello right now. Intensely bitter and sweet.

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I just made my first loaf of bread in a bread machine.  It came out really nice.

 

Since I have been getting some serious arthritis issues in my right hand, I had to stop knitting.  I could only do it for about 1/2 hour before my hand started to get stiff, so I decided to try another hobby.

 

I hadn't done much baking because it was so much easier to go to my local professional baker and have her do all the work.  I need a new hobby, so baking bread is the one I chose.

 

I am going to try a couple different methods, and will decide which one I like best.

 

 

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12 hours ago, LoreD said:

I just made my first loaf of bread in a bread machine.  It came out really nice.

 

Whole grain?  What color?  It would be nice to see a pic.

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Basic White.  I'm going to do the cornmeal bread next.

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I made this today and liked it. I don't expect anyone else to like it, because it's an eastern European Jewish culture-of-poverty thing. But I grew up eating it, and haven't had it since the 90s, before my mother died.

 

Chopped herring

 

Ingredients

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 hard-boiled eggs (shelled, of course)

1 piece of toasted white bread, soaked in a tablespoon of milk (squeeze out / pour out liquid before using)

a big handful, maybe 15 slices of marinated herring, together with onions from the jar (see pictures for examples)

2 scallions

 

Using a paper towel, soak up as much liquid from the herring and onions as practical.

Chop everything to small, 2 to 3 mm size, but don't obsess, irregularity is ok.

Mix it all together well with a fork, then refrigerate.

Serve on crackers, or for authenticity on broken-up irregular pieces of matzo.

 

I used Vita herring because that's all that's available around here. It's a bit on the sweet side, but that's to American tastes. It's fine. If I found a typically Euro version, I'd probably add a bit of sugar.

 

Ideally I'd marinate my own herring, but no store around here has a barrel filled with raw salted herring, like the tiny Jewish grocery my mother dragged me to in Montreal, when I was a little boy. That world no longer exists. Oh, maybe in northern rural Sweden, but certainly not in Tampa.

 

 

698f3042-9833-4fc3-a1e9-a76351d83138_1.f

 

lowell-foods-marinated-herring-1.jpg

 

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If one wanted to start from scratch, with pure, unadulterated herring, but didn't want to actually fish for it, one might try sardines in water.  Sardines being smaller, less mature herring.  The problem with herring from cans or jars is that they seem unavailable except in the boned, smoked or "kippered" form.  If one cares about such things, the smaller sardines, are lowest in mercury and other pollutants, of all wild caught fish.

 

I prefer:     https://smile.amazon.com/Brunswick-Sardines-Spring-Water-Ounce/dp/B000KOWEVY/ref=sr_1_fkmr2_2_s_it?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1547407125&sr=1-2-fkmr2&keywords=new+brunswick+sardines+in+water 

Brunswick Sardines In Spring Water, 3.75 Ounce Tins (Pack of 25)Not being a "foodie", I just masticate 'em straight out of the can.  Don't know if this is gourmet blasphemy, or not, in the world of the connoisseur.   They come decapitated but with all the easily chewable bones in place.  The taste of the water is reminiscent of seawater.  

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15 hours ago, bludog said:

 

I think if you eat sardines (and I do), that's the only way to eat them. They're an oily fish (like salmon), and therefore good for you.

 

I never knew the Brunswick product was juvenile herring. Thanks for that info. Wikipedia says that too, but this web page says they're different:

"Sardines (Sardina pilchardus) | Herring (Clupea harengus)" but both in the Clupeidae family.

 

Anyway they're not suitable for chopped herring. First of all, they taste completely different. Secondly, big sardines, still taste exactly the same as when they're out of the can. Big sardines, grilled, are a Portuguese specialty, which I try to eat when I visit Montreal (because they have an active Portuguese community with many restaurants).  See:

https://www.splendidtable.org/story/the-simple-beauty-of-portuguese-style-grilled-sardines

 

The fish used for chopped herring need to be marinated in vinegar with onions and some sugar. The flesh starts out much firmer, so if you marinate sardines in vinegar they'll just fall apart into sludge.

