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Absurdly, stupidly basic cooking questions (Part 2)


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13 hours ago, heidih said:

In my anorexic days I would freeze sugar free jello to eat as something it more solid. Never let it go room temp. For that mousse I would freeze a small test amount and we how it goes. Better than later disaster. 

 

That's what I'll do.

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15 hours ago, AlaMoi said:

toss the temperature idea in the dumper and go with eyeball observation.

 

a simmer has gentle but regular "bubbles"

a boil has vigorous continuous "bubbles"

a hard boil has very energetic explosive "bubbles"

 

it's really not that hard - cooktops have "knobs" - turn down the heat, turn up the heat. 

it's not "heat on" vs "heat off"

Sane advice.    Sight, smell and touch are your best cooking guides.

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eGullet member #80.

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On 11/25/2022 at 1:26 PM, TdeV said:

Thanks. @ElsieD, I have a thermometer to program, so I am looking for the actual temperature. We're at 760' elevation, but I'm not sure how to translate how that changes boiling temp.

 

5 minutes ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

Sane advice.    Sight, smell and touch are your best cooking guides.

It’s very good advice, but not very useful if you’re trying to program a thermometer. Although I have personally never found the need to program a thermometer beyond establishing boiling and freezing points. Nor have I ever lived where altitude could affect boiling point.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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59 minutes ago, Anna N said:

 

It’s very good advice, but not very useful if you’re trying to program a thermometer. Although I have personally never found the need to program a thermometer beyond establishing boiling and freezing points. Nor have I ever lived where altitude could affect boiling point.

Thanks, Anna.    I was late to the party and missed the original question/need.

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I hope that someone can answer a question that I have had for a long time. I just posted a recipe for Gourmet Mustard that I have been making for about 20 years. Because it has eggs in it, I usually discarded after 1 month. I'm well versed in basic food safety but my question has always been, will it keep longer because of the vinegar and the mustard or would it pose a risk if I ate it after that time?

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20 minutes ago, Tropicalsenior said:

I hope that someone can answer a question that I have had for a long time. I just posted a recipe for Gourmet Mustard that I have been making for about 20 years. Because it has eggs in it, I usually discarded after 1 month. I'm well versed in basic food safety but my question has always been, will it keep longer because of the vinegar and the mustard or would it pose a risk if I ate it after that time?

 

I'm interested in this as well.  I make mine once a year to go with our Christmas Eve ham and there is al2ays a bunch left over.  Mine is a cooked mustard.

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13 minutes ago, Tropicalsenior said:

I hope that someone can answer a question that I have had for a long time. I just posted a recipe for Gourmet Mustard that I have been making for about 20 years. Because it has eggs in it, I usually discarded after 1 month. I'm well versed in basic food safety but my question has always been, will it keep longer because of the vinegar and the mustard or would it pose a risk if I ate it after that time?


I’ve seen similar recipes that purport to keep a bit longer, up to 2 months for this one, but how often the jar is opened, left at room temp, dipped into with utensils that could have contacted other foods, etc. are likely as much a factor as time alone. 
Packing into smaller jars, opening and using just one at a time, should help with that. 

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9 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:


I’ve seen similar recipes that purport to keep a bit longer, up to 2 months for this one, but how often the jar is opened, left at room temp, dipped into with utensils that could have contacted other foods, etc. are likely as much a factor as time alone. 
Packing into smaller jars, opening and using just one at a time, should help with that. 

 

Having packed it in smaller jars, I wonder if it can be frozen?

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7 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

Packing into smaller jars, opening and using just one at a time, should help with that. 

My concern is with the eggs in the mustard. I know that the shelf life of homemade mayonnaise is about a week but the eggs are uncooked. In this the eggs are not only cooked but it has a larger proportion of vinegar. Contamination while using it is a big factor, thank you. However, the bigger question for me is how long is an egg product like this safe.

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Just now, ElsieD said:

 

Having packed it in smaller jars, I wonder if it can be frozen?

I was wondering that as well, like lemon curd. I'm sure it would be safe so you could always try and see. I know the punch of homemade mustard mellows over time but not sure what freezing does. 

