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Posts posted by haresfur

  1. 15 hours ago, Thanks for the Crepes said:

    Yeah, I grew up canning garden tomatoes. They are naturally acidic enough that you don't need to worry about pressure canning. We always froze squash, green beans, unbaked apple pies and other stuff though. We did can a green tomato pepper and onion relish without pressure, but it had added vinegar. We did what others around us were doing before the internet and easy research, but it worked fine.


    Some of the newer tomato varieties are less acidic. I think it probably doesn't matter but follow the instructions in the Ball Blue Book (get your mind out of the gutter) and add citric acid for safety (1/4 tsp/pint, I think).

    • Like 3

  2. On 6/19/2017 at 5:06 PM, Thanks for the Crepes said:


    Yes, this works fine.


    The Betty Crocker Cookbook printed in 1976, which I love otherwise, recommends in their Italian Spaghetti recipe to crumble a dried bay leaf into the meat sauce, but I crossed those instructions out after hearing a story from my ex-SIL who is an occupational therapist. These dried leaves are so hard and sharp, impervious to digestion, that they can actually slice the gastro system. I love the flavor, and I'm very glad to hear that I'm not missing much by no access to the fresh leaves.


    Just please, if you are using the dried, grind them to a powder as andiesenji says or use them whole and remove them so no one ingests them. This  poor guy my SIL was caring for got peritonitis. You do not want that. You DON'T.


    I count my dried bay leaves, and keep searching until every one I used has been retrieved and discarded.


    I guess you don't have the tradition that whoever finds a bay leaf in their food has to kiss the cook :raz:

    • Like 4

  3. Wow Andie, impressive because they seem to grow slowly. I have one that is now about 2 m tall and more of a bush, which is fine with me because I'm growing it for the leaves, not for shade.


    I find the fresh leaves are more delicate and I use more. I think the taste is a bit different. I probably should throw out my old store-bought dried leaves and dry some of my own since I now have enough to harvest.


    When my family lived in England, the landlady was out front pruning trees and handed my very confused mother a branch as a gift. The landlady finally realised she had to explain that it was bay. I don't think my mother had ever seen it anywhere but in little packs before.

    • Like 3

  4. I'm with Norm - looks more like stoneware to me so do the test. Although either have been used over fire for centuries. It looks like it might have a tin glaze but that's a wild guess. So an even wilder guess would be perhaps Basque.

  5. 47 minutes ago, Anna N said:

    Hmmm. Have fun but aren't you creating an anaerobic atmosphere risking the possibility of botulism toxins?  


    Nah, I'm not doing anything that wasn't done when it was originally sealed except for possibly introducing a little more oxygen by opening and re-closing it.

  6. My latest idea is to use a vacuum sealer to re-seal prepackaged vac-pack food rather than sticking it in a zip lock. Even if you can't pull a vacuum for some reason you can often get the bag resealed to minimize oxygen contact, keep from exposing the food to new mold, and save plastic. I'm interested to see if it keeps my pastrami from turning gray.

    • Like 1

  7. It's been a long time since I worked in bush camps but I think a lot depends on the size of the camp. Small camps might not even have a bull-cook to take care of the non-cooking work (the bull cook works in the kitchen but only cooks bullsh*t). A large camp might have many cooks and a lot of support. I spent a couple of weeks working where a company was building a hydro dam and they fed us because we didn't make a dent in their budget. Still remember getting served a plate of mash and a steak that draped over the sides and having the server ask if I wanted another one. I also worked in more remote locations with just a half dozen people besides the cook (make sure the boss agrees to have people rotate washing dishes but you will still end up doing most everything). Generally the supplies are only limited by availability and storage (where we didn't have power). If the food shipments are only weekly or less frequently then it takes more planning.


    In my experience people in these situations eat a lot. They burn calories and are bored. Think football player calorie intake. I once saw someone come off a 20 hour shift and order 20 eggs since he had 12 after a usual 12 hour shift. Make sure you can bake. Bad cook: made a cake-box cake and figured it would last two days. It didn't even hit the table as it was passed around until it was gone. Good cook: "I went through 3 cases of chocolate chips this summer! Everyone would sit and eat cookies until dinner was served. Usually budget is not an issue but be sure to check before signing on. On the other hand, you may have workers who only want meat and 3 veg, so flexibility is important. It may be hard to provide variety within people's comfort zone.


    There are other things to consider. Will it be a dry camp? I have heard claims that some cooks used those so that they could get away from booze for a while. Will you flip out when the drunks sneak into the kitchen and add garlic powder to your muffin mix? Are you outgoing enough to keep the workers happy but self-sufficient enough to survive the isolation? Can you get along with people you would cross the street to avoid if there was a street? If you love nature it really helps.


    If you end up doing it - I would love to see you post your experiences.

    • Like 5

  8. 9 hours ago, chromedome said:

    I was surprised that my tarragon (which is Mediterranean, after all) over-wintered so well in frigid Alberta. In the spring it was waist-high before even my radishes had come up. 


    My french tarragon dies back to ground in the winter (we only get overnight frost) but comes back every year - unless a certain someone thinks it's dead and dumps its pot out. 

    • Like 2

  9. On 5/5/2017 at 11:47 AM, dscheidt said:

    I don't can.


