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JoeBabbitt's Profile

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pickling peppers query - Why is my garlic blue?

The iodine in iodized salt can make the garlic turn blue.

2 days ago
JoeBabbitt in General Topics

Jamming, canning and preserving 2014

I forgot to mention that 25# of plum tomatoes are making their way through the dehydrator also.

Aug 24, 2014
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking

Jamming, canning and preserving 2014

We picked about 30# of peaches on Thursday and they are all jam now. Except for two pies worth.... 25 pounds of Gherkins got made into garlic dills yesterday.

Aug 24, 2014
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking

Tramontina Stock Pot

So, I needed a bigger stock pot. I have an 8 quart with a heavy bottom that's ok for making spaghetti sauce & that sort of thing but not big enough. I've been looking for a while at a lot of options and it's easy to spend anywhere from $50 to $250 or more on a decent 16 quart pot. I'm not in the $250 per pot market so I finally decided to take a flyer on a Tramontina tri-ply stainless steel pot @ Walmart. (I'm not generally a Walmart shopper either). I bought a Tramontina 16 quart tri-ply SS pot which comes with a glass lid for $49.00 plus tax.

I tried it out today with a batch of spaghetti sauce - about 7 1/2 quarts when finished. I make it pretty traditionally starting with sweating onions & garlic, then adding the spices, tomatoes & other ingredients & simmering for about 3 hours.

I have to say it's a terrific pot. It sweated the onions just fine without any scorching & handled the long slow simmer just fine as well. I had to adjust my temps a bit because it seems to transmit the heat a little more than my old pot but other than that it performed it's function just fine.

I'm always relieved when a low-cost solution works out well.

So - if you want a cheap pot that works well there's my recommendation. They offer a 22 quart model for $10 more.

Aug 24, 2014
JoeBabbitt in Cookware

Favorite chocolate for making truffles?

I don't make truffles, but for the things I do use chocolate for, ganache & such, I like Wilbur Chocolate. I'm not sure how available it is outside of the Mid-Atlantic.

http://www.wilburchocolate.com/home/i...

FWIW

Aug 24, 2014
JoeBabbitt in General Topics

your favorite food movie..

That was a good flick

Aug 20, 2014
JoeBabbitt in Not About Food

No water bath jam

I've been doing some reading about this lately. When you have a processing plant like Smuckers you have to submit a plan for the processing to the USDA. The plan has to include the process, all the steps, all the materials, all the inspections done by your company and other agencies, how the product is tested for safety etc., etc., etc. The USDA has to inspect it all & approve it all. Seems a bit much for home canning.

What State are you in Sunshine? The Co. Extension Services are pretty limited here in NJ.

Aug 19, 2014
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking

No water bath jam

I buy Ball jars for around $9.00 for a case of 12. For those of you who can a lot I'd suggest Fillmore Container http://www.fillmorecontainer.com/ You can get jars quite a bit cheaper there although you have to pay shipping so t's really only a good deal if you buy a bunch.

Like Sunshine says, the USDA only recommends water-bath & freezing.

Aug 19, 2014
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking

Jamming, canning and preserving 2014

Interesting article. I've got quite a few blue mason jars I'd happily sell for $30,000 each.

Aug 19, 2014
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking

No water bath jam

I chuckled when you referred to Ball or Kerr jars as 'more expensive'. In the US Bormioli or Weck jars cost a small fortune. Like $3 or more each.

Regarding the original question, the method described is a variation of 'hot-fill' packing. Hot fill is the way most commercial products are processed. Smuckers doesn't water bath all that jam. It's actually a variation of Pasteurization in which the jam (or other product) is heated to a certain temperature, held at that temperature for a specified period of time, poured into the jars which are turned upside down while held at that same temperature.

Another variant is what used to be called oven canning.

For whatever reasons - not the subject of debate here - the USDA does not approve either of these methods for home use.

Aug 19, 2014
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking

I'm cooking lowfat for my elderly dog, post-pancreatitis and thought I'd share

SO he has some salt in his diet. Otherwise, there is none in any of the ingredients.

Aug 18, 2014
JoeBabbitt in Not About Food

I'm cooking lowfat for my elderly dog, post-pancreatitis and thought I'd share

We have a 64# Siberian Husky named Tom whom we rescued when he was about 1 year old. He had been in the shelter for a long time before he came to us & had some problems adjusting. He didn't want to eat so we tried different things - various brands of dog food with mixed or poor results. Finally we decided to make our own which he has been eating for over a year now. I buy boneless chicken, breasts or thighs depending on what's on sale, in bulk & we use the following recipe for him:

10# boneless chicken
7 C cooked Brown Rice
1# raw carrots grated
2# Sweet Potatoes Steamed until almost tender.
1 tsp salt

I bake the chicken & add all the drippings to the rice. We use a 1 cup measure & pack a scoop into a muffin ring lined with plastic wrap to make a cake. We generally get 30 or so 'Tom Cakes' per batch & heats usually 2 a day. One bag goes in the fridge & the others in the freezer. My cost on this is about $0.75 per pound. Tom also gets a Cod Liver Oil pill in peanut butter every other day. He'll eat any vegetable & most fruits. From time to time he gets a couple Tblsp of yogurt or spaghetti sauce on his food. He has a dish of BilJac kibble he can snack from anytime but he doesn't eat much of that. So, about every two weeks I have to make a batch of dog food & everybody seems to be doing well with it.

