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Food in the time of a pandemic


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2 hours ago, Katie Meadow said:

Related to news about TTM and not the sabbath, I just heard she has been named editor of Bon Appetit to hopefully bring it back from disgrace. I haven't looked at that magazine in years, so this can only be good news.

 

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Eat more chicken skin.

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19 hours ago, Katie Meadow said:

It's hard to know where to put this new piece of information I just gleaned from Toni Tipton-Martin's Jubilee. She has a section on baked beans in which her research digs up this possible origin. Most of us think of baked beans as a yankee dish. It's always been too sweet for me; I guess I like my beans soupier and spicier, as in a pot of red chile or red beans and rice. She claims one possible origin is that sea captains brought the dish back from North Africa and/ or Spain and suggests that originally it was the Sephardic Jewish version of cholent, the beans and meat that cooked all night so that you didn't have to cook on the sabbath. That's about as far as she takes it, and she never mentions cholent. 

 

It's possible that's true, though for Boston baked beans specifically, I find it kind of odd that none of the original ingredients survived. The closest thing to a spice in most Boston baked beans is mustard, and the beans tend to be New England native varieties. And pork and molasses were plentiful in Boston, which was a hub for rum distillation and pork packing (prior to prohibition and refrigeration, respectively). And there's never any grain or vegetables in the Boston dish.

I did manage to find this article which quotes a culinary historian at Plimoth Plantation; she says that beans were common on ships, and that combinations of beans and pork were written about in England in the 14th century. (It also dispels the story I've always heard of baked beans being derived from Native American recipes using maple syrup). 

 

(Incidentally — @Katie Meadow — if you haven't ever made Boston baked beans from scratch, it's worth giving it a try sometime. When they're sweetened exclusively with molasses, they end up a lot less sweet, and you can adjust sweetness and liquid as desired. The acidity of the molasses makes them cook really slowly, but the result is a really lovely texture.)

 

The other bean dishes I have seen explicitly called out as derived from Sephardic cuisine have a lot of complexity — I just saw a recipe for an Israeli-style hamin that looked amazing, with multiple kinds of bean, meat, eggs, and wheat berries. And Madrid's meat-packed cocido madrileño is usually acknowledged as having Jewish origins. (Ironically a lot of the dishes that survived in Spain ended up having tons of pork in them, as it was a way of making a show of Christianity after the Inquisition.)

 

Either way, I can see myself cooking my way through a bunch of these now that the weather's cooler. As research, of course.

 

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On 9/18/2020 at 11:52 PM, DesertTinker said:

I see way too many employees with the under nose mask here. I always let a manager/supervisor know what’s going on. No names, just department and when observed.

Post it on Twitter. That'll get attention.

 

I'm using staff mask compliance at restaurants as an indicator of how seriously they take food safety. I've had some disappointments

Edited by gfweb (log)
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Thanks for the info, @dtremit.  It's unlikely I will ever make baked beans, I just don't enjoy them. My husband would be happy to have my portion at a pot luck/barbecue. Also I'm not into molasses. I find that anything molasses can do Steen's cane syrup can do better!

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50 minutes ago, gfweb said:

Post it on Twitter. That'll get attention.

 

I'm using staff mask compliance at restaurants as an indicator of how seriously they take food safety. I've had some disappointments

 

Yesterday at work one of my colleagues complained that workers in a pizza restaurant near her home were not wearing masks.  She notified township officials where she lives but they refused to take action because the owner said it was too hot for the workers to wear masks.  They said she could call the police.  She plans to report them to the state.

 

In other news she mentioned her town has a new cluster of cases.

 

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4 hours ago, Katie Meadow said:

Thanks for the info, @dtremit.  It's unlikely I will ever make baked beans, I just don't enjoy them. My husband would be happy to have my portion at a pot luck/barbecue. Also I'm not into molasses. I find that anything molasses can do Steen's cane syrup can do better!

LOL That's crazy talk!

In fairness, molasses is another of those polarizing flavors, like licorice. I love it (love them both, actually) but of course Atlantic Canada, like New England, is part of the traditional "molasses belt." The bit Crosby Molasses refinery is just a few blocks from where I currently live, in fact. You know those big storage tanks they have for oil, near petroleum-shipping ports? There's one of those on the Saint John waterfront that's full of Crosby's molasses. It's quite a thing to see. The refinery itself just has trains of tanker cars backed up to it, which is equally impressive after a moment's thought but not as visually striking.

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“What is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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1 hour ago, chromedome said:

In fairness, molasses is another of those polarizing flavors, like licorice. I love it (love them both, actually) 

 

I also love them both (or better yet, one of the licorice varieties made with molasses), but I totally get why someone might not.

 

(By contrast, my stepmother doesn't like the taste of butter. That, I don't get.)

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2 hours ago, chromedome said:

LOL That's crazy talk!

