Question for danab

Elly_NJ(NJ z6)July 7, 2008

So what's a "gourmet watermelon," and how is it different from a regular watermelon?

Just wondering what absorbs you all day.

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monica_pa(7)

It's a black-skinned Densuke watermelon, from Japan.
And...it costs a lot more.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 6:13PM
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Elly_NJ(NJ z6)

Must be a rich person thing.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 6:24PM
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monica_pa(7)

Goes well with arugula in a salad.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 6:28PM
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Pidge

Fascinating how some people can turn the most innocuous question into a political snipe.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 6:58PM
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monica_pa(7)

Huh??

Here is a link that might be useful: Watermelon, arugula pine nut salad

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 7:06PM
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Elly_NJ(NJ z6)

Political?

Anyway, I love watermelon and regret that this is one I can't try! (If it's expensive.) I eat $5 watermelons, $4 on sale!

I don't buy Starbucks either. (Although I love their coffee!) Not sure if I am making a political statement there, either, except I am cheap, maybe?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 7:27PM
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jerzeegirl(9)

Just curious. What part did you see as a political snipe?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 7:29PM
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Pidge

Give me a break, JG. Monica can drag out a recipe that combines two unusual ingredients, but do you really think that the initial mention of arugula sans wasn't a snipe? Had I not brought the issue to the fore, do you really think she's have dug up that recipe?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 8:18PM
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mareda(5)

As soon as I read it I knew it was referring to what Obama said, but did you expect anything other than a 'huh'?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 8:21PM
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hamiltongardener(CAN 6a)

I'm so oblivious.

Can anyone explain to me what I am missing here?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 8:40PM
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mareda(5)

HG, when Obama was in Iowa he was talking about the price of food and said:

"Anybody gone into Whole Foods lately and see what they charge for arugula?

which was met with great howls from those who hate him saying he's just a rich, out of touch typical politician. So when Elly said it must be a rich person thing and Monica said it goes well with arugula, it was a dig to Obama, but we're supposed to play stupid and not suggest such a thing.

Hope that helps, though you may be more confuzzled now..lol.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 8:49PM
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Pidge

Thanks, Mareda, you've got it right.
There ae some people on this forum for whom even a watermelon can be used (without basis) as a weapon against Obama. Petty.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 8:56PM
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spewey

I'd forgotten he had said such an moronic thing myself. Thanks to the Obama fans for the reminder.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 9:07PM
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hamiltongardener(CAN 6a)

Ahhhh...I get it. I guess I wasn't watching the news when that happened.

At least he didn't say it was yucky.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 9:09PM
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mareda(5)

At least he didn't say it was yucky.

LOL!!!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 9:14PM
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mrbrownthumb(z5 Chicago)

♫ Youre so vain, you probably think this recipe is about you
Youre so vain, Ill bet you think this recipe is about you
Dont you? dont you?♫

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 9:26PM
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comettose(7)

Black-skinned Densuke watermelon and arugula salad. Now if that is not an elitist salad I don't know what:-)

What's the opposite 'sweet tator and boiled peanuts pie'?

Actually I dont' find arugula special. It is easy to grow in cooler climates and found in many supermarkets. Now the Black-skinned Densuke watermelon. Who the heck cares what color the outer skin is. Its whats inside that matters and only sweet if you know how to pick it.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 9:27PM
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jerzeegirl(9)

Well, who would've thunk it. I think people should start using footnotes when they write their replies, for those of us who are uninformed or have bad memories.

What kind of dressing would one use for an arugula and watermelon salad? I'm thinking something peppery.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 10:38PM
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danab_z9_la

> So what's a "gourmet watermelon," and how is it different from a regular watermelon?

Just wondering what absorbs you all day.

Elly, Just checked in after a long weekend and not being able to sleep. No politics from me today..........

I'm a retired chemist and I have lots of time now to do some really neat stuff. I grow many different types of citrus, several varieties of persimmon, 85+ varieties of figs, blackberries, several type grapes, and several type pecans. I'm doing fig research documenting the sugar content and other characteristics of the fruit that I grow. Some of the figs that I grow came out of the defunct fig breeding program at Louisiana State University and are extremely rare. I am on a mission to find the "lost" LSU figs and other heirloom varieties. I travel all over Louisiana to find them. I have a small lab in my home for my research and I find solitude, gratification, and much happiness there.

