Saturday, November 20, 2010

She Looks Great In Blue and Orange!

Miss Maggie sure does look great in Blue and Orange. And in all fairness, I heard that VA Tech is playing for the SEC Chanpionship. We might even watch the game if it is on ESPN. I really do wish them luck!! And Thank-You Maggie for being such a great sport. Hugs to you Maggie.

Friday, September 10, 2010

3-D Computer Viewing of the African Bush!

All I can say is WOW! 3-D computer viewing of an African Safari in real time and in 3-D. Look at Wildearth 3-D TV. Think about that for a moment: 3-D and in real time. No transmission delay. No video taped safaris. And all from the South African bush. The technology is awesome! My Dad and Robin's Dad would be amazed. I was lucky enough this morning to view the very first broadcast. Yes, you do need those terrible looking glasses. But they are free! We got ours from Blockbuster. It was an exciting event. I just can't explain it much more. You really have to look for yourselves. You say, "The cost for all of this expensive computer technology?" NADA! No Cost! FREE! All you need is a computer and a good high speed ISP. Join in on the fun and the new frontier! Cheers!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Alley Tomatoes

Alley Tomatoes
There is an old song called Homegrown Tomatoes by Guy Clark. These tomatoes are some of our Alley Tomatoes and they are soooo good! But even more than that, there is a line - the chorus - in the song that says,

"Home grown tomatoes, home grown tomatoes,
What'd life be without home grown Tomatoes,
There's only two things that money can't buy:
True love and home grown tomatoes."

And just for kicks, here are the rest of the lyrics.

"1. There's nothin' in the world that I like better than
Bacon, lettuce and home grown tomatoes
Up in the morning and out in the garden
Pick you a ripe one, don't get a hard 'un.
Plant 'em in the springtime eat 'em in the summer,
All winter without 'em's a culinary bummer.
I forget all about the sweatin and the diggin
Every time I go out and pick me a big'un.


You can go out and eat'em that's for sure,
But there's nothin a home grown tomato won't cure
You can put em in a salad, put em in a stew
You can make your own, your very own tomato juice
You can eat em with eggs, you can eat em with gravy
You can eat em with beans, pinto or navy
Put em on the side, put em on the middle
Home grown tomatoes on a hot cake griddle


If I could change this life I lead,
You could call me Johnny Tomato Seed
I know what this country needs,
It's home grown tomatoes in every yard you see
When I die don't bury me
In a box in a cold dark cemetery
Out in the garden would be much better
Where I could be pushin up those home grown tomatoes.

Home grown tomatoes, home grown tomatoes,
What'd life be without home grown Tomatoes,
There's only two things that money can't buy:
True love and home grown tomatoes.

And I feel so very lucky! I've got both!!! And if you look hard, you can probably find a copy of the song. Neat song and so appropriate! Cheers.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Shrimp Stuffed Cod And Other Things

I finished getting the pork ready for Monday - Pulled Pork, Roasted Corn, Baked Beans and Potato Salad. Maybe one of MJ's cakes (Hope so!) So now it's dinnertime! Watching how the weather blew in from the west and kept Earl out to sea. That was the onslaught of BSU coming to VA Tech for the game(?) on Monday. And all 10000+ BSU fans headed to FedEx Field to show VA Tech how to yell for their team. Listen for, "BOISE ........ STATE ...... BOISE ...... STATE!"
But tonight, we need dinner. I remember a Lobster Stuffed Whitefish from somewhere. No lobster in our refrig. But we have Prawns! And we have Cod! So make a shrimp paste - shrimp, bread crumbs, lemon thyme, cream and salt and pepper. Run through a food processor until in paste form. Cut a pocket in the fish and stuff with the shrimp paste. Bake at 375 degrees F until browned on top. And a fresh and local vegetable saute - tomato, Zebra tomato, summer squash, kohlrabi, leek. Here was the menu:

Shrimp Stuffed Cod

Garden Fresh Sauteed Vegetables

Potato Salad

So the Little Guys can't play with the Big Guys, eh? Why not ask Oklahoma and TCU. See what they say. Cheers! And enjoy the Shrimp Stuffed Cod!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

BSU vs VA Tech

OK, all you non-BSUers! Here's what I'll do, and I think this is a safe bet!! If BSU looses (yea, right!) send me a VA Tech shirt and I will wear it here and have a photo taken with it on - on BSU campus!! However, if BSU wins, I will send you a BSU shirt and you must wear it and have a photo taken in an appropriate place. There are supposed to be about 4000 BSU fans making the trip, maybe more. Look for the KTVB-TV truck and stop in and say Hello. Cheers!! (I wear an XL shirt.)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Gabriel Blanket

I just received this from Shirley Duke, the lady who sent me the blanket as photographed below.

