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captainnemo_gw

1st Annual RP Potluck DInner

captainnemo
18 years ago

Hello friends and welcome to the First Annual RP Potluck Dinner. It all started when a few of us didn't get any books for Christmas. We decided to "give" each other $30 gift certificates for books and to share what we bought. Later, the idea of "bringing" food came up and it became a potluck dinner to share a regional or family favorite. The date was set for today, January 10th. So come one, come all. Welcome to the party.

Thanks for the gift certificate, friends. I bought three books with it at a local book outlet.

Louisa May Alcott - Work

----The story of a woman's seach for a meaningful life and examines women's independence and the goals woman can aspire in the 1800's. If you've never read beyond Little Women, I'd encourage you to try a "grown-up" Alcott.

Henry James - The Ghost Stories of Henry James

----Includes all ten of his ghostly works including The Turn of the Screw which I've never read.

Kazuo Ishiguro - When We Were Orphans

For my potluck picks, I've chosen a regional favorite, chicken pot pie, and a dessert, black magic cake, which is a moist yummy chocolate cake made with a bit of coffee.

I'm getting hungry. Maybe we need a thread for recipes, too?

Who's next?

PAM

Comments (150)

  • dynomutt
    18 years ago

    Thanks woodnymph2! I considered it but it requires effort so ..... ;-)

  • veer
    18 years ago

    Will someone from North America please tell me what is French Toast? And may I have a simple receipe/method for it. Many thanks in advance.

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  • dynomutt
    18 years ago

    Vee --

    Someone will probably correct me on this but, to me, French toast is basically slabs of bread that have been dipped in a milk/egg batter and then lightly fried. It can be served with syrup (some people use pancake syrup) or it can be served sprinkled with powdered sugar.

    Here's a simple recipe for it.

    French Toast Recipe

    * 8 slices of bread
    * 2 eggs
    * 1 cup milk
    * 1/4 cup flour
    * fat or butter
    * powdered sugar

    Mix together eggs, milk and flour and pass through a strainer. Dip slices of bread into the mixture and fry in the fat or butter on both sides in a frying pan. Before serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar.

    This recipe uses flour but, when I do it, I don't use flour. Here's another simple recipe for French toast :

    French Toast Recipe

    * 12 slices bread,1/2 inch thick
    * 3 eggs
    * 2 cups milk
    * 1/2 teaspoon salt
    * Powdered sugar

    Beat the eggs, add the milk and salt. Dip slices of bread into this mixture and sauté in a little hot fat until a delicate brown. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve hot.

    Here's a third recipe for French toast -- this one adds the pancake syrup in the batter.

    French Toast

    Ingredients

    * 12 slices white bread cut about one-fourth inch thick
    * 2 eggs
    * 1 tablespoon Karo
    * 1 pint milk
    * 1/8 teaspoon salt
    * Mazola

    Beat the eggs, add the milk, Karo and salt. Dip the bread in this batter, one slice at a time, drain a moment and fry in sufficient Mazola to keep from sticking. Turn only once. Serve immediately as the main dish, with broiled bacon, or as a breakfast, luncheon or supper dish with Karo, or fruit syrup.

  • mummsie
    18 years ago

    FRENCH TOAST (Canadian Style)
    4 large eggs
    3/4 cup half and half cream or milk
    1/4 cup orange juice
    1 tablespoon grated orange peel, optional
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    6-8 3/4-inch-thick French bread slices or brioche or raisin bread

    4 tablespoons(1/2 stick) butter
    Powdered sugar
    Warm maple syrup

    Whisk first 5 ingredients to blend in medium bowl. Dip each bread slice into egg mixture and arrange in 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Pour remaining egg mixture evenly over bread. Let stand until egg mixture is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add 4 bread slices to skillet and sauté until cooked through and brown, about 3 minutes per side. Place on baking sheet in oven to keep warm. Repeat cooking with remaining 2 tablespoons butter and 4 bread slices. Transfer French toast to 4 plates. Sift powdered sugar over. Serve with maple syrup and Canadian bacon.

