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eG Foodblog: Chris Hennes - Pork and chocolate, together at last!


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The interior of my refrigerator (anything you see that would be unimaginable for a food-lover to have in their home is my wife's, I swear :unsure::biggrin: ):

Great stuff Chris!

I'm just catching up to 100+ posts and let me say those are some groceries to be proud of. I'll admit I was hoping to see a new duck breast prosciutto developing in the fridge, maybe together at last with chocolate . . ? I was also selfishly hoping your move would be to West Lafayette, IN since I've enjoyed some good eats there. Alas, you've many exciting times ahead.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Watching Top Chef and enjoying a little single malt Scotch:

gallery_28660_5872_38549.jpg

Caol Ila (pronounced "cull eela," I think) is from Islay, an island off the coast of Scotland famous for the smokey, peaty character of their whisky. This particular Scotch is a milder Islay, but still quite smokey when compared to a Highland.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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If you do decide to make the chorizo sausage it's a good thing to add a bit of mole, or some other form of chocolate, and hey presto, your blog title comes to life!

By coincidence I too have a pork belly brining in the fridge for a wine-pairing luncheon on Saturday, although I doubt that I'll be able to work any chocolate into the mix.

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Watching Top Chef and enjoying a little single malt Scotch:

gallery_28660_5872_38549.jpg

Caol Ila (pronounced "cull eela," I think) is from Islay, an island off the coast of Scotland famous for the smokey, peaty character of their whisky. This particular Scotch is a milder Islay, but still quite smokey when compared to a Highland.

Smoky and peaty yes, but also reeks of a first aid ward. Smells and tastes a lot like iodine to me. Those Islay scotches are notorious for that iodine character. Not necessarily to my taste, but I know a few folks that love 'em. (Matt O'Hara, I'm looking at you...) I'm trying to learn. Scotch is still the one spirit I have issues with.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Loved those action shots! I hope more people provide some, but doubt this will become an eG Foodblog tradition, for it requires another person to take the pix.

I never learned to flip food in a skillet! Though I wonder how well that would work with a cast-iron pan as opposed to one with a rounded bottom. (I have a saute pan like yours but prefer my cast-iron skillets.) Is there an eG Cooking School lesson on this?

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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Smoky and peaty yes, but also reeks of a first aid ward.  Smells and tastes a lot like iodine to me. Those Islay scotches are notorious for that iodine character.  Not necessarily to my taste, but I know a few folks that love 'em.

I like them because they are so distinctive: the iodine character is part of that (though again, Caol Ila is among the lightest of the Islays).

Loved those action shots!  I hope more people provide some, but doubt this will become an eG Foodblog tradition, for it requires another person to take the pix.

I never learned to flip food in a skillet!  Though I wonder how well that would work with a cast-iron pan as opposed to one with a rounded bottom.  (I have a saute pan like yours but prefer my cast-iron skillets.)  Is there an eG Cooking School lesson on this?

I have a Lodge 10" cast iron skillet and no way would I try tossing anything in it, though I guess if you were trying to build muscle tone... :smile:

I skipped from page 3 as I don't have time to read it all this morning.  Just wanted to let you know how much I'm enjoying the blog.  Great food, great narrative and amazing pictures. 

I like scrapple though.

Thanks for dropping by with words of encouragement: they are always appreciated!

As promised, this morning I went to Saints for my coffee:

gallery_28660_5872_53397.jpg

As you can tell from the photo, it is beautiful here this morning.

Not much to look at in its cardboard cup, but mighty fine coffee:

gallery_28660_5872_63575.jpg

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Chris - this has been a crazy week and I've been stealing minutes from my work days and chores to dive into your blog all week! Thank you so much for blogging. I am so enjoying your narrative and gorgeous photos. Thanks, also for the shots of the outside of the places you are visiting - I am a architecture fan and always love pics of the 'nabe!

