Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Always Another Way to Make Something

Checking my email inbox this morning had several 'press releases' come in. Few are of interest to me these days as I cannot just get up and go to London to have a face-to-face chat with a celebrity cook (who is promoting his new prog on TV). Other 'invitations' are to various cookery demos and the like. However, one email arrived today that led me on to the link given to find out more and quite liked what I saw.
Briefly the press release was to introduce a new cookery programme from American (to be shown from Monday 2nd July on Sky 166 and Virgin 243: 2America's Test Kitchen' presented by Christopher Kimball. Through the link was able to watch some videos and well - American cooking is not quite the same as we do here! There was a demo on how to make the Best Ever Shortbread, then the cook was explaining how this version used icing sugar and cornflour to make it as 'she didn't like the 'gritty' taste that shortbread has. Well, excuse me, but the 'gritty' is what traditional shortbread should be like. But there you go. There always has to be another way (an not always the best way) to make something.

Did like the way the above cook was shown how to cook Memphis style spare-ribs. Even though it was a bit lengthy, part cooking on the barbie and then an hour (or so) in the oven.
Anyone interested should take a look at www.americastestkitchen.com .

Was a bit confused when I read that the American Test Kitchen series "was the most watched cookery show in public TV (in the US) with up to 2 million viewers each week". Our 'favourites' (such as Jamie Oliver, Hairy Bikers etc) get many more viewers than that. Is it that the viewers in the US are not really that much interested in learning how to cook?

Thanks for your comments. It is quite possible that weevil eggs can already be in packets of flour (or other grains) when we purchase them Susan G, although probably got there during the storage, not at the time of packing. Anything wrapped in paper or thin plastic is easily 'entered' by insects. Did once buy a bag of flour that - when tipping the contents into my flour bin, I noticed weevils in the external fold of the bag (but no internal sign of the pests, so don't think they had nibbled their way in).

Apparently these weevils and other foodie insects are normally in most houses, so unless everything is carefully stored, sooner or later we might start finding one or two (or hundreds!). As Sarina says, deep freezing 'dry goods' will kill off these pests, and when we used to have a deep freeze, always stored the main part of bulk purchases of milk powder, porridge oats, instant potato, flour, other grains etc in the freezer, and decanting smaller amounts into glass jars or other air-tight containers for 'instant' use.

That 'community garden' sounds very good Lisa, and again shows how - in the US - people do seem to be a lot more 'community minded' than over here (although I believe we now do have some community gardens run by volunteers and believe one or two villages are now growing herbs and some veg instead of public floral displays so residents can 'help themselves'). The nearest thing I suppose is our 'allotments' (do they have 'allotments' in the US?), but produce grown there is meant only for the person who has the allotment (although can be given freely to family and friends and shared with the other allotment holders) but is never allowed to be sold for personal gain.

Had quite a good day in the kitchen yesterday as was able to sit down most of the time. Made a granary loaf, then grated a bulk amount of cheese, some of this was used to make a cheese quiche - the rest bagged up and frozen. Hard-boiled half a dozen eggs. Later prepared a supper for B by slicing some of the home-cooked ham, served this with some cold sausages (cooked in the oven whilst the quiche was cooking), a halved hard-boiled egg, with tomato, iceberg, watercress - and of course a big wedge (as I discovered later) of the quiche.
Myself had a supper of diced chorizo fried in a a pan with sliced mushrooms and scattered this over shredded iceberg lettuce with a few Peppadew to give extra 'bite'. I love chorizo almost as much as I love Spam!

Today have some more 'experimental' cooking to try out. As I said above 'there is always another way to make something', and my aim is to find the quickest, easiest and cheapest way. But these recipes are for my new site, so you will have to wait to find out. Even I am impressed by how easy it is to make something that has always seemed only experienced cooks can deal with. My versions a child could make - and they still work! Just goes to show how today recipes are becoming far more complicated than they need be, and this because there are no really NEW recipes around, all we see (continually) are just variations on an original, and because every cookery writer 'adapts' to make it their own, weights and measures will be change, different ingredients used (and more of them), so no wonder we can get confused when seeking the best one. My ideal recipes are those that can be remembered (so need to continually have to look them up), and the preparation cut down to a minimum (and most of that can be prepared, often weeks in advance).

My back is still a bit 'off', but if I don't walk around too much, is bearable. On the other hand can't sit down for too long either, so my day now consists of a bit of sitting, then stand and walk (with a stick) a few yards, then have another sit, and if I plan my moves carefully, can get through most of the day and do quite a bit quite successfully without too much discomfort.

But I've sat here long enough - time for me to have another little hobble into the kitchen maybe, (or should I go into the living room and do the crossword before beginning my cooking?), but do now need to make a move or my back will 'set' again and I'll be back to square one.

The weather is definitely improving, getting warmer each day - we've even switched off the central heating (although B was inclined not to, but for once I was firm - well it is me that pays the fuel bill!). Hope you are all getting the fine weather, and able to make the most of it. On the other hand, hope also you are able to find time to keep longing onto this site, and hopefully send in a comment.
As have cancelled Norma the Hair (as cannot sit under the dryer comfortably), should be able to start my blog at the usual time tomorrow. Hope to see you then.