Hot!The Farmer's Kitchen Cookbook: One Family's Culinary Journey

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mar52
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Re: The Farmer's Kitchen Cookbook: One Family's Culinary Journey 2016/05/15 23:06:47 (permalink)
There are two posts for your flat top diner omelets.  Do you see those?
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blizzardstormus
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Re: The Farmer's Kitchen Cookbook: One Family's Culinary Journey 2016/05/16 07:06:39 (permalink)
Okay, I am confused. I can't view all my posts. Others appear and then disappear and now I am viewing a second posting of my initial posting. What is going on?
#32
edwmax
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Re: The Farmer's Kitchen Cookbook: One Family's Culinary Journey 2016/05/16 10:13:56 (permalink)
Your browser is probably loading the web page from system cache.   Try holding the shift key and click reload. This make the browser download from the website.  If this works, then you may need to look at your browser & cache settings.
 
Thanks for posting this history  ... I have enjoyed reading it and the recipes.
#33
mar52
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Re: The Farmer's Kitchen Cookbook: One Family's Culinary Journey 2016/05/16 11:59:27 (permalink)
To reload just push the F5 key.  
#34
The Travelin Man
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Re: The Farmer's Kitchen Cookbook: One Family's Culinary Journey 2016/05/16 13:07:24 (permalink)
blizzardstormus
   Well, if you insist!
 
SOUR CREAM RAISIN PIE
 
   ...Okay, now I needed someone to make the pie. Well, that was easy, Mom, of course. That became the third hurdle! Mom vehemently hates Raisins! But, she finally acquiesced to my entreaties (or perhaps she became tired of my ranting and railing) and reluctantly gathered together the necessary ingredients and managed to produce a pie which Jane and Michael Stern described in the book 500 THINGS TO EAT BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE as “the buffest pie we’ve ever slid a fork into… The meringue is twice as tall as the filling, but the filling is so creamy-thick and packed with raisins that all the meringue simply melts into a halo around it.”
   Over the years, Mom was the principal pie maker but every once in a while I was pressed into making the pies. My first attempt at sour cream raisin pie turned into a disaster. A customer ordered a whole pie for her office and, although Mom was not available that day, I confidently stated that I could comply with her request. I diligently followed the instructions (which I had originally typed up) and proudly delivered the pie later that day. As I was patting myself on the back for a job well done, I received a phone call, “Mark the pie is like concrete!” I had read the recipe incorrectly and had used a tablespoon instead of a teaspoon for the flour!
   Several years after we became known for our Sour Cream Raisin pie, we received a letter from an elderly lady living in Florida. She had heard from a relative about our pie and remembered her mother making it when she was a child. Could she have the recipe? “I promise not to share it with anyone else!” Who could resist such a request!
 
 

I emember your mother telling that story when we visited. She was almost embarrassed that this was the thing for which she became known. Reading your story here, I could almost hear the words coming out of her mouth. 
#35
blizzardstormus
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Re: The Farmer's Kitchen Cookbook: One Family's Culinary Journey 2016/05/17 09:31:51 (permalink)
This a test. I still don't see the Omelet entries (sorry about the duplication). Hope to post later today.
#36
ChiTownDiner
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Re: The Farmer's Kitchen Cookbook: One Family's Culinary Journey 2016/05/17 09:43:35 (permalink)
blizzardstormus
 
I am loving this thread and I see two omelet posts (duplicates) at #27 and #28.
 
Keep it going!  
#37
blizzardstormus
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Re: The Farmer's Kitchen Cookbook: One Family's Culinary Journey 2016/05/17 14:55:52 (permalink)
Weird! When I am logged off, I see the Omelet entries. Logged on, they disappear.
 
