Caroline1's Profile

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Pizza

Maybe "pizza" has followed in the steps of "sushi"? NO ONE in their countries of origin of fifty years ago would recognize their "American" incarnations of today.

about 3 hours ago
Caroline1 in Greater Boston Area

lump charcoal

If you're okay with not lugging it home all by yourself, there is a HUGE variety of "lump charcoal" available on amazon.com. Even the super pricey Japanese variety that burns very hot and very long for a price to match! But there is a huge variety there, even some of specific types of wood and such. I don't use much charcoal any more, but when I do, damned if I want less than the best! '-)

about 13 hours ago
Caroline1 in BBQ, Smoking, & Grilling

Pizza

WOW! Now, if only I could pop up to Bedford for a cheesesteak at Steve's! As for the pizza, and for the sake of all who live in Boston and its surrounds, I will pray that "Greek" pizza there is nothing like the pizza I had in Olympia, Greece. When we lived in Greece, I would spend at least one day a week rambling around the ruins at Olympia. I'd had a snack from the food truck that catered to tourists before, and someone told me to try their pizza, it was "really good." No no no no. It was really ABOMINABLE! And that's the only "Greek pizza" I've had in my life. '-)

As for where to get the "best" of any food (not cooked at home) my experience is that it depends entirely on who the cook is at the restaurant on the day you eat there. I doubt very much that any of the "cooks" who manned the flat top at Steve's way back then is manning it today, so I would probably be disappointed. But it's worth a wish!

about 14 hours ago
Caroline1 in Greater Boston Area

What is It With All the Duck Fat Hype?

Ahah! And being a chef who cooks lots and lots of ducks and geese just may be your problem. It's human nature to normalize things. As an example, I have a HUGE back yard (my lot size is 3/4 of an acre) and when I first moved here, it seemed pretty big to me. Now, after living here for nearly ten years, when friends drop over I wonder what they're talking about! Same thing happens with lots of foods.

When you don't eat duck (and therefore duck fat) a lot, it is a VERY RICH sweet fat with a very distinctive flavor. I grew up with my fair share of duck and goose (we raised them for food), and I'm not all that taken with French fries cooked in duck (or goose) fat. Too rich for me, plus it fights with the flavor of a really good beefy (lots of added suet in grass fed beef, and preferably of ANY other breed of cattle that is NOT Black Angus! (Or red angus!)

BUT.....!!!!

The wonderful and amazing thing about (presumably organic) duck and goose fat is that it's a VERY HEALTHY fat...!!! MUCH healthier than schmaltz (presumably organic chicken fat).

I use my duck and goose fat mostly to lightly fry chicken livers in to make fake pate "foi gras." Works great! Not that I'd out right lie to a guest or anything.... '-) But if no one asks, hey, why should I tell??? '-)

Mar 26, 2015
Caroline1 in General Topics

Too Beautiful To Eat

Which means that if you try to "smash it in your face" you'll likely end up with an emergency trip to the ophthalmologist to have your "dinner" removed.

Mar 26, 2015
Caroline1 in General Topics

Pizza

Boston... I'm a native Californian and grew up there, which means, in effect, DESERT. Currently, there is no drought in California. It's just nature taking back what man's been watering to greenness for a few hundred years! Which has not been a bad thing. And I've lived in Adana, Turkey for four years... Desert. And El Paso, TX for more years than I care to count... Desert. I think I was in my late forties the first time I went to Boston. My husband was a missile engineer with Raytheon, so he went there often from White Sands Missile Range.

We spent my first three days in Boston driving around taking in all of the sites, not only of Boston, but of "greater Boston," meaning parts of New Hampshire as well. And of course, Concord and Lexington. After having spent most of my life in deserts, I was AWE STRUCK! The overwhelming thought that kept haunting me was, "How could ANYONE live in an area as green and lush and beautiful as this and revolt against ANYTHING!!!"

I didn't know they were called "spas," and maybe they weren't way back then (20 to 30 years ago?) but there was a pizza place such as you describe in Bedford called "Steves." It was located in a small "strip mall" and had lots of travel posters of Greece on the walls. We never got around to trying the pizza because they had cheese steak sandwiches to simply die for! The bacon-thin sliced raw beef was cooked on the flat top grill along with bell peppers and onions, then PILED into a really fresh huge hoagie roll, topped with (probably provolone) cheese and then toasted in the pizza oven.

