Category Archives: Food

FRIDAY CRAZINESS; FOODIE EDITION

TO ALL LURKERS: IF YOU SKIP EVERYTHING ELSE, PLEASE SCROLL DOWN TO THE PAUL HARVEY VIDEO AT THE END OF THE COMMENTS. YOU’LL THANK YOURSELF

It as a tough call. It’s Friday. Sometimes I post good/silly/offbeat stuff. Other times I mix fun with political bloodsport. I decided to do a mostly non-politically-correct thing. I have a feeling a lot of the lurkers here just check out the headers anyway.
We have some food-related stuff today.

Terrible Woman Berating Food Staff Meets Instant Justice
This video will infuriate you until the very end
WATCH AS KARMA COMES UPSIDE THIS WOMAN’S SKULL
In a video uploaded to YouTube on Thursday, an irate woman was captured hurling insults at restaurant workers who had the audacity to put green peppers on a meal for kids who “don’t eat green things!”
“If you want to be polite to the customer, then you speak English,” barks the impolite customer. “My kids don’t eat green things, they eat red peppers!”
When the workers, who remain calm throughout the video, offer to make a new meal, the woman calmly reminds them that “I DON’T HAVE 15 MINUTES!”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/terrible-woman-berating-food-staff-meets-instant-justice_55e9ae73e4b03784e2759e1b?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592

DW AND I WATCH A LOT OF THE FOOD NETWORK. THERE WERE RUMORS THAT SUPER CHEF BOBBY FLAY WAS GETTING A DIVORCE FROM HIS WIFE, STEPHANIE MARCH, AT ABOUT THE TIME HE WAS MESSING WITH ANOTHER TV HOST, GIADA DeLAURENTIS. ALL I KNOW IS THESE PEOPLE MAKE A HELL OF A LOT OF MONEY.
Giada De Laurentiis Is Officially Divorced… and It Was Expensive


TMZ has obtained a copy of the final divorce judgment, which orders Giada to pay Todd $9K a month in child support. Todd also gets their $3.2 million house in Pacific Palisades and $300,000 in art and furnishings. He also gets to keep his membership in the swanky Bel-Air Bay Club, which overlooks the Pacific.
They’re dividing up various bank accounts, with a total balance north of $2 million.
And of course, he gets to keep his Porsche and she gets to keep hers.
No one’s getting spousal support, because they’re both rich. His estimated worth is $15 million… hers is $20 million.
https://www.yahoo.com/celebrity/news/giada-de-laurentiis-is-officially-divorced—-and-it-was-expensive-231337525.html

McDONALDS DRIVE-THRUS CAN BE DANGEROUS
Quartet Charged With Attack On McDonald’s Worker
Girl, 16, was pulled through drive-thru window
SEPTEMBER 2–Police have charged a quartet of women in connection with an attack last week on a 16-year-old McDonald’s employee who was pulled through a drive-thru window and beaten outside the Louisiana restaurant

VIDEO AT LINK
http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/bizarre/arrests-in-attack-on-mcdonalds-drive-thru-worker-879024

UTENSILS FOR DIETERS
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Brewing kombucha

My daughter and I are using the two-brew method.

The first brew is sweet tea in a gallon jug with a SCOBY and some starter tea from the previous batch.  The jug is covered with a cloth and rubber band, then left out at room temperature, out of direct sunlight.  When the tea has brewed to where it tastes like flat ginger ale, we take the SCOBY and some starter tea out of the jug for next time, then stir the liquid and decant it into bottles that have flavorings added.

The bottles get capped and left out for the second ferment, during which time the drinks develop fizz and extra flavor.  Once a day, the caps need to be loosened to pssht out some of the excess CO2.  When the brews in the bottles taste fabulous, they go into the fridge for consumption. We’re using empty GT’s bottles with new brew caps from Kombucha Kamp. The black brew caps work much MUCH better than the white ones that come on the GT’s bottles.

There are other ways to make kombucha, or “booch” as we call it here at Casa Hyphen. This is just the way we like to do it.  Tastes vary, but I find my first and second brews take pretty much the same amount of time.  It’s so hot now, I get the flavor I want in 3 days and 3 days. In mid-winter, it was 7 and 7.  In spring, it was 5 and 5.

And hey … aren’t these bottles pretty?! Mama Buzz was so pleased, she sent me pictures of her latest batch. 🙂

2015_08 01 L's pretty booch

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Cheap and easy fermenting starter

If you’re thinking you maybe, but possibly not sure want to get into fermenting produce, here is a way to do it without buying any special equipment.

Cheap and easy fermenting lids

SPOILAGE vs. FERMENTING:

  • The most common failure for a ferment is mold growing on the surface. If this happens, throw it out.  COMMON QUESTION: A bulging can is a sign of botulism. Why is a bulging ferment lid a good thing?  SIMPLE ANSWER: Canning destroys all the biotics … pro and con.  Botulinus happens to be more heat-tolerant than the other biotics and can be the only survivor in the can if the food doesn’t get hot enough for long enough.  Fermenting allows all the biotics to grow. The pro vastly out-number and out-power the con, particularly botulinus, which may be heat tolerant, but otherwise is a weenie that can’t compete unless you kill off all the competition.

