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I made too much of <blank>


Jason Perlow
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Last December I got a serious craving for chicken mole, but every time I ordered it in a restaurant, it was crap. Finally, I decided to make my own--I settled on Emeril's recipe for Oaxacan Black Mole. Several steps into the recipe, I realized I was going to need a bigger cooking vessel. Several steps later, I realized I was going to need an even BIGGER vessel. At the end of the recipe, I had my biggest pot filled to the very tip top with black chile sludge that splattered and stained everything in the kitchen. I don't know what I did wrong, but 10-12 servings my ass.

It was awesome mole, but what the heck was I going to do with two gallons of the stuff?

I'm still working on it. :rolleyes:

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I'm with Miz Ducky, part of it is cultural...those of us in "the Tribe" are conditioned to equate large amts. of food with love. When I got married, I discovered that my husband's family, unlike my family, didn't know what portion control meant. So I quickly learned to make 2x normal amts. when his family was visiting. Now that 2 members have gotten gastric bypasses, it's down to 1.5x portions :raz: .

But DH is always disappointed when there's no leftovers, whereas I consider it a supreme accomplishment to make just-the-right-amount!

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

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I usually buy and/or make to much--- I rarely under estimate. The more people the worse I seem to do. With meat I am now at least thinking no more than 1/2 pound per person-- but if it is 4 people or more I will still throw in a little extra- and I then have to much. And at the risk of the wrath of carnitas lovers- I made them for the first time this last weekend (following the thread on carnitas to a tee) and well I have way to much leftover and I was not that enamored of them to begin with.

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I don't only make too much, I routinely get carried away at the organic Farmers' Market and BUY too much, far more than I, as a single person, can cook or eat. But it's so beautiful, and summers' lease has all too short a date, and I'll go back to less beautiful stuff at the supermarket, or attractive painfully overpriced produce at Whole Foods.

Yes, it's a disease. But I still remember the awful meal many years ago where someone served one small chicken for five people!

I'd love some advice on using my Foodsaver for the all too often times when I've cooked far too much. I use very old Tupperware, with plastic wrap on the top, but it does tend to get freezer burn on the top.

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Yes, the "Buying way too much crap at <blank> and then it went bad" disease is also something which I am sad to say I am afflicted with as well. All too often I will buy produce or a food item at the supermarket, forget to eat it or use it for <insert number of days, weeks, months> and then I'll discover it rotting in the fridge or in the fruit/veg basket.

Edited by Jason Perlow (log)

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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My weakness is pasta salad. For some reason, I lose my faculties when deciding how much dry pasta to use. I made pasta salad for a party of 35 people over the weekend and ended up using four bags of rotini (1 lb bags). It made 12 quarts with the rest of the vegetables and olives. I still have six quarts left. :blink:

And unfortunately, this isn't the first time I've misjudged the pasta amounts.

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I come from a make-sure-there-are-excesses-of-everything family. When I am cooking just for myself and my sweetheart, I consider it an accomplishment to make just the right amount. But when company comes over, all bets are off. I want guests to feel indulged, and able to indulge. If it's all gone at the end, I worry that someone is leaving hungry, or unsatsified. What if someone took considerably less than they really wanted because they could see there wasn't going to be enough? A royal tragedy, I tell you.

And even when I make way too much of something, an email out to the friends with an invitation for noshing and tv seems to do the trick quite well.

The Kitchn

Nina Callaway

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Anyone else have this sickness?

NO!

And regardless of what you say, the accidental 3 gallons of Macedonia (fruit salad) that I made last week when everything seemed to be ripe was just a coincidence.

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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Anyone else have this sickness?

NO!

And regardless of what you say, the accidental 3 gallons of Macedonia (fruit salad) that I made last week when everything seemed to be ripe was just a coincidence.

So, our problem is not due to sickness, it is due to accident? Does that affect our insurance policies?

Happy Feasting

Janet (a.k.a The Old Foodie)

My Blog "The Old Foodie" gives you a short food history story each weekday day, always with a historic recipe, and sometimes a historic menu.

My email address is: theoldfoodie@fastmail.fm

Anything is bearable if you can make a story out of it. N. Scott Momaday

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I ALWAYS have this problem. My theory is that I'll make more now to save time and energy later. I made 200 or so dolmas when my parents came up last weekend. I figured I'd send them home with some, and then give a bunch to several friends, and have some for lunch for the week. My parents made off with a bunch but the rest are still sitting in my fridge with the stifry I made the week before that I was going to freeze and take for lunch/have for dinner. I've been making a conscious effort, the present examples excluded, to cook less, cook more often. I'm trying to get over this affliction. Its not healthy, its wasteful and I'm tired of it. The grocery store is at the end of the street, Its not like its any effort to run down and buy just enough for a day, maybe 2. But its such a hard habit to break. If I could just get around to freezing things like I mean to, it would help. Having pre-made meals that I have cooked really helps me control my weight. When I get really hungry and have to cook, I either don't, and eat something fast, tasty and not so healthy, or I cook too much, eat too much etc.

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Currently dealing with the potato salad issue ourselves from July 4th. I like the 1/4 lb per person recommendation mentioned earlier.

In April I had a tapas party and made enough for probably 20 people at least, only 8 showed up and we wound up eating tapas for lunch and dinner every day for the next week. Urgh.

Last fall I made the Tuscan bread and tomato soup papa al pomodoro and I swear that damned stuff regenerated in our fridge. Two weeks of lunches it took to get rid of it and I think I finally just threw it out in disgust at the thought of eating it one more day.

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I also have the "overcook"...affliction. For my part, I think it has to do with being in denial over the fact that my house has less people in and out than there used to be. My big kids are grown and on their own, some of the elders have passed away, most of our friends live in other towns. The company around the table is reduced, but not my cooking. When I cook, like Janet I go on auto pilot, and find myself ruefully facing way too much food in the end.

But I'm pretty good about portioning out the excess and freezing it. And NOT cooking lots of fresh stuff till at least some of the frozens have been consumed.

For me the solution to over-buying at the farmer's market is to make wine. Just about anything ferments; it's just a question of what you're willing to experiment with. Herbs make good cooking wines; sweet vegetables make amazingly fruity, subtle sipping wines. Can't warm up to the idea of beet wine, though. I make a wine I call Summer's Lease, with 4 kg. of the odds-bods of frozen fruit I've accumulated over June, July and August (bananas, peaches, cherries, apricots, berries, apples, all kinds of dead-ripe fruit I slice and freeze so as not to let it go to waste). It turns out pretty good. I would make more than one batch, except that it embarrasses me to admit how much of fruit I've overbought.

Miriam

Miriam Kresh

blog:[blog=www.israelikitchen.com][/blog]

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Sadly, I do this all the time. Mostly, I tell myself that I do it because I grew up in a household with six to eight people in it every night for dinner and now I only have to cook (at home) for two of us. I always think "No way will this feed us," so make a larger amount, but, of course, the original amount probably would have been fine.

But, as a kid, I did it a lot, too. Once, I was making PB cookies to take to school and worried that there wouldn't be enough, so I doubled the recipe. And then, I doubled THAT. Unfortunately, I was using my mother's copy of the recipe and she had already doubled it. Apparently, it was a large recipe to begin with. I was able to watch the entire original Star Wars trilogy on a USA marathon. :rolleyes: I didn't sleep that night... my mother was a little upset when she woke up to find me *still* baking cookies. I pulled out my last batch ten minutes before I left for school. There was still dough left. :hmmm: I still laugh every time I think about that. :laugh:

Misa

Sweet Misa

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