ZenSojourner's Profile

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What Is All-Purpose Flour Good For?

What's been posted does NOT really describe the differences between flour types. It isn't all about the protein content.

Cake flour: Very finely milled, low protein, bleached with a chlorine process.

WHY: The fine milling (and usually extra sifting after milling as well) gives a silky, soft flour almost like cornstarch or xxx sugar in texture. This allows for a very fine, light, airy crumb. Remember that cake batters are a FOAM - the finer and lighter the flour particles, the foamier the foam can be. However a foam is structurally weak and delicate, bringing us to:

Why chlorine? Because low protein flours absorb significantly less water than high protein flours. When a flour is bleached with chlorine, the chlorine acts as BOTH a bleach AND a maturing agent - one that REDUCES gluten formation (by contrast, potassium bromate is a maturing agent but not a bleach which STRENGTHENS gluten formation). Reduced gluten formation is great for cookies, cakes, pie crusts, biscuits, terrible for bread. What chlorine gets you in addition to the whitening of the flour that another bleaching agent like benzoyl peroxide does not get you is that it breaks up the starches in the flour, enabling them to absorb more water. This allows for thicker batters and firmer doughs than if the same flour were not chlorinated. The ability to absorb more water makes that foam structure stronger in cakes (has a similar action in biscuit dough, etc). Starches absorb the water and swell, making the batter stronger and better able to "trap" air bubbles in your batter and less likely that those cell walls will collapse during baking and leave you with a sad sunken cake.

PASTRY FLOUR
More finely milled than AP flour, not so finely milled as cake flour. It's a refined flour in that it's had the bran sifted out. Lower protein flours are used. Usually around 9% protein (around 8% to 10%). I have never seen bleached pastry flour - it may exist, but I've never seen it. Graham flour is basically whole wheat pastry flour. Graham flour is a actually a little more complicated than that, but most of the flours currently being sold as graham flour are just ww pastry flour.

BISCUIT/SOUTHERN flours
These would be like White Lily and Martha White, etc. Traditionally - and White Lily is the only one I KNOW for sure this still applies to, it's my understanding that Martha White is not much different from AP flour these days - this is a very finely milled flour, repeatedly sifted after milling, somewhere between AP flour and cake flour in particle size. It is bleached using chlorine for the same reasons given above for cake flour - basically to weaken gluten and increase the absorptive capabilities of the starches in the flour, as well as to whiten. It's for biscuits, cakes, cookies, pie crust. Low protein flour. White Lily is still 100% soft winter wheat; Martha White is a blend of soft and hard wheats, as most AP flour (except Pillsbury and King Arthur) usually are. If you want a traditional Southern biscuit flour, White Lily is still the go-to brand, given a choice between that and Martha White. I don't know about other brands of Southern biscuit flour. It does come in both self-rising and "regular", I would buy the regular. Gives me total control over the type, amount, and freshness of whatever leavener I choose to use.

AP FLOUR: Jack of all trades. If it's bleached, it's bleached using benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide is ONLY a bleaching agent; it is not a maturing agent. SO the gluten forming characteristics of AP flour are not changed from whatever the wheat used to mill the flour brings to the table.

Gold medal AP flour ranges from 9.8% to 12% protein and is a blend of all 4 basic wheat types: hard winter, soft winter, hard spring, soft spring. It's not very consistent from batch to batch or from region to region.

Pillsbury AP flour, by contrast, is 10.5% protein (unknown tolerance, I'm still trying to find that out) and is milled from 100% soft red winter wheat. If I'm going to use an AP flour (good for heavier cakes such as pound cakes, brownies, pie crusts, etc) I buy the Pillsbury because it's more consistent. House brands of flour (generics) vary so much I don't bother with them. Plus, grocery stores tend to switch suppliers and the flour coming out of a different mill may be totally different with no change in label.

BREAD FLOUR 11.5%ish up to about 13%ish, milled from soft and/or hard winter wheats. Sometimes bleached or has a maturing agent added, sometimes not. The most common maturing agent is potassium bromate, but that is used exclusively in commercial flours (25, 50lb, 100lb bags packaged for commercial bakeries) these days. If it is bleached, and if it is a consumer packaging, they will most likely have used a peroxidation process. Bread flour is NEVER bleached with chlorine.