I just posted that the blanket was purchased at an auction some 30 years ago between Eurekia Springs, Arkansas and the national civil war park at Pea Ridge, Arkansas.
The location is in the NW corner of Arkansas.

Shirley Duke

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Interesting Blanket Discussion

Communications between my sister Peggy and her daughter Meg about the blanket. 22 July 2010. The blanket pictured here is the one I received from Shirley Duke.

Meg: I have a very very similar blanket from Coopersburg. Do you want me to take pictures of it?

Bob: Yes

Peggy: Yes, I know the one you have either came with them from Germany or was made here at their mill. How are you preserving it?

Meg: It’s in my hope chest.

Peggy: That's good. This should be interesting. My father's cousin, Gabe, lived in FL and he got a lot of things from my Aunts Marquerite and Sadie because he became, at one time, a Christian Scientist, which is the religion they were very active in. I wonder if this Shirley Duke bought the blanket at an auction in FL.

Henry Gabriel Blanket

(Left Click on these photos to enlarge)

Back in June, I received this note from one Shirley Duke who lives in Florida. She sent me a blanket made by H. Gabriel of Millersville, Lehigh Co., PA. I am thinking seriously about contacting the History Detectives (PBS) to see if it is real and then maybe some history behind the blanket. Ms Duke said she will send some genealogy information at a later date, per her note. Here are two photos of the blanket. Cheers!

The "end plate". The blanket has some deterioration issues and the edges are frayed. Some of the dyes (natural?) are fading, especially the red and yellow, which would be expected.

The design which repeats throughout the blanket. The blanket size would fit a single size bed and appears to be wool.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Father's Day Weekend 2010

Actually, this lasted from the Saturday before Father's Day until Tuesday after Father's Day. Wow! Just great! And Robin gave me an online course, Bird Biology, from Cornell Lab of Ornithology which will really be fun to do. In the meantime, here are some photos from the weekend! Remember to watch these photos in Full Screen mode. Cheers.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Father's Day 2010
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
This photo slideshow made with Smilebox

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Yummy eating later

From this weekend - Flounder and Blues caught.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Cinco de Mayo - Barbacoa Beef Cheek Tacos

Cinco de Mayo (5 May) is right around the corner. And what a better way to celebrate than to make some beef cheeks (barbacoa). Here is a recipe that is pretty easy to make, but it takes some time. Enjoy these. Cheers!

The marinade turns into a thick, rich almost mole-like sauce ... delicious!
Serves 6-8

Pickled Onions:
1 Red Onion
1 T Salt
2 T Sugar
1 Beet, cut into ¼
1 bunch Cilantro
⅓ c Water
⅔ c Cider Vinegar

Slice the onions very thinly and put them in a microwaveable container. Add the beet, cilantro, salt and sugar. Cover everything with the water/vinegar mix. Microwave for 1 minute, stir, and microwave for another minute. Cool, then refrigerate overnight. The beet will turn it a really pretty hot pink color.

Barbacoa Beef Cheeks:
2½ lbs Beef Cheeks
4 lg Garlic cloves
1 T unsweetened Cocoa powder
1 T Peanut Butter
1 Ancho Chili
1 t instant Espresso
2 T Olive Oil (plus 2 more for cooking)
1 T Honey
2 t Cumin
1 t smoked Sweet Paprika
1 bunch fresh Cilantro
1 t Salt
1 c Beef Stock
3 Limes
1 Avocado
Corn Tortillas
fresh Cilantro

Clean and trim the cheeks. Put them in a container that you can marinate them in.
Remove the stem and seeds from the ancho, cut it up into chunks and rehydrate in a little water (You can stick it in a ramekin and microwave for 30 seconds)

Peel and chop the garlic. Put everything from the garlic to the salt in the food processor (including the water from the chili) and blend into a paste. Toss the paste with the cheeks and marinate for several hours or better yet over night.

When it is time to cook, heat the oven to 275ºF, and heat 2 T olive oil in a Dutch oven. Brown the cheeks on both sides. Use the stock to rinse the rest of the marinade into the Dutch oven, then squeeze the juice of 3 limes in.

Bake at 275ºF for 3½ hours - turn the cheeks over once or twice while they cook and if the liquid dries up add a bit more stock.

When the cheeks are fall-apart tender, take the pan out of the oven. Using 2 forks, pull the meat apart in the pan so that it mixes in with all of that fatty juicy goodness.

To serve - heat 2 tortillas. Fill with barbacoa (beef cheeks), a slice of avocado, some of pickled onions and fresh cilantro. Serve and enjoy!!! Join us on Facebook in the group Here's What's Cookin!


