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Everything posted by Sugarella

  1. Could these possibly be an odd take on Tort Krakowski cut into smaller cookie squares?
  2. This sounds wonderful; I have a saurkraut pot I'm not using so I think I'll try to make some this year. If I'm understanding correctly, you just layer the fruit as it becomes available and let it ferment, is that correct? You don't mascerate it? Off the top of my head I think this would be terrific on ice cream, or as a killer cheesecake topping, or even with bread pudding. But never having had it before, are there other uses I'm overlooking? Thanks....
  3. I once tossed up some undigested chinese food a whole 5 days after I ate it. Funny how your stomach will push something into a corner and refuse to do anything with it. Very weird. The worst thing you can do for food poisoning is take anti-diarrheal or anti-nausea medications; you'll just prolong the illness. If your body wants to get rid of a toxin, let it. Chewing charcoal tablets really will help, although it is really disgusting. Hope you feel better.
  4. Could it be because the waitstaffs wanted to make more and just raised their expectations? ← Waitstaff hasn't set the regulatory amount for tips, the public has. It's grown over time because waitstaff now have to share a percentage of tips with kitchen staff, whereas many years ago they didn't. Because kitchen staff don't have to put up with the shit from customers that waitstaff do. That earns you extra. Why the hell not? If you want exceptional service, they you generally need service from someone who has chosen to make a career of it. And if they've made a career of it, they deserve the right to make as prosperous a living as they can, just like everyone else does.
  5. For me, spices are always creamed in with the butter or oil, same as you'd add them to a hot pan at the beginning instead of at the finish of a dish so they can incorporate with the fat....dry ingredients are always mixed together in a seperate bowl and hit with a hand mixer for even distribution before they're added to the batter, (unless it's cocoa or a nut flour; those get creamed), and eggs are almost always whipped seperately and folded in at the end. Makes for an awful lot of dishes but it always works for me.
  6. Over the course of my life I had never had both a dishwasher and good knives....untill a few years ago and the day came when I put my Henkles in the dishwasher and the handles cracked at the rivets ← Ah..... I should've mentioned that when the wash cycle finishes I pull wooden spoons, tupperware, knives etc. out before the dry cycle can warp anything. I think the drying is what does it. Might be the wash cycle too but I'm too lazy to change my ways now. I do that too; everything disgusting goes in the freezer until trash day. We don't have disposals here but we do have green carts for composting, (and a mini green bucket for in the kitchen) and yes, organic garbage does rot a lot faster when lidded.
  7. Sounds like they're trying to be polite in your presence.... maybe it is the female thing.... maybe they're not used to working alongside a woman and don't know how to act. I say let them be themselves (which it sounds like you're prepared to do anyways) and you should act like your usual self. If you're comfortable with the jokes, laugh or join in; if you're not, tell them matter of factly when one goes too far. But don't try to "become one of the guys" if that's not who you really are. As for the hand-holding, either they're trying to help you, or they're patronising you, or they're testing the waters to see how much bullying you'll take. If it's the latter, my advice when pushed is to push back, otherwise it'll just keep escalating. If they're just patronising you, don't worry, they'll eventually get bored of it.
  8. Ok, I give..... what's wrong with putting knives in the dishwasher?? As long as there's nothing to bang them and you use liquid soap so they can't get marred, I fail to see how hot water could possibly hurt steel. What am I missing?
  9. That's lucky .... do you know how many times I've watched someone "rinse" their dishes by swirling them around in the dishwater? Apparently if you can't see bubbles there must not be any soap.... I've got a ton but one of the worst was watching my stepmother cook once.... spilled pasta sauce all over her legs and feet, wiped legs and feet with tea towel, returned tea towel to dishrack full of "clean" dishes. The absolute worst was watching someone scoop the catbox (conveniently located next to the fridge) with a big slotted spoon, then rinse said slotted spoon under the tap and put that in the dishrack. I declined the offered cup of coffee and never went back. Where is that turning-green-and-vomiting emoticon we've all been asking for?
  10. Sugarella