After that first trip to Boston for me, EVERY time Rick flew to Boston on business, I would beg him to drop by Steve's on his way back to the airport and bring me one of their cheese steak sandwiches. He often did. Unfortunately, NOT ONE ever made it all the way back to El Paso! <sigh> So I do have fond memories of at least one "pizza place" in greater Boston! '-)

Steve's PROBABLY isn't there any more. On the other hand, it would not surprise me if it is. It was a loooooong standing tradition with Raytheon's missile engineers.

Pizza

Well, I'm normally more circumspect, but the "egalite" of the "new" Chowhound is a real problem for me. I don't like the "hodgepodge" of everything from every board being dumped into the same community pot. Time was when you had to GO to the Boston board, and only the "general" topics were shown on the common board. I hate that all threads, even those from a decade ago, are also all in the same pot.

Anyway, my sincere apologies for getting mixed up in this. But at least I didn't scroll down only to find I'd already responded eight years ago! '-)

Mar 26, 2015
Caroline1 in Greater Boston Area

Too Beautiful To Eat

Couldn't agree with you more! But the REAL marvel, and perhaps genuine miracle, for me is how in the hell does the wait staff get these Leaning Towers of Pisa to your table without letting the tower lean too much!

I read your OP the first day it was up and enjoyed it immensely! You DO have a way with words, Rembrandt! Somehow you manage to make a few words worth all the words (1,000) of any picture! So here are a few thoughts you evoked for me:

1. Discomfort with the ridiculous prices of tasting menus would never occur to the likes of William and Kate, or to a Rockerfeller, for that matter. Years ago, "social research" determined that it takes 3 full generations for a family to fully adjust socially to being wealthy (or poor). I guess those of us who still wince at "high end pricing" for "high end meals" are too plebian for our own good?

2. Separation of food on a plate (carrots over here, green beans over there, roast beef over here, mashed potatoes over there, and gravy ON THE SIDE! The all-food-neat-and-tidy remark made me think of a guy I dated ONCE during my single years between marriages. Can we say "obsessive compulsive disorder"? I LOVE to cook. I do the Careme and Escoffier routines quite often in my kitchen. So when he set the criteria for OCD cooking from me if he accepted an invitation to dinner, the invitation was never extended. NO SECOND DATE! But, speaking for myself, I would happily settle for this: that we could talk all of these "creative" chefs into separating the different CUISINES on my plate. I'd be more than happy with that. I'd be outright thrilled! "Fusion" sucks! (Spaghetti chimichangas anyone?)

Mar 26, 2015
Caroline1 in General Topics

Pizza

Sorry. NOT my intention to be an intruder!

Mar 26, 2015
Caroline1 in Greater Boston Area

Is tipping now a insult to waitpeople w/new living wage pay hike?

The question seems to assume the "new living wage" is actually a wage you can live on. As my English grandmother was fond of saying, "If wishes were horses, beggars would ride." In other words, dream on.

Mar 26, 2015
Caroline1 in Not About Food

Pizza

A slice? How curious...

National chains that deliver? Years ago it was Pizza Hut, then they changed their dough recipe. Yuck! So now it is Dominoes; white sauce, feta cheese, and spinach.

Really REALLY good pizza? My kitchen!

Mar 26, 2015
Caroline1 in Greater Boston Area

Poll: Favorite everyday glassware?

Funny you should ask. And a great question! I love discussions about things that are taken so for granted that we rarely even think about discussing them. Well, unless you're a Chowhound addict! '-)

Since I was a kid, I've always had a penchant for nice glassware that matches. Undoubtedly a penchant that is the direct result of being the child with a high sense of design raised by a mother who seemed to have none at all. We're talking "Helen Keller sets the table" when it comes to my mother, RIP. For kitchen meals for "just family" when I was a kid, it was rare that everything matched in just one place cover, let alone the whole table. But for company meals in the dining room the good (matching!) silver came out, the fine china, and good glass ware. And on rare -- very rare -- occasions, even stemware!

Drove me nuts as a kid. So when I graduated to being in charge of my own life, the end result has been a looooong adult history of ALWAYS matching glassware and (fortunately) kitchen cabinets with enough storage for multiple matching sets.

