Keeping precious memories of family food traditions becomes more important as family members age. Sometimes the elder members of a family are gone before we remember to ask for that excellent lemon pie recipe or the secret ingredient for beef bourguignon. Continue reading
Having dinner out at a restaurant is always a nice treat in our household. Dining out gets me away from the kitchen, and offers more meal choices than I can accommodate in one evening. My perspective is that dining out gives everyone the sense of being aristocrats, with the hired help attending to every need, including washing the dishes. That’s sometimes worth the price of admission.
It’s sad that family cookbooks are often discarded and end up at rummage sales. I see them all the time, forlorn and unwanted by most people shopping at rummage sales. Invariably, family cookbooks donated to a rummage sale will end up on the pile of items that no one wants, to be thrown away or donated again to a larger organization that will dispose of the family cookbook along with other paper waste sold by the pound. Continue reading
There is nothing as disappointing as having your family cookbook completed, printed, bound, and distributed to all your family members, and then finding a blaring typographical error on the first page. Your confidence can be shattered from such an experience. Continue reading
All the primary election news reminds me of the time President George Bush the Elder made a snide comment about a certain green vegetable that he did not — would not — eat. The resulting fluff in the media was nothing short of a scandal as I recall. The broccoli lobby and every broccoli farmer in America claimed insult. Continue reading
The key to a family cookbook is flexibility. You want flexibility to make changes in the family cookbook whenever family members take a liking to a new food, or to delete recipes that no longer suit the family diet or desires. Continue reading
“Can’t be,” I denied. “I checked this morning, and I picked every one.”
“Well, you missed this zucchini several days ago. It’s a blimp.” Continue reading
Last Labor Day, I went to a little soiree that featured some interesting eats. One of the interesting eats was potato chips made in the microwave. Wow, I thought, that sounds like a great way to take the labor out of Labor Day potato chip making, and also have some very fresh, tasty potato chips.
The potato chips were still warm at the Labor Day party, meaning they had just been made in small batches. I hunted out the hostess, who provided very simple instructions on how to make microwave potato chips.
Here is what she told me about how to make microwave potato chips:
1. Scrub potatoes and let dry. Peel if desired. Slice potatoes paper thin using a mandolin, a slicing slot on a four-sided cheese grater, a food processor fitted with a slicing blade, or a very sharp knife.
2. Next step in making microwave potato chips, clean the microwave’s rotating glass turntable, and spray it with vegetable oil spray (such as Pam, any flavor). Place the very thin slices of potato all over the turntable, spacing them neatly. (If your microwave oven turntable is not glass, use a large microwave-proof ceramic or glass plate instead). Spray the potato slices with another shot of vegetable spray, and then quickly sprinkle salt and any dry spice you prefer on the potato slices.
3. Microwave the potato slices approximately 5 minutes, watching carefully so the potato chips don’t burn (length of time will depend on your microwave’s wattage). If the potato chips are not golden brown and crisp at 5 minutes, try adding 30 seconds at a time to the cooking period, until you know what works for your microwave. (Hint: thicker cut potatoes will require longer cooking times.)
Several kitchen gadget companies have a gadget/device for making microwave potato chips (that resembles an old-fashioned film slide carousel). If you want to buy one, know that the microwave potato chip maker is round with slots to stand the thinly sliced potatoes for microwaving. Given my distaste for most kitchen gadgets, the glass turntable method seems just fine.
It doesn’t take long to make microwave potato chips. You can also make apple chips, sweet potato chips, carrot chips, even yam chips using the microwave this way. I like the fact that I don’t need anything fancy to make homemade potato chips, and the fat and oil is toned down significantly. And, that’s always a good thing to talk about in your family cookbook.