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jsolomon

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Everything posted by jsolomon

  1. You choose one over the other because the speed of heat transfer, as well as depending on thermal density of the material (heat capacity) and thermal conductivity, also depends on the difference in temperature. Actually, Newton himself wrote on this and formulated Newton's Law of Cooling. MATH WARNING!!!!!!! Newton's Law of Cooling simply states that the rate of change of temperature of an item is proportional to the difference between its temperature and its surroundings. So, dT/dt = K[O(t) - F(t)] Where dT/dt is the rate of change of temperature of the food as a function of time O(t) is the temperature of the oven F(t) is the temperature of the food If you integrate this, you get an exponential function. T(t) = F` + (O` -F`)exp-K(t-t`) (primes signifiy values at time = 0) Now, I don't have any great treatments for how you would deal with changing air velocities, but given that air's heat capacity is fairly 1000J/kg*K, and a kg of air is a lot of air, you've got to move a lot of air to make the difference 50 degrees C makes. I'm sure there is a relatively straightforward method to calculating it, but I don't have the heart to dig further into my differential equations or physical chemistry textbooks tonight.
  2. Umm, so do you love the new higher standards of arsenic in water? You may get the same tangy zip from water as you do from your apple seeds... Actually, it isn't arsenic, but a cyanide compound that is poisonous, so enjoy in moderation.
  3. Think sweeter, milder blackberries.
  4. Speaking as someone who has taken thermodynamics courses, I dont' think you really want to think about this rigorously. Thermodynamics is a very unfriendly course of study. But, what you are doing when you increase the airflow is increasing the thermal mass of the cooking medium. How it works is at a zero airflow, no convection or anything, the air and the food come into temperature equilibrium fairly quickly, as air doesn't have much heat capacity. When you increase the airflow a little, now, you have a constant influx of air that, asit travels over the food, comes into temperature equilibrium, again. As you increase the airspeed, you have the air traveling farther and farther across the food before it comes to thermal equilibrium. Then, you get to an airspeed where the air doesn't even come to thermal equilibrium as it travels all the way across the food. Having warmer air at the far end of the food is good because this warmer air has more heat to transfer which cooks that end of the food faster. What this actually works more like, is having a denser cooking medium. Granted, you have to get a lot of airflow to equal the density of boiling oil, but you could get there, if you tried hard. If that is unclear, please ask questions.
  5. I read the book, and I didn't find anything libelous in what MP said about WF. He did compare them to Wal-Mart but not in any way other than "they are successful at changing the face of X". I don't think there was anything to have to worry about getting past the lawyers.
  6. You're right, Sam, but, there is a lot of edible stuff that grows in Wyoming and Minnesota that we don't take advantage of. That's half of the problem. We aren't clued in to what is local that is edible, so we try to force our non-local ideals on a place.
  7. I'm glad I'm not the first one saying "think pink". Go to your wine purveyor and say "dry rose with a good salad." You'll get hooked up.
  8. It's not any shorter than the stick that the chicken I fry for Sunday dinner's is. Or the potato that I uproot for Sunday dinner... Besides, it's not like we can take it with us...
  9. Well, now that is getting to the question Michael Friedman posed in "The World is Flat". So, why not create a model where everyone wins? Well, I think too many people want it to be a zero-sum game, a sort of I-win-you-lose affair. Also, a paradigm shift of that magnitude would literally uproot a global market, and for all of our grand schemes, our world is our universe. You would have to re-engineer the economics of feeding 3 billion people or so--and feeding them is big business. But, it has to start as a groundswell somewhere. Changes in the food market tend to come either from the bottom up, as tastes and economics change, or from the top down, as economics and tastes are changed. Both must coexist and influence the other. Unfortunately, I can't fathom where to begin. The problem is, even if I try to have a local food footprint, I'm still a member of the military, hooked up to the internet, drive a gasoline powered car, use modern pharmeceuticals, and drink beer and coffee. The only thing that is remotely locally sourced from those is the electricity that my house uses, but even that is generated more than a hundred miles away, in a coal-fired, or nuclear plant. My dollar for food or lifestyle casts a large shadow, as an American. And, even if I did start sourcing my food more locally, my food supplier's dollar still casts a similar-sized shadow. I can't expect my farmer to plow the earth with oxen and drive a wooden cart, can I? I don't know where to start, and it would be instructive to see people's opinions of where to start.
  10. You're right, it is easier, much easier. Kind of like the difference between simple algebra using only the four basic arithmetic functions (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) vs complex statistics. The problem is there is definitely a point of diminishing returns when you go toward the statistics side. I agree with what you say on Pollan and Gore arguing that the current system does not work and is being artificially subsidized. But, I don't think that there are a great many correlations between the economics of a solar-based economy versus an oil-based economy of food. And, the switch-over will be long and painful, based on current trends in American society. But, I don't think it is in Whole Foods's best interests to take the lead in this role. I think Whole Foods's role as an educator and a pendulum-direction-indicator are more important. Of course, if we can stop letting people legislate science, things would be much better, too. Edit to add: About Michael Pollan
  11. Vegetarian chili and cornbread are two other things that just crossed my mind... not very summery, but good food that withstand storage and reheating gracefully.
  12. Okay, I guess I need to be the wet blanket here. Doesn't it seem to be a bit tacky to celebrate a university at a wedding? You may be able to find assistance from the IU website on how to mix their color, but if Herbie Husker woulda shown his face at my wedding, Herbie would have become a eunuch--'cos it was my day, not his.
  13. jsolomon

