Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Reader reveals a ‘mother’s secrets’
Seabourne Stokes Jr. has been calling me with a plethora of tips, including making tea into ice cubes so it won’t dilute your drink and boiling rice in water used for previously-cooked potatoes. Serving potato salad with rice is a Cajun tradition and the potato water will flavor the rice and make it healthy, he said.
He says Gold Medal Wondra Flower “makes the best lump-free gravies … Grandmother believed in flour power.”
He reminds readers that “desserts” spelled backwards is “stressed” and that when you serve up a good meal, like the rice and potatoes one, tell the family “Mother just had an idea” and hugs and kisses will follow.

Facon compliments
My own mother is willing to share her secrets. She may have developed her idea of frying flour tortilla strips in reserved bacon drippings out of old-fashioned resourcefulness. They taste great with eggs and she substitutes these crispy strips for bacon, calling them facon.
On the way to her house for breakfast, my daughter chastised me for “making fun” of them, which I was not. I just like saying “facon” over and over. She said if I didn’t stop, I might not get any. I asked if she thought I was going to upset the great cosmic facon balance in the universe. I think she was just implying she’d eat my share.
I got my facon.

A new tequila in Texas
El Grado Tequila is making its debut in Texas and in my kitchen. The round stopper is enough to excite me, but most connoisseurs would want to unstop it to get to 100 percent pure Blue Weber agave and aroma of mint, hints of fruit and pineapple with traces of black pepper. What do you know, it rests in Tennessee whiskey barrels. I’m making it last by drizzling it over fruit for summer desserts. You get the amazing flavor without watching the fill line drop so drastically.
El Grado comes in Reposado and Añejo , which adds flavors of honey, butter, and caramel with hints of fruit.  How do they do that? 

Know the Skoy
Those Europeans are always on top of things. Enter Skoy, the earth-friendly reusable cotton and wood-pulp cellulose cloth that you can substitute for 15 rolls of paper towels. Wet it, squeeze it and clean up. When it’s time, clean Skoy in the clothes or dish washer. I’m a big one for saving paper to prevent waste, especially in the kitchen, so I like the Skoy and its motto: Wet, Wipe, Wow.

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