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TOO MANY CHERRY TOMATOES!

Cherry tomatoes make an excellent marinara sauce and they are so easy to skin. Drop into boiling water for a short time (20-30 seconds) until their skins split, and then you can simply squeeze them out of their skins. Discard the skins and use the pulp in the same way you would any other tomato flesh. This sauce freezes well. We rely on Mario Batali's basic tomato sauce recipe.

Oct 22, 2014
zippy2u in Home Cooking

The Most Fabulous Candy Bar Ever

You lost me at Gummi Bears. Fruity Pebbles? Now methinks you are just trying to be controversial. Sort of reminds me of National Lampoon's coverage of the worst restaurant in America w/such dishes as eggs over easy decorated with half smoked cigarettes. What's next?

Oct 22, 2014
zippy2u in Features

Scream Sorbet Pops Up at Bittersweet Café

Bittersweet Cafe is in Oakland, not Berkeley.

Jul 15, 2013
zippy2u in Features

Fresh Violets?

Let me know if you find out. I tried a few years ago to obtain them and it was not possible. You might try visiting Wisconsin or somewhere that they grow.

fresh guava

Supermercado Las Montañas has them. Check hispanic groceries for the fresh white guavas.

How Old Was It?

So, I've got a couple pounds of wild rice given me by a friend 12 years ago sitting in the back of my pantry and I'm wondering if I should dump it in the green bin, or try to cook it. Any advice on this?

Dec 30, 2012
zippy2u in General Topics

Hey Josh Ozersky: Shut Up About Blue Bottle Coffee

I appreciate good coffee and the efforts of people who dedicate themselves to bringing us the best, but this video is pompous and pretentious. Rather than appreciate the new business, it made me want to hit this pair of yupped up entrepreneurs with a cream pie. Get over yourselves already.

Sep 28, 2012
zippy2u in Features

Frascati: Still Fresh in Russian Hill

Went there after the suggestion of Check Please Bay Area. Great service, noisy but mediocre food overall. Not worth a second visit. Unless they've changed, I wouldn't bother. It concerns me to see this recommended here given our experience.

Aug 27, 2012
zippy2u in Features

Best Indian San Francisco

It's hard to imagine a better restaurant than Ajanta in Berkeley. If you can beat that, I'll travel across the bridge to check it out. Otherwise, why bother?

Win Cool Kitchen Swag on CHOW’s "The Talk" Gadget Giveaway!

Gadgets? Gadgets! Hand them over!

Jul 23, 2012
zippy2u in Features

Emilia Terragni's Basil Pesto

Penne rigatte, a one pound bag. You can vary the amount of pesto applied to your taste, but she seems to have used the entire recipe. I've been using Marcella Hazan's recipe which calls for much less cheese (1/2 c). I'd be curious to see how this compares as it seems very very rich by comparison (fatty).

May 26, 2012
zippy2u in Recipes

Trend-O-Meter Says: Guinea Hen Takes Flight

It's quite normal in France, where I was first exposed to it. My grandfather used to raise it on his farm in Maryland. For some reason, I guess agribusiness, it became less common here. It's really delicious and I'd be happy to see a resurgence of it as I do prefer it to chicken, but never buy it because it's so expensive.

Apr 06, 2012
zippy2u in Features

La Cotta, My Beautiful Mystery

This is brilliant. What a great first line. Urban Ore IS cold and smells like cat pee.

Feb 17, 2012
zippy2u in Features

Why Is Tea at Coffee Bars So Bad?

It's more than insufficiently hot water. The tea sold by most American purveyors leaves much to be desired.

Jan 20, 2012
zippy2u in Features

Phone Etiquette at the Table: The Rules Have Changed

Turn it off and concentrate on your meal. If you can't get through a meal without technological help (assuming you don't have a physical disability) you need therapy.

Nov 11, 2011
zippy2u in Features

Why Do So Many Foodies Hate Whole Foods?

"Whole Paycheck" is what it's called around here. In the Bay Area, there are plenty of home grown alternatives, so when the CEO acts like a right wing ghoul and denounces Obama's efforts to extend health care benefits and to regulate the bloated for profit health insurance industry, locals have multiple alternatives where they can "vote with their feet." We almost never go there, despite their lovely seafood selections and fresh produce. Why? They cost an arm and a leg and we simply don't need to shop there as there are plenty of cheaper alternatives.

