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JoeBabbitt's Profile

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Do you Can? What do you can?

Actually he can can. I bought the whole set up at a garage sale; cans, lids & the machine that crimps the lids onto the cans.

I've only ever used it for Xmas presents though.

Sep 01, 2015
JoeBabbitt in General Topics

Please return your shopping carts, you lazy bum

OK - I was at a local Club Store this evening & pulled into a parking space 2 over from the cart corral where the guy was collecting the carts to take them back into the store. Ahead of me & one space closer to the corral a guy was loading groceries into the back of him minivan. He finished, looked at the kid collecting the carts, pushed his cart a foot away from his car & drove away. Too far for him to walk but just fine for the kid to come get it.

I just cant stand how self-indulgent & entitled people are around here.

Sep 01, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Not About Food

Can Roasted Peppers Be Home Canned In Olive Oil Without Using Vinegar?

Right - I mis-spoke or mis-typed.

Aug 29, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking

Can Roasted Peppers Be Home Canned In Olive Oil Without Using Vinegar?

Does citric acid acidify the oil & raise it's PH?

Aug 28, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking

Sunday Gravy

Add whatever meat you like. Sausage, pork, beef, veal, meatballs. An hour before it's done. Although, I usually make this, jar it & then cook it with whatever meat later.

Aug 28, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking
1

Sunday Gravy

This is my standard which I've been making for years. Everybody seems to like it:

2# onions peeled & diced
4 oz peeled chopped garlic cloves
ΒΌ C basil
1 T Oregano
1 T Salt
1 t pepper
1 #10 can crushed tomatoes
1 #10 can tomato sauce
4 cans tomato paste
8 oz Red Wine

Sweat onions 20 mins
Add garlic & spices & sweat 5 mins
Add remaining ingredients, stir & simmer 3 hrs.

Makes about 8 quarts. For pizza sauce, add 1 t sugar & a half t rosemary to a cup of the sauce above.

Aug 28, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking

Can Roasted Peppers Be Home Canned In Olive Oil Without Using Vinegar?

Balance, how about if the oil is heated up to... 250 or 300 degrees before canning? I have a couple things I'd like to pick your brain about....

Aug 28, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking

Supermarket scores lately?

ShopRite today had 2 1/2 - 3# packages of 80% Ground Beef in the Manager's Special bin for $.99 per pound. Not what I usually buy but for that price it'll be just fine for meatballs, meatloaf, chile & etc. I bought 5 packages & I would have bought more but freezer space is a little tight this month. Anybody else get lucky lately?

Aug 27, 2015
JoeBabbitt in General Topics

Let's Do Something Different for the Holidays

I'm going to venture off the grid here & say the holidays are supposed to be fun. They're certainly not supposed to be some gruesome culinary burden after a devastating loss.

If I never ate another turkey it'd be too soon. Last year people gave us three frozen turkeys. Guess what? They didn't want them & neither did I. I think we cooked one for a friend & the rest went into the dog food (we make our own).

Do what you want. Nobody's gonna starve. If somebody REALLY wants a traditional holiday Turkey & all that they'll cook it themselves.

Odd Lasagna Question About Acidity

That's a lot of paste. I make a lot of sauce & I use 12 oz. per #10 can which is 6#, 6 oz. I use tomato paste to enhance the flavor & help thicken the sauce. Your ratio seems very heavy to me.

Reading further, I usually put a couple eggs in the ricotta to firm it up. Along with some rosemary & pepper.

Aug 25, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking

Curing olives

When I lived in Greece we packed them in containers with brine for 6 weeks & put them in a cool place. I don't remember the brine formula but I recall it was rather strong. Some people packed them in salt. It's 20 years ago & that's all I remember.

Aug 22, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking

food processor or grinder?

I'd use the grinder. Or, be really careful with the FP or you'll have shrimp paste.

Aug 19, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking

How weird is this?? Do I need a shrink??

One shrink's not gonna be enough.

Aug 19, 2015
JoeBabbitt in General Topics

Phrases You Don't Hear Anymore

I'm surprised nobody mentioned the 60's...

Oh wow
Far out
Solid
Funky
Groovy
Are you cool?
Right on
Outta sight
Peace
Peace, love, dope

Our perception of "authenticity"

Miles Davis said "There are only two kinds of music; good music & bad music". I feel the same way about food.

Rolling pins- your preference for general baking

I use a rock maple pin - about 22" long tapered from center to ends. simple & easy to clean.

Aug 12, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Cookware

Personal cooking habits, would you turn your passion into something further? (research)

Josephine is exploiting a loophole. They require the cook to "represent' that they have all the licenses. Do they check this? Do they maintain copies of all the licenses & certs on file with the expiration dates so that they can follow up? I think not. I think Josephine has just created a way for them to avoid the responsibility & put it off on the cooks. Along with any consequences.

