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i know you're not supposed to ________, but i do it any way.

wash mushrooms. i cannot be bothered to brush each one with a damp cloth. and i really don't feel like they absorb THAT much water, plus they're grown in poop. also i cook them at high heat and all the water cooks out and evaporates. at least i think it does..... and no one has every called my mushrooms tough. but maybe they're being polite. lots of rationalizing for running some fungus under the faucet.....

i feel like cook's illustrated or alton brown did an experiment with soaking/washing shrooms. i don't remember the upshot, but it didn't change my bad-ass rebel washing.

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    1. re: foodieX2

      Me too! Why the taboo? I've never found that cheese overwhelms any flavors, from seafood alfredo to tuna casserole.
      I love when Scott Wazhisname drops a deuce every time a Chopped contestant does this.

      1. re: monavano

        ok, that made me snort out loud! i still don't mix fish and cheese, but thanks for the laugh! he get's apoplectic.

        1. re: monavano

          LOL! It's Conant :)

          I adore lobster mac, tuna melts, feta with shrimp, and cream cheese or goat cheese with smoked salmon, but beyond those I could do without the cheese + seafood combo.

        2. re: foodieX2

          Parmesan and Swiss both go well with seafood. Following such a silly rule blindly shows a lack of imagination and independent thought.

          EDIT: Oh! And cream cheese with crabmeat.

          1. re: sandylc

            Not sure about cream cheese and crab meat but I like cheese and pickled herring, so who am I to talk.

            1. re: Paprikaboy

              There is the classic cream cheese, cocktail sauce, shrimp and crabmeat layered spread for crackers (from the.....80s?)

              Or crab and cream cheese wontons.

              Not adventurous gourmet food, but both are still tasty!

              1. re: sandylc

                I first saw the cream cheese/cocktail sauce/crabmeat spread in 1984 when a new friend served it with crackers. She called it "Crab Pizza." I think of it as the cold equivalent of meatballs in a crockpot with that grape jelly/chili sauce thing. Sounds low-rent but typically gone in a flash. If I had a crockpot I'd probably serve the meatball thing for a very (repeat, very) casual gathering. I think I served the crab pizza thing once, around 25 years ago.

            2. re: sandylc

              couldn't live without my crab dip or crab pretzels!

              1. re: Vidute

                OK, I'll bite: what are crab pretzels?

                1. re: sandylc

                  i'm certain you'd bite repeatedly until it's all gone!! a crab pretzel is a large soft pretzel smothered with crab dip then draped in shredded cheese (usually cheddar) then run under the broiler until the cheese is brown and bubbly.

                  1. re: Vidute

                    I'm afraid I still have to ask what crab dip consists of.....?

                    1. re: sandylc

                      Be glad you dont know what it is Sandy, or there might be less for me! There are soooo many variations, but here is an excellent example that could have many add ins, such as scallions, bacon, other cheeses and on and on... http://allrecipes.com/recipe/warm-cra...

                      1. re: TXMandy

                        Aha! Similar to artichoke dip. Looks yummy!

                      2. re: sandylc

                        Here's my recipe.

                        Crab Dip

                        1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
                        1/2 cup mayonnaise
                        1/2 cup sour cream
                        2 teaspoons OLD BAY Seasoning
                        1/2 teaspoon dry, ground mustard
                        1 pound blue crab meat (lump or backfin; fresh, frozen or pasteurized), picked over for shells
                        1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, separated

                        Preheat oven to 350° F. Mix cream cheese, half of the cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, OLD BAY, Worcestershire sauce and ground mustard until well blended. Gently stir in crabmeat.

                        Spoon mixture into 1 1/2 quart casserole. Top with remaining cheese. You can sprinkle with some more Old Bay, if you like.

                        Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until dip begins to bubble around the edges. Serve hot with assorted crackers, carrots, celery, french bread rounds.

                        I'll sometimes add some minced celery and finely chopped spring onions to the dip.

                        Crab Pretzel

                        1 large baked soft pretzel, room temperature
                        Crab Dip
                        Cheddar Cheese, shredded

                        Spread pretzel with a thick layer of crab dip. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Place under broiler until brown and bubbly.

                        1. re: Vidute

                          I make a hot clam dip with cream cheese. It gets raves at every party and always disappears.

                  1. re: foodieX2

                    you know what i love at the Chinese joint around the corner from me? Scallops baked in their shell covered in cheese. Not even sorry.

                    1. re: Samuelinthekitchen

                      I still dream about quite possibly the best dish I've ever had in Venice of baked scallops baked in a tomato sauce and covered in gobs of Parmesan.

                    2. re: foodieX2

                      Ditto! I LOVE freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino-Romano on pasta dishes containing shrimp or calamari. Also sprinkle it over my Spagetti with White Clam Sauce over Spinach Pasta. Delicious! Don't give a whit if it's "not proper". Geesh.

                      1. re: Bacardi1

                        My go to dish is shrimp stuffed with smoke gouda and wrapped in bacon...seafood & cheese does go together in my book!

                        1. re: Cherylptw

                          Delicious! I should try that sometime. I've never had gouda but I love smoked cheeses and bacon and shrimp. I always pair cheese with seafood, makes sense to me and my belly.

                    3. i suppose the alternative title could be:

                      I know you're supposed to ________, but i never do it.

                      1. Pair red wines with everything, including "light" seafoods, but I do!

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: pinehurst

                          forgot about this....i'm a bigger badass than i thought.

                          years ago i saw the cajun chef, justin wilson, cooking something or other and he was talking about the kind of wine you are supposed to drink with certain things. the lesson was: "the kind of wine you like is the kind of wine you're supposed to drink."

                          1. re: eLizard

                            Amen, I took some sommelier classes and their recommendation was to just drink what you like. You're the one eating the food. Of course some wines generally go better with certain foods, but if you hate pinot grigio, then there's no point in pairing it with a white fish.

                        2. I saw Jacques Pepin wash mushrooms.

                          Good enough for me.

                          I add lemon or lime juice to sauces with dairy but they don't curdle the way people warned me they would.

                          2 Replies
                            1. re: lsmutko

                              My world was rocked when I encountered lemon yogurt. No curdling there. I love the stuff.

                            2. I was going to say 'wash mushrooms', too. I don't soak the heck out of them, but I do give them a pretty thorough rinsing. (have you ever LOOKED inside a morel? They can get really, really buggy). I also wash my cast iron...after it has cooled, with a non-abrasive sponge and cool water. The idea of NEVER washing it skeeves me out. I just dry it on the burner and use it often and so far, so good.

                              17 Replies
                              1. re: tonifi

                                i'm the same with cast iron. sometimes i even use soap.

                                  1. re: jbsiegel

                                    Scrub and rinse with hot water to remove soluble stuff, dry on burner and lightly coat with oil if needed...I only use a teeny, tiny amount of soap if there is alot of oil there that won't wash away.

                                    1. re: jbsiegel

                                      why?
                                      I have never needed soap with cast iron. Not because of a rule, just unnecessary/

                                      1. re: magiesmom

                                        well, after I make latkes there is SO MUCH oil in the pan that even after multiple hot water/scrub/rinse rounds there is still alot there....so I use a scrubby sponge with a *little* soap in it to get off the excess. Doesn't affect the seasoning. Also, if alot has gotten on the outside of the pan, I definitely would use a little soap to get that off, otherwise it smokes on future uses!

                                        1. re: Science Chick

                                          I made latkes just yesterday, and I needed to use a little soap on my CI pan too. I have only found this necessary when using larger anounts of oil--like for latkes or fried chicken.

                                          1. re: iluvcookies

                                            Yesterday Mr. Pine asked if I could make oiless latkes. I said no. (Tried baked latkes just once, and that was quite enough.)

                                              1. re: iluvcookies

                                                Agree completely, iluvcookies. What's the point of oilless latkes?

                                            1. re: iluvcookies

                                              Yeah, that is exactly my experience. Hot water just doesn't seem to be capable of recovering from a swimming pool of oil, not matter how many scrub/rinse rounds I do!

