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Everything posted by Terrasanct

  1. There are people who split the domestic chores down the middle? I do agree that it should be about choice. I just like to cook, not because being a woman has suited me more to carrying a baby on my hip while I stir the bowl, but because I enjoy it. Although having the hip to carry the baby certainly has been convenient. While I think it would be nice if my husband could cook for me, I'd settle for him being an adventurous eater. Because the kitchen is my territory right now, and I'm not sure how I'd feel about sharing it. If I'm being honest.
  2. If my husband saw this thread, he'd have to go vegetarian immediately. He can't even eat medium-rare beef. But I thought it was cool. Kind of. I'd eat it, I just don't like the thought of eyes or teeth in my dinner.
  3. A few people have mentioned that if you have a strong immune system you'll be okay. Now, I'm not in favor of being too obsessive about germs, which is where our society is right now, but we have to remember that germs are not our friends, and that there are worse things out there all the time--the germs and bacteria are getting smarter, so to speak, because we're killing all the weak ones. I stopped buying things in bulk when I saw a little kid running his hand through the unwrapped candy at a store. How can people just let their kids run free in the bulk section? But they do. Ignoring the problem doesn't really help. What you don't know CAN hurt you.
  4. At first the stay at home mom idea made sense, but then I looked at it in light of my own experience. My mom was a working mother (the only one I knew back then) and a terrible cook. I think I learned to cook, or at least bake bread, from an older sister. But I loved to cook. Always have, but my mom doesn't really care for cooking. Then when I was a stay at home mom, I was the only mom in the neighborhood who was at home. I cooked a lot, and all the neighborhood kids found reasons to stop by when they smelled cookies. My kids all know how to cook, but most of them don't really care to do it. One is a chef, so I guess someone was paying attention. I don't think cooking has anything to do with feminism. I like to cook because it's creative and interesting, and oh yeah--because we need to eat. If you don't live in a big city where there are myriad options, you learn to cook if you don't want to eat bad food. Neither of my husbands have been able to cook. My first husband knew how to make an omelet and grill meat, the second can construct a cheese sandwich and that's the end of his abilities. Sure, I'd think it was sexy for a guy to cook--it means I'd get a break once in a while!
  5. I don't think that's embarrassing. I probably would have said the same thing. About the kids and the DVD player, that's just unbelievable. Again, I would have said something. Maybe I'm the embarrassing one at restaurants!
  6. I have to agree about cheese, and other REAL foods. I like my foods to be as real as possible, with a few possible exceptions that I can't think of right now. Pie crust must be made with lard and butter--lard for flakiness, butter for flavor. But I came to this conclusion only after much testing in my own kitchen of all possible major variants of pie crust. I'm not so good at taking anyone's word for anything, something that truly frustrates my husband. But if I've done the work myself, I know what I can believe. Okay, maybe Cook's Illustrated or Harold McGee, but I'm a big believer in the scientific method--eliminate all the variables and just change one thing at a time when testing.
  7. So, maybe this is an obvious question, but are you more likely to be a purist about foods from your region or ones you grew up with? I grew up in Seattle before there was a true "cuisine" there. Sure, we picked blackberries and filberts, caught fish and crabs and dug clams and geoducks. But they're ingredients, not preparations. I'm a product of the 60's, and much of the food I grew up with besides the great local things and our garden, were the kinds of things I feel no sentiment over. TV dinners, Mac and cheese, that kind of thing. Maybe that's why I can't really care whether I eat a bagel with asiago cheese or jalapenos--it's not ingrained in me that it's not the "right" way to make them.
  8. I'm a purist about ingredients; less so about preparations. I don't have the family background to be picky about recipes. I like everything that's made well with good ingredients. Even cheesecake, which I always make New York style, no graham cracker crust. But I'll eat it even when it's made differently. And I like bagels with stuff in them, something which could well get me lynched in certain parts of the country. I'm from Seattle, I don't know from bagels.
  9. I'd like to see a Kindle or its ilk--is there anywhere to look at one in person, or are they just online? Books are not going to die. Kids are still reading books, even if they're comfortable with the new technologies. On the topic of inspiration, sometimes the photos are important when you're looking at a cookbook--the colors can spark something in the brain that says, hey, I want to make something with tomatoes tonight, or those jalapenos look really good. This reminds me, strangely enough, of a book I'm re-reading right now. It's called The Alphabet Versus the Goddess. Talks about how image and text are processed by different parts of the brain. Reading a recipe isn't the same as looking at a photo of the recipe. We're all inspired by different things, and at different times, I think. Looking at an image is a more gestalt experience than the linear reading of text. Wanting to "look at the pictures" isn't an immature desire; it's just a different way of comprehending a whole. It doesn't mean that you just want glossy images--food porn.
  10. Sounds interesting...but if you buy books used you save a lot of money, anyway. Have you used one in a kitchen setting? And does it work well to read entire books--no eye strain or headaches? That's something I wonder about, since reading from a monitor bothers me after a while.
  11. I can download books and recipes to my PDA but it's not the best format for reading in the kitchen. I do make notations on my printed out recipes, too. After I make the recipe, I note what I did differently and how it worked out. Maybe one of the reasons I print out recipes is that I don't like to write in my cookbooks. Or spill on them. But a single piece of paper doesn't get that kind of respect in my kitchen. I've always loved books, but I have to admit I treat them better now that I sell them. It also helps that my enthusiastic but messy children are now all grown. Although I still have memories of what they cooked permanently recorded in the stains on the brownie recipe page and others.
  12. Cookbooks are about more than just information, as are most other books. I enjoy reading cookbooks for their ideas and history. Right now I'm looking at a Scottish cookery book that's fascinating--I doubt I'd ever really want to make liver haggis stuffed in a cod's head, but I love reading about it. Another thing that's good about cookbooks, especially used ones, is the history of that particular book. I wish I had my grandma's cookbooks; people who do should count themselves lucky. When I get a cookbook, I'm interested in the notes that the previous owner has made in it--what recipes are good, what she (or he) has changed in the recipe to make it their own. You wouldn't get any of this in an electronic format. On the other hand, even though I have over four thousand cookbooks here at my fingertips, when I want a recipe, I often look one up online--because it's much faster and easier. I have a binder that I add printed recipes to in my kitchen, if they've worked out well. So I see a use for both formats. I just like the real thing more. Here's something that I thought about when I stopped writing by hand and started using a computer. When you hit that delete button, the information is gone. But when you cross it out and go another direction, you can come back to that original thought and rework it later. Your document becomes a palimpsest, which to my mind is much more interesting than a perfect-looking document. Old cookbooks, in the same way, don't just present information, they add reviews of the recipes that are there, reminders, instructions, and history. Electronic media can't compete in these areas.
  13. Like many other people, I think about what I eat in many terms--financial cost, environmental cost, how far the food has to travel, and what it will do to/for my health. But it gets to a point when too much information and too many decisions can become paralyzing. I'm reminded of the scene in Moscow on the Hudson where the Russian guy is in the supermarket trying to buy some coffee. He's used to having just once choice, but with so many choices, he's overwhelmed. I know the feeling. I eat a lot less meat than I did as a child, but that may be because I grew up on a farm and there was always meat in the freezer. I'd come home from school and have a porterhouse steak as an afterschool snack. My system probably wouldn't handle 24 ounces of red meat like it used to, but then, I don't try. Steak is something I have at a restaurant, when I don't want curry or the duck. And it's more like 6 or 7 ounces now. So yeah, I've cut way back on red meat. The only problem is--what do you replace it with? I've done the Atkins thing, and I know I lose weight and feel much better on a diet high in protein. The only reason I'm not doing it now is laziness and because I'm busy. But when I eat only a little protein and more rice or pasta, I feel it, and not in a good way. I don't want to eat soy, since I'm at a time in my life when soy might be a bad idea. Every action has consequences. Sometimes you just want to EAT something and not have to think about it. Like my husband. He's never been aware of the countless decisions involved in making a seemingly simple dinner. But then, he has me to do it for him. He'd eat fast food every night if I weren't here. Hey, maybe that's a good answer--cut out the fast food, and our consumption of everything will diminish. For those who currently eat fast food more than once a week, cut down to once a week or less. That would probably do more to solve the problem than anything else. By the time we get this stuff figured out and convince the average American to eat more consciously, some other country will take over being the over-consumer. If it hasn't already happened, that is.
  14. I recently saw a book about Native American cooking, and grabbed it right away because it's not something I see very often. Some of the recipes are: Wild turkey with oyster stuffing Cream sauce frog legs Elk stew Wild blueberry pancakes Wild goose with apple raisin stuffing Pigeon Pie Pemmican Venison pot roast with wild cranberries Lots of recipes for frog, turtle, duck raccoon, etc. Seems pretty authentic. Lots of wild edible plants, too. I'm not sure if these may be TOO authentic! The book is called Native American Wild Game, Fish & Other Wild Foods Cookbook, ISBN 1565230086
  15. Terrasanct

