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How long does it take to bake meatloaf??

Since my meat loaves are made with a mix of ground beef/lamb/veal/pork - whatever's on sale - augmented with bread crumbs and minced veggies, the only way I can tell if they're done all the way through is with a thermometer.

Ovens vary in temperature, and the settings may or may not be accurate, so one person's 90 minutes may well be another's 75.

vegan uses for left over wine

Red wine is good in tomato-based dishes -even a simple tomato sauce - since it enhances some components in the fruit that are alcohol- but not water-soluble. It's also good in a hearty chile-laden chili.

Oh my!!! Blizzard coming....what to do....

Panic, if I interpret the national news correctly.

We don't get snow much in the Bay Area, but we do have earthquakes, and I did grow up in Buffalo, where most of my family still live. (I can hear my sister, who got 7+ feet back in November, snorting about downstate wimps). I keep three days worth of food and water on hand as my quake supply, including canned soup that can be eaten straight out of the can if need be.

If you have 3-5 days of supplies (including any necessary meds, diapers if you have babies) and you have a source for power and water that won't be affected by the snow you should be ok. When I lived in Buffalo one big problem was ice bringing down power lines, so a supply of flashlight batteries or candles is helpful. And if you can't go anywhere take advantage of the quiet time to catch up with your reading or hobbies or family.

Jan 26, 2015
tardigrade in General Topics

Last Thanksgiving leftovers in North America?

By no means - we haven't even started to get into the frozen packages of turkey and stuffing, not to mention all those pints of stock. Last year's leftovers lasted until October.

Jan 26, 2015
tardigrade in Home Cooking

Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking

Very few recipes, only one per decade, but it's an interesting book mainly for its account of the changes in Russian/Soviet life over a century. The author herself left the USSR when she was a child, so it's largely her mother's memories, which IMHO was unfortunate because I came to heartily dislike the woman. Still, an uncommon glimpse into the lives of a semi-privileged group (the author's grandfather was a minor party official and fairly high-ranking naval officer who got to travel and bring back delicacies from abroad on a regular basis), but it did get me to search out a copy of "The Book of Tasty and Healthy Food", the Soviet rough equivalent of Joy of Cooking.

Jan 26, 2015
tardigrade in Food Media & News

Canning questions (am I going to give my friends a jar of botulism)

There's something still alive in the jars that's causing the fermentation that produces the gas: this indicates a fault with the canning. You can't save this batch, but next time consider consider pressure canning.

Tomato-based relishes like salsa are borderline for water bath canning. One of my peeves about canning instructions is that they tend to talk about "low acid" and "high acid" foods without any indication of actual pH that the home canner can measure. And while the tomatoes themselves may be acidic enough for a water bath canning, I don't know about the other ingredients.

Another factor is altitude: if you're high enough you have to make adjustments for the lower boiling point of water.

Jan 26, 2015
tardigrade in General Topics

Canning questions (am I going to give my friends a jar of botulism)

{oops! responded to the wrong post somehow)

Jan 26, 2015
tardigrade in General Topics

How do you like your tacos...crunchy or soft?

I'll go even further - they're all in the "stuff wrapped up in our staple starch for handy eating" family. Sometimes I think there are only about 6 different dishes worldwide - everything else is just a regional variant!

How do you like your tacos...crunchy or soft?

I prefer soft, but either will do - as long as it's corn.

Now I'm a liberal to a degree and I don't concern myself with whether consenting adults do or don't put beans in their chili, but if you're going to call it a taco it must be wrapped in a corn tortilla. Sorry, San Diego: I like your fish "tacos" but IMHO those are burritos. :-) :-) :-)

(Yes, New Mexico, I know you like your flour tortillas, and I'll happily eat your version of stuff wrapped up in them when I'm there -and I've never had a bad one - but if you can't eat it with one hand it's not a taco to me)

Jan 22, 2015
tardigrade in General Topics

Can you can your home made chicken stock?

I use a pressure canner. Water canning does not work with meat-based stuff: you can't get the temperature high enough to heat the contents all the way through to the point where the microbes are killed. This was discovered shortly after the invention of commercial canning, in the early 1800s. Hence the need for pressure: PV=nRT was always my favorite equation.

