Re: A Review: RelishRelish!

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I ate barley soup with mushrooms last night (not homemade). It was good but it made me really gassy. They should have "Less Gas" as a category. But, I bet the intersection of "Vegetarian" and "Less Gas" would be trivial.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 7:44 AM
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In a lot of recipes you probably could just replace the meat with tofu or some other vegetarian protein. Make sure that the tofu pieces are cut into generally similar size pieces that the meat would have been, perhaps marinate first in some sauce that seems compatible with the other ingredients in the dish, and probably cook it for less time than you would cook the meat.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 7:52 AM
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1: Yes, I'm vegetarian, and it seems just about everything gives me gas. I guess it's no wonder I'm so popular.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 7:56 AM
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2: True, but that's precisely the kind of required thought that makes me just pour myself a bowl of cereal instead. Also vegetarian!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 7:58 AM
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I'm a lot less vegetarian than I would be if I could think of more quick vegetarian meals -- there's lots of vegetarian meals I like, but they're mostly very cooking intensive. This marks me as a stupid cook, but there's not much easier than meat in castiron pan, cook until medium rare. If I were a vegetarian for moral reasons, I would live on scrambled eggs, varied with the occasional omelet or fried egg.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 7:59 AM
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It's not fair to put "chopped" or "diced" or whatever in the ingredient list if that's not how you actually buy the item, because that contributes to Total Time Spent In Kitchen, but it's not counted in their time estimate.

This is true. I tend to mistrust any cookery source that does it, on the grounds that they probably don't eat their own stuff.

But dang is cooking is time-intensive.

This is false, or true only if you're obsessed with appearances. If you're cooking for self and loved ones and not to impress competitive friends, then:
* choose recipes which involve a lot of things minding their own business on the cooker or in the oven while you kick back with a drink;
* chop roughly, don't dice - it tastes the same in the end, even if it isn't as pretty and takes half as long;
* always make double quantities so you have stuff in the freezer ready to go.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 8:00 AM
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de-vein the shrimp

About those veins...

Anyway, is heebie or Jammies vegetarian? I had missed this detail if so.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 8:01 AM
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chop roughly, don't dice - it tastes the same in the end

Depending on how you are cooking, you may need to get everything sort of the same size to have it cook evenly.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 8:03 AM
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always make double quantities so you have stuff in the freezer ready to go.

We should really start doing this.

Neither of us is strictly vegetarian, but I usually prefer vegetarian meals.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 8:03 AM
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that contributes to Total Time Spent In Kitchen

You push all the chopping off on your sous chef, of course.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 8:08 AM
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You could get a mandoline for the chopping. Or a mandolin and see how that works.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 8:13 AM
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I find that when I cook meat, I eat more vegetables. I'll hardly eat a carrot because it tastes like a carrot and is too hard to chew. But, if you take that carrot and put it underneath a roasting chicken for 40 minutes, it tastes great. (Note: You have to roast a chicken for much longer than 40 minutes, but I like to put the carrots in when there is about 40 minutes left so they don't turn to mush.)


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 8:19 AM
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heebie is in synch with the zeitgeist! Just chanced on this brand-new article in Slate about how terrible cookbook writers are at guessing how long it takes to prepare a meal.

http://www.slate.com/id/2275108/


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 8:32 AM
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13: peep is not in synch with anything.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 8:33 AM
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11: or a pangolin.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 8:47 AM
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14 gets it right. That article was what reminded me that I'd been meaning to write up our experience.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 8:49 AM
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11, 15: Or a mandarin.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 8:51 AM
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Thanks, heebie! I needed someone to validate my feelings of worthlessness.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 8:51 AM
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Only worthlessness at spotting OP links. Total worthfulness at commenting in general.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 8:52 AM
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Neither of us is strictly vegetarian, but I usually prefer vegetarian meals.

I'm a little puzzled; I'd assumed from the OP's reference to "meals with side dishes" that these were going to be meat-based, or at least -containing, meals. Very little of what I make as a vegetarian calls for a side dish, unless it's something like a stir-fry with rice (rice here being a side dish?) Or there might be a salad.

What kinds of meals + side dishes are we talking?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 9:00 AM
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19: Thanks, heebie!

Acting pathetic on the internet really works for me!
Sorry, it doesn't seeming to be working so well for you, Pauly!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 9:03 AM
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I've been doing a lot more cooking in recent months too. Yeah, the "estimated time" thing seems like a joke.

Another problem: it seems to me like cookbooks have no middle ground between "for Julia Child's daughter" and "for a complete idiot". Between my girlfriend and I we have more than half a dozen cookbooks. One of mine stands out like a sore thumb: it's called something like "Cooking with Four Ingredients or Less". It was a gift and I don't think I've never used it, partly because one of those ingredients is always something from a bag or can that would make a perfectly good dish or side dish itself and the cooking instructions are basically "add the seasoning, stir, and heat up". It's pointless because once you've got the thing in the can, well, why bother adding the rest of the ingredients? And I also avoid it because it seems a bit insulting. "Really? They think this counts as cooking?"

So instead, we go to the other recipe books and muddle through, and they often don't make it easy on us. The last new thing we made recommended a side dish with almost as many ingredients as the main course, but no actual recipe for it. I mean, in the descriptive paragraph at the top of the page, it just said something like "recommend a side dish of orzo with basil, feta, chopped tomatoes and pepper." No measurements or times, there or anywhere else in the book. It turned out fine, but seemed like too much to gloss over.

I guess what I really want is a cookbook that holds my hand through the process. Cooking is intimidating.

1, 3: Really? Odd. (Warning to whoever said in a recent thread that they don't like scatology: stay away. I'm very sorry.) I've been pescatarian for a while now, and I think I'm gassy just as much as I used to be but it doesn't smell nearly as bad. I mean, sure, reporting fallacy, and no one thinks their own farts/body odor/shit smells as bad as someone else's, and even if I'm right there could be some cause entirely unrelated to the less-meat thing for all I know, but I'm 90 percent certain that I haven't had a real stinker in months.