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Asparagus Soup with Lemon-Herb Crème Fraîche

When you make a mistake, there are two routes you can take: (1) Ignore it or (2) Correct it. I choose to correct the mistake. So it is with the Asparagus Soup with Lemon Herb Crème Fraîche. The first time I made it I really messed it up. This time (see photo) it is much, much better. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the way Debbie made it (The Buzz). I just changed it somewhat. For instance, I used leeks along with some onion. And I also added some herbs while the soup was cooking. Look at the link above for a printable copy. But for your browsing interest, here is the recipe. Cheers!

Asparagus Soup with Lemon Herb Crème Fraîche

Author: Bob and Robin Young
Source: The Buzz and Food and Wine
Web Page: Rockin' R's Web Page, Boise Foodie Guild Blog

Comments: This is a different and an awesome Asparagus Soup that we first had at the "Buzz" in Boise.
Degree of Difficulty: Moderately difficult
Servings: 6

½ c Crème Fraîche
1 T Parsley, chopped
3 t Chives, chopped
2 t Tarragon, chopped
1 t Lemon Zest, finely grated
1 t Lemon juice, fresh
Sea Salt and fresh ground Pepper
2 lbs medium Asparagus, tough ends discarded, tips reserved and stalks coarsely chopped
2 T Butter, unsalted
1 med Leek, white and green cut into rounds and then cut in half
¼ med Onion, finely chopped
1 qt Chicken stock
2 c Water

1). In a bowl, blend the Crème Fraîche with the parsley, 2 t of chives, 1 t of tarragon and the lemon zest and juice. Season with salt and pepper, then cover and refrigerate. In a small saucepan of boiling salted water, blanch the asparagus tips for 1 minute; drain and ice down. Transfer to a plate.

2). Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 4 minutes. Add the stock and water and bring to a boil. Add the chopped asparagus and season with 1½ teaspoons of salt and a few grindings of pepper. Add the remaining tarragon and chives. Boil over moderately high heat until the asparagus are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.

3). Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender and pour it into a clean saucepan. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over moderate heat. Use an immersion blender and puree the soup until smooth and creamy. Place about 4 or 5 asparagus tips in a warmed bowl and ladle the soup into shallow bowls. Top with large dollops of the Lemon-Herb Crème Fraîche, some cut chives and serve.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Boise Peregrine Falcons

Here is a sequence of photos in about an 8 minute time frame. These photos were all gathered 21 April 2010 at the times noted. Cheers!

21 April 2010: 1032 MDT - Male watches the three eggs. Female is out exercising.

1034 MDT - The three eggs. The 3rd was laid between 0830 and 0900 MDT this morning.

1037 - Female is back and on the eggs.

1040 MDT - Female and her clutch of eggs.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Biking Along The Greenbelt in Boise

83ºF, 34% RH and winds E@15. A beautiful day for a 12.721 mile bike ride along the Boise River on the Greenbelt. They are draining one of the ponds to rebuild the sides. In doing so, the Mallards are still there and feeding as are the Great Blue Herons. The Mergansers are still on the river. Here are some photos of my ride today. It's supposed to be very windy tonight, rain, snow level 5000 feet and the high tomorrow about 60. Yuk! I will look at these photos tomorrow and remember today.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Mallard Duck Family

Common Merganser

Common Merganser

Mushroom Tree


Monday, April 19, 2010

Artichoke and Potato Salad

Here is a recipe that Robin found and then we have altered it, somewhat. It is really a good variation on the standard potato salad. Give it a try. Cheers!

Artichoke and Potato Salad

Servings: 8

1 lbs New Red Potatoes
¾ c Artichoke hearts in oil and course chopped
¼ c Ham, diced
3 cloves Garlic, crushed
½ c Sunflower sprouts
¼ c Pine nuts, dry roasted
dash Cayenne pepper
1 T Tarragon leaves, crushed
3 T Stone Ground Mustard, Plochman's
¼ c Oil from artichokes
¼ c White Wine vinegar
3 T Sun Dried Tomatoes in oil, diced

Cook the whole potatoes until just done, you don't want them soft. Cool.

Place the ham, artichoke hearts, cayenne, pine nuts, sunflower sprouts and tarragon in a bowl. Gently mix. Quarter cut the potatoes and place in the bowl. Gently mix.

Place the artichoke oil, garlic from the potatoes, mustard, sun dried tomatoes and white wine vinegar in a bowl. Using a submersible blender, emulsify. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

Pour the dressing over the bowl of potatoes and toss gently.
That's it! It is really that easy to do. I also would dice maybe 2 hard cooked eggs and put them in with this. Have fun.