Aug 11, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Not About Food

Personal cooking habits, would you turn your passion into something further? (research)

Well, we've ventured into making a business out of cooking. We make jams, jellies, pickles, spaghetti sauce & such & sell it to farm stands & they sell it to the customers. Our emphasis is on products made from local produce. It was easier for us to get a wholesale food license than a retail license in this state.

So far, so good. There's not a lot of money in it just yet, there's a lot of work (I'm a little tired of peach jam) but overall it's being successful for us AND for the stands we sell to. They feel it enhances their business & their customers like it.

Right now we deal with a very limited range of products so that makes it much simpler. There's still a lot to learn. We've had some problems with sourcing. Quality & consistency are two other issues we've worked very hard at. Overall, this year was a lot better than last year & it looks like next year will be better than this year.

Aug 10, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Not About Food

Please return your shopping carts, you lazy bum

At some stores around here (Central NJ) you have to put a quarter into the cart to detach it from the rest. When you re-attach it your quarter pops back out. People around here seem to feel very entitled but they can all be bought for a quarter it seems.

Jamming, Canning and Preserving 2015

Local peaches are finally ripe enough to use. 40# are becoming jam as we speak... Well, one of those pounds is becoming a pie.

Aug 06, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking

how to store dough

Maybe you could give your customers a minimum 'order by' time so your time can be a little more organized. I have done dough & frozen it or kept it in the fridge overnight. I've never been as happy with the results and the defrost/warm-up time can be hard to calculate.

We have a small wholesale food business (maybe it'll get bigger...) & we get those calls also. "I need (product) - I'm out." I try to stay stocked but we're still sourcing ingredients - almost everything comes from local farmers - so sometimes I really have to scurry around to come up with stuff. Our toughest product is Sauerkraut. We ferment it in crocks & it takes 6 weeks. When it's out - it's out. No more till the next batch is ready. Sometimes it's hard to do what we need to do & still keep the customers happy. But - this is business. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.

Jul 30, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking

bottled roasted red peppers

Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette. Very good on spinach salad.

Jul 30, 2015
JoeBabbitt in General Topics

how to store dough

Well, baked goods like cinnamon rolls are best the day they're made. There's no next day for that stuff. We sometimes do them for one of our customers who has a stand at the local farm market. We really have to deliver by 6 am or 7 at the latest. So everything has to be baked & packaged & ready to go by 5:30 am. If there's another way to do it I haven't figured it out yet. That schedule means starting around 3:00 am.

Jul 27, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking

london broil cut of beef

Around here 'London Broil' comes in two types. There is Top Round London Broil & Shoulder London Broil. A Top Round London Broil can be delicious. It'll never be tender like a filet or a sirloin but still - if marinated, grilled & sliced on the bias it can be very nice. Shoulder London Broil MIGHT be fit for pot roast but not much else.

Top Round London Broil is often on sale here for $1.99 #. I buy a bunch & use them for all sorts of things. They become Bracciola, Stifado, Swiss Steak, Rouladen, stew, vegetable beef soup, etc. etc.

Jul 27, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking
1

What is worth making from scratch to save money?

Ina Garten's biscuit recipe is very good & very simple. Just keep the butter cold.

Jul 25, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking

What is worth making from scratch to save money?

If you have the room, bulk buying can save you as much money as making stuff yourself.

Bicks Zesty Onion Relish

I made some Bread & Butter pickles the other day & gave some to my friends Susie & Rusty. Susie loved B&B pickles. Although neither Rusty nor I particularly like them, we both like the onions better than the pickle. This lead me to think I might make a batch as an onion relish with just or mostly onions & very little cucumber. Maybe none.

I use the recipe in the Blue Book for B&B Pickles which looks very similar to the one you posted although yours seems to have some hot pepper in it. Maybe with a little tinkering it might replicate Bicks.

Just a thought.

Jul 23, 2015
JoeBabbitt in General Topics

Crunchy Pickle Tips?

Supposedly, clipping the ends off the pickle helps. The blossom end contains an enzyme which softens the pickle. Some people use Pickle Crisp.

For me, and I make a lot of pickles, it's the type of cucumber that matters the most. Freshness is key also. I only use cucumbers which I get fresh, direct from the grower or farmer. I don't use Kirby's for dill pickles because I want more crunch. I usually use a #3 Pickle which comes 200-300 to the bushel. They are distinctive for their warty skin.

Salting the cukes will make them soft. Not limp, but softer than when you bought them. Thinly sliced pickles like B&B Pickles are salted like that to remove excess water which can affect the brine.

Jamming, Canning and Preserving 2015

I've never heard of Black Cat Plums. Local variety? Around here we get what are called Damson Plums, Prune Plums, Italian Plums or German Plums.

Jul 15, 2015
JoeBabbitt in Home Cooking

Marlboro Renaissance Diner now....

YW. It's a winner.

Jul 15, 2015
JoeBabbitt in New Jersey