As a result, I can look back at my long life and find that though seemingly trivial at the time, certain sets of glasses are the hallmarks of certain eras of my life.

Like many of you, there were the real and quasi "Duralex Picardie" years of "substantial" glassware. Juice glasses, water glasses, fat squat glasses, tall cylindrical glasses with the signature bubble in the thick weighted bottom in all heights from short to very tall, diamond shape pressed glass in every imaginable shape from wine goblets, footed sherbet dishes, water tumblers, juice glasses. Then there was the Mexican glass era, having lived on or near the Mexican border for most of my life. And the crystal wine goblets with the five inch tall stems!

I cannot deny that it was great fun, while it lasted. But a certain unavoidable eventuality of time means that if you live long enough, you will surely develop osteo arthritis (if not other nastier kinds) and the weight of such glasses will become... hmmm... how to put it in a kinder gentler way? Let's just say the heavy durable glassware will become a royal PITA because it hurts your bones!!! Yeah. That sums it up nicely.

Well, God bless German glass makers and scientists, because Schott Zwiesel came up with a dumbfounding TITANIUM crystal that uses titanium instead of lead in the formulation of elegant fancy schmancy stemware and barware. We're talking steel butterflies! And, VERY user friendly to the most joint aching arthritic hands. :-)

So now my "everyday" juice, milk, and water glasses (and a few 5" tall stemmed wine goblets) are the very sheerest, lightest titanium lead crystal you can imagine, and more "user friendly" for every day wear than ANY heavy glassware on planet earth!

I've attached a photo of one of the water glasses so you can see what I'm talking about. And for the record, I dropped one of these puppies -- maybe this very one! -- one day as I was taking it from the cabinet above the dishwasher. Well, it fell CRASHING to the granite counter top below. Except it didn't crash. It BOUNCED! Twice! Then came to rest in the arms of the rubber guard in the mouth of my garbage disposer. I could not believe my eyes! It's these guys:
http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...

As you see from the amazon.com website, sometimes you can find them on sale. I just love the stuff. They even make sheer and elegant wine decanters. "Ageless crystal." Literally! Dishwasher safe nearly indestructible FINE crystal. Who knew????

"Quick" Lamb Shoulder Roast

By definition, "lamb" is a tender little beastie! You ask for quick? I would cut it into cubes, dump them in a zip lock bag, pour in about a l/4 cup of evoo (Greek, if you have it!), either garlic POWDER or a clove or five of crushed garlic, a tsp of thyme, about the same of oregano, some dried dill weed OR some fresh dill, if you're that lucky, and some crushed dried mint leaves (fresh is fabulous!), zip the bag shut, squish it all around to mix well and let it sit on the countertop for a half hour or more. If you're in no rush, overnight is fabulous!

So you probably guessed. This will make kebabs. If you have time to let the meat marinate an hour or more while you run to the store if you don't have everything you need to make any of the recipe suggestions below that you might want to try, so much the better. You can even set it in the fridge to marinate overnight.

How to cook the kebabs: First off, if you've marinated them in the fridge, ALWAYS make sure you bring them to room temperature before cooking. But you need to put them on skewers, which means you have to decide on how to cook them, bamboo skewers for a cast iron grill or metal skewers on a charcoal grill.

The easiest way is to put them on bamboo skewers (I use the skewers about 8" long, or you can cut longer ones to fit in your pan), then use a cast iron "grill" on your stove top (If you have a good vent hood.) (Well, I would do it this way if I had no vent!) I'm talking about the kind of cast iron grill or pan with those raised ridges on the bottom that allow the fat to drip and drain away. Get it REALLY hot! Then, with a paper towel with some of the olive oil from the marinade, wipe the top of the ridges in the pan, then set your skewers of lamb on the grill with enough space between each one that they will not touch each other and sweat. And you want the pan hot enough that they sear almost instantly. Turn them as soon as they have great blackened grill marks until they have those on all sides. Remove to a warm plate. If you have more skewers to do, do them! When done, I usually set my grill pan in the oven so it contains any continuing smoke. And the lamb is best and most tender when still pink inside. Well done = tough and rubbery.

You can serve these two ways: over a fabulous "palace pilaf" made with either rice or bulgur, OR just serve them on top of some grilled pita bread with tzatziki sauce, very thinly sliced and soaked red onions, and crushed/bruised fresh mint leaves. Either way, they're fabulous. So here are recipes for the rice and/or the tzatziki. Both are easy if you have the ingredients available and really worth the trouble!