OTOH, maybe the difference is just living in close contact with someone else. I probably now have closer contact with another human's odors than I have had since before I was a teen.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 9:06 AM
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20: I always think of anything without meat or fish as a side dish. But, I'm not a vegetarian.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 9:07 AM
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no one thinks their own farts [...] smells as bad as someone else's

Mine smell like french fries.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 9:07 AM
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Arby's curly fries or good fries?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 9:08 AM
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We often resort to the pre-washed salad in a bag as our "side dish." Lettuce is a vegetable, right? Some chopped onion or bell pepper gets thrown in if we're really ambitious.

If I had more counter space, the food processor would live on the counter and never get put away. Chop chop chop! Well, and if I had a food processor. Right now I just have a little mini thing that attaches to the immersion blender. Which I don't use as often as I would if I had a dishwasher, lemme tell you.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 9:11 AM
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there's not much easier than meat in castiron pan, cook until medium rare.

Yeah! Broiler is even easier. Broil steaks or other meat, pan cook kale or kale equivalent. Repeat. Done.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 9:15 AM
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Cyrus, do you have Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything?

I'm a big fan of taking pre-made soups and doctoring them, but I think I'd get annoyed at a recipe that recommened I do so. TJs low-sodium tomato soup goes well with any number of combinations of ingredients. Soup base + grain + veggie, occasionally + meat.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 9:16 AM
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I like the Cook's Illustrated cookbooks because they give the backstory.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 9:18 AM
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28: I'm pretty sure we don't, no, and I know that's not the thing I was talking about.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 9:20 AM
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Heebie, at the risk of offering advice when you just feel like complaining, can you solve the recipe-code problem by selecting main dishes 1-3 as meals A-C and side dishes 1-3 as meals D-F?

And I would bet that shopping time drops somewhat as you build up your stock of pantry staples. There are some handy lists of what to have on hand as a general rule—I'm sure I've seen one from Bittman, but I'm failing to find it online—and if you can make one major shopping expedition to stock up I would bet that you can cut a bunch of time out of the weekly trips.

Most important: woo, more cooking in the Heebie household!


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 9:24 AM
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One of mine stands out like a sore thumb: it's called something like "Cooking with Four Ingredients or Less".

Four Ingredients or Fewer.


Posted by: My Inner Little Bitch | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 9:33 AM
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20: I use vegetarian cookbooks and I find that a lot of the Indian recipes have tons of side dishes.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 9:43 AM
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I'm the only vegetarian in my house, but no one really cooks much these days. As a result, I was surprised last night to come home to a very strange smell. It wasn't good or bad, just pungent. Turns out the housemates were making chili, and that odd, curious smell I didn't recognize? About a pound of ground beef, browning in a skillet. "Oh. That's that smell."


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 9:46 AM
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34: I feel like such a bad vegetarian because there is a restaurant that I bike past frequently and I love the smell of grilled meat coming from it. I'm so ashamed!


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 9:49 AM
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That's some strict vegetarianism.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 9:51 AM
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I feel like such a bad vegetarian because I brought a turkey sandwich for lunch.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 9:51 AM
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36: I'm an atheist raised in a Catholic family. I have to find my guilt from somewhere.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 9:52 AM
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Honestly, you people could solve all of your problems if you would just stop eating everything except huge slabs of meat cooked in the broiler.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 9:52 AM
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They didn't have broilers on the veldt.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 9:54 AM
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Clearly you could not be considered a vegetarian if you occasionally licked meat. Is smelling really that different?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 9:56 AM
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32: It's funny only because this was linked to within the hour.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 9:56 AM
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41: It's like that scene in the Ice Storm where the kid is talking about how molecules originated from the object so when you're in the bathroom and you smell something you're essentially touching poop in your nose.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 10:02 AM
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And remember that the retina is a part of the brain evolved to reach out and touch light...


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 10:05 AM
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41: Low-hanging fruit, however, does not violate any vegetarian restrictions.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 10:06 AM
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shopping time drops somewhat as you build up your stock of pantry staples

Yes, this.

I just looked at the sample grocery list from RelishRelish. Three of the five sample meals would definitely call for a side dish; maybe that's one reason, i.e. laziness, I'm less inclined to want to make meat-based main dishes that can't really stand alone. I mean, you could have Parmesan-Breaded Scallops all by themselves, and they'd still fill your tummy, but it might be a bit unsatisfying.

Even with that meal list, though, my existing pantry would be able to cover most of the first column, about half of the third column -- the Nuts and the Pasta/Rice, the Salad Dressing (I'd make from scratch), the Canned Goods -- and miscellaneous from the second column, like sun-dried tomatoes, probably potatoes and/or apples and/or peppers, which we often already have.

It'd be the produce, meat, and dairy that would have to be shopped for.

Also, substitutions! The Broccoli-Cheddar mini quiches don't have to use cheddar; if I already had muenster or swiss in the fridge, I might use that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 10:08 AM
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can you solve the recipe-code problem by selecting main dishes 1-3 as meals A-C and side dishes 1-3 as meals D-F?

Nope - Meal A has an automatic side dish preselected for you. So if you printed out...oh, I see what you're saying. Buy for 3 meals and call it 6 meals?

This gets back to Parsley's question:

Very little of what I make as a vegetarian calls for a side dish, unless it's something like a stir-fry with rice (rice here being a side dish?) Or there might be a salad.

Generally their side dishes compliment the main dish for a total representation of carb, protein, and vegetable. If the entre doesn't have much carbs, the side dish will be something filling like couscous or potatoes or something. If the entre has carbs and protein, the side dish will be some kind of semi-complicated salad.

So it depends on the side whether or not it could stand by itself as a meal.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 10:09 AM
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And I would bet that shopping time drops somewhat as you build up your stock of pantry staples.

They do a pretty good job of separating out "What you may already have" from "What you need" (as in the link in 46), and the "What you need" list takes me forever to shop for.

Maybe their recipes are ingredient intense?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 10:12 AM
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I love the smell of grilled meat coming from it

Happens to me all the time as well -- I routinely pass one Charcoal Grille that smells incredible. They vent the smell of the roasters/broilers/grills out through huge pipe vents on top of the building on purpose, you know!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 10:13 AM
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Happens to me all the time as well

The smell of grilled meat comes from you?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 10:14 AM
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You could get a mandoline for the chopping. Or a mandolin and see how that works.

