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Special Interest => Gulching/Self-Sufficiency => Food, Cooking, Brewing, Vinting, Distilling => Topic started by: Moonbeam on December 16, 2011, 02:55:43 pm

Title: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Moonbeam on December 16, 2011, 02:55:43 pm
I have wondered about many things, but didn't want to start a thread each time. So whenever I have a question or other thoughts, I'll post here. Please add your experiences, too!

I needed a new rolling pin so I decided to purchase a French rolling pin (like this: http://www.amazon.com/Ateco-French-Rolling-Pin/dp/B000KESQ1G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1324068716&sr=8-1). I look forward to trying a new gadget next week when I make some sugar cookie cut-outs with the kiddos. (Santa will need some cookies ;))

QUESTION: Does anyone have experience freezing cream cheese? [http://www.stockpilingmoms.com/2011/02/can-you-freeze-cream-cheese/]
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: mutti on December 16, 2011, 03:43:15 pm
Quote
QUESTION: Does anyone have experience freezing cream cheese?

I freeze it frequently along with Fromage Blanc, Chevre, Ricotta, and Mozzarella.

If I purchase the Cream Cheese - I leave it in the packaging - marking last date it should be used (for us 1 year).

If I make cheese, I seal a meal it and freeze it up to one year. Unless it is Mozzarella which I butcher paper and then seal a meal for up to one year.

(TMM General Cheesemaking Stuff (http://www.thementalmilitia.com/forums/index.php?topic=20251.0))

Also - if you want nice even cookies - either place 1/4" thick rubber bands at either side of your rolling pin. This prevents you from making the dough too thin. Or find a nice woodworker who will make you a frame for around where you roll out that is the thickness of the cookies you are making.

Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Moonbeam on December 20, 2011, 03:06:23 pm
Thanks, MUTTI! I will freeze the cream cheese then :)

BTW, am I imagining this or did you mention that your groom makes drop biscuits? I've tried Mama Liberty's recipe a few times with success and would like to try another member's as well.
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: mutti on December 20, 2011, 03:36:18 pm
ND drops them. I'm sure he'll be by shortly  ^_^. I'm a "rolled biscuit" snob (not really), but fun to think we've been together almost 18 years and somethings never change!
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: amagi on December 20, 2011, 03:58:58 pm
My sweetie is pestering me to come up with a device I REALLY need.  I can't think of one. I have a really good mixer, small kitchen tools.  Blender. Any suggestions?  Specialized cheese making tools?  Maybe a potato masher, but that doesn't really say I Love You like something with a motor.
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Moonbeam on December 20, 2011, 04:09:58 pm
AMAGI - This isn't a device or gadget per se, however I really like a spreader I picked up from Pampered Chef earlier this year. I probably use it about once a day and I cannot go back to using a regular ol' dinner knife. I'm sure there are similar brands for not a lot of $$:

http://www.amazon.com/Pampered-Chef-All-Purpose-Spreader/dp/B001AO6QSA

There is a William Sonoma outlet near us so I get a few things from them I like as well:

POP-UP SPONGES: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/pop-up-sponge/ (I perfer the regular size for dishwashing)

SPONULA: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/silicone-spatulas-and-spoonula/ (I have them in all sizes)

I picked up this style apple slicer/corer for about $10:

http://www.amazon.com/Calphalon-Easy-Grip-Apple-Slicer/dp/B000SOAT0Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1324419509&sr=8-1

Last month I got this spice organizer and so far, I really like it:

http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?SKU=17621912
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: mutti on December 20, 2011, 04:28:37 pm
My sweetie is pestering me to come up with a device I REALLY need.  I can't think of one. I have a really good mixer, small kitchen tools.  Blender. Any suggestions?  Specialized cheese making tools?  Maybe a potato masher, but that doesn't really say I Love You like something with a motor.

Food Saver? Wine making kit? Whisper Grain Mill? Sausage stuffer? Plyban for cheesemaking (Hoeggers or Caprine Supply)?
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: MamaLiberty on December 20, 2011, 05:30:15 pm
My sweetie is pestering me to come up with a device I REALLY need.  I can't think of one. I have a really good mixer, small kitchen tools.  Blender. Any suggestions?  Specialized cheese making tools?  Maybe a potato masher, but that doesn't really say I Love You like something with a motor.

I just bought something I've needed for YEARS... a cooking thermometer made especially for milk. I've been fooling around all this time with a candy thermometer, but it is not graduated finely enough and I had to guess. Just made yogurt with the new one this morning and I'm so tickled. It will work fine for cheese as well.

http://www.amazon.com/Rattleware-7-Inch-Easy-Steam-Thermometer/dp/B0016CDFDK/ref=sr_1_8?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1324423639&sr=1-8
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: krosey on January 04, 2012, 03:01:17 pm
I bought a cheap popcorn maker to roast my green coffee beans.  Yum. 

I am looking for long term spices though, does anyone know where I can find them? If you know of a place how do they send them?  Mylar or just in jars or what? 
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: MamaLiberty on January 04, 2012, 03:10:06 pm
I bought a cheap popcorn maker to roast my green coffee beans.  Yum. 

I am looking for long term spices though, does anyone know where I can find them? If you know of a place how do they send them?  Mylar or just in jars or what? 


http://www.bulkfoods.com/

Buy in bulk, do long term storage packaging yourself. Saves big bux. :)
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Moonbeam on February 02, 2012, 10:11:19 am
Has anyone ever made unleavened bread? Experience? Recipe?
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: MamaLiberty on February 02, 2012, 11:46:13 am
Has anyone ever made unleavened bread? Experience? Recipe?

Yes, tortillas for the most common. I've had other, but can't say I care much for it. :) I'm not sure if the AmerInd "frybread" is leavened or not.

The most interesting one I tasted was made from regular flour and cattail pollen. Strong flavored and very chewy, but ok if you didn't have anything else. Don't have a recipe, but I can find one. :)
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Zookeeper on February 02, 2012, 04:52:17 pm
I have a recipe for Pumpkin Fry bread if you want it . It uses self rising flour in the recipe.
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: MamaLiberty on February 02, 2012, 05:05:23 pm
I have a recipe for Pumpkin Fry bread if you want it . It uses self rising flour in the recipe.

That would be great in a regular recipe section. This question was about unleavened bread, however.

I'm partial to pumpkin anything! :)
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Moonbeam on February 06, 2012, 09:42:17 pm
Just curious about a recipe for a loaf of unleavened bread...

Anyone have experience with freezing cooked potatoes such as mashed or home/southern-style potatoes? I'd like to freeze already cooked meats and I was wondering about freezing cooked potatoes as well.
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: MamaLiberty on February 07, 2012, 06:40:55 am
Just curious about a recipe for a loaf of unleavened bread...

