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Old 05-26-2013, 04:02 PM   #181
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Chief's Tip of the Day

Don't be afraid to change it up. I have made baked beans or something similar for a long time. My wife loves them. My kids enjoy them. I really like them too.

Last night, I decided to make beans from scratch, using dried navy beans, brown sugar, a little pork, onion, and prepared mustard, like I usually do. I was out of molasses, which i really like in my beans. Sometimes, I use maple syrup instead. I like that version equally well. I didn't have either. Also, I didn't want to wait hours for the beans to cook. So I added a 1 pound package of dried beans to my pressure cooker, and covered with water, plus two inches. I cooked them for 45 minutes and they were perfectly tender.

Now it was time to turn them into baked beans. So I peeled, then threw a whole vidalia onion into the blender and liquified it. I added it to the beans, along with 1 cup of brown sugar, and a teaspoon of liquid smoke. Throw in 1/4 cup of tomato puree and you have what I had.

After tasting the beans, I realized that there was no pork flavor, or salt in the beans. No pork was available (2 days before payday). Turkey shares some flavor characteristics, and so I added some Better Than Bullion - turkey flavor, to the beans. and a half tsp. of mesquite flavor Liquid Smoke. It really added a great flavor. After that, with no molasses in the house, I decided to add maple flavor, but had no maple syrup. I did have some dried candy-cap mushrooms. I added 3 mushrooms to the pot.

I put the lid back onto the pressure cooker and brought it up to pressure over medium heat, and cooked for 30 minutes more, to force the flavors to blend, and soak into the beans. I released the pressure, and tasted the beans. They were very good. I placed them into a suitable container, and into the fridge for today.

After church, I wanted some beans for lunch. I heated up a bowl-full and tasted them. I still wasn't quite satisfied. So, a tsp. of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce added to the beans added just the right flavor. The beans needed that little bit of acidity to balance the flavors.

The moral of this story is that I changed things, fairly dramatically to a tried and true recipe, and it created a very good batch of beans. Don't be afraid to change things up. You might just be surprised how good whatever it is you are making will turn out.

There is never just one way to make a particular recipe taste great. Change things up, both for variety, and to expand your culinary expertise.

Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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Old 05-28-2013, 09:19 PM   #182
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Oh Chief, I just love kitchen experiments. Sounds like this one turned out great!
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Old 06-03-2013, 01:06 PM   #183
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I wish my hubby did things like this in the kitchen but I'm the only one who won't cook out of a box. I don't eat too many things that he cooks.
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Old 06-03-2013, 03:24 PM   #184
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahoymatey2013 View Post
I wish my hubby did things like this in the kitchen but I'm the only one who won't cook out of a box. I don't eat too many things that he cooks.
When the kids were small, sometimes box food came in handy. But not often. They preferred home made baked beans to canned one. Homemade mac and cheese to what was in the box.

I used to have friends that would complain that it was time to go home and start supper. "I hate making supper. It is always rush, rush." If you start early enough, there is no rush. I used to start around 3:30 to have supper on the table by five. There were no canned veggies. I had the kids in the kitchen helping with the veggies. Snapping the beans, getting the peas out of the pod, etc. They thought it was great and had a fun time. I like to believe that it is the reason all of them love to cook today. Plus their father used to take them to work with him in the summer. He would have them doing small chores in the kitchen where he was working. So they were always around making food.
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Old 06-03-2013, 03:34 PM   #185
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So wonderful that you were able to be home at that hour to start supper early Addie. I love the days that I have that kind of time, and cook everything from scratch. I do have lots of frozen veggies to quickly fix when I can't get home so early.
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Old 06-03-2013, 04:11 PM   #186
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So wonderful that you were able to be home at that hour to start supper early Addie. I love the days that I have that kind of time, and cook everything from scratch. I do have lots of frozen veggies to quickly fix when I can't get home so early.
It was at a time that most mother's didn't work outside the home. The only time I did that is when my husband would be sick or have gotten hurt on the job. Then I would go to work to supplement the workman's comp. Once that first paycheck came in, I would quit. I would much rather be at home. I always went for a boring factory job. The pay was always higher than an office one. And clothes didn't matter. I used to go to work in a house dress. I always worked the third shift. That shift differential ten cents made a difference. I never worked longer than three months. I hated factory work, but loved the extra money.
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Old 06-03-2013, 04:33 PM   #187
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My mother always worked when I was young & as I mentioned before...... she was a horrible cook. I didn't know veggies came from anything other then a can. I didn't know that I liked steak until I started to waitress at the age of 17. I was 18 when a chef made me a medium rare steak & he slapped my hand when I reached for the ketchup bottle Lol

