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standard cooking tasks that you just won't do......

alkapal Sep 29, 2008 06:46 AM

i can't stand handling raw chicken. i can deal with rock cornish game hens, but regular chicken -- especially fatty ones -- just are smelly to me. i hate, hate, hate to cut up a chicken into pieces for frying, braising, whatever. i always wear latex hospital-type gloves to handle raw poultry.

i know as a chow cook, i should easily overcome this disgust. but i can't -- and likely that is true because i don't want to!!

do you have a task that every "cook" easily handles (or so you think....), but you won't do it? or you will do it, but with your nose turned up and a grimace on your otherwise friendly face?

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  1. Sooeygun RE: alkapal Sep 29, 2008 08:11 AM

    Hate chopping garlic. Don't like how sticky it gets on my hands and I'm too lazy to dig out a pair of gloves. So I end up using the press or getting my hubby to do it. I think I got lazy from working in a kitchen where we never had to hand chop garlic. We got big containers of peeled cloves. The garde manger kitchen would chop a container in the buffalo chopper, so there was always chopped garlic around.

    Also, I hate cooked ground meat. For some reason, I just hate standing there forever breaking it up. Too impatient, I guess.

    19 Replies
    1. re: Sooeygun
      MMRuth RE: Sooeygun Sep 29, 2008 08:35 AM

      If you have a mini food processor, you could chop the garlic in it. So far, I've not run into anything that I refuse to do. There are some things I've decided not to after trying them - such as buying cleaned squid instead of cleaning them myself. Oh - I do know one - peel pearl onions. I either buy the frozen ones or substitute regular onions.

      1. re: MMRuth
        JoanN RE: MMRuth Sep 29, 2008 10:26 AM

        Funny how one person's aversion can be another's pleasure. It annoys me that I can no longer buy uncleaned squid (unless Citarella has just opened a carton and not gotten around yet to cleaning them all). I don't like paying extra to have other people do a job I can do better. So often I find I have to reclean the squid anyway because they haven't gotten all the bits and pieces out. And it's not unusual to find bodies with the tips cut off or with other holes in them so you have to patch them before stuffing.

        I'm in the rather-do-it-myself camp for so many things. I rarely buy chicken parts; I don't mind in the least cutting it up myself and one way or another I'm going to use the whole thing anyway. No problem jamming a knife into the head of a live lobster, cutting off the eyes of a softshell crab, and I've even gotten over the bit of queasiness I used to feel when buying a whole fowl in Chinatown and I'd cut off the head because I didn't want to see it sticking up out of the stock. Should I be changing my username from JoanN to Dexter?

        1. re: JoanN
          MMRuth RE: JoanN Sep 29, 2008 10:28 AM

          This is an aside - but I noticed when stuffing those pork stuffed squid, that some of the bodies had small holes at the end, already and that pushing the stuffing through pushed out a little bit of white 'slime' that was still in the squid. After I realized that, I stopped pulling it out first!

          1. re: JoanN
            NYCkaren RE: JoanN Sep 29, 2008 10:47 AM

            Joan, I wish I could emulate you. I bought uncleaned squid once and I totally made a mess of cleaning it. I got mine at the farmer's market _ the one in Tribeca on Saturdays. The fish guys always have whole squid. I'm not big on cutting up chicken either, Maybe if I had better knives....

            1. re: NYCkaren
              MMRuth RE: NYCkaren Sep 29, 2008 11:04 AM

              Actually, the trick, for me, to cutting up poultry is to use poultry shears. I'm also discovering that scissors are wonderful for all sorts of things, including cutting the shells of shrimp before deveining.

              1. re: MMRuth
                v
                valerie RE: MMRuth Sep 29, 2008 11:17 AM

                Amen on the poultry shears. I think I use them 5 times a week, and not just for chicken. I have 2 sets, so that when one is in the dishwasher, the other is readily available.

            2. re: JoanN
              oakjoan RE: JoanN Sep 29, 2008 05:30 PM

              Joan: From your description, I think Sweeney Todd would be a better fit.

              MMR: I agree about peeling pearl onions. This past week, I got a big bagful of small regular onions in the CSA box. You shoulda heard me whining about how irritating it was to peel them. Actually, I was so loud you probably did.