From some published NASA research work that I unearthed, I got a neat idea for building a "rooting" device for the propagation of cuttings. I'm working on a prototype that I have built and may bring it to market one day........still too early to tell.

I'm an avid cook. I love to cook for charities and fundraisers. I do some large quantity cooking for some caters in the area. My speciality is Cajun cuisine. When my son was in the Navy and stationed in NOLA for fleet day, I had the cooks from his ship over to my home where I taught them how to cook Cajun Jambalaya for about 500 sailors on that ship. I got a special award from the ship captain for doing that and got a chance to spend a day on the ship with my son and several hundred other super nice guys.

I love to fish. I have a special shallow draft boat for chasing redfish in the shallow salt water duck ponds of South Louisiana. The fish are plentiful here. Nothing tastes better than blacked or bronzed redfish cooked in that special Griswold cast iron pan. Blackened redfish and/or charbroiled oysters with a cold Corona is to die for......

I'm writing a cookbook with some emphasis towards the chemistry processes involved in cooking. If you understand the chemistry of cooking you can become a much better cook. I try to explain the reason WHY certain cooking techniques are so important for a successful dish.

I have an entire chapter in my book devoted to the care and maintenance of cast iron. You will find some of my postings on this subject in Garden Web's Cookware Forum. I collect cast iron and literally have tons of the stuff. I have developed a proprietary formula for a spray that will quickly cure cast iron.....may choose to market it too one day.

I've developed several special seasoning blends and marinades. I'm working to perfect them.....may choose to market them one day.

Regarding the watermelons, I have four grandsons with whom I was "making memories" with this past week. I went and got a load of 150 "speciality" watermelons that grow in an area called Washington Parish. There is something about the soil in that area that allows for the growing of the sweetest watermelons. Sort of like the Vidalia onion, I guess. The soil near Vidalia, Georgia is very low in sulfur content which makes those vidalia onions extra sweet.

These melons are grown from hybrid seeds that cost $300 per pound. The melons are large.....one in this batch weighed 80 pounds. To watch my 4 grandsons wade through those watermelons to choose their own individual melon was priceless for me. Their eyes were as big as saucers!! Their smiles went from ear to ear. Eating a slice of a super sweet, crimson red watermelon with those boys wasn't too bad either......can't wait until they are a little older so we can have that proverbial watermelon fight.

This week it's more remodeling and house paining for me. And a quick trip to Lafayette, La. squeezed in to secure some cuttings for a special "rain resistant" Celeste fig cultivar that an old timer is growing. More fun for me to watch grow and document...........

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 12:34AM
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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

What kind of dressing would one use for an arugula and watermelon salad? I'm thinking something peppery.

JZ, it does sound good, doesn't it?

As a reminder, arugula, or rochetta is not elitist for Italians (as in Italians in Italy, and those who know the traditional cuisine), but rather a field green that is grown as both coltivata and selvatica -- cultivated and wild.

I can see it now on the summer menus, insalata di cocomero con rochetta, pignoli e ricotta salata for twice the price as when it is listed in English.

I'm waiting for borlotti beans to make it on the elite food lists.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 1:19AM
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mrskjun(9)

danab, I'm waiting for your spray. I collect cast iron too. My favorite cookware. Still season the old fashioned way, baking it in the oven. We always have trucks of Washington Parish watermelons around here. They really are the best. Also have a big bag of figs in the fridge to make some fig preserves. I've promised myself I won't eat all of these first lol.
Interesting life you are leading after retirement.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 5:55AM
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Elly_NJ(NJ z6)

Sounds great!!! And delicious!!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 6:08AM
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Pidge

dnab, you lead a very interesting and seriously productive life in retirement. I'm only semi-retired, and my "production" is designing and making jewelry. Not as much use to the world as the food you research, propagate, grow, and prepare, but very satisfying to make something of which there is only one in the world.

Can I come for lunch? You can make anything--after reading your post, I know it will be good no matter what it is. And watermelon for dessert, please.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 6:53AM
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ohiomom

Danab

What a wonderful post! If you understand the chemistry of cooking you can become a much better cook. I try to explain the reason WHY certain cooking techniques are so important for a successful dish.