CHILI (Part 1)
 
   In October, 2007, Mother and I prepared 40 gallons of chili early one morning and carefully transported this precious cargo 60 miles to Omaha, NE. We were participating in the World’s Chili Championship for the third year in a row. While I was sacrificing my taste buds judging the different competition chili entries, Mom dished out over 2000 chili samples to the ravenous chili fanatics. Her herculean efforts were amply rewarded when it was announced that we were the 2007 People’s Choice World Chili Champions!
   During my childhood years, chili was not a frequent item on the Johnson dinner table. Chicken noodle, cream of potato soups and beef stew were the predominant soups which we slurped down. However, chili became the highly anticipated culinary luminary on Christmas Eve. After returning from evening church service, we children were allowed to choose one present from under the Christmas tree. While wrapping paper was scattered around each deliriously joyous youngster, Mom would dish out steaming bowls of chili to her children and oyster stew to the adults. The chili was not especially spicy, yet was eagerly consumed.
   When I was 12, Dad was invited to participate in a company retreat in Colorado. Mom joined him on this trip. For some unbeknownst reason, they had the misconceived notion that their offspring would get into mischief if left to their own devices. Grandma Johnson volunteered her “babysitting” services to tend to the Johnson horde. To celebrate our parents’ return, we convinced our by-then frazzled grandmother that Mom and Dad would appreciate a “Welcome Home” meal of chili. Since Grandma was clueless about this concoction, I confidently rattled off the necessary ingredients. While Mom and Dad swallowed each delectable morsel, we grinning children did not notice the quizzical glances of our parents. Years later, Mother enlightened me to the distressing fact that I had informed my trusting grandmother that the main spice in chili was cinnamon!
   Chili did not play a significant role in my life until the mid-1990s. Recently divorced, I was searching for something besides the local bars to occupy my social life. I became involved with the local Rotary Club in Green Lake, WI as a representative of my employer, the Heidel House, a 200-room resort located in the town. Each September, our Rotarians held the Wisconsin State Chili Cook Off a block from my new abode. After 15 years of commercial culinary success, I was supremely confident in my ability to flaunt my prowess to all the competing amateurs.
   After turning in my judging cup, I served out samples to the crowd of hungry spectators. I basked in their astute observations that my chili was superior to all others. To my chagrin, the judges did not agree with my adoring fans. I didn’t even place in the top 10!
#38
blizzardstormus
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Re: The Farmer's Kitchen Cookbook: One Family's Culinary Journey 2016/05/18 22:35:11 (permalink)
CHILI (Part 2)  
    Although I had not been successful in my first chili outing, I had caught the chili bug. In 1998, I took a sabbatical to pursue my dream of chili champion. Over the course of six months, I entered 13 chili cook-offs from Illinois to Seattle. At first, I had no success. Fortunately, I soon found a mentor in Bob Hall who I kept encountering at the various events. Bob is an unassuming individual who routinely qualifies for the World Chili Championship. In fact, Bob has won the 2009 and 2012 Chili Verde World Championship. His only fault is the Illini tendency of misspelling chili with two ‘L’s.
   Patiently tasting my chili endeavors, Bob honed my skills. I learned that competition chili was completely different from the chili served on countless dinner tables. An experienced chili judge is looking for the pure essence of chili. Any ingredient which detracts from the evaluator’s tasting needs to be eradicated. I began to jettison ingredients such as celery and green peppers. Other components underwent major overhauls: tomato sauce replaced diced tomatoes and powders supplanted chopped onion and garlic. Over time, my original pot of chunky chili began to resemble the quintessential chili expression, flavorful meat and sauce. After several encounters, Bob gave me the compliment “it’s getting there.” Of course, a “but” followed this accolade. I needed more salt.