.........Palace Pilaf

2 or 3 Tbsp of filtered olive oil or peanut oil
1 small or half a large yellow onion, diced
1 clove of minced garlic or two (optional)
a handful of pine nuts, or to taste
1 cup of rice *OR* 1 cup course bulgur
generous handful of black currants (NOT raisins!)
2 cups chicken stock (or water)
2 or 3 Tbsp minced parsley

chances are the chicken stock is salty enough, but season to taste and there's nothing wrong with a salt shaker on the table!

When using rice, I personally prefer a short grain rice simply because I love left over pilaf and short grain rice does not "reharden" when stored overnight. For bulgur, I always use course grain, but it will work with finer bulgur as well.

In a heavy saucepan with a tightly fitting lid, heat oil and sauté onion. When onions are nearly transparent, add the minced garlic, but be very careful not to let it burn. Add the pine nuts. When they begin to color add the rice and stir. You may need to add a bit more oil. You want to stir the rice with the onions and pine nuts until the rice is shiny and some grains are looking almost transparent and take on a bit of color, but watch the heat so nothing burns. Add parsley, currants, and stock/water and stir well until it reaches a full boil, put lid on pan and reduce heat to a low simmer and allow to cook until rice is tender, usually 15 to 20+ minutes.

When using bulgur, when it all reaches a boil, simply cover the pan, turn off the heat and let it rest on the warm burner for 20 minutes or until all of the liquid has been absorbed.

Whether rice or bulgur, fluff with a fork and mound on a plate and top with the kebabs. You can do this "family style" with it all on a platter or plate it individually. A good side with this simple meal is sliced tomatoes with a vinaigrette, or a "horiatiki" salad, which is chunks or slices of scored (or peeled) cucumber, "chunks" of bell pepper (I aim for triangles about an inch per side), the same with pieces of red onion (tamed by soaking in ice water), a handful of kalamata olives (pitted are nice), chunks of moist feta cheese, and a generous drizzle of olive oil over all.

TZATZIKI SAUCE

This can be used as a dip, much like hummus, or it can be thinned a bit and used as a condiment on a gyro-type sandwich, as in any grilled meat folded in hot pita bread, but not usually inside a pita pocket.

A cup of two of thick yogurt
A clove or two of crushed or finely minced garlic
A large cucumber grated and squeezed dry of liquid
2 or 3 Tbsp of extra virgin premium olive oil

Don't waste your money on "Greek" yogurt. Chances are it's no where close to Greek yogurt anyway. I drain full-fat (or fat free works too) yogurt by lining a colander with paper towels, dump a big fat tub of plain or fat free yogurt into the center of the paper towels, top with another single paper towel, set the colander over a bowl and set it in the refrigerator for anywhere from a half hour to several hours, depending on how thick you want it.

(You can drain plain yogurt long enough to make really thick labna, a Middle Eastern "cream cheese" that is fabulous on a bagel with lox or jelly for breakfast. Anyway, drain your own yogurt if you want the best texture and flavor.

Wash the cucumber. If you can find them, UNWAXED cucumbers are best, or simply peel them if they're very large and the peels are tough. Slice in half lengthwise down the center and use a teaspoon to scrape out all of the seeds. Pile the grated cucumber in the center of a couple of strong paper towels, then pull the paper towels up around them and twist and squeeze over the sink to get as much liquid out of the cucumber as possible.

Tip the drained yogurt into a mixing bowl and discard the paper towels. Add fine minced garlic, the grated drained cucumber, and olive oil and mix well. You can add a touch of salt if you like, but it's optional. For maximum flavor, the tzatziki should sit for a half hour or so before serving. (Ther longer is sites, the more the garlic looses its bite. Some like the bite, some don't.)

Tzatziki (called "cacik" in Turkey, which is pronounced "jah-jeek") keeps well. It's a traditional "condiment" for lamb kebabs (skewers removed, of course) eaten folded into grilled pita bread, then topped with tamed thin slices of red onions, fresh crushed mint, some fresh dill leaves if you can get your hands on them, and then generously drizzled with the tzatziki that may be thinned a bit.

