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Re: Dining Out
Old 09-05-2006, 06:31 PM   #41
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Re: Dining Out

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usually dine out about 2 times per month at a nice restuarant. The Cost is usually around $125 for both
Uh oh. Wait till HaHa hears about this!
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Re: Dining Out
Old 09-05-2006, 06:58 PM   #42
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Re: Dining Out

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Originally Posted by Robert the Red
Does buying 2 ice cream cones at Safeway ($2) after a 4 mile walk on the C&O canal trail count as "eating out"?* Or the mini-Hershey's bar ($0.15) I sometimes buy at the concession stand for an afternoon snack?* If so, then I ate out twice in the last week.
Depends on how much you made selling the bikers spare tubes.
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Re: Dining Out
Old 09-05-2006, 07:45 PM   #43
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Re: Dining Out

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Originally Posted by TromboneAl
Any good tips?
Thanks for asking!
Cupboards & pantries:
Hurricane food goes in the attic or you'll have to keep buying more when the kid eats it "by mistake".
Move the new stuff to the back, use the old stuff from the front. No cherrypicking.
No glass containers. Especially oil bottles, but let's not dwell on that mishap.
Heavy baking supplies (flour, sugar, mixes) go on the bottom.
Flour & sugar belong in ziploc bags (ants).
Rice bags heavier than 10 pounds belong in the garage in airtight containers (roaches, rats). Metal trash cans work great.
Canned goods go on eye-level shelves so that labels can be read without emptying the entire cupboard.
Cereal boxes get their own cupboard, unless you have a pet that can open cupboard doors.
Yummy baking supplies (icing, decorations) go on the top shelf above a teenager's visual horizon.
Hallowe'en candy-- most especially lollipops-- belongs in ziploc bags (ants). If a lollipop wrapper is loose then I won't eat the lollipop, but I don't want to dwell on that one either.

Freezers:
Side-by-side refrigerator/freezers enclose less stowage volume than over-under models.
In-door ice/water dispensers are a waste of energy, maintenance, and money.
Icemakers are generally more trouble than ice-cube trays, especially if the water supply is not demineralized.
Overloaded freezer doors don't seal tightly.

If the ice cream freezes solid then the freezer is too cold. Just to be sure, it's best to taste-test this frequently.
Chocolate chips taste better when they're frozen solid. If you don't share this trick with the rest of your family then they last longer, too.
Shredded cheese can freeze. Many brands sell a four-cup bag of shredded cheese for nearly the same price as a two-cup bag.
TH's frozen-butter trick is one of the best baking tips I've ever read.
Freeze the ground beef & fish filets in individual one-pound packages for easy stacking & recipe doubling.
Milk can freeze but it can also split the plastic container seam.
Color-coded freezer bags are great for identifying leftover meat, chicken, fish, etc.
Frozen coffee doesn't last longer but it eliminates complaints about the smell from the uncaffeinated.

If you freeze cooking grease/oil for later disposal, make sure you inform all teenagers in the vicinity before they go looking for a snack. This is especially important if they're allowed to use your bathrooms, or not near an exit.

Refrigeration:
Cheap light bulbs burn out faster, break easier, and cut more severely than appliance-rated bulbs.
If you're right-handed, do NOT inform a left-handed person that the refrigerator & freezer door hinges are reversible.
New refrigerators use a LOT less energy and may pay it back in just a few years.
The refrigerator is one of the house's most fire-proof containers (short of a fireproof safe) and a great place to store backup DVDs.
Many refrigerators have trouble controlling the temperature of the top shelf, which may freeze if it's below the freezer. Save the top shelf for canned goods and breads. Do not store fruits on the top shelf. DVDs seem to survive OK.
Many smaller leftovers containers-- individual meal-sized-- pack the volume bettter.
Breads refrigerate or even freeze but they do not go in cupboards.
Beer lasts longer when stored in the back of the refrigerator behind the yogurt. If you don't share this trick, etc.
The special ventilated plastic bags are great for lettuce.
Compost containers are best if they're see-through, prominently labeled, and on the bottom shelf. Notify all teenagers in the vicinity, etc.
Same guidance for the bunny's timothy hay, although the consequences aren't nearly as severe.

And finally, don't let small kids get at Mom's special small bottle of "Bailey's chocolate milk". Teenagers are probably a bad idea, too...

Anyone else lie awake at night thinking about this subject?
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Re: Dining Out
Old 09-05-2006, 07:57 PM   #44
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Re: Dining Out

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Many refrigerators have trouble controlling the temperature of the top shelf, which may freeze if it's below the freezer. Save the top shelf for canned goods and breads. Do not store fruits on the top shelf. DVDs seem to survive OK.
I have a fridge with the freezer on the bottom.