    Serves 4....maybe ;-)

  • mummsie
    18 years ago

    Dynomutt, We posted at the same time... what the devil is Karo? Corn syrup, perhaps?

  • dynomutt
    18 years ago

    Yup -- Karo is a brand of corn syrup. Check out their link below.

    Oh, and for those reading this ....... I would highly suggest maple syrup over Karo on French toast!

    Here is a link that might be useful: Karo home page

  • ccrdmrbks
    18 years ago

    I throw a little vanilla and cinnamon into the dipping eggy mixture. French Toast is also good with chopped pecans-I sprinkle them on after I have the bread in the pan-they sort of stick to the batter, and the ones that don't can just be scooped out and put back on top when serving.
    Truly decandent French Toast served in New Orleans:
    standard batter as above with cinnamon, brown sugar added (and I think a little orange liquer)
    thick slices of day-old challa bread or another heavy, eggy bread
    cook as above
    top with butter whipped with maple and a generous dollop of whipped cream.
    Remain seated for several hours as the sugar recedes from your bloodstream.

  • mummsie
    18 years ago

    Hmmmmm
    I will insist on maple syrup over Karo on French toast!

    I've never seen Karo in Ontario but was intrigued to read that the famous Dionne quintuplets were once associated with the product. Tks for the link.

  • woodnymph2_gw
    18 years ago

    Better have a cardiologist on stand-by. This is heart attack food. Yummmm! ;-)

  • ccrdmrbks
    18 years ago

    add a few links of apple sausage for heaven on a plate!

  • cindydavid4
    18 years ago

    Wait a minute - there were books left over? Where?...

    The last few times we were in London we stayed on the Heath. There are some wonderful Bed and Breakfasts there for less than the price of a closer hotel. Yeah, its a 15 minutes tube ride into the city, but for us it was worth it. However, if you are short on time, or first visit, getting closer is a good idea.

    >I throw a little vanilla and cinnamon into the dipping eggy mixture.

    Yep, not only tastes delicious but you end up not needing quite so much syrup (says the gal who's watching her weight...)

    >thick slices of day-old challa bread or another heavy, eggy bread

    One of my favorite High Holiday meals is French Toast using the round raisin challa. Oh my - heaven.

  • martin_z
    18 years ago

    What you lot call French Toast was one of my staples at uni - one egg, a bit of milk, black pepper and two slices of bread cut into quarters makes quite a reasonable lunch.

    We used to call it Eggy Bread or sometimes - for reasons which escape me now - Angels on Horseback.

  • ccrdmrbks
    18 years ago

    I thought Angels on Horseback involved oysters and bacon

  • veer
    18 years ago

    Thank you for all the French Toast info. Maple syrup is not very easy to buy over here, not corn syrup but we do have 'Golden Syrup' and treacle. Nor have we taken to eating bacon with sweet things. I always remember US/Canadian bacon as being very crisp; stab it with a fork and the shards can fly round the table. Is this still the case?
    The average supermarket bacon in the UK produces a white slime when cooked, from the 'preservatives'. It is worth paying extra to buy the 'old fashioned' stuff.
    A 'Full English Breakfast' or Welsh or Scottish or the most cholesterol-laden of them all the 'Ulster Fry' are often served all day at 'caffs' and motorway service stations.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Ask for the 'The Full English'

  • cindydavid4
    18 years ago

    Served at bed and breakfasts as well. We made that mistake on our first trip there - thought eating a 'good' breakfast for the day would save us money eating other times. In a few days, we were making ourselves sick. Now we always ask for just some cereal or fruit and tea, and they are always eager to comply. But we shiver when we see folks downing those grease laden things

  • Chris_in_the_Valley
    18 years ago

    Cece, I've never heard of apple sausage. Sounds intriguing.

    Bacon and eggs girl here, given my choice. Alas, I give myself that choice but rarely.

  • Kath
    18 years ago

    I love a full cooked breakfast, but I was surprised how often in the UK we were offered a choice of juice or cereal. To me, those two are completely different and I usually have both. I am one of those who can eat anything at any time for brekkie - I can get up at 4am to catch a plane and eat, or have a brunch on the weekend.
    So I'll take bacon, eggs, sausage, tomato, grilled mushrooms, baked beans, then toast and jam, and coffee, thanks!

