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Everything posted by jsolomon

  1. My family does something similar to that when we pickle, can, or freeze the bounty of our garden and surrounding wilds. We also used to do the same thing when we grew chickens that we butchered on our own. It is always enjoyable, and a good way to catch up with distant members of the family, or those with significant experiences that you haven't been fully apprised of (new babies, marriages, divorces, graduations, etc.)
  2. FoodZealot, it has to, because you have more chemical building blocks to choose from if you salt. For myself, I generally try to salt my steaks 15 minutes in advance of cooking, more if possible. Given sufficient time, most of the liquid evolved from salting will be reabsorbed by the meat, as it will travel with the salt. Also, if you're talking about steaks, a rocket-hot grill or pan should have the thermal load to take the cooler steaks, surface liquid or not. If it can't, you've overloaded your cooking surface.
  3. Hehehe, at a restaurant here in town that has hit the skids, I ordered a pasta dish with an uncooked tomato sauce that specifically states on the menu that it has olive oil (and up until this point, it always did). I sent it back with no protest from the waiter the first time. The second time I sent it back he asked me why. I said, "There's no olive oil in it" I would have been happy to have them simply drizzle olive oil on and return my original dish. But here's the kicker. He said "There's no olive oil in this dish." He argued with me for well over a minute and refused to bring a menu. So, his tip was a quarter, superglued to the table.
  4. Do like my Significant Other would do. Move them to the side of your plate and then declare at the end of the meal that I haven't eaten enough and give them to me to eat. Of course, this tends to happen at meals when I am quite foundered, so it pisses me off a little bit...
  5. jsolomon

    Smoked Turkey stock

    Hmm... things didn't shake out quite as I'd hoped for making it. My pressure cooker can't hold 2 big turkeys worth of bones! Anyway, here is what batch 1 has: sage, rosemary, garlic, a bay leaf, and 10-20 peppercorns, as well as aromatics and ~1.5 teaspoons of salt. It's pressuring right now, so we'll see how it turns out!
  6. jsolomon

    Smoked Turkey stock

    I am in the midst of making smoked turkey stock that will ultimately go into the jambalaya that I am making for my wedding reception (semi-self-catered). I'm getting ready to use the pressure cooker method to make the stock, but I'm curious what I should add for herbs and spices to the pc aside from my aromatics. What goes especially well in smoked turkey stock?
  7. If it is in your means, one should simply purchase some of each and taste again!
  8. Another reason we aren't as worried about contamination of the fermenting beer is that the pH levels (acidic) that yeast produce, as well as the ethanol are not particularly microbe-friendly. So, once you are past the first few hours, where your yeast are setting up shop, there is a low chance of infection. It's when you have a new, sterile wort, that you need to worry the most. Also, while individual cells of microbial beasts are much smaller than the spaces between the weave in a towel, many of the things they ride on are not, so the vast majority of things floating will be trapped in the matrix of the towel covering. I'm not so sure about a non-quadrupled cheesecloth, but then you're covered by the previous paragraph. Just remember what Charlie Papazian always wrote, "Relax. Don't worry. Have a homebrew."
  9. jsolomon

    activia yogurt

    Something like this tends to disrupt the ecosystem in your digestive tract which must then adjust. When the ecosystem is disrupted, well, populations aren't the only things that shift and move.
  10. Meh, good pie has pork fat in it. How can you beat that? Also, I have had many more cakes that have been so terribly disappointing, that I don't bother anymore. But, here is the actual deal: when it comes down to it, I am a sour/bitter flavor kind of person. I generally don't come across a cake that does much other than sweet, and those get way too cloying for me. A rhubarb pie has sour and depth of flavor that I've simply never come across in a cake. Ditto with grape or sour cherry. But, it could also be that I've simply been around better pie makers than cake makers. People 'round here think a good cake is iced with good-looking frosting, instead of something you want to eat. They're nutters, if you ask me.
  11. jsolomon

    Home Canning

    We ended up with a wonderfully tangy, slightly sweet, mustardy, sublime melange of peppers. Alas, to date, we've ended up with everything approaching a sublime gestalt, but the attempts to reproduce have always been the sum of their parts, never more. Not that the sum the their parts isn't good, or even great. But, it hasn't quite reached that original level.
  12. jsolomon

    Home Canning

    Hehehe, the first time my mom and I made the pickled pepper relish, we dyslexified two recipes, and have never been able to reproduce the results... but gosh have we tried!
  13. jsolomon