If you're fortunate enough to have a charcoal grill that can get blazingly hot embers, that's the optimum way to cook these kebabs! But REAL hardwood charcoal (NOT briquettes!) is flying first class. Just fabulous flavor!

So this is what I would do with your piece of lamb... I do love lamb!!!

Mar 18, 2015
Caroline1 in Home Cooking

How do you repurpose lumpy pancakes?

Gee, muffin pancakes! Never thought of that before now. Hey, add some walnut pieces and a mashed banana and you can call them banana nut Frisbees...! '-)

Mar 18, 2015
Caroline1 in Home Cooking

What is Reasoning Behind Southern Extremely Salty Bacon?

Poor baby!

Many many years ago when "agribusiness" was just beginning to flex its muscles with all sorts of canned convenience foods, you could buy full sized canned hams. They were in a "can" shaped like a ham, and they had one of those "wind up" keys you had to thread onto a little metal tab that stuck out of the side of the can/container, then "wind" the can open. On a 12 or 14 pound ham, that's a LOT of winding! (I haven't seen a can like that in decades that I recall, hence the details.)

So anyway, I bought one for Thanksgiving dinner. I had bought other full sized canned hams, primarily Swift's Premium, and they had been mild with fabulous ham flavor. But this particular time I bought a "Rath Blackhawk" brand 16 pound canned ham. Apparently no one at Rath knew that before you can a country ham, you'd better get the salt out! I had eight people for dinner and not one soul could eat a second bite of the ham, it was that salty! I have never, ever, ever bought ANYTHING "Rath Blackhawk" again!

Sometimes life just jumps up and bites you!

Mar 18, 2015
Caroline1 in General Topics

How do you repurpose lumpy pancakes?

My mind is boggled! HOW do you make "lumpy pancakes?" I learned to make pancakes from scratch about three centuries ago, and a MAJOR rule for tender fluffy pancakes has always been (as far as I know) NOT to stir/mix the batter to get all of the lumps out. It will produce tough chewy (gluton-y) pancakes! But those "globs" of flour in the batter get fluffy and tender on the grill, so I am absolutely puzzled how you are managing this miracle?????????????

Maybe you just need to switch to making French crepes for your friend? In a blender, mix 1 egg, 1 cup of flour, 1 glass of milk (or water), a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar and a Tbsp or 2 of melted butter, then blend until very smooth and the texture of cream. Set the batter aside in the blender jar for about an hour for it to "get happy." Melt a little butter (I use ghee) in the bottom of a frying pan or crepe pan (for savory fillings I use an 8" pan, for dessert crepes I use a 6 or 7 inch pan (and a teaspoon more sugar in the batter).

Heat the pan over medium heat, melt enough butter to film the entire bottom and sides of the pan. When it is no longer foaming, lift the pan and pour in a couple of tablespoons or so of batter in the middle of the pan, then tilt the pan in a circular motion so the batter goes out to the edges evenly and is very thin. Put the pan down on the burner and when the edges of the crepe begin to curl and the center looks dry, carefully lift the edge and turn it over for a light finish oh the other side. Remove to a warmed plate and do another crepe. It's NORMAL for the first crepe to get trashed! Just stack them on a plate until you've used up all of the batter. You can then fill and roll them, or let them cool completely before putting them in a big ziplock bag for later use...

When my kids were about 4 and 5, I was making crepes one morning to stuff for lunch for company that day. They said they wanted crepes for breakfast. Why not? Between the 2 of them, they ate over FIFTY crepes! I made quiche for lunch.

And just for the record, sans the butter this is a pretty basic recipe for popovers and Yorkshire pudding. Or ice the cup of water and mix the egg into it, then stir in the flour with chopsticks leaving some lumps and you've got classic tempura batter! 1 egg, 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of liquid can make a whooooole LOT of great things to make your taste buds smile!

Oh, and letting your friend make the pancakes is always an option! '-)

Lumpy pancakes??? Mind boggling!

Mar 17, 2015
Caroline1 in Home Cooking
1

Does anyone else suffer "fly-away posts" when posting on Chowhound?

Been there, done that! '-)

What I'm moaning and groaning about is that ONLY on Chowhound, I'll have finished composing (or be in the process of composing)something in the "Reply" box, and all of a sudden for no rhyme nor reason, WHAM! It ALL disappears and I'm suddenly back to the board that thread is part of and the thread is closed. It's been going on for at least a couple of years now, but it didn't used to happen!