              1. re: oakjoan
                MMRuth RE: oakjoan Sep 29, 2008 06:15 PM

                So *that's* what was driving my dog nuts that night!

              2. re: JoanN
                maplesugar RE: JoanN Oct 1, 2008 06:08 PM

                You paint an interesting picture JoanN - the image of a head poking out of a pot *shudder*. I spent a year one summer working for a chain as a prep cook - I used to have to clean vats of squid for calamari, prep chicken for the rotisserie... You do a lot of prep jobs I usually try and avoid - I am not worthy!

                1. re: JoanN
                  Pat Hammond RE: JoanN Oct 2, 2008 02:45 PM

                  I've always been squeamish about splitting a live lobster for stuffing, but I'll do it. The resulting glory that a baked,stuffed lobster is, makes it worth it for me. I *like* cleaning squid.

                2. re: MMRuth
                  Candy RE: MMRuth Sep 29, 2008 11:01 AM

                  I'm with you on the pearl onion thing. I keep a bag of frozen in my freezer. Peeling those things is just too much work.

                  1. re: Candy
                    amyzan RE: Candy Sep 29, 2008 06:57 PM

                    Yes, and cippoline are so tightly skinned it makes me want to cry. (I wear contacts, so this has nothing to do with the smell.) They're so sweet and delicious, they're worth the heightened emotion, but not too often!

                3. re: Sooeygun
                  keith2000 RE: Sooeygun Sep 30, 2008 11:14 PM

                  hi, for the pearl onions try blanching them briefly. The skin should just slide right off. it is kind of fun and totally satisfying to put a little preasure on the end and have a clean pearl onion pop right out.

                  1. re: keith2000
                    flourgirl RE: keith2000 Oct 1, 2008 06:40 AM

                    Yes, this works great and it actually is kind of fun!

                    1. re: flourgirl
                      MMRuth RE: flourgirl Oct 1, 2008 08:41 AM

                      That's what I used to do but still found it aggravating!

                      1. re: MMRuth
                        flourgirl RE: MMRuth Oct 1, 2008 02:06 PM

                        I guess the few times a year that I use them (mostly in stews) it doesn't bother me. Usually when I'm planning on making stew it's because I'm looking forward to the ritual of prepping all the ingredients. Also, because I always make enough stew to get us through at least 2 or 3 days at a time, I know it means I don't have any work to do the next night! :)

                        1. re: flourgirl
                          MMRuth RE: flourgirl Oct 1, 2008 02:15 PM

                          And for me, I feel as if in a stew, they don't really add much that regular onions wouldn't, even though they are cute, so to speak, so I'd just as soon use regular onions. One think that I've been thinking about as I've read this thread is that there are some tasks that I won't do for a regular meal, but that I will do for a special meal, such as peeling tomatoes. If I'm making a special meal from a Julia Child recipe, I'll do anything she tells me to do, including measuring and tying up the damn asparagus tips!

                          http://www.chow.com/photos/96470

                          1. re: MMRuth
                            keith2000 RE: MMRuth Oct 1, 2008 09:55 PM

                            wow mm u are everywhere. anyway you are absolutly right there are some meals and even some styles of cooking that demand a little extra effort.

                            1. re: MMRuth
                              flourgirl RE: MMRuth Oct 2, 2008 06:04 AM

                              Something like lamb stew with spring vegetables - the pearl onions really make a difference to me. It makes a total difference in the appearance of the dish and I like the taste of them better then regular onions in a dish like this.

                  2. c
                    CeeBee RE: alkapal Sep 29, 2008 08:19 AM

                    I'm with Sooeygun on the garlic thing. I buy the frozen cubes of minced and use that instead. If I need sliced, I'll do it, but I'm not happy about it!

                    1. greygarious RE: alkapal Sep 29, 2008 08:32 AM

                      Me three on the sticky garlic. With few exceptions, I use the minced jarred stuff, or even garlic powder. Every time I think I should be using the genuine stuff, it sprouts by the time I force myself to deal with it.

                      I hate dragging out the stand mixer so I look for recipes I can beat with a spoon or hand-mixer. Better yet, those with melted butter.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: greygarious
                        c
                        Chile Pepper RE: greygarious Sep 29, 2008 08:35 AM

                        I won't deep fry. I hate the smell, the smoke, and dealing with all the oil. In fact, I tried a fried chicken tender recipe this weekend that had you pan-fry in oil that went half-way up the chicken, and I hated doing that too! What a mess. Not making that again.

