Perfect Picnics

Whether you're headed to the park, beach, or even just your own backyard, summer picnics are the perfect way to share food and fellowship with family and friends. This month we shared tips for slicing and serving watermelon, making sauerkraut, and preparing dishes that won't go bad in the heat.

June 26, 2019

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Audio Transcript


What’s Cooking – Perfect Picnics

Presented by Pam Winters and Elyse Heinrich

June 26, 2019

Pam Winters: Welcome everybody. Welcome back to those of you who have participated in our first What's Cooking discussion group. And for those of you who are joining us for the first time, my name is Pam Winters. And I, along with my fellow Hadley learning expert, Elyse Heinrich, will be your hosts for today's session, which we've called Perfect Picnics. We had some great discussion about kitchen hacks last month, and we can't wait to hear about what you guys have to say about picnic ideas. So it's probably safe to say that we've all been to at least one picnic in our lives, right? Picnics can be small and intimate like the ones you have with your significant other, or they can be in larger gatherings like we have for family reunions and church socials. When I think of summer picnics I think of watermelon, so I've gathered some tips for cutting watermelon along with some fun ways to include this summer fruit into your next picnic gathering.

But you know what, Elyse and I like the most is to open up the discussion to you guys. And so we're curious about what your picnic joys are or maybe you've had a picnic problem that somebody else has a solution to. Learning from each other is why we're here, so I'd like to put it out there to see if there's anybody who would like to kick off our conversation today about picnics. If so, go ahead and raise your hand, and we'll call on you to share with us. All right, I see Sue, I'm going to unmute you.

Sue: I'm from Alabama and it's hot, so when we go on a picnic we pack up the ice cooler. One of the best things that you can do is take a milk jug and wash it out after you've used it. And it doesn't have to have contained milk, any liquid container jug. Once it's washed out, go ahead and fill it maybe like three quarters full of water, stick it in your freezer. You can always take that out and stick it in your picnic cooler and not only will you have a way to keep your food cold. But it also serves as extra water because everybody needs to drink. One of the best things that you can do for taste is to go and pick some fresh mint and add that to your water, and you've got a really refreshing drink to have along the way. I've got lots of other tips, but I also want to hear what other people have to say. We just had a picnic about a week ago and it was delightful. So I'll listen to what everybody else has to say and I'll probably be able to talk again.

Pam Winters: Sure, yes, feel free to raise your hand again that'd be great, thank you. All right, next Moto E5 Cruise, I'm going to go ahead and lower your hand or unmute you actually. Oh you already are unmuted, great, well go for it.

Tabitha: Hi there, my name's Tabitha.

Pam Winters: Hi Tabitha.

Tabitha: I actually live in Tennessee. We actually had a picnic back on June 1st and it was actually with our blind and visually impaired group. And we went out to the lake and we had a big grill out, well actually we had volunteers because I guess blind people and grills, they don't really mix that well. But it was a really great experience. They had a grill out. We had hamburgers and hot dogs, and then everybody brought their own side items. And it was just a really fun experience, and of course, we had to bring the coolers to keep everything cool to make sure nobody got food poisoning or anything like that. But yeah, it was a really good picnic, and enjoyed it out on the lake, and that was all I really wanted to comment.

Pam Winters: Awesome, well thanks for sharing.

Tabitha: Thank you.

Pam Winters: No problem, anybody else want to share? I can go ahead and share some of the watermelon ideas I have. I'm curious about any of you folks out there, have you tackled the watermelon and cutting that before.

Elyse Heinrich: And as they're thinking about, this is Elyse, I'll jump in and piggyback what Tabitha was saying about using the cooler to keep your foods cool and even make sure that they're safe to eat because we know the mayos in salads can get warm and just ferment real fast in the sun. So an idea that I've seen before, I wish I could say I've used it, but to keep your salads and dips cool while you're outside is to take a plastic blow up kids pool, some of the smaller ones with a shorter side edge, and then fill that with ice and water and you can set your bowls of salads or that you want to keep cool in the kiddie pool of sorts on ice. And that will keep your salads and dips cool, maybe find a table you could put in the shade as well while you're out and about enjoying the weather.

Pam Winters: Right, I also wanted to add on to what Sue said earlier about the water jug, and I've used just the individual water bottles too, the ones that you can buy to put in because I don't buy gallons of milk anymore. So I have those and sometimes then you can fit those into some of the smaller spaces too in your cooler. All right, I have a couple more hands here I'm going to go with my phone number ending in 616, I'm going to go ahead and unmute you.