                                      2. re: eLizard

                                        Gasp. Me too. I wash my CI with soap, and I wash my mushrooms really well.

                                      3. re: tonifi

                                        Same here w/ cast iron. If it's really greasy I will use a bit of soap, but most of the time I use salt and a sponge w/ a scrubber side on it. The only time I've ever lost seasoning by washing it was when my stepdad gave it a thorough scrubbing (he didn't know he wasn't supposed to).

                                        1. re: tonifi

                                          Alton Brown did a test where he weighted the mushrooms before and after washing - there was no or very little diference.

                                          Wild Mushrooms like Moreals etc are another story - I think those do absorb water. But regular buttons do not (there like 90 percent water in the first place).

                                          1. re: tonifi

                                            Interesting update on the mushroom washing.....I just saw a Jacques Pepin last night where he used mushrooms and discussed this. He said many people confuse "not washing" with the timing of washing. He said never wash ahead of time, because it does mess up the mushroom's texture by absorbing the water. But he *ALWAYS* washes them off right before he chops/uses them!

                                            1. re: Science Chick

                                              I don't know about that.

                                              Alton Brown SOAKED mushrooms in a bowl of water for quite a long time, & even they didn't absorb much water. And this was scientifically done by weight.

                                              Think dear Jacques is just doing it the way he's always done it - not because of any real verification.

                                              1. re: Bacardi1

                                                Jacques said something about discoloration as well

                                              2. re: Science Chick

                                                And I made the Leek & mushroom soup for lunch yesterday....it was yummy!

                                            2. Defrost meat on the counter but I do it virtually every day and have never had a problem.

                                              18 Replies
                                                1. re: baseballfan

                                                  I didn't know your weren't supposed to defrost on the counter.That how I defrost everything…

                                                  1. re: baseballfan

                                                    Here too... I defrost everything on the counter...

                                                    1. re: juliejulez

                                                      i actually have an all clad double griddle that i use for defrosting. things defrost very quickly on it. to be clear, i'm not heating it.

                                                      1. re: juliejulez

                                                        I'm sure it's the same thing, but I thaw in the sink.

                                                      2. re: baseballfan

                                                        Baseballfan, I used to have a BIG problem in pre-microwave-thawing days when I left meat out on the counter to thaw. Our Collie used to eat it. The whole pork roast or ham steak or sirloin tip would disappear. I would find the meat paper somewhere on the floor and he would be sitting in the corner smiling at me. And then he would give a big belch.

                                                          1. re: Querencia

                                                            Lol! My black lab has done that as well.

                                                          2. re: baseballfan

                                                            This was the first thing I thought of as well. My mother did it my whole life (on really hot days, it would go into the fridge after it was half defrosted, as we didn't have air conditioning). And now I do it if I don't remember to take something out of the freezer and put it in the fridge the night before.

                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                              We have a fairly regular meal plan - simple during the week and elaborate cooking fun on the weekends so Sunday night I always put any fun goodies for next weekend in the freezer if we did not use them. I really try to remind myself to take them out Thursday morning and put them in the fridge for Friday night but inevitably I forget and either leave it out Friday morning or utilize the heat capacity of the cast iron and put the frozen meat on it to help speed up the thaw Friday afternoon. I have now added it to my Google Calendar so I get an alert to defrost anything that needs it Thursday morning.

                                                            2. re: baseballfan

                                                              Yeah. I defrost in the sink. I did it for years when I worked. Left the meat in the sink and came home and cooked it.

                                                              I defrost fish in the fridge though.

                                                              1. re: sueatmo

                                                                Yea, I usually try to keep the seafood in the fridge but I will defrost shrimp on the counter.

                                                              2. re: baseballfan

                                                                So do I, although it may be sitting in a sink or on the counter in a pan but I don't have time for defrosting in the fridge.

                                                                1. re: baseballfan

                                                                  I also defrost meat (chicken and beef) on the counter. It would take days for it to defrost in my fridge. I would have nothing but thawing meat in there. (smallish fridge)

                                                                    1. re: baseballfan

                                                                      I just to do this all day but now I defrost I. The fridge and only do the counter for a while if it is still too frozen when I get home from work.

                                                                      1. re: baseballfan

                                                                        The only time I regretted doing that was last summer with some pheasant that a friend gave us. Left it on the counter AND (big sin) left the kitchen window open. Mama Bear pulled the screen off and came in the house!!! I scared her off before she got the pheasant gratefully. Didn't tell our friends till a few weeks ago :)

                                                                        1. re: baseballfan

                                                                          Me too!!! Just cook it thoroughly!!!

                                                                        2. ...melt chocolate in the microwave...

                                                                          I have never had a problem melting chocolate in the microwave. I find that if you do it in 20-second bursts and give it a thorough stir in between each burst it never burns or separates. And you don't have to erect a time-consuming assemblage of bowls and saucepans etc AND risk getting water droplets in your chocolate, to boot.

                                                                          Oh, and adding the seeds and skins of fresh tomatoes into a recipe. Most TV chefs always tell you to de-seed and peel fresh tomatoes, but the skin and seedy pulp tend to have the most flavour in! And with modern tomatoes tasting something akin to a paper napkin, I don't see the point in only using the mealy, boring-tasting bit.

                                                                          19 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Elster

                                                                            why aren't we supposed to do this? it's my insurance policy against scorching and separating.

                                                                            1. re: eLizard

                                                                              Many say microwave heat is far too intense for chocolate, and it's true that if you give it too long at too high a setting it will burn and coagulate and be completely ruined. But yes, if you do it gently it never, ever separates...which is nice...

                                                                            2. re: Elster

                                                                              You're not supposed to melt chocolate in the microwave? My microwave has a specific function to melt chocolate!

                                                                              1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                Mine too jj. And potatoes, popcorn, leftovers, bacon etc...

                                                                              2. re: Elster

                                                                                Wow I am learning some stuff here today. I always melt chocolate in the micro. Learned how from Barbara Kafka's books years ago. She is a huge proponent. Her micro chocolate ganache is a dream to make.

                                                                                I will also never make hard crack caramel on the stove top again. Micro makes it so easy!

                                                                                1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                  I'm also "guilty" of using the microwave to melt chocolate.

                                                                                  Oh, and to make peanut brittle, too. Ridiculously easy.

                                                                                  1. re: pine time

                                                                                    Now THAT is a recipe I would like to get hold of :)

                                                                                    1. re: Elster

                                                                                      Sure thing!

                                                                                      Microwave Peanut Brittle

                                                                                      [states it's tested for a 700W microwave & to adjust to your W, as needed. I have no idea what W mine is and use the times noted]

                                                                                      1.5 c raw, shelled Virginia peanuts, skins on (I use skinned raw peanuts)
                                                                                      1 c sugar
                                                                                      1/2 c light-colored corn syrup
                                                                                      1/8 tsp salt
                                                                                      1 tsp butter
                                                                                      1 tsp vanilla
                                                                                      1 tsp baking soda

                                                                                      Mix peanuts, sugar, corn syrup & salt in microwave-safe bowl until well mixed.
                                                                                      Cook in microwave on high about 4 minutes, open, stir well, cook for another 4 minutes.
                                                                                      Stir in butter & vanilla. Microwave on high 2 minutes.
                                                                                      Remove, add baking soda, stir quickly until light & foamy.
                                                                                      Pour onto lightly buttered baking sheet (or SilPat), spreading thinly.
                                                                                      Allow to cool. Break into chunks & store in airtight container.

                                                                                      1. re: pine time

                                                                                        OMG, that's my recipe, too. I have been making that every Christmas for years - people love it. I use spanish peanuts, though, or sometimes raw cashews or pecans.

                                                                                        Also, I line the baking sheet with parchment paper now, so the brittle doesn't have a greasy surface.

                                                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                                                          Love 'em with the cashews, but I also add a cupful of coconut large flakes when I do cashews--great combo.