King Arthur All Purpose flour really falls under this category, even though it's called "AP". It is 11.7% protein and varies only 0.02%, so it will never be less than 11.68% protein. It has no bleaching or maturing agents added. It is milled from 100% hard red winter wheat. Hard red winter wheat is not as high protein as hard red spring wheat, but the proportion of gliadin to glutenin gives it more loft (gliadin contributes to extensibility, eg how much the dough can rise and stretch without breaking the gluten strands, whereas glutenin contributes to elasticity, or how well gluten recovers from being stretched - too much glutenin will make the dough "snap back" when stretched, something you see with pizza doughs made from very high protein flours. To simplify, glutenin is responsible for "chew" and gliadin is responsible for loft./rise.)

AP flour such as Gold Medal sometimes falls in this range, but you can never tell before buying whether you're getting something below 10% protein or nearing 12%. I had trouble making bread for years, until I stopped trying to use AP flour, because of this variation. Sometimes it would work and sometimes it would be a soupy mess that I'd have to add flour to, then it would be dense and wouldn't rise properly. That's what happens when you try to make bread from a low protein flour.

Gold Medal does make a bread flour that is rated at 11.7% to 12.3% which is a blend of hard winter and hard spring wheats. I wouldn't touch Gold Medal AP flour with a ten foot pole, but this is actually not a bad bread flour. The blend of hard winter and spring wheats gives you a nice balance between loft and chew. You might think of this as the AP of bread flours, LOL! It is bleached, via peroxidation.

Pillsbury makes a bread flour nominally rated at 12% protein (no range given) that is milled from 100% hard spring wheat. Very acceptable, very consistent. It is unclear whether or not this flour is bleached; the label does not specify (as it does for all other Pillsbury flours) and calling the hotline twice got me 2 different answers.

King Arthur makes a flour labeled "Bread Flour" in addition to their "AP" flour which comes in at 12.7% protein, which makes for a chewier loaf, good for things like pizza crust, bagels, pretzels, etc, when you want a bit more chew to your end product. It is milled from 100% hard red spring wheat.

The bulk bagged flours in Sam's and Costcos come out of ConAgra mills. These flours vary depending on where they were milled (ConAgra has mills all over the country). To find out what the characteristics of these flours are you would need to call ConAgra, tell them where you are in the country, and ask. In my area - SE US, from at least NC all the way south and I'm not sure how far west - these flours come out of the Decatur, AL mills and the "AP" flour is 9.2% protein while the "bread" flour is 11.6% protein. Last time I bought these from my local Costco, they were still bromated, but all the flour ConAgra mills for Sam's and Costco is now treated with benzoyl peroxide only. If a flour is bromated, potassium bromate will be listed in the ingredient list, so it's easy to check.

"Bleached" flour is rarely treated with chlorine gas anymore. The only flours I've been able to identify that are so treated are cake flours and some Southern Biscuit flours. I have not found any retail flour available nationally that has been bleached with anything other than benzoyl peroxide.

There are also "high gluten" flours in the range of 13% to 14% protein but they are very specialized flours that I personally have never had a use for.

Final tidbit: There is a difference between a bleach and a maturing agent. A bleaching agent whitens the flour, while a maturing agent modifies the gluten formation properties of the flour. The most commonly used additives to flour for bleaching/maturing are :

Potassium bromate: Maturing Agent: Strengthens gluten: not found in retail flours anymore, still in many commercial bulk bagged flours. Will be listed in the ingredient list (potassium bromate) if present

Chlorine gas: Bleaching agent AND Maturing agent: weakens gluten, modifies starches to increase absoprtion. Only found in cake flours and at least some southern "biscuit" type flours (eg White Lily)

Benzoyl peroxide: Bleaching agent only. This is what is used to whiten the vast majority of flours other than cake flour these days.

Ascorbic acid: Maturing agent. Strengthens gluten. Basically vitamin C. No bleaching effect.