As a cook I will be looking forward to buying your cookbook. Please email me thru gardenweb when it is published, I only own about 50 cookbooks, never can have too many :)

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 7:51AM
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vgkg(Z-7)

Speaking of Watermelons (my first one is almost ripe) here's some WM news that should expand and extend sales this summer...

Here is a link that might be useful: Melon causes Swellin'

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 8:00AM
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danab_z9_la

vdkg, my 80 year old mom clipped that same article for me. She was laughing when she gave it to me. She told me that watermelon are like liquid "Niagara" and if I told some about it that it would help my sales. I'm still laughing and will never forget her words every watermelon season from henceforth.

mrskjun, try using grapeseed oil for seasoning your cast iron...it's almost as good as my formula.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 8:36AM
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mareda(5)

Danab, I have to agree with some of the other posts here, fascinating stuff! I love learning how some of you are doing all these fun things in retirement or semi-retirement. There are amazing women here and I wish more would share their behind the scenes lives.

JG, I think peppercorn might go well with both, too.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 9:08AM
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mrskjun(9)

Thanks danab...found the grapeseed oil.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 9:11AM
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woodnymph2_gw

How about using olive oil to season cast iron frying pans? (I enjoy the flavor).

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 11:42AM
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kingturtle(Zone 7 GA)

Fascinating research on the figs, pecans, and grapes. I've always been interested in traditional and heirloom varieties of fruits and vegetables. Louisiana was such a cross-roads for settlement, I bet there are some interesting little known treasures out there. Thanks for posting this.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 11:42AM
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lily316(z5PA)

Interesting subject but we all know what the arugula comment was despite the innocent reply from Monica..The LAST thing I would even think of in the same sentence would be arugula and watermelon. But in her hatred of Obama , she manages to get a dig into the most innocuous of threads..Im thinking of rescuing an Italian greyhound...Arugula doesn't seem like a good name, how about Bitter?

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 1:11PM
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spewey

Arugula doesn't seem like a good name, how about Bitter?

Well, both of those were stupid gaffes by Obama, so knock yourself out.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 1:26PM
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ohiomom

The only way to make sure people you agree with can speak is to support the rights of people you don't agree with ~ Eleanor Holmes Norton

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 1:44PM
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monica_pa(7)

The LAST thing I would even think of in the same sentence would be arugula and watermelon.

I guess you don't watch the Food Channel. The Barefoot Contessa has used the combination of arugula and various melons in salads.

Arugula is not a strange leaf vegetable. Every supermarket around here carries it...even the Super WalMart.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 2:38PM
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lily316(z5PA)

If arugula is not a strange leaf vegetable then why all the hoopla when Obama complained about the price of it??? I eat it all the time so why was he considered elitist for even mentioning it? He has to play to the lowest common denominator in this country. I guess that would be the ignorant people from PA to Kentucky who said darkys should be hung from trees.I'm sure they don't shop at Wholefoods and eat arugula and goat cheese.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 3:00PM
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monica_pa(7)

It's two words "Whole Foods".

As to the rest of your post...you're rambling again. Goat cheese is available at WalMart, too. Lots of people eat it, many cultures, in many forms. it's not expensive....why do you think it's elitist?

As to your remarks about people from PA to KY....it's ignorant, uncalled for, and you should apologize. Your generalizations of people based on Lord knows what aren't comical anymore...they're pathetic.

Now....toddle off to Whole foods, and buy some arugula, watermelon and goat cheese for a nice, calming salad.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 5:05PM
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lily316(z5PA)

Actually I'm toddling on down to potentially adopt a dog...And arugula and watermelon sounds yucky. I will not apologize for calling the people in those backwoods places what I called them .They are ignorant and nasty in their racist remarks.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 5:26PM
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jerzeegirl(9)

Are you 12 years old, lily?

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 5:28PM
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spewey

I will not apologize for calling the people in those backwoods places what I called them .They are ignorant and nasty in their racist remarks.

Lily likes to hem and haw about ignorant voters versus the college-educated set, but it's all even more laughable when one realizes that Obama lost the majority of college graduates in Pennsylvania and Kentucky in those primaries. Maybe she should be blaming the "bitter intelligentsia."