                        I'm going to stick to oven-fried chicken.

                        1. re: Chile Pepper
                          Gio RE: Chile Pepper Sep 29, 2008 09:01 AM

                          Deep frying is probably the one thing I won't do also. I don't even eat fried food. Well, except for whole belly fried clams.... but that's a genetic thing.

                          I don't mind chopping the garlic, cutting raw chicken or other odious kitchen tasks that need to be done to create a perfect meal.

                          1. re: Chile Pepper
                            Candy RE: Chile Pepper Sep 29, 2008 11:04 AM

                            I have a deep fryer that filters the steam, so no odors, no spattering because the lid is closed and it is relatively easy to clean up. There are a number of things that taste better deep fried and are not greasy if fried at proper temps.

                            1. re: Chile Pepper
                              amethiste RE: Chile Pepper Sep 29, 2008 05:51 PM

                              I also do not deep fry. I just can't justify having to clean EVERY surface in my kitchen after dinner.

                          2. s
                            swsidejim RE: alkapal Sep 29, 2008 08:44 AM

                            Interesting thread, I have not found one yet that I dont like or wont do.

                            I am kind of surprised by the posts about people choosing to use frozen, pre peeled, or chopped garlic instead of peeling and mincing your own.

                            9 Replies
                            1. re: swsidejim
                              k
                              Kelli2006 RE: swsidejim Sep 29, 2008 10:23 AM

                              Jim, I am not fast when peeling vegetables, but it is a job that must be accomplished, so I suffer though it with a sharp peeler. I actually enjoy knife work, because I find it quite relaxing and almost zen like when I am prepping mireproix for a soup or a braise. There were many days on the line when I actually volunteered to do the prep because I found it relaxing way to start the day, and seeing perfect cubes on the resulting veggies was quite satisfying. I would much rather prep the vegetation than to break down fish. Beef and pork primals were fun, but I never looked forward to prepping the fowl. I can do it, but it wasn't my favorite chore.

                              I don't enjoy cleaning the seeds from squash, but a pair of latex gloves makes the task easier. Ive never understood the problem with garlic, but I always buy hard-necked garlic that doesn't have the multitude of useless cloves in the middle.

                              I don't mind frying but I hate cleaning the resulting mess, so I rarely do it at home. I do not need the calories, so it is not a serious impediment.

                              1. re: Kelli2006
                                s
                                swsidejim RE: Kelli2006 Sep 29, 2008 10:30 AM

                                you are not alone, I love chopping, mincing, and cutting of all types. I think that is why I enjoy making soups so much.

                                A high quality, sharp chefs knife makes all the difference.

                                As for frying I have a deep fryer at home, and I enjoy fried chicken, chicken wings, battered mushroooms, & fried shrimp/scallops alot. Clean p isnt bad with a deep fryer.

                                1. re: Kelli2006
                                  meatn3 RE: Kelli2006 Sep 30, 2008 11:06 PM

                                  I used to hate removing squash & melon seeds, then I found using a grapefruit spoon (serrated on the tip) makes it a breeze!

                                  1. re: meatn3
                                    MMRuth RE: meatn3 Oct 1, 2008 05:56 AM

                                    It works well too on tomatoes, when you are emptying them out for stuffed tomatoes.

                                    1. re: MMRuth
                                      alkapal RE: MMRuth Oct 1, 2008 06:28 AM

                                      the mango scoop from progressive housewares is nice. http://www.amazon.com/Progressive-GT-...

                                      doesn't tear the flesh in a zucchini like a grapefruit spoon -- which i, too, use to de-seed.

                                2. re: swsidejim
                                  scubadoo97 RE: swsidejim Sep 29, 2008 11:51 AM

                                  same here swsidejim. I do what's needed.

                                  1. re: swsidejim
                                    keith2000 RE: swsidejim Sep 30, 2008 11:27 PM

                                    absolutly about the garlic. pre peeled and chopped garlic is no bueno. Sure it can be a hard veg to work with but with a little practice, technique, and knife skill there should be no problem for anyone.