That's one of the things I hate about progress in the electronic age... Damned few things are backwards compatible, and the first kid on the block with a new electronic toy is the first kid on the block who is outmoded! (And not "forward compatible.")

I suspect this may be a "backward compatibility" issue with CBS's server or something like that?

Yay Cut & Paste! <sigh>

Mar 17, 2015
Caroline1 in Site Talk

What is Reasoning Behind Southern Extremely Salty Bacon?

I'm getting the feeling that way too much "classic" (as in late 20th century and backward to possibly Roman times?) is either being overlooked in this conversation, or maybe just forgotten, which I've been guilty of myself on more than one occasion. But it seems to me a whole bunch of ham, ham types, and ham lore is being overlooked, so just for the record...

I can STILL buy chunks of vacuum sealed salt pork in most of my supermarkets. I keep a couple of blocks of it in my freezer. I use it for lardons for coq au vin and boeuf Burguignon, classic stews, and other traditional uses such as larding an occasional holiday tenderloin. I cut it into the lardon shapes, blanch it two or three times in simmering water, drain, dry, fry. It's ready for the pot. Except for larding the tenderloin. No frying then!

BUT! By tradition, and originally, "salt pork" was simply a big chunk off the fatty end of salt cured bacon, which is traditionally "salt cured pork belly." A "chunk" about a couple of inches or so square. Then the rind is cut off, the "salt pork" is cut into lardons, and again, blanched a time or two (or more) to reduce the saltiness.

The old style traditional uses was often for stews (beef and chicken and occasionally lamb) for which the blanched lardons were pressed dry (old way: tea towels, new way: paper towels) and then sautéed in a little oil/butter mixture until lightly browned, Even though the "salt pork" has been blanched it still releases a LOT of fat in the browning process. This combined pork fat and oil/butter is then used to brown the meat or chicken in. Basically, in "classic cooking," traditional boeuf Burguignon and coq au vin are the same recipe using different proteins.

Both in pre-WWII Europe and America, most ham was either home cured or regionally cured by farmers with curing sheds, and was what we now call "country ham." As in VERY salty! Before eating, traditional salt cured country hams require two to four days of submerged-in-cold-water soaking before cooking, and the water should be changed every 6 hours during that entire period. And who does that these days? Nobody! I remember my great grandmother, my grandmother, and great aunts doing this with Christmas or Easter hams when I was a kid. Actually, right up through the early to mid 50s. But there were also traditions in the south of just slicing the unsoaked ham thin for sandwiches or more commonly, to be served in/on buttermilk biscuits.

When butcher shops gained electric saws for slicing bone-in steaks and pork chops and such (I think about the 1920s), thick sliced "country ham" became available, not always soaked and desalted. Whew! But a slice of that thrown into a searing hot cast iron skillet for a minute or two on each side, then removed from the pan and some flour mixed with the fat for a "fast roux" and a cup of coffee and seasonings tossed into the pan for "red eye gravy" became a depression America standard. God knows how long it had been a regional standard before that! On average, a "country ham" takes about a year to cure.

But then there are the really elite hams that are always sliced paper thin with special knives, with the ham bolted into a special holder. The very best of them, in my opinion (and in the opinion of anyone who has ever tasted them!) is the Iberico ham cured from black footed pigs (those hams are cured with the hoof connected to prove they are genuine "pedra negra" (black hoofed) pigs in the finished product. These choice little piggies are free range and for several months prior to "harvest" are restricted to a diet of wild acorns in the forests they roam free in along the Spanish Portuguese border. VERY expensive!

There are several other Spanish and Portuguese hams of similar quality but not equal diet or aging process. An Ibireco ham takes a very minimum of 3 years to age. Serrano ham can be produced in as little as 2 years.

Italian prosciutto is VERY different than other traditional hams. It starts off with a similar two week salting period before washing and scrubbing and long-period drying, BUT... Unlike any of the above mentioned hams or the traditions of those countries, these Italian hams have a rendered fat mixture used during the long dry-aging period that is smeared across the open "bare meat" end of the ham. It I done to prevent the hams from losing as much total weight as an Iberico ham, or Seranno ham which lose up to 1/4 of their original weight during the special curing process. Along the way, specially trained guys with exceptional senses of smell stick a pointy bone through the fat/grease coating and into the hams, then smell it to make sure the ham is aging and developing the right flavors during this time. It takes about 2 years or so (depending on the weight of the hams) to make prosciutto.