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 6:07PM
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bumblebee7

I like anything with "-ista" in it, it sounds so elitist....anyway, I enjoy reading your post Dan, sans politics, into the chemistry of ceramics, clay, cast iron, etc... pot cooking thats rarely talked about nowadays, except I once heard from my grandmother who loved the flavors of foods cooked in clay or ceramics pots.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 7:09PM
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lily316(z5PA)

Actually my goat cheese costs $18.99 a pound. I doubt if it's available at Walmart...Maybe Spewey because Clinton had Rendell backing her, but wait till the fall. BTW..Hillary people still owe the state a wad of money.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 8:55PM
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spewey

Maybe Spewey because Clinton had Rendell backing her, but wait till the fall.

How would Rendell have had anything to do with how college-educated voters in Kentucky voted? Even in Pennsylvania, do all the educated people follow his orders? I think you need to blame the "bitter intelligensia" for Obama's failure to carry the college educated crowd.

We buy excellent artisan goat cheese for much less than that, lily. It's enjoyed by many people here, both the Walmart crowd and the Whole Foods types (who pay more for theirs than those of us who buy at local farmers markets).

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 11:13PM
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lily316(z5PA)

Spewey, I wasn't talking about Kentucky obviously and check the current polls in PA..Kentucky is a lost cause for us, I'm afraid...We don't have a Whole Foods around here but we have a chain which is very much like Whole Foods. The goat cheese I am addicted to is Drunken Goat from Spain. It's soaked in red wine for three months. It is so wonderful..

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 12:57AM
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lilliepad

Oh my gosh Lily!!! Get over it!
danab-I find your post interesting and educational as well.You are a busy one!
I love watermelon.Bought one over the weekend and haven't cut it yet.Mainly because I don't have room in my fridge for the leftovers.I hope it is nice and sweet.Nothing worse than an under ripe watermelon,although I have been known to eat one now and then.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 2:33AM
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danab_z9_la

lilliepad, I generally cut mine up and place it completely deseeded in a large Tupperware bowl so that it fits into the refrigerator. I'm snacking on melon as I post this. I'm sprinkling on some "Bot Muoi Ot" chili salt seasoning as I eat each piece. The combination of the sweet, salt, hot chili, and acidity of the citric acid really dances on the tongue.....very pleasant and different.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 4:33AM
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ohiomom

I love salt on my watermelon, but never thought about adding some hot chili.

I buy artisan goat cheese at my farmers market, it is from Lake Erie Creamery, winner of the 2008 Gallo Family Vineyards Gold Medal Awards ...a small urban company here in Cleveland. Don't pay $18.99 a pound either. In fact I buy my arugula at the farmers market also, fruit, cheese and arugula is a wonderful combination, try it you might like it :)

BTW my farmers market is in the inner city and is a historical landmark (76 years and counting) ... many people from all walks of life like to eat healthy (and local). I know because I meet them every week.

Imported doesn't mean better ...

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 7:35AM
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lily316(z5PA)

Ohio mom..I thought I was the only one who salted my watermelon..I'll need to try chili salt..Sounds interesting...I'll try the artisan cheese at our local farmers market. I got a goat chees a few weeks ago which was very salty and a different texture than the drunken goat kind. I'm always up to tying new cheeses.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 12:19PM
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kingturtle(Zone 7 GA)

Adding salt is a very southern thing too. My dad used to do it. I like mine without.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 12:46PM
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ohiomom

LOL KT, then I guess you could say "I got it from my Daddy" :) My uncle drove up north every year delivering produce from down home (Tennessee) and would bring us watermelons, they were soooooo good.

Lily, In case you are interested, I provided a link to Lake Erie Creamery :)

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 12:50PM
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vgkg(Z-7)

After eating melons almost every day for a month I'll start using the salt for a change of pace.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 1:09PM
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lily316(z5PA)

Thanks for the link ,ohiomom..I'd love to try their cheese. , but I'm guessing it's only available in Ohio?? Goat cheese is my weakness. With every bite , I think of my cholesterol but rationalize, my bones love it..Since I am a semi vegetarian and have eaten no meat for many years, cheese is a HUGE part of my diet so never could I become a vegan..Love dairy and eggs too much...KT..maybe I have Southern roots I don't know of..My dad salted his too.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 1:22PM
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ohiomom

Lily

As far as I know it is only available locally, but you could try contacting them. Mariann's cheese is not salty at all, and she also does a feta that is to die for. As you can tell I am a big fan :)

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 1:30PM
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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Adding salt is a very southern thing too.