  • anyanka
    18 years ago

    Much as I love the full English breakfast as described by Astrokath, and much as I enjoyed the breakfasts in San Francisco (Hash Browns, Corned Beef Hash, Fried Egg and enough coffee to make me twitch for a week) - today I will opt for the German breakfast: Freshly baked bread rolls - I'll have the rye and sunflower seed one, or the multigrain triangle with carrot - with a strong cheese or cold meat or smoked salmon. Cup of Earl or Lady Grey with it, which is not German at all...

  • veer
    18 years ago

    Kath, I notice you are a jam with toast brekkie eater.
    We go if for marmalade in this household and make our own three-fruit (orange, g'fruit, lemon) thick-cut at this time of year. The Seville orange season only lasts a very few weeks but the taste makes it worth the effort and a jar makes a nice gift.
    Our US cousins bring honey from their own hives, although this winter hives and bees have been eaten by a bear! I have been given a splendid pot of Provençal lavender honey containing a nutritious mix of wax, the odd wing and leg; all adding to the flavour.
    Anyanka I used to enjoy the cherry jam served with breakfast rolls in Austria and Switzerland.

  • Chris_in_the_Valley
    18 years ago

    Twas a period in my life where I liked to start the day watching the sun rise on the beach with a split of champagne, a croissant, strawberries, and a hunk of cheese. Mostly though, my breakfast was peanut butter crackers and a diet coke, with an occasional banana. Oatmeal has been much better for me.

  • ccrdmrbks
    18 years ago

    ahhh-apple sausage. made to a "proprietary recipe" at the store where I shop-an old-fashioned butcher counter within a big supermarket. They'll trim or butterfly or filet and talk recipes and prep. suggestions-the apple sausage is a sweet pork sausage with bits of apple, and cinnamon (the way to my heart) and other spices. It's a "tube" sausage versus links or bulk-I slice it thin and either fry or broil it up in the winter-grill in the other seasons. It's yummy-but, like Chris, it is a pleasure seldom sampled.
    My perfect breakfast would also be huge-scrambled eggs with cheese,(fluffy and dry, please-no goop) apple sausage, french toast with sugar and cinnamon, and gallons of Scottish Breakfast tea. Good, dark, strong stuff, taken black-no sugar or milk.

  • twobigdogs
    18 years ago

    Eggs are fine, as long as they are not soft-boiled in a cup. Bacon - very crisp, almost burnt is great. Waffles are great. See a pattern? The underlying rule is that I LOVE a big breakfast...as long as I am not the one cleaning up. I'll cook it all, but I just can't face all of those dishes in the morning. I am a morning person and I'd love to have a huge breakfast at or before 7 am. But a big pile of dishes at 7:30 is not so appealing. So I usually have a bowl of Cheerios and three or four cups of coffee. My typical day follows this "rule": Coffee 'til lunch, tea 'til dinner with about a gallon of water in there from dawn 'til bedtime, too.

    PAM

  • dynomutt
    18 years ago

    I also love a nice, full breakfast with eggs, sausages (either sausage links or those sausage patties), slabs of toast, coffee, and a carafe of orange (or apple) juice. Oh, and let's not forget hash browns or home fries!

    ccrdmrbks -- that is almost my perfect (Western) breakfast as well. I'd want some onions in the scrambled eggs to keep the cheese company and some coffee over tea.

    But ...... for a real treat, I go to dim sum for brunch. There's nothing like congee, siu mai, har gow, and spicy squid for brunch. Ok, now I'm getting hungry ........

    Then there's the breakfast that I used to have whenever I used to stay with my grandparents -- dry, garlic fried rice with scrambled eggs, fried pork rinds, and some local sausage. Oh, and my grandmother's fresh roasted and ground coffee straight from the vine. Either that or the homemade chocolate she used to make straight from the cacao seeds!