    Home Canning

    I do have to admit, there is one other reason I continue to can: one of my dreams is, when I finish med school and begin private practice, to write a grant to study using cooking as occupational therapy. A sort of medertainment that has the benefits of also educating people in how to eat better and traditional ways of cooking while helping rehabilitate them.
  14. Wowzers... that sounds like a breakfast that needs a beer to wrestle it down!
  15. There are a plethora of varied opinions on grills, and you know the old saw about opinions. But, enough digression... Kamado Grills Merged thread on grill recommendations--primarily gas eGCI course on Smoking Meat at Home Another Smoker/Grill thread I think the main things you should contemplate first are: size, fuel, and cost. Defining two will get you close to fixing the third, but not completely.
  16. jsolomon

    Home Canning

    Y'know, one of the strongest reasons I keep close to continue to do this is the strength of tradition. This is something, putting food by, that I think is important to not lose as a society. The ability to use four or five things (heat, acid, salt, sugar, bacteria) to preserve the bounty of Earth for consumption out of season is a powerful thing, indeed. And, it is as much our birthright as literacy and numeracy. Keeping this close to me is as important as being literate and numerate, too. 'Scuse me, I'm getting misty.
  17. Well, moderation, and regular outings with the Hash House Harriers.
  18. jsolomon

    Home Canning

    Oh my, I nearly forgot to add that my family also cans beef. Quite wonderful, especially when you're looking for a hurry-up meal.
  19. jsolomon

    Gas Prices

    I changed my habits about 4 years ago. I tend to ride my bicycle a lot more. This means that I tend to frequent places that are friendlier to the "bleeding edge" of society. But, my bicycle still gets somewhere around 10 miles/pint of beer, and the price of beer hasn't changed significantly in the past four years. Are there any reasonable expectations that higher end dining will start to accept people to use alternate modes of transportation, like pulling up on their bicycle? Or, is that simply too antithetical to the unstated thesis of high-end dining?
  20. jsolomon

    Home Canning

    Tomato-Bourbon Jam You'll want to scale this -- 3.5 cups isn't enough. ← I'm not denying that would be good stuff. But, it looks like it might be wanting for some citrus. Have you ever tried it with the addition of some lemon zest? Edit to add: they are peeling the tomatoes the hard way. If you score the skin at the blossom end of the tomato (opposite the stem) you can scald them for 30 seconds and the skins will peel right off after shocking them in ice-water. Alternately, run them through a food mill.
  21. jsolomon

    Home Canning

    I do it, and for several reasons: better tomato sauce for lasagne chokecherry and crabapple jam--you just can't find those in the store pickled pepper relish--best stuff on a hamburger to date pickled beets--a mouth's awakening dill pickles--mmm.... can't be beat mixed fruit jams--just clean out the freezer, see dill pickles but the number one reason? therapy--it's cheaper than a headshrink, and you don't get the funny looks (or prison time) when you eat it.
  22. jsolomon

    The Art of Broiling

    Actually, a lot of the difference between the professional models and the home use ones are in how the energy is distributed through the electromagnetic spectrum, not how it radiates throughout the spectrum. See, the thing is, you don't want to waste your energy wasting energy, i.e. you want the photons you emit to do a better job of cooking your meat. The professional models make sure that they do that. Generally, the consumer level broilers are regular burners pressed into dual service, so the engineers choose to not broil nearly so well. For some more math-based information, check out Wikipedia's article on Blackbody Radiation, the shoehorn of quantum mechanics.
  23. If you ask Michael Pollan (author of The Omnivore's Dilemma), it's a problem of too much corn...
  24. Just wait til you try the beef Nebraska doesn't export to New York!
  25. I have several. They really aren't much of a recipe, though. Just guidelines, very similar to making loose meat sandwiches. And, more correctly, runzas aren't sandwiches. Sandwiches are assembled after the bread is baked. Runzas are assembled from raw dough and cooked ingredients. Anyway, at their simplest, runzas call for 5 ingredients. bread dough cooked ground meat (hamburger is good, I like pork better, I've never tried turkey, but it would work in theory) cooked onion cooked cabbage/potato (depending on your family) salt/pepper Usually the meat and the vegetables are cooked together and then drained. Mix them. Cool them. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Roll the bread dough thin, to between 1/4 and 1/8 inch thick. Cut into 8x8 inch squares. Place between 1/3 and 1/2 cup of the meat/veg mixture inside. Fold over to a 4x8 inch rectangle and seal the edges by pinching, or egg wash. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool. Enjoy. Oftentimes, my family will make a bunch, say 20-40 runzas and after they are baked and cooled, we will package them in freezer bags and microwave them for lunches. Personally, I like using a whole mirepoix with the onion.
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