Kayla: It's Kayla. I just had a watermelon melon tip. So I have this giant, you know the small apple cutters that have like a circle in the center for the core and like eight sections on it?

Pam Winters: Right.

Kayla: You know what I'm talking about?

Pam Winters: Yup.

Kayla: I have one I found at my grocery store for like $10 that's giant, that cuts a watermelon.

Pam Winters: Very cool.

Kayla: You get a center piece that has no color on it which is my kid's favorite part, and then the rest of them come out in like slices like the apples do it was like $10 and I just got it at the grocery store so I love it and I tell everyone about it, so that's it.

Pam Winters: That's awesome, thanks for sharing.

Kayla: You’re welcome.

Pam Winters: All right, and we have of a phone number ending in 333, I'm gonna go ahead and unmute you and you can share with us please, tell us your name.

Susan: I'm Susan, and I haven't really taken this to a picnic, but I'm sure you could, watermelon. I just had one the other day myself, and normally I just get a butcher knife and I keep mine in the, wash my sink out real well, and cut it. And then I guess if you were taking it to a picnic or something like that you could put it in a container. I mean if you're gonna have to cut it would be easier for me, I think, to go ahead and have it in a container in pieces that way everyone could get some. But [crosstalk] about that. But that slicer thing sounds neat too. I might have to check into that.

Pam Winters: Right, okay, thanks for sharing. Well I had a couple of things I did a little bit of exploring online and a little bit of testing. I have a lot of watermelon in my refrigerator right now because and I am a visual learner so this hand again. And so I did some watermelon cutting under blindfold, so I could see what worked and what didn't so I can go ahead and share some of those experiences with you guys. I also found a cutter not like the one that Kayla had, but I think it was called Slice Right. And I actually found it at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and it was on clearance for $2.99. And the way that one works is it just when you have the watermelon cut in half, you just go from…there is a little it's hard to explain…but it goes through and cuts the pieces into slices and then you turn the device over, and use them as tongs to pull the pieces out.

I have some other ones to share, but I'm curious about what Sue has to say here so I want to go ahead and call on her, here you go, Sue.

Sue: [inaudible] from a friend, she got a lot of food and she says, "Here, I'll share with you." So I have a quarter of a watermelon and what I'm going to do with it, I don't have any picnics coming up. I'm going to go ahead and get it sliced, and stick it in my food dehydrator, and when it is done it'll be a rubbery thing. But it is really, really good, and nobody else has ever had dried watermelon, so I looked at it as being rather unique when I appear with my dried watermelon, it is really, really good.

Pam Winters: Wow, I need one of those right now because with all the practicing I've been doing, I have lots of watermelon in my refrigerator right now that I'm trying to figure out what to do with.

Sue: The other thing is right now probably next week is when the figs will be ripe and so once they start getting ripe they all go into, or most of them, go into the dehydrated because you can't possibly eat all of them within the month that is fig season.

Pam Winters: Okay, interesting. Yeah, I don't have any experience at all with using a dehydrator, but that sounds very interesting. I'd like to try that. All right, thanks Sue.

Elyse Heinrich: Great, and I was thinking about a different recipe of the potato salad. This is Elyse, and we had a caller that was on earlier who was talking about a vegan potato salad recipe. And so I looked around and found one that used the Vegenaise mayonnaise, one cup of that with some Dijon mustard, soy sauce, some basil, paprika, garlic powder, and oregano to flavor, some green onions, diced, stalk of celery, two carrots, and about five potatoes that are unpeeled but cubed. Sounded really good to me and they even have a picture here, it looks creamy and a hearty potato salad vegan style.

Pam Winters: I found one as well when we started looking and it's on All Recipes. And for those of you who, I'm trying to get my window to open right now, my computer's freezing, there we go. For those of you who you have Amazon Alexa you probably are aware that you can use through Alexa. And she will go ahead and give you step by step directions, so this recipe I found is called Picnic Potato Salad with No Mayonnaise, and it is on All Recipes. And it has potatoes, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, basil, salt, pepper, chopped onion, blue cheese, so I think that takes it out of the running for being vegan. Two tablespoons of chopped chives, and so that's one, but you don't have to worry about going bad then when you're on a picnic. Let me go back to my screen here of our meetings, see if anybody know ... Everybody is quiet today, huh? Well I'm going to I'm going to flip back to the watermelon because I wanted to tell you guys a little bit more. Oh, we have Nigel, here we go. We'll go ahead and call on Nigel.