                                    1. re: keith2000
                                      Sooeygun RE: keith2000 Oct 1, 2008 05:32 AM

                                      Have had lots of practice, have good knife skills...still hate to do garlic.

                                      But that's a good thing about both of us are trained chefs (him working, me changed to another career), he does the tasks that I don't like and vice versa.

                                      1. re: keith2000
                                        s
                                        swsidejim RE: keith2000 Oct 1, 2008 06:55 AM

                                        I agree, plus the freshly peeled and minced garlic's quality is so worth any effort compared to the pre-peeled/pre-minced option to me.

                                    2. porker RE: alkapal Sep 29, 2008 09:00 AM

                                      I used to hate the garlic thing, but I've somehow come around and just bear it. Now, the frustration is simply peeling the suckers. Yeah, I cut the tops and bottom then smash, just seems like a high labor/low yield thing.
                                      Not like large onions where a little work gets you a big result...

                                      What I don't like doing is a roux - I have to be in a right mindset.
                                      How many times have I worked, constantly stirring the mix, only to be distracted for a moment and burn it, just as its picking up great color. I never burn it like 10 minutes in, but rather much later when much more effort is apparently wasted...

                                      1. w
                                        weezycom RE: alkapal Sep 29, 2008 09:19 AM

                                        Not so much cooking, but cleaning -- hate cleaning up the bag tips for icing or pastry. Drives me bonkers.

                                        Oh, and peeling/chopping fresh mangoes. Too slippery if they're nicely ripened, so I'm always scared I'm going to slice off a chunk of finger.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: weezycom
                                          m
                                          maxim0512 RE: weezycom Oct 3, 2008 06:59 AM

                                          Lame as it is to have a single-use tool for something like this, I find the (I believe Oxo-brand) mango slicer to be a very useful tool, for exactly this reason. Once the seed is removed, you can do the old invert-the-halves-and-slice trick.

                                        2. j
                                          jeanmarieok RE: alkapal Sep 29, 2008 09:39 AM

                                          I don't like any recipe where I have to use my food processor. It's just such a mess to clean up. It either takes a long time to do it right, or it fills up most of the top shelf in my dishwasher. I'm not referring to recipes that involve a lot of chopping, I'm referring to recipes that you have to run the food processor to incorporate ingredients, like mayo, or soups and sauces.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: jeanmarieok
                                            MMRuth RE: jeanmarieok Sep 29, 2008 09:41 AM

                                            Do you put your FP pieces in the dishwasher? I used to not do that, but have started, and while the bowl is not as nice looking as it used to be, and don't mind. I actually think that soups are better in a blender anyway - though you may have the same issue (don't mean issue in any big sense!) with the clean up there.

                                            1. re: jeanmarieok
                                              k
                                              Kelli2006 RE: jeanmarieok Sep 29, 2008 10:30 AM

                                              A food processor is much easier to clean when you put a cup or 2 of water it in and pulse it for a few second to get the nasty bits out. A quick dip in hot water and you're done. A blender is cleaned in the same manner.

                                              Weezycom, put the pasty tips in a large pan of very hot water and a little soap and let them soak for a few minutes. I worked in pasty in the past and that as step makes the job much easier.

                                              Fish mongers gloves make it easier/safer to hold slick veggies as you prep them. They are too expensive if bought at a kitchen store,so buy them at a store that sells fishing tackle.

                                            2. chicgail RE: alkapal Sep 29, 2008 10:22 AM

                                              I don't know if this counts, but I don't bake.

                                              I love cooking and the kind of free and improvised quality of it. Not enough celery? Ok, I'll add alittle more onion. a little more milk; a little less sugar. Or whatever.

                                              But baking seems to be much more exact.ing Go off just a little and you have a potential disaster on your hands. Like chemistry (it is chemistry) and I don't seem to have the same freedom to improvise or just play around or the patience for the precision.

                                              So I don't bake. And I'm delighted with those of you who do.

                                              1. v
                                                valerie RE: alkapal Sep 29, 2008 10:25 AM

                                                Another one that hates chopping garlic. I hate the stuff in the jars though. When I found the frozen cubes of garlic, it was like a godsend. I always have them on hand.

                                                http://www.dorot.co.il/Eng/Index.asp?...

