Good morning, September friends. We have two new requests from a friend asking for two other friends: Where can a pescetarian (one who eats a vegetarian diet plus fish) find the best fish in Chattanooga? The searcher is looking for markets as well as restaurants. And do you have a recipe for Greek dressing? This friend-of-a-friend could not find a bottled Greek dressing, either on the regular shelves or in the refrigerated produce section, in two big supermarkets.
These are second-time requests: The salad dressing and oil-and-garlic dipping mix served at Provino's and a gluten-free zucchini cornbread.
We begin today with three more favorite things from some of you. This is fun, so don't stop now. Please join in by telling us the best of the best in your kitchen.
* Nancy Ruby chose her kitchen scissors (the kind that can be taken apart to clean) and her "tomato" knife, a small curved blade with a serrated edge.
"Two things I use daily are my kitchen scissors and my 'tomato' knife. The first knife I had like this was my mother's. I must have raked it into the trash. The next one came from an estate sale for 15 cents. It too disappeared. This one, one of two, I bought on Amazon. I wanted a backup, but I ended up giving the backup to a friend. It is just an all-around great knife."
* Ginny Gaines chose a pottery bowl that she purchased at Mole Hill Pottery when the shop was on Signal Mountain.
Picture this bowl, "a lovely green and a tan/khaki color. It has a spout, and is probably just 5 inches high, but it's deep and narrow, making it the perfect bowl to mix up a dressing for salad, slaw, a sauce for meat; it's perfect for mixing muffin ingredients, a good bowl for mixed fruit, perfect to batter okra or squash: just the perfect bowl. I use it constantly. I also use it for pancake batter, as the spout makes for easy pouring. I bought one of these bowls for my sister-in-law for Christmas years ago. As I was wrapping it, I decided I should go back to the shop and purchase one for myself. We've been good friends all these years, stirring and whisking and pouring."
* K.S.H. chose two: a 4- by 8-foot island in the middle of their living space and a sink that is "one big tub large enough to bathe the grandchild."
"Having the kitchen in the middle of the living space doesn't relegate the cook to the kitchen, helping to bring the party into the chaos, confusion and laughter." These words were part of a larger conversation, and we'll give you more of a taste of that next week.
How about that fancy cold brew one may purchase at a favorite coffee emporium — or buy by the bottle? No need for that, as Ginny Gaines explained. "Cold brew coffee is my best friend these days. I found this method online, and it works really well."
Cold Brew Coffee
3/4 cup coffee beans
4 cups water
Half-and-half or 2% or fat-free milk
Stevia or sugar
You will need a French press coffeepot; you can find a good 4-cup one for $10. The secret is to buy really good coffee beans in a medium blend. You will also need a coffee grinder; put it on coarse for 4 cups.
Pulse coffee beans a few times, and the coffee beans are not fine ground. You want halves of beans showing.
Take the plunger of the French press out and pour in the coffee beans, then add water. Replace the plunger, but do not mash down.
Let sit for 24 hours on your counter. Then gently and slowly push the plunger down, and then pour coffee in a glass container with a lid. Place in refrigerator, and it will last 2 weeks. But if you drink it every day, just a few days.
I add about half a glass of coffee in a tall glass, and add either half-and-half (depending on how rich you want it) or 2% or even fat-free milk. You may add stevia or sugar, and ice cubes. It's a great pick-me-up in the afternoon.
CORN, 3 WAYS
What happens when you find a good corn recipe? If it's in Fare Exchange, it only makes you hungry for more corn. In that spirit Betty Domal sent "two ways to microwave corn on the cob and a recipe for Corn Dip that always gets compliments when I take it somewhere."
Microwaving Corn in the Shucks
1 ear of corn, husk on (for more than one ear of corn, increase microwave time by 2 to 4 minutes per ear)
Place corn in the microwave; do not remove the husk. Microwave on high for 4 minutes. It will be very hot, so use a kitchen towel or potholder to remove from the microwave. Cut the bottom of the corn off at the stem end, about one row of corn in from the stem. Holding the corn with towel or potholder, slip off the husk and the silks.
Microwaving Corn Shucked and Silked
Wrap each ear in wax paper; twist ends of the paper or tuck under the side. (I twist each end; haven't tried tucking it). Microwave on high 1 minute and 30 seconds for each ear.
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (1-ounce) package dry ranch dressing mix
1 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 (11-ounce) cans whole kernel corn (drain one can)
4 1/2-ounce can chopped green chilies, drained
2 1/2-ounce can sliced black olives, drained
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Optional: a few dashes of hot sauce for a little kick (I like Frank's Red Hot)
Mix all ingredients together. Chill. Best make the day before.
Serve with tortilla chips or crackers.
Makes 4 cups.
Thank you for your company this long short summer, and for the hope of more in the autumn ahead.
* Best fish restaurants and markets
* Homemade Greek dressing
* Provino's salad dressing and oil-and-garlic dipping mix
* Gluten-free zucchini cornbread
To Reach Us:
Fare Exchange is a longtime meeting place for people who love to cook and love to eat. We welcome both your recipes and your requests. Be sure to include precise instructions for every recipe you send.
Mailing address: Jane Henegar, 913 Mount Olive Road, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750