  • woodnymph2_gw
    18 years ago

    Re: the "full English breakfast, etc.". I never will forget my shock at having this served in my first B & B in Scotland. Enough to feel four field hands. Here I was, coming from Paris, where at most, breakfast consisted of a cafe au lait, a croissant, and if you are lucky, some yoghurt or a piece of fruit. (This was in the Sixties).The only other time I was ever confronted with such huge meals was upon visiting the "Pennyslvania Dutch" country in the US.

    Re: jam and jelly -- anyone ever tried or made violet jelly? It is surprisingly good and a lovely lavender color.

  • Kath
    18 years ago

    Vee, I'm quite partial to a spot of marmalade, too. My DH makes both marmalade, with our oranges, and jam with our blackberries and youngberries, and occasionally raspberries, if I don't eat them all first *g*.
    And I would never have it with a cooked breakfast, but I sometimes have Vegemite on my toast too - but you really have to be born in Australia to eat that stuff *VBG*

  • janalyn
    18 years ago

    I agree about the Vegemite. I think a genetic mutation involving the taste buds occurs in Australia and that's why they are the only people on the planet who like the stuff. Either that, or they just enjoy the amusement of seeing visitors to their country gag and turn green. Even bigger *VBG

  • cindydavid4
    18 years ago

    >Freshly baked bread rolls - I'll have the rye and sunflower seed one, or the multigrain triangle with carrot - with a strong cheese or cold meat or smoked salmon. Cup of Earl or Lady Grey with it, which is not German at all...

    Oh this does sound lovely.

    I remember as a child reading Heide, and loving the description of the first breakfast Grandpa made for her - thick slice of bread with butter, fresh milk, strong cheese. Add a piece or two of fruit to that and some good tea, and that will do me just fine (as long is its good bread of course - the crusty kind with soft tasty middle)

  • veer
    18 years ago

    Vegemite is the same as the UK's Marmite. Babies are weaned on the stuff over here and there is nothing nicer than a watercress and Marmite (spread thinly) sandwich.

    I have visions of cece's tea providers dressed in their MacOrangePekoeTip tartan kilts clinging to the braeside on Ben Achtermuchty Tea Garden, drenched to their sporrans in Scotch mist, picking the first leaves from the bushes while singing wild Highland dirges as the loan piper plays the lament 'Perfidious Albion May God Rot Their Kidneys'

  • ccrdmrbks
    18 years ago

    well of course. Brodie's has imbedded a recorded chip in the tin so that wheever you open it you can hear the wail of the pipes.

    I actually do order it by the case from Scotland through a "British Items for Ex-Pats who Miss Home" sort of place...my DH, who drinks no hot beverage of any sort, thinks I'm crazy-"why is that any better than the stuff at the grocery store?" but he indulges me. It tastes different!

  • annpan
    18 years ago

    Veer, do you mean that Vegemite and Marmite are the same? I would disagree with that. The reason that a lot of people cannot enjoy Vegemite is because they put it on too thickly, it should be spread very sparingly or it does taste horrible.
    I read that the London police raided a shop that sold Vegemite near Australia House, having noticed how many Aussies went there for it and thought it must contain an illegal substance. This could be an urban myth!
    I was able to get maple syrup in Sainsbury and Tesco when I lived in the UK, it was with the ice cream toppings. Please don't substitute Golden Syrup on pancakes or waffles but on Spotted Dick - Yummy!

  • Kath
    18 years ago

    Vee, most Australians think that although Marmite is similar, it isn't quite the same. My mother used to give me Vegemite and celery or Vegemite and walnut sandwiches when I was a child, and both are very nice.
    The story goes that Vegemite was first called Parwill - Ma-might but Pa-will, geddit??
    annpan, my FIL tends to put Vegemite on his toast first, then consider what else to put on. I hasten to add he only uses savoury things like cheese or tomato, not jam! And I agree with you that a small smear is all that is necessary, and I think many newcomers spread it on like peanut paste.

  • cindydavid4
    18 years ago

    I know thats the English word for peanut butter, but every time I see it, I think of that paste we used to use in art projects at school. I can still smell the stuff...