                                                                                          Thanks about the parchment paper--unless I use the SilPat, I also don't care for the buttery undersurface.

                                                                                          1. re: pine time

                                                                                            Yum, the coconut is a great idea.

                                                                                            1. re: pine time

                                                                                              Waaaiit- a SilPat can go in the Microwave on HI?!?!

                                                                                              I'm so excited!

                                                                                              1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                                                                                The Silpat is for pouring/cooling the cooked mixture onto. It is not used in the microwave.

                                                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                  Awww shucks.... just as I suspected.

                                                                                                  1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                    I thought they could be used in the conventional oven though?

                                                                                                    1. re: melpy

                                                                                                      Yes, that's what they're for - regular ovens.

                                                                                                      They probably wouldn't cause a problem in the microwave, but I'm not sure why you would need to use them in one, and they wouldn't fit, either.

                                                                                    2. re: Elster

                                                                                      i've been melting chocolate in the microwave ever since microwaves became popular.

                                                                                      never had any problems.

                                                                                      1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                        Every once in a while, I end up ruining white chocolate when melting it, but overall, if I pay attention to it and do it gently, I have no problems melting chocolate.

                                                                                      2. re: Elster

                                                                                        +1 with the tomato seeds and skins. If the tomatoes are grown outside in Arizona, the skins tend to be heavy and tough, so sometimes I'll cut them in half and use a cheese grater to shred out the insides into a pot, which leaves the skin intact on top of the grater, but I have no problem leaving them on, either.

                                                                                      3. Alton Brown did the washing mushrooms thing. There is nothing wrong with washing mushrooms; in fact, I think there is something MAJORLY wrong with NOT washing them.

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                                                          Thank you! How else 'ya going to clean them?

                                                                                          1. re: monavano

                                                                                            I rinse mushrooms. I've heard several rules about about prepping mushrooms. I rinse and wipe with a dry paper towel.

                                                                                            Years and years ago we were told not to wash mushrooms because they would absorb too much water. Balderdash.

                                                                                        2. I know you;re not supposed to *stick utensils in the blender when the motor is running,* but I do it anyway. So far I've only damaged a couple of spoons & spatulas...

                                                                                          BTW, conventional wisdom that washing mushrooms makes them soggy is incorrect. You might not want to soak them for hours, but a rinse is just fine.

                                                                                          14 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                            You reminded me.
                                                                                            Don't put a plastic stirring spoon in the dishwasher.
                                                                                            It WILL melt

                                                                                            1. re: cheesecake17

                                                                                              Actually, I sometimes run plastic spoons/forks through the dishwasher (if I'm feeling thrifty and don't want to throw them away). Haven't had any melting yet...

                                                                                              1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                Śme of the nicer plastic cutlery I've bought says dishwasher safe on the label.

                                                                                                This spoon was a big white plastic one- like a wooden spoon but plastic. I think from dollar tree.

                                                                                                1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                  I always wash and re-use plastic cutlery....hate to see people use a spoon to stir coffee and then toss the spoon....what a waste!

                                                                                                  1. re: Debwin

                                                                                                    I do too. My bf uses them at work and whenever one makes it home in his lunchbox I wash it and put it in my siverware misc spot. I use them in tephlon and to eat

                                                                                                2. re: cheesecake17

                                                                                                  Oh I do this all the time. However, I try to draw the line at wooden utensils even the old ones that I don't care if they get warped. As a kid, we once arrived home to the smell of burning wood and couldn't figure it out until the Fire Department discovered the wooden spoon burning in the dishwasher. Or maybe that's a PSA for not to run your dishwasher when you're not home.

                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                    NO, don't do that. If a hose breaks or a seal pops, you've done serious water damage. You need to be home to turn it off.

                                                                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                      I am not that observant and haven't noticed when things happen when I AM home.

                                                                                                    2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                      I live in a dry climate. I don't use the heat dry function on the dishwasher. And I never run it when I won't be home, in case of a burst water line or whatever else

                                                                                                      1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                        I don't use the heated dry function either but it's cause I'm cheap. Anything to keep the power bill lower.

                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                          I've actually started to turn it off as it seemed useless considering we don't usually unload until at least a few hours later so they are dry by then. I guess it's useful if you need them immediately after washing. Do you crack the door to let them dry?

                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                            If I'm in a rush, I pull both racks out and they dry quickly.

                                                                                                      2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                        We came home once to find that the dishwasher had stopped in the middle of its cycle, due to a short circuit in the door that melted the plastic soap dispenser. Could have caused a fire, we were told, so now we never leave the dishwasher on when we leave. Or the (gas) clothes dryer.

                                                                                                        1. re: nowhereonearth

                                                                                                          I don't leave anything on when we leave the house. I'm way too paranoid.

                                                                                                  2. Washing mushrooms- the nice portobellos I get from the farmers' market have a lot of dirt on them and brushing them doesn't do it.
                                                                                                    Mixing cheese with seafood- lobster mac and cheese. Enough said.

                                                                                                    1. We don't drink much wine, so I haven't committed that illegal act, but I have done everything else that has so far been posted above.

                                                                                                      Feeling like a rebel.

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. re: THoey1963

                                                                                                        I prefer the term, "thinks for oneself".

                                                                                                      2. I hope this doesn't skeeve anyone, but I still use a barely coddled egg when making a Caesar Salad. I know I am meant to be terrified of e. coli, but I'd still rather use what I have always been taught is the original recipe. I have to say, it feels like a worse crime than mushroom washing.

                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: PesachBenSchlomo

                                                                                                          Actually, it's salmonella that can be found in eggs; e. coli is very rare in eggs.

                                                                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                            I had the feeling it was wrong when I wrote it. A nasty thing, though, we can agree.

                                                                                                            1. re: PesachBenSchlomo

                                                                                                              Yes. I tangled with it once years ago and finished up at 80 pounds.

                                                                                                          2. re: PesachBenSchlomo

                                                                                                            I use completely raw eggs to make French Silk Pie. Nobody has even come close to dying yet.

                                                                                                            1. re: PesachBenSchlomo

                                                                                                              I eat dang near raw eggs on a regular basis.

                                                                                                              1. re: PesachBenSchlomo

                                                                                                                I use pasteurized eggs for that. No problem!

                                                                                                              2. Wow, among my family and friends I am known to "love rules" but clearly I'm a rebel with some sort of cause. I do at least 90% of the things already listed here:

                                                                                                                Wash mushrooms
                                                                                                                Cheese and seafood
                                                                                                                Meat defrosted on the counter
                                                                                                                Clean cast iron with sponge and water and soap if needed occasionally

                                                                                                                I'm sure there are are dozens or hundreds more that I can't think of off the top of my head.

                                                                                                                1. It's perfectly fine to wash mushrooms. That's a kitchen myth.

                                                                                                                  I do that

                                                                                                                  I wash cast iron with soap

                                                                                                                  I defrost on my all clad griddle (though that speeds up the process considerably)

                                                                                                                  I like seafood and cheese

                                                                                                                  Red wine with chicken and fish

                                                                                                                  I use EEVOO for just about everything

                                                                                                                  I drop an ice cube into my martini if I'm sipping it too slowly. It needs to be cold.

                                                                                                                  9 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: C. Hamster

                                                                                                                    Ah, there's one. My dad used to like ice in his beer, because he liked to drink it slowly but wanted it to remain cold. I have been known to put ice in red wine that has been served too warm.

                                                                                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                      Ooh, so do I! I was once dining with a lovely pal who was rocking a white cashmere sweater. She asked me to ice her red wine as I was icing my own. An errant cube splashed some good wine all over her sweater. I still feel shame.

                                                                                                                      1. re: pinehurst

                                                                                                                        OMG. Did you tattoo the name "mud" on your forehead afterwards?

                                                                                                                        1. re: pinehurst

                                                                                                                          I threw up on a college boyfriend who was wearing an expensive white sweater... He forgave me!

                                                                                                                          But I still feel bad and think I deserve a face tattoo!

