The Twinkie myth – A Tale of Shelf Life Debunked

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During these days of a global pandemic, we ‘d like some foods with a long shelf and some think the Twinkie lasts forever.  That assumption, that myth is false. Twinkies do in fact contain real food, they are truly baked, and according to a New York Post Article the official shelf life once was 26 days but now has a shelf life of 45 days.  After this time, the Twinkie will continue to exist but will diminish greatly in taste and texture.

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Donut Making 101

Donut Making 101

Yeast doughnuts, as the name clearly spells out, are made from dough leavened with yeast (think brioche), whereas cake doughnuts are traditionally made from a kind of cake batter that uses a chemical leavener (i.e. baking powder or baking soda).  My personal favorite are cake doughnuts.  I just remember them being more apart of my experience growing up.

 

How to Baked Beans from Scratch

 

While isolating during the Coronavirus Pandemic, I stayed with my sister.  I presumed she had good survival food in the form of baked beans.  I was wrong.  Instead, she had pinto beans.  I knew with this all hope was not lost.

A Makeshift Recipe:

I poured contents from the can in the pot, added a pad of butter, three generous squirts of barbecue sauce, a scoop of bacon fat, chopped red onion and two squirts of maple syrup.   Then the beans were slowly cooked on a low flame for 30 minutes.  It turned out well but ideally I’d bake it. – Crystal Johnson, Multi Cultural Cooking Network Editor

Let’s check out a more formal preparation for making the beans.

History of Baked Beans

Baked beans is a dish traditionally containing white beans which are parboiled and then baked at a low temperature for a lengthy period of time in some sort of sauce. This is the usual preparation of the dish in the United States when not using canned beans. In the United Kingdom the dish is sometimes baked, but usually stewed in a sauce. Canned baked beans are not baked, but are cooked through a steam process.[3]

Baked beans has its origins in Native American cuisine, and the dish is made from beans indigenous to the Americas. The dish was adopted and adapted by English colonists in New England in the 17th century and, through the aid of published 19th century cookbooks, the dish spread to other regions of the United States and into Canada. Today in the New England region of the United States a variety of indigenous legumes are still used when preparing this dish in restaurants or in the home, such as Jacob’s Cattle, Soldier Beans, Yellow-Eyed Beans, and Navy Beans (also known as Native Beans).[4]

Originally baked beans were sweetened with maple syrup by Native Americans, a tradition some recipes still follow, but some English colonists modified the sweetening agent to brown sugar beginning in the 17th century. In the 18th century the convention of using American-made molasses as a sweetening agent became increasingly popular in order to avoid British taxes on sugar. American Boston baked beans use a sauce prepared with molasses and salt pork, the popularity of which has led to the city’s being nicknamed “Beantown”.[5] Today baked beans is commonly served throughout the United States alongside barbecue food of various kinds and at picnics. Beans in a brown sugar, sugar, or corn syrup sauce (sometimes with and sometimes without a tomato base) are widely available throughout the USA.

How to Get a Juicy Burger With Ice

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“Make your patties, then put your little ice cube in there and then when you grill it, it keeps it moist and keeps it from getting dried out.” Just fold it into the center of each patty and you’re ready to go. As it cooks, the ice cube melts, distributing much needed moisture through the patty.”

To Shop or Not to Shop, Covid-19 Safety – Make Do With What You Have

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As many of our essential workers grow ill.   It’s time to think again about whether you really need to go out that door or not.   This consideration is for their safety and yours.  It’s time for some of us to learn how to make do with what we have instead of running out to the store for every little thing.   It’s time to learn how to cook from scratch.  It’s time to freeze food.  It’s time to make leftovers more interesting.  Look up old family recipes.  Call family to learn how to make a recipe.  Explore how to use various spices.  Learn how to use those kitchen contraptions you never learned how to use.

Pre-Covid-19 lockdowns, Livingonadime.com published an article, Saving on Groceries – Make Do With What You Have.   In this this unprecedented time in history it requires self-control, creativity and for some of us gratefulness.

Control your trips to the store. Not only does it save on time and gas, but money too. You know you always buy more than the one item you needed.

Every once in a while, you might even try to skip a week and not go to the store. You will find that by doing this you are using up a lot of food that would have spoiled or gotten old.