                                                Another thing that I hate is opening a can of tuna fish. I love it and will buy it already prepared (as I type I am eating Whole Foods tuna with apples and cranberries), but I just can't open the can. It's not the smell of the tuna fish, per se, but the smell of the can itself.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: valerie
                                                  alkapal RE: valerie Sep 30, 2008 05:01 AM

                                                  valerie, can't you almost "taste" the metal --- just from the scent? i know exactly what you mean.

                                                  1. re: alkapal
                                                    v
                                                    valerie RE: alkapal Sep 30, 2008 06:09 AM

                                                    Yes, one time (about 12 years ago to be exact) I opened the can and began to prepare it, and it was something about the metallic smell/taste that made me lose it. I never opened a can of tuna fish again.

                                                2. AmyH RE: alkapal Sep 29, 2008 11:15 AM

                                                  I'll do most any cooking task if I need to for a recipe. But I knew someone years ago whose wife could not cut up butter or margarine to dot the top of a casserole. She just couldn't do it. He'd have to do it for her, sometimes having to leave work early so she could get dinner in the oven.

                                                  5 Replies
                                                  1. re: AmyH
                                                    b
                                                    bubbles4me RE: AmyH Sep 29, 2008 12:02 PM

                                                    I don't grill, just feels like such a hassle to me. I loved grilled foods so I'm very happy my hubby loves to do it!

                                                    1. re: AmyH
                                                      k
                                                      kwe730 RE: AmyH Sep 29, 2008 12:02 PM

                                                      Add me to the list of those who do not bake. I'll cook at the drop of a hat, but have no interest in baking. It always seems like such a pain to me. I'd probably enjoy it more if my family had more of a sweet toothe, but even my teen-age sons don't. Last year I didn't even bake Christmas cookies because 1) we were going to be away for part of the holiday and 2) I threw away a bunch the year before.

                                                      I'm also not a big fan of sauteeing meat or poultry. I have a black stovetop and the slightest spatters become a mess.

                                                      1. re: kwe730
                                                        greygarious RE: kwe730 Sep 29, 2008 04:19 PM

                                                        I don't think ALL baking is quite the chemistry experiment we've been told it is. Last week I took the basic Jordan Marsh blueberry muffin recipe and made a 7x11 coffee cake. I melted the butter rather than use the mixer. Subbed TJ's whole grain baking mix for flour, brown sugar for some of the white, added a heap of almond meal, upped the baking powder, added pistachios, and used rhubarb rather than berries. What's the worst that could happen? It would be heavier, more bread pudding than cake. As it happened, it rose well and tastes great. My only problem is that I didn't measure most of it so am not sure I can reproduce it!

                                                        I think you can play around with many cake and cookie recipes - if you're judicious and it's not for some festive function where your audience would whisper about a less-than-stellar result.

                                                        1. re: greygarious
                                                          buttertart RE: greygarious Oct 2, 2008 10:00 AM

                                                          I'm with you on this. I recently made the Pichet Ong walnut cookies with a lot more walnuts than called for, then took part of the dough (like 1/3), added a half a cup of flour, and made it into a crust for a chocolate ganache tart. Was fantastic. Also made PB coolkies with sweetened chestnut puree, delicious. I learned to bake at my (Canadian) mother's knee, and she was a bit slapdash with her measurements and improvisations. Seldom anything remotely approaching a failure.

                                                        2. re: kwe730
                                                          flourgirl RE: kwe730 Oct 1, 2008 08:21 AM

                                                          Not that I'm trying to convert you or anything - just wanted to point out that there is lot's of baking to be done that is on the savory side of the column. Breads, flatbreads, savory muffins, crackers. I love to bake but I'm not always in the mood for sweet stuff and actually my family doesn't have the biggest sweet tooth either. (Although every time I make Carole Walter's Banana Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake it disappears within 2 days....)

                                                      2. BamiaWruz RE: alkapal Sep 29, 2008 04:40 PM

                                                        I don't like working with phyllo, will do anything to avoid it.

                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: BamiaWruz
                                                          oakjoan RE: BamiaWruz Sep 29, 2008 05:39 PM

                                                          How about eating phyllo? I'll bet you don't turn up your nose that spanikopita.

                                                          1. re: oakjoan
                                                            c
                                                            Chile Pepper RE: oakjoan Sep 29, 2008 05:58 PM

                                                            I'm sure Barnia doesn't. I don't deep fry, but you won't see me refusing a french fry!