                                                                                                                          1. re: pinehurst

                                                                                                                            Totally felt like the most awkward lunk in the room, and I still do when I think of it.

                                                                                                                            But I still ice red wine!

                                                                                                                            1. re: pinehurst

                                                                                                                              If it makes you feel better, Pinehurst, I once accidently knocked an entire glass of red wine over the white dress of my husbands, bosses daughter.

                                                                                                                              In my defence I was on crutches and I was trying to discreetly put them away. One slipped down the wall, hit the wine glass (in slow motion, of course) and liberally coloured her white dress.

                                                                                                                              I wanted to die, I even offered to swap dresses. She was really sweet and I have since been invited back for dinners, so hopefully I was forgiven,,,

                                                                                                                            2. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                              I do that too sometimes. Especially if the red wine is very tannic -- it gives me heartburn, but the ice cools and dilutes it making it better.

                                                                                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                I regularly ice wine that's too warm. Just swirl the cube around a bit, then remove it with a fork once it seems drinkable.

                                                                                                                              2. re: C. Hamster

                                                                                                                                We go to a little family run Italian joint that has great home made food, and jug red wine that I really like (well, with the food anyway) it’s never cool… it’s always somewhere a few degrees above room temperature, I ALWAYS have to put a cube of ice in it

                                                                                                                                I LOVE certain white wines to be ICE COLD, I know that you’re not SUPPOSED to drink any white wine ice cold, but I put a bottle of Pino Grigio in the freezer for a half hour before serving (myself)

                                                                                                                              3. Eat raw batter/dough containing eggs. Yes...I'm still here to tell about it.

                                                                                                                                15 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                                                  You and I should have a secret handshake: the salmonella people.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: PesachBenSchlomo

                                                                                                                                    No reason to cook cookie dough. Always better raw.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                                                      I *still* do that. There's something about chocolate chip cookie dough that must be eaten raw. At least a spoonful.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                        Nobody ever told me you could use a spoon! I thought you were only allowed to use your fingers

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Kalivs

                                                                                                                                          Well, usually it's wiping it off the mixer's beaters. So yes - your fingers. But then a spoonful while you're waiting for the first batch to finish baking. ;-)

                                                                                                                                      2. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                                                        Ooops was that in the do not do list? I never considered that a real recommendation, it just seemed so ludicrous :)

                                                                                                                                        1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                                                          I've been doing this since I was about 5 and have never gotten sick.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                                                            Oh yes... any kind of batter or dough, including yeast doughs. I could literally just sit and munch on bits of potato roll dough.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                                                              In the raw egg category: the best chocolate icing I've ever made has a raw egg yolk in it. I haven't made it any other way for decades.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: marisold

                                                                                                                                                best chocolate mousse, imo, is maida heatter's and it is made with raw eggs instead of whipped cream. the one concession i make, these days, is that i make certain i know the origin of the eggs.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: marisold

                                                                                                                                                  I can remember my mother putting raw eggs in chocolate milk shakes (I guess to pump up the protein??) when I was a kid. I bet she hasn't done that in years!!

                                                                                                                                                2. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                                                                  We have a family rule requiring cookie bakers to set aside some dough for those who prefer it raw.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Isolda

                                                                                                                                                    I think my children would never forgive us if cookie dough wasn't left uncooked!!!

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                                                                    This year I discovered that School Fund Raiser buckets and trays of cookie dough DO NOT have the "do not eat raw" warning.

                                                                                                                                                    My daughter's school/ band/ ROTC/ lacrosse
                                                                                                                                                    will be improved :)

                                                                                                                                                  3. When my roast chicken is resting I can't resist pulling off a bit of brown, crispy skin. Then another and another...

                                                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                                                                      me too. Is there a rule against doing that?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                                                                        It's the LAW that I get to pick some roasty-toasty crispy chicken skin off the bird.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                            OK. I am going to cite the Cook's Snack Law whenever I feel like it from now on!

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                              There's an Irish cook who calls this 'chef's privilege' - I declare it into middle distance right before I fish the juiciest looking morsel out of the pot before serving :)

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                I always liked how Julia Child put it "Cook's Treat!"

                                                                                                                                                        1. Put hot food directly into the fridge/freezer.

                                                                                                                                                          Eat an apple without washing it.

                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                                                                            If I'm running behind and need to serve warm or chilled food vs piping hot right after cooking I will throw it immediately into the fridge/freezer. This weekend I had the bright idea to have a spinach salad with seared scallops but wanted them at room temperature. I seared them and then popped them in the freezer for 15 minutes and they were a perfect warm room temperature for salad topping.

                                                                                                                                                            I actually thought about this the other day - it's probably awful but I rarely remember to wash many fruits and vegetables before I dive in.

                                                                                                                                                          2. - eat "expired" food
                                                                                                                                                            - double dip
                                                                                                                                                            - eat PB out of a jar with my index finger
                                                                                                                                                            - lick the bowl
                                                                                                                                                            - belch

                                                                                                                                                            8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                              definitely eat expired food.

                                                                                                                                                              and as my uncle says....it's ok to lick the bowl as long as you flush when you're done. whatta card....

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                Expired food? It has a date on it. I realized this the other day when someone asked about expired food. If the food does not have any sign that tips me off that it might not be good, I don't even look at the date. Rarely if ever have I looked at an expiration date and when I do it doesn't usually change my initial plan - if it smells bad and I'm unlikely to eat and it's expired I still won't eat it, if it smells OK and I happen to check the date which is expired I still eat it.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                  I look at the dates when shopping for food - then I can buy the freshest one. That's when the dates are more useful.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                    I do try to grab the product in the back with the thought that it's newest.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                    Those aren't expiration dates. The only thing that has to have an expiration date is baby formula. What you're seeing are "best by", "use by", and "sell by" dates, which have nothing to do with food safety and everything to do with freshness. The food doesn't magically go bad at midnight at the end of that day.

                                                                                                                                                                  3. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                    To quote the great Horold McGee, writing on canned goods in the latest issue of Lucky Peach: "Food technologists define shelf life not by how long it takes for food to become inedible, but how long it takes for a trained sensory panel to detect a 'just noticeable difference' between newly manufactured and stored cans. There's no consideration of whether the difference might be pleasant in its own way or even an improvement - it's a defect by definition."

                                                                                                                                                                    Of course, he's writing about whether years-old canned goods are worth eating (his answer: usually. yes), not whether it's ok to ignore the best-by date on your jug of oj. But if it looks & smells ok, I say dig in.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                      First year in China -- constantly freaking out about all the expired food sold by 'round the way groceries.

                                                                                                                                                                      DUH.

                                                                                                                                                                      There, it's the PACKED ON date.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                                                                                                                                                        Too funny -- we tend to assume an observation fits in a known pattern.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. Oh dear, its confession time for me.

                                                                                                                                                                      I know you're not supposed to mix your cutting boards but I always forget and do it anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                      Well, I do wash them frequently.

                                                                                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                                                                                        i look at it this way- if the meat and veggies are being cooked, why dirty another cutting board?

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Vidute

                                                                                                                                                                          I do veg first and put aside then do the meat.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                                                                                          I had this in mind when I bought 2 cutting boards, but the board in front is the only one that is ever used.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                                                                                            Until very recently, I thought the no mixing cutting boards rule had to do with mixing flavors. For example, I have two wooden boards that are for mild things only (I even wrote on the sides with a sharpie, "no onion or garlic). But I use those boards for raw meat, since I'm careful about washing them anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                            I'm a lot more grossed out eating a fruit and cream cake and finding that the cut fruit tastes vaguely of onions.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                                                                                              I have one cutting board. I will prep meat on one side, and then flip it to the other side to cut veggies. Streamlined.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. Clean and hull the entire pound of strawberries at one time.

                                                                                                                                                                              Modern guidelines, to limit spoilage, are to briefly wash and hull only the berries you plan to use, shortly before you use them, keeping the rest refrigerated, unwashed. I like to have strawberries ready and waiting for breakfast or snacks, so I prep the entire pound and refrigerate. I do place them on a paper towel to remove excess moisture before storing. The few berries may need a second trim, but that's better than letting an entire pound linger for days because I was short on morning ambition.