Mar 28, 2012
ZenSojourner in General Topics

scanpan nonstick skillet

K, here's one, not to the specific testing that has the actual data in it but at least a statement of the FDA's stand on safety:

"Perfluorocarbon resin is a tough, nonporous and stable plastic material that gives cookware and bakeware a surface to which foods will not stick and that cleans easily and quickly. FDA has approved the use of this material as safe for food-contact surfaces. The Agency has determined that neither the particles that may chip off nor the fumes given off at high temperatures pose a health hazard."

http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/Foo...

There's a difference between when something starts to outgas and how and when it outgases enough to actually be a danger to humans. Yes, a nonstick coating containing PTFE will START to outgas SOME particles in miniscule amounts at around 600F; other particles won't start to outgas until closer to 700F. But if you have an empty pan on the stove at that high a temperature, you have MUCH more immediate problems to worry about than whether or not any potentially outgassing chemicals have had time to reach a toxic level yet.

May 19, 2011
ZenSojourner in Cookware

Small Recipes for 1-2 people? ARGH!

I grew up cooking in large batches for a family of 7 (specifically aiming to have leftovers) so I'm used to cooking in QUITE large quantities, and have never really gotten over that. I don't cook for an army anymore, but I still tend to cook larger batches than just what we're eating today. I freeze the leftovers (many things freeze very well indeed).

Maybe some of these will help with your cheesecake problem:

http://rainydaysandsundays-c.blogspot...
http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/mini-ch...
http://www.dessertfortwo.com/2010/08/...
http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe...
http://www.dessertfortwo.com/2010/11/...
http://www.dessertfortwo.com/2010/09/...
http://www.thenibble.com/reviews/main...

May 19, 2011
ZenSojourner in Home Cooking

scanpan nonstick skillet

That's 570F to 870F! If you're pan is that hot something's on fire! You've been very very careless if you've heated any pan up that high. If there was oil in it you've passed the flashpoint. That is NOT proper use.

Outgassing is a problem in manufacturing environments because things DO reach those kinds of temps in a factory. Also in fires. Which I hope we're not having any of in a kitchen, in which case I'd be more worried about what's coming out of that burning countertop than whether or not a scan pan is outgassing. Plus a lot of the cases of "polymer flu" involved outgassing over a period of HOURS - again, why would you heat a pan to 800F and keep it there for an hour? You're going to have a house fire if you walked off and left a stove on for that long with ANY kind of pan on it.

I kept cockatiels for years and used Scanpans daily. Nobody died or even got sick.

Cooking oil itself can be carcinogenic, as someone else pointed out.

http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content...

I wish I could find the original reference, but basically in order to get detectable and potentially dangerous off-gassing of modern non-stick cookware you would have to hit it with an arc-welder. You may get offgassing at lower temps but it's undetectable (in tests using instruments that were calibrated to measure close to the range where it may be a potential hazard). At lower temps the outgassing is of totally different substances as well. The dangerous stuff starts outgassing at the really high temps - over 660F. That's when it STARTS. I'll keep looking, I should have bookmarked it. I'm pretty sure the link is on Chowhound somewhere since I think that's where I saw it to start with.

Older "Teflon" products, that used that plastic film that peeled so easily, were more susceptible to heat degradation than the modern processes that incorporate PTFE in with other substances. The newer coatings are far more stable at high temps than the original coatings.

There are so many other factors in the environment that are problematic and not easily avoidable. Smog. Second hand smoke. FIRST hand smoke. Car exhaust. At least with non-stick cookware all you have to do is NOT set it on fire, LOL!

It's simple. Don't overheat it and you'll be fine. If you manage to get your pan surface up to 800F, you're doin' it wrong!

May 19, 2011
ZenSojourner in Cookware

scanpan nonstick skillet

Now THAT'S misleading. Scanpan folks don't deny what's in their cookware. Yes, they use PTFE. No, it's not Teflon. They're not claiming their chocolate chip cookies don't have chocolate chips in them, they're saying that the chocolate chips they use are not Tollhouse.

