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Everything posted by Sugarella

  1. Sugarella

    Baking 101

    A month late, but still ..... The cake shrinks from the pan when you take it out of the oven for the same reason everything shrinks a little (meat, bread, everything) when you take it out of the oven .... because things expand with heat and contract when they cool, so your cakes are fine. I didn't go back and look but I think I was referring to shrinkage while still in the oven being the problem... at that point you're overbaking. Hope that helps.
  2. Alas, there are far too many.........
  3. Awwww, Jeeez Edith, I thought this thread was dead already! Who cares? If you like cake mix, eat cake mix. If you like scratch cake, eat scratch cake. Gah. However, once more with feeling..... cake mix isn't just premeasured ingredients, it includes emulsifiers which retain the moisture and hold the texture. Emulsifiers are usually silicon based, although I do believe there is a mix out there which includes a petroleum based sort of emulsifier. Vaseline, in layman's terms. Now neither silicon nor vaseline are actually harmful if ingested; at worst they'll just give you the scoots if consumed in large quantities, and who among us really couldn't use a good cleaning out? Having said that, emulsifiers have a smell. Those of us not used to eating them on a regular basis can smell them, so we think the foods containing them taste like hand cream. Enough said. I prefer scratch bread over wonder bread for the same reason. I can't speak for anyone else but I can say with certainty that I'm not confused about not liking the taste/smell and I haven't managed to brainwash myself into disliking mixes because of any superiority complex, either. I just don't like it. You like it, you eat it. I don't care. Then again, I also think actual cheese tastes better than the powdered orange stuff that comes in the kraft dinner box, but I'm just crazy like that. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to get F O O D S N O B tattooed across my knuckles.
  4. FTV isn't about learning anymore; it's purely about selling advertising by keeping the current viewers returning regularly, and all they want to see is cleavage. I think you should send your tape to WNED.
  5. I enjoyed this blog very much, Kerry. I've never been that far north yet. And thanks for sharing so many recipes.....
  6. That's exactly right. You need to be at least 1/16th native (at least 1 great grandparent) with lineage from either parent's side, but I do believe that same parent has to also be declared native for you to qualify. If you're really attached to gingerbread why not just make spiced bread and leave out the ginger? Add the usual nutmeg and cloves and go a little heavier on the cinnamon. (I don't like gingery gingerbread much either.)
  7. I really can't understand why she'd say this doesn't need refridgeration....
  8. I don't get it. I was wishing someone else would've asked already, but could you please share this recipe too? I love butterscotch.
  9. You mean they trade their child for the candy, or they trade with their child for the candy? Cute little girl you've got there.
  10. Yaaayyy !!! It's great to see a local blogging, and I can't wait to see inside the Chocolate Works.
  11. Agreed. However, if there was e.coli on the leaves and those were placed in a pool of water for washing, the e.coli would then be in the wash water. The cut stems would of course then absorb that water as any cut plant will do, thus infecting the spinach from the inside out. Washing doesn't do anything except remove big chunks of dirt. As I said earlier this problem could be eradicated if the whole process was more efficient and those responsible for ensuring it's done properly were thoroughly educated with regard to food safety and contamination. But I suspect this outbreak will eventually be glossed over as well. As someone said above, only ONE person died.
  12. There was an "outbreak" of e. coli from triple washed bagged lettuce in the US quite a few years ago that resulted in deaths as well. Sorry I can't find a link to any article.... I'm thinking it may have been before the web was so commonly in use...seems like an awfully long time ago. And I use "outbreak" in quotes because common sense or a little knowledge could have prevented it. The culprit at the time was both the use of organic manure (in that case it was unsterilized poultry manure applied directly to the plants) and the farm's misinterpretation of the "triple wash" guideline. (ie: washing 3 times in the same pool of water, rather than refreshing the water with each wash.) Regardless, washing a leafy green 20 times won't remove e. coli because leafy greens are porous as opposed to other plants with a protective skin or waxy coating or a rind, so the bacteria is absorbed right into the leaf and stem. The whole problem of e. coli outbreaks could be eradicated if 3 things were done. Firstly, don't use straight manure on food that hasn't been treated or thoroughly composted then tested, like is the case with manure used for mushrooms. Second, don't produce delicate produce and animals on the same farm IF there is the possibility that there can be cross-contamination with the irrigation water. Third, on-site bathrooms should be provided for farm workers so they don't have to go in the fields. Simple concept described 3 ways: don't put shit on your food. I'm sure money, or a lack thereof, is the only reason these things have not been implemented everywhere. If it's cheaper to cut corners, people WILL do it.
  13. Sugarella

