Where’s The Egg?

December 25th, 2011

It’s in the nog! That is if you make it yourself. The FDA classifies Eggnog as “a milk product consisting of a mixture of milk or milk products of at least 6.0 percent butterfat, at least 1.0 percent egg yolk solids, sweetener, and flavoring. Emulsifier and not over 0.5 percent stabilizer may be add.” That’s not real eggnog!

Holiday Cheers!

It has been a while since we have posted a recipe on the blog. It has been even longer since we posted a recipe for an adult beverage. So, in honor of the holiday season and because we are drinking it, right now, here is a Happy Holiday Hobo Brew. Many call it eggnog. We do too.

Eggnog Ingredients

1/2 gallon milk
8 eggs*
1 cup sugar
4 tsp vanilla
1 tsp nutmeg
Rum to taste
dash of cinnamon

Step 1. Buy a gallon of milk. Drink lots of White Russians until you only have half of your gallon of milk left.
Step 2. Combine eggs, sugar, and spices. Whip until the mixture is no longer runny – ie. homogenized. In our off-grid home, this is done with a whisk and can take around five minutes. If you have a magic bullet or mixer, it will only take a couple of seconds.
Step 3. Pour egg mixture into 1 gallon container containing only eight cups (half of a gallon) of milk. Shake well.
Step 4. Add rum (spiced rum if you aren’t a hobo) until mixture is combustible or to desired taste.
Step 5. Add a dash of ground cinnamon.

Enjoy!

We hope this recipe keeps you nice and warm during your holidays. Best wishes to all of you. Love one another. Cheers!

* Since we are all adults, and it should be obvious, I wasn’t going to mention it, but for the sake of safety (and lawyers)… If you make and consume this drink, you will be ingesting raw eggs. If the risk of samonella concerns you, you may want to use pasteurized eggs or another recipe.

Who says eating cheap is eating crap?

December 6th, 2009

One of the biggest adjustments for me to make when we started this trip was cooking at home versus eating out every day. Jenn has risen to the occasion and made some wonderful meals, but I still had a craving for Thai food, which I used to eat several times a week. Thanks to Tony and Caro up in the Seattle Bay area, I have finally learned to make a passable curry! I’ve been making it off and on since before we headed to Alaska; and for the most part, I think I’ve got it down pat.

The first thing to do, is go to an Asian food store and pickup red curry paste. Yes, I know you can occasionally find curry paste in your chain supermarkets, but you can actually get a large enough container to make several dozen meals for the same price as the tiny one meal container you might find in a chain supermarket.  In fact, the last curry paste I bought was in the neighborhood of $6 for a 35 ounce container. I don’t recall off the top of my head what the tiny containers you might find in supermarkets are, but I’d guess they’re under 2 ounces for a similar price. We hit an absolute dearth of Asian food stores in Alaska and thankfully couldn’t find the tiny containers either or I’m not sure I’d be able to live with myself.

Okay, that’s the big secret. I don’t have an actual curry paste recipe as that’s way more advanced than I want to be in the kitchen. Once you’ve got the obscure shopping out of the way, it’s one of the easiest meals you can make and still look fancy. As long as you’re in the Asian food store anyway, you might as well grab some coconut milk and whatever you like in your stir fry. Often the prices there are better than chain supermarkets anyway.

You can make stir fry, right? If so, curry is a breeze. Just make stir fry anyway you like it (but without soy or teriyaki sauce!). Depending on what we have on hand, I will use chicken or pork, broccoli, carrots, green pepper, onion, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, baby corn and bean sprouts. I recommend adding things like baby corn, mushrooms, bean sprouts and bamboo shoots last in order to keep from overcooking them. Once you’re done with the stir fry, set it aside and start on the curry sauce.

My personal method is to add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to the pan over low heat and squirt out some curry paste into the oil. How much is up to you. I tend to like it fairly spicy so add perhaps 2-3 teaspoons. Next, add in coconut milk. Anywhere from half a can to a whole can for two people will work – depending on how hungry you are and how ‘soupy’ you like your curry. Getting the right amount of curry paste and coconut milk may take a little trial and error, but you can always add more paste if it’s not spicy enough and more coconut milk if it’s too spicy.