Nigel: Thank you very much so that first recipe was taken from what website?

Elyse Heinrich: Let me get over back to that is

Nigel:, thank you so much.

Elyse Heinrich: You're welcome and we'll also post that in the show notes as well.

Nigel: Okay, is that Pam?

Elyse Heinrich: This is Elyse.

Nigel: Oh Elyse, thank you very much.

Elyse Heinrich: You're welcome.

Nigel:, right?

Elyse Heinrich: Yes.

Nigel: Okay, beautiful, thank you so much.

Elyse Heinrich: No problem.

Pam Winters: All right, so let's see. What I did, one of the ways that I really wanted to share with you guys was the dental floss method for cutting watermelon. I'm curious now-

Elyse Heinrich: I'm interested to hear about this one too.

Pam Winters: If anybody has heard that one before. So the way this one works I was completely fascinated by hearing that dental floss could actually cut watermelon and slice watermelon. So one of the tips that I found in my search on YouTube I found the Low Vision Chef, so that might be another resource for people if you haven't heard of her before, but she's on there. She appears in her videos to have some vision, but it's limited, and so she had some tips about cutting watermelon. And a couple of them were very helpful to me. One I think Sue mentioned before, which was to put the watermelon in her sink so that it didn't have as much of a chance of rolling away from her. And then another one that I found was to put a rubber band around your watermelon in whatever direction you want to cut it. If you want to cut it across the middle, lengthwise, or across the middle like the equator, you could put the rubber band on there.

And for me that was super helpful when I was cutting the watermelon under a blindfold. I use a lettuce knife because that knife is very difficult, if not impossible, to cut yourself with. And what the Low Vision Chef had suggested was to take your watermelon and stick that knife straight down into it. But first I had the rubber band on there. And then when I was able to do is once I made that initial cut into the watermelon, I was able to use my noncutting hand, and I put that on the watermelon above my knife. And then I was able to use a sawing motion going around the watermelon turning it with my noncutting hand. But the rubber band helped me cut a straight cut all the way around because I could keep that as a guide as I guess I was going around and cutting the watermelon. So that was one that I found super helpful for getting it cut initially. And then so with the dental floss what I did was I did that cut first and I did it lengthwise. Then I took my watermelon half and I flipped it so that the flesh side was down.

And I cut each one of those halves again across lengthwise and made quarters. Okay, then I flipped one of the quarters up and then you just take a long piece of dental floss, and you start it at the one tip of the watermelon. And you get it right there between the rind and the flesh. And you just run that dental floss slowly... I had my thumbs along the edge of the rind the whole time I was going. And you run it all the way across the watermelon to the other tip. And then you've separated the big piece of flesh from the watermelon rind. And then after that then you just go across and take the dental floss. And I use my thumb to judge 1-inch slices. And I would just slice directly down with the dental floss, and it cut just like a knife. But the only time I had to use a knife was to make those first two cuts to cut the watermelons into quarters. It really was fascinating to me to see how well it worked, so that is another option of cutting watermelon that I wanted to share. Is there anybody out there who's tried that before?

Elyse Heinrich: This is Elyse, did you use one piece of floss or did you have to do multiple?

Pam Winters: I used one piece of floss.

Elyse Heinrich: Wow.

Pam Winters: Yeah, your hand starts to get a little wet, and the dental floss gets wet, but it worked really great. You have to make sure it's long enough so that you can wrap it around your fingers a couple of times, so you have a good grip on it as your running it along there, but it was really very cool how it worked, so I wanted to share that one with everybody. And let's see, I think that was it for the watermelon. Oh, I did want to share a recipe. I don't know how many of you are out there who like spicy food. But when I had all this watermelon, and I was trying to figure out what to do with it, and my husband and I both love spicy food. So we found a recipe on called Spicy Watermelon Salad, believe it or not. And again, those directions are available step by step on And it was so good for us we ended up using toast to soak up that marinade after we ate the watermelon salad. And I just had never heard of watermelon and tomatoes together in a salad, but they went really well, so that was another thing I wanted to share with everyone. How about anybody else, any watermelon recipes out there? No, all right. Well let's see we can go in to ... Are there things that people are wanting to hear about?