    I put ball jars in my vacuum sealer (put the lid on, leave the ring loose, vacuum sucks the air out.  The ring keeps the lid in place when air is let in, and you get a good vacuum in the jar.).  I can get five or six cycles out of a lid before it won't hold a vacuum, if I'm gentle when prying the lids off.  About 10 or 15% of the lids supplied with jars won't hold a vacuum when brand new.  I don't think I've had a boxed replacement fail. 


    I bought some decent jars that weren't US Ball or Kerr. But, yeah the lids that came with them had several failures. Ball replacement lids are much more successful. Also I think the standard size lids are a bit better than wide mouth although I prefer to use the wide mouth jars.

    • Like 1

  10. Sous Vide won't give you as strong a vacuum seal as boiling water canning but you aren't really relying on that for storage of a week or two in the fridge. I use fresh lids for preserving most anything that will be at room temperature but used lids if I'm treating it like an open jar of food. This is somewhere in the middle. I would get nervous about egg dishes unsealed for two weeks in the fridge and either use new lids or chuck out any that don't have a vacuum when opened. For a week, I wouldn't worry, personally.

    • Like 2

  11. Got a fig tree into the ground. I bought it in spring and as it was getting rung up they said that I should wait a couple of months before planting it. Apparently it had be bare-root and then they had put it into a pot when it didn't sell soon enough. I was a bit ticked. Then it did nothing for about 3 months or so. I was about to take it back when leaves started to appear. So I nursed it through summer and now it's cool enough to plant. Hope it survives better than the lemon I tried to plant in the same spot. We also have another smaller fig that I need to find a place for.


    Speaking of figs, they are ripe now so we picked up some fresh ones at the farmers market. I was buying bresaola and my beef guy instructed me to go get figs. Put a slice of bresaola on a piece of bread, then a slice of fig. A little blue cheese on top, flash it under the broiler. Then sit, take a bite, and think how wonderful life is. I'm not sure if he meant fresh or caramelized fig but it turns out great each way.

    • Like 4

  12. On 1/19/2017 at 9:28 PM, ananth said:

    Saigo no kotoba, it means "Last Word" in Japanese.




    A recipe found in the Experimental Cocktail Club book.


    30ml of Nikka Pure Malt White (I used Nikka from the barrel)


    15ml of Yellow Chartreuse


    15ml of Maraschino


    Garnish with a lime twist.


    The recipe asks for a shake instead of a stir. Since half of the drink is pretty sweet, extra dilution is, I guess, necessary. Stirred, the drink would also be too "syrupy".




    It was still sweet but not too much. Adding more whisky wouldn't be a bad idea. But once again, when would it?




    On 1/24/2017 at 7:24 AM, Rafa said:

    Stirred Words can be quite good, though you need to watch for sweetness. I like to cut the Maraschino with kirschwasser. 


    Heated up, that sounds like a nice Whisky Mac variation - I like adding a little Charteuse to them.


    And Stirred Word is a good drink (or band) name.

  13. I think, in part, it's a leverage thing. Even people who try not to show up late may end up doing it sometimes. But if a large number of diners do it on a rare occasion, then the restaurants will end up copping it because they serve a lot of customers. Sorry about that. I remember trying to get a Christmas Eve supper - not late, maybe 6:30 pm Most restaurants were closed. The Thai place was open but they had pretty much given up and had to thaw some chicken for us (well it was mostly thawed when we ate it). 

  14. After an illness, Wattle the cat turned off on eating his raw kangaroo mince (had to be kanga, never would touch beef or turkey) but he now is ravenous for 60 C sous vide chicken breast. I bought an inexpensive sealer from Aldi since I'm no longer a Costco member to buy freezer bags and am quite happy with it.

    • Like 3

  15. On 3/26/2017 at 10:53 PM, rarerollingobject said:

    A perfect day; it rained, so I had every excuse to be an even more terrible tourist than usual; got out of bed at 12pm and took myself out for one of the main reasons I'm in Kyoto; to try the coffee at Arabica in Higashiyama, one of the new generation Japanese espresso specialists. A beautiful cafe, and incredible coffee that I've been reading about for months. Yes, I had to queue for 40 minutes, because the Japanese are onto good coffee like a fat kid on a Smarty, but it's just outside one of the main temple areas, where lots of young Kyoto couples like to promenade, so it was perfect people-watching territory for one of my favourite things in Japan; young guys in kimono. If anything, I love them more than women's kimono. I made like a total creeper and took pictures of every one I saw. However, I dare not invoke the eG mods' wrath by attempting to post a slew of non food photos, so if you want to see them you can head over to my Insta at https://www.instagram.com/rarerollingobject/


    But the coffee:




    A GREAT day. Full of all my favourite things; coffee, ramen, women living their best lives and smashing the patriarchy, sake and objectifying boyzzzz. :B


    Ah. A Slayer. My coffee pusher man uses these machines. Apparently they give lots of control to elevate your brew to a fine art in the right hands.

  16. 4 hours ago, Tri2Cook said:

    The brats I purchased do not contain filler (I'm not calling it requisite because I don't know that it is). To be honest, I wasn't really trying to pass them off as a banger substitute. I was just being silly because my purchase of said brats happened to coincide with this discussion taking place. But I don't see why they couldn't fill the job. Most brats I've had were somewhat mildly seasoned and any nice, porky sausage is going to be good with mashed potatoes and onion gravy regardless of their country of origin.


    I was referring to others thoughts that you need to cut the meat with bread for bangers (I find it amusing when supposedly proper taste is associated with what was originally most likely just cost saving). 

    • Like 1