   Salt is the secret to fantastic competition chili. It is widely accepted that chili tastes best the second day. The ingredients have had time to coalesce and create a superior product. A competition cook has only 3 to 4 hours to deliver that same result. Salt amplifies the desired flavors. I soon was adding almost a tablespoon of salt to my small pot. By the end of summer, my chili had greatly improved and was awarded a second place at a Minnesota cook-off!   
   Although I had not qualified my chili, I did succeed with my salsa. Dad had joined me at several cooking events during the summer and agreed to accompany me to Las Vegas. I was able to sample world-class chili from several of the 150 qualifying cooks, including Bob Hall. While in Vegas, I was able to enjoy many of its charming recreational activities. I did regret having to turn down the request of a charming young lady who wanted to get to know me a little better by joining me for a night cap in my hotel room. Unfortunately, after I informed her that my father was asleep in the room and I did not have enough money to buy her a cocktail, she abruptly remembered a previous engagement. I sadly watched the future Mrs. Johnson drive out of my life.
   After exhausting my financial resources pursuing my chili dream, I returned home to Wisconsin and was hired as kitchen supervisor at a sports bar which specialized in upscale bar food and pizza. Each day, I had to prepare 2 home- made soups. During the colder months, chili was a daily offering. The recipe produced 4 gallons of a hearty Midwestern-style chili. When I opened my restaurant, I adapted this recipe to my own tastes. The chili soon became a hit and we began to prepare a batch every 2 days to keep up with the demand. Although the vast majority of customers praised our chili, I recall one white- haired little old lady who rejected her cup of chili and informed me that “I don’t like spicy food!” LADY, IT’S CHILI! IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE SPICY!
   For several years, I concentrated on the restaurant to the detriment of my chili quest. In 2005, I was informed about an upcoming contest in nearby Omaha. The Nebraska State Chili Cook Off is held on the first June Sunday. Since the restaurant was closed on Sundays, I hurriedly gathered my supplies and raced over to the competition. Four hours later, I was completely shocked when my sample cup was declared the winner! I won $1000 and had qualified for the World!
   Fortunately, the World Championship was to be held in Omaha that October. Accompanied by several family members, I painstakingly set about creating the best pot of chili possible. Mom occupied her time by operating a food booth and selling chili and sandwiches to the throng of spectators. At the awards ceremony, I joined 150 other hopeful contestants nervously awaiting the judges’ decisions. The announcer proceeded to announce the finalists and, one by one, the giants of the chili world advanced to the stage.
   Suddenly, Mom leaped out of her chair and screamed, “Mark, you’re in the Finals!” I stumbled my way to the front. I had achieved a goal which thousands of chiliheads had striven for all year. I did not place in the money, but later, after I read the judges’ comments, I learned that 2 judges had voted for my bowl of chili as the best in the world! In addition, Mom’s efforts were rewarded when it was announced the we had won third place for our chili in the restaurant division.
  The next year, I qualified both my traditional red chili and my chili verde for the World. Although neither of my entries made it to the finals table, our restaurant chili garnered a second place award. More importantly, we also came in second for People’s Choice! The following year, all our hard efforts paid off when I limped up to the stage to accept the plaque and $500 for the People’s Choice World Championship!    
#39
Ralph Melton
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Re: The Farmer's Kitchen Cookbook: One Family's Culinary Journey 2016/05/19 09:56:53 (permalink)
I had no idea that chili champions had groupies!
#40
Michael Hoffman
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Re: The Farmer's Kitchen Cookbook: One Family's Culinary Journey 2016/05/19 19:39:43 (permalink)
I am loving this. More! More!
#41
blizzardstormus
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Re: The Farmer's Kitchen Cookbook: One Family's Culinary Journey 2016/05/19 21:43:56 (permalink)
CHARLENE’S REMINISCENCES
PAN-FRIED CHICKEN
    Mark began his culinary career with no formal training. Soon after he accepted the position of head cook at The Danish Inn, I would routinely receive calls from him anxiously asking about my recipes for gravies, sage dressing, and so forth. His next birthday gift was a copy of FOOD FOR FIFTY. Over the next years, I purchased each new edition to replace his dog-eared, food stained copy.