We have some other picnic tips. We can also look up some recipes like Nigel was interested in vegan potato salad. How about, is there anybody who is interested in learning about a specific recipe that would be good on a picnic? All right we have Tabitha.

Tabitha: I was curious about any strawberry recipes for taking on a picnic?

Pam Winters: Okay, anybody out there have any strawberry recipes that they've used? Let's see what we can find here.

Elyse Heinrich: This is Elyse, I don't have a recipe per se, but I did find a little trick in how to take out the stems if you get a pretty sturdy straw like the one from McDonald's, you can put the straw, the tip of the strawberry and push it all the way through to the top and it will pop off your stems with ease and it's nice you don't have to dig them out with a knife and that. They also make a strawberry hurler like a little gadget that has a sharper, small serrated blade. But I found that straws work just as well as the $5-10 gadget.

Pam Winters: Right, right, that's good to know. Well I just found a website here right now Chowhound. It's says, "Strawberry dishes to serve at your summer picnics." So it's is the web site. I haven't been able to check it for accessibility at all, but let's see what they have here, strawberry tart with citrus pastry cream. Oh strawberry basil lemonade, that's another thing that I was thinking I would do with all this watermelon that I have to make some watermelon drinks. But here is a strawberry basil lemonade they have on there. Strawberry chocolate chip cookies. And just as a side note, oh a strawberry jalapeno salsa. As a side note, after the last discussion group we had some people who were sending us recipes. So we are keeping track of those. Elyse and I haven't really had a chance to get to talk about what we'd like to do with those, but please feel free to send us your favorite recipes. And we can figure out how to incorporate them into future discussion groups that we have. So that was one thing, and so I'm going to make a note there Tabitha that you are interested in strawberry picnic recipes.

Elyse Heinrich: Right, some of the recipes shared with us last time were about gooey butter cakes with different variations, and it sounded so good. You just used one package of yellow cake mix, one stick of butter, and this comment that real butter is the best, one egg, and one tablespoon of water. So you mix all of those ingredients together and pour into a greased 9 by 13 pan. And then you set aside while making your topping. And so this tapping consists of one, 8 ounce package of cream cheese, 2 eggs, and 1 box of powdered sugar, yum. So you mix and pour all of that over the unbaked mixture in the pan. Your oven set at 350 degrees, and it bakes for about 40 to 50 minutes. And so some of the variations for chocolaty gooey butter cake, you can use a chocolate cake mix instead of yellow. You can pour a cup of chocolate chips in when making the filling after the powdered sugar. You could also use lemon cake, and use that and add white chocolate chips to the topping, or use just a cap full of lemon extract. And there's also one for spice cakes, which all sounds really good right now, spice cakes.

You can top the batter in the pan with a cup of pecans or any sort of nut you like and use some butterscotch chips in the topping.

Pam Winters: Oh that sounds good. I have somebody with the last numbers of 929, and I'm going to call on you in a second. But I wanted to also mention that Karen typed in our Zoom chat box that strawberry pretzel salad is fabulous, that sounds delicious. So maybe we can try, Elyse, maybe can [inaudible] be real quick and we can go over that while I go ahead and call on the number ending in 929. I'm gonna go ahead and unmute you. Hi, who is this?

Stella: Hello, this is Stella from North Carolina.

Pam Winters: Hi.

Stella: Hi, I have a talking thermometer, which when they were talking about the temperature of the food, I was thinking to add the talking thermometer to picnic basket so you can test the temperature of the food to be sure that it is at an appropriate temperature.

Pam Winters: Oh yeah.

Stella: I also have, I found them again, I had once upon a time you can also buy them on Amazon, which is one thing I found them again, a pack of six and they are napkin rings of salt and pepper that you add to. So the salt and pepper in the napkin ring, and you to put the napkin through the center [crosstalk] the picnic to keep the napkins from blowing away [crosstalk] right along would have their own salt and pepper shaker. And I think it's only like $12 for the box of 6.

Pam Winters: Oh that's great, that's a great one, thanks for sharing. Oh go ahead, yeah, you have more? We love it, go for it, that's the way we want it.

Stella: At another time I will see... I wanted to ask a question. I have a tendency to forget how much a pound is so I buy things by the pound and then realize that I have too much. For instance, I have a pound of ginger, ground ginger, so I'd like to have some recipes for ground ginger to do what I may be able to do with that so it does not go to waste. And on another time, I [inaudible] a recipe. I lived in Scandinavia for 14 years, and I have a recipe it's called [Foreign Language], and what it is it's a savory cake that you make for special occasions, so I will send that recipe in too. I don't want to take up a lot of time speaking at this time, but thank you, I really enjoyed this program and it's my second time joining you.