    I'm a lobster newbie

    I can't believe Fat Guy just wrote that, that way. When I was little we visited my grandfather and his brother out in New Brunswick a few times; both were lobster fishermen, so I saw lobsters being handled a lot, and I ate a lot. (I have to ask about the methodology of cooking because I was too little to remember and both of them have passed on since then.) But I do distinctly recall someone yelling at someone else that losters are never to be cut up live because they'll excrete all over their own meat as you're butchering them, and you can't really cook the taste of the lobster crap out of the meat. Whether that's an old wives' tale or based in truth I'm not sure, but I figure if you're chopping them up anyways the first cut might as well be the one that kills them, just in case. Just a thought..... Edited to add: Old wives' tale about lobster # 2 : The elastics must be removed from the claws before submerging a live lobster in boiling water; the reason being that a frightened lobster with a closed claw will clench its little fists, so to speak, and that tenseness in its body will toughen the meat, whereas a lobster without a restricted claw will actually throw its claws open when frightened, resulting in a relaxed claw and therefore more tender meat. However, knowing lobsters don't really have anything that could be described as muscle, I doubt this one really has any merit.
  11. Anna'a suggestion for boiling, chilling, and refreezing the stocks and glace de viande is a good one, but if that's not an option, don't forget you can also preserve them. Boil to sterilize jars and lids, salt the stocks and bring to a simmer then jar, lid, and process for 10 minutes. The artichoke hearts could also be marinated and preserved, or even just kept marinated refridgerated for several months so long as there's a natural preservative in there. For the lime leaves I'd either dry them completely, or infuse an oil with them and refridgerate. If worse comes to worst you could dry the sausage. The bacon and pancetta are relatively small amounts so I'm sure you'll use them up before they go bad but if you had to you could cure and dry those also. You mentioned the unsalted butter isn't a problem but it kind of is.... only foodsafe at room temp for 4 hours and refridgerated for a couple of weeks. Personally, if it were me and I had a lot I'd start giving it away. Unsalted butter doesn't do well if frozen and thawed more than once, assuming you'll be using it for a pastry, because the fats separate and don't coagulate back again the way you'd like. If you plan to get a new freezer soon you could mix up several buttercreams etc. then refreeze those when you have the space, but don't refreeze the solid blocks. Good luck, and enjoy your holiday....
  12. I'll betcha they just came in for a couple of free drinks.......
  13. Sugarella

    I'm a lobster newbie

    What a terrific website.... thanks so much.
  14. Sugarella

    I'm a lobster newbie

    I know you're talking about butchering the lobster while it's alive; are there any more detailed instructions for this on eG or elsewhere online? Or any chance you could do a demo next time you're doing this?
  15. Sorry to ask a stupid question, but how exactly do you go about doing this? Never made a compound butter before (unless compound just means infused) and I have some chorizo right now.... Thanks....
  16. I`m going to give this a thorough investigation................ sounds yummy ! ← Lemme know what you think....
  17. Anything prepackaged will have to be labelled. A deli sandwich sold already plastic wrapped or in a plastic box needs to be labelled, but a sandwich made to order does not. So for me, I can still sell someone their wedding cake but I can't sell them their packaged wedding cookies or truffle boxes unless I get everything tested. That puts a halt on the majority of my business, and I can't sell anything online now, which was the plan. Best of luck with this venture Pam .... it sounds like a great idea. I'm sure once you're done jumping through all the hoops it'll be worth it.
  18. Sugarella