Even if you run out of something like bread, see what you can use in its place. Maybe the kids will have to take soup and crackers in their lunches instead of sandwiches. They might find that is a nice change. I have been without milk and bread at the same time before and I was shocked at all I was able to create without either one of those. For example:

  • For breakfast – We had oatmeal, cream of wheat or scrambled eggs instead of cereal.
  • For lunch – Instead of sandwiches, we would have soup and crackers, a bowl of chili or cottage cheese and fruit.
  • For dinner – Instead of mashed potatoes (We had no milk to mash them), we would have boiled or baked potatoes, although in a real pinch I have used buttermilk or sour cream to mash my potatoes and both were yummy.

A Taste of Wine, Hip Hop and A Side of Ribs ‘Uncorked”

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Think wine, Hip Hop and ribs are an unlikely combination?  Think again.   And Netflix’s Uncorked gives a glimpse of American life in Tennessee through the eyes of young African American aspiring sommelier. His dilemma  is to continue in the tradition of the family owned Memphis BBQ joint serving the ribs, and soul food to the Memphis community.   His grandfather started the business, his father continued the business and primes him to take over the business.     Immediately the feature opens with hard hitting Hip Hop music while shot cuts back and forth between smoking meat, tasting wine and cutting ribs.   The movie centers around a highly unlikely aspiration.   Although Black sommeliers are very few, like many professions lack of exposure or insight stifles an interests in the field.  However, what’s not lacking are Black wine drinkers globally.

Along with the efforts of the movie Uncorked, Black sommelier, Andre Hueston Mack hope to gain more exposure to the Black wine drinking demographic.  According to Mack fc27439a-1945-47c4-80c0-fcfd806c8b54-Sash_Photography_Sablier_Watches-6in aUSA Today article, he expressed that Hip-hop and wine are the perfect pairing.

He is one of only a few black sommeliers and winemakers, and Mack is seeking to revolutionize the wine industry with his background in music, skate culture and modern design. A sommelier or wine steward, is a trained and knowledgeable wine professional, normally working in fine restaurants, who specializes in all aspects of wine.

He founded Mouton Noir, now Maison Noir, in 2007, starting it from scratch with no money and no investors.

His wine is now sold across the U.S. and in 11 other countries, with Mack splitting his time between 13 leased vineyards in the Willamette Valley in Oregon and his home in Brooklyn, New York.

Black Sommeliers are few but the field of Black owned wineries is expanding. Here are a few:

  • Brown Estate
  • Abbey Creek Vineyard. …
  • Indigené Cellars. …
  • Charles Wine Company. …
  • Theopolis Vineyards. …
  • Taste By Chef Rhonda. …
  • FLO Wine. …
  • Maison Noir Wines.

If you want to watch the road to becoming a sommelier in a film filled with twists and turns. Catch Uncorked on Netflix featuring Mamou Athie, Niecy Nash and Courtney Vance.

What is a Brine?

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A classic brine is a mixture made of salt and water, and it can be used to preserve and/or flavor pretty much anything: vegetables, fruits, meats, fish. (You may also see foods “dry-brined,” which means they’re covered in salt, not immersed in salt water.) Brining meat for a few hours or days before cooking it makes for a juicier and more tender final product; the salt disrupts the structure of the muscle filaments, allowing the meat to absorb more liquid (and therefore lose less moisture while cooking) and keeping the proteins from coagulating as densely as they would naturally (and therefore preventing the meat from getting too tough). Brining fish for a short period of time has a similar effect, but you’ll also see fish brined for much longer; stuff like lox, anchovies, and salt cod are brined for weeks or months. In those cases, the salt transforms the fish into entirely new ingredients; the salt inhibits the bad bacteria from proliferating and aids in the proliferation of new savory compounds, creating more complex flavors and aromatics where there were none before.

What’s the Difference between brining, pickling, marinade and curing?  Click Here

What is Butter Coffee?

 

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Butter coffee is a drink consisting of brewed coffee, unsalted butter, and medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), an easily digested type of fat. It’s similar to Bulletproof coffee, which was developed by an entrepreneur named Dave Asprey.

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Although many people believe that butter coffee is a modern concoction, this high fat beverage has been consumed throughout history.

Many cultures and communities, including the Sherpas of the Himalayas and the Gurage of Ethiopia, have been drinking butter coffee and butter tea for centuries.

Some people living in high altitude regions add butter to their coffee or tea for much-needed energy, as living and working in high altitude areas increases their calorie needs

Additionally, people in the Himalayan regions of Nepal and India, as well as certain areas in China, commonly drink tea made with yak butter. In Tibet, butter tea, or po cha, is a traditional beverage consumed on a daily basis

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