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What recipe/method/ process has irked you the most? [moved from General Topics]

Candy Oct 9, 2006 12:34 AM

I have made many difficult things, some when I was too naive to know that they were supposed to be difficult or tricky. All sorts of charcuterie and pastry but being assingned to make orange cream filled napoleans with stacks of phyllo which did not want to stick together and then having to candy cranberies as a garnish really sticks out in my mind. If the gourmet club member had said to make them using puff pastry I would have happily made my own but the real fiddly kicker was candying those cranberries which wanted to explode when coated with the caramel and of course it needed to be fairly warm or it would not coat, I tried letting it cool a bit and it did not want to adhere, no clues in the recipe. Aaarrrgh! It has been years but every time I see a cranberry recipe I remember the wilting and exploding cranberries. I finally got enough to use but in all it was a highly thankless task.

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  1. toodie jane RE: Candy Oct 9, 2006 03:11 AM

    Yes the filo dough and I usually are at war when making spanikopita. I have to remind myself it really doesn't matter....but still highly frustrating. The results justify the frustration however.

    I detest pan-frying for the mess it makes of the stovetop so rarely do it.

    Other than that, mostly enjoy the processes. I guess I've weeded out anything not pleasurable in my repetoire. What does irk me is when I spend a good amount of time, happliy chopping, sauteing, finishing, making a huge mess, and using nearly every pan in the kitchen, only to have hubby say at the table...."Gee, that seemed like an AWFUL lot of work...." as if the ends didn't justify the means in his eyes.

    Gr-r-r-r.... daggers!

    3 Replies
    1. re: toodie jane
      NYchowcook RE: toodie jane Oct 9, 2006 01:31 PM

      Years ago I visited my sister and brother-in-law. I had been travelling and not eating well (too much pizza, etc.) In the afternoon I asked BIL: what's for dinner? He said: I don't know, maybe we'll order a pizza. I thought: No. Not pizza; someone should be making a home-cooked meal in this . . . home, so that would be me.
      I went to the store and made a full, nutritious dinner including my signature parmesan chicken breasts and orzo w/ broc rabe. It was good. They liked it. Then my sister said to me: did you have to use every pan in the house? Grrr.
      At that moment I realized she and I were at entirely opposite ends of the spectrum in thinking about cooking. Is using the fewest number of pots the goal? From my perspective, the *point* of cooking is making a good meal. Pots and utensils are meant to be used in the course of said goal.

      1. re: NYchowcook
        Janet from Richmond RE: NYchowcook Oct 9, 2006 01:46 PM

        I'm with your sister on this. I hate clean up. I don't mind when I am cooking because I have perfected the art of using fewer pans, utensils, etc. but when my husband cooks, whether it's grilling steaks or Thanksgiving dinner, it looks like WWIII hit the kitchen when he is done.

      2. re: toodie jane
        jackie de RE: toodie jane Oct 10, 2006 01:41 PM

        My hubby says the same thing--altho I'm thinking that may be because he always does the cleanup! He seems to enjoy the meal and I'm trying to clean up more as I go. When the recipe is new and/or difficult that doesn't happen.

      3. Glencora RE: Candy Oct 9, 2006 03:34 AM

        I don't like peeling shallots.

        1. lemonfaire RE: Candy Oct 9, 2006 05:32 AM

          Blanching. It's supposed to make life more convenient, but I'm really paranoid that I'm going to warp my vegetables in the process. For the record, white eggplant doesn't blanch well.

          2 Replies
          1. re: lemonfaire
            TexasToast RE: lemonfaire Oct 9, 2006 10:28 PM

            Does ANY eggplant blanch well? I mean, isn't that like taking a sponge to water?


            1. re: TexasToast
              lemonfaire RE: TexasToast Oct 10, 2006 02:19 AM

              Not necessarily. Have you ever let eggplant drain? There's a lot of water in those suckers. Anyway, I've had some success blanching the regular old thin-skinned purple variety. However, the white eggplant's skin was way too thick and I ended up having to slice it away. (With a big knife, after my peeler got stuck in the skin.) Naturally, in the process, I ended up slicing a way a good percentage of the tasty part of the eggplant, too. Sad.

              Thus, I should amend me post to say that I hate both blanching and peeling.

          2. r
            rainey RE: Candy Oct 9, 2006 05:48 AM

            I suck at getting the most flavor and texture from meat.

