DunkTheBiscuit's Profile

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If the cafe only accepts cash should they get pissy if you want to include some coins in your payment?

Most of the time, when I pay cash with a large amount of change, I get thanked for topping up their change supply. Which gets depleted rapidly when everyone pays with notes. It seems odd that someone would object to that when you weren't at the head of a long queue.

Aug 29, 2012
DunkTheBiscuit in Not About Food

What is your biggest recipe pet peeve?

Oatmeal to make parkin would be the equivalent of Steel Cut Oats, if that helps. At least in my part of Yorkshire - those traditional recipes tended to use what was available :)

Jul 30, 2012
DunkTheBiscuit in Home Cooking

Which cuisine is the most frugal in which to cook/eat by?

Oh, I know. For various health reasons I need to cut down the amount of processed carbs I eat and it is SO HARD. All habit and emotionally driven - so frustrating.

I just had a vast plate of salad with protein and an oily dressing and I ought to be satisfied - it was a good tasty meal and I know it was nutritionally sound... but I still feel it's not complete unless I mop the plate with a slice of good bread >.<

Jun 02, 2012
DunkTheBiscuit in General Topics

Which cuisine is the most frugal in which to cook/eat by?

I have to laugh at the idea of Yorkshire pudding being 'fancy'. You're absolutely right - the slice of pudding would be served in a bowl with a ladle of gravy before the main course. And again on the Tuesday night, to use up the last of the gravy (with fried onions!) after all the leftover meat had been eaten on the Monday.

Ah, childhood memories :P

Jun 01, 2012
DunkTheBiscuit in General Topics

Which cuisine is the most frugal in which to cook/eat by?

Paleo is a way of eating that is supposed to mimic prehistoric humanity's diet - so it is heavy on the meat and vegetables. Grain and legumes and much if not all dairy is absent (depends on how strictly a person follows it). Ideally all the meat should be game or at least pasture-fed but many people I know who eat paleo stretch that point for economy's sake and I know that in many more built up parts of the world it can be an expensive choice of diet because fresh veg, fruit and pastured meat have to travel long distances and are costly.

Most cultures who developed agriculture now have a grain based diet because it's a very effective way of turning square miles of land into food calories. It is still possible to cut out (or cut down) the grains you eat while still getting the essence of the cuisine in many cases, but it's likely to drive the cost of your food up as you are not eating the 'cheap filler'

Whether or not grain is good for the people who eat it - I think it depends on how processed it is and how large a percentage of the overall diet it takes up. People with little money for food tend to eat more of the cheap filler items at the possible expense of overall nutrition, because we're driven to fill our bellies now despite the long-term effects.

Jun 01, 2012
DunkTheBiscuit in General Topics

How to can homemade tomato sauce?

You need to have it at or below a safe pH before you can it. Tomato sauce - especially if you've added onions and garlic - is often not acidic enough to be safely canned. Hence the addition of lemon juice or citric acid to lower the pH to safe levels.

If you're pressure canning rather than just waterbath canning, you have more scope, but cutting down on the acidity, using oil then hot water bath canning is a huge gamble. I wouldn't do it and I preserve using British techniques - lower safety levels than accepted in the US - I'd never jar my own tomato sauce without adding acid and testing with pH strips to make sure it was a safe level.

May 28, 2012
DunkTheBiscuit in Home Cooking

So WHY were we forced to sit at the table till the food was gone??

Heh! I was the only person stone cold sober at my wedding so anything is possible :P

Yes, husband also eats very little - when we met he weighed just under 100lb at 5'6". He has hardly any appetite. For months after we met, I suspected he WAS anorexic because he would do anything to avoid eating in front of me. He's put on a little weight in the past 17 years though - he found out I CAN cook (extremely well lol) and I never play power games over food.The things some people do to their children, sometimes without realising it - don't bear thinking about :(

May 28, 2012
DunkTheBiscuit in Not About Food

So WHY were we forced to sit at the table till the food was gone??

-It took me almost 2 hours to eat it (I was facing the clock in the kitchen). At the end when i asked for the pie my mother said "there was never any left, I ate the last piece."-

Oh, ouch.

