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Sit down, You'll want to read this one: Lucretia!

Discussion in 'Life on the Edge' started by Toothpick, Oct 18, 2015.

  1. Toothpick

    Toothpick #2 since day #1 Founding Member

    Here we have an inside look at the life of Lucretia. A founding member and a hoot to follow around the forums! She has contributed a plethora of knowledge and even more laughter to our great forum.
    A big thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions for us all to read!



    Who are you? Where are you located? (Tell us a little about yourself)

    I'd tell you who I am, but then I'd have to kill you. Just say that I'm short, fat, old, mean, cranky, and antisocial. And in spite of walking around with a big neon "go away and leave me alone" sign above my head, I'm the one that people come up to in the grocery store to ask where they can find frozen peas. I live in Washington State about an hour south of Epicurean Edge, after spending most of my life in Florida. I spent many years working for NASA at Kennedy Space Center, mostly doing environmental testing and writing software. When they announced that the Space Shuttle program was going to be cancelled, Mr. Lucretia & I figured it was an opportunity to move to western Washington, one of the most beautiful places we've ever seen.

    Let's see, Toothpick wants pictures... I had a co-worker tell me one time that I looked just like Gene Wilder (he recanted and said he meant Joan instead of Gene, but I think he was just trying to get out of trouble.) My husband looks a bit like Marty Feldman, so here's a picture of what Mr. & Mrs. Lucretia look like:

    18799246.jpg-r_640_600-b_1_D6D6D6-f_jpg-q_x-xxyxx.jpg

    That's me on the left. And unfortunately at my age, the mustache is accurate. Maybe I need to spend some time at Badger & Blade.


    How do you take your coffee? or what perks you up in the morning.

    I usually drink tea in the morning, although I love coffee and will have it occasionally. I like my tea strong and sweet, and my coffee strong with cream & sugar. I try to just have coffee as a treat to cut back on fat. I despise weak tea and coffee. When I go out and get served weak tea or coffee, though, it makes me sentimental thinking of my dear departed dad, who, when served a weak beverage, would snarl and say "I can pee stronger than that!"

    What is your favorite dish to make?

    Reservations! No, not really. One of the reasons I left NASA several years ago was that we were eating out almost every night and it was affecting our health, so now going out to eat is a treat rather than a habit. I don't really have a dish that's my favorite to make, although we make pizza for all major holidays. Any dish that comes out as good or better than I picture it in my head is a favorite. I like just about anything that's in season. Except bell peppers. And innards (offal.) Or shellfish with innards. Just can't get my head wrapped around that. Maybe it stems from a traumatic childhood experience involving a raw oyster and railroad-track style braces...


    Care to share a recipe or two?

    I don't usually cook to a recipe, but I have a couple things written down because they get cooked often. There's my every day bread, which WILL kill a Kitchen Aid, even if you only make a single batch instead of a triple batch. I'm not a disciplined baker, so the measurements are close, then adjusted if the dough doesn't look right. I've also been tweaking it lately, so make at your own risk. This is a triple batch--it freezes well and can be pulled out to thaw and then go through the rise process. I get a lot of things from King Arthur Flour. The Hi Maize can be a little tricky to find--I've been getting it from Honeyville Grain in 5 lb bags. It really helps with the fiber content--a sandwich made with this bread will give you about 25% of your recommended daily fiber. And it makes a dandy BLT.

    Honey Multigrain Bread (Triple Batch)

    WARNING! THIS WILL KILL A KITCHENAID Mixer!

    I am not very exacting with my measurements. I do "close enough" then add a little more flour or water to get the consistency needed in the final dough. You don't want a stiff dough that forms a smooth ball in your mixer--it should be very soft and sticky.


    3 1/2 C Water
    3 1/2 Tbsp Instant Yeast

    Turn mixer on to slow speed and add:

    4 Tbsp Vegetable Oil (put oil in a 2 c measuring cup and roll the cup around to coat it with oil prior to measuring the honey. It makes the honey come out more easily.)
    1 1/2 C Honey
    1 C Hi Maize (a high fiber resistant corn starch, available from King Arthur Flour. If not available, use bread flour instead.)
    3 3/4 C Bread Flour
    1 1/2 C Oatmeal (Quick)
    1 C Oat Bran
    1/2 C buckwheat flour
    2 1/4 C Whole Wheat Flour
    6 Tbsp Wheat Gluten
    3/4 C Harvest Grain Mix (from King Arthur, a mix of whole grains and seeds. Or use your favorite whole grain mix)
    3/4 C Sunflower seeds, plus 1/4 cup other seeds (extra chia seeds, poppy seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, whatever looks good)
    3 Tbsp Ground Flax Seeds

    Mix until ingredients are moistened.

    Turn off mixer and add:

    4 1/2 tsp Salt


    Let rest about 20-30 minutes. Dough should be fairly wet and soft.