In fairness, molasses is another of those polarizing flavors, like licorice. I love it (love them both, actually) but of course Atlantic Canada, like New England, is part of the traditional "molasses belt." The bit Crosby Molasses refinery is just a few blocks from where I currently live, in fact. You know those big storage tanks they have for oil, near petroleum-shipping ports? There's one of those on the Saint John waterfront that's full of Crosby's molasses. It's quite a thing to see. The refinery itself just has trains of tanker cars backed up to it, which is equally impressive after a moment's thought but not as visually striking.

Speaking of molasses in storage tanks: the great flood of 1919. Maybe that's when they invented Boston Baked Beans.

https://www.history.com/news/great-molasses-flood-science

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As an aside, they used to load the molasses from the tank into train cars, and send them across the river to a distillery in Cambridge. When the Globe did its retrospective on the flood last year, I realized that I can see the train tracks they used from my window. (We live in a converted 1925 factory building.)

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123876234_ChefColllective09-21.thumb.JPG.ba00a0cd945ebd452f4c98e69bb26ca4.JPG

 

I was very excited to get my Chef Collective order today. 4 kinds of mushrooms, some organic grapes, but what really sealed the deal for me was (no, not the Sullivan Street bakery stuff) the 3 different Italian chicories.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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35 minutes ago, weinoo said:

 

 

I was very excited to get my Chef Collective order today. 4 kinds of mushrooms, some organic grapes, but what really sealed the deal for me was (no, not the Sullivan Street bakery stuff) the 3 different Italian chicories.

Nice mushrooms assortment. What are your favorite chicory preps for those you received?

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California voters somehow voted to do away with those free plastic bags grocery stores used to bag our groceries in. They're happy to sell us new recyclable bags.

So we recycle the new recyclable bags by taking them to the grocery store every time we shop to be used to hold our new groceries.

Except, thanks to the Pandemic, the cashiers in the grocery stores won't touch them, fearing the Coronavirus is all over them (even though a lot of the cashiers are wearing disposable plastic gloves).

So you either have to bag your own groceries now in the recyclable bags you brought (after paying how much for my groceries?!), or the cashier will be happy to sell you new plastic bags that they will touch and they will put your groceries inside. 

Whatta scam. >:(

And then the cashier takes the yellow squash I had in a plastic produce bag with her COVID-covered plastic gloved hand so she can weigh the squash on the scale at the register. I was speechless. I said nothing and went home and scrubbed that squash as if it were contaminated. 

So they won't touch my recyclable bags but they will be happy to touch all of my produce? It boggles my mind. She's wearing gloves....for goodness sake, why can't she pack my groceries in the bags I brought and then throw away the gloves and put new ones on for the next customer? Because gloves cost money and the store doesn't want them to throw the gloves away after each customer (like they do at the Subway sandwich chain).

This hurts my brain.:(

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“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

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@Toliver, can you do self check-out? I avoided it for a long time because I was sympathetic to the human cashiers that might lose jobs / lose paid work hours. However, under the circumstances, I started doing self check-out more often. I think I do a better job at bagging stuff (cold stuff all together, no fragile-type stuff on the bottom).

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22 hours ago, weinoo said:

123876234_ChefColllective09-21.thumb.JPG.ba00a0cd945ebd452f4c98e69bb26ca4.JPG

 

I was very excited to get my Chef Collective order today. 4 kinds of mushrooms, some organic grapes, but what really sealed the deal for me was (no, not the Sullivan Street bakery stuff) the 3 different Italian chicories.

That chicory there is same as puntarelle but without puntarelle inside. Love it! I make a soup with lamb or meatballs 😋

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Guys, I need suggestions. We just called and today’s fish is almaco jack and wahoo (this I could grill like I do with spanish mackerel) and I do a sauce on the side with some evoo, garlic, very finely chopped rosmary,  let if just sizzle in the oil for a second and then add some white wine vinegar or lemon, some bay leaves in are good too. But I am open to other suggestions. Never cooked almaco jack and I am guessing they are selling filets big. 

Thanks! 

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19 minutes ago, Franci said:

Guys, I need suggestions. We just called and today’s fish is almaco jack and wahoo (this I could grill like I do with spanish mackerel) and I do a sauce on the side with some evoo, garlic, very finely chopped rosmary,  let if just sizzle in the oil for a second and then add some white wine vinegar or lemon, some bay leaves in are good too. But I am open to other suggestions. Never cooked almaco jack and I am guessing they are selling filets big. 

Thanks! 

 

I like sauteed-till-limp halved and de-seeded cherry tomatoes,shallots and a hint of basil as a "sauce" for grilled fish this time of year.  A little OO and salt is all that's added.

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31 minutes ago, Franci said:

in the end the husband got only the wahoo. It was big enough, 2lbs and it costed the same as lobster 🙄

 

Beautiful fish. When my ex brought wahoo from Baja California (they are in both Atlantic and Pacific) they were from large ones so frozen on board as "steaks". I put them on the outdoor grill and served with an "add as you like" green sauce. That was parsley, dill along with watercress, olive oil. lemon juice, and a touch of cream, ricotta, or coconut milk to bring it together.  Seemed to get the Americans over their oily fish phobia.  

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