Asparagus Soup with Lemon-Herb Crème Fraîche

On 13 April we went to the Buzz for a wine dinner. Debbie made this awesome asparagus soup. I just had to post the recipe here. If you like asparagus, then you really have to try this. It is awesome and comparatively easy to do. If you want the original recipe, Click Here

Asparagus Soup with Lemon-Herb Crème Fraîche

½ c Crème Fraîche
1 T Parsley, chopped
2 t Chives, chopped
1 t Tarragon, chopped
1 t Lemon Zest, finely grated
1 t Lemon juice, fresh
Sea Salt and fresh ground Pepper
2 lbs medium Asparagus, tough ends discarded, tips reserved and stalks coarsely chopped
2 T Butter, unsalted
1 med Onion, finely chopped
1 qt Chicken stock
2 c Water

In a bowl, blend the crème fraîche with the parsley, chives, tarragon and the lemon zest and juice. Season with salt and pepper, then cover and refrigerate. In a small saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the asparagus tips until tender; drain and transfer to a plate.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 4 minutes. Add the stock and water and bring to a boil. Add the chopped asparagus and season with 1½ teaspoons of salt and a few grindings of pepper. Boil over moderately high heat until the asparagus are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.

Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender and pour it into a clean saucepan. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the asparagus tips and bring to a simmer over moderate heat. Ladle the soup into warmed shallow bowls. Top with large dollops of the lemon-herb crème fraîche and serve.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Boise Peregrine Lays First Egg!

At 0946 MDT Mom was sitting on the scrape as pictured above. Does she have an egg or two under her? Weather: 69 degrees F, 12% RH, wind N@10 (the front of the box opens to the North). Keep watching to see what, if anything, develops! Cheers!

Update: She had an egg at 0919 MDT this morning, 16 April 2010!


A budding WVU fan!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Just Because ....

Maybe Virginia Tech will need to do something like this after next year's game with #3 Boise State. Great project for their Communications Department! Enjoy the video. Cheers!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


This is far too much fun!! Developing these recipes, the Sourdough Bread and this Sauerkraut. The results of the first batch of sauerkraut is almost complete. If you had some to sample, now is the time. Just let me know what you thought. Thanks Gail for your input!! Here is the Kraut Recipe that I am working on. There was a song - last century - that had the line in it, "... second verse, same as the first...". Well, this second batch is better than the first, as sauerkraut goes! I just sampled some. It'll be ready, I think about, 01 May. Basically, here is what is in my sauerkraut.
14 lbs Cabbage, fresh
3½ T Kosher salt, no iodine
1¾ T Cinnamon
3¾ T Caraway seeds
4½ T Mustard seeds
2¾ c Four Monks White Wine Vinegar

Look at the recipe for the procedure. My crock is one that Robin bought me for Christmas and is awesome. Holds about 20 pounds of shredded cabbage. Also, I added 1/2 head of red cabbage to this batch, as I did the original batch. Gives it some color. I said above that I sampled some: There is a bite, but not offensive. And I detected some sweetness, but there is no sugar in the recipe. The caraway is good and the cinnamon is there, but in the background. Mustard seed gives a unique flavor. So for now, there is the report. We're talking about 2 weeks before I bottle the kraut. Cheers!!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Sourdough Bread

Now this is how a Sourdough Bread should look like. Your goal? The same as mine - make a loaf of sourdough that looks like this. There are 100's, if not more, variations for a good sourdough. This one is my take on this traditional bread. The difference? I don't use sugar, as such. I replaced the sugar with honey. If I could find Tupelo Honey, I'd use it. The closest that I can find is from WinCo's bulk honey - an orange honey that is pretty good and has that Tupelo blossom flavor. Well, sort of. It's close. Give this recipe a try. I hope you like it. Enjoy!

King Arthur’s Sourdough Bread
Rustic Sourdough Bread

Source: Bob Young adapted from Rustic Sourdough Bread: King Arthur Flour. The photo is from Baker's Banter.

This chewy loaf, with its deep-brown crust, can be made in two versions: with rich, deep, flavor, and very mild tang; or with assertive sour flavor, typical of a San Francisco sourdough loaf. Read our blog about this bread, with additional photos, at Bakers Banter Blog. This recipe was adapted by me from the King Arthur Flour web page and Bakers Banter Blog.

1 c "fed" sourdough starter (See Note)
1½ c lukewarm Water, 100ºF
2 t instant Yeast
2 T Honey
2½ t Salt
5 c King Arthur's Unbleached All Purpose Flour

1) Combine all of the ingredients, kneading to form a smooth dough.
2) Allow the dough to rise, in a covered bowl, until it's doubled in size, about 90 minutes.
3) Gently divide the dough in half; it'll deflate somewhat.
4) Gently shape the dough into two oval loaves, and place them on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover and let rise until very puffy, about 1 hour. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425°F.
5) Spray the loaves with lukewarm water.
6) Make two fairly deep horizontal slashes in each; a serrated bread knife, wielded firmly, works well here.
7) Bake the bread for 25 to 30 minutes, until it's a very deep golden brown. Remove it from the oven, and cool on a rack.

