Saturday, May 10, 2008

links: things the blogosphere has taught me

Cumin is Egyptian. Cumin, in spicy pinto bean ravioli. The Perfect Pantry is always good for a fascinating read and some great new facts. In this edition -- all about cumin, which I use in everything -- I learned that cumin is related to caraway, is native only to the Nile River Valley, though it is used in cuisine around the world, and it treats indigestion and morning sickness while stimulating the appetite. I've met my new knowledge quota for the day already!

Herbs need water... How to Store Parsley, Cilantro, and Other Fresh Herbs, at Simply Recipes Food and Cooking Blog. The idea seems to be that you treat fresh herbs a little like cut flowers, keeping them alive in water. How clever is that?

...and I need appliances. The A.G.'s Guide To Equipping Your Kitchen, at The Amateur Gourmet, taught me that my kitchen is amazingly under-equipped. Like I didn't know that already! But seriously, his "few, high-quality" kitchen supplies would break my budget like Bush broke the country's. And when he "covers all the bases?" Yeah, that's my dream kitchen right there. Man. Someday...

Semolina is complicated. Semolina Flour: Don't be Confused, at Cupcake Project. Semolina flour is not the same as semolina, which is not the same as couscous. The first is made from durum wheat, the second is Cream of Wheat, and the third is different all-together (mostly.) Got that?

Artificial vanilla works just fine. A Vanilla Taste Test, at Baking Bites. Surprise! In most recipes, super-expensive real vanilla extract is pretty indistinguishable from super-cheap artificial vanilla. Who knew? I sure didn't! I have a freaking $12 bottle of vanilla extract sitting on my shelf right now, because I may be cheap, but I have my standards. And it turns out my standards are all wrong!

Pyrex rocks. Metal, glass and ceramic pie plates, at Baking Bites. A handy little analysis of the differences between different kinds of pie pans.

Rhyme and greason. Wow, that was bad.Greasing and flouring vs greasing a pan, at Baking Bites. Greasing vs. flouring is way more complicated than I thought it was! Baking Bites breaks it down pretty easily, though; it is all about the sugar.

Fluff, scoop and level.
Flour 101: Accurate Measurements
, at Smitten Kitchen. I knew this was how you were supposed to measure flour... but I didn't know why. Now I do!

Condiments go bad fast.
How long can you keep open condiments,
, at The Kitchn. Salsa only lasts a month, huh? Sure wish I'd learned this before my two-month-old salsa was opened and spread on my chips! (Actually, I think I did read this before I performed that particular action. Ooops. And yes, it was most emphatically bad. Bad, bad salsa.)

Potatoes shouldn't be green. About Green Potatoes, at Simply Recipes Food and Cooking Blog. Did you know green splotches on potatoes are toxic? Me neither! But now that I do, I cut them off... because it may not kill you, but it can't hurt to be safe. Right? Right!

Microwaves can do more than reheat. You use it every day, but can you make it cook?, atThe New York Times. Mark Bittman on cooking with the microwave... apparently, it's not an oxymoron after all!

1 comment:

tom said...

I must apologize. Your parents both know green on potatoes is bad and somehow did not convey this knowledge to you-- thus exposing you to toxins that could have been avoided.

My only consolation is that I tried very hard to convey the idea of following a recipe (at least until you know what you are doing), and although you can repeat those words you still act otherwise on occasion (on whim, on impulse, on Donder and Blitzen?).

So, if one of us had explained to you about green potatoes perhaps nothing much would have been different.

As for salsa being two months old- I imagine it must a very large jar to last two months. Perhaps you need to eat tortillas more often. You might be able to fashion a tortilla press out of many different lever type devices-- like the hand can crushers that mount to a wall.