Anyone have experience with freezing cooked potatoes such as mashed or home/southern-style potatoes? I'd like to freeze already cooked meats and I was wondering about freezing cooked potatoes as well.

You can certainly freeze them, but I've never found them to taste very good afterwards. They are mushy and lose the nice texture of fresh potatoes.
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Rarick on February 07, 2012, 08:39:44 am
Hey does anyone know an easy and efficient way to skin an avocado?
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: MamaLiberty on February 07, 2012, 09:13:38 am
Hey does anyone know an easy and efficient way to skin an avocado?


Cut in half and pull off the seed, use a spoon to scoop out the fruit. Works best if the avocado is just ripe. Too green or too ripe and it gets messy.
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Rarick on February 07, 2012, 09:16:21 am
I was hoping for something better than that one..........it ends up kind of messy using my hands.........
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: MamaLiberty on February 07, 2012, 09:23:22 am
I was hoping for something better than that one..........it ends up kind of messy using my hands.........

Hmmm, well, some good things are just like that. LOL  You could always use your feet... but I'm not sure you'd want to eat it then. :)

The real trick is to have them "just right" ripe. Too green and they are hard and the skin clings to the pulp. Too ripe and they squish.

Why is a little mess a problem? :)
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Rarick on February 07, 2012, 09:28:08 am
100 avocados x 1 little mess each=  Kitchen armageddon..........   I was just thinking of when the green coated pits of doom ripen again this year and remembered a question I forgot to ask......   Life is messy- you are born a mess and you leave a mess when you go out, I realize this.  I just try to make an efficient mess when possible...........
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: MamaLiberty on February 07, 2012, 09:41:38 am
100 avocados x 1 little mess each=  Kitchen armageddon..........   I was just thinking of when the green coated pits of doom ripen again this year and remembered a question I forgot to ask......   Life is messy- you are born a mess and you leave a mess when you go out, I realize this.  I just try to make an efficient mess when possible...........

I see... 100 avocados would certainly present more of a mess than one. I've never cut more than two or three at a time in my life. You could recruit some teens to help you process them... but that might well result in a far larger mess. I'm fresh out of ideas. :)

What do you do with all those avocados at once? Can they be frozen?
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Rarick on February 07, 2012, 10:03:48 am
Guacamole, then freeze, that that doesn't go into "The Final Grocery Bag" for processing............
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: MamaLiberty on February 07, 2012, 10:08:12 am
Guacamole, then freeze, that that doesn't go into "The Final Grocery Bag" for processing............


That's good. I never made "guacamole" because I don't like it. Just figured avocados could not be frozen at all. They sure are ruined if they freeze on the trees. :)
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Rarick on February 07, 2012, 10:13:31 am
They get real mushy, but that is what guacamole is supposed to be.............I think of it as green orange juice. A freeze while the fruit is ripening is a disaster, but frozen preserves of one sort or another can be a good thing.
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: MamaLiberty on February 07, 2012, 10:30:13 am
They get real mushy, but that is what guacamole is supposed to be.............I think of it as green orange juice. A freeze while the fruit is ripening is a disaster, but frozen preserves of one sort or another can be a good thing.

Indeed... but some things simply don't lend themselves to being good to eat after freezing. Potatoes come to mind.

Anyway, I wondered if you'd have a little less mess on your hands if you cut the thing in half, scooped out the seed with a spoon, then placed the fruit cut side down on a very coarse sieve and pressed the pulp out that way. I have always used the avocado sliced, but if your goal is to mash it anyway, that might kill two birds with one stone.
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Rarick on February 11, 2012, 08:22:37 am
<face Palm>   why didn't I think of that?   I already get the pits out by the "Chop into it with a knife and twist" method. Kind of like lifting/ moving wood with an axe by puttting a "Biteing chop" into it..........  But now if it can use a seive/ screen with the right "Gauge" of open to closed............


Oh yes, BEWARE THE MANDOLIN SLICER!  I have about 1/8 inch still healing on a couple of finger tips, heck I may even have different fingerprints when they finish healing?  It works gret for veggies, but things like meat and cheese where you have to use a relatively large amount of force are better cut by a knife............
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: MamaLiberty on February 11, 2012, 08:39:33 am
Let us know how that works out for you. :) My mother used to call that "creative laziness." Never do things the hard way.
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Jebur27 on February 11, 2012, 08:30:28 pm
Hey does anyone know an easy and efficient way to skin an avocado?


Cut in quarters and the skin of an avocado will usually (most of the time) pull right off.
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Moonbeam on March 28, 2012, 10:53:48 pm
Just want to give an update from my first post: I absolutely L-O-V-E my French rolling pin and highly recommend owning one. I cannot go back to the handled-style pin. And I would like to get the French-style in some different sizes too.

I also pIcked up a pastry mat. I just dampened the bottom and it held firm just fine on our dining table for rolling out the cookie dough.

http://www.amazon.com/Conimar-Kitchen-24-Inch-Helper-Non-Slip/dp/B002OOVB12/ref=sr_1_1?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1332993435&sr=1-1

ML - Did you find the recipe for the unleavened bread?
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Moonbeam on April 20, 2012, 12:50:12 pm
QUESTION: Anyone have tips on producing a good hard boiled egg? I make deviled eggs about twice a month and I'm frustrated with them cracking when I am peeling off the shell

QUESTION: Anyone have a bread recipe for someone who has never made a loaf from scratch?

TIA :)
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: MamaLiberty on April 20, 2012, 01:12:06 pm
QUESTION: Anyone have tips on producing a good hard boiled egg? I make deviled eggs about twice a month and I'm frustrated with them cracking when I am peeling off the shell

QUESTION: Anyone have a bread recipe for someone who has never made a loaf from scratch?

TIA :)

I have a little plastic thing that is marked for soft and hard boiled eggs. http://www.amazon.com/Norpro-Egg-Rite-Timer/dp/B00004UE75/ref=sr_1_1?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1334945384&sr=1-1  (Link takes you to page that gives Claire Wolfe credit.)

You put it in the cold water with the eggs, and when the plastic thing darkens to the line representing the level you wish, you remove the pan from the heat and pour off the hot water, replacing with cold until eggs can be handled. This is an amazing device, because it actually determines the temperature inside the eggs instead of relying on a timer. The actual elapsed time needed for hard cooked eggs varies with starting temperature, elevation, age of eggs, and other things.

It works best if the eggs are room temperature to start with, and you may want to use a timer to estimate the cooking time or stand by because there is no signal or warning hooter attached. LOL  Once you use it a few times, you'll have a very good idea how much to watch it.

