Many people out there love animals, all animals, myself included. I am saddened by all the stories and photos, on Facebook and elsewhere, of dogs being left to fend for themselves or left tied up at park benches for days or even worse yet, being used as bait dogs for dog fighting or left in empty homes when their owners moved away. I could go on and on about what I think of people like that but it will not do the animals any good, so I share all those stories with the public on Facebook, hoping someone out there will take notice of their new family member to be and adopt, foster or at least donate something to their medical care, so they can have a chance to be happy, that they obviously never had in their life.
I am pledging 10% of my net sales of any product(s) purchased through this blog or my Amazon affiliate website, www.JewelryCottageByTheSea.com, to go to The North Shore Animal League of Long Island, New York, and to a local animal shelter in the West Palm Beach area of Florida where I live. I want to do my part and hope everyone will try to help in some way so our little furry friends will know people who will be kind to them and love them the way they deserve to be loved.
If anyone reading this is on Facebook, please keep sharing the pictures and stories about the unfortunate animals that are living in shelters and those that have yet to be rescued by those shelters.
Thank you for visiting Grandma In The Kitchen. I hope I have provided interesting and useful information here. If you have any questions about anything that is presented in this blog, please do not hesitate to send me an email at: Grandmainthekitchen@gmail.com or click on the contact button and I will answer as soon as I can.
Hope you all have wonderful holidays and happiness in the new year!
Irene Joyce, Grandma
A london broil is a thick slice of beef steak, approximately 2 inches (5 mm) thick. I always look for a “marbled” appearance to the meat when shopping for a london broil, or any kind of steak or roast. Marbeling means the meat is streaked with fat. Not too much but just thin streaks of fat which keep the meat juicy and prevent it from drying out in the broiling process. The fat streaks should go in all different directions, like you are looking at a piece of marble.
I prepare a baking pan with a sheet of aluminum foil to make cleanup easier. I spray the foil with olive oil to give the meat a little extra flavor and prevent it from sticking to the pan. I always rinse the meat under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels first. I do this with all cuts of meat because the cutters at the meat market use electric saws to slice the meat into various sizes and the process can leave flakes of bone on it.
Salt and pepper sprinkled lightly will give the meat added flavor. I also like to poke the entire piece of beef with a fork or tenderizing hammer. This lets the salt and pepper into the tiny holes and helps tenderize it further. Poking it all over with a fork also helps to break up the nerve fibers in the meat which can make some cuts of meat tough.
I put it in a shallow pan and place it under the broiler, about 6 to 8 inches from the heat element. Electric or gas, it makes no difference.
You must watch the time while it is under the broiler. Turn the meat frequently, about every 2 minutes so it cooks evenly. It should only take about 8 minutes for medium rare, 12 minutes for medium well done and if you like your beef with no pink in it, 12 to 15 minutes for well done.
My oven has a Hi broil and Lo broil setting. I like to use the Lo broil setting. I’ve used the Hi broil and found my steak burned easily. It’s all a matter of preference. Try Lo and go to Hi if the meat isn’t cooking fast enough for you. Don’t walk away from the stove, though, I did that once and when I opened the oven door there were flames in the pan.
Speaking of flames, I keep a box of baking soda near the stove. It will put out the flames if that occurs and will not harm the meat. Just give the meat a quick rinse if you have to use baking soda.
To hasten the cooking process, you can prepare the meat the same way but pan fry it on both sides for a crusty finish before putting it under the broiler. Some people like the top a little over done and the inside medium rare. Pan frying it first will help you obtain that.
London Broil also tastes very good on the bar-b-que grill. I always cook it on a sheet of aluminum foil because of health concerns. The first health concern is that the flames licking the meat may make it unhealthy to eat. I never want to eat burned meat. The flames burn the fat which coincidently makes it taste great but should be avoided when possible. I also find the meat “repeats” on me if it’s burned a little. It’s also called “acid reflux”, some people call it “agida”. I prefer to stay away from foods that cause the condition, rather than take medicine for it, but that’s me. If you need the medicine, you have to do what’s right for you and your body. Some slices of red delicious apples can help too.
I finish the meat with a light spray of extra-virgin olive oil for added flavor and let it set-up for about 5 to 10 minutes. If you cut it too soon you will lose the juices into the pan. You will have a juicier cut of meat if you let it set-up a few minutes.
Slice the meat in thin slices, on an angle, top to bottom. This also helps to make it tender. Some brown gravy on a heap of mashed potatoes alongside the London Broil and a serving of green beans or whatever vegetable you like, makes a great dinner. Now I’m getting hungry!
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We’ve got tomatoes! Lots and lots of tomatoes! Hard to believe. I planted only 25 seeds for grape tomatoes. Some of the plants are over 7 feet tall with little yellow flowers and tomato clusters everywhere.