May 19, 2011
ZenSojourner in Cookware

scanpan nonstick skillet

I disagree. Teflon was used as a film coating; when people buy Teflon they're not thinking of the chemical but instead of the original Teflon pans that had a surface that peeled off if you looked at it funny. They may be worried about PTFE, but it's the peeling-off-into-the-food that they're most worried about. I can't speak to other nonstick surfaces incorporating PTFE (I will say my 10 year old T-Fal hasn't peeled, though it has got a few scratches by now); but Scanpans don't peel under normal use (or even normal abuse).

Scan pan is VERY clear on their website that they do use PTFE. They do NOT however use PFOA in their manufacturing process. Whether or not it's ok to think PTFE and Teflon interchangeably is an issue of semantics; this is not. There is NO PFOA in Scanpans at any point in the manufacturing process anymore since they don't use it any more. It was never a problem on the consumer end, despite the hype and hysteria. It WAS, however, a potential problem for the guys working in the factory; it isn't anymore since they don't use it anymore.

http://www.scanpan.dk/Green%20Tek

NO PFOAs in Scanpan, at any point in the manufacturing process.

May 19, 2011
ZenSojourner in Cookware

Do onion goggles work?

Umm no they don't. They also dice if that's what's needed - you just make vertical cuts then drag it across the mandoline as usual. Some have special inserts that will dice without having to do that, it has something to do with turning the thing you're slicing at a 90 degree angle each time you make a stroke.

I've always been a little afraid of a mandoline myself. Most of the "holders" or whatever you call them are so poorly designed.

May 19, 2011
ZenSojourner in Cookware

Best Fry Pan for Eggs?

My Scanpan Gen1 pans are about 30 years old. Still stick resistant.

My son's Scanpan Gen2 pans are pushing 5 or 6 years old. These are a big improvement over the Gen 1's and they're still slicker'n wet ice. Metal utensils used every day. Don't overheat, which can really only happen if you turn the burner on with nothing in the pan and then walk away. (With food in the pan you would have to have flames shooting out before it's overheated, again you must have WALKED AWAY from a burner that's on, never a good idea).

I make dosa on mine and I only use a fraction of the oil, and that because it tastes better. The oil isn't needed for non-stickiness.

Also proper cleaning - take the HOT pan and run COLD water in it, that blasts loose even tiny food particles you can't see that might otherwise build up between the food and the nonstick surface. This is recommended by the manufacturer - only minimal precautions necessary to avoid steam burns (it's easy, turn the water on, THEN stick the pan under the running water after you've removed your arm back to your side).

Looks wicked, easy as pie. Love my Scanpans!

As far as the egg issue, only 1/3rd of people who have cholesterol issues can affect their cholesterol levels by changing their diet. About 1/3rd of all Americans have cholesterol issues. That means about 11% of the population might need to worry about how much cholesterol is in their food. There are about 70 calories in an average sized egg, so 6 eggs in the morning comes in at 420 calories - which is still less than a Big Mac and a lot healthier.

Used to kill me, the lectures I got about how bad for me milk is supposed to be, generally delivered by overweight guys inhaling Big Macs, fries, and supersize cokes. *eye roll*

May 19, 2011
ZenSojourner in Cookware

scanpan nonstick skillet

For heaven's sake, don't ditch the Scanpan! Scanpans are PFOA free and that's the substance that was causing the problems. Several consumer agencies and governmental agencies as well have tested the new non-stick cookware (Scanpans for sure but I think some of the other high-end nonstick as well) and there is no outgassing at normal cooking temps up to and including if you burn the pan. It won't outgas until something over 2000 F (though it will ruin the surface long before that) and to get that hot, your kitchen would already be on fire, so you'd have much bigger worries.

It doesn't peel. It doesn't flake. And with proper care (which is easy) it will last for decades. I still have the original Scanpan Gen1 cookware and even though it is nowhere near as good as the newer stuff, it is still functional. The new stuff is hands-down better though. We have a set of that as well and it is now something like 5 or 6 years old and looks and behaves every bit as good as when it was brand new.

