Still Trying! - Life ... It's Why We Cook. Blog at - 241399

Life ... It's Why We Cook.

Still Trying! 
Jun. 27, 2011 12:00 pm 
Updated: Jul. 1, 2011 7:46 pm
Baking Nana has a post regarding hamburger. If you haven’t read it, go there now for an enlightenment.
I agree with what she said yet, I wonder what damage would be done to the food chain of supply if certain methods of production and preservation were halted. Would the food get to its destination when needed? Would it arrive in an edible state? Most of the local packing houses and food lockers will provide a safe product because they are proud of their product. Many will even allow you to view their cutting room. The stunning area is always off limits.
100% Bison is an exceptionally good ground meat from the points of health to the points of taste.

Our Greener Kitchen.
I was one that seldom thought about kitchen waste until our new refuse company introduced us to recycling some of it. Then some ideas here on All Recipes made sense and I was suddenly awakened to the fact I was part of a great big problem- a world problem. So, I began separating plastics, metals and papers and sending them to the refuse company to distribute. At the same time I reconsidered what was not garbage, but freezable for another meal. Of course, there is my favorite thing- the vegetable broth. What cannot be frozen or turned into broth, went to my composting area. Meat products still have to be garbage. The refuse company provides two containers of equal size, one for garbage and one for recycle. Now, the garbage container is seldom more than half used and the recycle is nearly full for each pick up day.

We turn in our plastic shopping bags at the Meijer or Lowe’s. Instead of always using static wrap over a dish, we now use Zip-Loc storage containers that we’ll re- use many times. These are replacing zip bags and much of the static wrap that we have been using. We have an assortment of covered pot and pan sizes (metal and glass) to accommodate anything we cook so that we don’t use foil. The pots and pans were picked up at yard sales or we happened upon a good buy in a store.

For these past few years, I have become ready for re- designation as "earth friendly". Nobody is going to hang a medal on me for the effort, but I am actually happy that I am doing what I can to improve this tiny spot of the earth that I’ll be leaving to my survivors.

Ice Cream and Sorbet success
This weekend, my wife and our daughter and her family, were having a yard sale here. The village sponsors a village- wide sale every year and regardless of the weather, hundreds of buyers show up to take away our offerings. It has become a fairly big event. Usually, I become invisible while the preparations are going on. (It is safer that way.) This year, I found my niche and was able to make everyone happy- at least for a few minutes. I made ice cream and sorbet.
 Berry Burst Sorbet is a great recipe as it is but, because I cannot leave a recipe to its own merits, I added my own touches. Where the recipe calls for Splenda, I substituted 1 Cup of turbinado sugar, and I added 1 cup of low fat vanilla yogurt as an additional ingredient.
Peach Sorbet I doubled the batch because it was only three servings. I added 1 cup vanilla yogurt per batch.
Pineapple Ice Cream. This is fantastic! I made it twice. Once using the original recipe. The second time, I did make changes but only to suit the ingredients I had on hand. I like the second (my) recipe better. Where the recipe calls for two cups of milk, I used 1 3/4 cup 2% milk and 1/4 cup low fat sour cream. Instead of whipping cream, I added 1 3/4 cup vanilla yogurt. Then, I added 1/4 cup of toasted coconut.
Each of the recipes were given high praises by the family.
What I’ve learned this time.
You know how the can top bends under when you use the pull tab to open the can? Well, you want to stay away from that when you lick the inside of the top.
Don’t use your fingers to get a sample of the ice cream while the dasher is still turning.
It doesn’t pay to tell a cop how handsome she looks in that uniform.
It doesn’t pay to tell a cop how handsome he looks in that uniform.