Ham steaks were always burnt. We had mashed potatoes every single evening. Fries were a special treat. We never had rice because my dad was raised on it so it was no allowed on our table. We also were never allowed to have buttered noodles or any kind of side pasta dishes.

She would make a box of Rice A roni beef flavored rice on those rare occasions when my dad was off on a business trip. I loved that stuff, she didn't mess that up!

I may eat mashed potatoes once or twice a year. I do like potato filling but even that is something I only eat a few times a year.

My husband, on the other hand, loves that disgusting hamburger helper even though he adds a lot of stuff to it. If I would eat it I would rather have it just like they tell you to make it from the box & not with all the stuff he adds to it.

He makes a lot of frozen pizza & I am not much of a pizza fan to begin with.

He took my homemade spaghetti sauce that I made from my garden last year & mixed a jar of premade stuff to it. I left him no in no uncertain terms that that will never happen again.

He'll make pierogie's & even frozen rice. Yuck
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Old 06-03-2013, 04:58 PM   #188
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I loved being at home. And I loved cooking good meals for the kids. Scratch cooking was mostly the rule in my house. As a wedding present, my first husband introduced me to his copy of the first edition of "The Joy Of Cooking." Supper was a time when there were absolute rules. That is where my kids learned their table manners. No elbows on the table. Chew with your mouth closed. No talking with food in your mouth, etc. The table was always set, and they always used napkins. Supper was always on the table at five o'clock sharp. That way if any of the kids had something like baseball to go to, they had time. And it still left time for homework. My kids have happy memories of mealtime.

Secretly, I enjoyed having the whole family together and watching them eat a good meal.
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Old 06-03-2013, 05:30 PM   #189
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Addie; I've always been the cook in our house, and the one who worked outside the house. My DW isn't as adventurous in the kitchen, and shortly after we got married, she tired of my prodding her to try this, and change that. She finally threw up her hands and said "You do it! I quit.", and I've been doing it ever since. So, even though a person might work, good, from scratch meals can still be made, and supper served by 6 p.m. I know this because I did it every night, after work.

Like you, I always tried to make the meals as good as i could, for DW, and my kids. They began cooking with me at an early age, and are all great cooks in their own right. We never had trouble with any of them at the table. They ate everything that was put in front of them, at least once, and without complaint. There's not a picky eater among them. DW on the other hand...

They're raising their kids the same way, with wholesome, home made food, usually from scratch. And though I broadened the family's food variety frommeat & potatoes, and sometimes spaghetti or chili, or soup, to virtually anything i could find, they've gone two steps further still, thanks to the internet, and living in areas that I hadn't lived.

I'm happy with the results of my efforts. I'm very tight with my adult kids, and my grandkids. What more can I ask for?

Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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Old 06-03-2013, 05:48 PM   #190
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Chief, sounds like you did it right. It is always a good feeling knowing that your kids did it better than you did in life. That is the way it should be.

I have four kids that I can say "I am very proud of you." And it is something I have said aloud to each of them. The Pirate closes every phone conversation withh "I love you." He says this to everyone. As a result, the rest of the family is now doing it also. Nice words to hear from anyone.
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