Mandolines are not compatible with vegetarian meals.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 10:14 AM
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Generally their side dishes compliment the main dish for a total representation of carb, protein, and vegetable.

Yeah. I confess I don't bother with that kind of well-rounded meal myself; as long as you're getting a decent representation of each element of the food pyramid per day, you don't really have to eat them all together at a given sitting.

But meal planning for a budding family might be different. While I'm happy to have a serving of eggplant parmesan (by itself, with carrots and onions and peppers and kale in it) for dinner, and a salad (by itself, with nuts and stuff in/on it) for lunch, I might feel that is not right for kids. You'd want to think about their nutritional education as well as just plain nutrition.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 10:25 AM
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You'd want to think about their nutritional education as well as just plain nutrition.

Plus, you have to get them to eat it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 10:27 AM
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This is true. I tend to mistrust any cookery source that does it, on the grounds that they probably don't eat their own stuff.

I have no clue why mentioning the way something is to be cut up in the ingredient list rather than only in the instructions should be a sign that the writer doesn't eat his or her own food. It's a common convention of recipe writing.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 10:28 AM
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I encounter the vegetarian-who-gets-nostalgic-when-smelling-meat thing a lot (particularly with the smell of bacon). I confess I find it kind of baffling. If I loved the smell of meat, I'd, you know, go eat some.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 10:30 AM
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While I'm happy to have a serving of eggplant parmesan (by itself, with carrots and onions and peppers and kale in it) for dinner, and a salad (by itself, with nuts and stuff in/on it) for lunch, I might feel that is not right for kids. You'd want to think about their nutritional education as well as just plain nutrition.

I'd think kids eating like that were doing just fine, educationally as well as nutritionally. I'm a little bemused by carrots in the eggplant parm, though: diced tiny as part of the base of the sauce, or real big pieces of carrot?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 10:30 AM
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55: Moral/environmental/health vegetarians who like meat. If I lived alone, there's a good shot I'd give up meat for environmental/cruelty reasons, but I'd still like it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 10:32 AM
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I'm bemused that people have kids that will eat anything but pasta, cheese, and yogurt without a fight.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 10:32 AM
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As a kid I hated vegetables, fruit, and fish. I loved tripe, blood sausage, and pretty much any sort of weird meat.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 10:35 AM
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We don't have tripe or blood sausage in the house. Salami is always a winner, but we try to keep that to a minimum.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 10:37 AM
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I have no clue why mentioning the way something is to be cut up in the ingredient list rather than only in the instructions should be a sign that the writer doesn't eat his or her own food.

It isn't at all. Not including the time taken to chop the stuff in the estimate of preparation time is, because it's likely to be the most time consuming part. Or a sign that they buy pre-prepped vegetable exclusively, in which case they've already lost me.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 10:37 AM
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I'm bemused that people have kids that will eat anything but pasta, cheese, and yogurt without a fight.

I find that an excellent first step is to ensure that the kid is not yet a toddler.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 10:38 AM
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kids that will eat anything but pasta, cheese, and yogurt without a fight

Add deviled eggs, and you'd have Noah. My other two are fairly adventurous eaters. Cassidy will eat "spicy leaves" (arugula) straight from the bag by the handful.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 10:39 AM
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Not including the time taken to chop the stuff in the estimate of preparation time is, because it's likely to be the most time consuming part.

Ah, I see.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 10:39 AM
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58: Newt won't eat pasta or potatoes (along with a normal kid spectrum of dislikes). Bread, meat, carrot sticks, and raw red peppers. He loves to cook, but mostly doesn't like the results.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 10:39 AM
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I love recipes.


Posted by: Pauly Shore | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 10:42 AM
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chop roughly, don't dice - it tastes the same in the end, even if it isn't as pretty and takes half as long

Finely diced/sliced pieces cook more quickly and uniformly, and mix more in small (as in, forkful) quantities. Imagine, say, a risotto or ratatouille with finely cut vegetables versus one with big chunks. Even raw, they make for a substantially different dish: this restaurant where I worked had a salad of julienned turnip, celeriac, leek and gruyere (in proportions of roughly 4:3:2:1, dressed with olive oil and lemon juice) that was a delicacy with fine pieces but a brutish thing when they were roughly cut. That said, it was indeed the most labor-intensive thing on the menu.

Mandolines are not compatible with vegetarian meals.

Huh?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 10:44 AM
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Humans are not a vegetarian ingredient.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 10:45 AM
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"I have a pangolin; I play it all night long. It makes me want to kill myself."


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 10:49 AM
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68: But hufu is really no kind of replacement.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 10:50 AM
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They do a pretty good job of separating out "What you may already have" from "What you need" (as in the link in 46), and the "What you need" list takes me forever to shop for.

Oh, okay, I see. Good that they do that. As parsimon says, pantry-stocking would take care of most of the third column, but it does take a while to pick over the produce.

Buy for 3 meals and call it 6 meals?

Yes, assuming there's a way to deselect the side from one instance of a meal and deselect the main from the other. I can't tell from their screenshots whether that would work or be incredibly annoying.


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 10:51 AM
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62: Yes, he used to eat pretty much anything that you could get on a spoon. I can still get him to eat broccoli if I spend all of dinner trying to steal it from his plate.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 10:52 AM
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56: Diced small as part of the sauce. I wondered if people would raise an eyebrow at that. And I recently layered roughly shredded kale in between the layers of sauce/breaded eggplant/cheese, which worked out awesomely. Variation: semi-thick slices of zucchini as well, breaded and prepared like the eggplant, to use for eggplant/zucchini parmesan. (Rightfully, the h/t for this goes to the original Moosewood Cookbook.)

I expect this RelishRelish thing is going to be great for Heebie and Jammies to gain cooking instincts for what goes with what. I'd totally double some of the recipes: no reason not to make a double amount of mini-quiches (have for lunch the next day).