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I think of mustard as a sort of emulsion 

 

freezing might split it if it is an emulsion 

 

but you might be able to mix it back up 

 

if eggs are a particular concern , 

 

consider pasteurizing them .  

 

they will keep longer .  they are not sterile.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm asking this question on behalf of my sister.  She has her grandkids with her this weekend and bought a chocolate fountain as for  dessert, she wants a chocolate dipping party.  She bought 1 pound of Belcolade bittersweet chocolate to use.  How does she prepare this to use with a chocolate fountain?  

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I am clueless but surprised there were no directions on the tyoes of chocolate that will flow correctly. Bittersweet? so not little kids (though I like the Hershey dark as a kid) Will be interested to hear.

Edited by heidih (log)
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1 hour ago, ElsieD said:

I'm asking this question on behalf of my sister.  She has her grandkids with her this weekend and bought a chocolate fountain as for  dessert, she wants a chocolate dipping party.  She bought 1 pound of Belcolade bittersweet chocolate to use.  How does she prepare this to use with a chocolate fountain?  

She needs to either add some extra cocoa butter or some neutral oil of some sort. 

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Just now, Kerry Beal said:

She needs to either add some extra cocoa butter or some neutral oil of some sort. 

 

I can guarantee you that she doesn't have cocoa butter, but oil she does have.  How much does she need to add?  I'm guessing she would melt the chocolate in a double boiler.

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Melt the chocolate in the microwave or double boiler - add something between 1/2 to 1 cup of oil per 5 lbs of chocolate. If it's belcolade couverture it's fairly liquid anyway to 1/2 cup will likely be sufficient. Grape seed oil, sunflower or safflower oil are good choices. 

 

 

 

 

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  • 5 weeks later...

This is not, strictly speaking, about cooking...but rather about storage of an ingredient. I was given a gift of homemade herb vinegar. It is in a really large glass bottle, fresh (now pickled) herbs suspended in the vinegar. The bottle has a cork with some wax sealing it. I want to decant it into smaller containers. I plan to strain out those herbs. Additionally, as the vinegar had vegetation in it, is it better to store in the fridge once opened (as it isn't unadulterated vinegar)?

"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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16 hours ago, BeeZee said:

This is not, strictly speaking, about cooking...but rather about storage of an ingredient. I was given a gift of homemade herb vinegar. It is in a really large glass bottle, fresh (now pickled) herbs suspended in the vinegar. The bottle has a cork with some wax sealing it. I want to decant it into smaller containers. I plan to strain out those herbs. Additionally, as the vinegar had vegetation in it, is it better to store in the fridge once opened (as it isn't unadulterated vinegar)?

 

I would definitely refrigerate it, though I am sure some people might not. U of Maine Co-op Extension says:

Quote

 

To store your vinegar, refrigerate it and use within 3 months. For longer, shelf-stable storage, heat process the jars by processing pints for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath canner with 1/4-inch headspace.

If your flavored vinegar starts to mold at any time, or show signs of fermentation such as bubbling, cloudiness or sliminess, discard the product and do not use any of it that is left.

 

https://extension.umaine.edu/food-health/food-preservation/lets-preserve-herbal-vinegar/

 

U Georgia Extension suggests refrigeration is not essential, but it is recommended to extend quality. 


 

Quote

 

Storing the Vinegar

Store the flavored vinegars in a cool, dark place. Refrigeration is best for retention of freshness and flavors. Date the bottles or jars when they are opened. If properly prepared and bottled, flavored vinegars should keep for up to 3 months in cool storage. Fruit vinegars in particular may start to brown and change flavor noticeably after that. Refrigeration of all flavored vinegars may extend the quality for 6 to 8 months. Always keep vinegar bottles tightly sealed. After six months, even if there is no sign of spoilage, taste the vinegar before using to make sure the flavor is still good. If a flavored vinegar ever has mold on or in it, or signs of fermentation such as bubbling, cloudiness, or sliminess, throw it away without using any of the vinegar for any purpose.

 

https://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/uga/uga_flavored_vinegars.pdf

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