My mother used wax to seal jam and jelly jars, but those contain enough sugar to thwart a lot of microorganisms. They're still prone to surface mold, and hot wax is not fun stuff to get splashed on you.

Jan 21, 2015
tardigrade in Home Cooking

Can you can your home made chicken stock?

I can about 12 pints (i.e., a stockpot load) every other month or so. The instruction booklet that can with my pressure canner has directions for canning meat stocks, as does the famous Ball Blue Book, which no home canner should be without.

Can you can your home made chicken stock?

Yes - I have a lot more cupboard space than I do freezer space! Also, I don't have to worry about power outages, or taking the time to defrost a quart's worth of stock.

Gluten free tea party ideas

Savory: Devils on Horseback (pitted dates stuffed with chutney, wrapped with bacon, and grilled until the bacon is cooked)
- mini Caprese salad: cherry tomatoes, mini mozzarella balls, basil leaves on a small skewer or toothpick
- frittata, or crustless quiche
- dolmades, or other stuffed and rolled up leaves
- assorted sushi

Sweet: Linzertorte: a dense confection with a nut-based crust

Harvey Girls- could there be a comeback?

They're sort of still in existence. Harvey was bought by Xanterra, who operate hotels and restaurants in various national parks in the US. I've eaten at two of them, El Tovar in Grand Canyon, which was OK but nothing special, and Furnace Creek in Death Valley, which was one of the worst meals I've ever had, with meat as dry as the landscape (but since we couldn't get the camp stove going at least better than cold beans and stew).

Jan 15, 2015
tardigrade in Not About Food

Can I do the hot water bath a few days after filling the jars and sealing them?

"if one chooses to can per one's own rules-made-up-on-the-fly, do not allow anyone else to eat the stuff."

Amen, sibling! Even though the food may be hot when it's packed, it's been sitting around for several days in a non-sterile environment with lots of goodies for roaming microbes. I'm not sure that putting a lid on a hot jar, even with hot contents, is enough to create a vacuum seal.

I can be cavalier with mold on the outside of cheeses, or a little spoilage that can be easily removed, but when it comes to canning I follow the Blue Book religiously.

When do you plan dinner?

It usually starts around 6:

"What do you want for dinner?"
"I dunno. What do we have"
"Let's see... about a cup of leftover pizza sauce, one stalk of celery, a bunch of carrots, some bean broth, the remains of the pork shank the beans were cooked with, a hunk of Maytag blue...Any more tomatoes? No - well we can made a mirepoix, eke out the sauce with some tomato paste and leftover wine, shred the pork and make a sort of ragu. With a bleu cheese polenta?"

I buy one piece of meat and basics once a week, for maybe one planned meal. The rest is leftovers. As long as there are onions, rice/potatoes/tortillas, eggs, random veggies I can scare up something edible.

Special things like chili, though, are planned a few days in advance because it takes time to soak the beans, roast and soak the dried chiles, etc., and let the flavors marry over at least a day. Same with beef bourginon and sauerbraten.

Jan 14, 2015
tardigrade in General Topics

curry cheddar

Since I like a dusting of curry powder on my grilled cheese sandwiches that was my original thought. Or a cheese sauce for cauliflower. Mac and cheese can accommodate a lot of variations: maybe if you cut it 50/50 with a plain cheddar?

I've had the same problem with a horseradish cheddar: I like cheddar, I like horseradish, but it was not a happy marriage.

Jan 14, 2015
tardigrade in Home Cooking

larks' tongues?

The big West Coast Chinese-oriented grocery carries frozen duck tongues - a lot bigger than lark's ones. They taste a lot like duck meat - and they have a bone-like piece of cartilage in them. I'd use small slivers of duck or chicken rather than salmon, maybe on a bed of lettuce.

ETA: My c. 1920 Fannie Farmer has a number of aspic recipes, but the only serving suggestion is a parsley garnish around the base. I think the aspic - not something easy to make without powdered gelatin - was the big attraction in itself.