Also, pre-making certain recipe components. I made that red sauce one night and put it on pasta that night, then used the rest a couple of nights later for the eggplant parmesan. Not an original thought; but having things in the fridge or freezer already is extremely helpful. You can put leftover breaded, cooked eggplant slices (reheated) on a sandwich, for that matter.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 10:53 AM
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I swear I read something recently about a new cookbook, by some industry doyenne (Reichl? Jones?), that actively breaks with the "3 onions, finely diced" convention in favor of telling you to dice the onions while something else is happening on the stove. (Of course the editor went through recipe by recipe and reëstablished the convention.) Did anyone else see this? I think it was in the Times dining section, but my search-fu is weak this morning.


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 11:05 AM
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I swear I read something recently about a new cookbook, by some industry doyenne (Reichl? Jones?), that actively breaks with the "3 onions, finely diced" convention in favor of telling you to dice the onions while something else is happening on the stove.

It's called The Joy of Cooking and it's been around for a while.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 11:13 AM
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in favor of telling you to dice the onions while something else is happening on the stove

This can turn some things, like stir-frys and risottos, into half-hour one-dish meals, but you still have to be pretty organized and have either good knife skills or a food processor to pull it off IME.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 11:14 AM
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telling you to dice the onions while something else is happening on the stove. (Of course the editor went through recipe by recipe and re√ęstablished the convention.) Did anyone else see this?

Yes, and now my searching is failing as well.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 11:17 AM
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Aha, here you go.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 11:19 AM
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75: well, sort of, but not. Ingredients in their purchased forms all listed at the beginning; instructions following. Not the weird interleaved structure Joy uses, which inevitably makes me overlook ingredients when I'm planning.


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 11:20 AM
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Aha! rfts FTW.


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 11:21 AM
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78: the tyranny of mise en place

Another evil to rise up against!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 11:24 AM
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55: Moral/environmental/health vegetarians who like meat.

Yeah, makes sense. I guess I'm a terrible person, because I'd probably eat meat if I liked it; I just don't. Maybe I should go pet a cow or something to make up for the fact that, while my stomach is in the right place, my heart isn't.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 11:25 AM
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Really, though, this is the kind of effect one can easily replicate for oneself by reading the recipe in advance and having a rough notion of how long it takes one to perform the various kitchen tasks it calls for.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 11:31 AM
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Speaking of recipes, I recently attended a Thanksgiving-themed potluck, and I swear the green bean tasted funny. How do you muck that up? Isn't it literally, like, open three cans and put the thing in the oven?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 11:34 AM
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green bean s/b green bean casserole


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 11:35 AM
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How do you muck that up?

With cream of mushroom soup.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 11:36 AM
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So, for instance, the solution to this guy's problem:

But the next step in a proper mise en place -- the knife work -- trips me up. I run out of space on the cutting board. I run out of patience. I run out of time. I'm hungry and I want everything to move faster.

is more advance prep work, not less. If his knife work is dodgy and he's impatient, better to do it when it's actually impossible to run out of time, because the cooking hasn't started yet. (Unless by "run out of time" he means: dinner won't be ready by a set time.)

Since you only need to deal with one ingredient at once, the space on the cutting board is a nonissue.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 11:36 AM
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84: They added bacon?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 11:37 AM
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How do you muck that up?

Generic fried onion slivers?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 11:43 AM
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83: Yes, certainly, if one is already reasonably comfortable in the kitchen. If one is not, recipes that assume that sort of knowledge are frustrating.


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 11:44 AM
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If one is not, recipes that assume that sort of knowledge are frustrating.

When I published a recipe (it was a fund raiser at work), I assumed very little knowledge. My "Tuna salad sandwich" was widely noted as a simplest recipe in the whole book, especially since I insisted nothing but bread, mayo, and tuna be used.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 11:55 AM
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Was it Late Night Tuna Salad Sandwich?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 11:56 AM
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91: Moby is a purist.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 11:57 AM
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92: No. It required the chef to make a call on the ratio of tuna to mayo. You can't leave that kind of decision for late at night.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 11:59 AM
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93: Moby hates raw celery.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 12:00 PM
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95: Hey, we live here!


Posted by: Ants on a Log | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 12:05 PM
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the tyranny of mise en place

I understand why this is useful for some people, and perhaps especially for baking. But when someone (ahem, Ezra) goes on about how absolutely important it is, it makes me think that person doesn't cook very much.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 12:11 PM
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mise en place can be quite useful for more complicated recipes with lots of ingredients that need to be prepped and then included at more or less precise moments. Plus those little piles of colour look pretty.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 12:13 PM
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You should really reconsider raw celery, Moby. I knew a girl in college who insisted that the act of eating raw celery burned more calories than the celery itself supplied. I have no idea if this is true, but if people see you eating raw celery all day, and you offer up this explanation, celery sales might really take off. (Protip: invest in celery futures first.)


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 12:16 PM
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For day-to-day cooking, though, it is a waste of time.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 12:16 PM
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99: I suspect this would work better for a thin person.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 12:18 PM
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I cook a lot, and I usually use some variety of mise en place. But that might just mean getting all the ingredients out, or opening the can of tomatoes, or if it's something spice heavy, measuring out the spices ahead of time. I tend to be one of those people that, even if I have read the recipe over two times, still invariably forgets something - so it's kind of a guarantee that I will need to have saved myself some time somewhere. Also, and this seems sort of paradoxical (and is dependent on having a dishwasher), but it lets me clean as I go more easily so that I don't have to spend forever taking care of the kitchen after I've eaten.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 12:19 PM
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insisted that the act of eating raw celery burned more calories than the celery itself supplied

I think this is one of those women's magazines myths. See also, "Drinking ice water is good for weight loss, because your body will have to expend calories to warm it up!"


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 12:20 PM
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With any recipe requiring a well-cooked onion base, I'll chop the onion, get that started cooking, and then do all the rest of the mise en place in the meanwhile.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 12:20 PM
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I think this is one of those women's magazines myths.