    If using a mixer, mix about 12 minutes (This really WILL kill your Kitchenaid. I promise.) Turn out onto a floured board and knead until smooth. Divide into thirds. At this point, the dough can be put into greased ziplocs and frozen until ready to use.

    Shape the dough into a ball and put in a lightly oiled bowl. Allow dough to rise covered in a warm place until about double in bulk. Fold over a few times on a floured board and shape to fit into greased loaf pan. Let rise covered in a warm place until bread has risen to the desired height--less rise makes a denser, chewier bread and more rise makes a lighter loaf. I usually let mine rise a little above the top of the loafpan with a nicely domed top.

    Preheat oven to 350.

    Slash top of bread in several places. Sprinkle with seeds if you want to make it pretty. Bake for about 40-45 minutes.

    BreadA.jpg



    How about a cooking technique?

    Fry anything in butter. Or bacon grease. Or in olive oil. Or olive oil with butter or bacon grease. And add some garlic to that.

    What is your favorite "home cooked meal". (made by you or someone else)

    Different things at different times of year--whatever is fresh and in season in the summer, soups & stews & hearty dishes in winter. I really enjoy a meal my husband makes. Roast pork tenderloin with apples and braised red cabbage, out of a Jacques Pepin/Julia child cookbook. It's fantastic, Mr. Lucretia does a great job on it, and I don't have to cook it.

    If you could have breakfast/lunch/dinner with anyone alive or dead who would it be and what meal would you eat?

    Benjamin Franklin. How can you not love a man who recommends having an older woman for a mistress? Julia Child, because, well, she's Julia Child. And because I saw her speak one time and she made an off-color joke about a lobster. Isaac Asimov--loved his books and because he just seemed so interesting . And Dwayne Johnson without a shirt, just so he can stand around and look pretty.

    As far as food, with the big personalities in the room, you'd need something you could throw at each other as well as eat. Meatballs, chicken wings, peas (in butter, of course, for Julia), and boiled shrimp. Asparagus, sausages, and baguettes (with more butter) for waggling. And beer. Lots and lots of beer. Silver City Brewery is my current favorite maker. Some of their Fat Scotch Ale (9.2% ABV) and Liquid Sunshine (9 % ABV). It would loosen everyone up nicely.


    Do you have a favorite kitchen gadget? Or just something you reach for time and time again? (besides knives)

    My immersion blender is invaluable. And I love my hi-soft cutting board (although that's knife related.) After killing 3 kitchenaid mixers, I love my Electrolux Assistant. Most of all I like my husband's long monkey arms--he can grab things off the top shelves in the kitchen so I don't have to pull out the step ladder. And it's not a gadget, but my spices are alphabetized in a drawer so I know what I've got and exactly where it is. Sometimes I'll just open the drawer and open jars and sniff around for ideas for seasoning dinner.

    Care to talk about your knife arsenal? What kinds?

    More than any sane person needs. I love knives that make my life easier, so it's nice to have knives that work really well for specific tasks. That's what I keep telling Mr. Lucretia, anyway. I've always liked metallurgy, so having knives in different steels is a kick. ( It's also caused me to pull out some old materials books to try and remember some of the results you get using different alloys and heat treatments. I spent a while in bed one night trying to build a crystalline structure using modelling clay and marbles while poor Mr. Lucretia was trying to sleep. Finally after about an hour I went on line to figure out what I was doing wrong--and it turns out that the artist's rendition in the book was incorrect and it wasn't possible to recreate the drawing. There wasn't an Internet to double check this sort of thing back when I was in school--it would have helped a lot! )

    And then there is the knife the husband is allowed to use:

    CTV.jpg

    Speaking of knives, do you have a favorite kitchen knife?

    I have knives that are my favorites for different applications. Some knives just seem better suited than others to some tasks. The knife I find myself reaching for most often for general purpose use is probably my Maumasi. It's light, it's amazingly comfortable, and it does a really fine job across the board. It has all the advantages of a larger knife but handles like a small nimble knife. Nice height at the heel but a fiddly tip for fine work and silverskin. And it's really pretty, so it makes me happy to use it.

    Let's talk gardening. How did you grow the green thumb?

    I'm inherently lazy and hate grass. Seriously, lawns are evil. I like to use native plants if possible. The problem in the Pacific Northwest is a lot of the native plants get a couple hundred feet tall, and that just isn't feasible in my yard, so I've tried to find alternatives that don't need additional water or spraying and provide a little habitat for the critters.

    You have a very diverse group of plants so what is your favorite?

