Category Archives: I Jam Econo

I’m Packin’…

It’s been a morning of dealing with clients via phone.  I am not thrilled about this.  I have a settlement that is taking WAY too long to get ironed out, opposing counsel who cannot return a phone call inside of 3 weeks, and a client who is batshit angry/crazy.  Note, these are 3 different cases.  And while I usually enjoy insane, shouty, hysterical voicemails over a mandatory HIPAA release that are left at 8:15 a.m. on my cell phone, I find little joy in them right now.  Between the lack of sleep, the fact that this bullshit should have been done months ago, and the GIANT FETUS doing the running man in my uterus, you could say I’ve lost my sense of humor.

I'm ALL You'll Ever Need...

So in the meantime, I’m going to try to peace out and think about getting my shit together and packing a hospital bag for myself.  Which, having been through this twice already, I can say is an exercise in futility and timewastery.  The only things you REALLY need to bring?  Lip balm and thick socks.  If you’re feeling organizey, toss in a razor and one of those scrubby mesh thingies and some GOOD body lotion.  Also some big sweats you never want to see again, a large zip up hoodie, and whatever low-cut maternity tshirt you hate the least.   If you are the connected type, make sure to bring your various chargers.  Batteries. And more socks.

And other, say, non-maternity clothes?  Yeah….no.  I remember that I brought my favorite hippie shirt and cut-off jeans to the hospital with me when I went in to have K.  Seriously? What the fuck was I thinking?  I ended up wearing the same outfit home that I wore coming in.  With Luli, I brought some nice new large pjs — which yes, they fit, but did I really want to wear them post-childbirth and ruin them forever?  No.

If you want to get something special to wear in the hospital while you lounge in soft-lit, halcyon maternal bliss, seriously, buy a nice LARGE tank top and a nice soft LARGE zip-up hoodie or cardigan type thingy.  Because really?  Everything else will either not fit or will just add to the confusion. If it’s your first time, don’t screw around with nursing bras at this point.  In fact, just wait with all the “nursing clothes” until you get home (I find “nursing clothes” to be utterly unnecessary; YMMV). Just wear a low-cut tank top that you can pull down.  Unless you’ve done it before, the last thing you need is be floundering around trying to figure out all the hidden snaps and flaps while strangers, family, and friends you’ve not yet met file in and out of your hospital room.

And really? The above advice focuses solely on the practical.  You should bring whatever you want.  It’s damn near impossible to predict how you will feel, emotionally and physically, post-birth.  You may want comfort things; you may just want to get the hell out of there.  Pack in some candy.  Some books.  Some pictures.  A little tasteful porn. Whatever.  Your friends will be in charge of sneaking in the tequila- and espresso-filled chocolates.

So really, just bring whatever the hell you want.  I’m going to go pack a back of socks.

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Filed under Babies: Making and Raising, Hussy Recommends..., I Jam Econo, Lawyer Stuff, Uncompensated Product Placement

Meyer Lemon Curd

Meyer Lemonpalooza, Part Two

As promised, a little how-to and what up on lemon curd.  Specifically, Meyer Lemon Curd from my Earth Fare bounty.

Curd Glorious Curd!

For starters, I would credit the origin of my recipe, except I have NO idea where it came from — it consists of a hastily scrawled page in one of my recipe notebooks.  So, if this recipe looks familiar to you, please comment and let me know where it comes from.  Anyhoodle, behold the glory:

Meyer Lemon Curd

  • 12 egg yolks
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 6 meyer lemons, zested, juiced and strained.  This should yield 1 cup of juice and about 4 T of zest.
  • 1 cup of butter, room temperature and cut into chunks

In a heavy saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar.

Place saucepan over medium heat and whisk in the lemon juice.

Once fully combined and sugar appears dissolved, switch to a wooden spoon.

Soon to be curd

Stir continually for 10-15 minutes, lowering the heat as you go so that it does not boil.

When the curd is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, remove from heat and stir in butter.

Strain the curd through a mesh sieve into a bowl (bowl should be glass or  stainless).  This is to get rid of any nasty cooked bits of egg.

Whisk in the zest.

Mmmmmm...

This will yield about 4 cups of curd.  If you are going to can, process in water bath for 20 minutes.

Eat it all in one sitting or pace yourself and keep it in the fridge.

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Filed under Custards, Food Pr0n, I Jam Econo, Recipes, Uncompensated Product Placement

Frosty Meyer Lemon Cookies

Meyer Lemonpalooza, Part One

Growing up, our super special extra fabulous thanks for not setting the grocery store on fire treat was a package of Archway Frosty Lemon cookies.  Believe me when I say, they taste better in my childhood memories than they do in adult reality.  But there is no reason *I* can’t make something that tastes as good as the frosty lemons of my past.

A while back my go-to food site the Kitchn featured a recipe for Mandarin Orange Cookies, which they had adapted from a recipe for Meyer Lemon Sugar Cookies from Tallgrass Kitchen.  So as soon as I saw this:

I knew what I was going to do.