It took a long time for my husband to open up to me about his disordered eating - he won't ever eat in front of people and he has a long, long list of food he cannot eat. His mother was a terrible cook - we're talking undercooked, green potatoes, burnt meat, greens that were already yellowing before cooking. And they had to clear their plates or they would be punished. The other thing she did which was outright cruel was to provide dessert for two (there were three children) and make them race. Oy. Teaching manners and delayed gratification is one thing, using such a basic necessity as food to torment your kids is an entirely different matter :(

(please note I am not saying your mother played these games, Smorgasbord. I was just reminded of the situation by that particular sentence in your post)

May 27, 2012
DunkTheBiscuit in Not About Food

Tater Salad: How Do You Take It?

I'm not a fan of mayo based salads at all - coleslaw is acceptable, just, and will get eaten if it comes as part of a meal, but I don't make it at home. Standard potato salad just isn't something I can face.

At home, I halve tiny new potatoes still in their skins and steam them, and toss with vinaigrette while still warm - with finely chopped spring onions. Sometimes I use honey mustard dressing instead of vinaigrette - makes an interesting change.

May 22, 2012
DunkTheBiscuit in Home Cooking

Say what?? Cooking comments that baffle you

I was once next to a display of organic carrots. They were on offer and cheaper than non-organic. I was filling my trolley with them because carrot soup is a glorious thing to have tucked in the freezer.

One elderly lady picked up a bag then threw them back saying she didn't want organic, she wanted PROPER carrots.

I was O_o for a while. For the record, they were very tasty carrots and made a lovely soup. Lady missed a real treat, there.

May 22, 2012
DunkTheBiscuit in Not About Food

Say what?? Cooking comments that baffle you

I had to laugh at this. Didn't you notice or wonder where all your worktop appliances had vanished to when you walked into the kitchen? If someone cleared all mine away I would definitely notice. I'd be able to actually SEE the worktop :P

May 22, 2012
DunkTheBiscuit in Not About Food

Any memories of "poor people food" from your childhood that you still crave?

It is very good! Add as many extra o's as you want :P The fresh mint gives just enough of a lift to what is otherwise a very heavy slice. It's real stick to your ribs stuff. I can't really give you proportions because she never wrote down what she did, and when I make it I just use what I've got, so it varies every time. I know from experience that dried mint really isn't a good substitute for fresh, though :(

May 13, 2012
DunkTheBiscuit in General Topics

please join my I HATE MAYO CLUB..LOL.. anyone welcome..even if you like it rop

For the most part, I dislike mayo. When I was growing up 'mayo' was a jar of Hellman's that lurked in the bottom of the fridge, only brought out to mix into chopped eggs to make an egg and cress sandwich. I did not like egg sandwiches very much.

Now I can make my own mayo I like it a lot more, but I still tend to 'forget' about it and use vinaigrette in things like potato salad and herbed yoghurt for dips. It's really difficult to ignore just how much oil you're eating when you're the one who poured it into the bowl :P These days, I do like egg sandwiches. But I still avoid Hellman's.

May 12, 2012
DunkTheBiscuit in General Topics

What cookbooks have you bought lately? Springtime edition, part 2 [OLD]

I bought Nigella Lawson's Kitchen recently. Her recipes can be very hit and miss, but I love the style and her writing. This book has a lot of family friendly recipes that she prepares for her now teenage kids, rather than dinner-party specials, which makes it much more useful to me. African drumsticks and her version of rice and peas have already become frequent fliers in my kitchen rota. There are also a lot of suggestions for left-overs and freezing / prep ahead notes which encourage you to go beyond the "chuck it in the microwave" route.

May 12, 2012
DunkTheBiscuit in Home Cooking

Which Two Cuisines for the Rest of your Life?

Thank you. It can sometimes be hard to find a topic I can contribute much to on here and I'm still feeling my way around the general etiquette of the boards, but I'll butt in when I'm able! :)

May 08, 2012
DunkTheBiscuit in General Topics

Any memories of "poor people food" from your childhood that you still crave?

Yorkshire pudding with onion gravy, or pancakes with sugar used to be staples of my childhood.

Also, something called - in my part of the world - Sly Pasty, which was basically currant slice with finely chopped fresh mint. Two flat sheets of shortcrust pastry with a layer of dried fruit and mint between, stabbed with a fork to stop the pastry rising unevenly, then sprinkled with sugar when it came out of the oven.

Rhubarb pie was a frequent visitor to the table in season as we had a monster rhubarb plant.