Oh yeah, and even with the Gen1 Scanpans, I used to have birds (cockatiels) for 8 years, right next to the kitchen, and never lost a single bird. Even the old stuff didn't outgas.

Yes, Scanpans use PTFE - I don't think there's a nonstick pan out there (that actually works) that doesn't - but it's incorporated into a titanium-ceramic alloy surface (I have no idea how they make it nor do I know if it's properly called an alloy, perhaps "amalgam" would be better). This is not your grandma's Teflon.

There is nothing "misleading" about their advertising. It is a proprietary finishing technique that is NOT Teflon. It uses PTFE - but it's NOT TEFLON. Go to their websites (the one in Denmark has the most info) - they're quite clear about their manufacturing process.

As for heat - I cook on Med-high and even (on occasion, for short periods) high and it has not thus far damaged the surface on either the Gen1 or Gen2 cookware. HOWEVER, I don't turn my back for an instant - doing stir fry when I turn it up that high anyway - and I only do that when there's enough food in the pan to cover the bottom - the pan won't get hotter than the food, and the food isn't going to get anywhere near 500F unless you burn it. As in flames shooting out of the pan.

Note that for anything short of stir frying, Med heat is pretty high. Scanpans are good, heavy cookware and excel at even heat distribution. You will find that compared to cheaper lighterweight pans you can achieve better results at lower temps because of the quality of the cookware.

BOTH my sets of Scanpan (the old and the new) were worth every penny. I love the stuff.

CARE - clean the pan while its still hot. Stuff will just wipe right out. When people complain about their (new) Scanpans not being nonstick anymore, it turns out they weren't following the care instructions, and if you don't do it this way at least once in awhile, you can build up a layer of residue. My Gen2 Scanpans really belong to my son, so they were used and abused by a 5 bachelor household for about the first 3 years he had them, and they're still going strong. Spray or run some cold water into the hot pan (watch out for a burst of steam if the pan is really hot) swirl that around, dump it, then wipe out with a soapy wet rag and rinse well. That's all it takes.

Do not EVER store food in your Scanpans. That's another way to damage the surface.

May 16, 2011
ZenSojourner in Cookware

South Indian Food Fans -- What's the Best Pan/Griddle You've Found For Making Dosa at Home?

I make dosa in my Scanpan frying pan and there's no trouble. I don't know why there would be, unless you're trying to make the giant paper dosa, in which case you need a big commercial grill, LOL!

The slight concavity of a tawa is really no impediment either - since you pour the batter in and immediately spread it out from the center, and the dosa cook quickly enough that it doesn't flow back down to the center.

Uttapam might be a different matter though.

May 16, 2011
ZenSojourner in Cookware

South Indian Food Fans -- What's the Best Pan/Griddle You've Found For Making Dosa at Home?

What flour are you using, and what's going wrong? Actually, what's the recipe you're using as well?

It occurred to me reading this that it's actually been years since I made chapati. My son loves puri and somehow I always end up making puri instead. But if you can give me the recipe you're using and what you feel is going wrong, I could whip up a batch or 2 and see what's going on.

May 16, 2011
ZenSojourner in Cookware

South Indian Food Fans -- What's the Best Pan/Griddle You've Found For Making Dosa at Home?

I'm planning a trip to "little India" in the next few weeks - I'll keep an eye peeled and post back here if I see anything that looks likely.

I was just thinking recently that so many things have gotten easier to find - but apparently not everything yet, LOL! I need a ghee pot myself and I keep forgetting to look for one.

May 13, 2011
ZenSojourner in Cookware

South Indian Food Fans -- What's the Best Pan/Griddle You've Found For Making Dosa at Home?

Is this any help:

Ganesh Indian Grocery 6320 Linn Ave NE Albuquerque, NM 87108 Ph:(505) 268-3342
India Grocery 3140 Cerrillos Rd Santa Fe, NM 87505 Ph:(505)424-3120
India Kitchen 49-12 Calle Del Cielo NE Albuquerque, NM 87111Ph 505-884-2333
Indopak Store 3904, Central Ave SE Albuquerque, NM 87108Ph 505-254-8199
(I've seen the Indopak store also referred to as "Convenience Store" on a couple websites)

I use 2 web sites to locate Indian Groceries (plus google searches since as hard as these guys try they often don't get all the Indian groceries in an area)

http://www.searchindia.com/search/gro...
http://www.thokalath.com/grocery/inde...