                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                                                                                                                                                I find washing strawberries in a white vinegar solution and hulling them all keeps the berries a lot longer. Maybe the conventional wisdom is changing, because I've seen lots of others do this as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                                                                                                                                                  Ah, this is pure Peg Bracken in the I Hate to Cook cookbook. She's always preparing everything she brings home from the market right away, and then she doesn't have to worry about doing it later.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. Ahh that's the myth smashers episode. It's here at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inM2MJ...
                                                                                                                                                                                  go to the 8:14 mark.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. make fried rice with newly cooked rice. Conventional wisdom says you make fried rice with old, cold rice, from the fridge.

                                                                                                                                                                                    I almost never have old rice sitting in the fridge. If I want fried rice, I have to make the rice, and I make it specially for fried rice, by boiling it in vegetable stock, add veggies, etc. (Other ingredients are added while frying). That's not how I usually make rice, so I will just about never have rice suitable for fried rice leftover in the fridge.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Also, when I have tried making FR with cold rice in the past, it is a real PITA to break up the clumps of cold rice with the back of a spoon. Making FR with hot, freshly cooked rice is much easier.

                                                                                                                                                                                    I cook the rice first, and leave it sitting next to me with the lid open and well fluffed so that most of the steam escapes. I heat the wok as hot as my stove will allow, add the oils, aromatics, ingredients, etc. etc. and then add the rice. Stirring and frying are so much easier!

                                                                                                                                                                                    I end up with very good FR this way, so am not about to change my wicked ways.

                                                                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Rasam

                                                                                                                                                                                      I love my fried rice made with freshly cooked rice. Sticky and mushy...

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cheesecake17

                                                                                                                                                                                        My fresh rice FR for some reason does not come out sticky and mushy. Maybe because I begin with Basmati :)

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Rasam

                                                                                                                                                                                          White Carolina rice for me. If I'm feeling fancy, brown short grain.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Rasam

                                                                                                                                                                                        I just use my bare hands to break up the clumps of cold rice. Doing it with a spoon does sound like a pain!

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: dmjordan

                                                                                                                                                                                          The easiest way to break up cold rice is to use a potato masher, directly in the pan.

                                                                                                                                                                                      3. Poaching fresh ocean catfish with the skin on.

                                                                                                                                                                                        It is so much easier to peel off. Then I gut and break the head off and put back into fresh sea water.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Sanitizing cutting boards in sunlight. Storing chlorine is too much hassel for a one item use.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Using wasabi from a plastic tube. The powder in a tin molds up quickly after opening.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Substitute nurse shark for lobster meat. Haven't been caught yet.

                                                                                                                                                                                        The stirring spoon is my tasting spoon.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                                                                                                                                                          I've heard you can put the tin of wasabi in the freezer and it stays fresh longer. However, I have no personal experience as my can is still in the freezer and has never been reopened to check because we use the wasabi in the tube :)

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                                                                                                                                                            I wash my cutting boards - wood ones - in hot soapy water and airdry. Always.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. @OP, I neither brush NOR wash mushrooms.

                                                                                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                              What do you do about the clumps of dirt on/in them?

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                I've never seen "clumps." A little dirt'ish 'color' but that's it. But I don't grow my own.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yea, to be honest I rarely wash them either and haven't dealt with much dirt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Wow, my mushrooms actually have dirt in the packages as well as on the mushrooms.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I solved this one by not eating mushrooms LOL! Just don't like them...

                                                                                                                                                                                                3. I know you're not supposed to wash and re-use ziplock bags but I do all the time.....as long as they did not touch raw meat!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  32 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Debwin

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Same here Debwin - It's such a waste if you don't!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Debwin

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I missed that memo. I wash an reuse them all the time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LMAshton

                                                                                                                                                                                                        This is a great idea! I often reuse foil I use to cover meat when resting but this is smart. Just flip inside out and rinse and let dry?

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I come from a family of bag washers. I remember seeing them drying on top of tall bottles. I have actually seen wooden drying racks specifically for bags in catalogs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I am certain no one in my family actually purchased ziplock bags (too spendy) but any ziploc that came into their lives was lovingly washed and reused to the point of disintegration.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          While I don't wash them, I will reuse a bag that, for example, contained bread or rolls or other "dry" items, for another use.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Debwin

                                                                                                                                                                                                          After my grandmother passed away, we found her stash of ziploc bags, bread bags, and every other kind of reusable plastic bag you could think of. They took up an entire shelf in her linen closet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I personally mostly use plastic bags for meat, so I can't reuse them, but even if I could, I don't reuse. I hate wasting them though. I took to buying those snack size ones for the times I do need to store small amounts of things... I figure at least it's half the plastic as the regular small ones.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                            After my grandmother passed away, we found her stash of ziploc bags, bread bags, and every other kind of reusable plastic bag you could think of. They took up an entire shelf in her linen closet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            -------------------------------------------------------------

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Just a shelf? Amatuer :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                            When we cleared out my grandparents' house, the volume of saved food storage containers was overwhelming. Hundreds of Cool Whip containers and the like, enough for 20 households. With that generation, there was a thin line between being resourceful and hoarding.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: cleobeach

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have a friend who collects fine china to the point his nickname is Charlotte Limoges. Most of the time he eats out of old Cool Whip containers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: cleobeach

                                                                                                                                                                                                                My mother and her mother were the same way. Why throw something away if you can reuse it (again and again and again)? Mom saved old deli and Tupperware containers, enough rubber bands to make a ball, and used twist-ties (I never figured that one out). Grandma wrote grocery lists on the back of used envelopes. I agree, it was difficult for that generation to forget the hardships of the Great Depression. I try to repurpose things and yes, it is a thin line between being resourceful and hoarding... I keep second-guessing myself, saying "do I really need to keep that?" Sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes no, sometimes I just don't know.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: alwayshungrygal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  well, sure, a perfectly good envelope, I do that all the time . . . .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Lisa Davidson

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think most of our generation thinks of this as being eco-conscious, whereas Grandma and Mom thought of it as being thrifty. And I'll admit to not doing this for a long time (reusing paper etc). Now I'm a reduce/reuse/recycle fiend. Waste drives me nuts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alwayshungrygal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We reuse paper plates a number of times. If just having a sandwich or some toast, I'm not throwing out the plates and I'm not using soap and hot water to wash.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Right, if it's not greasy. If just crumbs, reuse. It's just me at home so who else is gonna care? Paper towels, same thing. If not greasy (i.e. just wet), reuse however I can.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Lisa Davidson

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I love the envelope for a day's errands. List of whai I need to buy and where written on one side, order of stops (most efficient route) on the other, coupons in the pouch and I'm off!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I know I should use my phone for this but there is a pleasure I take in this ritual that just isn't there when I use the digital format.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: cleobeach

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh she had hoards of various containers too.... cool whip, margarine, cottage cheese, yogurt. The shelf was JUST plastic bags. She was a teen/young adult (graduated high school in 1933) during the depression, so that's definitely where it came from.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Plus, plastic was kind of a miracle for that generation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: cleobeach

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      my grandmother reused plastic bags all the time - had the little bag-dryer tree. my grandfather saved every glass jar he could. my mother and aunt found cases of mason jars, mayonnaise jars... you name it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      OMG, after my mother died, there were caches of elderly plastic everywhere. Fortunately, disposal is an easy decision.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sr44