   I learned how to cook as a young child watching and helping my mother Bessie. But like Mark, my mother also did not learn how to cook at an early age. As the oldest child on a small Nebraska farm, she had to work in the fields alongside my Grandpa Ober. When my parents became married, Mother was forced to ask her mother-in-law how to cook for her new husband. Fortunately, Grandmother Rohwer was considered one of Knox County’s best cooks. So with a little encouragement, Grandma taught Mom how to make an excellent meal out of the garden surplus, canned supplies and chicken. She soon rivaled my grandmother as the area’s best cook.
    Every summer, Mom insisted on canning over 200 quarts of vegetables from our huge garden. I maintained this tradition when I was raising my own family. After our children finally moved out and we retired, my husband Kenneth and I moved to the nearby town of Atlantic. We packed up over 100 glass jars of canned vegetables.
   I must have been around 7 years old when Mom received the news that she had won a year’s use of a freezer at our local meat locker. On Saturday nights, my sister Donna and I took turns going into the frigid locker and help carry out parcels of wrapped frozen meat. To keep the meat from thawing, we would swathe each chunk of meat in several layers of newspaper and place in our storm cellar.
   The first meal that Grandma Ober taught Mom was pan-fried chicken. Over the years, my mother fixed thousands of pans of chicken for her family. Of course, during those years, we raised a small flock of our own chickens. When it was time to prepare a poultry dish, Mom would corner a likely bird, grab it and quickly break its neck with a quick twist. My one and only attempt to butcher a chicken did not occur until several years after I was married. I did not have my mother’s knack so I grabbed the hatchet that my husband utilized for the demise of our chickens. Awkwardly swinging the axe, I scalped the chicken’s head instead of slicing through the neck. I screamed, the children shrieked, and the hen escaped, running around the farmyard, spurting blood from its wound. Mark had to race out to the fields to grab his father to return and put the poor bird out of its misery.
   After receiving my teaching degree, I taught in a one-room schoolhouse. In order to raise funds, the school held a Christmas program. The women provided picnic baskets of food to be auctioned off. My basket contained pan-fried chicken as did the basket of my oldest sister, Jean. Somehow, I was coerced into frying her chicken! By happenstance, my future husband Kenneth bid the most for my basket while Jean’s was bought by her husband Glen. What a happy coincidence!
   When I started working the night shift at our local hospital, Kenneth took over more of the kitchen duties. One day I woke up to a delightful smell emanating from the kitchen. Kenneth had prepared a wonderful golden brown plate of pan-fried chicken. Proudly, he offered me the first bite. To my horror, it was simply vile! I hesitantly asked my husband what he had used for the coating. “The flour in the paper bag, of course!” I shamefacedly had to inform him that the bag contained plaster of paris from my pottery class! The chicken and the cream gravy also prepared with the same “flour” were tossed in the garbage. We ate our mashed potatoes and green beans in silence.     
   When Mark was conceiving the menu for The Farmer’s Kitchen, he wanted to include family favorites for the daily specials. At his request, I dug out my cast iron skillet and prepared my mom’s chicken for our Wednesday special. By this time, however, Mark had learned a few tricks during his professional career. I had always separated a chicken into 9 pieces. The first piece I sliced off was made by separating the top part of the breast containing the wishbone. Then I chopped off the legs, wings, thighs and breasts. My children clamored for the wishbone piece. After dining, the lucky possessor would extend the now-cleaned wishbone to a lucky sibling. The two children would pull the bone apart attempting to gain good luck by possessing the largest portion of broken bone. Mark’s method produced 8 pieces that conformed more easily to our customers’ requests. Sadly, the piece with the wishbone was no longer available. 
#42
mar52
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Re: The Farmer's Kitchen Cookbook: One Family's Culinary Journey 2016/05/19 23:54:52 (permalink)
Why did I think you were male? 
 