I checked one of the local Indian shops here a couple of days ago and the only tawa they had was a plain steel one (probably not stainless) that was painted black. I wouldn't cook on that, who knows what's in that black finish and whatever that coating is, it typically peels off with use. I've seen them in people's homes occasionally. Think I'll stick with the ScanPan, LOL!

It was perfectly flat though so you might yet come up with what you're looking for.

May 12, 2011
ZenSojourner in Cookware

Kitchenaid Pro or Kitchenaid Artisan Mixer?

I'm wondering why you got rid of your forums when you redesigned your website? There was a lot of good info from actual users on that forum.

BTW the Kevlar gear is the breakaway gear described in other postings on this and other forums - it is NOT a "plastic gear" but is designed to stop the motor if it binds before it burns out. Hobart was using a breakaway gear back when they still made these mixers so the design is well-established.

May 09, 2011
ZenSojourner in Cookware

South Indian Food Fans -- What's the Best Pan/Griddle You've Found For Making Dosa at Home?

You could try this, I don't know if they'll ship to the US - I keep meaning to ask but somehow never get around to it. They look like an Indian version of Amazon.

http://www.indiaplaza.com/pigeon-hard...

Last I checked the exchange rate is pretty favorable, about 45 rs to the $, I think that makes that under $15. There would probably be some duty or other taxes, shipping costs, but they're not what they were in the 70s when we were writing letters on both sides of those tissue-paper-thin blue envelopes, LOL!

Yeah, the wet-grinders are sort of out of my range. Though I've been tempted more than once in the past . . .

May 09, 2011
ZenSojourner in Cookware

odd size measuring spoons why no 1/3 tsp

I know this is an old thread but . . .

There are DOZENS of recipes in Julie Sahni's Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking that call for 1/3 tsp of something (usually turmeric). I've often wondered why - I don't remember such measurements in her first cookbook, "Classic Indian Cooking".

May 08, 2011
ZenSojourner in Cookware

South Indian Food Fans -- What's the Best Pan/Griddle You've Found For Making Dosa at Home?

Either of my ScanPan frying pans. They are PERFECT for dosa. I don't have to use any oil at all, but the dosa taste better when I use just a small amount.

They make a crepe pan that would probably suit, but I use my normal frying pan (either of them actually, the one with the low side or the one with the higher side) and they both work perfectly.

Between dosa I take a damp muslin towel and wipe the hot pan, picks up all the old dosa crumbs and gives me a pristine surface every time. Splot on a small amount of oil and spread it around with half an onion and you have a very fine film of oil ready for the next dosa - again, not needed, but the dosa tastes better if you use a little oil.

If you're worried about outgassing, I've had Scanpans for over 30 years and never had a problem, including the years I had cockatiels (finally had to leave them behind the last time I moved). If there was a problem, the birds wouldn't have lasted the 8 years I was keeping them. It's my ONLY cookware.

Now, PLEASE tell me what you use to grind your dal and rice with for dosa and idli? I'm really waffling about replacing my missing food processor, or just trying to do it in my KA blender. I've had no luck with blenders in the past, but they were all CHEAP blenders.

EDIT: PS - Hunting around my online sources a bit came up with this:

http://store.indianfoodsco.com/Grocer...

A bit pricey I think but it may be what you're looking for, if you're dead-set against all non-stick

May 08, 2011
ZenSojourner in Cookware

The enormous ham

It's OLD experience. The last several times I've tried to buy a ham at the grocery they didn't have any good ones. Just the cheap brands that are injected with all kinds of crap to make them weigh more. I even asked the butcher (at the one store that still HAD a butcher) and he said the company that owned the store only dealt in the brands they had in the meat section already.

I never had a ham too big to soak in the sink - but we didn't do country hams all that often, that I can recall. It was a big sink, too, one of those old 40's metal monstrosities.