Like finding a guy who doesn't pee on the seat.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 12:22 PM
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I guess I'm a terrible guy, because I'd probably pee on the seat if I liked it; I just don't.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 12:24 PM
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With any recipe requiring a well-cooked onion base

Topically, I find that whenever I see a recipe that wants a well-cooked onion base, it says something like "cook onions until carmelized, five minutes." I've never been able to get a pile of onions to carmelize in less than 15. Maybe I need a bigger pan or something.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 12:24 PM
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106: I was talking about the seat on the bus.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 12:25 PM
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I didn't know what mise en place was earlier today.

Now I'm furious at Parenthetical for daring to defend its tyranny!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 12:26 PM
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I just use the sink: wastes less water and aiming is easier.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 12:26 PM
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107: It goes more quickly if you toss in some Caramellos. No, really, try it!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 12:27 PM
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111 to 106.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 12:27 PM
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as long as you're getting a decent representation of each element of the food pyramid per day, you don't really have to eat them all together at a given sitting.

I don't really care that each meal has a vegetable, carb, and protein, as long as each meal has sufficiently many calories. But not all the side dishes will have enough calories to stand as a meal on its own.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 12:27 PM
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A well-cooked flared onion base is the key.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 12:27 PM
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107: No, they're just lying. I hate that.

109: No, no, not defending, because I do think for some people and some things it just makes absolutely no sense. It just happens to fit my cooking style. Also, I tend to cook from recipes and not improvise; were I an improvisational cook I can't see how it would fit nearly as well. And so on, for all sorts of reasons.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 12:29 PM
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115.1: That was my thought also. Whenever I tried to cook faster, I'd just get burned onions.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 12:31 PM
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In the other direction, polenta never takes as long to cook for me as the directions say it will. Am I doing it wrong?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 12:33 PM
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115.2: Ok, then. I'll try to restrain my fury.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 12:34 PM
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117: If you are, I am too.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 12:34 PM
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117: If you call it "grits" it cooks faster.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 12:35 PM
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You're not cooking it long enough for the ideal taste. I had the same issue, and it turned out that if you keep on stirring over low heat long after it seems done the cornmeal comes out better. It also makes polenta an even more annoying pain in the ass to make than it already is.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 12:37 PM
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You're not cooking it long enough for the ideal taste.

Nothing you can't fix with at little Karo.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 12:43 PM
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Do people normally serve template with something like marinara sauce? My Chilean host family used to serve it this way all the time, claiming it was the Argentine father(PBUH)'s favorite dish from his home country.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 12:49 PM
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"template"? I meant "polenta". Sigh.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 12:50 PM
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Recipes are bullshit. Just put the food together you want

I guess I have a few recipes like for pancakes and spice blends.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 12:50 PM
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113: I don't really care that each meal has a vegetable, carb, and protein, as long as each meal has sufficiently many calories. But not all the side dishes will have enough calories to stand as a meal on its own.

Judging from the side dishes in the sample menu/shopping list on RelishRelish, no, they wouldn't; some of the side dishes are just frozen hash browns. On the other hand, a person has been known to eat a robust salad all by itself for dinner. If you're fairly athletic, that might not do. Ogged used to need/want to pack in a lot of protein and calories. So a salad with nuts and cheese and dried cranberries or sliced pears and a variety of other things would not do, even if accompanied by vegetable soup.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 12:50 PM
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121: Some people have different "ideal tastes." I've made it both ways,* and I really do prefer the shorter-cooked version. (Shorter seems sort of silly when I'm still talking about 20-30 minutes, but there you have it.)

*And in the oven.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 12:59 PM
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Ogged used to need/want to pack in a lot of protein and calories

I remember when ogged used to eat.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 12:59 PM
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128: You mean that time he got "cancer" and we treated him to that fancy restaurant? Good times.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 1:01 PM
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123: That's how they serve it at the local Italian restaurant. Polenta with goat cheese and mushrooms with marinara. It's very good. They also have polenta with marinara and sausage.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 1:11 PM
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128, 129: Probably means that he still eats, and maybe in the same way. At least I hope that's what it means.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 1:16 PM
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There's a great polenta and red sauce recipe from the Rancho Gordo folks that involves Rio Zape beans and fennel among other nummy things. We make it all the time in winter. NOM.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 1:17 PM
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I once calculated how cold a beer would have to be in order for the energy spent warming it up to cancel out the caloric content. It turns out that even a light beer cooled to absolute zero would still have net positive calories.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 3:43 PM
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I bet you didn't factor in the calories spent chewing it.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 3:51 PM
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Or screaming in pain from a truly epic brainfreeze.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 4:05 PM
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Now I want to see superfluid beer.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 4:09 PM
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Topically, I find that whenever I see a recipe that wants a well-cooked onion base, it says something like "cook onions until carmelized, five minutes."

Already covered, but yeah, that's just a big fat lie.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 4:19 PM
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83: Yes, certainly, if one is already reasonably comfortable in the kitchen. If one is not, recipes that assume that sort of knowledge are frustrating.

But recipes that tell you to dice the foos while the bars are sauteing have to assume comfort and skill in the kitchen as well: namely, enough comfort and skill that you can dice the foos before the bars burn, and will be able to tell if they're nearing that point and should be taken off the heat, etc.

I don't see why it's a matter of comfort in the kitchen to be able to read the recipe ahead of time and see what of the ingredients is used when, but perhaps that's a result of my comfort in the kitchen.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 4:28 PM
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You guys are the best.


Posted by: Pauly Shore | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 4:54 PM
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I admit that the Pauly Shore replacement comments are great, and credit somebody or other for having pointed out that that's what was going on, assuming that's what's going on.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 5:13 PM
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enough comfort and skill that you can dice the foos before the bars burn, and will be able to tell if they're nearing that point and should be taken off the heat

Sometimes I think this isn't a matter of comfort in the kitchen, but a matter of sheer attention span. I've cooked (tried to cook) with people who just can't manage to keep a portion of their attention on the pan, the one with the onions in it that's a mere foot away from their elbow as they chop the carrots here on the cutting board.

I'm truly puzzled by what the problem is. You can smell the onions, perhaps hear them, and practically see them in peripheral vision. How can you not notice or pay attention to the fact that the oil is too hot, the onions are getting too brown and need to be tossed or stirred?