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Chris - this has been a crazy week and I've been stealing minutes from my work days and chores to dive into your blog all week!  Thank you so much for blogging.  I am so enjoying your narrative and gorgeous photos.  Thanks, also for the shots of the outside of the places you are visiting - I am a architecture fan and always love pics of the 'nabe!

Thanks, Kim. Welcome back, everyone who was waiting (with bated breath!) to see my life unfold on these pages while eGullet was upgrading :biggrin: . I had an awesome lunch at a local Korean place that I will post about when everything is fully back to normal around here. The architecture of the building is nothing to write home about, I'm afraid, but you'll get your external shot anyway :smile: .

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Well, Image Gullet isn't cooperating with new images right now, so I guess I'll just continue the kitchen tour

Now we start in on the dry goods: this is my main pantry:

gallery_28660_5872_151026.jpg

Our apartment is sort of strange in that they used the floorplan from another type of apartment the same firm manages, and they didn't make any adjustments to accommodate the other changes they made, so this is really a coat closet. It is just nowhere near the door, so we use it as a pantry, after adding some supplementary shelving.

I think most of the stuff in there is pretty normal, except we have a lot of peanut butter:

gallery_28660_5872_67354.jpg

Part of this is due to my wife's couponing, and part due to my love of peanut butter, and desire to find the optimum peanut butter to use in all circumstances. Represented there are four brands, seven varieties, and nine total jars. All totally necessary when you have this much jelly:

gallery_28660_5872_99167.jpg

Those six jars are all that remains of the nearly thirty jars of strawberry preserves I canned two summers ago. I've been eating a lot of PB&J!

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Chris! Master of great food photography! I am truly digging this blog. The sandwiches, the funny Herwig place, action shots of you and your kitchen. Pork, bacon and chocolates... you're a man after my own heart. :wub:

Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

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So: Have you found the One Optimal All-Purpose, All-Occasion Peanut Butter from thta batch?

Or are certain brands/varieties more appropriate for certain uses (e.g., spreading on a cracker, spreading on a slice of bread with jelly, spreading on a cracker and topping with a slice of Cheddar, dipping an apple wedge in it, spreading on an apple wedge and topping with a slice of Cheddar,...)?

Historical trivia: Peter Pan (originally made by Swift & Co.; now made by ConAgra) is the oldest brand of mass-produced commercial peanut butter; it was introduced in 1920 or thereabouts. I find it a bit too sugary for my taste; lately, I've gone from Jif (not as sugary as Peter Pan but pretty sugary still) to Simply Jif (which has less sugar in it). Skippy used to have even less sugar, but (I guess) Procter & Gamble's marketing machine got us all hooked on the sweet stuff ("Jif tastes more like fresh peanuts!" No, it really doesn't), so eventually Bestfoods caved and boosted the sugar in Skippy until it tasted more like Jif. P&G sold Jif (and Crisco) to the J.M. Smucker Co. a year or two ago, so now Jif and Smucker's are brand mates. I haven't eaten any in a while, but I will wager that of those brands, Smucker's tastes the most like just-ground peanuts. So you gotta stir the oil back in; big whoop.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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So:  Have you found the One Optimal All-Purpose, All-Occasion Peanut Butter from thta batch?

Or are certain brands/varieties more appropriate for certain uses (e.g., spreading on a cracker, spreading on a slice of bread with jelly, spreading on a cracker and topping with a slice of Cheddar, dipping an apple wedge in it, spreading on an apple wedge and topping with a slice of Cheddar,...)?

Thanks for the peanut butter trivia: I tend to prefer the Smuckers Natural on sandwiches, but it is too thin for many other purposes. In fact, I have taken to removing all the oil from the top, then putting the whole thing in the food processor and slowly adding the oil back in until it is the consistency I like. I am such a peanut butter dork! :wacko: It also doesn't have that perfectly smooth texture that I like on bananas and apples, so I go Skippy or Jif for the smooth, and Skippy Super-chunk when I'm feeling chunky.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I think most of the stuff in there is pretty normal, except we have a lot of peanut butter:

gallery_28660_5872_67354.jpg

Part of this is due to my wife's couponing, and part due to my love of peanut butter, and desire to find the optimum peanut butter to use in all circumstances. Represented there are four brands, seven varieties, and nine total jars.