There's an actual meat market in town here, maybe I'll try that. However like you I was a single parent and my son doesn't care for ham, so much as I like ham myself, I seldom have any. I can't even get a good picnic ham anymore.

Nov 29, 2010
ZenSojourner in Home Cooking

Dressing vs. Stuffing?

Yeah, bacon grease if you've got it (with a family of 7 that was pretty much a given) and Crisco if there's no bacon grease.

It's been a long time but that's how I did it when I was a kid.

Nov 29, 2010
ZenSojourner in General Topics

Dressing vs. Stuffing?

Very definitely! The best way to fry them as well.

Nov 29, 2010
ZenSojourner in General Topics

Cocoa powder

This Walmart was SUPPOSED to be a "Super Walmart" and I made my son drive half an hour to get there, only to find they are no better stocked than the dingy little "regular" Walmart we'd been going to. They just had better lighting. And they only had the Hershey's cocoa powder, no other brands.

I've never been a huge fan of WM, but since Sam died, they've been getting worse and worse. Even aside from the greed factor and the way they treat their employees these days, they no longer preferentially stock US made goods (quite the opposite in fact) and for such a huge store they have so little selection. Store shelves are frequently not restocked and they do not order replacement items in a timely fashion. I've found this to be true across the country. They no longer carry many many items I used to be able to get there routinely.

Not that I want to turn this into a Wally World diatribe. It's just so crazy to have all that floor space and less and less selection.

Hence my search for an alternative source for affordable cocoa powder. *sigh*

Nov 29, 2010
ZenSojourner in General Topics

Cocoa powder

It's cheaper than WM. I'll try to get over there to check.

Nov 28, 2010
ZenSojourner in General Topics

Cocoa powder

I just bought a 1 lb can for somewhere between $5 and $6 today, Hershey's, at Walmart. Makes me saaaad. Costco has it for about $12 for 5 lbs (not Hersheys, but that doesn't bother me) - but only for special order "business" customers.

Nov 28, 2010
ZenSojourner in General Topics

Losing faith in cast iron cookware

I do my onions in the oven per JuneN's instructions here:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3611...

But it's a time thing for me. This takes almost no intervention, just a good stir once every 30 mins. or so. I use a 10x13 pyrex baking dish and I can do about 6 lbs at a time.

Nov 28, 2010
ZenSojourner in Cookware

The enormous ham

That is SO WEIRD! It must be something about the way they cut it. I've cooked MUCH larger hams (by weight) and never had these kinds of problems.

Was it longer than oh, say, 24"? I'm sort of guessing. I think my big roasting pan was about 18" - 20". A big ham might hang over a little bit but not really much.

I'm trying to think if it had quite that much "calf"-al area hanging off the end . . . I don't think so. I think it was cut closer to the ham itself (as in muscle mass).

Nov 28, 2010
ZenSojourner in Home Cooking

Dressing vs. Stuffing?

You DON'T use bacon grease in biscuits? Never heard of THAT!

LOL!

Nov 28, 2010
ZenSojourner in General Topics

A new recipe project!

I don't see the need. I jot what I need down on a piece of scrap paper (like the back of an envelope or something) and take it into the kitchen. If you own I guess it's one thing. THis is a rental.

Nov 28, 2010
ZenSojourner in Home Cooking

Things kids think are "normal" these days...

Yeah. Sorry, but if there is NO WAY I would be driving to school to give a picky teenager bottled water. Not only that but I wouldn't be BUYING it to start with!

YIPES!

Nov 28, 2010
ZenSojourner in Not About Food

Things kids think are "normal" these days...

Exactly.

Nov 28, 2010
ZenSojourner in Not About Food

Cocoa powder

Well apparently Costco is NOT carrying this except for special order Business Customers.

And it costs a fortune even at Walmart - like $5 or$6 for a pound. I need 1 1/4 c for ONE recipe of brownies (forget ice cream or cake or anything else). That's about 1/4th of a box. So it's not going very far.

Does anybody have a cheaper source for cocoa powder?

*so sad that Costco is letting me down here!*

Nov 28, 2010
ZenSojourner in General Topics