Note - To feed a sourdough starter:
Remove 1 cup of your starter and either give it away and let a friend start their own or make pancakes or waffles.
Add –
½ c 100°F Water
1 c King Arthur Unbleached All Purpose flour
Stir to completely blend and let sit 12 hours before using.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


A couple of weeks ago, Robin came up with this variation of guacamole that is really awesome. And for someone like me that thinks avocado is like eating tasteless mush, that's really saying something. I ate the better part of the bowl full. If it is not spicy enough for you, add either more jalapeno or more of the seeds and ribs of the pepper. Cheers!


Author: Bob and Robin Young
Web Page:
Comments: This is a really good guacamole with a twist.
Degree of Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 24

1 can White Canelli Beans, drained
1 c Onion, chopped
¼ bunch Cilantro, chopped
1 Lime, juiced
1 sm Jalapeno, seeds removed and diced
1 med Avocado, ripe and pitted, peeled
1 lg Tomato, diced

1.) In a food processor, combine the beans, onion, cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno and salt and pepper to taste. Process until mostly smooth. Pour into a bowl.

2.) Mash the avocado and add to the bean mixture. Dice the tomato and add to the bean mixture. Fold all together to combine. Place in the refrigerator for 45 minutes to cool and blend the flavors.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Here is a Printable Recipe

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Irish Soda Bread

Nope! I'm not done yet! It is springtime warm outside and my BBQ is saying, "Pulled Pork!". (Is that a gauntlet Mr Joe?) But that will have to wait, and I have been working on that too this morning. But today is St Patrick's Day and here to go with your Corned Beef and Cabbage, Green Wine, Guinness Stout and some good Scotch Whisky, is my rendition of an Irish Soda Bread.

Irish Soda Bread

Author: Bob and Robin Young
Web Page:
Degree of Difficulty: Easy
Oven Temperature: 375°F
Servings: 20

3 c All-Purpose flour
1 c Whole wheat flour
1 t Baking Soda
1 T Baking Powder
4 T Honey, use a light, floral honey. Tupelo is good.
½ t Salt
½ c Butter, room temperature
1 c Butter milk
1 Egg
¼ c Butter, melted
¼ c Buttermilk

1.) Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
2.) In a large bowl, mix together the flour, honey, baking soda, baking powder, salt and butter. Stir in 1 cup Buttermilk and egg.
3.) Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly. Form dough into a round and place on a prepared baking sheet.
4.) In a small bowl, combine the melted butter with ¼ cup of buttermilk; brush the loaf with this mixture. Use a sharp knife and cut an "X" into the top of the loaf.
5.) Bake in a pre heated oven for 40 - 50 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted into the loaf comes out clean (190°F). You can continue to brush the loaf with the butter mixture while it bakes.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 5 minutes

Do enjoy the day!!

"Corned Beef" - Where Did It Come From?

History of Corned Beef & Cabbage
Origin of Traditional Irish American St Patrick's Day Recipe

Mar 3, 2009 Stephanie Jolly , Source:

While many North Americans associate corned beef and cabbage with Ireland, this popular St Patrick's Day meal has roots in America, and is not traditional Irish food.

Corned beef, a salt-cured brisket, was traditionally packed and stored in barrels with coarse grains, or "corns" of salt. One of the earliest references to corned beef appears in the 12th century Gaelic poem Aislinge Meic Conglinne, where it references a dainty, gluttonous indulgence. By the 17th century, salting beef had become a major industry for Irish port cities of Cork and Dublin, where Irish beef was cured and exported to France, England and later to America.

Traditional Irish Recipes Contain Salt Pork Instead of Corned Beef
With the majority of Irish beef being exported, beef was an expensive source of protein and unavailable to the majority of Irish citizens. Cows, if owned at all, were raised predominately for their dairy products, from which butter, cheese and cream could be obtained, and were only slaughtered when they were no longer good for milking. Sheep were raised as a source of wool and hogs and pigs were one of the only livestock species raised by the peasantry for consumption.
Salt pork and bacon, therefore, became the commonly consumed meat protein of Irish tables. In Feast and Famine, Leslie Clarkson writes that "fat from bacon supplemented the lack of fat in the farmhouse diet" and Sir Charles Cameron states that he does "not know of any country in the world where so much bacon and cabbage is eaten." Even today corned beef and cabbage appears infrequently in Irish pubs and restaurants, except for those in heavily touristed areas, and is much more likely to be replaced its traditional counterpart - an Irish stew with cabbage, leeks, and a bacon joint.