Not dropping a 3 pound frozen chicken on your foot - priceless.
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Re: Dining Out
Old 09-06-2006, 05:29 AM   #45
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Re: Dining Out

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Compost containers are best if they're see-through, prominently labeled, and on the bottom shelf. Notify all teenagers in the vicinity, etc.
Nords.. are your teens THAT hungry?


The Word-processed list is too "dry" and impersonal-looking for me.. I wouldn't want to have to keep track of the aisle numbers (and in our store they aren't numbered anyway). I do write out the list in two columns and group things by "zone", leaving space for additions.. There's the fresh veg. zone, meat zone, dairy zone, drinks zone, etc.

I find it easier and more pleasant to cook if I do some storage prep work first:
I wrap sausages in plastic one-by-one so I can easily pull out the quantity I need and they defrost faster. Same thing with pork chops, steaks and chicken breast slices (slice them in 2-3 horizontally and they cook faster and more evenly.. no more tough chicken!).

If I get the urge to make gnocchi or meatballs I always make extra and freeze them set out on trays; then when they're frozen in they go into a ZipLoc for freezer storage. I love having homemade frozen "convenience food" on hand!

Eating out for us here is not such a draw: the restaurants all serve the same things (1. because tourists want to eat the 'local specialties' and 2. because Italians are very parochial in their eating habits and don't go for 'imported' ingredients or techniques). The exception is pizza once every week or two.

Astromeria.. oo sorry you got zapped with the risotto; 27 does sound like a double portion price to me (though Venice is $$$ with lots of $$$$ places). Depends, too, on the ingredients.. we had a lobster in Naples that set us back almost $100, and in my "Harry's Bar" (Venice) cookbook he's got more than one recipe for lobster.. : Care to name the restaurant?

Leaving for the US next week and looking forward to a LOT of restaurant meals and take-out.
Bluefish! Thai! Indian! Chinese! Mexican! Sushi!
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Re: Dining Out
Old 09-06-2006, 08:53 AM   #46
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Re: Dining Out

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Originally Posted by TromboneAl
That's the only way to fly. Got one for each store.
Al,

Elephants on aisle 7? Funny guy...
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Re: Dining Out
Old 09-06-2006, 10:51 AM   #47
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Re: Dining Out

Thanks for the tips.* Here's our system:

All of our rubbermaid containers get a number on the lid with permanent marker.* Then, when something gets frozen, that number gets associated with that item on the sheet on the front of the freezer.* On this sheet, for example, the chicken soup container has the number 10 on the top.

Don't make any conclusions about our diet from what we freeze.* We do eat things other than bacon, salt pork, pork chops etc.**

Note that we usually forget to cross something off when we take it out.
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Re: Dining Out
Old 09-06-2006, 11:03 AM   #48
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Re: Dining Out

Now this part of the system works quite well:

This calendar sheet (from computer) is magnetted onto the front of the freezer.* *A line is drawn through each day.*

Above the line, you write down what is to be defrosted on that day, and below, what is to be eaten for dinner on that day.*
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Re: Dining Out
Old 09-06-2006, 11:14 AM   #49
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Re: Dining Out

Wow Al... WAYY too complex for me.. I can't imagine having to match up "Pesto" => "82" and then a month later "Pesto" => "37"?? If something risks being too "mysterious" I'll put a tape label on it.

Calendar is great.. I should do that! But if I'm defrosting I will just pull it out in the AM for that night.

How many are in your household? And, who does the deciding?
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Re: Dining Out
Old 09-06-2006, 11:14 AM   #50
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Re: Dining Out

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Originally Posted by TromboneAl
Above the line, you write down what is to be defrosted on that day, and below, what is to be eaten for dinner on that day.*
Master, this grasshopper is not worthy of your tutelage!

Gosh, I can't wait until my spouse wakes up so I can share this with her... "Mornin', honey, guess what we could do!"
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Re: Dining Out
Old 09-06-2006, 11:19 AM   #51
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Re: Dining Out

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How many are in your household? And, who does the deciding?
Just DW and me. * We're pretty good about deciding together. * "Let's have a chicken on Sunday..."
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Re: Dining Out
Old 09-06-2006, 11:19 AM   #52
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Re: Dining Out

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Originally Posted by ladelfina
Nords.. are your teens THAT hungry?
All of them are that hungry all of the time (our familyroom is the neighborhood hangout) but some of them just aren't too situationally aware.

I've talked with the parents of one particularly relentless omnivore. *If he's willing to eat what I'm willing to compost, then I'm happy to sell it to them for one-tenth of what they must be spending on groceries.

I've kidded our daughter about her prediliction for turning $15 of fruit into a quart smoothies. *I suspect that I could run the fruit compost through the same blender and achieve much the same results...
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Re: Dining Out
Old 09-06-2006, 12:49 PM   #53
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Re: Dining Out

Wow, Al has blown my mind. I just pull something out of the freezer (in a zip-lock bag) and toss it in water in the sink to thaw out in a couple of hours. Sometimes I will defrost in the microwave although that can be a little dangerous to quality.