Pam Winters: Awesome, thank you so much, all right. We appreciate you.

Elyse Heinrich: Wonderful, I did find a recipe off of for the strawberry pretzel salad.

Pam Winters: Oh awesome.

Elyse Heinrich: And I've had this before I totally forgot about it when you're talking about how to use strawberries, this is a great summer dish. You're gonna use two cups of crushed pretzels, 3/4 cup of melted butter, some 3 tablespoons white sugar, 8 ounce package of cream cheese, and a cup of white sugar. Some Cool Whip topping and packages of strawberry flavored Jell-O are involved. And then it says 2 packages, about 10 ounces each, of frozen strawberries, but I know you can also do it with fresh. So I'll add those ... I'll post this also on our show notes, all the directions.

Pam Winters: Awesome, thank you. All right I see that 290, phone number ending in 290, I'll go ahead an unmute you, and if you could tell us your name?

Lila: Hi, hello, my name is Lila from [crosstalk]. I would like to say something about how you guys can you use the strawberries for a special [inaudible]. I like make a lot of salads. One of these salads can most I make is a kale salad with strawberries. I don't know if you guys know about that.

I do it with my hand full with some kale, cut into [inaudible] pieces, want to slice it [inaudible]. The strawberry, I do the same thing, then some vinaigrette, maybe chop a little pecans or onions with that, and shallots, salt, pepper, apple cider vinegar. I know sometimes my family like a wee bleu cheese, well I like a little ... yeah. It's sort of the thing where people can you see [inaudible] the salsa except for that. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Pam Winters: Very good, thank you for sharing.

Lila: You’re welcome.

Pam Winters: And if you want to send that to us, we can put that in the file that we're collecting of people's recipes too, and we can include that in there.

Lila: Okay, thank you.

Elyse Heinrich: Yeah, that sounds yummy.

Lila: Yes, I will.

Pam Winters: Great, thank you. All right, thanks.

Lila: Thank you.

Pam Winters: All right, so let's see. What other tips do we have? I had a couple that went along with the whole ice thing just how to make a picnic a little bit more convenient. I'm going to call up that page now.

Elyse Heinrich: And I have one about our winged creature friends that are above our heads. So when we're at the picnic if it's outside sometimes the bugs just get to be too much because they smell all the fabulous food that we're gonna be eating. And so I found if you take an old plastic jar like a peanut butter jar that's been emptied and washed out, poke a few holes in the bottom and some in the cap if you're able to but those caps are pretty strong, and then put something sweet like a regular soda, nothing diet, or even a little bit of juice in the bottom of the jar. And I took a string tied it around and we hang it on a tree branch or the picnic table that's far away from our food, so the bees and the bugs have something sweet to enjoy in their little jar and they get trapped there so hopefully they're not bothering the food or bothering you by your plate when you're eating.

Pam Winters: Very good, let's see just [inaudible]. Just want to see, okay. So everybody's quiet still so we'll go on with some other tips here. One that I read about... Oh another thing you can do for drinks to keep your drinks cold on a picnic is to freeze your grapes. I don't know if anybody's ever tried that before and then put grapes into your drink. And then after your drink has thawed, you have some grapes there. I also was reading about how, and I had never done this before, I think I've just always when I pack sandwiches for a picnic, put them in like Ziploc bags. And it's actually better to wrap them in parchment paper or grease proof paper so that sandwich doesn't get soggy and that it holds all the liquids in. And oh, somebody was talking, oh the napkin rings that reminded me of another one that I saw that I thought was cool. If you use the little plastic containers from Tic Tacs, and I'm sure you could use other little plastic containers, but you can put if you need any seasonings of any kind in your picnic, but you don't want to bring your whole big container of it from home. But you can save those little types of containers.

Another one that I'm thinking of that could be useful potentially for that like my husband is a Type 1 diabetic, so glucose tablet containers to bring just a little bit of that seasoning with you. So that if you have to mix it into the recipe later on, you can do that and just not without taking the big container with you. I have to keep switching screens here back and forth, okay, just to make sure nobody's trying to talk here. And the little muffin cups that you use for cupcakes and muffins have a couple of uses on picnics, one of those would be if you're having popsicles this is a great one for if you're having kids that you would stick the popsicle down through the little muffin paper so that any drips would catch in there. Or you can also turn it upside down and put your straw through it for any drink that you might have to cover your drink so that those little critters that Elyse was talking about don't get into your drink that way.

