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Everything posted by jsolomon

  1. Have you tried 1 cup simple syrup and 1 tsp vanilla extract? That would be my first inclination. Cheap and effective. Other things would be shortbread (always good for traveling) and a ticket back on a speed boat (but I'm in the Army ) Wish your S.O. best of luck!
  2. Ostensibly, yes, the point is the wormwood. But, being an American in the US, I figured I would take the gateway drug approach and try absente to decide if I liked it before I attempted to start saving money to go to Slovakia and try the real thing
  3. Recently, I found that there is a product much like absinthe, but finally legal: absente. I'm really curious about this, but it appears to carry a hefty price tag. I'm curious whether anyone has tried this, real absinthe, and what their opinion is of either. Thanks!
  4. I just read the topic name more clearly... What is the difference between a soft and a hard drik?
  5. enthusiast, Based on experience and solubility data from this page Laboratory analysis of caffeine (educational) I got that caffeine solubility is 22 mg/ml at room temperature. That means that at room temperature, in a 1.5 ounce [double] shot you have a theoretical maximum of 935 mg of caffeine. If we figure that a double shot uses 17 grams of coffee, which is what I use in my regular cups of coffee, we have a limit of about 120 mg of caffeine using a regular brew method (from slkinsey's post). Using gardfoods information saying that arabica is 1.1 to 1.7% caffeine by weight, so, there is a theoretical upper limit of 289 mg of caffeine available in green coffee beans. However, caffeine is destroyed by roasting. I couldn't find any data on how much is destroyed. However, my experience tells me that given the temperature and pressure that espresso is brewed at, and with caffeine's room temperature solubility being about 5 times the available caffeine in your puck, I would say that you successfully extract 95% of the caffeine, which implies that an appreciable amount of caffeine is destroyed by roasting. Also, the darker espresso roast has detectably less caffeine because of the roasting process, so I think these "napkin" calculations are not unreasonable. Eschewing further obfuscation, I think a longer or a shorter pull will mainly change the flavor, not the caffeine content, unless you get into pulls that are less than a few seconds long, in which case, you probably wouldn't wet all of the puck, either. FYI, there is an ISO for determining caffeine content adopted in 1983 if anyone is interested. ISO 4052:1983 EDIT: Give a clearer answer
  6. There are many ways to figure it out, much like skinning a cat. But, like skinning a cat, some ways are better than others, and one has the dubious distinction of being the worst, while another has the not quite as dubious distinction of being the best. [research chemist mode] What's yer budget? [/research chemist mode] Long and short is, if it is not naturally occurring in the tea, it has to be listed if it is in there. If it does occur naturally, then you are under the guise of an "herbal" via the FDA and USDA thusly, unregulated and unreported. edit 'cos html browsers are not smart enough to show tags that aren't valid
  7. Worse, increased imports of Budweiser, Milwaukee's Best, and Old Style under Dubya's new economic action plan: NABBTA, the North Atlantic Bad Beer Trade Agreement where cheap american corn is exported to Mexico to be brewed by migrant Canadian brewers and shipped in tramp steamers to Ireland, Scotland, Great Britain, and donated to France to make up for our bad manners earlier this year regarding the French /satire
  8. jsolomon