 

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Good article:

Quote

 

-snip-

MORE AND MORE AMERICAN CHEFS are looking to sustainable fish options and discovering what Europeans have long known: sardines and herring are good eating when freshly caught. Sardines and Herring are both members of the Herring Family – Clupeidae – a family that includes other oily, small schooling fish such as shad and anchovies. Confusion can reign when trying to figure out exactly what their differences are – for example, here in Maine a small, juvenile herring is dubbed a “sardine” and once was canned as such. Some will market domestic herring as “Atlantic Sardines”. For Europeans, larger sardines – those generally longer than six inches – are called “pilchards”. Some sources list almost 20 different species as “sardines”!

-snip-

 

 

I suppose it would take an ichthyologist to identify the many different species of herring/sardine-like fish in the oceans of the world.  Hence all the different names and confusion.  After reading the article, I'm no longer sure what my shiny, little Brunswick fish are.  But they're still delicious.

 

I have to try those Portuguese-style grilled sardines.  They look delectable.  Thanks for that article, as well.

 

Usually, unless otherwise specified, restaurants get their seafood from fish farms.  But wild-caught fish are the only kind to eat, if one is even remotely interested in nutrition.   And sustainably wild-caught fish are a rarity.  In the absence of sustainable fishing practices, wild food-fish populations are crashing as fishing proceeds at such a high rate as to wipe them out.  From all I have read, Brunswick sardines are caught, leaving enough to propagate the next generation.   I also enjoy Crown Prince salmon, also caught, sustainably. 

https://smile.amazon.com/Crown-Prince-Natural-Pink-Salmon/dp/B000EEWZG4/ref=sr_1_1_s_it?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1547487568&sr=1-1&keywords=crown%2Bprince%2Bsalmon&th=1

  • Crown Prince Natural Pink Salmon - Low in Sodium, 7.5-Ounce Cans (Pack of 12)But I digress from the thread, as none of this is DIY.

 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, bludog said:

But I digress from the thread, as none of this is DIY.

 

So let's make it DIY.

I'll use canned salmon to make salmon salad. It's pretty easy and very flexible because all you need are the salmon from the can, drained, celery, an onion, some garlic, and Miracle Whip (unless you're a person prefers mayo, in which case, good luck, loser. :P:rolleyes:;) ). Chop up the celery, onion and garlic, mix it up with the MirWhi, and you're done. Great in a sandwich.

 

Most other vegetables that also give crunch are welcome. Probably not broccoli, but I'd even be open to that. Quantities to taste.

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1 hour ago, laripu said:

 

So let's make it DIY.

I'll use canned salmon to make salmon salad. It's pretty easy and very flexible because all you need are the salmon from the can, drained, celery, an onion, some garlic, and Miracle Whip (unless you're a person prefers mayo, in which case, good luck, loser. :P:rolleyes:;) ). Chop up the celery, onion and garlic, mix it up with the MirWhi, and you're done. Great in a sandwich.

 

Most other vegetables that also give crunch are welcome. Probably not broccoli, but I'd even be open to that. Quantities to taste.

 

 

Add some panko and you have salmon croquettes.  Yum!

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The German word for salmon is lachs, pronounced between lax and lox.

 

Lox is the American-English word for cured smoked salmon. In Denmark, they say gravlax for cured salmon. (Because they used to wrap it in leaves and bury it: lax in a grave. I prefer cling wrap and a refrigerator.)

 

Per pound of salmon:

2 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp coarse salt

2 tsp ground pepper

1 tbsp gin

a bunch of dill, to cover

 

Mix the dry ingredients well. Add the gin and mix well again to make a paste.

Place the salmon on a long length of cling wrap, skin side down. Cover it with the paste as evenly as you can. Then cover with the dill.

Wrap tightly. You may need to wrap as much as three times.

Place it flat in a container like a baking pan, because it will leak. Refrigerate for two or three days.

 

When you take it out, rinse very thoroughly, then soak in ice water three times, 10 minutes each time. That's to remove excess salt.

 

Now you have a choice. If you don't want to cold-smoke it, you can cut thin slices off the skin and eat it right away.

 

(The dark fat part immediately next to the skin is the healthiest part. Full of Omega fatty acids.)

 

Or cold-smoke it (under 60°F but 40°F is ideal) for 3 or 4 hours, and then wrap and refrigerate for another day. The next day, cut thin slices off the skin and eat.

 

It goes well on bagels with cream cheese.

 

I put a cold smoke generator in my grill.