Then there is also a little known (in the U.S.) Chinese ham that is pretty amazing. It's called Jinhua ham, but it's very very very difficult to find in the U.S., and because of a serious goof made by the Chinese ham makers a few years back (they used a pesticide to control natural bacteria growth so they could cure at warmer temperatures) the Chinese government made it pretty hard to find Jinhua ham, even in China, let alone anyplace else. But hold on there! Don't anybody go turning up your noses at Chinese goods. It is a HUMAN condition to do such truly stupid things, and the U.S. agribusiness (IMO) is leader of the pack in that department! Are you guys aware that the latest laboratory testing shows that 75% of all soy beans grown in the U.S. exceed the government's level of "safe" pesticide content by a whoooooole whopping bunch thanks to RoundUp being genetically engineered into soy? (I keep telling everybody that plants do not practice birth control, and once you plant a GMO soy bean in a broader soy bean raising area, WHAMMMO...! Houston, we have a problem. And I'm talking several hundred percent above safe pesticide levels for food, if I recall the statistics correctly. Anyway, I digress, as usual.... So to get back to ham:

Just for the fun of it and for anyone interested, here are some fun Wiki articles on the different curing processes for different types of ham:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Country_ham
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smithfie...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosciutto
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jam%C3%B...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jam%C3%B...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jinhua_ham

And DON'T be daunted! None of the above is more than a page long, if that.

Oh, and WOW! It's at least a year or two since the last time I checked mail order prices for Jamón Ibérico de Bellota. Good news! The prices have come waaaay down! Not down enough to put one on MY shopping list, but it's kind of like knowing the price of big diamonds. Hey, dreams are free! Enjoy! '-

)

http://www.jamon.com/products/j-jm-10...

Mar 17, 2015
Caroline1 in General Topics
1

Why aren't we eating more geese?

One egg per omelet! What could be more eco-friendly than that? Plus geese make fabulous "watch dogs"!

Mar 16, 2015
Caroline1 in General Topics

Does anyone else suffer "fly-away posts" when posting on Chowhound?

Wow! Thank you! I guess none of my hats will fit me this week! Your a very kind and generous person. Much appreciated. :-)

Mar 16, 2015
Caroline1 in Site Talk

Does anyone else suffer "fly-away posts" when posting on Chowhound?

Thanks, Deborah. It may be one of those things nobody talks about so no one knows it's a problem. But I do know Chowhound hasn't always been like this. My loooooong posts on very old threads required no cut and paste. Such is progress. '-)

I miss DOS!

Mar 16, 2015
Caroline1 in Site Talk

Does anyone else suffer "fly-away posts" when posting on Chowhound?

I share your suspicions! Which key is the enigma... :-(

Mar 16, 2015
Caroline1 in Site Talk

Does anyone else suffer "fly-away posts" when posting on Chowhound?

Sad. Really sad. Hey, CHOWHOUND TECHIES... Do you know about this problem, and can anything be done about it?

Mar 16, 2015
Caroline1 in Site Talk

What is Reasoning Behind Southern Extremely Salty Bacon?

Ooops! I misspoke about the example of bacon I listed the link for. That brand DOES use maple syrup in the cure. I do know that when I was a child (now nearly two millennia ago '-) ) there was such a thing as bacon cured with maple sugar. A LOT of really fabulous foods have been dropped by the wayside due to cost of making it. I sincerely hope maple sugar cured bacon is not one of them, but I'm not gonna hold my breath!

What is Reasoning Behind Southern Extremely Salty Bacon?

But both salt AND sugar are preservatives that have been used for centuries, if not millennia, to preserve food. For example, traditionally made fruit preserves are made with sugar as the preservative, and have a fairly long shelf life unrefrigerated. DO NOT confuse traditional fruit and vegetable conserves, preserves, or jams and jellies with the "modern stuff" you buy in most stores.