Ponder Time
If someone keeps asking why, will there be enough answers?
Who first stated, "ignorance is bliss" and how did they find out? Were they politicians?
How do you suck up to cops?
Jun. 27, 2011 12:45 pm
Hi Mike, I agree with you on the amount of waste that we produce on a daily basis! My husband and I try to reduce that. We have a worm compost that produces lots of worm casting for our little container garden of vegetables & herbs. We also re-use our zip-loc bags (although I am still wondering if it is safe to do that...) I reuse those that tend to have little contact with the food. To-date, we have used a single roll of foil and cling wrap for over 2 years now. Although there are only 2 of us in the household... We also try to recycle as many of the glass & plastic containers as we can. What I really love is our compost bin! They are excellent fertilizers for our plants and even our orchid!
Jun. 27, 2011 12:54 pm
Hi Mike! It is amazing of all the waste that goes on! I use a lot of those re-useable containers and rarely use paper towels. I use a cotton towel and wash cloth and throw them in the wash for most of my "wiping" up of spills, etc. Those sorbets and ice cream sound good! I like the idea of using the yogurt and sour cream - I may try that next time we make ice cream. Which - sounds like a real good idea!
Jun. 27, 2011 2:11 pm
If you don't mind me saying your new blogs are reminiscent of another's blogs that I so looked forward to on Sunday morning. Keep up the good work. I would like to do the worm composting but right now there is no time or money to try it :( I do compost. I re-use and recycle. I also annoy the DH by having empty milk jugs sitting on the counters to "catch" water. I figure why waste the cold water when it's the hot water I need. You don't happen to have a recipe to make cantalope into sorbet do you? I juiced some for a special recipe but didn't want to throw away the fruit leftovers. Any ideas are welcome. That is unless you find cantalope as appealing/appalling as beets :)
Jun. 27, 2011 3:05 pm
I have two composters and we recycle paper/plastic & glass. I am not sure about a worm composter, I understand they are fairly tempermental? I am getting a rain barrel next week as Canada we have to shop in most stores with our own bags otherwise we pay to purchase plastic bags, 5 cents per bag, it is a little but it all adds up. I see that Target gives you 5 cents back when you use your own bags....Interesting about the sorbet as well.
Jun. 27, 2011 5:21 pm
Living in a 4th floor co-op apt I am very limited in my ability to compost. Actually, the only composting I ca do is adding coffee grinds and egg shell to my plants. I take cloth tote bags with me when I shop. I have one set for food and another for everything else, from drugstore to department store. NY has had recycling laws for years, so it is second nature to separate my glass, metals and recyclable paper goods. I try to use everything I buy, so there is very little "wet" garbage from my place.
Jun. 27, 2011 6:11 pm
Good evening, merlion. I'm fairly new to recycling- I have a lot to learn. However, I once made compost as a matter of routine- in large quantities. I did have a small worm area where I would add partially digested compost. One very bitter winter, it was frozen out and I never restarted it. ... We will reuse zip bags but only those that meat has not touched. The pockets in the corners, to me, are a safe harbor for microbesbecause there is no way to safely clean them. I test the usefulness of used bags by filling them about 1/3 with water and watching for leaking water. If those corners were rounded, I believe the bags would be as safe as any plastic storage container.
Jun. 27, 2011 6:14 pm
I am surprised each pick up day just how much we are sending to the recycle, Mother Ann! When the grandaughters have been herem the volume is more thab doubled.
Jun. 27, 2011 6:23 pm
Hi, Cat! I saw the sinilarity, too, and wondered if I was infringing on Swiss Phil. My intention is to make the post easier to read. If I had center justified, it would certainly be a copy cat format. I'll try abother format when my rock farm starts working. ... If you were to use the "Berry Burst Sorbet" recipe and sustitute the cantalope for the quantity of berries, I think you would be very close to what you want. The sugar quantity may need to be radically reduced, though.
Jun. 27, 2011 6:29 pm
Good evening, Janet! The only worm compost I had was frozen out because of a very severe winter. ... Our local independent grocer will refund 5 cents for each of your own bags you use.
Jun. 27, 2011 6:36 pm
Use evrything you buy. BSM, I wish I had used that in my post! If a 4th floor occupant can recycle, everybody can. Good job!
Jun. 27, 2011 9:00 pm
Hey Mike, go look up meat glue. That'll take you into a whole new level of disgust with the beef industry. Your recycling efforts mirror my own perfectly. I may even have taken it one step further with adding in a composter. I generate far more veggy scraps than my broth demands could ever use so the compost, for both that and assorted garden detritus is fantastic. Regarding the ignorance is bliss ponder. I have a friend who is fond of signing of with, "Now that I know better, I do better!". I always like to think of the times before I knew was easier.
Jun. 28, 2011 4:51 am
I worry about the use of food as fuel and how the ethanol industry's use of corn is already beginning to effect food prices across the board. We have always had to separate our recyclabes in our town. We usually have the largest pile on the street. I wonder what says about us ? And the cops in my town really like me. I make a donation every year at Christmastime.
Jun. 28, 2011 6:31 am
Nice blog, Mike. Lot's of food for thought. Doug - I think we are just beginning to see the effect of ethanol on food prices. Mike - regarding our food supply - it is mind boggling to me the eggs from Iowa and shipped to California to be "processed" (re-packaged) and then shipped all over the country. What? Are there no chickens in Arizona and Texas? We do recycle - I also have started paying greater attention to packaging at the grocery store. Do I really need to put that head of lettuce in a produce bag - which I will throw away when I get home?
Jun. 28, 2011 6:37 am