    Don't know that I have one particular favorite. Roses are ridiculously easy to grow here with no care. I had over 200 different kinds at one time. Not the long stemmed kind that you get at the florists, but the old garden type that make nice healthy bushes and have flowers that smell fabulous. The history behind them is fun, too. I have some of the same roses that the Empress Josephine grew after Napolean gave her the boot for not providing him with an heir. Also the White Rose of York and the Red Rose of Lancaster from the Wars of the Roses. Then there are the dwarf conifers. Easy to grow here and look like tiny Christmas trees or Bonsai. Knife collectors may be knuts, but at least they don't carry tree climbing spikes around with them so they can shinny up a 100' tree to collect a mutated branch for propagation. (Of course, some conifer collectors take the easy way out and shoot branches out of trees.) After spending some time on a conifer forum, almost all knife knuts come across as sane, upstanding citizens.

    Do you use anything from your garden in your cooking? or what do you use the most of?

    Mostly we try to take advantage of all the local farmers' markets and produce stands. Chives grow like crazy here, so I grow & use them a lot. And I learned to use the chive blossoms from someone on a knife forum (even though they will give you the most evil breath imaginable.) Tomatoes are iffy because our summers generally aren't warm enough or long enough for the best tasting tomatoes, although I give them a shot every year. They're always good fried for breakfast when they're green. I've grown garlic, and it's FABULOUS--much better than what you get at the grocery store. I'm tempted to try a rose petal jelly at some point. Our mailbox is right next to a patch of wild blackberries that make their way into jams and sauces. And I have a young stone pine that will someday provide me with loads and loads of pine nuts. Really! It will! Someday...

    Would you like to add any final words for the members of the KKFora?

    Remember Bullwinkle's motto.​
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2015
  2. Chuckles

    Chuckles Founding Member

    Nothing up my sleeve. image.jpg


    Great read. Can't wait to try out the bread.
     
  3. Haburn

    Haburn Founding Member

    MMM...bacon grease.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Well, at least i know the saying "It's not rocket science." wouldn't work on Lucretia. :)
    Anyway, interesting story as always.
     
  5. Mrmnms

    Mrmnms Founding Member Gold Contributor

    On behalf of all the clowns here ( if the shoe fits), thank you for your wit, wisdom, great taste and keeping us in line when necessary.
     
  6. Lucretia

    Lucretia Founding Member

    You guys are too kind. :D
     
  7. schanop

    schanop Founding Member

    It is good to get to know you better, Lucretia.
     
  8. James

    James smarter then your average duck Founding Member Gold Contributor

    wow, you really put the smart in smart ass huh lol what a fun read, well done
     
  9. WarrenB

    WarrenB Contributor

  10. apathetic

    apathetic Founding Member

    That was a fun read, and very useful for me as I was hesitating between getting a kitchenaid and a Assistent. Not anymore :D
     
  11. When there'll be a second part of the interview?
     
  12. zwiefel

    zwiefel Rest in peace brother

    Nicely done Lucretia!
     
  13. You are awesome lucretia. Now what we are really missing is more of a glimpse into that beautiful collection of knives.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Founding Member

    It's nice to get to know you better Lucretia.

    I lived in Cocoa Beach for 3 year on a house boat, back in the late 90's. I wonder if we ever crossed paths? I used to love watching the shuttle take off, especially at night. Did you find your love for sweet tea while in Florida? I ask because I grew up in Kansas, and thought I knew what sweet tea was, but Florida ( and maybe the south in general ) learned me on what real sweet tea was. I also had the opportunity to eat fruit right off of the tree in Florida. I had a friend who had an orange orchard and a ruby red grapefruit tree on his land. Best fruit I've ever eaten. There's nothing like picking something off of the tree and eating it right then. I don't miss the heat in Florida, but I sure do miss the fruit.
     
  15. Bill T

    Bill T Founding Member

    I think your mustache is kinda cute...
     
  16. Lucretia

    Lucretia Founding Member

    OK, here are some pictures of the girls:

    Knives for taters:

    Taters.jpg

    Knife for 'maters:

    KD.jpg

    Big fruit:

    Watermelon.jpg

    Small fruit:
    Berries.jpg

    Vegetarians need not apply:

    Beast.jpg


    General purpose destruction:

    AllPurposeDestruction.jpg




    DaGirls.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2015
  17. butch

    butch Professional Craftsman Founding Member

    great read think getting to know everyone i killer. the nasa stuff peaks me a bit
     
  18. Lucretia

    Lucretia Founding Member

    Ever go to Taco City in cocoa beach and Schoolies in the port?....nommmm!

    Got exposed to really sweet tea when I went to school in Georgia. I miss our murcott tree, although our grocery here in Washington actually carries them when they're in season. And I really miss the white grapefruits with lots of seeds that taste so good--pink ones just don't have the same flavor. I don't miss mosquitoes--generally get about 1 bite a summer with no bug spray. But I still look for alligators in retention ponds.
     
  19. Lucretia

    Lucretia Founding Member

    See your little paring knife in the group photo? Starting to develop a little patina. It gets used regularly to portion steaks after cooking. GREAT little protein knife!
     
  20. Beautiful collection!
     

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