Saturday, November 29, 2014

Janis Joplin's thoughts to ponder

Janis Joplin’s thoughts to ponder
I’m spreading out the leopard, polka dot and reindeer patterns of FreshTape, and these words come to view, that I recognize:
“Don’t Compromise Yourself. You’re all you’ve got.”
This quote belongs to Port Arthur’s own Janis Joplin. 
They’re one of the thoughts on this pretty amazing new product that perks you up as you peel off the tape to seal packages of  food for your pantry, like chips or spice packets, as well as frozen food, like spinach you should be sneaking or blatantly adding to just about everything. Happy organizing, from, me, and I guess, Janis.

Chestnuts not roasting
My mom had whole chestnuts one time and each year when the nut comes up in popular song, she never fails to mention how difficult they are to peel.  So, I’ve never bothered.
Italy is now doing it for us.  Chestnut Hill Tree Farm of Alachua, Florida, has spent the last 30 years leading the way to re-establishing the Chestnut Tree in the United States, after blight had wiped most trees out by 1950. And now they’re bringing artisanal products from Northern Italy, sold at select Whole Foods Markets.  I’ve tried Chestnut Sweet Cream, which is kind of a Nutella-like experience for toast and Chestnut Flakes, which make an interesting crispy topping for sweet and savory treats. There’s also a flour. 
So Mom’s going to try chestnuts again. Here’s a kind of weird thing I made from experimenting in someone else’s kitchen: A ramekin full of lightly cooked egg, topped with blue cheese and cranberry relish, then topped with chestnut flakes. Just crazy enough to work.  

Southern Christmas
“Christmas All Through the South”  is from Southern Living, so that there says it all. From a Hearty Picnic in the Pines with skillet-fried chicken to lucky New Year’s oyster spreads, is a big, thick book showing how it’s done. Laden tables, lighted landscapes and our mossy, waterside, outdoor vistas we love fill this book. Besides the photos, there’s the writing, then there’s the recipes. If you can’t be with family, you’ll read this and make a new family of friends so you can make one of these parties. It’s not all about showing off, it’s just how hospitality is done down here. This book takes you across the south and across time with memories of how we all used to slow down and appreciate this season.
I’m a huge rosemary fan, so this virgin drink popped off the pages for me:
Rosemary-Scented Cold Cider
Pick up a jug of fresh-pressed cider for optimum results with this refreshing drink.
5 cups apple cider
4 fresh rosemary sprigs, 4- to 5-inches
2 cups cranberry-apple drink, chilled
2 12-ounce cans ginger ale, chilled
1. Bring cider and four rosemary springs to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 3 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool to room temperature. Cover and chill 8 to 24 hours. Remove and discard rosemary sprigs.
2. Combine cider and cranberry-apple drink in a pitcher or thermos. Add ginger ale just before serving.
Darragh Doiron proudly shares her Culinary Thrill Seeking adventures with Port Arthur News readers.

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