The next bits are optional, but I’ll just tell you the way I do things. If you want a more panang style curry, you can stop right here.  For a sweeter curry, add about a tablespoon of sugar and stir it in. For an even more diverse mix of flavors, I usually add some small pineapple chunks along with pineapple juice. Depending on what you’ve added to your stir fry, you may or may not need to add a little salt. Bean sprouts definitely negate the need for extra salt. Just let this simmer and cook to your own taste. Remember that the flavor will be a bit diluted by your stir fry and rice.

Once you’re happy with the curry sauce, toss your stir fry in and let it simmer for a few minutes. That’s pretty much all there is to it. Serve over rice. We just use white rice, but get as fancy as you want.

A few family recipes

November 27th, 2008

This will probably be our last week in Tennessee before we head out for warmer climes sometime next week. Jenn’s aunt and uncle have invited us to Thanksgiving dinner, and there’s no way we can refuse, considering the spread they put out. In the spirit of traditional Thanksgivings, we figured we’d share a few more homemade recipes: my grandmother’s chocolate pie recipe and Jenn’s uncle’s recipe for limoncello.

Grandma’s Chocolate Pie

  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 6 teaspoons of cocoa
  • 1/2 cup of corn starch
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 cups of milk
  • 1 stick of butter (or margarine if you insist)
  • dash of salt
  • 1 8 ounce container of Cool Whip (thawed)
  • 2 baked pie crusts
  • Grab a medium sized pot and toss in everything but the pie crusts (duh!), Cool Whip and butter. Set your stove to medium or medium high heat and begin mixing it together. Once the mixture seems to be warming up a bit, toss the stick of butter in and keep stirring. You’re going to do a lot of stirring. Basically, you want to keep stirring until it achieves the consistency of a thick pudding. I recommend a whisk for this… or even a small hand mixer if you can keep it from splashing all over.

    Once the mixture thickens up, remove it from heat and pour into a couple of pie shells. Personally, I like Oreo or graham cracker pie crusts, but it’s pretty hard to ruin this pie by picking the wrong crust. Next, I like to leave the pies sitting out under a paper towel so that the steam doesn’t form condensation and make the crust soggy. About an hour should do it. Once they’ve cooled a bit, toss them in the fridge or freezer to cool further. Before serving, cover them with Cool Whip and grab your own fork and plate so as to be sure of getting a slice.

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    La Dolce Vita

    November 22nd, 2008

    As we make our way south and west to avoid the bitter cold, Johnny and I are stopping at places we wont be seeing for a long time. We have stopped at GSP, at Winchester, VA, and now we are sitting at my parent’s place. Its our familiar last stop before we hit the great unknown again.

    While we are here, we have been doing some caving. Our good friend David visited us and we headed over to Camp’s Gulf Cave. We had a great adventure. Either Johnny or myself will post about it as soon as we get the pictures . Hopefully he, Pam and Chaos will join us for some more caving fun before we head off once again. We are surely going to miss them when we leave this side of the country. Its not often that you find good people who are great company and are willing to meet up in various places to do the things you like to do. We really lucked out when we met them. We would have probably left the east coast sooner if our paths had never crossed.

    For some reason, when I get to my parent’s place, I turn even more domestic than usual. Tonight, for instance, I decided to make a batch of pasta. It was my first time, and I would have to say it turned out well. While it smelled just like the stuff in the box, it wasn’t quite like it. The best way to describe it would be to say that it was much more hearty – not so much thicker, but more… wholesome. I have to say that I prefer it to the boxed stuff. Not only is it more hearty, it is better tasting and I know exactly what is in it. Which is a major plus for me. I hate turning over a container and seeing 3425437 ingredients in an item that I know should only have 5. Not only that, but now I know that I can make it, too. Continue Reading »

    Fun with the Folks. part 1: Food, food, and more food

    August 18th, 2008

    Fun with the Folks. Part 1:Food, food, and more food

    Before we headed to Karst-O-Rama, yet after our time in Gatlinburg, we spent a good deal of time hanging out at my parents place in Tennessee. We had only planned on spending a few days there, but those few days turned into a month. I was having such a great time that the days were passing as quickly as hours. If it had not been for Wormfest, Johnny would probably still be trying to think of a gentle way to coax me out of my parent’s yard.

    Its been a long time since I have been able to spend more than a couple days with my parents. We have lived pretty far apart for the last 10 years. The first part of that was because I was getting my career together in a far away city, then they semi-retired and started traveling around. They did end up settling down and getting a home base, but they can’t seem to stay there for more than 2 months at a time. So, the majority of the time we saw each other was a quick 3 day weekend once or twice a year and Christmas every other year. That’s just not enough!

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