As for peeling them, eggs several days to a week old will peel easier than really fresh ones. This is most likely due to the slight dehydration of the older eggs. When the interior cooks, a slight air space is created between the cooked protein and the inner membrane so it doesn't stick to the shell.

I know I have your email address somewhere, but can't remember what it is. Send me a PM with your address and I'll send you detailed instructions for a basic yest bread. And you can always ask questions. :)
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: mutti on April 20, 2012, 01:53:09 pm
QUESTION: Anyone have tips on producing a good hard boiled egg? I make deviled eggs about twice a month and I'm frustrated with them cracking when I am peeling off the shell

Are they fresh farm eggs? Notoriously hard to peel unless you know the secret squirrel method!

Actually no matter what the origin of the egg - here is what we do for 1 dozen eggs.

Cover egg(s) with cool water, bring to a boil, cover/simmer for 8 minutes, remove with slotted spoon and place in bowl. Place bowl in freezer for 20 minutes, remove. Either peel then or place in fridge until ready to peel.

Why? My Great Grandfather in Law said his Mother did this to have the interior contract slightly away from the shell (caused by the contraction/expansion of the air pocket).

I don't know - I can say it works for Chicken, Duck, Goose, Quail, and Pheasant eggs. Just the CTMV.
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Moonbeam on April 22, 2012, 01:14:18 pm
ML - Cool little device! I got your recipe, thanks much!

MUTTI - Ooh, maybe that's the step I have been missing: not letting the eggs cool enough. Thanks for the tip!

NEW QUESTION: How do you think powdered sugar freezes? I want to make these oatmeal cookie sandwiches that uses a butter/powdered sugar frosting in the middle. And I want to freeze the cookies. Do you think it will be okay?
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: MamaLiberty on April 22, 2012, 01:33:34 pm
NEW QUESTION: How do you think powdered sugar freezes? I want to make these oatmeal cookie sandwiches that uses a butter/powdered sugar frosting in the middle. And I want to freeze the cookies. Do you think it will be okay?

Wouldn't be the sugar that was a problem... The texture of the frosting might suffer... get runny... I don't know. Would it not be better to freeze just the cookies, then assemble them with frosting after they were thawed? That's what I would do. They would be much fresher looking, I'd think.
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Rarick on April 24, 2012, 09:43:33 am
OREOS.......the water in the frosting is what freezes, but if you make a sticky, dry mix wouldn't that work like oreos.  make sure your cookies are the right dryness/texture on the frostuing side......
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: MamaLiberty on April 24, 2012, 10:42:28 am
OREOS.......the water in the frosting is what freezes, but if you make a sticky, dry mix wouldn't that work like oreos.  make sure your cookies are the right dryness/texture on the frostuing side......

The cookie part is still apt to get soggy during the thawing process.
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Rarick on April 25, 2012, 09:52:22 am
Yes if thawing is part of the equation, but if you do not need thawing, just a cookie/ frosting sandwich.............

If you are talking Ice cream sandwich/ sidewalk sundae them you are better off with a "underleavened" cake mix.  mom used to put a whole lot less baking soda in the choclate cake when she was making up "S'more Bread".  which was a lot like the sidewalk sundae bread pieces.
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Moonbeam on January 30, 2013, 02:38:23 pm
I have cooking experience on a electric stove top and a flat top stove. We currently have a gas stove top and for the most part I am now used to it. HOWEVER, I am having the hardest time cooking rice! On the other type of stoves I used two cups of water for one cup of rice, covered the pot and it was pretty much done in 20-30 minutes. Cooking rice via gas top has been frustrating! For one cup of rice I have to use 3 to 4 cups of water, and I do not put a lid on. If I do, it seems to become too bubbly and will spill over. I have it on the lowest setting and I have to stir every few minutes to keep it from burning! It takes about 40-60 minutes to cook, and the texture looks like tapioca pudding! Once the leftovers are refrigeratored then the texture is consistent with lovely cooked rice. I am using the same pot and the same brand of rice; only the stove top has changed. HELP!!
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: MamaLiberty on January 30, 2013, 03:47:09 pm
I have cooking experience on a electric stove top and a flat top stove. We currently have a gas stove top and for the most part I am now used to it. HOWEVER, I am having the hardest time cooking rice! On the other type of stoves I used two cups of water for one cup of rice, covered the pot and it was pretty much done in 20-30 minutes. Cooking rice via gas top has been frustrating! For one cup of rice I have to use 3 to 4 cups of water, and I do not put a lid on. If I do, it seems to become too bubbly and will spill over. I have it on the lowest setting and I have to stir every few minutes to keep it from burning! It takes about 40-60 minutes to cook, and the texture looks like tapioca pudding! Once the leftovers are refrigeratored then the texture is consistent with lovely cooked rice. I am using the same pot and the same brand of rice; only the stove top has changed. HELP!!

Interesting. Are you having problems with anything else?

Hard to imagine this problem on a gas stove... sure wish I could trade with you. :)

Try this method for long grain rice. Short grain rice takes a lot longer to cook, though the method should be fine. I don't use short grain stuff myself, but have had to cook it.

In at least a two quart size heavy stainless steel pot, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 cup of dry white rice and stir. Bring to a boil again, stirring a few times. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for five minutes. Cover and turn off the heat. Let stand undisturbed for fifteen minutes.  The rice should be done and fluffy. If you like your rice sticky, increase water by 1/2 cup.

To cook brown rice, use three cups of water. Same method, but you need to simmer it for at least ten minutes.
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: LdMorgan on January 30, 2013, 05:44:14 pm
A gas ring tends to concentrate the heat more than an electric element, so a thicker-bottom pan helps avoid sticking & burning. You also might try setting your pot in a small skillet to diffuse the heat. Some gas stoves also get wonky when you try to turn them down very low--and some turn themselves back up when they think you aren't looking.

I've done two things recently in the kitchen that worked out well and might be worth sharing as tips.

1) In my chest freezer, I got rid of all the food baskets and replaced them with heavy-duty cloth shopping bags.

Different colors identify different foods (pink for pork, blue for beef, white for fish, etc,) and when I ran out of basic bag colors, I just added a few wraps of colored crochet yarn around the the handles to act as the ultimate identifier--sort of like banding an arrow.

 The result is that I can now excavate to the bottom of the freezer with one hand, find exactly what I need, and repack everything, super-fast, and super-easy. I can also pack 25% more food in the freezer.

I was amazed at the space those bags save.

2) With my Excalibur dehydrator, I finally just got tired of chasing all the green peas that would leap off the tray as I was smoothing them out. So I made a form-fitting frame out of old yardsticks and some strips of leather. I just stapled everything together, and fit it by eye. (Duct tape would have worked just as well.)