Plaster coated chicken!  Your life tales are absolutely wonderful. 
 
I've never mastered fried chicken.  I'd love if you stepped us through it.  But I'm a lost cause as I've never broken down a chicken.
#43
blizzardstormus
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Re: The Farmer's Kitchen Cookbook: One Family's Culinary Journey 2016/05/20 06:59:44 (permalink)
I am male. The most recent entry is the coauthor, my mother Charlene. Gotta figure how to differentiate our stories. I planned to post the recipe this weekend.
post edited by blizzardstormus - 2016/05/20 07:02:24
#44
ann peeples
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Re: The Farmer's Kitchen Cookbook: One Family's Culinary Journey 2016/05/20 07:48:17 (permalink)
I absolutely need the pan fried chicken recipe!! Just love your stories!
#45
mar52
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Re: The Farmer's Kitchen Cookbook: One Family's Culinary Journey 2016/05/20 11:20:51 (permalink)
blizzardstormus
I am male. The most recent entry is the coauthor, my mother Charlene. Gotta figure how to differentiate our stories. I planned to post the recipe this weekend.




Aha!  I'm still crazy but at least I wasn't wrong this time.  Looking forward to that recipe!
#46
blizzardstormus
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Re: The Farmer's Kitchen Cookbook: One Family's Culinary Journey 2016/05/22 11:47:57 (permalink)
 
PAN-FRIED CHICKEN
INGREDIENTS
 
1 2 ½ to 3-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
2 cups seasoned flour (see recipe below)
1 cup butter
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
 
  • Pat chicken dry. Dredge in the seasoned flour.
  • Heat the butter and oil in a frying pan (preferably cast-iron).
  • Place the chicken skin side down in the pan. Do not overcrowd. Brown the
  • Pour the water into a greased baking pan. Place the chicken skin side up in the pan. Cover with aluminum foil.
  • Bake in a 350° oven for 45 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 180°.
 
SEASONED FLOUR
 
4 cups flour
1 tablespoon pepper
½ tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon parsley
½ tablespoon garlic powder
½ tablespoon sage
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 tsp paprika
1/3 tsp paprika
 
  • Mix the above ingredients together.
#47
Big_g
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Re: The Farmer's Kitchen Cookbook: One Family's Culinary Journey 2016/05/22 12:30:41 (permalink)
Lets talk more about this Chili you speak of :)
Love the stories and can't wait for the book.
#48
mar52
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Re: The Farmer's Kitchen Cookbook: One Family's Culinary Journey 2016/05/22 12:31:31 (permalink)
Thank you, Sir!
 
BUT...  This sentence...  "Place the chicken skin side down in the pan. Do not overcrowd. Brown the" 
 
I'm assuming it's missing chicken for X amount of time?
 
You braise the already fried chicken in a second pan in the oven?
 
I've never seen that and hope I'm reading it correctly.
 
Thank you!
#49
blizzardstormus
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Re: The Farmer's Kitchen Cookbook: One Family's Culinary Journey 2016/05/22 13:10:31 (permalink)
The pan frying is just for browning. The oven finishes the chicken. When we were frying up to 6 chickens (48 pieces), this method saved lots of time.
#50
ann peeples
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Re: The Farmer's Kitchen Cookbook: One Family's Culinary Journey 2016/05/22 18:11:23 (permalink)
Thanks for the recipe for the chicken! Will try it!
#51
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Re: The Farmer's Kitchen Cookbook: One Family's Culinary Journey 2017/09/01 08:52:44 (permalink)
In mid-August, Mariton, Cousin Johnny and I (plus ChiTownDiner for a couple of days) took a 10 day vacation through Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, North and South Dakota.  One of the highlights of the trip was sharing dinner with Charlene and Mark Johnson, who started this wonderful thread.
 
Our dinner was at the Redwood Steakhouse in tiny Anita, Iowa.  The inside is dark

and it has an old school, Wisconsin supper club atmosphere.  In other words, I loved it immediately.  The meal started with this relish tray

and in a separate side dish, pickled herring.  Man, did this bring back memories!  Being an old German, my dad was always eating pickled herring, sardines and we had similar relish trays all the time for big family meals.  Mariton was the only one who was unfamiliar with the relish tray concept.  No doubt that she approved, since she clearly ate the most of the five of us.
 