                                                          2. re: BamiaWruz
                                                            MMRuth RE: BamiaWruz Sep 29, 2008 06:18 PM

                                                            I used to be really frustrated by phyllo, but then came up with a method that works for me. Pull out the number of sheets you need, and place them on a damp dish towel. Fold all but the bottom sheet in half over to the other side, cover with a damp dish towel. Butter. Pull over the next sheet from the other side, recover, butter, repeat. When you get to the top of that side, reverse.

                                                            1. re: MMRuth
                                                              amyzan RE: MMRuth Sep 29, 2008 07:01 PM

                                                              That's clever! I used to have trouble with it drying out before I got all the sheets buttered and in the pan, not the ones in wait under the towel, but the ones I'd buttered, I mean. I guess I work too slowly. Keeping everything on a towel, that just might solve the problem! Thanks!

                                                          3. amyzan RE: alkapal Sep 29, 2008 07:05 PM

                                                            The thing for me with whole fish, poultry, etc. is that I feel terribly guilty not putting everything to use. Sometimes I just don't feel like making stock from the carcass, etc. but that's why I have an extra freezer. I know it's not the most economical arrangement, but it's such a convenience living outside the metro area to be able to just freeze excess. What I save in the price of the protein, I probably pay utilities to freeze the bones, etc., though!

                                                            1. Emme RE: alkapal Sep 29, 2008 09:06 PM

                                                              Peeling hard boiled eggs. Sometimes depending on the eggs it's easy, and I have better success if I start at the flatter end, but it drives me nuts picking away little pieces, trying not to chunk off all my precious whites. Then, there's the rinsing out the leftover yolk off my white. But, I do like me some grated egg white salad, so I suffer through if I can't convince someone to do it for me...

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: Emme
                                                                l
                                                                lexpatti RE: Emme Sep 30, 2008 05:09 AM

                                                                I used to hate the egg thing too, but learned a new method where the shell just slides right off easily. When I'm finished boiling, I drain and run the whole pan under cold water and while water is still running take each egg and crack good along side of sink then back into the cold bath - once they are all cracked, leave them in the cold water for a few minutes. They should come right off - I think it has to do with the cold water getting in between the egg and shell while they are still warm.

                                                                1. re: lexpatti
                                                                  Emme RE: lexpatti Sep 30, 2008 12:20 PM

                                                                  i always run under cold, but im gonna give the crack'n'sit thing a go now, thanks!!

                                                              2. Richard 16 RE: alkapal Sep 30, 2008 06:50 AM

                                                                Peeling and deveining shrimp. I'll do it - mainly to save the shells - but it's tedious and messy.

                                                                Peeling a bunch of shallots; sometimes I can only find the smaller ones. Tedious.

                                                                Cutting mangoes. Slippery suckers...

                                                                "Deleafing" thyme. I've tried different approaches but never get a nice clean strip.

                                                                4 Replies
                                                                1. re: Richard 16
                                                                  MMRuth RE: Richard 16 Sep 30, 2008 06:53 AM

                                                                  I don't know if I mentioned this on this thread or elsewhere, but I recently starting cutting the shells with scissors, and that's made the task much easier, even easier than with the plastic tool I have that's designed to do it.

                                                                  1. re: MMRuth
                                                                    JoanN RE: MMRuth Sep 30, 2008 07:22 AM

                                                                    Totally agree that the plastic deveiners are useless, but the stainless steel ones, like this,

                                                                    http://www.pfaltzgraff.com/ecomm/Item...

                                                                    are easy to use and work brilliantly. I've had one for decades and have actually bought them for any friend at whose house I'm at all likely to be cooking. It may just be that I'm used to it, but I find it much more efficient than using a scissors.

                                                                    1. re: JoanN
                                                                      MMRuth RE: JoanN Sep 30, 2008 07:29 AM

                                                                      That looks wonderful - thanks. I'd never seen one like that before.

                                                                  2. re: Richard 16
                                                                    amanda3571 RE: Richard 16 Oct 1, 2008 06:52 AM

                                                                    Another vote for peeling & deveining shrimp. It is time consuming & just plain filthiness.