After I fit it around one of the Excalibur trays, I can just toss stuff on by the handful and spread it around without a care. It all stays on the tray, and the trays load about twice as fast.
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: MamaLiberty on January 31, 2013, 08:22:47 am
A gas ring tends to concentrate the heat more than an electric element, so a thicker-bottom pan helps avoid sticking & burning. You also might try setting your pot in a small skillet to diffuse the heat. Some gas stoves also get wonky when you try to turn them down very low--and some turn themselves back up when they think you aren't looking.

In that case, the stove may be defective, of course. Never had that problem. But if that was happening, a double boiler would work well. Put the rice and water into one pot, and put that pot into a larger one with some boiling water in the bottom.  Might take longer to cook... don't know, but the rice wouldn't burn.

Quote
1) In my chest freezer, I got rid of all the food baskets and replaced them with heavy-duty cloth shopping bags.

Different colors identify different foods (pink for pork, blue for beef, white for fish, etc,

What a marvelous idea! I never had any "baskets" in my freezer to start with... just one big hole and it is very difficult to keep things rotated. I'm ready to clean out that freezer and do an inventory anyway, and this looks like the very best way to put things back in.

Quote
2) With my Excalibur dehydrator, I finally just got tired of chasing all the green peas that would leap off the tray as I was smoothing them out. So I made a form-fitting frame out of old yardsticks and some strips of leather. I just stapled everything together, and fit it by eye. (Duct tape would have worked just as well.)

Interesting. I've never actually tried to dry peas, so never had this problem, but I do have stuff falling through the racks sometimes, especially herbs and things like chopped celery. I have tried using cheesecloth on the racks, but the herbs or foods sometimes stick to that and it is difficult to get it all off. 

As to making a form around the racks for this, I'd think a heavy sheet of plastic cut in strips and stapled at the joint would do a good job. Not sure I'd want the gas off from duct tape, painted wood (the yardstick) or leather to get in my food.

 
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: LdMorgan on January 31, 2013, 12:35:47 pm
OOPS! My mistake!

I wasn't clear enough--I should have posted a pic.

The frame for the Excalibur trays never goes in the dehydrator.

It just sits on the kitchen table. I set a tray inside it, spread stuff out on the tray, then lift the frame off the tray and set it aside.

Then the loaded tray goes into the dehydrator, the frame goes back to its starting position, and a another tray gets set inside it for loading.

If someone wanted a stouter frame, they could make one from 1X2 lumber and it would work just as well, nailed or screwed together.

***

With the shopping bags it is much easier to rotate and keep a running inventory. If my sweetie asks how we're doing on fish, I just yank out the white bag and take a look. Everything that should be together stays together, and if I want to check on soup stock, well, that's the white bag with the brown wrap on the handle.

E--zee!

When it comes time to defrost, just grab the bags and set them in a cooler. Then put them back whenever. No fumbling around with stacks, and no frozen fingers.

***

Yeah. I think it's mostly very old gas stoves that don't keep their setting--worn valves, and all that.

***

Drying peas is a hoot. We found out that you can buy frozen peas & corn cheaper than fresh stuff from the farmer's market, and then just toss it in the dehydrator. It's already blanched and dehydrates perfectly. Usually about 10 hrs at 125-135F for a full load.

It's a lot less work than shelling peas and cutting corn off the cob. And blanching. You don't even have to thaw it out first.

And that leaves our garden space for things that like hotter temps, anyway, like green beans and squash.

About the only frozen veggie I've found that isn't cheaper for dehydrating is carrots. I think there's a little more bang for the buck with fresh.

My sweetie mixes some of the various dried veggies together so when it's soup time she can just grab a handful and toss it into the pot.

Frozen french fries dehydrate too, BTW. And a lot of other stuff.






Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: MamaLiberty on January 31, 2013, 01:06:22 pm
OOPS! My mistake!

I wasn't clear enough--I should have posted a pic.

The frame for the Excalibur trays never goes in the dehydrator.

Oh... :) Yes, that makes a lot more sense.

Quote
About the only frozen veggie I've found that isn't cheaper for dehydrating is carrots. I think there's a little more bang for the buck with fresh.

I do a great deal more drying than canning, but I can't imagine buying frozen vegetables to dry.  As long as I have a freezer, I much prefer them frozen. My garden has not produced a great deal the last two years because of drought and subsequent lack of bees, but I have plans to build a greenhouse this spring and that should help tremendously.  I always have as much swiss chard and beet greens as I can eat, as well as snow peas and herbs. The squash did absolutely nothing last year, and if there are no bees this year I'll have to do something else to pollinate the flowers.  The squash freezes fairly well, but I have never been successful drying summer squash.
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Moonbeam on February 05, 2013, 10:27:15 am
ML - I will try the method of turning off the stove. I have no issues with other foods (though I had to figure out pasta and scrambled eggs). It's just so odd to me whether the lid is on or off that the water seems to evaporate. I make rice about once a week so I need a solution!
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: MamaLiberty on February 05, 2013, 10:57:21 am
Trying to psych myself into starting the freezer cleaning. Rummaged through it a bit and discovered a bag full of something labeled, "Mutti bean soup."

Ok... Mutti has sent me some neat stuff, but I don't recall getting anything frozen...

Looked at it a little longer and realized it said "MULTI bean soup" and that it came from a good friend down the road. Her printing with a "sharpie" could use a little improvement, I guess.  The date was actually the real shocker... 10/2009. I am seriously late cleaning out the freezer!!

Don't get old. The memory thing really messes with your head sometimes. :)
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Moonbeam on February 05, 2013, 11:02:47 am
Don't get old. The memory thing really messes with your head sometimes. :)

Or have kids!  :rolleyes:
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: MamaLiberty on February 05, 2013, 11:05:29 am
Don't get old. The memory thing really messes with your head sometimes. :)

Or have kids!  :rolleyes:

The combination is a real doozie. LOL
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Tipitaka on June 17, 2013, 11:29:21 pm
Really good pickles I made today and yesterday:

Pickled Mustard Leaves
http://park.org/Cdrom/Pavilions/Kimchi/e10106.html

Heath Benefits of Pickled Mustard Leaves
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12257-007-0127-4#page-1

Do Chua (sweet and sour Vietnamese pickles)
http://www.vietworldkitchen.com/blog/2009/05/daikon-and-carrot-pickle-recipe-do-chua.html