    Using Margarine

    I've seen sweet potato pie recipes that insist margarine must be used, but it's not a type of pie I make so I'm not sure. For me, margarine is something people use if they're vegan or keeping kosher. I can't see any other reason. If it tasted good, I might reconsider. And honestly, I don't buy all the heart-healthy claims. It's not natural, and I'd rather eat food that tastes good and actually comes from nature.
  16. I have several of those bags and never have them with me--until I found one at my local health food store that is made of nylon and fits into its own attached stuff sack. It's tiny and fits in my purse.
  17. Terrasanct

    Vile Recipes

    That's both hard to believe and disgusting! Pickles? I think someone threw in everything from the cupboards and it didn't kill them, so it was officially a recipe.
  18. I sent Katie a bottle of my dark, evil marmalade and she has reciprocated by sending some of hers. It's very good. I think she said it was made with Seville oranges, Meyer lemon, and bergamot, but I'll let her clarify. It is tart and makes my tongue tingle. I don't like over-sweet preserves, so these are perfect. I've never seen a bergamot orange--does anyone here use them in their cooking or preserves? Where do they grow?
  19. Ah, good, that explains the sudden popularity of the books. Thanks, I knew someone must know. I think I got the name of the second book wrong; it's the Art of Good Cooking.
  20. Around here they have pitchfork barbecues. I don't think the Rocky Mountain Oyster Testicle Festival has a verb in it, but should be worth mentioning anyway.
  21. He's on CSPAN2 right now talking about this. I wish I'd seen it from the beginning.
  22. Now I've sold my one copy of the Art of Fine Cooking. There must have been some mention of Paula Peck; that's all I can think. No ideas? It's just very odd.
  23. I sold three copies of this cookbook in two days, when I've never sold another before. Does anyone know why this book has gotten so popular all of a sudden? I'm curious. I figure if anyone would know, you guys would.
  24. I finally made the World Peace cookies after reading so much about them. They were very popular at my house. I was going to send some to my kids, but they didn't quite make it that far.
  25. I use my handy apple peeler/corer/slicer and make dried apples, or just cut them up to make apple butter, which I stick in the freezer--easier than canning. A few weeks ago I processed a bunch of apples, ending up with two or three with bruises or otherwise. I cut those up, took all the apple peels along with the cores and made a very nice batch of apple butter. Who'd have thought the scraps would turn out so well?
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