Al - would sudden company throw your whole schedule to the dogs?
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Re: Dining Out
Old 09-06-2006, 01:59 PM   #54
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Re: Dining Out

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Al - would sudden company throw your whole schedule to the dogs?
I don't know -- that's never happened.

Actually, it's pretty flexible.* Sometimes we forget to do the defrosting, or we have something else.* There's usually plenty of food available for a "scrounge" meal.

This is based on the belief that things taste better if defrosted slowly in fridge, but I don't know if that is true.
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Re: Dining Out
Old 09-06-2006, 09:52 PM   #55
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Re: Dining Out

Al -- love your shopping list. I going to make a couple for my stores. Since I've retired, I've tried to keep a better stock of ingredients in the house. I sat down once and figured six weeks worth of meals (dinners only), listed the needed ingredients and created a shopping/inventory list. Just today I took inventory of all cupboards, freezers and refrigerator. I'll put the results into the inventory list and it will then tell me how much I need to buy to be at my predetermined inventory level. I then print a shopping list of what needs to be bought and head out to the store. I think I'll put an aisle number column in the list. Then I could sort by the the aisle number and it would all go faster!

One nice thing about this system is when the cornstarch box is empty, I have a new one on hand to open. That makes it worth the effort.
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Re: Dining Out
Old 09-07-2006, 12:05 AM   #56
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Re: Dining Out

Wow, all this organization and planning ahead blows my mind! I'd like to be that organized, but I also kind of enjoy walking down the aisles at the supermarket dreaming up what we'll have for dinner the coming week. Since I do most of the cooking when I'm home I pretty well know what's in the cupboard and what's not....at least for the common foods, so I can figure out what I need to buy on the spot. The closest I come to this level of organization is putting "installed on" dates on the compact fluorescent light bulbs. Not that I'm going to do anything with the results...I just want to see if they really last 7-10 years.
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Re: Dining Out
Old 09-07-2006, 02:19 AM   #57
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Re: Dining Out

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Originally Posted by scrinch
Wow, all this organization and planning ahead blows my mind!* I'd like to be that organized, but I also kind of enjoy walking down the aisles at the supermarket dreaming up what we'll have for dinner the coming week.*
If we did that with our teen then we'd need a second cart for all her impulse necessary purchases. We make her stick to the list instead of the latest marketing, which forces her to plan ahead and get ready for the trip before she makes it. And if she can't remember to put it on the list then it's not important to any of us.

I'm sure she'll thank us profusely someday after she moves out and has to make her own $#%^ing grocery lsits.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scrinch
The closest I come to this level of organization is putting "installed on" dates on the compact fluorescent light bulbs. Not that I'm going to do anything with the results...I just want to see if they really last 7-10 years.
We have a drawer full of incandescent bulbs but we have yet to replace a CF.

It reminds me of the old commercial where two 10-year-olds are hanging out in the living room. One asks the other "Hey, how many kids does it take to change a light bulb?" and the other responds with a puzzled look on his face "I dunno, why would anyone want to change a light bulb?"
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Re: Dining Out
Old 09-07-2006, 04:10 AM   #58
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Re: Dining Out

Hmm.. Cut-Throat.. ice to Alaska.. Now there's a proposition..!*

How about lotsa potatoes, onions, peppers, eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, broccoli.. most kinds of veg should last a week at 60. Maybe use those perforated bags to keep them "breathing". Cheeses tightly wrapped should do ok. Rice, canned beans, pasta.

You could even make up some chili or spaghetti sauce and freeze it in blocks before hand (in case your first day's catch isn't all you'd hoped* ) .. while it's defrosting it serves as "ice". Same with frozen vegetables or meats. Those should last on their own for the first coupla days if you have a good cooler and don't open it too much.

We had to leave our dog with a friend for a week and prepared a cooler with a frozen meat portion (2#) for each day. It wasn't 'til the last day or two that it all thawed out completely.

--
Just thought of a couple other things: small cans of condensed milk.. eggs will keep for a week at room temp if they haven't previously been refrigerated.. butter will be ok, too.

I also found this sailing site that talks about how to deal with little/no refrigeration:
http://www.sailingbreezes.com/sailin...rigeration.htm

Have a great trip!
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Re: Dining Out
Old 09-07-2006, 08:31 AM   #59
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Re: Dining Out

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Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
ladelfina,


And then there is the lack of ice cubes for my Scotch Manhattans! :
And with that I would consider cancelling the trip. What's the point of fishing without Scotch?

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Re: Dining Out
Old 09-07-2006, 08:39 AM   #60
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Re: Dining Out

Real men don't need ice cubes!



I see your dilemma; it's easier thinking about planning a trip from home. I guess you'll have to try and supplement with some of those freeze-dried backpacker's meals or Lipton Cup-A-Soup!

The silver lining is.. everything tastes way better when you're roughing it!
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