Garlicky Pickled Cucumbers
2 sliced cucumbers
1 tbs salt
1 tbs granulated garlic
a slice or two of fresh ginger
1 tbs rice vinegar

mix together and pack into a jar. in a few hours, there should be enough juice to cover, but if there isn't, add a little distilled water just to cover. Store in the fridge. Keeps until about 5 minutes after they're done fermenting (2 days). I've kept a jar up to a year, and they were still good... but it's a fridge pickle, so keep it there.
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Joshyjosh on July 13, 2013, 10:56:45 am
Hello I am new to the forums, and just wanted to see if you guys could give me some input on this question. Where can you get a good manual meat grinder? Doing some online research Cabela's seems to have the most selection but from all of the reviews on their web site it looks like their manual grinders don't quite cut it (pun intended). What would really be nice is an old meat grinder from before everything was motorized but the chances of finding one that is in good condition, with out a lot of rust and other problems is pretty slim. Your input would be greatly appreciated.
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: MamaLiberty on July 13, 2013, 11:10:06 am
Hello I am new to the forums, and just wanted to see if you guys could give me some input on this question. Where can you get a good manual meat grinder? Doing some online research Cabela's seems to have the most selection but from all of the reviews on their web site it looks like their manual grinders don't quite cut it (pun intended). What would really be nice is an old meat grinder from before everything was motorized but the chances of finding one that is in good condition, with out a lot of rust and other problems is pretty slim. Your input would be greatly appreciated.

Welcome! You might find a good, old fashioned meat grinder at a yard sale or thrift shop. I've seen several. A little rust is not really a problem. Just scrub it good, sand off the rust, then coat the grinder with lard. Store it that way, and then wash it when you go to use it.

Look here for new ones. http://www.sausagemaker.com/manualmeatgrinders.aspx  They are not cheap, but they will last a lifetime with good care. Buy extra grinding plates and a repair kit, if possible, when you purchase the grinder. Then you'll never need to worry about it again.
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Joshyjosh on July 13, 2013, 11:24:47 am
Thanks! Those do look better than Cabela's.
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: MamaLiberty on July 13, 2013, 11:54:47 am
Thanks! Those do look better than Cabela's.

You are most welcome. That was just the first hit in the search. Do a search for "manual meat grinders" and you'll probably find others. Cabelas is a very nice store. I like to go in and look sometimes when I get to the city once or twice a year. I don't buy anything there because it's all badly overpriced. When I need something I look in the local thrift stores, gun shows, the hardware store and even the general mercantile here first, then on line. :)  If you get stuff at Amazon.com ( http://www.amazon.com/?tag=clairewolfeco-20 ) use this link and Claire Wolfe will get a few pennies commission for the sale on most things.  Don't know who Claire Wolfe might be? Just ask, and we'll be glad to fill you in. 
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: gunslinger598 on July 13, 2013, 12:05:36 pm
That looks like a good site. I have it saved .... Thanks
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Klapton Isgod on July 13, 2013, 01:28:07 pm
Lehman's is a great site for non-electric gizmos.

https://www.lehmans.com/

Here are the search results for "meat grinder."

http://non-electric.lehmans.com/search#w=meat%20grinder
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Rarick on July 13, 2013, 03:28:59 pm
Second Lehman's, amother thing to consider is the local weed and feed stores in rural america.  Making a random purchase on a retreat hunting trip, as a thought.  Rural Estate sales too, a lot of oldsters are retiring from life and all sorts of stuff turns up.  I understand the visitors log from hitler's retreat showed up...... :rolleyes: :laugh:
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: gunslinger598 on July 13, 2013, 04:28:28 pm
Every Sept. there is an Amish  school  auction about 65 miles from here. They always seem to have stuff  that folks like us will put to good use. It's a huge sale with anywhere from 10,000 to 15,000 people attending. Often they  will have 6  sale rings going at the same time.

The problem is stuff  gets really  priced out  of reach because folks wanna take this stuff home & put it on a shelf for a decoration. I saw a quilt sell there for $6,000.00.

I still try to make it over there every year. Once in a while if  everything is just right a person can find what they need at a price they can afford to pay.

The Amish  ladies have a tent where they  sell home made foods from. It's usually  completely  sold out  by about 2 pm.

There is a craft fair combined where ya can find about anything for cooking or  using in the house. One guy makes &  sells everything ya need for cooking outside in the old timey ways. Another guy makes brooms.

It makes for great entertainment  for a day  even if ya don't  buy  much.
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: da gooch on July 14, 2013, 12:35:30 pm
Quote
The problem is stuff  gets really  priced out  of reach because folks wanna take this stuff home & put it on a shelf for a decoration.

This happens here in SouTex as well.

I try to console myself with the thought that these items MAY [crosses fingers] wind up in the local Goodwill when the fad for "antiques" moves to another era or technology.

sigh
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Rarick on July 16, 2013, 08:21:46 am
There are some vaccum containers on lulu that looked interesting, but they haven't gone on sale yet.  Picture something like a cross between Tupperware and those Snapware containers that vaccum pack themselves.   Yopu can also use the "main lid" to pump down other lids as well......
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Joshyjosh on July 16, 2013, 09:51:36 am
Got a electric 1/2 HP meat grinder but I am still looking for a good manual meat grinder (for a back up).  I am however looking for some good sausage recipes I did a search and just scanned threw some of the posts but did not see any new topics about making sausages. I can't post any new threads yet so I wanted to get your guys input threw this thread. A favorite cook book of mine Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn which is a very good book for all things cured. I'm most excited to try my hand at Tuscan Salami, in a prolonged WTSHTF sausage that is dry cured might be helpful for the advantage of not needing any refrigeration or smoking. Except for the higher risk for food borne illness, trichinosis would be a big one in pigs and bears. Also some fun information that maybe has been posted before spinach has natural nitrites that can help in curing process. Hope to hear some of your guys recipes!
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: MamaLiberty on July 16, 2013, 11:35:29 am
I am however looking for some good sausage recipes I did a search and just scanned threw some of the posts but did not see any new topics about making sausages. I can't post any new threads yet so I wanted to get your guys input threw this thread.

See the new thread on Sausage! :)
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Rarick on July 17, 2013, 09:31:13 am
Joshy, is there an exposed drive shaft on that grinder?   If so there may be a keyway/ notch in that shaft, if there is The gringer catalogue probably has a pulley and key spline to fit that.  Now all you do is drill a hole out near/in the rim of the pulley and buy a long bolt and nuts to fit that hole, you now have your crank.........
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Joshyjosh on July 17, 2013, 07:32:40 pm
That might be something to look into, but I bought it with a warranty so probably would only do it if I had to.
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Moonbeam on September 04, 2013, 04:10:13 pm
Has anyone used a coffee grinder to make powder from oats or brown rice (short grain)? [I'd like to make my own baby cereal.]