Meats are also preserved with salt and/or sugar. Not a lot of people today, including some "butchers," understand this fully. During the holidays, I often see genuine Smithfield type "country hams" in cloth bags hanging from a rack in the meat department for Christmas dinner. Out of curiousity, I'm checked the labels on some and found NO DIRECTIONS for prepping a salt cured country ham before cooking.... It requires one to three or four full days of soaking while fully submersed in whater BEFORE cooking. Then it should be simmered slowly after which it can be trimmed, scored, and glazed with brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, brown sugar, and pinapple rings and maraschino cherries, if you're looking for the old fashioned "Christmas" Virginia baked ham.

Beef jerky, including the original Native American pemikan, are salt cured meats.

Moroccan preserved lemons are salt cured fruits, and the method will work with any citrus.

Lots of good stuff out there, but with anything salt cured, you have to know something about how to use it correctly if you don't want to wound your taste buds! The world changes. Not always for the better. '-)

Mar 16, 2015
Caroline1 in General Topics

What is Reasoning Behind Southern Extremely Salty Bacon?

They use real maple sugar, which is boiled down from the sap of maple trees. Fabulous stuff, but expensive.

Mar 16, 2015
Caroline1 in General Topics

What is Reasoning Behind Southern Extremely Salty Bacon?

How salty bacon is depends on the cure. Sounds like you're buying salt cured bacon. See if you can find sugar cured bacon. You'll be MUCH happier with it!

However, any pre-sliced bacon you buy in a package from a supermarket SHOULD contain salt cured bacon that has been properly soaked for 2 or 3 days to reduce the saltiness BEFORE it is processed/sliced and packaged for super market sales. But hey, in today's world there are no guarantees!

And just for the record, there is a HUGE HUGE HUGE difference between genuine maple sugar cured bacon (extremely expensive when and if you can find it) and the maple FLAVORED bacon you find in many supermarkets. The latter is flat out disgusting. The former is sublime! To wit: http://www.igourmet.com/shoppe/Sliced...

Such are the traps of modern times... <sigh> Good luck!

Mar 16, 2015
Caroline1 in General Topics

Does anyone else suffer "fly-away posts" when posting on Chowhound?

If I'm awake in the wee small hours of the morning, I will post a rough draft, then edit and save. So far, no one seems to have caught me at it, or if they have, they've been too polite to comment.

You cutting back on photo stories is a real loss to the SF board, and to Chowhound as well! But you are a very brave soul. I wouldn't even try to participate on Chowhound from my smart phone!

Mar 15, 2015
Caroline1 in Site Talk

Why aren't we eating more geese?

For allergy reasons, I can only reliably buy and cook grass fed beef, which is always lean, cooks faster and at lower temperature than grain fed, and does not make good hamburgers... UNLESS!!! I buy a little suet from my grass fed butcher who just happens to deliver right to my door here in the DFW metroplex. Works like a charm...!!!

Oh, and to stick to the topic, I just happen to have a couple of geese in my freezer as I write! And some ducks. And some duck fat. Both duck or goose fat make a great additive to liverwurst or chicken liver pate if you want to play the "pretend foi gras" game! '-)

Does anyone else suffer "fly-away posts" when posting on Chowhound?

It's been going on for me for a veeeeery long time! I'll have a post almost complete, or maybe even complete and be editing it, when ZAP!!! All of a sudden the post disappears and I'm back to the board's title page with a list of all of the threads.

It's so frustrating to have a post disappear when you're only half way through. I've managed the problem for a long time by typing my answers in MS Word or some other word processor, then cutting and pasting back to my response in the thread. It's a pain in the mmm.mmm.mmm to have to do it that way, and far too often I forget, lose a long informative post, then just give up in total exasperation.

It happens no matter which of my computers I'm using (work station, notebook, tablet) and it stays with me. I'm not absolutely positive it happens with a "touch screen keyboard" because I'm a touch typist and even use a blue tooth keyboard with the tablet.

I went so far as to change ISPs (from Verizon to Time Warner, and what a fiasco that was, so I'm back with Verizon FiOS!)

So I'm asking.... Am I the only one on planet earth who has this problem? If other people have it too, have you found a way to lick it????? It has REALLY taken the joy out of participation for me.

That, and answering threads that are from five or six years ago, only to find I already responded way back then. THAT is a ticker-offer!!!!

If you share my problem, I'd feel comforted just knowing I'm not the only one... If you have any thoughts about why this is happening, I'd love to hear those too. Thanks!

Mar 15, 2015
Caroline1 in Site Talk