    Tomato Salads

    slice in half, put salt and pepper on the cut side, spritz with oil, and broil or grill til there is some color on the cut side. This requires a BLISTERING HOT grill or a screeching hot broiler. Slice, place on hamburgers. Slice into 1/8's, place on pizza put on old clothes and eat them like apples and let the juice run everywhere Dice (seed or don't), drizzle a little rice wine vinegar over, add bruised basil, salt, pepper, a little red onion, and some chile
  9. Consider the invitation extended However, if the power goes out at my house, you can expect a rain check
  10. Elyse, I agree with you. While my advice is not binding in any way, remember that even eggs, are kept above room temperature for several weeks while the chick is developing. 27 hours is not a tremendous time. If this were my refrigerator, I would keep everything and check it as I use it. However, I would bake a batch or two of brioche or custard to get rid of the eggs sooner rather than later as they will be noticeably less fresh. My experience of food and cooking is WAY out beyond the levels the USDA/FDA/etc call safe, and I have only had food poisoning once, from food not cooked by me at a sporting event from the concession stand. As you're cooking these things let the proper items you grew tell you if things are okay: your nose, fingers and eyes. If the bacon is slimy, instead of greasy, toss it. Bake something with the berries. Use your vegetables for stock or soup (or put them in your freezer bag for later making) in the next 3 days. At times like this, my mantra is the mantra I gave my tutees when I was tutoring Army medics through their courses: humans are fundamentally hard to kill. Disclaimer: these are what I would do and my guidelines and are in no way endorsed by anything but my good health. P.S. Elyse, you are editing your posts right beneath my quotes! Ack!
  11. jsolomon

    Colder glasses ?

    So, what you see is that the temperature begins to really stabilize around 20 degrees F below the room temperature. Making a grand assumption that all wine glasses will act this way should show fairly well that drinking your wine lazily from the glass out in the heat is not going to be very good for a complex, good wine. I would suggest changing wines to something simple, acceptable really cold so you can store the wine in ice in the bottle, etc. etc. etc. Kind of like how some of the french will drink a table wine of something like a blush or rose during the spring and summer. We don't always need great wine, and wine wouldn't have survived as a normal drink of all classes if some of the lower quality stuffs weren't exquisitely drinkable as well. As a side note, the gewurtstraminer is still fairly drinkable at this temperature, but it has lost its mouth feel and a LOT of depth. Would be great with a chilled grapefruit salad. But, I'm going to ribfest in a couple of hours, so all shall be forgotten in smoked pork bliss
  12. What about the standard "put food by" method of blanch, shock, freeze in ziploc bags? My family does this with: peppers, corn, asparagus, and morels with very awe-inspiring results.
  13. At the risk of continuing off topic, for all of its warts, I really enjoy the University of Nebraska, and there is quite a push to return the viticulture in Nebraska to its previous, pre-prohibition levels where our sandy soil and naturally stressful climates produced a vaguely remarkable level of wine. Also, we have a good chemistry department whose resources I can draw on
  14. jsolomon

    Colder glasses ?

    Andre, How long was this meal? I just grabbed a glass of gewurtstraminer from my refrigerator, placed it in an RT glass (82 F in my apartment right now) and have it up in my loft which is about 88 right now with a thermometer in it. FYI, glass seems like a fairly standard wine glass. I do not have mass info or a digital camera. My apologies. Here are my current temperature points: 3:55 p.m. (2 min in glass) 41 F 4:04 p.m. (11 min in glass) 43 F 4:09 45 F 4:15 52 F 4:21 58 F 4:27 59 F 4:32 60 F 4:38 62 F 4:42 62 F 4:46 wine stirred to equilibrate throughout 4:46 64 F 4:51 64 F 4:57 65 F I will edit with more temperature points as time goes on. I am not drinking from this glass for at least one hour.
  15. jsolomon

    Colder glasses ?

    Just as it is not bad manners to ask that a coffee cup be prewarmed, I do not think that it is bad manners to ask that a glass for wine be brought to a proper temperature. However, what you will notice is that if you are not drinking your wine out of something as massive as a coffee mug (not china coffee cup) there will not be a whole lot of difference because a little mass with a mid-level specific heat, say .5 oz. of glass compared to 4 or 6 ounces of wine (general with the glass, stingy with the wine) is not going to make a whole lot of difference, IMO, unless the glass is screeching hot (70C) or amazingly cold (0C). Especially over the long run of a whole glass of wine. In this case, the bottle is the appropriate temperature insulating device for the wine and the appropriate thing to insist upon having at the right temperature. If you are in a classy enough place to have good cotton napkins, ask that they tie one around an appropriately temperature adjusted wine glass before consumption, and handle the glass by the stem. This usually works in Nebraska summers during 100+ heat. Although, on those days, I change to drinking (shudder) bud light because it is light enough on your palate when you are hot, tired, and slightly dehydrated.
  16. jsolomon