I'll call this a question of just comfort and familiarity in the kitchen if I must, but it really does puzzle me, because try as I might, I can't figure out how to help such a person cook in a more fruitful manner.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 5:25 PM
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I guess what I really want is a cookbook that holds my hand through the process. Cooking is intimidating.

The Cordon Bleu 'Techniques' book is pretty good for this. It's less a cookbook and more a handy reference manual for techniques, with a bunch of basic recipes chucked in.

FWIW, generally, I have pretty OK knife skills, so chopping and dicing and a moderate amount of prep is fine, but I can never be arsed with recipes that involve a lot of standing over the cooker doing stuff. I want it to be slice and chop and fry, and be quick, or one pot stuff that I can leave for ages and go and have a drink, read a book or watch telly. A lot of traditional cooking clearly evolved in the era when women spent their lives chained to stoves.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 5:36 PM
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I'll call this a question of just comfort and familiarity in the kitchen if I must, but it really does puzzle me, because try as I might, I can't figure out how to help such a person cook in a more fruitful manner.

Some people can't multi-task. So, you have them do one thing at a time.

The real difficulty is with people like me. I'm unable to do one thing.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 5:37 PM
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enough comfort and skill that you can dice the foos before the bars burn, and will be able to tell if they're nearing that point and should be taken off the heat
I'm truly puzzled by what the problem is. You can smell the onions, perhaps hear them, and practically see them in peripheral vision. How can you not notice or pay attention to the fact that the oil is too hot, the onions are getting too brown and need to be tossed or stirred?

If you can tell the oil is too hot, that the onions are getting too brown, or they need to be tossed and stirred, then...that means you have enough comfort and skill that you can tell if they're nearing that point and should be taken off the heat. What's the puzzlement?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 5:38 PM
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Also, re: 104, isn't that what everyone does?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 5:40 PM
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Cooking from a recipe, I think, is always kind of slow. All my actual speedy meals are either recipes I've made many times before, or ad-hoc assemblages based on things I've made before or read about. Whenever I am truly cooking from the page, the whole process (reading the recipe, thinking it through, sorting out the ingredients properly, etc.) is not a quickie after work experience.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 5:54 PM
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What's the puzzlement?

Understood. I guess I don't understand why it never sinks in. After years of someone's cooking endeavors.

I've considered the multi-tasking problem, but I see this kind of thing in people who are perfectly capable of multi-tasking in other areas. Maybe it's just a blind spot; maybe it's that someone else has always taken care of it in a pinch; maybe it's that they don't have an awfully discerning palate; or maybe they just don't give a shit, ultimately.

There are things I've opted out of, after all: I don't know how to do some basic automotive things. Someone who can't put together an omelette or make a pot of chili without fucking up the spices might find my cluelessness as to changing the oil in my car just foreign and strange. I'm not very good with plumbing, either.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 6:03 PM
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I stopped changing my own oil after I spilled about three quarts on the driveway. There was a hole in the bucket.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 6:12 PM
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I'm pretty comfortable in the kitchen but once in a while I'll still screw up badly through a lapse in attention or forgetfulness or whatever one calls not taking into account that you're using habaneros rather than the peppers you normally use in a standard recipe. I also have crappy knife skills for someone who cooks a lot. It still works out fine most of the time.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 6:30 PM
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My knives seriously need attention. I've been ignoring it, but at this point it's impinging on my willingness and ability to cook. It's just one knife, really, the chef's knife. I have to do something about this.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 6:36 PM
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145: Probably, but I don't think that's a proper mise en place, then, is it?


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 7:14 PM
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I am interpreting parsimon's puzzlement as, there are people who can't tell 'these onions are too burnt' in the pan smoking, but are quite opinionated 'these onions are too burnt' when they're on the plate. I don't understand what filter they're using; it sure looks like Someone Else's Problem but maybe it's just fear.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 7:49 PM
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but are quite opinionated 'these onions are too burnt' when they're on the plate

Ah. More like they register: this dish is fine and acceptable, edible, but not particularly good. But they couldn't tell you why. It's because the onions are slightly burnt, or there's too much oregano, or the vegetables are chopped in completely different sizes so the carrots aren't quite done while the peppers are overcooked.

What puzzles me is why coaching about burnt onions, the dangers of too much oregano, and the need to chop veggies in roughly similar sizes (accounting for cooking time) doesn't take hold. It's exhausting to try to deal with. I have one friend who perpetually oversteams broccoli and green beans and similar things, and it's like: dude, would you please cut it out? Just don't do the broccoli, okay? I'll do it.

I realize I've been on what sounds like a semi-extended whine about this, and I'm sorry. I've tried to clarify that I just don't get why repeated cooking explanations to cooking friends don't get anywhere. It's like running up against a brick wall.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 8:20 PM
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It's like running up against a brick wall.

Not always as unproductive as you might think!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 8:21 PM
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I'm not seeing anything productive in it. All I'm doing is being annoyed by the whole thing.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 8:28 PM
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I like mushy broccoli (well past the point some would call ruined) and very little oregano. Keep your oregano out of the pasta sauce.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 8:41 PM
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I like mushy broccoli (well past the point some would call ruined) and very little oregano. Keep your oregano out of the pasta sauce.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 8:42 PM
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Stupid iTouch.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 8:43 PM
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Stupid iTouch.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 8:44 PM
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Don't put your iTouch in the pasta sauce.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 8:44 PM
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Aaggghh.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 8:44 PM
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I'm a lot less vegetarian than I would be if I could think of more quick vegetarian meals -- there's lots of vegetarian meals I like, but they're mostly very cooking intensive. This marks me as a stupid cook,...

I've been vegetarian for years, and I must be a stupid cook too. I do cook meat for the carnivores in the household, and honestly, I find it much easier to plan and cook a meat-centred meal than to come up with something relatively quick and easy and vegetarian.