Jam, syrup or marmalade steamed sponge pudding.

All of those packets of concentrated carbohydrate still appear on my table to this day. But not too often. Pure comfort food.

One that I don't make very often these days is eggy bread - which was ALWAYS eaten with soy sauce. I'm not sure why it's not in my usual repertoire because I remember loving the stuff. I should make it more often.

May 08, 2012
DunkTheBiscuit in General Topics

Fair & carnival food

The fairs in my local city usually have the curry stall where you can get a tub of vegetable masala and three chappatis. You balance the very hot tub on top of the hot chappatis in a paper napkin in one hand, and juggle to break off bits of bread to scoop up the curry with the other hand. The precarious situation is part of the experience. I'll usually get a tub of onion bhajias to wander round with at first, then go back for some curry. Trying to manage everything would be impossible.

And I love Winter fairs because the roast chestnut guy will be there with his handcart / oven. Chestnuts are just about the only truly seasonal street food I've found and I gorge myself for a month or so every year. I don't really have a good set-up at home for roasting chestnuts so I grab my chance.

May 08, 2012
DunkTheBiscuit in General Topics

Which Two Cuisines for the Rest of your Life?

For me it would be pork. A pig is a very versatile animal. Though to take full advantage of that, I'd have to spend an awful lot of time figuring out how to most effectively extract salt from the ocean... ;-)

May 07, 2012
DunkTheBiscuit in General Topics

Which Two Cuisines for the Rest of your Life?

I am British (butting in to a US thread) and (Northern, Rural) English would certainly be one of my choices. It's what I grew up with.

If you're looking to find out why people gravitate towards one cuisine or another as adults, then I really think that whatever predominant tastes a child grew up with are going to have an effect on those choices.

Not that that is going to be the whole story - if I was confined to two cuisines for the rest of my life then the other would be Middle Eastern because I have a real love of spicy sweet stews with ginger and dried fruit. And that is NOTHING like the food I grew up with which was very much plain, basic, stodgy.

May 07, 2012
DunkTheBiscuit in General Topics

How are meals served in your home?

It's just the two of us and we eat at different times during the week since I'm at home all day and Himself doesn't come home until maybe 7.30pm or later, so to say the evening meal is 'served' would be stretching the facts a little :P

Since our house is too small for a dining table, I will eat from a plate in the armchair OR if the weather is good I will prepare myself a bento box to eat in the garden. When my husband comes home, he'll either help himself from what I've prepared and left on the stovetop, or he'll grab a ready-portioned frozen something or other that I made at the weekend. I do a lot of batch-cooking and freezing.

I do regret the lack of a proper dining table set up, though. Even a drop-leaf table wouldn't work - there simply isn't the space.

May 05, 2012
DunkTheBiscuit in Not About Food

Say what?? Cooking comments that baffle you

Said by someone who bought a house with a really good range cooker - who knew I'm a keen cook and wouldn't ever be able to afford one

"oh, I can't be bothered to cook - I've only ever used it to reheat some sausage rolls"

May 05, 2012
DunkTheBiscuit in Not About Food

What foods do you refuse to eat?

I have major texture issues so I won't normally touch anything that's jellied or slimy or appears to be. That means most shellfish are out, as is tripe. I can make an exception for the jelly round the margins of a good pork pie but not if there's too much of it. I also have texture issues with saurkraut and other fermented vegetables.

Frustrating, because my mind says "give it a another go" but my instincts say "nope! nuh-uh" with some things, so if I've tried something once and it's had the wrong texture, I'll gag at the idea of eating it even in other forms or cooked differently.

May 01, 2012
DunkTheBiscuit in General Topics

New 'Menu Items That Need to Be Retired", 2012 edition...

Yes, wool breeds are different and put more of their energy into forming a thick fleece than a heavy body. Meat breeds of sheep tend to have a coarse and brittle fleece.

In the UK, the flocks of breeding ewes still need shearing, but the fleece is so worthless it's often burned or buried as it's unsaleable. More recently there have been attempts to find a use for it - it makes a nitrogen rich compost and good insulation for houses. The organic veg-box company I use has begun using wool insulation in their coolboxes.