It’s so rewarding to see the fruit of my labor materialize and know these tomatoes don’t have any pesticides on them. That was my biggest concern with growing my own as opposed to buying from the store. (Check out my post on Dr. Mercola’s method of washing pesticides off vegetables and fruit.)
Because the seeds I planted are “heirloom seeds”, they are not genetically modified (Non-GMO). The only difference I notice between these and store bought tomatoes, is that the skin is not as thick, which might be the only difference between GMO and Non-GMO, as far as I can see.
I do remember reading an article years ago about how scientists were trying to develop a way to produce “disease resistant” fruit and vegetables. By crossing the genetic material of an apple and a peach, for example, they were trying to produce a product that was resistant to plant diseases. The peach would take on characteristics of the apple (a tougher skin). I thought this was a great idea because of all the fruit and vegetables at the supermarket, not that many years ago, being marked with black and brown spots which made them look inedible, though some of the damage might have been due to weather conditions, handling, packing and shipping and not necessarily from plant disease.
I notice that most, if not all of the produce on supermarket counters these days, looks almost perfect., a big difference from years ago when I was a child. I think the scientists intentions were good, to produce a higher quality product. As far as the effect of GMO (genetically modified organisms) on the body when the plant is digested, I am studying everything I can find on the subject and will report what I think about it all, in another post, in the near future.
I just received this hilarious video and had to share it with my readers. Does it sound familiar?
Click on the small arrow on the bottom left side of the page if the video doesn’t start right away.
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No ripe tomatoes showing yet, but my tomato plants have grown quite a bit from the 3 inch size they were when I first published pictures of them. They are now about 3 – 3 1/2 feet high. I water them everyday and put Miracle Grow fertilizer in the sprinkler can, once a week. They like lots of sunshine and they get that here in Florida. I’m glad that I can grow at almost any time of the year. I can’t wait until they start to ripen.
It looks like some of the plants have outgrown their pots already, so I’m going to re-pot them into the largest containers I can find at the Home Depot. I just replaced the 3 ft. stakes with 6 ft. stakes. I think the plants might get that high. I use twine to tie around the stems as they grow. I cut a strand of about 9″ to 12″ and loosely wrap around the stem and the bamboo stake, making a very loose double knot to keep it in place.
Something interesting I just learned about bamboo. It’s really “grass” . I like to use natural products when I can. BTW, I purchased my heirloom seeds from http://seedrack.com. Every seed grew. I listed some other online seed companies in the “Links to Resources” category (button on top of page).
Back to the growing tomato plants. Since this is my first “container garden”, I’m learning as I go along. Hopefully, you can benefit from my experience and mistakes. Plus, I’m building my supply cabinet with all the necessary equipment for the next crop. I’m going to add “pole beans” to the mix then. For sure I won’t be able to step out on my porch. It Will look like a jungle. lol
Some plants need to be polinated by bees and other insects but I’m not about to let them onto my screened porch. These tomatoes didn’t need their help, as they grew quite perfectly. Other vegetables that need to be polinated can be polinated by using a cotton swab on a thin stick (like a Q-Tip). I was told to touch the inside of the flower, then touch the inside of the next flower, just like a bee would transfer the pollen on it’s little feet. I was amazed at hearing this. I’m growing “grape” tomatoes so I’d be a bit busy if I had to do that, lol. If anyone reading this post polinated their flowers or vegetable plants themselves, I’d like to hear about your experience doing that. With your permission, I’ll add your article to this blog as a guest post. You can hit the “contact button” at the top of any page to send a message or send me an email at: Grandmainthekitchen@gmail.com.
I will keep everyone up to date on the tomatoes progress and as always, if you have any questions about information in my posts, hit the contact button on top of the page. Thank you for visiting Grandmainthekitchen.com.
The difference between Sea Scallops and Bay Scallops is size.
Sea Scallops are about the size of a half dollar, or about 1 and 1/2 inches across. Bay Scallops are about the size of a nickel, or 3/4 of an inch across.
Both taste great when browned in olive oil and a little butter.
I make sure they are defrosted and rinsed well under cold running water. I let them drain a few minutes, then drop them into a warmed fry pan to which I have added extra virgin olive oil and about 2 tablespoons of butter. I bring up the heat under the pan so the scallops are at a low sizzle.
These need to be watched and turned over until they are opague in the center. They cook fast, in about 5 to 7 minutes. If they are over-cooked they will be chewey and rubbery.
I sprinkle a little “Old Bay” seasoning on them as they cook. If you don’t have Old Bay, you can use a little ground pepper and paprika. If you like the taste of garlic, a little garlic powder adds a nice flavor too.
One thing about scallops or any type of seafood. They should defrost in your refrigerator overnight and be rinsed well in a collander before cooking. Don’t leave them out on a counter to defrost. They need to remain cold until they are cooked. They can spoil.
They should NOT have a fishy odor if they are fresh or have defrosted properly.