Oh as for those cops. My son saved us ticket when he was a little boy. My husband cut off a motorcycle cops (opps - sorry, didn't see you!) As the lights and siren came on our son started squealing "CHIPS - CHIPS - look Dad it's just like on TV" The cop was at the drivers side window and my son just wouldn't stop - he was soooo excited. Finally the cop just gave up and gave us a warning. You have to love kids!
Jun. 28, 2011 6:39 am
I wish, I wish, I wish my town would offer curbside recycling. I do try to reuse everything I possibly can before it hits the trash cans. And I am horrible at remembering to bring my cloth shopping bags INTO the store, but we use the plastic bags as liners for our smaller cans and the kitty-box. Kiddos do like to save up aluminum cans for extra cash
Jun. 28, 2011 6:50 am
Hi, Randy! I saw a program (I think on History Channel) that showed the meat glue process. I thought it was an OK idea until it revealed that the sellers misled what it really was. Then I got pi***d! If I ever order steak in a restaurant, I'll be sure to inspect the grain very closely. ... I still make compost as I did in the 70,s- the four wire rings that the contents get turned every ten days. You called your system a "composter". Is that one of the barrel type? ... You are right about life being easier before we knew better. Very much easier, in fact. But we were sure damaging ourselves and our environment, too. Hopefully, our survivors will regard this "green awakening" as a normal way to spend their lives and will pass on even better methods to their survivors.
Jun. 28, 2011 6:57 am
Hi, Doug! We have been inactively recycling for years. The refuse company would sort all the contents of their collection trucks. We had to give them up when they became far too expensive for us. If your large pile of recyclables is the largest on the street, it may well be you are the most aware of what is recyclable- or your house, garage and basement are the least cluttered.
Jun. 28, 2011 7:03 am
Doug and Baking Nana, ethanol has no future as a fuel. It seems to be a political salve on the situation but it is certainly not a remedy. We cannot possibly grow enough crop to provide fuel for our society. Electric is the most sustainable and the battery makers are improving the driving distances bit by agonizing bit.
Jun. 28, 2011 7:13 am
Baking Nana, I believe the transportaion of food over long distances is a result of contract buying. The processor has paid for those eggs weeks (months) before the eggs are received. If the cheaper price (including transport)was in Maine for a Hawaiian processor then that is where the product gets bought. ... I have used those plastic produce bags ever since the day I found a shopping cart with a very dirty diaper left in it. ...
Jun. 28, 2011 7:20 am
Good morning, Candie! Perhaps your trash collector sorts the recyclables. When my son was still growing up, he loved for Saturday mornings when he could get all of my Pepsi cans out of the back seat of my car and cash them in! It was his event for several years.
Jun. 28, 2011 10:10 am
EWWWW! A dirty diaper? Maybe those bags aren't so bad after all. :/
Jun. 28, 2011 12:15 pm
THANKS! I reread BN's ground beef blog! Grocery shopping carts handles are usually nasty. I carry wipes when kiddos are with me, to wipe off the handles. Think of that baby sitting in the seat holding onto the handle--! My #1 rule: "wash your hands when you get home!" after being somewhere. Usually the suds are pretty dirty. Recycling was easier when products came in glass returnables, much less prepackaging, and plastics were not the "norm". Aluminum cans are becoming a worthwhile commodity! Did you know the pull tabs are worth more off the can than on? They bring a higher price, and are used as a fund-raiser for good causes.
Jun. 28, 2011 12:31 pm
Not a dirty diaper. A VERY dirty diaper.
Jun. 28, 2011 12:42 pm
Good afternoon, mamaw! My brother is designing an automated sanitizer for shopping carts, and trying to make it an economical service for retailers. Around here, some stores are providing wipes at the cart area. I can't believe the people that are putting produce and food samples into their mouths with the hands that were wrapped around the cart handle. ... That's very interesting about the pull tabs. Thanks for that insight!
Jun. 28, 2011 3:22 pm
Naw, keep it up! I miss the Sunday morning coffee and that blog. Besides you are different and just as welcomed. I'm sure he'd say so if he would come back and drop us all a line :)
Jun. 28, 2011 3:40 pm
Yep - Loving Mike's blogs. Always good food for thought.
Jun. 28, 2011 5:40 pm
To add to the "Lesson's I've Learned" After opening a can of olives do NOT insert hand into can to extract that last olive - Yep - I have a "bleeder" Left hand - middle finger. :( Some lesson's are harder to learn than others. BTW - it is a PITA to type with a bandage on your center finger.
Jun. 29, 2011 3:38 am
I won't change it until I find something that I like. Right now, it's close to Swiss Phil's format, but not too close- I think.
Jun. 29, 2011 3:40 am
Thank you, B'Nana! As for your lesson, I'm thinking it will show in my next post.
Jul. 1, 2011 5:04 pm
We've recycled for years. The community my DH teaches in has public bins for collecting recyclables, we just have to separate them, deliver them, and put them in the correct bins (it's better than nothing:) I'm amazed at the amount of materials that are suitable for recycling that people just throw away. Just a little effort on the part of consumers is all it takes, but sadly, some people are just lazy. On another note, does anyone else forget that steam is hot???? I'm forever steaming my fingers when I lift pot lids:) As for cops, believe it or not, a couple of months ago I got a warning instead of a ticket because I ADMITTED I wasn't paying attention to the speed limit. (It might have helped that the cop was a former student of my dept. head and friends with her daughter). And, if you happen to be a pretty, young thing, sometimes (or so I'm told) tears really do help.
Jul. 1, 2011 7:46 pm
Steamed fingers will be in my next post. ... For a short year and a half, I was a cop. The only tears caused by one of my stops was a 76 years of age lady. Not just tears- crying loudly. I was quickly given the nickname "Widow Whacker". That stuck until the day another cop stopped a cattle hauler and got pooped on! (That stop turned out to be a bunch of BS!) Then, it was my turn!
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Mike Harvey, daPITA