    Anti-Terroir

    Well... bird poop contains high levels of phosphate, so I'd say, more wine! But, given the aromatic nature of eucalyptus oils--I'm talking pedantic chemical aromaticity, I don't think much eucalyptus oil will be found on the grapes, and things like that percolate down through soil, not horizontally. Essentially, I think it's a "pastoral scene" marketing move. Feh. Plant your elephant garlic and be happy. Your wines will not suffer. Actually, they'll probably be better as garlic makes people happy, and happy vintners are better vintners.
  14. A couple of editorial thoughts about these. Pollan and Mackey are both looking at the same problem. They want high-quality, ethical foodstuffs to be available. Mackey, also has the responsibility of Whole Foods, which it seems he has completely taken ownership of his role in Whole Foods, and makes several decisions of how and what they purchase as well as why. Pollan, on the other hand, is not looking to resell his food for a monetary profit. Pollan's profit comes from the enjoyment of cooking the food, eating it with his family, and enjoying the visceral qualities that high-quality, heart-and-soul food offer. Mackey, unlike Pollan, has an objective side--Whole Foods' bottom line--to answer to, where Pollan answers more to an aesthetic. Mackey, and his subordinates, most likely follow a Quality Assurance line of questioning when they are deciding to go with a certain producer of something. This goes along the line of "what can you provide me" "how much of it can you provide" "how often can you provide it" and "what level of quality can you provide it". Then, they hammer out contracts that ensure this occurs. If things aren't delivered to the level specified in the contract, then the provider is liable. In the pharmaceutical industry, we do this type of questioning with all of our suppliers--even sewer, water, and electrical. We even internally tier them in order of necessity of quality/availability. So, Farmer John 80-Acre typically has three things against him (actually more, but I'll leave those out). First is, Farmer John 80-Acre is small. He can't supply a tremendous amount of food, compared to what a supermarket actually goes through in a day. Second, is Farmer John 80-Acre is geographically isolated, so a bad storm can wipe out all of his crops. His availability is thus very questionable from year-to-year. Third, is Farmer John 80-Acre is typically more capricious in his choices of what to grow than a much larger farm. This means that the what he can provide in a 3 or 5 year forecast is not necessarily known by Farmer John 80-Acre, so Whole Foods can't forecast on his data--because there isn't data. The moral is, small is agile, and large is not. That is why WF tends to like more stratified, codified, larger producers. It's easier for them to project and require from those producers.
  15. Hmm... sounds like a job for quiche, or stir-fry...
  16. Sandy, this is indicative of 2 things. The first is that they got oversoaked. I believe 6 hours is generally the norm for black beans. The second is that they are not elderly beans. If the beans get very old, it is virtually impossible to soak them to that point.
  17. This wasn't in a restaurant, but cleaning out plugs in the manure lines in the hog confinement building always got to me.
  18. Pickled peppers are a joy on a cold roast beef sandwich. I'm very curious about the prep for the pickled potatoes. Sounds really interesting. I'd also try pickled parsnips.
  19. Grilled cheese sandwiches with bitty pieces of anchovy on them. Make sure you use good sharp cheddar, otherwise it'll never hold up to the anchovie flavor. Use the bacon grease to grease your bread instead of butter.
  20. Gotta disagree here. With quick-pickled foods? Think pink. Rose`...
  21. Yeah, but bison are hell on fences, and our current food paradigm won't allow for free range because cowboys would be too damned expensive.
  22. jsolomon

    fruit flies

    I would put my money on removing their food source. Check where you store your veggies, roots, and fruit. Something is making sure they can eat. When you find it, throw out the bad stuff and clean well. Fruit flies will go away.
  23. Uh, did you read all of that, doc? Sweet. Less toxic than what?
  24. I've completely cut all bad things from my diet. For the past three years all I've eaten has been library paste, which no one has complained about, and sea sand. No engineered fats for me, no-sir-ee. I didn't feel that great when I started on the diet, but after about four weeks, I began to feel like your normal 100 year-old male. Dead. But, my diet hasn't bothered me since, so I must be doing something right, eh?
  25. When I was in college, I would typically have a Sunday dinner that lasted two or three hours, and that was with my girlfriend, her roommate, and four other friends who would spend hours a day with each other. We would talk and eat and eat and talk. It was very pleasant. I would like to have meal companions like them again.
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