    Cake Fondant

    It's a pretty straightforward recipe, Heleen. I used to make it for everything. I have to say I actually preferred the white corn syrup version to the glucose and water version because of the cost factor, and because the corn syrup is easier to handle when mixing the whole thing together. After you've dissolved your gelatin (or agar agar in the same proportions) into the water, go ahead and nuke it 10 or 15 seconds to get it mildly hot, mix your vegetable shortening into that until dissolved, add your flavours, then dump the whole thing into your sugar. I find the fondant is much easier to mix together smoothly when the liquids are warm. And if while you're kneading you find the fondant seems a little dry, you can just wet your hands under the faucet then continue kneading. That amount of water is usually just the right amount to add. The fondant can actually take a fair bit of extra liquid in arid weather, but may actually require a little extra powdered sugar in humid weather. But in either case both can be adjusted at the end of the process so you don't have to guess while measuring. Edited to add: If you're not going to flavour the fondant, at least add almond extract or it just tastes like a wad of sugar. (yuk)
  14. Sugarella

    Little blue plums

    Yup that's exactly them! The tree, its leaves, the plums are all exactly the same. Thanks for clearing that up; I've never heard of these before. I'll try your recipe..... you know I was thinking, "Hmmmm.... firm tart yet sweet fruit.....must go with meat somehow." Thanks for posting the recipe. I know what you mean by Italian plums and I'm not sure these are them.... these are perfectly round like the ones in jackal's picture. I'm not necessarily set on making jam, it's just that the tartness almost reminded me of gooseberry so I figured a tart fruit might make a nice jam. There are a bazillion of these plums so I have enough to do several different things with them. I think I'll try preserving a couple of jars of them in straight armagnac too, uncooked. We'll see what happens. I tried looking on epicurious and couldn't find the recipe you were referring to..... could you point me in the right direction please?? On another note..... this is the first summer I've lived at this place and just noticed the neighbour kiddie corner to us has an (approximately) 30' tall pear tree that has branches drooping from the weight of the fruit. How do you suppose I walk over there, newly introducing myself, and convince said neighbour to give me some pears!? Gift basket of alcohol? Handful of cold hard cash??
  15. In the backyard where I rent there is a gorgeous plum tree. These plums are deep blue skinned with the usual whitish cast over top, (think blueberry) and the flesh inside is pale green. The largest of them isn't even as big as a golf ball.... they're very similar size-wise to the yellow plums you see occasionally. I was assuming of course that these were regular purple plums that just hadn't fully ripened yet, but they're falling from the tree already. I ate several and they don't really seem underripe at all, although they're different than regular plums. Taste wise they're more like a cross between a plum and a sour grape; very sweet and slightly tart. The texture inside is soft, but not as soft as a usual ripe plum. The flesh is quite moist like a ripe fruit should be. Sorry that I can't provide a picture, but would you suspect these plums are ripe by now, or are they just falling from the tree prematurely? I've never come across such little blue plums so I'm not sure if they're right just the way they are. Any ideas?? And.... any ideas for preserving them? Never made plum jam before.
  16. Couples can set up a wedding registry through most banks for the purpose of a downpayment on a home.... no reason I can see you shouldn't be able to do the same for a small business.
  17. Brilliantly stated. I couldn't figure out why he said he'd never work for a woman then volunteered to come back and work under one of two women for the final episode? Some people just always need to keep fueling their own misery I guess. I was just going to ask that too. They did an amazing job keeping this whole thing under wraps considering the decision was filmed over 3 months ago.
  18. Doesn't everyone open the carton to check for cracks before buying? If I saw ads I'd deliberately buy the other brand......