Elyse Heinrich: And I have a few more things that you can pop into your picnic basket just to make your time more enjoyable. Sometimes if you're packing wine, or beer, or even soda bottles, you can then bring a corkscrew or bottle opener. You can put it in your bag. Sometimes we forget the wine opener with the wine. And wet wipes if you're at a picnic amd the bathroom's far away or not available, those pre moistened wet wipes we can keep your hands clean or help clean up anything that sticky that might spill and attract those bugs especially if there's not much running water nearby. The salt and pepper napkin rings are adorable. I've never heard of that. But also just the regular salt and pepper shakers to put in.

Pam Winters: Right, I'm just looking at one of my websites right now that I have pulled up before, and it's showing that you can use cinnamon around your picnic blankets to deter ants, so that's an interesting one too there I had not heard that one before. So we have 292 here, I'm going to go ahead and unmute you.

Speaker 11: Hi, just one more quick thing, you were talking about keeping the animals out of your cans.

Pam Winters: Uh-huh.

Speaker 11: Someone introduced me to the idea when you use to pull top, you should bend over backwards over the hole and put your straw through there, and that eliminates the excess air or space for animals to crawl into. And it also holds the straw into the can. I did not know that until just recently as many cans that I had in my life. But actually she said that is what it's intended for, that's why there's a hole in the pull top. Did you know that most pull tops have the hole there?

Pam Winters: No, this is the first I'm hearing of this, but that sounds fascinating.

Speaker 11: Bring it back over the hole and once you do that it pretty much plugs the hole of the of the straw and the straw doesn't come out of the can easier either.

Pam Winters: Right, right, right, okay.

Speaker 11: So that's great for anytime as well as picnics.

Pam Winters: Right, right.

Speaker 11: Just thought I'd throw that in.

Pam Winters: No, thanks for sharing, absolutely, all right. And we have Lila.

Lila: Yes, hi. I would like it to respond to something about the lady who came looking for a use of ginger in drink or food.

Pam Winters: Yes.

Lila: I have two drinks I make it in my house.

Pam Winters: Okay.

Lila: I use a strawberry, cucumber, lemon, and a small piece of ginger. And I make a strawberry juice. But they have another one that I use that with seltzer, a strawberry and seltzer as sparkling water. I use the strawberries, cutting in pieces, and blend it. I throw it with club soda with ice and a little bit of [inaudible] maybe one teaspoon the ginger, a little piece of the basil in there to drink. It's a special in [inaudible], it's really good.

Pam Winters: Nice, thank you for sharing that. Thank you for [crosstalk].

Lila: You're welcome, mm-hmm (affirmative).

Pam Winters: Okay.

Elyse Heinrich: And to piggyback on that, another idea with ginger did you grind it up real fine you can put it in your 7Up or a Sprite like a clear soda, it gives it a little extra zing to it-

Pam Winters: That's a nice idea.

Elyse Heinrich: And I've found that it helps with clearing out your sinuses, and also if your throat is hurting or if you have a sore throat starting, the ginger really helps to nip that in the bud very quickly.

Pam Winters: Awesome. Elyse, I'm noticing that we have about 15 minutes left and I'm wondering if we should open up the question to people about what kinds of things in the upcoming months they might like to be talking about. And if they want more recipe sharing and-

Elyse Heinrich: That's a great idea.

Pam Winters: Or maybe, you know one thing that you and I talked about is like even picking a recipe and then having somebody try it, and then talking about it the next month. And so I had a woman who emailed me I'm not sure if she's here today, but is interested in learning about cultured foods, fermented foods. And so those are the ideas we want to get from you folks so that we know what it is you're looking for. So if anybody can share with us for a little bit what kinds of things would you like to be talking about in this group, anybody have anything they want to share? Well let's see, okay, Sue, lets unmute you, there you go. Hi Sue.

