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Ask Carb Diva: Questions & Answers About Food, Recipes, & Cooking, #104

Updated on September 29, 2019
Carb Diva profile image

Linda explores food facts, folklore, and fabulous recipes, one ingredient at a time.

Two Years

Two years, my friends, and thanks to all of you. I'm no math wizard, but I did a random sampling of these posts and found that they average 1,300 words and 3 questions each—that's 312 questions and 14,060,800 words. And we've done so many things together. We've learned from a lexicon of cooking terms, discussed "what not to do" in the kitchen, how to use up leftovers and table scraps, and made one soup for every letter of the alphabet.

So what's next? Darned if I know, but it’s been fun at the very least and hopefully, for you, never boring.

Okay, enough of that. Let’s get started on Year No. 3.

And So It Begins

Let's get started with today's mailbox. If you're an old friend, you already know how this works. But, if this is your first visit, let me introduce you to my kitchen.

Each week I receive questions about food ingredients, cooking or baking terms or methods, requests for recipes, and queries about nutrition. Just about anything food-related has been covered here.

I'm sharing this past week's questions and my responses; it happens every Monday. Want to join in the fun? You can leave your question in the comments below, and next week the answer will be right here. It's that easy.

In truth, the questions in this mailbox were requests for recipes (my favorite thing). This one is from Bill Holland (aka billybuc):

How to Make Stromboli

When I was in college, every Saturday night we would go to a local sandwich shop and buy a stromboli...not technically a sandwich, I guess, but it was the best "sandwich" I have ever had. Oh, how I miss that stromboli from the Alleyway Shop in Seattle.

Source

Bill, the story of stromboli is even better than the sandwich itself. For those unfamiliar with the name, a stromboli is a hot, filled sandwich shaped much like a jellyroll and it's 100 percent an Italian-American invention. You won't find them in Italy unless some entrepreneurial spirit is making them there to satisfy Western tastes.

The interesting part is how the sandwich got its name.

In 1950 Roberto Rossellini wrote and directed the movie "Stromboli" starring Ingrid Bergman as a Lithuanian war-refugee. In the film, she marries an Italian fisherman who rescues her from a post-World War II displaced persons camp and takes her away to his village on the volcanic island Stromboli. Despite her efforts to fit in, the locals reject her and soon she comes to regard the island as a bigger prison than the one she just left.

During production Rossellini and Bergman fell in love (despite the fact that both were married to others) and she bore his illegitimate child. In the mid-20th century, this was a volcanic scandal (sorry, I couldn't overlook the pun). An enterprising deli owner created the sandwich, slapped the "in-the-news" name stromboli on it, and almost 70 years later the name and sandwich are still popular.

Bill, I won't require you to make your own pizza dough (although it's pretty easy). Buy a pound of pizza dough (you can find it in the refrigerated section in most large grocery deli sections or in the freezer). Here's a link to a recipe that you can put together with no baking experience and just 6 ingredients.

Maybe in my spare time, I'll put together an article on all the different, creative ways one can make and fill a stromboli sandwich. Thanks for the inspiration.

Homemade Pickle Relish

Next, Eric Dierker had an online conversation that went something like this:

"Thanks for another great one. I want to make pickle relish, plain and sweet."

"Good morning Eric. Is that you asking for a recipe for sweet relish? I think I can do that (although I will have to be perfectly honest with you and let you know that I detest the stuff. I'm naturally sweet and don't need to embellish)."

"I get your point. But Gabe is not so sweet and I need not mention me. Yeah so maybe we could do one that is only 1/2 sweet. Never thought of that. That would be a perfect replacement for store bought."

Source

Eric (and the rest of you), the good news is that pickle relish recipes are easy to find. The bad news is that 99 percent of them require that you process the relish with a hot water bath to seal the jars.

I'm not going to expect you to do that. Thankfully, I was able to find a cook-but-store-in-the-frig recipe in Gourmet magazine. Here's the link. I would think that you could spice it up with a little jalapeño if you want.

We're Organized

Did you know that there is a Table of Contents for this series? I have created an article that provides a detailed listing of each question I've received. It's broken down by category, and within each category, the questions are listed alphabetically. Each question is actually a hotlink back to the original post.

Here's a link to that Table of Contents.

I have also cataloged all of my personal recipes that I have shared with you in this weekly Q&A series and in all of my other articles as well. The link to that Index is here. There are hotlinks to each recipe and this will be updated as new recipes are shared.

Source

Let's do this again next week. If you have questions about foods, cooking techniques, or nutrition you can ask them here. If you are in search of an old recipe or need ideas on how to improve an existing one I can help you. If you want to learn more, let's do it together. Present your questions, your ideas, your comments below. Or, you can write to me personally at this email address: lindalum52@gmail.com.

And, I promise that there will always be at least one photo of a kitty in every Monday post.