Don't use pellets, they go out. Use fine sawdust, the finer the better, finer than in the picture. Oak and maple are best.

Here's a good cold-smoke generator. Four hours is about 12 inches of sawdust.

 

 

 

51L5mhTPJ6L._AC_SY400_.jpg

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It's in the 50s in Tampa tonight, so I'm cold smoking the lox. I started it at 8:30, so it'll be 1AM before it's done. I've had strong coffee to keep me going. ☺️

 

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On 9/29/2018 at 3:38 PM, LoreD said:

Since I retired I have been trying to DIY food as much as possible.  I'm a wannabe foodie, and I have started making the items that used to be a little expensive.  I make my own ginger beer concentrate, and use the leftover ginger to make crystallized ginger candy.  I make my own spreadable cheeses, ricotta, goat cheese, creme fraiche, etc.

 

I was in a local store that sold some really fancy, expensive products.  I saw these bottles of "sipping vinegars,"  also called "shrubs."  Pretty bottle and fancy packaging.  I looked on the back, and the ingredients were tart cherry juice concentrate and apple cider vinegar.  I thought I can do that.  I got a 16 oz bottle of locally made tart cherry juice for $10, and a good quality apple cider for $3.  32 ounces of cherry "shrub" for $13.  Mixed them  together and poured them back in the bottles.

 

The 16 ounce bottle with the fancy packaging was $16.95.  My 32 ounces was $13, and all I had to do was mix it together.

 

I think we need to stop assuming that a lot of these packaged items are difficult to make.  Most of them are pretty easy.

found a new facvorite beverage.. soy milk and nestle quick..warmed

 no high fructose corn syrup is my goal

 

I think dry soy milk, sugar, and cocoa powder should DIY It.. just add water.. I could use artificial sweetener.. I do not mind the taste of most of them

 

Great thread LoreD.. I share the mission of keeping costs down.. DIY food is more expensive.. but is there when the grocery store blows up or turns into a carribean cruise of illness,,

 

 

I belive micro hydroponic farming will trend popular.. I have had some success.. lettuce is easy hydro.. lettuce in dirt is hard.. the rabbits eat it.

 

micro farming in general will trend popular.. folks will start raising goats and chickens more and more.. Rabbits are the way to go

 

 

My long term goal is to live grid free and rural as possible.. But it is not my wifes...

 

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, everybodyw1ns said:

found a new facvorite beverage.. soy milk and nestle quick..warmed

 no high fructose corn syrup is my goal

 

I think dry soy milk, sugar, and cocoa powder should DIY It.. just add water.. I could use artificial sweetener.. I do not mind the taste of most of them

 

Great thread LoreD.. I share the mission of keeping costs down.. DIY food is more expensive.. but is there when the grocery store blows up or turns into a carribean cruise of illness,,

 

 

I belive micro hydroponic farming will trend popular.. I have had some success.. lettuce is easy hydro.. lettuce in dirt is hard.. the rabbits eat it.

 

micro farming in general will trend popular.. folks will start raising goats and chickens more and more.. Rabbits are the way to go

 

 

My long term goal is to live grid free and rural as possible.. But it is not my wifes...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I've found so many things that are expensive, and are in little plastic tubs; are fairly easy to do.  Like that expensive spreadable cheese.  I got a book called One Hour Cheese.  Ricotta, Paneer, mozza, those little herb cheese logs; all under an hour.  

 

https://www.amazon.com/One-Hour-Cheese-Mozzarella-Paneer-Even-Burrata-ebook/dp/B00IIXLKPU/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1548535441&sr=8-2&keywords=one+hour+cheese

 

Find the least processed milk you can find.  Ultra pasteurized will not work.  Raw milk  is not allowed for sale in Wisconsin, but I found raw goats milk for sale at a pet store marked Not for Human Consumption.  Since it was going to be simmered on my stove for 30 minutes, any bacteria would be killed.

 

The basic recipe is bring milk to 165 degrees, add vinegar or lemon juice, wait till curds appear, strain in cheesecloth, save whey for use in recipes (also referred to as old fashioned buttermilk), cool, add herbs if desired, then eat.  Yum.

 

I started making my own creme fraiche.  The American version came out tasting like sour cream, so I found some videos that showed me how easy it was to make the French version

 

I am trying to reduce my waste by doing things myself, rather than buying stuff in those little plastic tubs.