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And thinking about it a bit more, I think my legacy will be plastic takeout containers. Very hard to get rid of.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I like those snack size Ziploc bags too, it also makes me feel better that I am not using more plastic than I need to... However they are often more expensive, and harder to find, than the regular small ones!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: Debwin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        There have been a lot of posts here about bag-washing. When I worked in a health food store the story was that using soap on plastic causes it to begin breaking down a bit, which means it leaches plastic into the food you put into the washed bag. Of course, NOT washing the bags and reusing them presents a different set of problems in the bacterial realm.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I don't know if there is science behind the plastic-leaching-into-your-foods thought, but maybe someone here knows.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Mostly I re-use them for storing non-edible items like cosmetics when I travel, or pieces and parts of things that need to stay together, but I also use them for short term storage in fridge. I never re-warm food in plastic in microwave b/c of the dangers of leeching.....can't be too careful!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'd believe it. A lot of grandma's bags were kind of sticky on the inside... makes me wonder if it was the plastic breaking down that was causing that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I do reuse but don't wash with soap only hot water then let dry. yesterday I marinated chicken parts in Asian inspired marinade. one of the very expensive brands of double zipper lock heavy bags. but you know what? after taking the chicken out, even though the bag was never used before the chicken > I chucked it because it was not worth the thorough cleaning process it would have taken to make me comfortable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I purchase those pink Brawny vegetable storage bags that help keep veggies fresh longer...And, yes, they really do work~ The package also says that you can wash and reuse, which I do. No problems that I know of regarding leaching toxins.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Awwshucks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I've wondered about those veggie bags. What veggies do you store, and how long does the veggie last?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Awwshucks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    i have some of the green veggie storage bags - I reuse them all the time. they work great!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jujuthomas

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks--saw some in the grocery store. May finally give 'em a try.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jujuthomas

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I save the bags too, but I use them for dirty pampers when the the two grankids come over....after we use them, I don't use them again....trust me!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: PHREDDY

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I save produce bags and use them to line a scrap bucket that I keep on the counter while I'm cooking. I toss in it the peels, trimming, and other bits of trash that I generate (stuff that some people would say I should be composting, but there's another thing I don't do, but "should"). When I'm done I just throw away the whole bag.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That is one thing to ponder the next time I reuse plastic bags.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      On the other hand, I never wash my Ziploc bags with detergent. If needed, I usually just rinse with water until they look clean enough, zip and put into a special corner inside the freezer door for reuse - I do not like the idea of damp bags lying around, and I don't think I can be delicate enough to turn them inside out to dry without ripping.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. re: Debwin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I use a lot of the 1 gallon size Ziploc bags and they're expensive. I turned them inside out wash them with hot soapy water and dry them still inside out by air drying. I never rewash those that touch raw meat but the others yes. Been doing it for years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    4. I seldom bloom yeast and I don't weight ingredients when I am baking in small quanities.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ive made lemon pie with bottled lemon juice during the off season. I did use 1 fresh lemon and the zest but most of the juice came from a bottle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I usually wash mushrooms by rubbing the caps in a damp towel because I am too lazy to use a fiddly brush.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I prefer dried oregano over fresh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. cook eggplant without salting and rinsing first.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        my friends and i once did a blind side-by-side test.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        NONE of the eggplant turned out in the least bit "bitter" like so many cookbooks say it would.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Totally agree on the eggplant--never salt, press, drain, all that tedious stuff, and it works fine in all sorts of preparations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I don't drain eggplant for the bitterness so much, it's more to cut down on the amount of oil it absorbs when I cook it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That's what I thought...but was afraid to speak up. I bow to you :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I've also drastically cut down on the oil for eggplant over the years--guess it was the same time I quit salting/draining, so wasn't sure what was supposedly for bitterness vs. oiliness. Give your favorite recipe a try with 1/2 to 1/3 of the oil called for: I've never had any problems.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I find eggplant now lacks the bitterness of the past. Eggplant in the '70's and '80's benefited from salting. We also had few varieties to choose from in most areas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I salt on occasion depending on what type of preparation the eggplant will be used for ie what goodhealthgourmet said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I am the same. I always skip that step, life is too short to fiddle like that. Eggplant turns out great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Is THAT why my mom and the ladies of her SS class think when I cook with eggplant it's such an incredible thing?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Put me on the mushroom-washing bandwagon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Also I do wash my cast iron with soap and water, have never had problems with damaging the seasoning. I do always dry it thoroughly with a paper towel so that there's no water left standing on it after washing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Allstonian

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I, too, give a brief soap wash/rinse/dry to my seasoned cast iron. I do it in secret, though, because if my husband knew it was OK, he would be soaking them in the dishwater and then scouring them energetically - this will NOT work! So I am furtive and sneaky with my soap ;-(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I've always been icked about the "never wash, use salt wipe only" lore. My cast iron is ancient, and very well seasoned, so it's fine with soap and water. After drying, though, I place it on a warmish burner for a few minutes to evaporate any remaining moisture. Mr. Pine once "helped" in the kitchen, and he soaked the cast iron skillet for about 2 hours--it actually didn't seem to hurt it, but I threatened the Mr. with bodily harm if he messed up my cast iron!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: pine time

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I am convinced that drying on the stove burner (or in the oven if it happens to be hot) is the key. That and frying bacon every now and then is all it takes. But, my cast iron is also ancient, and that is bound to help.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: DebinIndiana

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yeah, I dry mine on the burners. I turn it on and turn the timer to one minute and throw on the skillet. When it beeps, I turn off the burner. BTW my burners are electric.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Only time I wash mine is after cooking fish. I don't know why, but that flavor carries over into the next dish if I don't.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Crockett67

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I wouldn't dream of washing my Lodge black cast-iron pans with soap. I use very very hot water and a stiff brush then put them on the stove to dry completely for about one minute but before I do that I always lightly rub it with Crisco. It keeps the seasoning in the pores and keeps it non-stick. You might want to consider buying an extra cast iron pan and use it just for fish. That's what I do no problem here

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: The Drama Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            For me the fish smell hangs around on the pan for a while, but more with the teflon pan than cast iron.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            If something is stuck in my cast iron, I'll pour in some hot water and boil it for a little while, then scrape out the stuck stuff with a wood or plastic spatula, drain, dry on a burner over medium heat, and recoat with oil. Things rarely stick to them, though. And I never use soap.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: Allstonian

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I wash mine too but dry it well and then oil it well before I store it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Allstonian

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Another mushroom washer here--I give them a brief rinse and a once-over with a soft-bristled mushroom brush.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I have several pieces of good Lodge cast iron, and the thought of never washing it with soap and water just grosses me out. I don't usually let it stand with water in it, but if something is really stuck on, I've even been known to do that. And for real messes, I will confess to a judicious application of an SOS pad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Once it got a good seasoning on it, it's all survived this treatment just fine (the stuck food isn't usually due to a lack of proper seasoning, it's because I just wasn't paying attention).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Allstonian

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I've found turmeric to linger in cast iron.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sr44

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Cream gravy is annoying to clean out of CI.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                IMHO, only if you let it sit and dry on it. I turn the hot water all the way up and use the sink sprayer to blast the gravy remnants out of the pan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Leave cooked stuff out on the counter overnight. Haven't killed anyone yet that I know of. (And I've never washed a mushroom in my life -- take a look and brush off the dirt, that's it.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Chatsworth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Chatsworth, I'm responding to you simple because I lived 8 years in your screen name :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                LOL. Probably not on Chatsworth Road, which is where I grew up!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Chatsworth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  nope but behind you if the Chatsworth Road was in Chatsworth, Calif. yes or no? one of my best friends lived behind me on Chatsworth Street, his house is still there whereas ours burned down after we sold it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sorry but nope. Chatsworth Road in the middle of England!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Chatsworth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      OH CHATSWORTH, I AM SO SAD.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I thought we had something in common, Roy Rogers/Dale Evans and Tony Riz, California and many many horse rides.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      oh well, thanks for letting me know. I will say I adore England.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      my girlfriend who also lived in Chatsworth California was born in England as were her very proper parents the Turquands.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Chatsworth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          you're right Chatsworth :)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          but the next time I come to London and am walking on Kensington toward Harrods, you have to promise to meet me for lunch on my walk back @ the Spaghetti House :-D
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ok > so I'm kidding..... ;-)))