    Worst Beer Ever Tasted

    Ahh, the beginning of a thousand comic operas
  17. For milking the corn, a good method is to cut through the center of the kernels in parallel with the rows (lengthwise along the cob) all along the ear and then scrape the ear with the spine of your knife. Alternately, you can cut the tops off and then scrap along the spine. Both methods work pretty well. I've never heard of sweet corn ice cream. My personal suggestion would be to have the corn naked with butter and make vanilla, but consider that my ignorance showing.
  18. Yes, BN is Barnes and Noble. Actually, it was the assistant manager who kicked us out. Something about we shouldn't be laughing so loud in the cookbooks section as we were browsing through their copies of "Intercourses"
  19. Good grainy mustard with a hint of sweetness is TERRIFIC on french fries. My old girlfriend says that she has a flavor she calls "jared" (me) from all of the mustard I cook with.
  20. That sounds like a political internship if I've ever heard of one ;)
  21. S=k*ln(w) It's not just a good idea, it's the law.
  22. Hmm, let me count: How to cook everything Rosies all butter, fresh cream, sugar packed cookbook Roasting <- on permanent loan to my mother Bread Bible Pasta Sauces Intercourses: an aphrodisiac cookbook <- Purchasing this one got me kicked out of BN! Complete Joy of Homebrewing <- gathering dust due to a poorly temperature controlled living space 7
  23. You have my sincerest condolences. I suggest, to stretch your beer, alternate between beer and other wunnerful drinks like gin and tonics or whiskey sodas. Alternately, when serving to your friends, bring their third beer to them with the contents of 2 benadryls dumped into the beer... coma cocktails! edited to remove overlarge run of emoticons
  24. I thought cured pork anything ( at least any proteinaceous parts, I shudder to think of cured pork brains, cured pork liver, or cured pork kidney ) was destined to be delicious.
  25. jackal10, I agree with you for most of what you said with a few minor variations: Point a: You're right on the money. Point b: Remember that the cell walls are also fat. By the time you get to 100C, they have long been melted and denatured. This is different for plants, but they have a different cellular structure, relying on cellulose enclosures around cells, so you need higher temperatures to rupture those structures. You are disrupting a supercellular structure when you get to the point that water is actively vaporizing "deep" inside the tissue. point c: Maillard reactions are right on the money, but these are mainly anhydrous reactions. They don't happen quickly in the presence of water, and don't happen with much speed until you get to a screeching hot temperature of 300+ Farhenheit. This is why you sear at such a hot temperature. You can get these to happen in bacon earlier and more quickly if you really crank up the temperature, but then you'll scorch the bacon and have it done in an un-even manner. What is happening more are nitrate and nitrite reactions occuring with the myoglobin in the cells which give it the reddish color. Those happen at lower temperatures than the Maillard reactions. These start gaining appreciable speed at about 60 C, or a decent smoking temperature for... bacon and ham. I personally think that as you increase the temperature, more of the fat leaves the structures and the proteins in the connective tissues are able to denature into tighter and tighter structures which is why the fatty areas shrink so much. It is well-known that meat shrinks during the cooking process, and it shrinks for several reasons: water loss, fat loss, dissolution of essential parts, and denaturation of proteins into tighter packed and less-ordered structures (which is why you can tell a cooked piece of meat from a fresh one by jabbing it with your finger... aside from the burns). The maillard reaction explains the brown and the crispy, but there are many other things going on during that stage. [OT] When I apply for entry into a food science graduate program, should I go into oenology, or something else? Anyone have suggestions, since this is the 'geek' thread? I'm applying to the University of Nebraska. Edited with more information on Maillard.
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