Nov 11, 2011
zippy2u in Features

Blue Chair Jam Cookbook and River Cottage Preserves book = unsafe?

This is risky behavior that can result in sealing failure. The only reason it's not unsafe is that the contents are not dangerous to begin with (too acidic to promote/allow bacterial growth). The USDA recommends against this. http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/publications...

http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/questions/FA...

Oct 16, 2011
zippy2u in Home Cooking

Blue Chair Jam Cookbook and River Cottage Preserves book = unsafe?

If chocolate has a high pH, then the only safe way to can this jam will be with a pressure canning method. Since chocolates vary depending on whether they contain milk solids, it will depend on the chocolate.

Oct 15, 2011
zippy2u in Home Cooking

OMG- Roasted Cauliflower

Emeril Lagasse turned me onto this. We've been eating so much cauliflower lately. It's just wonderful
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/em...

Feb 07, 2011
zippy2u in Home Cooking

Canning jars leaked a little in processing--okay or not?

loraxc, in the future, go here for instructions.

http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/

I'd store those berries in the fridge. And mold doesn't change the pH, it grows if the seal fails. Fruit is normally acidic, so it prevents the growth of bacteria, but it's always hospitable to mold. When you process fruit, you put it in the hot jars, then wipe the rims of the jars to insure a tight seal. If you overfilled the jars, the contents expanded enough to overflow the lid and in doing that they probably compromised the seals. If you don't want to reprocess the contents, consider freezing them in plastic containers instead.

Feb 07, 2011
zippy2u in Home Cooking

processing jam?

If you put paraffin in the jars over the jam, then submerged them with Ball/Kerr lids in a hot water bath and the lids created a vacuum seal, there will be no problem. If they failed to seal, store the jam in the fridge. I don't know what kind of jam you made, but most fruit preserves have enough acid to prevent the growth of bacteria. There is no need to reopen sealed jars and remove the paraffin, but don't use it in the future since it does not prevent spoilage--either from molds (mycotoxins) or bacteria.

Feb 07, 2011
zippy2u in Home Cooking

To Wax or Not to Wax? Homemade Jelly

The USDA considers paraffin unsafe as a sealing method because bacteria can penetrate the seal. What Kagey is advocating is not reliable either as the manufacturers of the lids don't recommend reusing them. They might seal, they might not. Do you really want to risk having to throw out the jam after all that trouble & expense? I wouldn't say that the fact you have not yet killed anybody is a great recommendation for a canning method. Ball/Kerr two part lids are not expensive and the rings are reusable. The U of Georgia has a great website with detailed information for preserving different kinds of food.
http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/

Feb 07, 2011
zippy2u in Home Cooking

Blue Chair Jam Cookbook and River Cottage Preserves book = unsafe?

Re: making fruit jams, marmalades and preserves: Open kettle method canning is not unsafe as long as the fruit being preserved has sufficient acidity. My grandmother regularly used this method. Figs are the only fruit that will present a problem. If the seal fails and you see mold, discard the jam. Most fruits are too acid to allow for the growth of harmful bacterial like botulism. If you are deeply concerned about canning, the USDA has free online instructions here:
http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can_home...

Feb 07, 2011
zippy2u in Home Cooking

Dear RuBo: My Name Is Not Fucking "Sweetie"

I've been to restaurants where teenaged waitresses persisted in referring to everyone at the table as "darling." While I didn't necessarily want to rip her lungs out, I sure as hell felt it was presumptuous and wanted her to knock it off.

Dec 09, 2010
zippy2u in Features

What's the Best Way to Dispose of Cooking Grease?

In Oakland, we have been advised to put kitchen grease in the green bin (the container with yard clippings and food waste) rather than pouring it down the drain where it can pose pollution risks.

Sep 29, 2010
zippy2u in Features

Copper Jam Pan

To curiousbaker:
No need for pectin with bing cherry jam. I used to use it and it always turned out too stiff. This year's was a revelation, the best ever.
This guy has the goods:
http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2005/06/...

Sep 16, 2010
zippy2u in Cookware