    Cindy

  • Kath
    18 years ago

    Ah, well most of Australia now says peanut butter, but I steadfastly refuse to join in the Americanisation of our language (no offense to North Americans, it's just that we have perfectly good words of our own and have no need to copy yours).
    And to me, butter is the yellow stuff made from milk *g*.

    On the other hand, peanuts aren't nuts at all, are they? *VBEG*

  • veer
    18 years ago

    Cindy and Kath, in the UK we always call it peanut butter.
    This is probably because it is an American import so we just know it by what is written on the label. Obviously it is not as popular as in the US and I don't think anyone adds jelly (which we call jam) to it.
    I take your point about Marmite and V'mite. We would call their differences as near damn is to swearing.
    'Paste' usually refers to a sort of fish/meat well ground-up substance that is sold in small jars. We used to spread it on bread at tea-time.
    The site below is less about Shippams Paste and more about Chichester from whence the delicacy originates.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Shippams Paste

  • Chris_in_the_Valley
    18 years ago

    Peanut butter and banana sandwiches are popular. I think it may be a weird family thing (I suspect I had a beloved uncle, now gone, who used to see what bizarre combos he could get 5-year-old me to eat. Does anyone else ever eat mustard on fried eggs?) but I love peanut butter with dill pickles.

    BTW, does anyone else's spell-check want to correct the Dinner in the Subject line to Dinner, the self-same spelling?

  • cindydavid4
    18 years ago

    >I steadfastly refuse to join in the Americanisation of our language (no offense to North Americans, it's just that we have perfectly good words of our own and have no need to copy yours).

    Believe me, I so agree with you and am not offended in the least. One of the less pleasant parts about traveling overseas is the increasing encroachment (sp) of the American culture. Everywhere is Starbucks, McD's, Pizza Hut, and everywhere you hear the same American music. I live just north of the border, and I cringe whenever I hear Spanglish - the Spanish version of English words, when there are perfectly good Spanish words for the same. When I travel I want to explore another world, not just find another example of my own. Ah well

    I love p/b and bananas! On of my fav snacks is a banana boat - slice a banana lenght wise and put p/b on one half. Close the two halves and voila! I also eat p/b on apples and celery. Its one of the few times I will willingly eat fruits and veggies :)

  • ccrdmrbks
    18 years ago

    good, crunchy, natural (no sugar added) peanut butter is a staple in this house. On a sliced apple, it makes a great quick breakfast or pre-practice snack. My son existed for one whole childhood summer on fluffer-nutters packed in his camp lunchbox-graham crackers spread with peanut butter and marshmallow creme. (I can see the nutrition-savvy shuddering, but I wanted him to ,eat his lunch, so he got what he wanted to eat-it's not nutritious if they throw it away! He took grapes and a banana every day too-and he's now 6'1" and fitter than a fiddle)
    Slapped on freshly toasted english muffins, it melts a little into all the nooks and crannies. With apricot preserves sandwiched between two slices of multi-grain toast-again just out of the toaster and still warm-it transports me right back to my grandmother's kitchen table. And a big spoonful of peanut butter rolled in a cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips and then eaten like a popsicle is a wonderful indulgence. When I am on the run and need a quick pick-me-up, a big spoonful of peanut butter paired with a strong cup of tea can keep me going for hours. It is one of life's perfect foods. ;-)

  • sheriz6
    18 years ago

    All this breakfast and food talk is just delicious! I've been away for a week on vacation, truly not just languishing beneath that tree Vee so kindly propped me under several days ago. And given half a chance, yes, I'd LOVE a full English breakfast. When I first encountered one (this is back in the 80's while I was doing my Poverty Stricken Student's Tour with a friend who was attending Exeter) I wasn't quite sure what to do with the grilled tomatoes (not a breakfast staple here in New England) but the rest of it was delicious.

    We were completely spoiled food-wise while on vacation. For breakfast, we had a full week of various combinations of eggs, bacon, sausage, fresh fruit, vanilla waffles (with whipped cream, strawberries, and/or maple syrup), pastries, fresh squeezed orange juice and great coffee. *Sigh* Now it's back to oatmeal and a diet ...