            1 Reply
            1. re: rainey
              amkirkland RE: rainey Oct 10, 2006 02:18 PM

              That's a pretty broad problem

            2. MMRuth RE: Candy Oct 9, 2006 11:13 AM

              Peeling pearl onions - I've stopped using them, though I've noticed that they can be bought frozen, and may try that instead.

              Peeling tomatoes - I don't bother....

              Browning meat - I seem to be too impatient to get the oil hot enough to brown it properly.

              8 Replies
              1. re: MMRuth
                NYchowcook RE: MMRuth Oct 9, 2006 01:19 PM

                I agree that pearl onions are a pain to peel (ditto: boiling onions and cippoline). But when I feel I must, I find blanching for 1-2 minutes helps the peel slide off. Ditto for tomatoes, which I don't mind as much.

                1. re: NYchowcook
                  prunefeet RE: NYchowcook Oct 9, 2006 06:31 PM

                  Me too, I hate this. Even after blanched. Also hate separating cabbage leaves for stuffed cabbage. Hate it!!

                2. re: MMRuth
                  Candy RE: MMRuth Oct 9, 2006 01:59 PM

                  I've got 2 bags of peeled pearl onions in my freezer right now. They are fine for all sorts of things and save much unappreciated effort/

                  1. re: Candy
                    Dommy RE: Candy Oct 9, 2006 06:33 PM

                    I agree.. Frozen Pearl Onion are WONDERFUL!! :)


                    1. re: Dommy
                      jackie de RE: Dommy Oct 10, 2006 01:42 PM

                      I use them too, they really save time and I can't tell the difference from fresh. They can be hard to find in my area tho.

                      1. re: jackie de
                        TexasToast RE: jackie de Oct 10, 2006 01:49 PM

                        You can get them in most supermarkets.


                  2. re: MMRuth
                    himbeer RE: MMRuth Oct 9, 2006 09:46 PM

                    I usually brown meats under the broiler.

                    1. re: MMRuth
                      TexasToast RE: MMRuth Oct 9, 2006 10:29 PM

                      Peeling tomatoes is EASY. Just score the skin and cover with boiling water for exactly one minute. Lift out of the water and the skin will peel off every time!


                    2. a
                      ali patts RE: Candy Oct 9, 2006 11:22 AM

                      Wrapping lemon mousse in marzipan pastry. The recipe calls for square blocks of mousse to be wrapped so that you can drizzle on a bow and it looks like a wrapped present. In order to do it you have to part freeze the mousse (otherwise it melts) and wrap it in a cruciform of cooked marzipan. The marzipan always sticks, it's never thin enough and the mousse always melts (a bit) then because the marzipan is too thick it cracks. Because the mousse melts the wrapping no longer fits the present. Silly idea. Looks great when it works and it is very impressive, but when I'm not trying to show off I just serve the mousse with cooked marzipan 'biscuits'.

                      1. Katie Nell RE: Candy Oct 9, 2006 01:24 PM

                        I find it's the most remedial tasks that will really irk me, i.e. tearing and washing lettuce for salads and grating cheese come to mind. This is where I really lack patience sometimes.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Katie Nell
                          MMRuth RE: Katie Nell Oct 9, 2006 01:27 PM

                          I forgot - cleaning mushrooms ...

                          1. re: Katie Nell
                            Marsha RE: Katie Nell Oct 9, 2006 06:25 PM

                            Ditto - and I can never get the lettuce or spinach dry after I wash it (salad spinners don't work for me; I wind up having tyo spread the leaves out on towels in layers with cloth between and rolling them up). What a mess when the bagged spinach wasn't available! Now they're telling us to wash our bagged produce; what's the point of buying it in bags if I still have to wash it?

                            1. re: Marsha
                              Mila RE: Marsha Oct 10, 2006 08:00 PM

                              A friend who is a chef showed me a trick for drying greens. Wrap a bunch is a clean tea towel and gather the ends together in your hand. Standing outside or over the sink (better outside) do a quick jerk motion with your arm. You'll see loads of water flying out.

                              I probably wouldn't use this for really delicate greens, but since learning this trick I've kicked my salad spinner to the curb.

                          2. v
                            Val RE: Candy Oct 9, 2006 01:33 PM

                            For me, pounding chicken breasts and deveining shrimp are killers. I basically refuse to try pounding out the breasts anymore; no matter what method I use, I always end up with a hole in the meat, so now I just cut a horizontal pocket in a boneless skinless breasts and stuff it that way. I do still devein shrimp if they are large or extra large which is pretty much the only size I buy now.