    What a gorgeous photo! Looks like caviar. By popping it I assume you mean just cooking it in a lidded skillet? Should I add any oil or will it pop dry?
  19. Steaming vegetables in vegetable or chicken stock with a bit of cayenne is way better than plain steamed....a broken garlic clove in the water helps too. Green beans .... saute in olive & sesame oil for 2 minutes, add a splash of oyster sauce and continue for another minute, add a little chicken stock and simmer lidded for another minute. Finish with lemon. Toss dry spinach in melted butter, salt, cracked black pepper and about 1 tsp. oyster sauce and cook lidded until just wilted. Roasted cauliflower.... Any curry paste coating potatoes for roasting..... any herb rub bound with lemon or yogurt coating potatoes for roasting.... Beets in beef stock & a little red wine..... Butternut squash gets chopped and steamed in vegetable stock, butter, nutmeg, a few whole cloves and a splash of rum..... when finished cooking remove cloves and dump the squash back into the steaming water and mash the whole thing. Finish with salt and cracked pepper. Sautee cabbage with chopped bacon.... Mushrooms.... lightly salted to start the weeping, sautee in olive oil about 10 - 15 minutes until they've stopped weeping and are getting dry again, add a tiny splash of really good soy sauce and toss for a minute until the sugar in the soy sauce starts carmelizing.....
  20. Lettuce, celery, or anything else with a stem like broccoli or fennel or bok choy can be kept by cutting the dried part off the stem and sitting the vegetable upright in a bowl/cup of water. Not saturated, just so there's enough water for it to drink. You have to keep them on the shelf in the main part of the fridge but at least you see them all the time so you'll use them. Ditto goes for fresh herbs.... just give the ends a haircut and put them in a cup of water. Keeps for weeks that way. Just retrim the ends whenever you use some. That's because they're in the crisper....the moisture gets to them. Try keeping them on the shelf but keep them dry. And somebody said tofu.... if you salt the water you can get away with changing it every few days rather than every day. The horrid stuff is screaming for salt anyways.. Somebody else said carrots.... wash 'em and cut an "x" into the top (leaving the icky top part on) and keep them in a tupperware full of water. For me it's bread.... can barely make it through 1/3 loaf before it's stale.
  21. The difference was the structure lines piped first, dehydrated, then flooding the piece and dehydrating again. That's why I bothered writing it all out like that. Just trying to help......
  22. It is. I'm not sure if you'll have time to mail order the icing mix from the States though, but if you do use it remember to remove it from the acetate while it's a little warm. I find large pieces using Sugarveil will get crackles on the surface no matter what you do with it though. Your plaque can absolutely be done in plain royal icing, however, and I'll explain that in a bit. I'm assuming it's a flooded piece and not just a bunch of disconnected lines. Just remember that a royal plaque will shatter into a million pieces when you try to cut your cake, so it'll need to be removed before serving. Grease is the enemy of royal icing, and it'll keep the plaque from fully hardening and it'll crack or break for sure. I wouldn't use waxed paper either..... the icing sticks to the wax. Ditto for parchment.... the icing sticks to the paper. Clear acetate really is the way to go. Assuming it's a flooded piece, start with a regular batch of royal icing (1 kg confectioner's sugar) that has been made with 6 Tbsp. of meringue powder and NO egg whites. Same as you did, place the drawing under the acetate and tape it down to something large and inflexible, like a cutting board. Mix your royal rather moist; dry thick royal icing won't work. There's something about a high water content where the water is slowly evaporated from the piece that makes this work and makes for stronger icing. Thick icing doesn't work, I promise you. I think maybe because the sugar particles aren't wet enough they can't fully stick to one another, so when it dries out you end up with breakage. Pipe out all of your outlining lines only, whether they'll be visible on the finished piece or not. The visible ones will be thicker of course, piped with maybe a #3 #4 or #5 tip. Any visible lines you'll need to be thicker than a #5 tip you'll need to pipe 2 lines side by side, then flood thinner royal icing across them later to make them look like a solid line. This'll make more sense in a bit. The invisble lines, if any (those that will later be flooded over with thinner icing) should be piped with a #2 or #3 tip, but don't use anything smaller than #2. You might like to use a different coloured icing for the invisible lines.... it's easier to make sure the invisibles are all actually covered when you flood that way. When you're happy with all your lines, use the # 2 tip to pipe a criss-cross patchwork of invisible lines all over any areas that will later be flooded, making sure there is no more than 1/2" x 1/2" of acetate still visible that will later be flooded. These thicker lines will give the finished piece the body it needs to withstand breakage. Think of them as structural lines. Next, set the outline into the oven with the lightbulb ON and the heat OFF and the door CLOSED for at least 12 hours, to slowly dry out your outline. The heat from the lightbulb is enough to act as a dehydrator and works like a charm for royal icing pieces. Just make sure the door's closed. When ready, flood a thinner royal icing (pre-burped) to fill in your piece, covering all the invisible lines, and make it thick/fat enough that you'll only need the one layer. Remember that thin royal will shrink when it dries, and you don't want your invisible lines to show through. If that happens, flooding another layer over top will also result in breakage, because the second flooded layer won't have the structural patchwork in it. DO NOT bang the finished piece to get any air bubbles out or you'll crack your structural lines, which are still fragile before the flooded royal dries. Use a pin to poke the bubbles out instead. Return the finished piece to the NO HEAT/LIGHTBULB ON oven for 36 hours, no less. To remove the piece from the acetate, pull the sheet to the edge of the cutting board and run a flat offset spatula between the plaque and the acetate, a little at a time and working your way around your artwork until you eventually get to the centre and the piece will pop off the acetate whole. Just make sure you do it slowly and patiently. Gosh I hope that makes sense. Maybe I should do a demo for this when I eventually get around to getting a new camera. You can do some pretty advanced stuff with royal icing but I'd definitely need pictures to explain all of that.
  23. You just need a higher fat cookie that won't solidify when frozen. Cookies made with butter or shortening or even cream cheese will work.
  24. You probably heard about the method on Sugarcraft or Sugar Buzz or one of the other cake decorating boards. You need to bear in mind that the majority of people contibuting to those boards, aside from generally being very nice well intentioned and helpful people, have no formal food training and absolutely no respect or concern for food safety. It's too hard to do things right, or too complicated, or too time consuming, or will cost more, so the majority of them refuse to acknowledge that food safety concerns exist. Having said that, most of those same people do sell cakes for a living, so they consider themselves "professionals," when in fact they have no business giving out "professional" advice regarding food safety. But they do it anyways. That's most of them, not all. Nice people with the best of intentions, but you really have to question everything you read on boards like those. Aside from the safety concerns raised by others thus far, there are two problems with wrapping a hot cake tightly with plastic wrap then freezing it that haven't been mentioned: 1) You will misshape your cake while wrapping it, and it will never return to exactly the shape of your pan when you thaw it. 2) The added moisture content in your cake will invariably result in a soggy, or soggier, cake crumb, and that moisture will transfer to the buttercreams or other fillings in your finished cake, making them turn slimy/goopy/runny more quickly and then your cake falls apart or shifts when agitated. Hope that helps. Edited to add: You really do need to thoroughly cool the cake at room temp slowly over the course of several hours to allow the steam to escape at its own rate, and that'll give you the correct moisture content you're supposed to have so long as you didn't overbake. That makes for cakes that hold up like new for several days, instead of cakes that start looking or tasting several days old after several days.
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