Some of the older UK breeds of sheep are dual purpose but are not often eaten any more - except possibly by smallholders who can spend time experimenting - though they're still farmed in small quantities for Heritage breed wool for hobby knitters and spinners. They still tend to be small animals compared to modern meat breeds and - since I've never had the chance to taste any of them - I cannot tell you if the taste is better like it is with some heritage breeds of pig. I would be interested to know the answer there.

I don't know enough about US or European breeds of sheep to comment, though.

Apr 29, 2012
DunkTheBiscuit in General Topics

My mouth is on fire! Memorable spicy food moments. [moved from Not About Food]

It happens in the UK. My brother and his friends egged each other on to eat a sample of some ghost chilli relish at a market stand. It was... spectacular. I've never seen a bunch of young men turn so scarlet and bug-eyed and start clutching their throats before.

The guy at the next stall was selling yoghurt smoothies and doing a -roaring- trade. I joked with him that it was clearly worth the extra he slipped the organisers of the market to place him next to the chilli relish stall. He smirked and nodded :P

Apr 24, 2012
DunkTheBiscuit in General Topics

Kids' menus at restaurants. Really? [From General Topics]

"i really think picky eaters are made, not born"

I think it varies - some families, certainly, if the parents are unadventurous then the kids will be too. But sometimes a kid can still become picky even though offered a varied menu.

I know I was, and one of my brothers was also. It turns out we both have the same issues with congestion and we're both subtasters. Texture and appearance played a huge part of what we found appealing as kids because we could both barely taste our food and we really struggled to eat and breath at the same time. For both of us, we grew out of it as our congestion issues got better as we got older, and also once we could out-think our instincts and overcome the gag reflex :P

We both still have a lower than average sense of taste as far as I can tell but it's better than it was.

Apr 23, 2012
DunkTheBiscuit in Not About Food

What Foods Do You Forego in the Name o' Domestic Tranquility?

Can't speak for others but I've never had to do that. I do a lot of batch cooking for the freezer and due to different schedules we eat at different times during the week anyway, so we feed ourselves with whatever we fancy.

Sadly, not all couples can sit down to eat together all the time, nice though it would be, so there's plenty of wriggle room for us both to eat the things we enjoy and avoid the stuff the other likes but we don't.

Apr 22, 2012
DunkTheBiscuit in General Topics

What Foods Do You Forego in the Name o' Domestic Tranquility?

Brussels Sprouts. There is a long list of quite basic food that I can't put into shared meals, though I often cook and eat them during the day when I'm alone, but the scent of sprouts lingers enough to make Himself feel queasy when he gets home. On the other hand, I do have strict rules about when and where he can eat or store his very blue cheese, since that makes ME queasy, so I guess we're even :P

Apr 22, 2012
DunkTheBiscuit in General Topics

"Hitting" on the Waitress (server) Is it OK?

"I set it up..."
"it put me in control of the situation..."
"I took charge..."
"Little does she know..."
"If she makes up an excuse..."
"persistence will pay off..."
"put the waitress in a situation where she has to make a quick yes/no decision"

You know, I've found the most fulfilling relationships and friendships I've ever had come from treating people like equals and not playing mind games with them. You should try it some time.

Apr 05, 2012
DunkTheBiscuit in Not About Food

"Hitting" on the Waitress (server) Is it OK?

She's paid to give you a good experience, including building a rapport with you and knowing about the food she's selling you. You risk making her really uncomfortable by reading more into that than intended. If it's a local restaurant, you may get lucky and see her outside work in an approachable situation. But seeking her out is likely to look creepy.

I'm sorry, but it's not a good idea to do this.

Apr 04, 2012
DunkTheBiscuit in Not About Food

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

I would find a similar recipe you know to be safe and follow the processing times for that recipe.

As a Brit, I've noticed that many US jam and jelly recipes use much less sugar than is standard here - you'll find that the recipes in the River Cottage book in particular work out at 60% sugar after cooking. Also, most of our pickles are in almost undiluted vinegar - not brine. This increases the percentage of acetic acid in the recipe and hence lowers the pH. For future reference when you buy preserving books, none of the UK books will follow safe US practises - open kettle jam-making is the norm here.

However, you need to do what ever you feel necessary to feel safe, and it should be possible to recreate many of the flavour combinations found in those books by adapting tested US recipes. The above information isn't an attempt to change your mind, just to let you know that UK books probably aren't something you're going to find useful without tweaking to your own standards.

Oct 16, 2011
DunkTheBiscuit in Home Cooking