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Thread: Cooking 101 (aka Cooking for Dummies)

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faery-Wings
    It does turn into a brick, but it defrosts quickly and then is soft again.

    Do you know the trick for softening hardened brown sugar, something about inthe oven or with an apple?
    A friend of mine said it really works, but I've never personally tried it. I usually wind up tossing it out if there's some in the cupboard that hasn't been used in awhile (couple of months, usually thru the summer when I don't bake as much).
    "Knowledge without mileage is bullsh*t"... Henry Rollins

    "That moral high horse is a tough perch to stay on"... Me

    "PETA doesn't want stressed animals to be cruelly crowded into sheds, ankle-deep in their own crap, because they don't want any animals to die-ever-and basically think chickens should, in time, gain the right to vote. I don't want animals stressed or crowded or treated cruelly or inhumanely because that makes them probably less delicious"...Anthony Bourdain


    R.I.P. MiLo
    Run free and catch the rabbits
    4/7/96 - 11/30/10

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faery-Wings
    It does turn into a brick, but it defrosts quickly and then is soft again.

    Do you know the trick for softening hardened brown sugar, something about inthe oven or with an apple?
    A friend of my insists on putting it in the microwave for 30 seconds or so to soften it.
    -Kendrah


    'We shall not cease from exploration
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    Will be to arrive where we started
    And know the place for the first time.'
    -T.S. Eliot

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    (Still the dead one lay moaning)
    I was much too far out all my life
    And not waving but drowning."
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  3. #33
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    Brown sugar- make your own

    I make my own brown sugar with regular sugar and molasses
    That's all brown sugar is. I have a jar I put white sugar in and then add molasses a teaspoon at a time and stir it around for a while until it is mixed well and is as dark as I like it.
    It it gets hard, the microwave trick works.

    Whiteowl

  4. #34
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    I usually always freeze whatever flour I get right away. When the flour is milled, that is where the bugs get in it and lay eggs. The only thing that determines whether or not you get bugs is if it sits around long enough for them to hatch. But putting it in the freezer overnight freezes them and kills any eggs or bugs. Especially important for corn meal or corn flour as the weevils LOVE corn.
    Of course, I sometimes grind my own flour from wheat and that is a little better. Then it is fresh and I know how old it is. I haven't had to freeze the wheat berries yet, haven't found any bugs or eggs in there, but I guess you could. NOTHING beats fresh whole wheat flour.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by whiteowl
    I make my own brown sugar with regular sugar and molasses
    That's all brown sugar is. I have a jar I put white sugar in and then add molasses a teaspoon at a time and stir it around for a while until it is mixed well and is as dark as I like it.
    It it gets hard, the microwave trick works.

    Whiteowl
    Hey YOU!! I hope all is well with you and your family.

    Definitely a good idea if you haven't any brown sugar around and you're baking - I've found that many folks thought brown sugar was actually better for you, when it's really the same as white sugar with the addition.
    "Knowledge without mileage is bullsh*t"... Henry Rollins

    "That moral high horse is a tough perch to stay on"... Me

    "PETA doesn't want stressed animals to be cruelly crowded into sheds, ankle-deep in their own crap, because they don't want any animals to die-ever-and basically think chickens should, in time, gain the right to vote. I don't want animals stressed or crowded or treated cruelly or inhumanely because that makes them probably less delicious"...Anthony Bourdain


    R.I.P. MiLo
    Run free and catch the rabbits
    4/7/96 - 11/30/10

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by whiteowl
    I usually always freeze whatever flour I get right away. When the flour is milled, that is where the bugs get in it and lay eggs. The only thing that determines whether or not you get bugs is if it sits around long enough for them to hatch. But putting it in the freezer overnight freezes them and kills any eggs or bugs. Especially important for corn meal or corn flour as the weevils LOVE corn.
    Of course, I sometimes grind my own flour from wheat and that is a little better. Then it is fresh and I know how old it is. I haven't had to freeze the wheat berries yet, haven't found any bugs or eggs in there, but I guess you could. NOTHING beats fresh whole wheat flour.
    So are you leaving the flour in the freezer at all times or are you just freezing it overnight to kill the eggs/bugs and then putting it in a cupboard? I haven't had freshly ground flour in about 2 years - the last time I went to Lancaster, PA as a matter of fact. You have your own mill for grinding? That's way cool.
    "Knowledge without mileage is bullsh*t"... Henry Rollins

    "That moral high horse is a tough perch to stay on"... Me

    "PETA doesn't want stressed animals to be cruelly crowded into sheds, ankle-deep in their own crap, because they don't want any animals to die-ever-and basically think chickens should, in time, gain the right to vote. I don't want animals stressed or crowded or treated cruelly or inhumanely because that makes them probably less delicious"...Anthony Bourdain


    R.I.P. MiLo
    Run free and catch the rabbits
    4/7/96 - 11/30/10

  7. #37
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    I just freeze it overnight or a day or 2, unless I'm out of room in the pantry. Theproblem with freezing it too long is it can get an off taste I've found.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by WitchJezebel
    A chef is either classically trained, with a degree or has worked as a cook for a minimum of 10 years (I believe) without being trained in school and no degree. Are you working high end meaning "fine dining"? I enjoyed working in fine dining establishments for several years and then I realized that I preferred working in the more mid range/mid priced establishments with the open kitchens. They were more laid back and you can see what's going on in the dining room.