 

This is a youtube channel I really like.  They show pioneer recipes and tips from 1700's and 1800's.

 

 

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48 minutes ago, LoreD said:

 

 

Find the least processed milk you can find.  Ultra pasteurized will not work.  Raw milk  is not allowed for sale in Wisconsin, but I found raw goats milk for sale at a pet store marked Not for Human Consumption.  Since it was going to be simmered on my stove for 30 minutes, any bacteria would be killed.

 

The basic recipe is bring milk to 165 degrees, add vinegar or lemon juice, wait till curds appear, strain in cheesecloth, save whey for use in recipes (also referred to as old fashioned buttermilk), cool, add herbs if desired, then eat.  Yum.

 

 

 

This is a youtube channel I really like.  They show pioneer recipes and tips from 1700's and 1800's.

 

 

 

Thanks for the link. I'll watch it.

 

Going with goat milk and pasteurizing it yourself, as you're doing, is really the way to go.

 

If you can find someone who owns and milks the goats and supply your own gallon jugs, you'll probably save some money.

 

You can also do a bit better on the cheese, if you're willing to wait overnight. Instead of using vinegar or lemon, get proper rennet (the traditional enzyme that causes curdling) and an appropriate cheese bacteria that will sour the milk and compete against bad bacteria.

 

You get it to the required temperature, and let it sit overnight. Everything else is the same: cutting the curds, draining the whey through cheese cloth, salting.

 

You can get information, books and supplies here, if you have no local supplier: https://cheesemaking.com

 

I used to get two gallons of goat milk, which made almost 5 pounds of cheese. Our dogs (and I) loved to drink the whey. I haven't done that for over a year. I don't know why I don't start that again.

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I've tried about the goats milk.  The laws in Wisconsin are so strict, that even giving me raw milk is a crime.  I had a few friends, who owned dairy farms, and they wouldn't take the risk.

 

 I'm OK with that.  I wouldn't ask them to do something that would cause them harm.

 

Thank you for the info.  I have used rennet, but I like the easy, breezy way with vinegar and a little citric acid.  

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On 1/26/2019 at 8:40 PM, LoreD said:

I've tried about the goats milk.  The laws in Wisconsin are so strict, that even giving me raw milk is a crime.  I had a few friends, who owned dairy farms, and they wouldn't take the risk.

 

It's also illegal here, to sell raw milk for human consumption. So the woman I bought it from and I went through a "wink, wink, it's for the pets" ritual before the sale. After a while we trusted each other and talked openly. (I think it was the second time.) The understanding is that if anyone asks, it's for animals. Selling goat milk isn't like selling crystal meth.

 

But she was kind of a hobby farmer who boarded horses for her main income.

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Yesterday I made chopped liver. I used chicken livers

 

The first important thing to remember is that it is chopped.  By hand! Not in a food processor!

 

So I'm kind of into chopped liver authenticity, but then immediately wimped out: I used olive oil instead of the traditional rendered chicken fat.

 

I fried up some very finely sliced onion and garlic with salt and lots of ground pepper. It was enough to slightly caramelize the onions. Just before that was done I added a bit of cilantro, totally inauthentic. I then separated all that into a bowl on the side.

 

I hard-boiled an egg, then cooled the egg in cold water. While that was happening I fried the liver with some salt in more olive oil. Cooked to the point that there was no pink, but no more. When it had cooked, I mixed in the onions / garlic / cilantro. All of this I put in the freezer for 15 minutes to cool.

 

Once cool, I chopped / mixed everything together. Including the hard-boiled egg. Chopped until the largest pieces were around 1/8". With a chef-style meat cleaver. This kind of thing: 

 

j-a-henckels-international-meat-cleavers

 

It was good!  And will be for days because there's only me and my wife eating it and there was about 2 pounds total. (Less today...we've been eating. :) ) It makes a great sandwich.

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I just made oat milk.  I watched a video.  It tastes pretty similar to the store bought version.  It separates a little bit, but a quick shake helps with that.  According to the youtube guy it cost me about 15 cents per quart.  I usually paid about $3 for a small container at the store

 

I saw another youtube video about growing lettuce from the base that is usually tossed in the garbage.  I put them in water and they are growing in the window.  The lettuce heads are a couple of inches high.

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