Aug 18, 2014
JoeBabbitt in Not About Food
1

Craig Claiborne's New York Times Cookbook (1990 edition)

I've had that for a long time. I can't tell you which recipes I've cooked from it but my memory is that everything I did cook from it was pretty good.

Aug 17, 2014
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking

Help with turkey sandwiches for twenty Dragon boaters.

What's a Dragon Boat? I have a Viking Long Ship pictured.....

Aug 17, 2014
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking

Best base (onion soup mix, etc.) for a good pot roast??

My opinion only here but I think that whatever you add subsequently, you cannot have a hearty & flavorful pot roast without properly searing & browning the meat. My method which I learned from my mom is to heat a CI Dutch Oven to med-high, add a liberal amount of salt (more than a tsp, less than a tblsp) and brown the meat on all sides.

From there on, opinions, flavors, ingredients & palates all vary.

FWIW

Aug 15, 2014
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking
1

Leave the gun, take the cannoli...

Around our house oatmeal is almost always called 'Mrs. Castorini's secret recipe oatmeal' and we're always sure it's going to be just delicious.

Aug 15, 2014
JoeBabbitt in Food Media & News

Milk in bags ... Are Canadians weird, or are Americans the weirdos?

Well every time I buy milk in the grocery store they ask if I want it in a bag but I say 'No - just leave it in the jug."

Aug 11, 2014
JoeBabbitt in General Topics

Pantry storage: flour, sugar, etc.

The Montana jars have a plastic gasket. We had an influx of ants this year but none in those jars.

Fillmore is a cool company with very nice people so I do my bit to spread the word.

Aug 06, 2014
JoeBabbitt in Cookware

Spicey Shelf..

That looks GREAT! But..... I NEVER buy McCormick spices. Overpriced & those tiny bottles would last me a week. Maybe.

Aug 05, 2014
JoeBabbitt in Cookware

Pantry storage: flour, sugar, etc.

These: http://www.fillmorecontainer.com/25-G...

come in various sizes up to 2 1/2 Gallon

Aug 05, 2014
JoeBabbitt in Cookware

Pot-sized spaghetti?

When I lived in Greece I used to see 1kg bags of 1" long spaghetti
in all the stores (there were two on the island). I didn't read or speak much Greek when I first got there but over time, as my reading improved,I realized they were selling it for dog food. The picture of the German Shepherd on the bag was my first clue.

For Fun: Favorite bad versions of dishes?

Canned corned beef hash. Particularly Broadcast brand.

Jul 27, 2014
JoeBabbitt in General Topics

Cheesesteak with Broccoli Rabe near Toms River, NJ?

Frank's on Rte 9 in Wall Twp will do that. They are in the shopping center w/ Home Depot.

Jul 27, 2014
JoeBabbitt in New Jersey

Seafood Main Course for 8 That Doesn't Break the Bank?

NOw through AUgust is the time for mussels. They are at their best & cheapest right now. Mussels Marinara... Big bowl of Linguini w/ parmesan & butter, Greek salad (tomatoes, Feta, red onions, cucumbers, V&O & Basil) & a nice crusty bread.

Jul 25, 2014
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking

Need to use 600g/21 oz. of Valbreso Feta before it expires 08/17/2014

Tiropita

Cast Iron - a Cautionary tale.

Hmmmm... I'm not sure that's a weld. It would be much more difficult to make that in two pieces & weld it than to cast it as one piece. Like a LOT more difficult & expensive. It's a bit hard to tell from the pics but it looks to me like there is either some debris from the casting or a poorly made pattern. I think what you have there (not to be offensive) is a cheap casting made from a poorly made or designed pattern. Possibly the iron was poor quality or something else caused a flaw in the casting which results in your leak. I've seen lots of similar casting flaws in cookware & machinery. Welding cast iron is not all that difficult or expensive but you have to find a welder who knows how to do it. If you can find the right guy that pot could be properly repaired & usable. Good luck with it - it's a cool design.

Jul 24, 2014
JoeBabbitt in Cookware

Jamming, canning and preserving 2014

I've never had a problem with the Wecks sealing. You can check them by (gently) trying to open them. Any that pop open didn't seal but I suspect you'll find them all sealed.

I put less sugar in jam than most recipes call for because I like more fruit flavor. But it seems I wind up cooking it longer so I bet it winds up the same anyway.

As far as altering recipes, you just want to be sure you don't alter the amount of vinegar and or salt. You can do pretty much anything EXCEPT lower the ph.

Jul 23, 2014
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking

Jamming, canning and preserving 2014

I like the Weck jars also but we can so much they are too pricey.

What is the difference between a shake and a malt?

Wow - childhood memories. Burns' in Elgin, Petersens in Oak Park, Webbs Pharmacy in Glen Ellyn. All three of them served excellent malts which in my childhood were ice cream, milk, chocolate syrup & a scoop of malt.

Jul 18, 2014
JoeBabbitt in General Topics

De-Electrifying the Kitchen

Hah - I forgot about the bobby pin. We just pitted 25# of sour cherries by hand.

Jul 18, 2014
JoeBabbitt in Cookware