                            11 Replies
                            1. re: Val
                              MMRuth RE: Val Oct 9, 2006 01:34 PM

                              I bought a little gadget that makes peeling and deveining the shrimp a lot easier ...

                              1. re: MMRuth
                                Val RE: MMRuth Oct 9, 2006 01:42 PM

                                MMRuth, it's not so much the process (well, okay it IS a tedious process) as the consistency of the vein itself that bothers me more...forgive me, but it's like snot. I saw Alton Brown's re-run of his shrimp show last week or 2 weeks ago and he said the same thing basically without using the word I used, though; I wished I could high-5 him!

                                1. re: Val
                                  MMRuth RE: Val Oct 9, 2006 01:43 PM

                                  I see what you mean ... it never bothered me before, but I may be thinking of you next time I cook shrimp! I find it hard to get all the little bits out ...

                              2. re: Val
                                porkypine RE: Val Oct 9, 2006 07:04 PM

                                I hate peeling tomatoes and deveining shrimp. Seriously, I just buy the frozen uncooked shrimp that are already peeled and deveined, I am that lazy.

                                1. re: Val
                                  mabziegurl RE: Val Oct 9, 2006 09:25 PM

                                  i don't know if you are slitting the shrimp then deveining it, i've never tried this way, but i'm sure it would be a pain, but the way my grandma did it was to just take a toothpick, between the shells and pull it right out. It can get a little gunky, but its fast, and pain free. When I bring home shrimp, I always devein all my shrimp before putting it in the freezer into portion size bags. I don't cut that slit in my shrimp (we leave it to the restaurants). But i'm sure after using a toothpick, you can peel and slit your shrimp. Hope this helps

                                  1. re: mabziegurl
                                    AppleSister RE: mabziegurl Oct 10, 2006 02:04 AM

                                    Oh God, I wish this would work for me! I've tried it, and I just end up breaking the little vein. Any special tips? Is it really bad to eat? I hate deveining shrimp, too.

                                    1. re: AppleSister
                                      mabziegurl RE: AppleSister Oct 11, 2006 05:59 AM

                                      if it breaks, i just put the toothpick in another grove... and pull the rest out

                                      based on what i've tried, if you put the toothpick at the middle, it seems to break, i usually put it about one or two grooves from the middle (towards the head) and that seems to get most of it.... put the toothpick in a little deeper, instead of right at the vein...

                                      hope it helps... more trial and error than anything... i've been using this method since i was 10 or so, so i've had 13 years of practice...

                                  2. re: Val
                                    TexasToast RE: Val Oct 9, 2006 10:33 PM

                                    I LOVE to pound chicken breasts. I got this really neat (and heavy) gadget at Williams-Sonoma and it makes chicken marsala so much easier to make!



                                    1. re: TexasToast
                                      danna RE: TexasToast Oct 10, 2006 12:37 PM

                                      Me too! I finally got so sick of trying to find something to use to pound meat (mostly chicken, but sometimes lamb) that I broke down and bought the $25 (obscene) pounder at WS. Not like yours, but something that looks more like an old fashioned office stamp...except heavy as heck. I LOVE using it.

                                      1. re: danna
                                        TexasToast RE: danna Oct 10, 2006 01:26 PM

                                        Yep, it's great for lamb chop lollipops too. I didn't understand the concept of even cooking surface until I started pounding!


                                        1. re: danna
                                          mabziegurl RE: danna Oct 11, 2006 06:03 AM

                                          i pound mostly chicken, but it seems to be aggravating... i use a wine bottle or a rolling pin or my huge costco honey... but i'm really whacking it, instead of shaping and tapping it... there has to be an easier way...

                                    2. NYchowcook RE: Candy Oct 9, 2006 01:34 PM

                                      Prepping fresh herbs. While I very much appreciate that fresh herbs are often essential to a bright flavors, prepping them is about my least favorite task. Okay, parsley is not so bad, but getting the leaves off thyme stems and *then* chopping? And when you need a few different herbs, I feel in drudgery land.

                                      13 Replies
                                      1. re: NYchowcook
                                        Katie Nell RE: NYchowcook Oct 9, 2006 01:36 PM

                                        Ooh yes, thyme leaves can be a pain, especially if they are of the more delicate variety!

                                        1. re: NYchowcook
                                          beetlebug RE: NYchowcook Oct 9, 2006 02:13 PM

                                          I'm with you. I hate the prep of herbs. And, I grow a lot of them. Taking all the little leaves off the thyme stem drives me batty. So does marjoram, oregano and rosemary.