    So we have something in common then? Food is always a good thing to talk about for me, I could do it all day!

    Cheers.
    No, I do not cook professionally and won't even consider it for a career or profession for me. The stress level and pressure would kill me inside 10 minutes! All I have done is taken a couple of culinary courses a while back (pretty much over-view) and would like to go back to culinary school to finish enough to go for my level A just for my own self-esteem therapy if you will. Just to see myself do it.
    However, I have been studying and practicing on my own a great deal though and got good enough about a year ago to need pro gear in certain areas. (What a change that made too)!
    I'm one of those nerds that will do something like watch Alton Brown and immeadiately go into the kitchen and do it. It just happens that I can cook at a near gourmet level these days. (I also prefer to cook from scratch as much as I can instead of using prepackaged stuff).
    The few people I have cooked for have given me feedback to the tune of "you should go finish culinary school, your gifted". "Gee, just like in a restraunt". and stuff like that.

    I also happen to be honored to know the best mate of a popular TV chef in England. So messages do get passed now and again. (My inspiration).

    That's all. Just sharing what knowledge I do have thus far. I can talk about cooking all day too. That's why I jumped in here. (Hmm, me accent's not thick tonight).

    Heart of Isis

  9. #39
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    Some more definitions

    Zest: to scrape bit of the peel of a citrus fruit off, using a zester or fine grater. When you zest a fruit, you only want to take off the colored part. The white part underneath is bitter.

    zest: noun- the resulting bits of fruit peel. These are very flavorful so you do not need lots of zest for most dishes


    Sweat (no, not what you do over a hot stove) you sweat onions (and I think mushrooms) but cooking them over a low heat, in a bit of oil or butter. This releases the liquid from the food.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heart of Isis
    No, I do not cook professionally and won't even consider it for a career or profession for me. The stress level and pressure would kill me inside 10 minutes! All I have done is taken a couple of culinary courses a while back (pretty much over-view) and would like to go back to culinary school to finish enough to go for my level A just for my own self-esteem therapy if you will. Just to see myself do it.
    However, I have been studying and practicing on my own a great deal though and got good enough about a year ago to need pro gear in certain areas. (What a change that made too)!
    I'm one of those nerds that will do something like watch Alton Brown and immeadiately go into the kitchen and do it. It just happens that I can cook at a near gourmet level these days. (I also prefer to cook from scratch as much as I can instead of using prepackaged stuff).
    The few people I have cooked for have given me feedback to the tune of "you should go finish culinary school, your gifted". "Gee, just like in a restraunt". and stuff like that.

    Heart of Isis
    Ah, I see - thanks for clarifying. Believe me, I know the stress level in restaurants and as much as I adore food, recipes and facts, there came a time where I didn't want to be a line cook anymore. I've done my time, now I prefer other areas of the food industry so I'm still looking for work. I could get a line cook job again with no problem - but it's so taxing and frankly, I don't want to be on my feet for 16 hours a day anymore, I can't take it.

    I think that's great that you went to culinary classes for your own personal satisfaction; that's how I started out as well and then I had 'pay my dues' to the industry. Why not go ahead and finish up? If people are saying you're gifted and you seem to be pleasing everyone you feed then I think it would be great for you to do so. There are many other aspects of the food industry you could look into...

    I have amassed alot of professional gear over the years as well, I can't help it, I like to use what I learned using... you should see my stand mixer and my cookware!

    Oh and by the way... I ADORE Alton Brown - he's always full of knowledge and loads of fun.

    I'm glad you popped in here to post, I'm sure we'll make beautiful croissants together!
    Last edited by WitchJezebel; November 18th, 2005 at 09:59 AM.
    "Knowledge without mileage is bullsh*t"... Henry Rollins

    "That moral high horse is a tough perch to stay on"... Me

    "PETA doesn't want stressed animals to be cruelly crowded into sheds, ankle-deep in their own crap, because they don't want any animals to die-ever-and basically think chickens should, in time, gain the right to vote. I don't want animals stressed or crowded or treated cruelly or inhumanely because that makes them probably less delicious"...Anthony Bourdain


    R.I.P. MiLo
    Run free and catch the rabbits
    4/7/96 - 11/30/10

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