    Cece, Emeril makes a brand of packaged apple sausage that my family loves (though I'm sure it's far inferior to a real butcher's sausage). Can't have it too often, but it is delicious as part of a mixed grill. I'm also a fan of the spoonful of peanutbutter, sometimes double-scooped with marshmallow fluff, sometimes rolled in ice cream sprinkles (aka "jimmies"). Makes a good summertime snack for the kids.

    Dynomutt, that stuffed French Toast recipe sounds fabulous. I think it would be great fun to make for a Valentine's day breakfast or brunch. And another virtual party for Valentine's Day sounds fun!

  • dynomutt
    18 years ago

    Sheriz6 --

    If you're making stuffed French toast for Valentine's Day breakfast, I'd suggest complementing it was mimosas instead of orange juice. Heck, why not go all out? ;-)

    (Oh, and garnish the French toast with sliced strawberries.)

  • sheriz6
    18 years ago

    Dynomutt, I just consulted my calendar, and as Valentine's Day falls on a Tuesday, I'll probably make this the following Saturday morning -- mimosas included (an excellent idea)!

  • annpan
    18 years ago

    Regarding Peanut Paste. I recall that it came to Britain after WW2. The Labour Government started a plan for growing peanuts called the Groundnuts Scheme. To make it sound familiar, the stuff was called a paste. It was not very palatable, a film of oil had to be beaten back into the jar each time it was opened. It was claggy, we hated it!
    I don't think it was like American Peanut Butter to judge by the reactions of any American unlucky enough to be offered it at tea-time.

  • annpan
    18 years ago

    Captainnemo....do you want to wrap up this party now? We can get the cleaning crew in and start to set up the St. Valentine's Day brunch.
    Perhaps you would like that held in a pleasant warm outdoor setting?
    White-painted iron tables and cushioned chairs, pink table mats, lots of Danish pastries and cool jugs of Buck's Fizz for a start?
    Bach's minuets on a harp even.....(NB Magda's thread)

  • veer
    18 years ago

    annpan, my virtual Valentine's Day bash could never be outdoors and warm . . not in an English February!
    I think I might feel the urge to arrive in some Romantic Costume, although if it is held 'al fresco' I shall keep the thermals on underneath.
    Anyone care to join me in a rummage through the 'dressing up' box?

  • twobigdogs
    18 years ago

    Friends have been coming and going the whole time. The party can continue as long as folks wish to linger. It's been wonderful and I'm hopeful that everyone enjoyed the evening.

    I'll see you again soon at the Valentine's Bash. What are the book requirements/suggestions for the evening?

    PAM

  • dynomutt
    18 years ago

    Veer -- I'll come in costume. I always did want to dress up as a pirate! Well, either that or as Casanova (minus the makeup).

    ;-)

    Or, if we're looking at the Regency period, I'll come as one of Napoleon's marshals. Maybe Bernadotte or, even better, Davout!

  • anyanka
    18 years ago

    Surely we should trade love stories on Valentine's Day!

  • dynomutt
    18 years ago

    Sorry anyanka but I don't have any of those. Not happy ones anyway. ;-)

  • cindydavid4
    18 years ago

    Oh what a lovely time I had! Excellent food, excellent company. Could have done without the pink flamingo fountains, but each to his own taste. So who is hosting the brunch? And do we bring sweets and treats only?

  • anyanka
    18 years ago

    Dynomutt, happy love stories are so dull... (didn't Tolstoy remark that all happy couples are alike?) Maybe we could celebrate Valentine's Day with relationship stories with a twist...

  • ccrdmrbks
    18 years ago

    Well, since I extended the original invite, I guess you're all coming over to my place. I'll supply the champagne and coffee and tea- I'm suggesting you bring your most decadant, gooey, fulfilling dessert-recipes please if it is one you make yourself, or a description if it is from your favorite dining emporium. Mucho calories required!
    Book-Something that touched your heart. Something that lingered after you closed the covers. A title that you remember with either secret-smile fondness or regret for something that ended before you were ready...like your first love. It needn't be a love story-just something that touched your softer emotions in some way.

    I'll expect you on February 14th! (but you can start shopping for your party togs now!)
    Cece

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