That said, Jeanne Lemlin's Quick Vegetarian Pleasures is one of my favourite cookbooks, and I also have a couple of other Lemlins that I rely upon quite a bit. She doesn't lie (her quick recipes really are quick: under 30 minutes), and she's realistic about planning and prepwork and stuff. So while her recipes are overall quite healthy (fresh produce, beans and pulses and etc), she's not above recommending canned beans, frozen spinach, and so on.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 8:50 PM
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That looks excellently handy!

I am a quick veg cook principally because I have a pressure cooker. (Two. No, wait, three. side dishes!)


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 8:52 PM
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I like mushy broccoli

You've also attested to all kinds of other things I wouldn't have a taste for. What was that about a beer and a chocolate cupcake or something?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 8:55 PM
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That was just what we had, not a planned meal.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 9:00 PM
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Moby is my mom?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 9:01 PM
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Hm. I find that nearly everything that I cook quickly & without a recipe is vegetarian (even leaving aside things like grilled cheese). Polenta + green + egg type things.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 9:03 PM
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My quick go to recipes are either pasta, which is either veggie or veggie flavored with a little bit of bacon/sausage/pancetta, or meat based stir fries.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 9:06 PM
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Your mom is so moby, she ain't that moby.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 9:07 PM
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Oh, and also 'chunk of meat either minimally modified or with a basic shallot/wine/broth/herb or mushroom/cream sauce.'


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 9:08 PM
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167: Right. Toast, popcorn, hot ham water .


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 9:10 PM
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not a planned meal.

If it had been a planned meal, mushy broccoli might have been on the menu.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 9:11 PM
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170: Now you're just bragging.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 9:13 PM
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It's one of the first things I learned how to cook, and if you have it down cold it takes very little effort: mince shallots, sweat in butter until thoroughly translucent but not colouring, add some broth and reduce, add some wine and reduce, add cream, let thicken, at the appropriate point add either dried mushrooms that you had soaking in the cream or dried herbs or fresh ones if you've got some hanging around. While doing this wash dishes and deal with the meat, starch, and veggie. A half hours work for the food and you've done the dishes as well.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 9:22 PM
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This is worrying. I don't know how to "mince shallots", "sweat in butter", or "reduce", and I don't know which herbs would be appropriate, or what "translucent" and "coloring" mean. Fortunately there are videos for this stuff if I had a reason to want to know these things.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 9:26 PM
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For Jesus, who had a good idea, I present the roast without equal.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 10:00 PM
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176: I like the idea of expanding beyond the turkey—imagine a cassowary!—but the stuffed olive at the center is crass.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11-18-10 11:36 PM
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I drive by an emu farm every day. If we can find an oven big enough, we can do this. I wonder how easy it would be to overclock a hot tub to scald off the feathers.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 11-19-10 12:04 AM
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I drive by an emu farm every day. If we can find an oven big enough, we can do this. I wonder how easy it would be to overclock a hot tub to scald off the feathers.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 11-19-10 12:04 AM
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Stupid iPad.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 11-19-10 12:05 AM
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re: 168/170/174

That's basically my approach if I'm short of time and don't know what to make. Either that or I do a quick rice dish. I have a load of variations, but they are all some version of absorption cooked rice with veggies and meat/seafood which, depending on the rice chosen,* the amount of liquid and/or spices/herbs turn into paella, a 'pilau' or risotto.

I don't have any problem making quick veggie meals, but since I'm not actually a veggie a lot of my 'veggie' meals will have a bit of diced bacon/pancetta in, or use chicken stock, just because it tastes nicer.

* I love rice, so we'd usually have basmati [white and brown], a couple of types of risotto rice, and a paella rice in the cupboard.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-19-10 1:06 AM
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re: 178

There's a Heston Blumenthal episode where he overclocks a hot-tub to cook a pig.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-19-10 1:06 AM
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174: As easy as homemade pizza!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-19-10 1:46 AM
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168 sounds about right, although I'm very dependent on minimal prep, long simmer stuff most of the time (probably because I like beans). I too tend to use meat as a condiment rather than a central ingredient unless I'm doing a big roast for some occasion.

E.g. Broccoli chopped fine and sauteed with a clove of garlic, a good handful each of raisins and pine nuts and the juice of a lemon. Boil some pasta, drain and stir in. Start to finish, half an hour tops. I think that was adapted from something on the BBC website long ago.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11-19-10 1:56 AM
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re: 183

Heh. For me, at least, any flour and yeast cooking becomes 'effort'. I do sometimes* make my own pizza [dough, etc], but that'd never be a quick 'after work' meal for me. I'm crap at cooking anything that's "baking" without taking lots of time and care, as I've never picked up the knack of quick and easy flour/yeast cooking. Ditto making my own pasta, which I'd basically never do, as most of the times I've done it quickly, it's been terrible.

On the other hand, I'll knock up meat/veg + sauce based dishes at the drop of a hat.

* although it's probably been a couple of years since the last time, so hardly often.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-19-10 3:19 AM
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If you do want to cook a homemade pizza, the recipe for little pizzette in Giorgio Locatelli's cookbook scales to a full pizza well and is completely reliable.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 11-19-10 5:10 AM
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(Generally, that book is strongly recommended on the grounds that the recipes are fire-and-forget reliable.)


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 11-19-10 5:11 AM
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re:186

I used to use a Nigel Slater recipe from some Graun supplement on recipes for kids to make. That was pretty reliable.

I'm assuming it was similar to this:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/oct/31/nigel-slater-pizza-recipe

although I haven't compared the two.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-19-10 5:16 AM
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I also can't really do any baking stuff. I've never developed a feel for it. Fresh pasta on the other hand almost always comes out great but is also always a big messy pain in the ass with flour and dough getting over everything so I only make it a couple times a year.