Grandpa and I like them served with spaghetti and tomato sauce. Some restaurants serve them with rice and black beans, sweet potatoes and/or cole slaw, along with a bowl of clam chowder (Manhattan or New England style). Either way, sea scallops are a good and delicious source of protein.
Of all the shell-fish I have eaten, my absolute favorite is scallops. Those small bite-sized tender morsels that grow in fan-shaped ridged shells but are already shucked and come in large plastic bags in the supermarket. I like them pan-fried, or broiled, with a little Old Bay seasoning sprinkled over them. I like them plain, right out of the pan or sprinkled over a nice plate of spaghetti with tomato and basil sauce, yum!
I buy them frozen and rinse them in a colander under cold water until they defrost. They are small so it doesn’t take very long to defrost them this way. I leave them drain in the colander for a minute, then drop them into a pan lined with paper towels. After the excess water has been blotted away, I put them into a warmed, olive oil coated, non-stick fry pan, on a low heat, just hot enough to make them slowly sizzle. Occasionally I will broil them in my toaster oven.
Once in a while I will coat them in an egg mixture, roll them in fine breadcrumbs and fry them in butter or olive oil. Either way, they cook in 4 or 5 minutes, so I stay next to the stove and flip them over several times as they cook. If over-cooked they can become tough and chewy so they need to be watched. When they are done, I sprinkle a little lemon juice on them.
There is a larger “sea scallop”, about the size of a quarter. They are just as tasty, depending on how long you cook them and the seasonings you use. I prefer the smaller “bay scallops” as I think they are sweeter.
I’ve seen the larger scallops in restaurants, wrapped in bacon and broiled. They are very tasty when made this way but the bacon must be well-cooked. If they are broiled under too high a heat, the bacon can burn and the scallops may still not be cooked enough to eat. On the other hand, too low a heat and both the scallop and the bacon may not be cooked enough.
If ordered in a restaurant and they don’t look sufficiently cooked when served, don’t hesitate to ask your waitress if they can be cooked a little longer. Restaurants want their customers to leave happy so they will return another day.
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- Has anybody noticed the price of vegetables lately? While I certainly understand a farmers need to make a decent profit for growing and harvesting vegetables, some people may find it difficult to keep up with the costs of putting a healthy salad on the dinner table each night. Since I’m always looking for ways to save money, I’ve decided to grow tomatoes on my back porch in very large pots (containers).
This is a work in progress, so I will keep you updated with photo’s and explain each step in the process, in case you would like to try your hand at container gardening too.
I’ll be concentrating on planting and growing with “heirloom” seeds. They are seeds derived from vegetables that have been grown for generations, without being genetically modified. I have been doing a lot of research on genetically modified food and I will post my thoughts on that subject soon. Watch for new blog posts in this area as I gather information.
There are several seed companies I ‘ve found on the internet that I think are reputable and will list their company names at the end of this post. You may want to check out their websites to see what interests you for your own garden, container or backyard.
I purchased a plant starting kit at my local Walmart. It has “growing pellets” that are used to start seedlings. Following directions which are included, I watered the pellets until thay expanded to look like little self-contained flower pots. I placed 3 seeds in the center of each little pot and sprinkled a little potting soil to cover them so the sun wouldn’t dry them out and burn them, sprinked water over the top of each, an placed the tray in the sun on my porch. I water every other day which seems to be enough for them. I had 2 inch seedlings in 2 weeks.
The reason I planted 3 seeds in each little pot was to make sure at least one of the seedlings would be healthy enough to grow and produce tomatoes. I used potting soil especially for starting vegetables, which I purchased from my local Home Depot store. Not expensive, especially when I expect the yield of tomatoes will pay for themselves many times over.
I should have planted only enough seeds for 5 or 6 plants but I planted all 25 that came in the package. I fully expect to go out on my porch one day and find a jungle out there! If it comes to that, some of my neighbors might enjoy a tomato plant of their own on their porch.
I plan on saving seed from tomatoes I grow, so I will have a continuous supply. I know I’m getting ahead of myself but I’ve had a garden before where I grew tomatoes and eggplant, which were quite delicious when taken right off the vine and cooked immediately. I will try to grow eggplant in a container if I am successful with the tomatoes. BTW, I am growing “grape tomatoes” which are the size of large grapes and sooooo good.
There are many seed companies online. You can Google “heirloom seeds” to find them. I am familiar with the ones listed.
The Whatcom Seed Company at: http://seedrack.com
Solutions From Science:
The Sprout People at: http://www.sproutpeople .org (You can grow sprouts in your kitchen).
Also, check out: http://www.localharvest.org for a local organic farm in your area.
Here in South Florida, the local farm in Lake Worth sponsored classes in “Growing Herbs and Fruit Trees in Containers”. They have other classes in growing, composting, etc. Find one close to you for local produce and ask about classes. They may also have a food cooperative plan where you can buy in bulk. Stay tuned…..