                                          The worst is when you prep all the herbs and then realize you don't have enough. Back to the garden to snip (which I like) and then the drudge returns.

                                          I also hate taking the leaves off of basil. And, now that fall is here, and the first frost is near, I have to make pesto out of the basil. aargh. If only there were a herb prepping fairy, I would be so happy.

                                          As for chopping, I use a mezaluna which makes it easier. But, sometimes I don't learn from my mistakes. If I use a light plastic cutting board that doesn't adhere to the counter, sometimes it will slip. Causing, herbs to fly all over, including the floor. Which, ensures that I will have to prep additional herbs. Sigh.

                                          1. re: beetlebug
                                            NYchowcook RE: beetlebug Oct 9, 2006 02:26 PM

                                            I too enjoy the traipse out to my herb garden for snipping. If I've snipped, washed and prepped and find I don't have enough, well, generally I decide in fact I do have just the right quantity!

                                            As for sending the product of one's labors flying off the cutting board -- and making one seriously consider the benefits of eating solely out of cans -- I've found that wetting a paper towel and laying it out on the counter underneath the cutting board keeps it in place.

                                            1. re: beetlebug
                                              Val RE: beetlebug Oct 9, 2006 02:32 PM

                                              beetlebug, can you please e-mail me at valnaples@aol.com? I have an herb-growing question for you and that topic is not allowed on these boards. Thank you in advance.

                                            2. re: NYchowcook
                                              prunefeet RE: NYchowcook Oct 9, 2006 06:33 PM

                                              Yeah! Lol, true about thyme.

                                              1. re: NYchowcook
                                                danna RE: NYchowcook Oct 9, 2006 07:19 PM

                                                Thyme: just lightly pinch the thyme twig, and run your fingers up the twig, against the grain of the leaves. They pop right off. That's it. I don't chop.

                                                1. re: danna
                                                  MMRuth RE: danna Oct 9, 2006 07:21 PM

                                                  I think the tricky thing is that sometimes the twig isn't really a twig - it's softer than that - and then the leaves don't come off easily, instead the "twig" breaks. I don't chop thyme leaves either.

                                                  1. re: MMRuth
                                                    Katie Nell RE: MMRuth Oct 9, 2006 07:38 PM

                                                    Exactly what I usually run into... especially this year, all my thyme "twigs" were very flimsy.

                                                    1. re: Katie Nell
                                                      Hungry Celeste RE: Katie Nell Oct 9, 2006 07:51 PM

                                                      Here's a tip for liquidy dishes using thyme: tie several branches of thyme together with thread or kitchen string, and tie the other end to the handle of the pot. In long-cooked dishes, the leaves will cook off of the stems, and you can just pull the string out of the pot and discard the twigs.

                                                      1. re: Hungry Celeste
                                                        Candy RE: Hungry Celeste Oct 9, 2006 09:06 PM

                                                        I have a large mesh tea ball that I put herbs or bouquets garni in. Makes it very simple to fish it out and it has a handy clip to fix to the edge of the pot.

                                                        1. re: Candy
                                                          MMRuth RE: Candy Oct 9, 2006 09:08 PM

                                                          I like the method in the Balthazar Short Rib recipe ... put the thyme/bayleaf/rosemary in between two pieces of celery & tie up. I enjoy doing it every time for some reason!

                                                          1. re: MMRuth
                                                            Katie Nell RE: MMRuth Oct 9, 2006 09:11 PM

                                                            That is fun... a little thyme boat! I like that! :-)

                                                  2. re: danna
                                                    Kelli2006 RE: danna Oct 10, 2006 02:53 AM

                                                    I never understood what the problem is with thyme and other herbs. If the stem is so small /tender than the stem breaks before you can strip the leaves off you can just chop the stem with the leaves. You have to do a complete job chopping, so your don't have a mouth feel difference, and there is no problem with serving small bits of young stems.
                                                    It is not necessary to separate all the parsley leaves for the stems. I try to lay the leaf on its side and use a long knife to remove the leaves in 1 slice.

                                                2. t
                                                  teezeetoo RE: Candy Oct 9, 2006 07:07 PM

                                                  Pet peeve: the proliferation of brining recipes that result in oversalted stuff! i love brining a turkey properly but boy have I been suckered by some recipes, notably from Cooks, that should be deep-sixed!