Jan 14, 2015
tardigrade in Home Cooking

chilli

There are an uncountably finite (math nerd joke) ways of making chili (US spelling): you're basically making a stew. I'd rinse the beans if using canned ones, since the liquid doesn't add much other than salt. When I do my "quick chili for a crowd" I use canned crushed tomatoes instead of tomato sauce: this lets me adjust the seasonings as I like them. If you can find them, IMHO pinto beans are more flavorful than kidney beans.

Jan 13, 2015
tardigrade in Home Cooking

Filet Mignon... lots of it.

Invite me over for dinner? I'd go with burgers, or if the texture is ok after freezing, a steak tartare or kitfo (Ethiopean spice raw/rare beef).

If you're in the US, how did you get meat into the country legally?

Jan 13, 2015
tardigrade in Home Cooking

What to do with leftover veal bones and meat from rib chop?

Veal stock is one of those classic stocks that high-end kitchens keep on hand. I'd strip as much meat as possible from the bones before making the stock, and then add it in just before serving.

Jan 05, 2015
tardigrade in Home Cooking

Ideas for Broccoli - NO cheese or noodles

I personally think broccoli can stand up pretty well by itself, so I'd just steam it until tender but still bright green: that will be a nice contrast to the mac and cheese. The leftovers, served cold with a simple oil and lemon juice dressing (any maybe some slivered almonds if you have any lying around) makes a nice salad.

Jan 05, 2015
tardigrade in Home Cooking
1

Bread Pudding

I usually make savory bread puddings, with stale sourdough bread (since that's what I usually have on hand), some kind of pork product, onions, and the egg/milk custard.

Jan 03, 2015
tardigrade in Home Cooking

TV cooking show pet peeves

We characterized the standard Iron Chef judge lineup as Intellectual Guy, Bimbo of the Week, Regular Joe, and Picky Lady. The actual judges varied a bit, but the slots remained the same.

My favorite was Asako Kishi, followed by Artist Korn.

Jan 02, 2015
tardigrade in Food Media & News

Leftover Candied Yams into Pie?

I've done it. Mash or puree the yams, then treat them like you would canned pumpkin. I use evaporated milk, brown sugar and eggs to make the custard, although since you have marshmallows and sugar already you should adjust the amount of sugar. Some traditional pumpkin pie spices are also a good addition.

Jan 02, 2015
tardigrade in Home Cooking

Macaroni and Cheese

Why not cook the pasta, then while it's draining zap the cheese? It saves having to heat up the oven (or even to have an oven).

Dec 31, 2014
tardigrade in Home Cooking

What to do with leftover prime rib?

How rare is it? When I have a fair amount of rare leftover roast, I mince it finely and use it as a base for a beef tartare-ish dish: you can serve dollops of it on Begian endive leaves to be fancy. Or mince it and mix with minced onions and/or mushrooms for a spread. Mini-sandwiches on homemade biscuits? Individual pot pies or shepherds pies? Mix with onions, mushrooms and sour cream for a beef stroganoff? A pilaf?

A problem I always have with leftover beef is that it's easy to overcook it when reheating it, which is why I go with sandwiches, stews, or quickly sauteeing it to add to tacos, etc.

Dec 30, 2014
tardigrade in Home Cooking

Making liver palatable

I don't mind liver on occasion, but Mr. Tardigrade loves it. Calves' liver is the mildest I've come across, with chicken livers in second place. They still have a strong "livery" taste. Soaking livers in milk for several hours (or even overnight) tones down the taste somewhat (discard the milk afterwards). Otherwise, try smothering the cooked livers with lots of sauteed onions!

Dec 27, 2014
tardigrade in Home Cooking
1

What type of cuisine do you NOT like?

I was just there, and in addition to Indonesian (which is extremely rare in my neck of the woods) we had some great fish, not to mention cheeses. It's not complicated cuisine, but if you start with good ingredients, simple can be good.

Dec 25, 2014
tardigrade in General Topics
1

2014 in the kitchen: What were the best new things you made?

Injera, made with teff and wild yeast. It took three days for it to ferment, and it came out a bit too thick, but it had a delicious, almost chocolate taste.

Dec 14, 2014
tardigrade in Home Cooking
1