Sue: Hi, I wanted to say I like the idea of finding out more about cultured foods because I make my own kombucha and sauerkraut. And I just started making chutney, but anything vegan. And a lot of people think that sauerkraut is sour, it's not. The reason people think vinegar when you're talking about sauerkraut is because sour is S-A-U-E-R, which means salad and kraut means cabbage. So it's cabbage salad. And all it is if you make it the way I do is you chop up the cabbage and add salt like one head a cabbage to a couple of tablespoons of salt. And then you let it sit in a bowl for maybe several hours, I usually go about four hours. And then I pack it into cleaned up large mouth peanut butter jars. And when I've got that filled as full as it's going to go just under the rim, then I cover it with a big piece of cabbage. And by that time because you're packing it down in, all the liquid that leaches out of the cabbage is up at the top.

And so when you stick this large cabbage leaf over the top you are sticking it down into liquid. And then you put the lid on ever so gently, this stuff when you set it aside I keep it in a big plastic box. And the first day it's going to come up and over the sides, sometimes, not always. And that's why you've got to keep it loose cause you don't want the broken glass if it does explode with a loose lid it won't explode, the juice has a place to go. The fermentation actually has a place to go. And I make sauerkraut about once every two weeks.

Pam Winters: Oh okay, well and I'm embarrassed to say this, but I am German and I think that if I ever knew that sauer meant salad, I think I forgot that because I think of it as just being like sour, S-O-U-R, so that's good, thanks. All right, let's see.

Elyse Heinrich: I see a few more hands, this is great.

Pam Winters: Yeah, okay, so this is for 760, hi.

Jeanie: I'm Jeanie from Indianapolis. I mostly listen, but I'm interested in recipes that are easy and quick and I'd love to do desserts. Now I sent a recipe it's called Are You Kidding Cake. And I think they call it that because are you kidding this is all you do? You take any cake mix, any pie filling, three eggs, in a 9 by 13 pan. You bake it at 350 for 35 minutes, and there's many different variations, so I wanted to share that as well.

Pam Winters: Awesome, thank you.

Jeanie: Thank you for all you're sharing with us. I like to just listen and get some ideas. I'm not a cook that goes into a lot of trouble. I'm alone and I try to do recipes that will go for me without lasting forever.

Pam Winters: Right, well and your recipe just now that you've described made me think of dump cakes, which I personally have never made before, but I know that a group that I socialize with whenever we have a get together there is a woman who brings dump cakes, so maybe we can look into that too or maybe somebody has some experience making those. But thanks for sharing. Yeah, go ahead.

Jeanie: I've made that too, but my favorite is butter pecan cake mixed with apple pie filling and then cool with on top or you can use cream cheese icing. And I just thought about this a day or so ago, you could put the topping on that with those toffee brickle chips like chocolate chips and that would be a nice fall cake I think. But you can sprinkle ... now I'm planning for July 4th I'm planning to see if they have a strawberry cake mix and use blueberry pie filling, put Cool Whip on the top and use red sprinkles or you could use strawberries.

Pam Winters: Yeah, then you have your patriotic theme, right?

Jeanie Peterson: Right. I just thought I'd share. Those are good for pitch-ins and picnics not necessarily picnics because of the Cool Whip, it wouldn't hold up well, but I just thought I'd share, and thanks again. God bless everyone.

Pam Winters: Absolutely, thank you so much. All right, so I see Nigel, I'll call you in just a second. I wanted to read another message that we got from Karen suggesting that marinated cucumbers are also a great thing to take with for summer picnics and I would imagine that that's true. So I think any of those like marinated pickles type things that are in that vinegar base probably hold up pretty well with picnics so thanks for sharing that, Karen. And Nigel, here you go, I'm going to unmute you.

Nigel: I'd be curious to know how she makes her kombucha, I've never seen homemade kombucha before.

Pam Winters: Well that's an interesting thing because my husband actually received a kombucha kit for Christmas from my sister and has yet to use it, so now I'll have motivation for me to do that, so we can find out more about making kombucha, all right.

Elyse Heinrich: Or does, Sue, want to jump back in quick and explain?

Sue: Yeah, kombucha, you need a SCOBY, but you can go ahead and buy your first bundle of kombucha from the grocery store and make it. You make tea and you sweeten it, and because of the sugar it's going to act with the SCOBY, which is a yeast and bacteria in the air. Go ahead and make the liquid. It ferments, it bubbles, and after about a week it's ready to go. Let me go ahead and send in the recipe and it'll be here for next month unless if you want, Nigel, if you'd share your email address with Hadley. And if I can get in access to it, I'll go ahead and send it to you directly so that you can make it tonight or tomorrow.

Pam Winters: Awesome, thanks so much, Sue.