                                                  1. c
                                                    chickie RE: Candy Oct 9, 2006 07:36 PM

                                                    I agree with the pearl onions, so tedious and not worth the bother when the frozen are quite fine. I tend to think of pearl onions as a refining addition to dishes, the flavour are generally not as important as say, the quality of the beef, etc. I did a beautiful tomato sauce from scratch yesterday (our local farmer's market was selling huge bags of less than visually prime but still delicious tomatos - at a steal of a price). By the time I blanched, peeled and seeded over 50 tomatos my finger tips resembled morel mushrooms and felt kinda icky to boot. The sauce however is gorgeous. I added finely chopped carrots to add a bit of sweetness and it is lovely. Will use it with some ground veal and ricotta today in a lasagna. Yummmmy.

                                                    1. free sample addict aka Tracy L RE: Candy Oct 9, 2006 07:59 PM

                                                      Dicing a lot of veggies when visual uniformity is not essential, particularily for soups.

                                                      1. chowser RE: Candy Oct 9, 2006 11:08 PM

                                                        Deep fat frying. I can't get it right and don't do it often enough to learn. I even have one of those deep fat frying machines sitting unopened in the basement.

                                                        Peeling crabs. I can't be bothered to get everything out.

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: chowser
                                                          Hungry Celeste RE: chowser Oct 10, 2006 02:29 PM

                                                          Get that fryer out of the box...is it one of those self-contained things, or the open kind? Start off with something easy like onion rings. Perfectly fried food is a truly great culinary treasure...

                                                          1. re: Hungry Celeste
                                                            chowser RE: Hungry Celeste Oct 10, 2006 04:54 PM

                                                            It's self-contained. I never know when to pull the food out...or put it in. I've tried testing it with a piece of bread but I can't make it all work out w/out either raw food or drenched in oil. I had a terrible experience at the Melting Pot (meat fondue). I love perfectly fried food. I just can't master it! You've given me incentive to keep practicing.

                                                            1. re: chowser
                                                              Hungry Celeste RE: chowser Oct 10, 2006 06:21 PM

                                                              I recently rec'd one of those self-contained ones as a freebie, and I'm quite surprised at how well it works. Mine has a dial on front with specific temp settings (annoying pictograms, but the accompanying manual translates the glyphs into temperature equivalents). You pour the oil into it, plug it in, set the temp dial, and a light comes on when the oil is at the proper temp. Damn near foolproof. My only complain is that the basket is pretty small...you couldn't really use it to fry large things (chicken quarters or such). It also has a viewing window on top so you can see when the bubbling/boiling slows down & thus you don't have to open it up to check on things.

                                                              And those meat fondues at Melting Pot ARE awful. Stick to the cheese & dessert ones...

                                                        2. jenniebnyc RE: Candy Oct 10, 2006 01:50 AM

                                                          Baking....cookies, cakes, etc. Each holiday season I begin to feel heightened anxiety come on at the thought of cookie baking...there have been some OK years and some not so OK years...not so good is especially memorable during my years of participting in a cookie swap. Picture one baking 12 dozen gingerbreads in a NYC kitchen. Ugh! My sister is the baker and I am the "cook". I really want to be good at baking (that's why I keep trying every year) Now, I have learned to keep a stick of Pillsbury Sugar Cookies on hand...just in case. Or steal lots of mom and sis's cookies and claim them as my own when passing on to friends and co-workers.

                                                          1. k
                                                            Kelli2006 RE: Candy Oct 10, 2006 02:46 AM

                                                            Sugar sculpture. I can do it for wedding cakes and fancy centerpieces but its not my idea of a way to spend a relaxing afternoon.
                                                            I would much rather make marzipan, strudel dough,puff pastry or make baklava on a hot humid afternoon. I still don't like rolling pie dough.

                                                            1. k
                                                              kittyfood RE: Candy Oct 10, 2006 12:49 PM

                                                              Cutting napoleons. I don't understand how anyone cuts them into neat little rectangles without squashing them and squeezing out all the fillings. My encounter with this daunting task occurred when I worked as an assistant to the pastry chef in a New Orleans restaurant, and she always got annoyed with me for ruining the napoleons.

                                                              Oh, and another thing from that job . . . removing the membrane from orange segments. Not to mention the dreaded chocolate-dipped bananas rolled in toasted coconut -- sounds easy but it wasn't. This is why I don't make fussy desserts.