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Chatsworth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I left chicken stir fry out overnight. Once. Spent the day in the bathroom :/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Chatsworth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  When I studied abroad in Italy, my host mother always left her pot of pasta sauce out on the (unlit) stove overnight, at least until lunch the next day. Considered totally normal. Recently I've been spending a lot of time in eastern Indonesia, where my host family does have a refrigerator but it goes pretty much entirely unused. Dishes (veggies, meat, fish) go straight from the stove to the table, and stay there until they're finished or they start to smell funny, usually up to about 2 days. I won't say I never get sick there, because occasionally I do, but of course it's impossible to know if that's from the food at home, something I bought from a street vendor, or just touching something I shouldn't have ad then touching my face - life in the tropics is full of dirt and germs. Anyway, my point is standards for leaving things out vary, an in my experience the US is on one extreme of the scale. I wouldn't go so far as the Indonesians, but I think the Italians have it about right.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Emmmily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    When I roast a chicken, I don't refrigerate what's left over. I eat it room temp the next day, then make stock.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Emmmily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The Sri Lankans I know do it like your Italians. Food is commonly left out for eight or twelve hours or even overnight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. .....put pasta into nonsalted water. I have tried it the heavily salted way like MB&MS&RR say is a must. over salting anything is NOT recommended for my husbands health. so I simply don't salt unless it's a teaspoonful into a large pot of water. I love salt but too much of it in water turns out a very salty flavor in the pasta and makes it (to us) inedible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    15 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I have just started adding salt to pasta water and can't really notice a difference so probably will stop.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I think it depends on how much you add. I usually add at least a Tbsp. or more, depending on how much pasta I cook and how much water is to be boiled. I've seen some chefs recommend "a fist full", but I don't go that far. I like the salted water for the pasta.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Jay F

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That's what I was taught, too. The water should be as salty as the sea.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            to FLDH-that is why I stopped or held way back, the sauce flavors the pasta I don't need salty water for that. never understood the concept. I've cooked all my life and to make such an emphasis on salting water, falls flat on me

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              To me, that argument falls flat. Salt is just one taste of many. It's the combination that enhances the flavor IMO.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                As Mario Batali, and other cooks, say: The water should taste like the sea.......

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Science Chick

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  as I mentioned Mario Bat Michael Sym and Rachael Ray in my comment so I know what they say, doesn't mean I have to adhere to their suggestions and I couldn't care less what anyone tells me to do regarding cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Wow. Different strokes. I'm like a sponge when it comes to advice. I've learned a HUGE amount that way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I throw in a big handful of salt. Otherwise I don't care for it. It may not be like seawater but it isn't far off and that's how I like it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It makes a HUGE difference to my tastebuds. Some foods, such as pasta, NEVER taste salted (or "seasoned", to go along with the lastest euphemism) if you don't get it in there while it's cooking. With these types of foods, a person can end up adding way MORE salt to the completed dish while trying to make it taste salty enough.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Besides, all of the salt in properly salted water (which means quite a bit, as Jay F.correctly points out) does not end up in the pasta - so no need to panic there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  i agree. i can taste the difference. and it makes a difference. without, it's so flat. and i have to admit, i sometimes oversalt my water. not recently....
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  but it's definitely affected the results for me one an occasion or two.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If you can't tell the difference, you're not adding enough--the water should taste like the ocean, and it will make a wonderful difference in the flavor of the pasta. I'm learning, finally, to salt at every single step of cooking, and that includes pasta water! Everything tastes better with enough salt (even sweets, like cakes, pies, etc.--just a pinch.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I don't salt either. In the times I have, I haven't noticed a difference, and I try to watch my salt intake. So, no point in doing it for me. I figure if the dish needs a bit of salt at the end, I can add it at that point.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                4. i know you're not supposed to but i make my canneloni with a pound of raw lean meat mixed with eight oz of cream cheese to keep the meat tender and moist and stuff it into raw, uncooked pasta tubes and cover in sauce and bake. Yes, I know. Raw meat and shells? Yes and it is delicious. There is more involved than that but these are the rules I am breaking

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Actually, Alton Brown did an entire show on "Kitchen Myths", & not washing mushrooms was one of the myths he debunked.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Did a demonstration where he weighed 3 identical weights of mushrooms, then soaked one pile, rinsed another under running water, & brushed/wiped the 3rd. The onces rinsed under running water were so close in finished weight to the brushed ones, it was almost unmeasurable. Even the soaked ones hadn't absorbed much water.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Alton's bottom line? Rinse the mushrooms!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Bacardi1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I saw this episode awhile ago and you're right......not a lot of water was soaked up at all. I always wash my mushrooms.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. they sterilize the mushrooms/poop after picking them. i brush off the poop with my hand but don't wash them. they are super-absorbent. Do you think they would just sell food with raw poop all over it? :) you don't have to worry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fara

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "Do you think they would just sell food with raw poop all over it?" Depending on where in the world you are, yes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Back in Sri Lanka, there was a scandal for a while that leafy green vegetables were being grown in soil that was fertilized with untreated human excrement. It was not proven, as far as I know, that that was definitely happening, but the husband tells me that using human excrement as fertilizer is something that has been done by farmers for a long time. Not all farmers, not all crops, but some.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LMAshton

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Like the Ted K, Unabomber. He was very self sufficient.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LMAshton

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The mushrooms we get in the US are grown on compost including composted manure, like almost everything should be. Composted is the key word. If I can brush a little compost off a dry mushroom (the brown ones are the best) I will, but sometimes they have too much dirt on them to ignore.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sterilized compost, as far as I can tell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sr44

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Forgot to say that part, thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: fara

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            They do not grow mushrooms in poop in the U.S.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. Store jams and ketchup in the pantry - who wants them ice cold on hot food?! Not me. Never had an issue.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Put ice cubes in white wine - but on a steamy hot day, nothing else will do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Clean your plate with your bread - but let's face it, some dishes are just begging to be mopped up!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Definitely clean your plate with bread! Used to go to a restaurant with my ex that had the best escargot in a red wine sauce. Always asked for extra bread for the sauce. Didn't care who saw us do it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Many of my condiments which read "keep refrigerated" are on the counter. Isn't that the purpose of bread? Especially at holiday dinners like Thanksgiving I need at least 3 or 4 rolls saved for residual gravy wipeage. I won't embarrass myself and mention what happens when I'm home alone and the plate begs to cleaned...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    " I won't embarrass myself and mention what happens when I'm home alone and the plate begs to be cleaned..."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    does licking come into the equation?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Of course not...you're not supposed to do that ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        yep but I've been known to make that disgusting event occur a VERY few VERY seldom times :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Who said anything about disgusting? :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. The whole mushroom washing thing was debunked by Harold McGee--turns out they don't really absorb that much water! I'm sure you'll all scold me for this, but I routinely can tomatoes using the "open kettle" method, with no time in the canner at all. I just make sure the tomatoes, and their liquid, are an appropriate temperature before putting them in the jar. Worked for my mom--works for me! Never had a problem with it. And yes, I defrost on the counter--what's the problem, as long as it doesn't get really warm--it's going to get cooked really well after it defrosts anyway? Some of the "rules" they've come up with must be adhered to by restaurants, but frankly, I find some of them pretty silly in the home! So there--I'm officially out of the closet, and happy about it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Alton Brown disproved that 13 years ago. "Good Eats" Season 2, Episode 5, "The Fungal Gourmet".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. 1) Salt beef or beans before cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2) Eat foods after their "Use by" date

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3) Wash chicken or meat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: dave_c

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        How can you salt beans before cooking? I mean whenever I forget and do that, they never cook. They remain hard in boiling water for hours. How do you get it to work?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Lisa Davidson

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I read something a long time ago that said that it's fine to salt dried beans at the beginning of cooking. It went on further to say that if your beans never soften, it is because they are old.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I do not toss out my spices after a year & replace with fresh because I can't do it ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        TV would have you believe you cut an onion one way only - my way is different from that & from culinary school too as I learned when I was about 8 y.o.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I don't use pastry blenders but freeze and box grate butter