                                                                  3. ipsedixit RE: alkapal Sep 30, 2008 10:32 AM

                                                                    Not sure how standard this is -- it's at least standard in our household -- but plucking the tail off of Chinese yellow bean sprouts is a task I depise.

                                                                    My mom (bless her heart) must've been OCD about this, because she would not cook, much less eat, yellow bean sprouts with those "icky" tails still on them.

                                                                    1. e
                                                                      Erika L RE: alkapal Sep 30, 2008 05:30 PM

                                                                      Washing salad greens. Hate it, hate it, hate it. I think I was a cat in a former life--I hate getting my hands wet. I resort to salad mixes from the farmer's market and, in a pinch, salad in a sack from the supermarket. Yes, I know that I should re-wash those to be safe but I just won't do it.

                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Erika L
                                                                        MMRuth RE: Erika L Sep 30, 2008 05:40 PM

                                                                        Yes, I hate washing greens as well. I buy 'hydroponic' ones from the farmer's market at a rediculous price, and don't wash those. Only if there is visible dirt to I pull out my new fancy salad spinner.

                                                                        1. re: Erika L
                                                                          t
                                                                          thinks too much RE: Erika L Oct 1, 2008 09:15 AM

                                                                          Washing greens I like. Especially the sandy ones where you get to see all the sand settle on the bottom of the bowl with one quick swish. What gets me is drying them. Yes, the salad spiner gets much off, but not enough.

                                                                          1. re: Erika L
                                                                            emmaroseeats RE: Erika L Oct 1, 2008 09:22 AM

                                                                            Me too! I know I should eat more salad... Actually, that's the other thing I don't like to do - make salad. I love salad and happily eat it out every chance I get, but I feel completely underwhelmed by the prospect of doing it at home (oddly, I like to make dressing). I'll make homemade raviolii but I won't make a simple green salad.

                                                                            1. re: emmaroseeats
                                                                              l
                                                                              lexpatti RE: emmaroseeats Oct 2, 2008 12:41 PM

                                                                              OMG, thats funny - I absolutely love making salads. I think it's the creation of something with color, crunch, flavor, sweet, different each time, etc. I love chopping too. Sometimes, I just want to sit down to a huge salad and forget everything else - unfortunately hubby wants a small salad and xyz..................... I love bringing a big, different salad to a pot luck.

                                                                          2. m
                                                                            mojoeater RE: alkapal Oct 1, 2008 08:44 AM

                                                                            I will not peel potatoes. It seems like a total waste of time and the skins get stuck on your hands and the sink. So I make all my potato dishes skin on and am happy to have the added nutrients.

                                                                            Another vote for deep frying. I don't like the idea of that much hot oil in my kitchen and I don't need the extra calories. If I want french fries or fried chicken, I'll go out to eat!

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: mojoeater
                                                                              c
                                                                              cyberroo RE: mojoeater Oct 1, 2008 09:36 AM

                                                                              I'm another nonpeeler. It's pretty rare that I'm cooking something so refined that a potato or carrot skin will destroy the texture.

                                                                              I tell myself it's because it's more nutritious, but I'm really just lazy!

                                                                            2. m
                                                                              mpjmph RE: alkapal Oct 1, 2008 08:56 AM

                                                                              I won't peel tomatoes. It just seems like a waste of time, effort, and water, especially when I'm not really bothered by bits of tomato peel.

                                                                              I'm also not a huge fan of clarifying butter, but will do it when absolutely necessary.

                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                              1. re: mpjmph
                                                                                MMRuth RE: mpjmph Oct 1, 2008 08:57 AM

                                                                                When I don't feel like clarifying butter, I use a combination of melted butter and grapeseed oil instead.

                                                                                1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                  greygarious RE: MMRuth Oct 1, 2008 04:37 PM

                                                                                  How about ghee? I buy it in the Indian market, and since I don't use it often, keep it frozen.

                                                                                  1. re: greygarious
                                                                                    keith2000 RE: greygarious Oct 1, 2008 10:10 PM

                                                                                    great option grey ghee is clarified brown butter. It has a longer shelf life and a higher smoke point 375 degrees than regular clarified butter and it has a nice nutty flavor from the carmilization of the milk solids.