Thanks, KT. I often wondered where that came from since I rarely have seen anyone doing that in SoCal.

never thought about adding some hot chili.

Here mango and chile powder are a fairly common combination.

Gallo Family Vineyards Gold Medal Awards

The goat cheese sounds scrumptious, but here in California I don't think Gallo will ever live down its earlier reputation as double cheap-o wine, at least among people of a certain age. Im glad to see that Gallo doesnt have a negative image elsewhere.

We bought some wonderful local goat cheese at the farmers market for much less than in the gourmet-wannabe chains. It's now our special occasion and impress-the-relatives cheese.

Imported doesn't mean better ...

Can we make an exception for pecorino romano and manchego? Pretty please??

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 1:41PM
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catspaws

Watermelon and feta cheese is eaten all over the Mid-east and is delicious!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 1:44PM
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ohiomom

LOL Nancy ... anything Italian is exempted,just a natural part of my diet. A friend pointed out to me that I cook a lot of Italian dishes, what do you want from a Scots-Irish girl who grew up in an Italian community ?

"Scots-Irish by birth, Italian by choice"

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 1:45PM
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spewey

Can we make an exception for pecorino romano and manchego? Pretty please??

When we see manchego in a convenient green plastic jar, we will :)

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 1:51PM
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lilliepad

I add salt to my watermelon too.Also to cantaloupe and honeydew and grapefruit and oranges.LOL

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 2:29PM
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woodnymph2_gw

It's also a southern thing to add sugar to uncooked tomatoes and eat them as is.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 2:33PM
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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

When we see manchego in a convenient green plastic jar

Spewey, what an excellent opportunity for your retirement years! Here's your chance to make millions underestimating the taste of the American public. I'll help you line up celebrity endorsements.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 2:34PM
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comettose(7)

I try not to salt anything as salt is not good for me.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 2:36PM
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monica_pa(7)

Can we make an exception for pecorino romano

Only if it's Locatelli.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 2:36PM
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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Only if it's Locatelli.

I'm all for Italian imports, but dead Baroque composers? Eeewwww!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 2:42PM
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woodnymph2_gw

nancy, lol!

D. never answered my query re seasoning iron pans with olive oil.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 2:44PM
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lily316(z5PA)

I will make an exception for pecorino Romano, Spewey..I love it...But if any of you see Drunken Goat cheese from Spain, try it. It's as smooth as velvet and has a faint taste of red wine..

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 3:07PM
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mickeyman

Dear Dan..When i was a little boy i remember my uncle taking a 3foot branch of a fig tree and digging a hole 18-20 inches laying the branch in the hole and horce manuer on top of it. that summer we had a small tree. I think that was all he did. That was in brooklyn new york. Can that happen is it possible? Dan what does it mean when the farmers say the sap is running in a fruit tree ? and i have three 4year old fig bushes 3ft branches can they be rooted and i also have 12 to 18 inch branches. or do i need to dig down to take roots with the stem ? And my brother has a friend that has a huge flower pot filled with lime pellets and a huge fig tree is growing very well in it. Is that possible ? I Really appreciate you,Mike

    Bookmark   January 7, 2010 at 4:56PM
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mickeyman

Dear Dan..When i was a little boy i remember my uncle taking a 3foot branch of a fig tree and digging a hole 18-20 inches laying the branch in the hole and horce manuer on top of it. that summer we had a small tree. I think that was all he did. That was in brooklyn new york. Can that happen is it possible? Dan what does it mean when the farmers say the sap is running in a fruit tree ? and i have three 4year old fig bushes 3ft branches can they be rooted and i also have 12 to 18 inch branches. or do i need to dig down to take roots with the stem ? And my brother has a friend that has a huge flower pot filled with lime pellets and a huge fig tree is growing very well in it. Is that possible ? I Really appreciate you,Mike

    Bookmark   January 7, 2010 at 6:20PM
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