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mostlyh2o's Profile

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What do you freeze in your kitchen?

LOL I'm glad to know there are people out there that appreciate the fine art of laziness!

And absolutely I'll share the pickle recipe -- it's actually on, to give credit where credit is due. It's SUPER easy and gives GREAT results -- absolutely NO COOKING whatsoever!!!

They are super fresh-tasting and very very crisp. Even folks that don't much like pickles usually like these! I usually use a variety of pickling cukes that I grow; I've tried regular "slicing" cukes but the skins get unpleasantly tough. And those pretty little persian cukes are a bit too soft. But I did try the hothouse cukes once and they were very good; I just felt guilty using something from so far away; seemed beside the point.

I even experiemented this year with adding a few random small carrots and green beans that were lying around; they were pretty damned good too!

The pickles are, of course, not truly "canned", so they are really only good for a couple, maybe three weeks, kept refrigerated. I think, due to the amount of acid, they wouldn't probably hurt you after that, but I find that they get mushy and if you use fresh dill it starts to look unappetizingly like swamp grass...

Oct 11, 2012
mostlyh2o in General Topics

Kitchen habits you stopped after you realized they were questionable

(headslap!) I can't believe I never thought of using the CP for stock!!!


Oct 10, 2012
mostlyh2o in General Topics

Kitchen habits you stopped after you realized they were questionable

I can't believe it never occurred to me to use the CP for stock-making. Doi!


Oct 10, 2012
mostlyh2o in General Topics

Kitchen habits you stopped after you realized they were questionable

I use Alton Brown's method: put frozen meat in a ziploc bag (tightly sealed) and put in a sink with cold water just to cover. Weight it with something (I use a marble cheese-board/cutter) and then turn the water to its loooooowwwwest setting (barely dribbling). The motion (convection I think?) of the water that is dribbling DRAMATICALLY reduces the amount of time it takes to defrost the meat, and while it's defrosting the item keeps the surrounding water cold enough that it doesn't fall into the "danger zone" (where the outside is warm enough for beasties to grow).

Last night I defrosted a frozen-solid block of three boneless pork chops in about 45 minutes.

Only warning: don't let the sink overflow! Not that I've done that....

Oh -- and if you let the water run down the inside of the sink surface, you won't get that annoying, I-have-to-pee!-inducing dribbling sound.

Oct 10, 2012
mostlyh2o in General Topics

What do you freeze in your kitchen?

I freeze tons of stuff. We're slowly but surely converting any sunny spot on our property (suburban so cal) to veg gardens, and ww're sometimes lucky enough to have a surplus of stuff. Plus, I periodically work loooooooooong hours so I can never tell when I'll need something on hand or have to freeze something before it goes bad.
Corn on the cob (some say to blanch it but we just froze it in bags and so far it's been great! Otherwise we couldn't have eaten all that we grew).
Stock ( I freeze the leftover carcasses from roasted Costco chickens and when I have 3 I make stock)
Cooked chicken (we don't always eat all the meat from the roasted chix)
Tomatoes (I'm too effin' lazy to blanch and peel and seed; I tried just shoving my surplus into ziplocs and sucking the air out, and I have to say, it worked fine -- when they defrosted, the skins slipped right off!) Made ketchup and bbq sauce -- you could strain to get the seeds out but I just blended the living hell out of it with my stick blender and it was fine!)
The center meat from spiral-sliced ham -- I'm one of those pariahs who doesn't like marrow taste so I don't like to use a ham bone for split pea soup -- but the center "wad" from a spiral ham, cut off the bone, cooks great in the soup and then I fish it out and chop the meat to add back in.
Zucchini or any summer squash -- this year we had a FLEET of little pattypan spaceships so I ground 'em all up in my food proc and ziploc'd 'em. Made zucchini bread, zucchini tart so far.
Other stock - I get the cartons of beef stock 'cause I don't make my own, but I get the cartons which are often to much so I freeze cubes
Pie crusts (I usually make a quadruple batch when I make a crust for something; they freeze really well and it's so nice to have 'em on hand already made up.)
Anchovies (I don't use much of these but they are key in a few recipes so it's nice to have a few on hand
Veggie leavings for stock (The Hubs thinks I'm crazy but he can go hang)
Butter for suresies
Bread, bagels, baked goods(it goes moldy in a snap for us, and is better than if you fridge it)
bananas (The Hubs will buy several but won't eat 'em if they're the least brown, so I have a bag I add to and when I've got enough I make banana bread)
Cream cheese (holy god horrible)
Soft cheese like brie (we bought too much and oh man did it defrost sucky)
Cucumbers oh so sad; shoulda known. But, I now have a great refrigerator pickle recipe instead
Mashed potatoes -- my dude makes the BEST and I ruined some that were leftover

Thanks for the ideas about freezing milk, buttermilk etc; I often don't use up a carton of any kind of milk before it goes bad but I like to have the stuff around.

And bahahaha cleobeach about the garbage getting cooked! I, too, store meaty garbage in the freezer until trash day, especially in the summer -- creeps me out otherwise! I've taken to putting a big Sharpie X on the bags so no one confuses it with the stock carcasses. Probably the only thing that's kept it from becoming dinner!

Oct 10, 2012
mostlyh2o in General Topics

The End of Table Manners

Oh dear -- I love your column. But all the best on your future endeavors (like what to do with life's boogers).

I guess we'll all just have to be extra well-behaved from now on...


May 01, 2012
mostlyh2o in Features

Fountain Sodas in Gummy Form

Yeah I remember buying Haribo gummy coke bottles at the neighborhood candy store when I lived in Belgium as a kid, and that'd be eek like 35 years ago -- and they weren't being touted as something "new" either, so I think they'd been around awhile even then. BTW they also had SOUR coated gummy candies too -- many years before the super-sour candy craze hit the US.

Nov 04, 2011
mostlyh2o in Features

Make Your Own Dog Food

@roasted: For a great resource on cooking food for your cat (as well as tons of great info), check out this book by Anitra Frazier: The New Natural Cat. IMO, her holistic way of thinking about cats' health and diet makes sense. She even developed a supplement to commercial foods by following a train of though that made sense to me: She asked herself, "why are farm cats so healthy when all they eat is scraps?" The answer was, of course, mice! So she set out to "build a mouse" by combining ingredients that would mimic the nutrients a cat would get from a mouse: lecithin for the skin and hair, calcium for the bones, yeast for something alive, oat bran for what would have been in the mousie's stomach, etc. I myself don't know if this is scientifically valid, but I did make her vita-mineral mix (which is commercially available from Halo) and gave it to my old cat who had a raging case of ringworm. I treated the ringworm with the usual goo, but though that cleared up the ringworm, I fully believe the mix helped, and it made his coat amazing! Even my dad, who only likes cats to kick them, said, no -- that's not the same cat, is it?!

Jan 27, 2011
mostlyh2o in Features

'Tis the Season! -- What's the WORST "perfect gift for a food-lover" you've ever received?

Was just reading this list for the first time and LOLing all over the place!!! Pia, I think I know what you have there and it's kind of cool; if it's like the one I have, you put the ceramic "basket" in the oven to heat it up and then put a cloth napkin or towel in it and put rolls/bread in it -- the hot basket keeps the bread warm! I spose a bit of a unitasker but I do like my bread products kept warm, esp. if freshly baked. I don't however, have a cat's idea of what the ceramic bread loaf is all about...hmm...mine didn't come with one...I feel strangely cheated...

Jan 04, 2011
mostlyh2o in Not About Food