What? No food-coop hippy-style grind-yer-own absolutely-nuthin'-but-peanuts peanut butter??!? :laugh::laugh::laugh:

(Yeah, I see the Smuckers Natural. Ain't the same thing, opines this opinionated peanut-butter purist. :raz: )

Edited by mizducky (log)
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What? No food-coop hippy-style grind-yer-own absolutely-nuthin'-but-peanuts peanut butter??!?

Lol, nope. They never have any coupons for that! What kind do you like? I have heard the Peanut Butter Company makes good stuff (and they even sell it at the Wegmans), but I don't know if they are a hippy-enough brand... lead me, oh Maven of the Peanut Butter! Where should I seek these patchouli-scented wünderbutters? :laugh::biggrin:

Edited by Chris Hennes (log)

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Historical trivia:  Peter Pan (originally made by Swift & Co.; now made by ConAgra) is the oldest brand of mass-produced commercial peanut butter; it was introduced in 1920 or thereabouts.  I find it a bit too sugary for my taste; lately, I've gone from Jif (not as sugary as Peter Pan but pretty sugary still) to Simply Jif (which has less sugar in it).  Skippy used to have even less sugar, but (I guess) Procter & Gamble's marketing machine got us all hooked on the sweet stuff ("Jif tastes more like fresh peanuts!"  No, it really doesn't), so eventually Bestfoods caved and boosted the sugar in Skippy until it tasted more like Jif.  P&G sold Jif (and Crisco) to the J.M. Smucker Co. a year or two ago, so now Jif and Smucker's are brand mates. I haven't eaten any in a while, but I will wager that of those brands, Smucker's tastes the most like just-ground peanuts.  So you gotta stir the oil back in; big whoop.

Sandy~

I have to tell you how much I get a kick out of your historical perspectives. Nothing else out there like it :smile:

*Now Back To Your Regularly Scheduled Program*

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Chris~

Are you familiar with

Peanut Betters ?

Onion Parsley

Rosemary Garlic

Thai Ginger and Red Pepper

Spicy Southwestern

Hickory Smoked

Cinnamon Currant

Deep Chocolate

Peanut Praline

Sweet Molasses

Vanilla Cranberry

Man ! I would SO eat some of those !

I've never seen those! Onion parsley?!? I'm having a hard time imagining that one. I don't know that I could eat a whole jar of one flavor, but maybe I'll try some "mix-ins" in my peanut butter some time. The deep chocolate would be great on fruit, I would think.

Edited by Chris Hennes (log)

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I think most of the stuff in there is pretty normal, except we have a lot of peanut butter:

gallery_28660_5872_67354.jpg

Now this I can get behind! I'm an extra-crunchy Jif guy myself. I also have a huge weakness for the honey-roasted grind-your-own peanut butter that you can get at Whole Foods. When that's unavailable I buy a jar of cashew butter from Trader Joes and mix in my own flavorings (it's pretty bland otherwise).

Best so far (all with salt):

Molasses and cinnamon

Honey, cinnamon, and black pepper

Crystalized ginger and black pepper

Great blog! All the mentions of Wegmans make me nostalgic. I grew up in Ithaca NY and went to college in Rochester; birthplace of Wegmans! Every college student there knows that going to Wegmans is an event, not just a shopping trip.

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Great blog! All the mentions of Wegmans make me nostalgic. I grew up in Ithaca NY and went to college in Rochester; birthplace of Wegmans! Every college student there knows that going to Wegmans is an event, not just a shopping trip.