Corned Beef & Cabbage Eaten by Irish Immigrants After Arriving in America
After the Irish potato blight, or Great Famine, of the mid-19th century brought hundreds of Irish emigrants to the shores of America, the newly immigrated Irish Americans found corned beef to be both more accessible and more affordable than it was in Ireland. Both corned beef and cabbage were ingredients of the lower working class, and their popularity among the Irish population likely had little to do with similarities to the food of Ireland and more to due with the relatively inexpensive nature of salt cured beef and green cabbage.
For several decades following the Irish immigration, St Patrick's Day was celebrated with music, crafts and revelry but banquets, while lavish, contained a scarcity of traditional Irish cuisine. However by the 1920s, corned beef and cabbage came to have an association with Irish American cooking, according to Hasia Diner in Hungering for America: Italian, Irish and Jewish Foodways in the Age of Migration and joined Irish bacon and greens as a food reminiscent of Ireland.

Corned Beef's Association with St Patrick's Day Has Irish American Origins
While both salted beef and green cabbage have historic connections with Ireland, the ritual of serving corned beef and cabbage for St Patrick's Day is exclusively an Irish American tradition. The scarcity and high price of beef in Ireland prevented it from being consumed by the majority of the Irish peasantry until arriving in America, where corned brisket and cabbage were cheap and readily available to the poor. As the stigma of eating working class food faded and the celebration of Irish ancestry grew in popularity, corned

And from, we have:

“Corned beef
While the process of preserving meat with salt is ancient, food historians tell us corned beef (preserving beef with "corns" or large grains of salt) originated in Medieval Europe. The Oxford English Dictionary traces the first use of the word corn, meaning "small hard particle, a grain, as of sand or salt," in print to 888. The term "corned beef" dates to 1621.
"Emphasizing its long history in the Irish diet, Regina Sexton...points out that a similar product is mentioned in the 11th-century Irish text Aislinge meic Con Glinne many wonderful provisions, pieces of every palatable food...full without fault, perpetual joints of corned beef'. She adds that corned beef has a particular regional association with Cork City. From the late 17th century until 1825, the beef-curing industry was the biggest and most important asset to the city. In this period Cork exported vast quantities of cured beef to Britain, Europe, America, Newfoundland, and the W. Indies. During the Napoleonic wars the British army was supplied principally with corned beef which was cured in and exported from the port of Cork."
---Oxford Companion to Food by Alan Davidson, [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (page 218)

Corned beef was very popular in colonial America because it was an economical and effective way to preserve meat. The following corning directions are from The Virginia House-Wife by Mary Randolph, 1824, pages 22-23:
"To corn beef in hot weather
Take a piece of thin brisket or plate, cut out the ribs nicely, rub it on both sides well with two large spoonsful of pounded salt-petre; pour on it a gill of molasses and a quart of salt; rub them both in; put it in a vessel just large enough to hold it, but not tight, for the bloody brine must run off as it makes, or the meat will spoil. Let it be well covered top, bottom, and sides, with the molasses and salt. In four days you may boil it, tied up in a cloth, with the salt, &c. about it: when done, take the skin off nicely, and serve it up. If you have an ice-house or refrigerator, it will be best to keep it there.--A fillet or breast of veal, and a leg or rack of mutton, are excellent done in the same way." “Some people wonder about the shared culinary/cultural heritage of the Irish and Jewish peoples when it comes to corned beef. The practice of curing meat for preservation purposes certainly dates back to ancient times. The use of salt was adopted/adapted by many peoples and cultures, and was widely used during the Middle Ages. Evidence suggests that both Irish and Jewish cooks were making corned (salt) beef independently, long before they met in New York.

"Corned beef comes in two versions: The Jewish special on rye, or the traditional Irish boiled dinner, aka New England boiled dinner. Tonight should be the big night for the Irish version."
---Boiled dinner, The Boston Globe, March 15, 1990 (p.3)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Boise Live Falcon Cam

Many people, both through email and on Facebook, were saying that they could not view the Falcon Cam from the Peregrine Fund. I had a short exchange with the webmaster at the PFund about the problem and it looks like it has been corrected. You can Click Here or on the title of this post to view the live Boise falcon cam. If you experience any other problems, please let us know. However, please understand that there are periodic DSL problems which are not the fault of the Peregrine Fund. Cheers and many happy hours of watching the falcons when they finally return to the box to raise their family.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Chicken Pot Pie

No, it's really not your everyday, customary dinner, made by Mom Chicken Pot Pie. But it could be. And if you want the original recipe, Click Here. In the meantime, I have posted the recipe here. Do enjoy!!

Here it is already to go into the oven. It looks good! But, it is not one of those little, preservative laden, store bought items.

And here is the Chicken Pot Pie plated with a nice Baby Spinach and Strawberry Salad. Serve this dinner with a delightful and old 1986 Rose Creek Idaho Johannesburg Riesling and you have an awesome and different dinner. Probably not one your Mom would make. Here ... You try it. Let me know what you think. Cheers!!