  • The most obvious sign that the ferment has succeeded is gas production.  Once the pro-biotics in the food are making that gas, you are assured that the food in the jar will remain edible for months. Let it ferment on the counter until you like the flavor, then put it in the fridge to stall the ferment until you eat it all up. It does continue fermenting very slowly even in the fridge, but you’ll eat it before you notice any increase in tartness.

Fermented Salsa

This salsa recipe is excellent fresh, but even better fermented. It’s my favorite to recommend for beginners.  It makes about two quarts; feel free to halve it if you want. Use ORGANIC ingredients only. They come fully stocked with an abundance of natural, healthful pro-biotics and contain no growth-restricting toxins.

  • 3 lbs tomatoes, firmer varieties (like for sauce, not salad) work best.
  • 1-2 onions (or scallions or chives if you prefer, or mix them).
  • Minced garlic … to taste. The original recipe suggested 4 cloves, which I think is too much.
  • Fresh, chopped green stuff … cilantro, parsley, carrot greens … to taste.
  • 1-2 lemon and/or lime, zested and juiced.
  • 2 tsp uniodized salt … you can add more than 2 tsp if you prefer the taste, but do not reduce the salt below 1 tsp per 1 quart of produce. Salt suppresses mold growth until the fermenting process takes hold. It’s very important.  Note: 1 tsp applies to salt that is fine enough to pour from a shaker.
  • Spices to taste … remember that oil-based flavors (most everything but salt) take time to release fully.
  • Peppers, sweet and/or spicy, if you like them.
  • Some kefir whey or powdered culture starter … note: these culture starters get your ferment going faster, but you don’t need them.  There’s plenty of natural pro-biotics in organic produce to get a ferment growing.

Instructions:

Chop everything and toss it all in a bowl to get the produce to release juices to form brine (salt water). If you add chili powder or some other oil-based spices, stir it up well and let it all sit for 20 minutes or longer before taste testing. Salt releases its flavor into the food immediately. Most other additives need time to reveal themselves.

When it tastes great in the bowl, stuff it into sterile glass canning jars, leaving 1″ headroom. Push down on the food to get the brine to come up as far as it’s going to. If the natural liquid does not cover the top of the food, add kefir whey or filtered water. (Do not use tap water!  The chlorine and other additives some cities add will kill your pro-biotics.)

The produce likes to float, so the top bits almost always get themselves above the water. This is where mold can take hold. Some folks use a weight; I prefer to coat the produce with a little olive oil. Oil floats, so it stays on top, it works well to keep air away from the food, and when the ferment is ready to eat, I think the oil stirred into the food enhances the flavor.

Cap the jars as shown in the photo above and leave them out on the counter at room temperature to ferment for 2 days or so, avoiding direct sunlight.  If your plastic bubble gets big, unscrew the lid to release the gas, then close it up. If your plastic bursts, replace it. You can switch to a solid lid when you refrigerate if you prefer.

Source for original salsa recipe:
http://wellnessmama.com/2643/fermented-salsa/

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Historical Origins of Food Preservation

Grapes and grape juice

Earlier today, I heard a lady talk about how some Christian sects teach that Jesus drank grape juice, not wine. I’d heard that before I got interested in fermenting and didn’t think much about it. Today, though, my immediate response was, “Hang on a minute! They had to be drinking wine. Fermenting was the only way to preserve grape juice in the Middle East before canning was invented.”

Food starts to spoil the moment it is harvested. You either eat it quickly or you have to preserve it in some way. Most of the methods for food preservation were discovered in pre-history.  But the only methods for preserving fresh grape juice — canning and freezing — were not invented until long after Jesus’ time.

  • Boiling bath canning = 1790s.
  • Pressure canning = 1851.
  • First commercial ice-making machine = 1854.
  • First refrigerator for home use =1913.

I’m Catholic, so the Jesus and wine issue is not theologically interesting to me. I understand that those who believe in the grape juice theory have a biblical argument that they find compelling. However, from a food preservation history point of view, I don’t see how people in Bible times could have had access to unfermented grape juice outside of grape harvest season, which in Israel is June through September. The Last Supper was in April.

Sources:

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Need a Little Sangria de Mayo Tonight?

We got you covered. Even though this is technically a Spanish favorite, normally made with Spanish wine and brandy, we’re going to call it Mexican since we are using the wonderful Mexican Presidente brandy and some Argentinian Malbec. It’s close enough. Just like our measuring system. It’s open to interpretation.
Sang2
Combine in a medium pitcher:
4-5 glugs, any drinkable red wine.  We are using a really cheap Argentinian Malbec. Our guests will never know.
4-5 glugs, apple juice.
2-3 glugs, orange juice.
1-2 glugs, Presidente brandy.
1-2 glugs, triple sec (orange liquor).
1-2 glugs, club soda or San Pellegrino.
1 splash, lemon juice.
1 splash, St. Germaine (grapefruit liquor – optional).
1 splash, jalapeño juice (REALLY optional).
Lots of cut up random fruit. Extra points if you have citrus or mangoes, but anything will do.

Salud!

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