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Never peel tomatoes - box grate or vitamix

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I stuff my turkey cavity with bread stuffing every year before roasting the bird

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Stuff a teabag in my Keurig machine as if it was a Kcup - jamming it the place where the cup goes makes a fine cup of tea with none of the expense of the tea Kcups

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Make clean out the refrigerator marinade for meats with leftover bits of salad dressing, condiments, juice from pickles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Make smoothies out of all of the produce that needs to go - cooked or raw and drink 'em right out of the blender container with a straw

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Use sponges but I do

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: SloCoChef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My mother would roll over in her grave if I did not stuff a bird! Never had a problem yet and I've been doing it for many, many, many years! And my kids live for my stuffing. It only goes in a dish under 2 conditions:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 - I'm only cooking a turkey breast
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 - There is more than will fit in the turkey

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Whereas my family had 'dressing' rather than 'stuffing' and I have a STRONG presence for the former. Really STRONG :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Added to that:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 - If it goes in a dish, the turkey giblets go with it to give it additional flavour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              We had to do additional stuffing beyond what would fit in a turkey for our familiy - too many stuffing people.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: SloCoChef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I don't even ponder to throw out a spice unless I notice it lacks it's usual oomph, don't bother to keep track of how old they are.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm not familiar with the recommendation to not use sponges, what's the reason for that?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Bacteria grows in sponges. A zap in the nuker or a run through the dishwasher fixes things. If done regularly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh, I guess I won't worry about my immune system then it must be pretty ripe as I don't ever clean the sponge and it's only when it looks sad and pitiful that I even think about tossing it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I fill up the small sink with water, clorox, and dish soap, and soak my sponges, scrubs, brushes, and dishcloths in them overnight. I do it regularly. bAnd I squeeze them all to be sure the solutions penetrates thoroughly. i also wash them in the washer frequently.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I have barely thrown out any spices either. If it is old, just use more of it :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: vil

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think I mentioned already that a few of my spices are probably older than dirt.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    as others have said, I don't write dates on my spices and am sure probably many of them were purchased before the 'use by' date thingie was thought of or went into effect:(
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I do often times buy repeats of spices I already own because at the time I can't find the one I'm looking for. at that point if the 'original' is low in the jar, I use it first.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Eat at an empty restaurant. Sometimes I just can't be bothered with huge crowds and noise, or want to eat a bit earlier than usual to avoid traffic or whatever.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: UrsusArctos

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We always eat early, partly to avoid crowds, which we both don't like.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Wash my fresh spinach before cooking....
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Shrooms, yes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Frying without a shirt on! (took only one time to learn...it was summer and the a/c was not woking in the kitchen)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Drink too much beer before I barbecue.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mwhitmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hey...I might be dumb....but not stupid!!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Ice in my Sauvignon Blanc. The French do it, why not me?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: cindyj98498

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      plus one :) We drink wine every day but aren't "into" it. I like my SB cold.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I've got to ask...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      All the folks who are posting righteous "Oh, I would NEVER do _____!!" replies here: Are you perhaps unclear on the concept of this thread?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MsMaryMc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        MMM....I think most posters get it....but it is normal for some conversational devaition and comments in this thread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I save leftover wine in a plastic water bottle with as much air squeezed out as I can. I MICROWAVE my glass of red about 7 sec to take the chill off.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. leave cooked rice of the fridge and eat it the next day. or two days later. or three days later.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I reuse meat marinades. After removing the meat to cook, I add more of the same meat and throw the marinade and meat into the freezer. Then I've got a quick, no prep meal another day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Some marinades take time and $ to prepare!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: CanadaGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              There was a marinade recipe on a packet of Maggi something or other - it was so long ago that I no longer remember. Anyway, the instructions said to marinade the raw meat, then remove the meat and cook and reserve the marinade. The reserved marinade was then to be used as a sauce on the side. Uncooked. With raw meat juice in it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Uh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LMAshton

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ick!! That is most definitely not anything anyone should do!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: CanadaGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  .....and you're still alive :)))))

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. ...wash cast iron skillets with soap, but I do it anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. NEVER FRY BACON WHILE YOU'RE NAKED!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Not something I have done....well, nothing I would admit to....just some good advice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: PotatoHouse

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      PH....see my earlier post.....don't even try it partially clothed!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: PotatoHouse

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Don't lean over the slow cooker topless to reach a glass on a high shelf. I should check to see if I can still see the scar on my stomach.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: melpy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Been there. Spices in the top cupboard and i hit the handle on the hot pan and spun it right into my while reaching for them. Still have the scar. I did it closing the lid on the grill. Maybe I should cook in heels( or with less wine)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This is starting to sound like the premise to a really bad Youtube video! ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: melpy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Reached into the cabinet above the slow cooker for the olive oil. It was hot. The container was glass. Did not end well

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. In addition to what most here do, I leave butter on the counter. Not all of it, of course, but about a stick at a time (unless I'm softening more for a recipe), in a little ceramic butter container.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Was recently at a retreat and someone kept putting the butter in the fridge after I'd intentionally left if out and it drove me crazy! Had to start hiding it in a cupboard.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fracklefoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            If I did that here (Singapore), I'd have a puddle. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LMAshton

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Perhaps a slow-clarification process? ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ah, the moderate climate of the PNW makes counter-butter possible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fracklefoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Count we Minnesotans in the counter butter camp.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    If I left butter out I'd eat it and/or be more inclined to bake something on a whim.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sooo,..butter...in the fridge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: cheesecake17

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If I have bread in the house, I also have a stick of butter out. I might want a grilled cheese sandwich.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: fracklefoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I used to like to leave butter out, but the cats' fur seemed to be getting glossier and glossier and I couldn't recall Finishing the butter...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                However, at my favourtite thrift store about a month ago, I found a BUTTER BELL. I was so happy I yelped!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ahhhh... soft, room temperature butter again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                [and who cares if the cats seem to have dryskin dandruff?]

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Your cats cleaned up after themselves a lot better than mine. Mine left the broken butter dish on the floor as clear evidence of their sins.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  But yes, they have yet to figure out the butter bell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MsMaryMc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    MsMary

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    hahahahaha ha
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    love cats love butter and love a nice butter dish :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. put the Q-tip in my ear canal. It feels so good. Oh wait, you are talking about food, never mind.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Leave egg cartons at room temperature when my refrigerator is just too full. This used to be the norm and I believe it's still the norm in many areas of Europe.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Christnp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            So that's actually kinda dangerous and here's why. Eggs in the good ol' US of A have been scrubbed/treated to remove the exterior cuticle of the egg that promotes air-tightness. And abroad they leave the eggs untreated so they can be left at room temperature safely. More air=more likely to spoil quickly. Seriously.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Leave 'em out if you have to, but to check if they are still good, fill a bowl with cold water and place the eggs in it. Eggs that float are bad (ie too much air in it=it floats because it's not fresh). Eggs that sink are good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            No judgment, but I thought you'd want to know the difference to prevent food-borne illness.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: EWINOC

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              In Sri Lanka, our eggs usually come with chicken shit, feathers, and bits of straw attached, whether the eggs are bought from the corner shop or the grocery store. In Singapore, it's much, much less of a problem, but there are still bits and pieces of chicken shit or feather on the occasional egg.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              By the way? I wash eggs before using. Just saying.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LMAshton

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "I wash eggs before using." well yeah ;:-/
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                hahahahahahhaahh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Add cold/refrigerated stuff to recipes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            So many call for "room temperature ____" and unless I want to add half an hour to my cooking time....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Naaah.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Refreeze meat after it has been defrosted. Sometimes multiple times when plans change a lot.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: vil

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Do it ALL the time! Take full advantage of the idea of freezing raw and then refreezing again after cooked...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                During Hurricane Sandy, I didn't open the freezer when the power was out. When it came back on, I immediately checked the temp of the freezer. It was about "fridge-temp", so I just let it refreeze everything inside.