Elyse Heinrich: And just a heads up that you can definitely send in recipes, or anything, or if you're interested, Nigel, you can send us an email. My email is, so that's my first name, last initial. And Pam you want to throw in your email?

Pam Winters: Sure, mine is pretty easy it's Winters is my last name and that also works. But it's even easier just to remember I have 301 here, 301 is raising your hand, so I'm going to go ahead ... Oh you're unmuted, so why don't you go ahead and share with us?

Speaker 13: I would like to have Sue's recipe for sauerkraut if she would be willing to share it with us?

Pam Winters: Awesome. I bet that she is, is that correct, Sue? Let's see, hi Sue.

Sue: Okay, yeah, I'd be glad to share it. And actually you can use any vegetables. You don't have to limit it to just cabbage. Very often I add garlic, and ginger, and beets, and carrots, and celery, and just have this phenomenal food. And I hate to admit it, but I can pig out at breakfast and enjoy my sauerkraut and nobody else wants it with me, so it's my time to have something special.

Pam Winters: Awesome, now Sue when you make your sauerkraut do you have an actual recipe or do you just know at this point what kinds of things you want to put together and do that?

Sue: I know what kinds of things I put together cause I know how big my Balls are and I know how much I can pack into one of the peanut butter jars. But just generally, I will give you the one I use for the recipe and you take it from there.

Pam Winters: Awesome, that's great. Is it the type of thing that you could share right now? Because we have a few more minutes I know we [inaudible].

Sue: Sure, I can.

Pam Winters: It would be great if you would still email us too, but maybe somebody might want to go out and do that in the next couple of days, so if you know it off the top of your head that be great.

Sue: Yeah, one head of cabbage that you chop finely. I will go ahead and add about seven cloves of garlic that I finely slice. You could grate them, but I go ahead and slice them. A stick of celery, a carrot stick that you grate, a beet that you grate. Don't forget the ginger, the ginger I'm probably using a one- or two-inch chunk of ginger. And I usually chop that pretty fine. And then you add a couple of tablespoons, two tablespoons of salt. I use the pink Himalayan salt, and sprinkle it all over the vegetables. And then you work the vegetable so the salt all mixes in. You let it set for about four hours. And then you start packing it very firmly into jars or a crock. But make sure that when you pack it firmly, you've got that liquid coming up to the surface. And once it's up as high as it's going to go in the jar, then you put on a large cabbage leaf and really push it down.

And then lightly put the lid on, and I go ahead and put mine in a plastic box just so that when it flows up over the sides not everybody in the house gets to smell it. And you'll leave it there for about a week. When you find out if it's ready you can go ahead, in the summertime after about five days, you take off that large cabbage leaf. And you check to make sure that you don't have... The whole time your cabbage should have stayed underneath that large cabbage leaf. But you take off that large cabbage leaf. And if there is any discoloration, now when you're using beets all your beet juice is going to sink to the bottom, so you've got this layer of stuff on top that didn't turn that purplish color, but it's still good cabbage. As long as it doesn't mold, your fine. If it does mold, go ahead and scrape that off and throw it out. And if the sauerkraut is okay, then you can eat the whole rest of the jar. But at that point you go ahead and stick it in your refrigerator.

Pam Winters: Okay, all right, great, thanks for sharing. All right, we have one more call, I think 967, and then we have to wrap up because it's 5:29, so 967.

Barb: Hi, this is Barb from Missouri. I'm going into a diabetic coma here just listening to all of the awesome recipes. I had a question on the dental floss for the watermelon. Would that also work for cantaloupe and honey dew melon?

Pam Winters: I never tried it, but I'm thinking it would. You might have to use a little more force on it. But I will try that between now and next month and we can see.

Barb: I have a cantaloupe in there that I'm getting ready to cut so I thought I'd [crosstalk]. I'll try that.

Pam Winters: Go for that and you can share with us next month how it went, that'd be great.

Barb: And someone mentioned the dump cake. I make that all the time, that is just absolutely easy, and it tasted awesome.

Pam Winters: Awesome, great, thank you so much. All right, so I think we're about ready to wrap up, right Elyse?

Elyse Heinrich: Right, we're coming to the one-hour mark so we are so happy and enjoyed talking with our time together. We loved hearing from everyone. Pam and I both want to thank you for coming and we hope to see you next time for What's Cooking.

Pam Winters: All right bye everybody, have a good rest of your week.