OT skimming through Spiegel I see that some British star TV comedian by the name of Jason Manford got himself fired by the BBC for improper relationships with female fans. These apparently consisted of flirting online with, over time, about a dozen women and in some of those cases it included cyber sex and/or 'allowing' them to send him 'skimpily dressed' photos of themselves. As sex scandals go, this has got to be as mild as it gets. Breaking: Star entertainer has mild sexual flirtation with a couple fans, news at eleven. If this is all there is to it I don't want anymore cracks from Brits on how the US is a puritan culture.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-19-10 5:53 AM
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I see that some British star TV comedian by the name of Jason Manford got himself fired by the BBC for improper relationships with female fans

I've never heard of this guy, so I suppose he must be a huge star. But the BBC's own take on it doesn't suggest he was disciplined at all but implies strongly that he quit after an ultimatum from his wife.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11-19-10 6:11 AM
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re: 190

He's fairly mainstream. He's a regular on panel shows and his standup fills fairly big venues. It's bland milquetoast stuff, though, in the Michael McIntyre vein.

re: 189

He didn't get fired, he resigned. And he presents a bland magazine format show, so he's in a particularly cruddy cause-no-offence end of the telly marketplace.

The key thing to remember about Britain is i) we have a vile right-wing censorious tabloid press which loves to hound people and wag the finger, and ii) actual people don't give a fuck.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-19-10 6:15 AM
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192

191 part pwned by 190.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-19-10 6:18 AM
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He didn't get fired, he resigned.

Everyone always resigns. He resigned "to spend more time with his family." And the BBC said, "No comment except we accept his decision." I don't give a shit about this, but "he resigned" has very weedy little shoulders upon which too meaning much ought not be larded.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-19-10 6:27 AM
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re: 193

I think chris's take here is the correct one, fwiw. Even by the current cowardly standards of the BBC* the stuff Manford has done wouldn't remotely be a firing offence.

* since Gilligan, and then the Ross/Brand thing they've been pathetic in standing up to the government and/or tabloid press.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-19-10 6:29 AM
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Maybe it was a seekrit double-reverse resignation.

"I resign...myself to subtler flirting with fans!"


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-19-10 6:30 AM
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193. Also, the BBC doesn't ask people to resign in cases of "moral turpentine" or whatever the current phrase is - it fires them with a parade and trumpets to make it clear to the editor of the Daily Mail that it can be trusted with the country's ethical well-being.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11-19-10 6:36 AM
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Unlike here, where the liberal media bias ensures that poor Roger Ailes has to apologize for calling NPR execs Nazis.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-19-10 6:41 AM
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197: I may have this confused, but I heard on the radio that he didn't apologize to the NPR executives.
So, I think he was apologizing to Nazis for comparing them to the vile bigots at NPR.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-19-10 7:15 AM
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198: He apologized (via letter) specifically to a former head of the ADL and notably not to anyone at NPR.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-19-10 7:18 AM
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i put so much oregano on my pizza (so basically marinara) that out lois green


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 11-19-10 10:15 AM
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You might not like the woman's art, but she's hardly the kind of public figure it's necessary to out, yoyo.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-19-10 10:17 AM
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Similarly, I'd like to apologize to NAMBLA and the Roman Catholic Church for my press release noting that Roger Ailes fucks little boys in his basement. Neither of those organizations deserves to be publicly associated with such a vile, intolerant bigot as Ailes.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-19-10 10:28 AM
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that out lois green

Something tells me that might not be oregano.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11-19-10 10:33 AM
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202: Yeah, apologizing to Abe fucking Foxman by saying I should have called them "bigots" instead of Nazis is fucking precious. As Digby says:

It's now thoroughly mainstream for right wing news executives and commentators to accuse liberals and journalists of being Nazis, murderers and terrorist sympathizers --- while liberals and journalists who express alarm at such things are marginalized as extremists
FOXNews Bigotry D-Day: coming soon. The act of watching or advertising on Fox must be met with revulsion in decent society. Ailes has outed himself (as if there were any doubt); I want someone asking Jake "dick" Tapper if he still wonders how they are different than any other news organization.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-19-10 1:37 PM
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to the OP:

Cookbook time estimates are just about correct assuming skill. Which is an unfair assumption.

The two main contributers to things taking much longer are 1) lack of knife and related skills and 2) lack of multitasking.

The first can be learned but takes time (I'm probably literally 10x faster at this than my SO, product of kitchen work ages ago). The 2nd is something recipe authors often don't help with at all, because the description of "steps" in the recipe doesn't help you realize what should be happening at the same time. Also, it takes a level of comfort at what is going on to do this all in parallel and not feel like you are going to miss something or burn something.


Posted by: delurking | Link to this comment | 11-21-10 8:21 AM
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205: And 3) failure of the cookbook author to take prep time into account. I don't necessarily mean setting the mise en place, if that means having veggies already chopped and so on.

I mean simply getting all the ingredients out, perhaps washing the veggies or sorting through which of the green peppers in the fridge is preferable, realizing that one of them is in a sorry state and putting that one in the compost, choosing between, say, the Hungarian paprika and the 'regular' paprika in the cupboard, etc. That sort of thing can easily take me 10 minutes, which is no big deal, but if the recipe is telling me that preparation time is 25 minutes, well, that's unlikely. Never mind if you have to wash a few dishes first.

The thing is, I don't particularly expect a recipe to account for all of that, since it obviously varies by household.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-21-10 11:15 AM
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206)

sure, but it's fair of a recipe author to assume you have ingredients to hand and don't have to do the extra prep you describe, or dishes, etc. For the reason you state. You can mentally add x min for whatever state you know your kitchen and fridge are in.


Posted by: delurking | Link to this comment | 11-21-10 3:43 PM
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At hand.

Anyway, my kitchen is in tip-top shape, I'll have you know! I only had to pause for 3 minutes a bit ago, while putting together a rather ad hoc apple nut bread, to sponge up some sticky crap on the floor in front of the fridge, as my housemate had just kvetched that his sock just stuck to the floor there, and it was gross. Mmrph, been there for a week, dude, there's a sponge right there.

Since I messed all around with the nut bread recipe, god knows how it'll turn out.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-21-10 5:33 PM
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This thread may be dead (I was out of town and busy!) but you may want to check out SOS Cuisine (http://www.soscuisine.com/?sos_l=en) which sounds a lot like your pay-per-use site except it's free. Started in quebec, so the translations may be spotty (I use it en francais) but it's handy and has lots of options. And free. Free is good.


Posted by: parodie | Link to this comment | 11-22-10 4:37 PM
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