  19. Yes I've tried freezing it and yes the texture turns out icky and is irreparable. So I don't recommend it if that's what you need to do. Defintely not the best choice for wedding cake for several reasons. I can tell you haven't tasted it yet because IMBC is definitely not the best accompanyment for it; ganache is, if you must have something. If it's not affordable then do a trial run with cheaper chocolate, just so you know the texture and the way it behaves. Cold it's the texture of cheesecake, room temp it's the texture of pudding, nearly.
  20. Yes, smoking does affect the palate via the olfactory senses. It dulls one's tastebuds worse than over-sugaring. However, the only reason Anthony Bourdain is able to smoke AND have an exceptional plate is because Anthony Bourdain is The Devil. Ha ha. I jest. The Devil would not take up 100% of his time being a culinary wizard; that's just silly. He only spends 50% of his time being Anthony Bourdian. The other 50% is spent being Jimmy Page. Notice you've never seen the two of them in the same room together..... I rest my case....
  21. Oh dear.... I hope your employers aren't treading lightly because they've been reading here..... In a similar vein, it may be that because you're so free with personal info here (and I mean that in the nicest way possible ) it may be that you have been at work as well so everyone is being nice to you in anticipation of good medical results. Whatever the case may be, timing is everything and everything happens for a reason. You obviously weren't meant to quit this week, even though it felt like you were. Best of luck to you, in good time. ~ Sugar..... also shaking in anticipation of decent medical results.
  22. Anyone who doesn't know the "big knife" is a cleaver, yet can create or recreate some of the dishes that Virginia has done, means they have raw talent and natural inclination instead of having been taught. I call that bloody impressive. Heather needs to quit bawling already. She didn't lose the challenge last week because of Virginia's boobs and she didn't lose this week because Virginia had a book that DID NOT have the recipe in it. She lost because basil and grapefruit does not taste one bit like cilantro, yet she refuses to accept that she could ever make a mistake. It's a tough call.... On the one hand you have Virginia who is very talented but who has little technical knowledge or practical experience and who probably couldn't run a lemonade stand. However, she knows full well she can't. She also has very high standards with regards to the food she's willing to put out. Then you have Heather, who does have the technical knowledge and practical experience and appears to be very quick and efficient in the kitchen. Not the best palate nor the highest standards for the food that's put out, and she incorrectly believes she can run a restaurant, which will inevitably lead her to fall flat on her face on day one. And I'm sure she'll find a way to make that all someone else's fault. Earlier in this thread I was getting angry because it appeared Gordo was favouring certain contestants to win challenges, causing them to spend very little time in the kitchen outside of service, thus causing them to be unable to prove themselves. Perhaps I was a little too hasty. Perhaps instead he was interviewing. I still think Heather will win, for the simple fact that of the two of them, she'd be better equipped to handle to pressure of the job right now. Virginia I think Gordon is going to keep for himself. She's a naive kid but has a superior palate, and I think with the right training she could eventually end up running one of his restaurants for him.
  23. It's a combination of the gelatin and glycerine that makes it stretchy. I'm not familiar with the Wooley recipe so I don't know how much of either there is, if any. (That and heated vegetable shortening/water hitting the sugar.... p. sugar has some cornstarch in it.)
  24. I disagree. Do them the favour and be honest. Even the best of the best deserve a kick in the pants every once in a while, for evolution's sake, and we all know your employers aren't even close to the best. I suspected you hadn't told them yet, or they may have already defined what goes with Anne when she goes, and your question would have been mute. If your plan is to give notice on Monday, then remove the macaroon recipe before you give notice.....you never know....you might be thrown out the door at that very moment with no time allowed to retrieve it. Best of luck....
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