Yeah, I'm a little nervous about the move to Oklahoma City: I can't really figure out if they have anything like a WF, TJ, or Wegmans, or anything! I mean, I know I'll be able to get beef, but what about other things? Like peanut butter!! :shock:

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I'll admit I was hoping to see a new duck breast prosciutto developing in the fridge, maybe together at last with chocolate . . ?

Peter, sorry I missed this post! I really do need to give the prosciutto another shot, but my current theory is that I should wait until after the move. One of my priorities once I am settled is to put together some kind of humidity-controller room so I can join the dry-curing party. I just don't have enough control in my current setup, and if anything edible came out, it would be a fluke! I'm still a bit bummed by that particular failure. It was a beautiful duck breast...

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I got ZERO results for Wegman's, but the City Planning Commission is doing studies for a Whole Foods downtown.

I've never been there, but hear good things. I accidentally happened upon a fun site which led with the intriguing title. "What foods besides meat can you smoke?"

And then, this, from the same folks---seems tailor made for YOU:

Bacon Vodka

And EC Jif, honey, celery sticks. Plebeian, easy, will almost pass for a salad. Sometimes we pretend it is.

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What? No food-coop hippy-style grind-yer-own absolutely-nuthin'-but-peanuts peanut butter??!?

Lol, nope. They never have any coupons for that! What kind do you like? I have heard the Peanut Butter Company makes good stuff (and they even sell it at the Wegmans), but I don't know if they are a hippy-enough brand... lead me, oh Maven of the Peanut Butter! Where should I seek these patchouli-scented wünderbutters? :laugh::biggrin:

Oh, grind-your-own peanut butter is a time-honored staple at just about every food co-op I've ever visited or belonged to, and many natural foods groceries as well. For instance, the OB (Ocean Beach) People's Co-op here in San Diego has their peanut butter grinder set up in their bulk foods section. The routine is usually just like that for grind-your-own bulk coffee--you dump the (pre-roasted) peanuts in the top, catch the freshly-ground butter in one of the supplied containers as it comes out the spout at the bottom, then you bring your container to the cash register to be weighed and priced. Because the co-op does a brisk business in this stuff, and you grind it on the spot, you know it's super-fresh, with nothing in it but peanuts--plus whatever else you might decide to mix in once you get it home, of course.

At the other end of the spectrum, another purveyor of gourmet nut spreads with all sorts of interesting stuff mixed in is Spread, here in San Diego (which also runs a very avant-cuisine vegetarian restaurant in addition to its nut spread business.

Re: peanut butter gone savory--the idea may take some getting used to for us Americans who think of peanut butter as sweet, but just consider savory peanut sauces from Southeast Asia, such as Indonesian gado-gado or Vietnamese nuoc leo, and then the idea will be much easier to swallow. So to speak. :biggrin:

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Yeah, I'm a little nervous about the move to Oklahoma City: I can't really figure out if they have anything like a WF, TJ, or Wegmans, or anything! I mean, I know I'll be able to get beef, but what about other things? Like peanut butter!! :shock:

I dunno about a Wegman's or Whole Foods, but when I went Googling to see if there were any food co-ops in OKC, I found this intriguing organization. Looks like a hybrid between a CSA and an old-school food coop. And they do carry peanut butter ... :biggrin:

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The routine is usually just like that for grind-your-own bulk coffee--you dump the (pre-roasted) peanuts in the top, catch the freshly-ground butter in one of the supplied containers as it comes out the spout at the bottom, then you bring your container to the cash register to be weighed and priced. Because the co-op does a brisk business in this stuff, and you grind it on the spot, you know it's super-fresh, with nothing in it but peanuts--plus whatever else you might decide to mix in once you get it home, of course.

That's cool: we don't have that here in State College. I wonder if they will in OK---I bet there aren't many co-ops there! I wonder how much the equipment costs to do it yourself. I'd like to try it with pecans, hazelnuts, etc. I love nuts.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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