Anyone have experience freezing cow or goat's milk? If so, tips?
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Lonewolf72 on September 04, 2013, 04:20:00 pm
No experience using a coffee grinder, but my sister had a baby food mill from Lehman's.https://www.lehmans.com/p-4237-baby-food-mill.aspx (https://www.lehmans.com/p-4237-baby-food-mill.aspx) It worked great.
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: MamaLiberty on September 04, 2013, 04:43:34 pm
Has anyone used a coffee grinder to make powder from oats or brown rice (short grain)? [I'd like to make my own baby cereal.]

Anyone have experience freezing cow or goat's milk? If so, tips?

You'll go through a lot of grinders if you try to grind the uncooked grains. Get a proper grain mill for that. But I made my own baby cereal... just cook the stuff, and then use the blender. :) My children got a little of whatever I made for the family - for the most part - from the time they started eating solid food.  I'd be very cautious about introducing brown rice myself. Not sure just how fine you're going to get the bran regardless of how you grind it. Might want to wait until the baby is at least a year old. The oats, however, will work just fine. You might want to mill them some before you cook them. Otherwise, it takes a while. Tough little stinkers. :)

As for freezing milk, it's as easy as freezing anything else. I found it best to freeze in small amounts, myself. Large jars do not freeze uniformly, and it takes a long time for them to thaw. What did you plan to use the frozen milk for? Might make a difference.
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: LaughingBear on September 04, 2013, 05:45:46 pm
I use a food processor to "grind" rolled oats.  I use them in a veggie burger mix I make.  I know this doesn't directly answer your question but just wanted to share my method.
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Moonbeam on September 05, 2013, 03:13:09 pm
LW - Thanks! I'm checking out all the reviews on Amazon.

ML - Brown rice cereal was the first food for the twins and as far as I know, there was not an issue. This time around, I'm thinking about making bananas, avocado and sweet potatoes (spaced out, of course) Little Man's first foods. Then I would introduce the cereals, oats being first.

LB - I have a heavy-duty Cuisinart food processor and was trying to avoid dragging it out when I just need to grind some oats. I have also wondered about just purchasing organic oat and rice "flour" from Bob's Red Mill as that would give me what I need without having to grind.
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: MamaLiberty on September 05, 2013, 03:19:10 pm
I have also wondered about just purchasing organic oat and rice "flour" from Bob's Red Mill as that would give me what I need without having to grind.

Good heavens, yes! :)  And it's interesting to hear about the brown rice.  Good deal, since the bran has so many extraordinary nutrients.
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Moonbeam on September 06, 2013, 01:19:28 pm
I have enough to do these days so it seems like buying the powder/"flour" is the way for me to go.  :thumbsup:

Oh, and I think I finally figured out the best way to cook rice on my gas stove top!
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Tipitaka on September 06, 2013, 03:25:42 pm
I have enough to do these days so it seems like buying the powder/"flour" is the way for me to go.  :thumbsup:

Oh, and I think I finally figured out the best way to cook rice on my gas stove top!

Have you ever had bamboo rice? You use the thick piece of bamboo and put in the rice and water and plug the hole with clean cloth or a wood stopper. Then put it on the coals of a campfire and wait 25 minutes.The bamboo adds a nice flavor and the rice is steamed without burning.
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Moonbeam on September 20, 2013, 01:20:03 pm
Have you ever had bamboo rice? You use the thick piece of bamboo and put in the rice and water and plug the hole with clean cloth or a wood stopper. Then put it on the coals of a campfire and wait 25 minutes.The bamboo adds a nice flavor and the rice is steamed without burning.

I have not had bamboo rice - it sounds quite yummy. And a lot of work. So if you're ever in my neck of the woods, I'd let you make me some!  :thrbiggrin:
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Moonbeam on September 20, 2013, 01:21:19 pm
Anyone have some recipes involving oatmeal? I have a fantastic cookie recipe so I'm not in need of that. Maybe a cake or bars or something along those lines?
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: MamaLiberty on September 20, 2013, 02:32:02 pm
Anyone have some recipes involving oatmeal? I have a fantastic cookie recipe so I'm not in need of that. Maybe a cake or bars or something along those lines?

As a Scotswoman, I've used oats all my life. Most of my ancestors used "cut" oats, but I much prefer the rolled ones. Don't try to use the cut oats in a recipe that calls for rolled oats. The cut sort take a lot longer to cook.

I make yeast bread with oats often, my favorite recipe. I'll send that in email if you want it.

Here is my best scone recipe. It's a bit of a cross between a cookie and a biscuit. They've been favorites in my family for centuries. :)

 Original recipe makes 16 scones

    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

    2 cups rolled oats

    1/4 cup white sugar

    4 teaspoons baking powder

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1/2 cup dried currants optional (or raisins)

    1 egg, beaten

    1/2 cup butter, melted

    1/3 cup milk

(Some whipped cream and fruit compote or any jam are very nice toppings.)

Directions

    Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.
    In a large bowl, mix the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, salt, and currants. Make a well in the center. In a small bowl, beat egg until frothy, and stir in melted butter and milk. Pour into the well, and mix to create a soft dough. Pat dough into two 1/2 inch thick circles. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Score 8 wedges into each circle of dough.
    Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until risen and browned. Split wedges, and serve warm.

If you are in a hurry, or don't want to bake it all at once, dough can be frozen to bake later. You can also make a roll and cut "coins" to bake like cookies or biscuits later.  Just allow to thaw JUST until you can cut it. Place on a greased baking sheet and allow to finish thawing until it starts to rise. Then bake in hot oven for ten or fifteen minutes, depending on how small the pieces are.
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Tipitaka on September 20, 2013, 11:23:10 pm
Anyone have some recipes involving oatmeal? I have a fantastic cookie recipe so I'm not in need of that. Maybe a cake or bars or something along those lines?

I have a recipe for oat bread. Grind the oats in a grain mill on the finest setting, and use 15 to 20% oat flour with the rest wheat and/or barley flour. Should make a soft and slightly denser loaf than a regular country white bread recipe. Use your favorite recipe with this modification.
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Moonbeam on June 12, 2014, 11:34:59 am
I have been on the hunt FOR YEARS to find a good yellow or white cake recipe.  :BangHead:

Anyone have one?
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: MamaLiberty on June 12, 2014, 02:10:55 pm
I have been on the hunt FOR YEARS to find a good yellow or white cake recipe.  :BangHead:

Anyone have one?

You bet!

My favorite: Betty Crocker yellow cake mix. Ok, I don't really care much. LOL

Second favorite is from an old community collection cookbook:

2 cups half and half
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs
3 cups white flour
(1 tsp vanilla flavoring optional)

Blend in mixer until smooth and pour into large sheet cake pan. Bake at 350o for 25 - 30 minutes, until tooth pick comes out of center clean.  One half of this recipe fills an 8 inch square pan.