Even though this is a steak house, all five of us ordered pork instead.  After all, this Iowa, where pork is king!  Here is a shot of the beef/pork page of the menu

as Mariton's finger points to her choice, the Windsor Chop. 

This had a deep, smoky flavor and she thoroughly enjoyed it.  Unfortunately, she filled up so much on the relish tray, she could barely get halfway through it.  Everytime I took a bite of my own dish, I looked down to see more of her chop now on my plate.  And no, that is not a complaint.
 
I chose what Chris and Amy raved about in their review, the bacon wrapped pork fillet. 

This was incredibly juicy, with big porcine flavor.  Really good, crispy hashbrowns came on the side.  I can't 100% remember what everyone else had, but I think Charlene got the same as me and Mark and Johnny ordered the same dish.  Sorry, I am drawing a blank.  Maybe Mark can chime in here.
 
As great as the food was, the best part of the meal was the company.  Charlene and Mark are such interesting people and told us great stories of her years of nursing and together running a restaurant.  My favorite stories were of the presidential candidates campaigning through Iowa they encountered.  Mark said he was planning to getting back to finishing up the book and once published, I will be the first in line to get a copy.  Here is a group photo that our waitress snapped.

 
As if this wasn't enough, Charlene, who is one of the country's great pie bakers, made one of her famous sour cream raisin pies for us.  I did take a quick photo of it in the parking lot,

but you can see the aluminum foil has already removed part of the meringue.  Once we reached our hotel in Omaha, we settled into the dining area to dig in.  The lighting had a weird yellow tint, so the photos are abysmal, but you can still see the beautiful snow white meringue. 

Needless to say, the pie was just as good as I remembered and we can't thank Charlene enough for making this for us.
 
post edited by buffetbuster - 2017/09/01 09:42:27
#52
ChiTownDiner
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Re: The Farmer's Kitchen Cookbook: One Family's Culinary Journey 2017/09/01 09:25:54 (permalink)
That's the stuff memories are made of!   Great stuff!!!   Would love a slice right now with my coffee!
#53
wanderingjew
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Re: The Farmer's Kitchen Cookbook: One Family's Culinary Journey 2017/09/01 09:57:01 (permalink)
buffetbuster
 
Thanks for reporting on your visit to the Redwood and most importantly on sharing your meal with Blizzardstormus and his mom, Charlene. Two wonderful people.
 
That Windsor chop and filet  look superb and we all know that Charlene's sour cream raisin pie is the best around.

We will be in Iowa in three weeks and again next year. I wish we would have time to spend in Western Iowa but we won't especially this year since we'll be on such a tight schedule . Hopefully detours and diversions can change for next year.
#54
buffetbuster
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Re: The Farmer's Kitchen Cookbook: One Family's Culinary Journey 2017/09/01 10:20:03 (permalink)
wanderingjew
buffetbuster
 
Thanks for reporting on your visit to the Redwood and most importantly on sharing your meal with Blizzardstormus and his mom, Charlene. Two wonderful people.

Amen to that!!!


#55
ScreamingChicken
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Re: The Farmer's Kitchen Cookbook: One Family's Culinary Journey 2017/09/01 13:51:36 (permalink)
buffetbuster
as Mariton's finger points to her choice, the Windsor Chop. 


I'm not familiar with the "Windsor chop" appellation so I had to do a little net-scrounging to learn it's cut from the loin.  Was this version semi-boneless?
 
When I was growing up, if I'd ever filled up on the relish tray instead of the bread basket I think my parents would've been thrilled.
#56
blizzardstormus
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Re: The Farmer's Kitchen Cookbook: One Family's Culinary Journey 2017/09/12 14:02:56 (permalink)
Both Mom and I had an incredible time at the Redwoods with all of you. I know I ordered the jalapeno pork special and it was incredibly tender and juicy.
#57
Greymo
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Re: The Farmer's Kitchen Cookbook: One Family's Culinary Journey 2017/09/12 20:05:41 (permalink)
How is your book coming along?
#58
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