Chicken Pot Pie

Author: Bob and Robin Young

Comments: We had this dish with a 1986 Rose Creek Idaho Johannesburg Riesling.
Degree of Difficulty: Easy
Oven Temperature: 350°F
Servings: 8

2 9 in Pie crusts
2 lg Chicken breasts, cut into ¼" chunks
½ c Diced carrots
½ c Celery, diced
½ c Corn kernels
½ c Broccoli florets, cut into small pieces
1 med Shallot, diced
1 med Potato, diced
¼ c Madeira
½ c Chicken stock
½ c Heavy cream
¼ c Flour
3 T Butter
1 T Olive oil
¾ T Thyme
½ T Sage, dried

1.) Cook off one of the pie crusts in a 9-inch deep dish pie plate at 450°F until it just turns brown. Remove from oven and let cool.
2). Dice the chicken into ¼" pieces. Roll in flour. Place 1 Tablespoon butter and 1 Tablespoon olive oil in 4 quart pot. Cook the chicken off until just done. Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside.
3.) In the same pot, add all of the diced up vegetables and the thyme and the sage. Add 1 Tablespoon butter. Cook through. Add the chicken stock and the Madeira. Bring to a boil. Add the cream. Bring to a slow boil and cook for 10 minutes.
4.) Add the cooked chicken. Bring to a slow simmer. Check for thickness of the sauce. If not thick enough add a little more flour.
5.) When the potatoes are cooked almost through, pour mixture into the pie shell. Break 1 Tablespoon butter into pieces and dot the top of the mixture. Place the top pie crust on top and seal along the edges. Puncture with a fork so steam will escape during cooking.
6.) When the upper crust turns a golden brown - about 45 minutes - remove from the heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Serve with a nice green salad.

Cooking Times

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Inactive Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 25 minutes

Please do try this recipe. It's fun to make and fun to eat! Cheers!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

09 March 2010 - Boise Peregrine Falcons!

I will eventually put some of these into a slide show - I took almost 70 photos today. No ..... Not all 70. Maybe 20 - 25? Here's a sample. Enjoy!

The season is young yet, there will be more .... many more. Check out that blue Idaho sky!! Be sure t5o folow us on the Boise Peregrine Falcon Blog. Cheers!


Sunday, March 7, 2010

07 March - Boise Downtown Falcons

OK, here we go. Today was an exciting day. Here is the falcon that was on the 9th floor ledge of the One Capital Center.

This is the falcon that was on the 14th floor and the most active. And here we have a whole series of photos. Enjoy!!

Enjoy the photos!!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Food Trivia For March

And for March and from Rudy's in Twin Falls, we have an additional piece of trivia. I love these!

March is -
National Caffeine Awareness Month
National Flour Month
National Frozen Food Month
National Noodle Month
National Nutrition Month
National Peanut Month
National Sauce Month

This Week in the History of Food & Drink

March 1, 1989: A 75 year-long ban on beer was lifted this day in Iceland.
March 2, 1904: Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel) was born. Writer and cartoonist. A few of his children's books were 'Green Eggs and Ham,' 'One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish,' 'Scrambled Eggs Super!' and 'The Butter Battle Book'
March 3: National Mulled Wine Day! Try our recipe above!
March 4:National Pound Cake Day
March 5, 1836: Charles Goodnight was born. He is said to have devised the first 'chuck wagon' from an Army wagon in the 1850s or 1860s, with various shelves and compartments for food, equipment, utensils, medical supplies, etc.
March 6: National Chocolate Cheesecake Day
March 7:National Crown Roast of Pork Day

I do hope you visit their website! Cheers!


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Ahi Sushi Bar, Eagle, Idaho

So on Fridays, we have been teaching in Eagle for the "Eagle Arts School". And for lunch, almost 1 1/2 hours between these two classes, we've been doing some culinary exploring. "Seasons", "Rembrandt's" and now the "Ahi Sushi Bar". We like all three for different reasons. All are very relaxed. The "Rembrandt'" and "Seasons" are bistro style. And the "Ahi Sushi Bar" is not a bistro, but a sushi bar. It's exciting to watch the Chef's prepping the sushi and creating the dishes. Look at these slides and you will see. Cheers!


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Trivia From Rudy's

And again, this trivia information from Rudy's. Enjoy and by all means, pay Rudy's a visit!!

This Week in the History of Food & Drink

February 22, 1630: Quadequina, an American Indian, introduced English colonists to popcorn. He had brought some to their first Thanksgiving dinner. (Some sources say 1631).

February 23, 1896: Leo Hirshfield introduced the Tootsie Roll at his small store in New York City. It was supposedly named after his 5 year old daughter, whose nickname was 'Tootsie.'