© 2019 Linda Lum

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    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 

      22 months ago from Fresno CA

      I just finished my first attempt. I think I rolled my bread dough a little too thin and it split in the baking. I love the taste, however. So I'll make some other versions. Very tasty though. I'll send you a link when I write about it.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Lum 

      22 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Denise that sounds great. ANYthing can go in a stromboli, right? I'm still working on that article. If by chance you DO make a vegan version I'd like to include it. Perhaps you'll post it on Hubs and I can link to it?

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 

      22 months ago from Fresno CA

      I'm really intrigued by the Stromboli and want to create a vegan version. I think it would be easy to do. I have these great zucchini "pepperoini" discs that I make and some onion and mushrooms would be a perfect replacement for all the meat. I'll take pictures and let you know how it comes out.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Lum 

      22 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Good morning Eric, and you've put a smile on my face as well. Your relish sounds wonderful. I can just imagine the big smile on Gabe's face when he accomplishes this.

      As for fried ice cream, I honestly can't imagine it without crumbs. Crushed cornflakes are what I'm familiar with. Get that salty-sweet thing going.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      22 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Oops I forgot about twice baked potatoes. We use them wrapped in tin foil and tossed into our campfire coals. A little heavy for the hike but perfect.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      22 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Yip skipsy doodle. It must be Monday for I am wearing a smile and reading Mrs. Diva to delight. Count me in on Stromboli. That sounds so fun with friends. We have a Viet "sandwich" which although it would seem odd is very close.

      I am going to go all health food with the relish. Like Apple Cider Vinegar and Palm sugar and I am going to make my Gabe cook it. Bologna and Sour dough and Relish, plain up straight is great.

      Now this treat I do is called fried Ice Cream. I admit to being a Neanderthal and just frying it. But my Mexican friends tell me to get some crumble in there. Do you have any suggestion for my decadence? I have fun stories about our ice cream making days -- Rock Salt? Hand Churned.

    • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Lum 

      22 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Good morning Mary. It is said that great minds think alike; I've been considering an article on "British" condiments so (1) I will email some recipes to you and (2) I'll add another article to the queue.

      Thanks, and I hope you have a great week.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      22 months ago from Brazil

      Congratulations on hitting the two year mark.

      I love pickle relish and haven't had any since I moved here. I bought my first jar of pickles a few weeks ago.

      While we are on the pickle relish subject, in the UK they had two mainly that I used to eat, Piccalily and Branston pickle. Do you have any copy cat recipes for these? One was a mustard base and the other was brown (no idea what made it brown).

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      22 months ago from Sunny Florida

      Linda, Yes, the corn relish had different types of peppers, onions and maybe some tomatoes. My grandmother canned it. I believe we ate it with roast beef or some meat like that.

    • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Lum 

      22 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, try the Villa Fresh Italian Kitchen in Olympia.

    • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Lum 

      22 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Shau that's exactly what I plan to do (and I haven't had breakfast either so all this talk about food is a rough row to hoe). At present I'm working on articles to be published in January, so it will be a while before The Big Stromboli makes an appearance.

      I love my SIL but she puts sweet relish in everything {{shudder}}.

    • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Lum 

      22 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Good morning Pamela. I'm not a huge corn fan (I blame my mom who was raised on a farm and called it "pig food") but I'll bet fresh corn with peppers (which I think is what you're referring to) would be good. But now, it's time to think about winter-type foods, isn't it? My furnace came on this morning and I KNEW it was cold outside. It's supposed to dip to freezing tonight.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Happy two years, Linda! Fantastic! And my stromboli led us off....I really need to find one in town....I guess I could try to make one....stay tuned!

      And Happy Chilly Monday!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      22 months ago from Central Florida

      Linda, that stromboli looks delicious. I haven't had breakfast yet and my mouth is watering. I like the idea of you devoting a post to the various fillings. I'm not a pepperoni fan and prefer not to have meat in or on pizza, calzones, etc. I think spinach, ricotta and mozzarella would be yummy!

      I'm not a fan of relish, either. I hate when it ends up in tuna or egg salad, potato salad, macaroni salad and such. I just won't eat it.

      Two years already! Wow, time has flown!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      22 months ago from Sunny Florida

      I think stromboli and the recipe is so easy. I have made a sandwich similarto that. I buy pizza dough, good sliced roast beef and provolone or any cheese you like, but I thik I will try the stromboli ingredients next time.

      Like you, I do not like sweet relish. My grandmother use to make a good corn liked it. Anyway, thanks for a good article. Have a great week, Linda.

    • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Lum 

      22 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Flourish, we made a late-hour update to this post and got Miss Kitty's pic in just for you. She's a hard worker.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      22 months ago from USA

      I like that Stromboli story and you’ve made me hungry! I may have to get creative with fillings. Congratulations on two years. Tell the kitty we miss her this week. She must be reading questions and doing research for you.

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