This recipe also makes marvelous "shortcake" cups for strawberries or other fruit. Bake 1/4 cup batter in a greased ceramic ramekin or desert dish. Reduce baking time. 
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Moonbeam on June 13, 2014, 11:05:39 am
Oh great! I'll let you know when I try it. It will be awhile as I'm pretty caked-out right now!

I have a great chocolate recipe and I've tried it without the cocoa, but it's not the same. I'm thinking that the cocoa alkalizes or something to make it so fluffly and moist that removing it and not increasing the baking powder and/or soda leaves it lacking...
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Moonbeam on February 18, 2016, 03:00:55 pm
I really want to invest money/care into some cast iron cookware. However, I am a smidgeon intimidated thanks to some carelessness on my part about 20+ years ago. What are some good brands? Some of the cookware already comes "seasoned;" what exactly does that mean and should a novice go that route? Otherwise, how can I properly season and care for the equipment? And what would be a good first piece (skillet, pot, bakeware)? TIA!
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: MamaLiberty on February 18, 2016, 03:47:08 pm
I really want to invest money/care into some cast iron cookware. However, I am a smidgeon intimidated thanks to some carelessness on my part about 20+ years ago. What are some good brands? Some of the cookware already comes "seasoned;" what exactly does that mean and should a novice go that route? Otherwise, how can I properly season and care for the equipment? And what would be a good first piece (skillet, pot, bakeware)? TIA!

There is very little advantage to cast iron for most cooking uses, and some real disadvantages. Most men do NOT need extra iron in their diet, and excessive use of cast iron is a large source of iron poisoning in men. Also post menopause women. The only way the body can actually get rid of iron is to bleed... 

Even with proper "seasoning," the iron bleeds into the food. You don't want much of that. It is important not to cook wet food, especially none with any acid, because that dissolves the "seasoning" and sets up rusting immediately. This bleeds large amounts of iron, besides making the food taste rusty. Plain iron or cast iron pans for baking are the same.

I have a deep cast iron "chicken fryer" that came down from my grandmother. I seldom use it these days because I oven "fry" chicken.
I have a small cast iron skillet that I use to brown/sear beef, mostly, or single breasts of chicken for that smoky flavor once in a while.
A flat, round cast iron pan is perfect to heat tortillas and make a grilled cheese sandwich.
My 12 quart cast iron "Dutch Oven" used to see a lot of use in camp. Have not used it in years now.

Why do you want cast iron? It is seriously over rated, and very difficult to maintain. Glass or stainless steel is far, far superior in both flavor and health.
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Tahn L. on February 18, 2016, 03:47:54 pm
I really want to invest money/care into some cast iron cookware. However, I am a smidgeon intimidated thanks to some carelessness on my part about 20+ years ago. What are some good brands? Some of the cookware already comes "seasoned;" what exactly does that mean and should a novice go that route? Otherwise, how can I properly season and care for the equipment? And what would be a good first piece (skillet, pot, bakeware)? TIA!

Lodge is the modern mfg. that is the best although some older stuff such as Griswold is excellent if you can find it (thinner walls and smoother) , although it is no longer being made. Old grunge can be cleaned up in a hot campfire although cracks will ruin it. Cast iron is strong but brittle and can crack or break.

 http://www.lodgemfg.com/     Lots of info on this site.

I like pre-seasoned although you should know how to season a piece if it gets polluted with soap, which is a NO-NO with cast iron.

The neatest starter piece that I often give for a wedding gift is a "combo" pan. It can be used as a pot, skillet, roaster, popcorn popper, whatever.

 https://www.lodgemfg.com/deep-skillets/3-quart-cast-iron-combo-cooker.asp

A lot of people are switching to enameled since it can be cleaned with soap and water.

I like camp ovens for baking. They have a rim around the edge of the lid to keep coals on. The shallow ones are for baking and the deeper ones are for roasts.

If you find antique cast iron, there are different types for different eras of cooking, from a "spider" (campfire)  to  a "smoke ring" (wood burning cook stoves).
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Tahn L. on February 18, 2016, 03:54:45 pm
Why do you want cast iron? It is seriously over rated, and very difficult to maintain. Glass or stainless steel is far, far superior in both flavor and health.

Cast iron can be more difficult or easier, depending on how you use it. I have a round griddle with a handle that has not been washed in soap in years, just an occasional hot water scrub. Many newer stainless pots and pans have a high nickel content and are also risky health wise. Enamel is a great way to go. With cast iron, it is heavier but heats more evenly.
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Moonbeam on February 18, 2016, 04:27:10 pm
I'm ignorant about cast iron cookware so I was not aware of iron leeching into the food. Any commentary, any review I read, any person who speaks about it loves their cast iron. I was looking into using it for health reasons. That is, I don't want the chemicals from non-stick cookware leeching into the food.

TAHN - I will take a closer look at enamel, thanks!
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Klapton Isgod on February 18, 2016, 05:03:31 pm
The ceramic coated cast iron dutch ovens are GREAT.  Excellent for "low and slow" braising especially.  Also good for stove top frying, because the mass of the iron holds lots of heat.  That means the heat of the oil bounces back quicker when you add the cooler food.

.
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Tahn L. on February 18, 2016, 05:13:06 pm
I would most certainly prefer a little extra iron in my system than some cancer causing chemical made by DuPont. With regular use, I don't know if iron actually leaches into the food using a good oil coating on the cast iron.  Would be interested in any research you find.   
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Rarick on February 19, 2016, 03:40:36 am
Iron is a nutrient for the body, I am sure it knows how to handle any trace iron far better than trace non-stick gunk...

It was pretty amazing 20 years ago I was fat, sick and too tired to cook from scratch.  Then it occurred to me that the easy food and maybe the trace stuff in it was what was at the root of my problems.  Now I do not eat unless I am hungry enough to actually cook.  No pre-prepared stuff.  My weight dropped, my energy levels came up, a lot of the conditions I was in and out of the doctor for disappeared too.
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: MamaLiberty on February 19, 2016, 05:03:23 am
Iron is a nutrient for the body, I am sure it knows how to handle any trace iron far better than trace non-stick gunk...

No indeed. Too much iron is toxic, especially to men. "Non stick" is not the only alternative. Stainless steel is durable, non-toxic and much easier to cook with. I have found that tempered glass is superior to anything else for baking. Cast iron is great for occasional use, for specific things, but is not good for general use every day.

There is sufficient iron in everyday foods for most people.  Those who are diagnosed with a deficiency have metabolic problems with absorption, not any lack of intake.