February 24, 1938: DuPont begins production of nylon toothbrush bristles. A patent had been granted in 1937. The nylon bristles replaced hog bristles. No more brushing your teeth with hog hair.

February 25, 1922: Donald McLean was born. McLean was a Scottish potato expert who supposedly had the world's largest private collection of potatoes, with 367 varieties.

February 26: National Pistachio Day

February 27, 1827: The first Mardi Gras celebration was held in New Orleans.

February 28: National Chocolate Soufflé Day


Warm Valrhona Chocolate Cake

One of our Rudy's picks this week is France's prized Valrhona chocolate. It's the star of the richly delicious dessert. For a very runny center, undercook the cake a little bit and serve immediately. The cake can be held raw in the soufflé cup uncovered and refrigerated up to eight hours before baking.

Yield: 4 servings

6 ½ ounces Valrhona Caribe Chocolate with 66% Cocao Mass, chopped
½ cup unsalted butter
5 teaspoons Valrhona cocoa powder
3 eggs, separated
¼ cup sugar

Preheat the oven to 450º. Lightly coat the inside of four, 4-ounce oven-proof soufflé cups with butter. Heat 2 inches of water in the bottom half of a double boiler over medium heat. In the top half, place the chocolate and butter. Melt the chocolate mixture for 5 minutes, then remove it from the heat and stir it until it is smooth. Transfer the mixture to a large stainless-steel bowl and whisk in the cocoa and all the egg yolks. Set the chocolate mixture aside. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form, about 1 minute. Slowly add the sugar and continue beating until the mixture is stiff and shiny but not dry, forming a meringue. Lightly fold the meringue into the chocolate until completely combined. Divide the soufflé batter equally among the prepared soufflé cups. Place cups on a sheet pan and bake for 7 minutes, until puffy and slightly browned on top. Serve immediately by inverting each cup (with an oven mitt) onto a plate until the cake is released. Cut carefully around edges of the cakes to loosen them if they do not come out. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Recipe Notes:
Be sure to not overheat the butter; overheated butter will separate and result in a greasy, crumbly cake.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

First Grilling For 2010

Well, it looks like Grilling Time is here! Close to 50 degrees here today; Supposed to be close to 60 next week. The air even smells like spring. So, it was time to fire up the grill for the first time this year. Grill some Potatoes, a nice Steak and some Apples, and we've got a good dinner. Grilled apples? Oh yes!! After grilling them to caramelize the sugars, slice them and place on a bed of lettuce. No dressing! Just grilled apple and lettuce. YUM-O! Oh yes, can't be grilling without the homemade Baked Beans. Just look at that platter! and drool! Cheers!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Fasnacht's Are Ready!

After two days and two rises, here is what we end up with. Photos starting at the 2nd rise, day #2.

Here we are at the 2nd day. The 4 eggs and 1/2 cup of lard have been added and the flour mixed in.

After a 2 hour rise, we roll the dough out and cut the Fasnachts. (I can taste them now!!)

Deep fry them at 325 degrees F until they are golden brown. Take them out and roll them in .... almost anything.

It's munch time!! Take an extra cholesterol pill. You'll probably need it. No one said they were healthy; Just good!

Well, now it's your turn, Joe and Diane! Enjoy, they are hearty. Cheers! The recipe is elsewhere on this blog.

Monday, February 15, 2010



Makes 50 Fasnacht

¼ cup warm water
1 pkg. yeast
2 tbsp. sugar
2½ cups lukewarm milk
4½ cups flour
4 eggs, beaten
½ cup lard, melted
1 cup sugar
dash of salt
5 ½ cups flour

1). Dissolve yeast in warm water.
2). Mix next three ingredients together, then add to yeast mixture. Set in warm place and let rise overnight.
3). In the morning add next four ingredients. Add last batch of flour slowly; it may not all be needed. Dough should be sticky but able to be handled.
4). Let rise until doubled, approximately 2 hours.
5). Roll out and cut with biscuit or doughnut cutter, with or without a center hole. Let rise 1 hour.
6). Deep fry in hot oil at 375 degrees for several minutes, turning until brown on both sides.

Among the PA Germans, Shrove Tuesday (day before Ash Wedsnesday) is known as Fassnacht Day (night before the fast). In a symbolic effort to rid their homes of leavening agents and to feast before Lent, many PA Germans cooks spend part of their day making Fassnachts. The cakes are made of yeast dough, and tradition requires that they be shaped in squares or rectangles, with slits cut in them.

Shrove Tuesday is the day before Lent begins.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Dinner 2010

We had a great Valentine's Day Dinner at Sweetwater's Tropic Zone here in Boise. Robin, Marnie and Mac, Sophia, Chris and Maddy and I all had a great time. Enjoy the slides! Cheers!