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Battle Creek, Michigan, USA

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Dec. 2008

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About Me
At age 16, I began cooking when my mother was injured in an accident that kept her off her feet for five weeks. At first, my repertoire was fried hot dogs with pork and beans, boiled hot dogs with macaroni and cheese or pizza from a box. After a couple weeks of this, my younger brother was the first to protest and demand variety and my dad was quick to support him. That was my first cooking challenge, learning to plan a meal. About that time, mom returned from the hospital and from her bed, began teaching me things like roast beef, fried chicken, stews and all the sides and trimmings. In 1967, I married and my wife designated herself as the cook and this continued until 1999. It was then that I (voluntarily) began cooking again. At some point, I realized that I was having fun and began searching for recipes that were more challenging and interesting. I found AR and used it's recipes for a long time before registering and later becoming an active member.
My favorite things to cook
Soups. How can I go wrong? They are a great way to use up leftovers and those veggies that are approaching the end of their usefulness. They are always an original recipe. Roasts and steaks are favored, also. Getting the right "doneness" and choosing appropriate sides for a tastey and attractive meal is a continuing and always evolving menu.
My favorite family cooking traditions
If creating impulsive menus and recipes is a tradition then, (I guess) we have a tradition. A new tradition is developing. I have a fruitcake recipe that, I believe, is near perfection. I make it just before Thanksgiving so it is aged enough for the Christmas/ New Year holidays.
My cooking triumphs
Without a doubt, my own recipe for a Reuben Sandwich. It has been a demanded item for many years and I shared it in my AR blog.
My cooking tragedies
Too many. I have been able to throw them out and have something new before my wife gets home. Most of the time, anyway.
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