                                                                                    1. re: greygarious
                                                                                      Miss Needle RE: greygarious Oct 3, 2008 12:53 AM

                                                                                      I also use ghee when a recipe calls for clarified butter. Actually, ghee is really stable, and is supposed to be fine stored at room temperature. But, like you, I don't use it very often and store it in the fridge for extra insurance.

                                                                                      There was a bit in Saveur about ghee. They said that ghee was clarified butter taken to another level with the extra heating. Keith2000 is correct -- clarified butter doesn't have the roasted caramely flavor that ghee has.

                                                                                    2. re: MMRuth
                                                                                      keith2000 RE: MMRuth Oct 1, 2008 10:04 PM

                                                                                      depends on what you are doing. it is the milk solids that burn in butter so the combination of oil and butter lessen the quantity of milk solids but not the temp at witch they burn. If you want to sear or pan fry in butter clarified is really the only way.

                                                                                      1. re: keith2000
                                                                                        keith2000 RE: keith2000 Oct 3, 2008 11:42 PM

                                                                                        oops I just realized that I spelled which wrong. I guess I was thinking about my highschool love of "buffy." I know that somebody knows what I am talking about.

                                                                                  2. poptart RE: alkapal Oct 1, 2008 12:30 PM

                                                                                    I don't like deep frying. Cannot stand cleaning squid and smelts...cleaned smelts one time. Love them, but will never clean them again. Made a broth from lobster shells once....never again (the smell didn't leave the house for a week).
                                                                                    Don't like peeling butternut squash.

                                                                                    And like others, I don't like handling raw chicken so end up rarely cooking it.

                                                                                    1. keith2000 RE: alkapal Oct 1, 2008 10:15 PM

                                                                                      I am suprised that I havn't seen artichokes on the list. they are a pain to clean, they stab you, and the hearts turn brown so fast. plus there is so much waste compared to the yield. I will clean them but I don't like it. oh and Fava beans come on what a pain. typically i substitute edamame. I like them better and they are so much easier to work with.

                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: keith2000
                                                                                        flourgirl RE: keith2000 Oct 2, 2008 06:01 AM

                                                                                        Fava beans! I totally forgot about them. Went through that one time - will never do it again. Artichokes - I usually only buy baby artichokes now, much less waste.

                                                                                        1. re: keith2000
                                                                                          emmaroseeats RE: keith2000 Oct 2, 2008 07:40 AM

                                                                                          OMG! I third fava beans.

                                                                                          1. re: keith2000
                                                                                            a
                                                                                            arose RE: keith2000 Oct 2, 2008 01:59 PM

                                                                                            But when you have a good fresh fava bean - it is totally worth it. and like pearl onions it is kinda fun to see them pop right out of the skin.

                                                                                            I won't shuck my own oysters - talk about dangerous!

                                                                                            1. re: arose
                                                                                              MMRuth RE: arose Oct 2, 2008 02:03 PM

                                                                                              Yes - I'll peel fava beans any day - to me, the effort is worth it - don't know how else I'll get them.

                                                                                              1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                oakjoan RE: MMRuth Oct 2, 2008 02:28 PM

                                                                                                Well, the best way is to only eat very fresh favas in season and then you can eat the whole thing! Yum. I admit that I also will peel favas.

                                                                                                I HATE peeling squash. I mean the kinds with indentations. If I can get away with it I'll steam them and then peel. Oh, and I also hate getting the seeds out of raw squash. Even with my latest IKEA melon baller type deal it's hard work. All those stringy bits. yech.

                                                                                                Actually, a friend recently introduced me to just putting a whole kabocha or whatever into the oven and baking it. Great results without all the dripping water from steaming.

                                                                                                1. re: oakjoan
                                                                                                  MMRuth RE: oakjoan Oct 2, 2008 02:37 PM

                                                                                                  I've never found ones tender/young enough that I didn't want to peel them.

                                                                                              2. re: arose
                                                                                                keith2000 RE: arose Oct 2, 2008 09:41 PM

                                                                                                It could be the quantity of Fava's that I have had to peal the make it a tedious task to me. Although now that I think about it the one task I really hate is frenching green beans or asparagus...pointless.

                                                                                                I do like shucking oysters. I think I like it because it isn't easy and I like the challenge and the pride that comes from doing it well and fast. If you hold the oyster with a towel or a cut proof glove it is less dangerous. Also proper leverage is important.

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