The Tallgrass Kitchen recipe looked perfectly fine, but I wanted something a little more moist and MEGA lemony.  So I tinkered with the eggs, sugar, and lemon quantities.  And of course my frosty lemon cookies wouldn’t be complete without, well, the frosty part, so I borrowed from the Kitchn and added a simple lemon glaze.  Here is what I came up with:

The Hussy’s Frosty Meyer Lemon Cookies

  • 1 2/3 C sugar
  • Zest of 4 Meyer lemons
  • 1 C unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 whole egg plus 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 C Meyer lemon juice, plus approximately 4 T
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 3/4 C flour, sifted
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 3/4 t baking powder
  • 1 1/2 C powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In food processor, pulse sugar and lemon zest fully combined.

Stir flour, salt, and baking powder in a separate bowl.

Cream butter and lemon sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and egg yolks and beat on high for about 2 minutes.  Scrape down sides.

Add 1/2 C lemon juice and vanilla and beat ‘til well-mixed.

Add dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

Chill dough for 15 minutes (you can also pipe room temperature batter for Fancy! results).

Drop spoonfuls of dough onto a lined baking sheet. Bake for 9 minutes until just turning golden on bottoms.

While cookies are baking, stir powdered sugar and reserved lemon juice until smooth.  Drizzle over warm cookies.

SDH Frosty Meyer Lemon Cookies

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Filed under Cookies, Food Pr0n, I Jam Econo, SDH Exclusive Recipe, Uncompensated Product Placement

Le Creuset? Pas Pour Moi.

Ahhh, Le Creuset.  Most coveted, touted, and blingy of kitchen bling.  So sexy with the deep, gorgeous colors. So exciting with the bewildering and seemingly endless array of shapes and purposes.  And such a safe buy, given the nearly unanimous thumbs up for Le Creuset products across time, geography, and mindset.  But, for all the glorious awesome that is Le Creuset, there is one gigantic NON — the price.

Which is why I do not have a single piece of it.

I’ve put my kitchen together bit by bit, piece by piece over the course of 20 years.  I started with the cast iron skillets that belonged to my Nannie and cheap things I picked things up at garage sales, Salvation Army, and via dumpster diving.  For years I’ve kept a master list of (A) things that I need and (B) things that I want.

And except for a Robot-Coupe, a vintage french stove, and a new fridge, I’ve pretty much gotten just about everything in A covered. I’ve slowly upgraded my econo set of Wusthoff cheap-ass plastic handled knives to Wusthoff Classics.  I have an amazing old Waring clover-leaf blender that was refurbed by a dude I hooked up with via Ebay.  Same dude refurbed my awesome KA Pro.

So yeah, I covet, but I’m also frugal and patient.

I used to think that I “needed” several key Le Creuset items – specifically a 6 qt dutch oven, two loaf pans, a 2 qt casserole, and a tagine.  I moved these items to the “want” side as, save for the tagine, I had perfectly serviceable albeit non-ceramic versions of most of these.  And then finally I decided that I needed to upgrade to a ceramic over cast iron dutch oven.  Not to mention, I desperately needed a covered casserole that could go from range to oven.  But there was no way in hell I could afford the Le Creuset. So I did a little research.

Turns out the perfect solution is right here, practically in my own back yard.  Lodge, a Tennessee business, has been making all things cast iron for over 100 years.  So, after sifting through hundreds of reviews and reading about processing and temperatures, I bought the Lodge 6 qt dutch oven in cafe and the covered casserole in caribbean.

 

Pass the Dutchie

I’ve been using both for a couple of years now.  I have used the dutch oven to make everything from chile, roast chicken, and braised meats to jams, caramels, and bread pudding. The casserole is hands-down my most treasured piece of cookware and is second overall only to the KA mixer. I use it so often and for so many different things that it pretty much resides on my range top.

In my opinion, the Lodge wares are comparable in every way to LC, but are nowhere near as pricey – usually ranging from 1/4 to 1/2 what a similar LC product might cost.  Temp tolerances are roughly the same — the one exception being the knob handles on some of the lids.  And while Lodge may not have quite the sexy rainbow of finishes that LC offers, they are catching up, with four deep, jewel-tone colors that have an almost “burst” (think guitar finishes) look to them.

Cleaning is easy, just use a soft sponge and soapy water and hand-dry immediately.  If stains linger (and they will, especially if you are a sauce freak like me), just use a little baking soda and scrub GENTLY with a sponge.  And yes, the more you use them, the more likely they are to chip.  It’s cast iron, people. They are heavy.  Don’t swing them around.  I also suggest buying appropriate utensils — I especially like the silicone-dipped whisk from Chef’n.

And before you start wondering if I am on the payroll of Lodge, Chef’n, the Ebay dude or indeed, ANY company I discuss here, please know that I don’t make ANY money off of this. Or anything I do, for that matter. I don’t have ads, I don’t get samples, and I don’t get paid to shill.  I’m not ruling it out as a career option or anything, I just wanted to make sure that we were all on the same page. In this specific instance, I wanted to praise Lodge because they are a great company with a great product, and I really want people to know that Le Creuset is not the be all end all to ceramic goods.

I’m going to get off the interwebs now and make some shortbread bars with caramel and dark chocolate, partially because I have a bunch of chocolate bits to use up, but mostly because holy hell doesn’t that sound good?

 

 

 

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Filed under Cleaning Tips, Hussy Recommends..., I Jam Econo, Kitchen Gadgets, Things I Like, Things That Rule