                                                              Sarah C

                                                              1. blue room RE: Candy Oct 10, 2006 07:22 PM

                                                                Peeling unpeelable hard boiled eggs. Hulling strawberries until my fingertips are sore.
                                                                Coming to the part of the recipe (near the end) where it says "Pour into pan." But I can't pour into pan, because what I have is a solid mass. Or it says "Spread into pan", but I don't need to spread, because water seeks its own level...

                                                                1. h
                                                                  HillJ RE: Candy Oct 10, 2006 07:33 PM

                                                                  detest using an oven broiler...i avoid it completely now. usually poor results, waaay to much cleanup and it dries out everything.

                                                                  1. beetlebug RE: Candy Oct 11, 2006 12:56 AM

                                                                    Browning meat - lately, I've been doing a lot of it (through the ABB cookbook project) and not enjoying it. It's a step that I can't and won't skip. But, it's so messy. All the oil splatters everywhere and when I flip the meat, oil always splatters on my hand. By the time I finish flipping the meat, my hand is a greasy splattered mess. And, the little splatters on the stove, on the pot handle, on the next burner, everywhere. This also doesn't include the oil splatters on my clothes. I finally smartened up and started wearing an apron.

                                                                    Also, I hate touching raw meat. Especially chicken. The worst is having to cut off the skin when I am using bone in pieces. It's all slimy and icky. I try and get over it, but it just grosses me out.

                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                    1. re: beetlebug
                                                                      NYchowcook RE: beetlebug Oct 11, 2006 01:27 AM

                                                                      On the browning thing, I think you have the temperature too high. I always wear an apron (I find I don't feel that I'm cooking w/o one) but oil should not be splattering all around and burning you when you're browing meat. It's too hot!
                                                                      I don't find it annoying, but rather soulfully satisfying to see raw meat turn a luscious brown. And there's no painful burns involved!

                                                                      1. re: NYchowcook
                                                                        beetlebug RE: NYchowcook Oct 11, 2006 12:41 PM

                                                                        I'll try lowering it, but I usually have the heat on medium high. The oil splatters is like a heavy mist. It doesn't really hurt when it lands on my hand, it's just irritating and messy. I also think it's because I use a large skillet so the sides are lower. When I brown in my Le Creuset (which has higher sides), it's not as messy because the sides catches the splatter. I use the skillet because it has a wider surface.

                                                                        1. re: beetlebug
                                                                          TexasToast RE: beetlebug Oct 11, 2006 04:28 PM

                                                                          Are you using very "wet" meat, as you know oil and water don't mix?


                                                                          1. re: TexasToast
                                                                            beetlebug RE: TexasToast Oct 12, 2006 01:12 PM

                                                                            Nope, I've actually been very good about drying the meat off.

                                                                          2. re: beetlebug
                                                                            Kelli2006 RE: beetlebug Oct 11, 2006 04:37 PM

                                                                            Beetlebug, Have you ever considered buying a splatter screen to cover the skillet to prevent the grease/oil splatter? They are available everywhere, and it will be the best $5.00 you ever spent.
                                                                            If you dislike handling raw meat, you can use a cooking fork or tongs or simply wear latex gloves.


                                                                            1. re: Kelli2006
                                                                              beetlebug RE: Kelli2006 Oct 12, 2006 01:14 PM

                                                                              re: the gloves. I think it's a great idea. Unfortunately for me, it's like the apron, I think of it after the fact. I have a box for cutting up hot peppers and I always forget to put them on. Then, I rub my face. It's not a pretty sight ;-)

                                                                              As for a splatter screen. That's brilliant. I'm going to pick one up next time I go to a kitchen store. I was wondering if there was something like that. For some reason, my idea was to have a cone shaped thing surrounding the pot. you know, the kind they put around a dog's neck to prevent the dog from biting itself? This way I could see the meat. But, I'll take the screen. Much easier to implement.

                                                                      2. Aromatherapy RE: Candy Oct 11, 2006 01:40 AM

                                                                        Peeling chestnuts. Though I like chestnuts. Yay frozen, canned & dried. (Some of the recipes on the chestnut thread look awful good.)

                                                                        1. b
                                                                          browniebaker RE: Candy Oct 12, 2006 04:08 PM

                                                                          Divinity is my nemesis. Twice I have tried to make this candy on a dry day; on a humid day the fluffy white candy will not set. I guess the weather wasn't dry enough both times because all I got were puddles on a cookie sheet. I'll have to wait until the winter, I guess. Maybe this is why divinity is a candy associated with Christmas.

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