This gives a lot of good information:
http://www.arltma.com/Articles/IronToxDoc.htm
Retention

About 75% of the iron in an adult is found in hemoglobin, myoglobin and iron-containing enzymes such as catalase and peroxidase enzymes. The other 25% is stored in the liver, spleen and bone marrow.

Excretion

Normally, 95-100% of iron is retained by the body. This is a common reason why iron toxicity occurs. Iron is normally excreted in the bile, but is reabsorbed in the intestines. The body does not seem to have specific excretory mechanisms for iron. Kidney involvement in iron excretion is negligible. Menstruation is the most common cause of iron loss.

Metabolic Effects Of Iron Toxicity
Deposition in Body Organs and Tissues

The detrimental effects of chronic iron toxicity are due in part to iron accumulation in various organs. These include the heart, liver, brain, pancreas, and joints.

Displacement of Vital Nutrients

Many of the symptoms of iron toxicity are due to displacement by iron of zinc, copper, manganese and other vital nutrients.
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Bill St. Clair on February 19, 2016, 08:02:24 am
Interesting information. I love my cast iron skillet. But I use it only to fry omelets, and that only a few times a month.
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Rarick on February 19, 2016, 08:08:37 am
Wow, I always thought the body would generally let it pass thru if not needed.....
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: da gooch on February 19, 2016, 01:53:46 pm
Question on iron excretion ML.

For men, women who are past their menses stage, ( past menopause?) does donating blood help with the over abundant iron reduction?
How often would a person (see defining character definitions above) need to donate for it to be beneficial?
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Bill St. Clair on February 19, 2016, 02:05:01 pm
I doubt it matters HOW you bleed. I'm sure leeches would work, too. But I'll let MamaLiberty confirm.
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: MamaLiberty on February 19, 2016, 02:13:52 pm
Question on iron excretion ML.

For men, women who are past their menses stage, ( past menopause?) does donating blood help with the over abundant iron reduction?
How often would a person (see defining character definitions above) need to donate for it to be beneficial?

Yes, donating blood on a regular basis would help reduce iron overload. Unless you intentionally take in large quantities of iron (and why would you do that?), donating every month or two would be fine.  So would giving chain saw lessons, but that's pretty messy. :)

The amount you get from a normal diet isn't likely to be harmful, but large doses via things like the use of cast iron for all or most cooking could definitely put you over the top. It would be much easier to stop (or not start) doing that than try to strain some of the iron out of your blood once it is there. :)

This might also be an issue for someone eating large amounts of red meat, along with a high protein diet otherwise. But I don't have any references for that. Just something to think about.
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: da gooch on February 19, 2016, 02:29:00 pm
Question on iron excretion ML.

For men, women who are past their menses stage, ( past menopause?) does donating blood help with the over abundant iron reduction?
How often would a person (see defining character definitions above) need to donate for it to be beneficial?

Yes, donating blood on a regular basis would help reduce iron overload. Unless you intentionally take in large quantities of iron (and why would you do that?), donating every month or two would be fine.  So would giving chain saw lessons, but that's pretty messy. :)

The amount you get from a normal diet isn't likely to be harmful, but large doses via things like the use of cast iron for all or most cooking could definitely put you over the top. It would be much easier to stop (or not start) doing that than try to strain some of the iron out of your blood once it is there. :)

This might also be an issue for someone eating large amounts of red meat, along with a high protein diet otherwise. But I don't have any references for that. Just something to think about.

Thanks ML.
I sometimes remember when I see the rolling donation labs.
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: FDD on February 19, 2016, 02:31:24 pm
Question on iron excretion ML.

For men, women who are past their menses stage, ( past menopause?) does donating blood help with the over abundant iron reduction?
How often would a person (see defining character definitions above) need to donate for it to be beneficial?

Yes, donating blood on a regular basis would help reduce iron overload. Unless you intentionally take in large quantities of iron (and why would you do that?), donating every month or two would be fine.  So would giving chain saw lessons, but that's pretty messy. :)

The amount you get from a normal diet isn't likely to be harmful, but large doses via things like the use of cast iron for all or most cooking could definitely put you over the top. It would be much easier to stop (or not start) doing that than try to strain some of the iron out of your blood once it is there. :)

This might also be an issue for someone eating large amounts of red meat, along with a high protein diet otherwise. But I don't have any references for that. Just something to think about.

Thanks ML.
I sometimes remember when I see the rolling donation labs.


Oh you mean the mobile DNA collection trucks
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: MamaLiberty on February 19, 2016, 03:16:34 pm
Oh you mean the mobile DNA collection trucks

If some goon wants your DNA, they have hundreds or thousands of ways to go about getting it. A simple traffic stop, with the excuse of DUI will give them all they want.

I've watched many people saved with donated blood. I used to be a member of the gallon club in So. Calif. Don't remember seeing a blood donation drive here, but there must be some. One of the disadvantages of not taking the local newspaper.
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: FDD on February 19, 2016, 03:47:36 pm
Oh you mean the mobile DNA collection trucks

If some goon wants your DNA, they have hundreds or thousands of ways to go about getting it. A simple traffic stop, with the excuse of DUI will give them all they want.

I've watched many people saved with donated blood. I used to be a member of the gallon club in So. Calif. Don't remember seeing a blood donation drive here, but there must be some. One of the disadvantages of not taking the local newspaper.

Maybe so,
Having been in the military, they already have mine.

As for blood drives, been here for 7 months and have yet to hear about any blood drives.
maybe it is an urban city thing, you know, with the so call gun violent there, they need more blood 
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Moonbeam on May 25, 2016, 02:12:16 pm
A friend shared a recipe for biscuits that looks interesting enough to try. It calls for a 1/4 cup of shortening. Do I have to use shortening or could I substitute real butter?
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Who...me? on May 25, 2016, 04:27:14 pm
YES!!! By all means use butter!

Make sure you use cold butter so it does not all melt into the flour...you should have butter nuggets when you are done.
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Moonbeam on May 25, 2016, 11:08:53 pm
Yay for butter! I do remember from making Mama's biscuit recipe to use cold butter. I got a dough cutter a few years ago that makes it easier to incorporate the butter. :)
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: Klapton Isgod on May 26, 2016, 08:02:34 am
Lard is really what shortening is trying to imitate. 
Title: Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
Post by: MamaLiberty on May 26, 2016, 09:21:45 am
Lard is really what shortening is trying to imitate.

Yes, but unprocessed and hydrogenated lard goes rancid very quickly, even in refrigeration. I learned that the hard way many years ago when I bought ten pounds of rendered pig fat, cut it into one pound cubes and put it in the freezer. A year later had to toss out what was left... got rancid even in the freezer. sigh

Commercial lard has been rendered and hydrogenated so it is pretty close to vegetable shortening. And even then it won't keep long before it starts to taste rancid.