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Pot Luck

by: JayinPhiladelphia

Sat Nov 05, 2011 at 19:00:00 PM PDT

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Pot Luck | 58 comments
Finally got my pork bellies out of the freezer the other day (4.00 / 2)
I made up a salt and sugar cure, cut the bellies into 3rds and put them in the cure. They'll be in the cure for 3-5 days and then I'll smoke them next Saturday. In between the time I take them out of the cure and I smoke them, I'm going to pack them in cracked black pepper. I love pepper bacon.

Also took my lamb to slaughter last Thursday. 85# live weight, which means I'll probably get around 40# of cuts and trim. I'll turn the trim into stir fry meat and render any of the fat into tallow. Not sure what I'll do with the tallow, but it'll store in the freezer until I find a use for it. I'm going to have to see if I can get beef fat from Marks Meats. I'm going to experiment with cooking with rendered animal fats and reserve the olive oil for cold preperations like salad dressings.

Traditionally, according to what I've read, tallow is rendered from suet which is the visceral fat. I'll be rendering the subcutaneous and intra muscular fat, which is a softer fat than the visceral fat I think. So, technically, what I render probably wouldn't be called tallow, but I didn't think to ask them to save the visceral fat from my lamb.

And I got up early enough to catch up two chickens for dinner today. I'm going to make a variation of the chicken casserole that Gibsonkates posted over in the diaries section. I'm going to use the breast meat from the chickens and probably the thigh meat as well, and I'll make stock from the rest of the birds. I think I'm down to around 20 chickens, down from 60 a few months ago. Slowly whittling down the spent layer flock. Sure has made a dent in the feed bill.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

Suet (4.00 / 1)
You're correct, suet has a higher melting point (and is softer at room temperature) that outer fat. Outer fat has more unsaturated fatty acids, suet is more saturated. This difference between inner and outer fat is common to all mammals. Maybe all animals, for all I know.

When I was in the business "tallow" was beef fat, period. Fats from other animals were never called tallow. Suet could be rendered separately from other beef fat for a special purpose, such as candles.

[ Parent ]
more suet (4.00 / 1)
My grandmother's recipe for steamed pudding, which is much simpler than most recipes for steamed puddings, uses suet. I think I stopped making it because I thought fiddling with the suet was too bothersome but, now that I read Joanne's comment, this was because of my own stupidity. What I should have done was render the suet, then divide it appropriately before freezing. Great idea, thanks Joanne. Why didn't I think of that? My excuse must be, that was back when I was just learning to cook.

From Joy of Cooking (1997, p. 1026),

Ground or finely chopped suet is essential to certain steamed puddings, particularly plum pudding. Because it melts relatively late in the cooking process, after the starch in the batter has begun to set, suet leaves behind thousands of tiny spaces in the pudding. These spaces make the pudding soft and fine grained. Suet also imparts a special richness, without any beefy taste. You simply cannot make a good plum pudding with butter or shortening; it will end up greasy and heavy.

True beef suet is the pure pearly, crumbly fat that surrounds the kidneys. Beef fat from other parts of the animal, though often sold as suet, is not the same thing and should not be used. If possible, order suet from a butcher. Supermarket suet is intended primarily for bird food and may not be genuine or truly fresh.

Where the quote says "melts", I would write "melts and becomes absorbed." My grandmother's recipe gave about two cups of batter, which she (and I) steamed in coffee cans. My experience was that for this size batch, the suet wasn't melted at 90 minutes, but 2 hours gave an excellent result. Larger batches would need more steaming time. Also, steamed puddings can usefully be made in pressure cookers, which I have not done.


½ cup suet, grated or chopped fine
½ cup raisins, brunette or blonde (or cranberries, blueberries, huckleberries, currants, chopped dates, chopped dried apricots)

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp double acting baking powder

2 Tbsp Grandma's unsulfured molasses, either "Original" or "Robust"

½ cup milk or water
1 Tbsp "white" vinegar
¼ tsp baking soda

1. Mix dry ingredients, except baking soda, and sift.
2. Dredge the fruit and chopped suet in a little of the flour mixture.
3. Add the remainder of the flour mixture to the suet and fruit and mix.
4. Add molasses and mix.
5. Combine milk, vinegar, and baking soda, add to the other ingredients and mix well. Makes about 2 cups of stiff batter.
6. Transfer batter to a 4-cup coffee can with a plastic lid. (1-lb Luzianne brand coffee. Other brands use the same size can for less coffee, say 11.5-oz.) The plastic lid can be used at least once. If the lid becomes unsuitable for re-use, cover the can with 2 layers of foil secured by a thick rubber band or a piece of string.
7. Place in a pot or roasting pan tall enough to contain the 6.5" can. Add water to about halfway up the can. Bring to low boil, cover, and steam at least 2 hours.
8. Serve with hard sauce, whipped cream, or Devonshire cream.

Frozen blocks of suet can be chopped or grated. Also, the suet could be pulsed in a food processor fitted with the metal cutting blade.

I'm drooling right now.

[ Parent ]
steamed puddings (4.00 / 1)
I'd bet special containers for making steamed puddings exist, but coffee cans work. If coffee cans work, I suppose any appropriately sized and reliably heat-proof bowl would work also, but I lack experience with that. The nice thing about a cylinder form is that the center is equidistant from the circumference the whole way.

The instructions probably should specify that the form should be well oiled or buttered.

After removing the pudding from the steamer, remove the covering and allow the pudding to cool. Although a coffee can is ridged, my experience was that the cool pudding came out easily.

[ Parent ]
steamed pudding in oven (4.00 / 1)
The directions above presumed that steaming would be done on stovetop burners, but it could just as well, and perhaps preferably, be done in a 285-300 degree F oven. Same arrangement, just put the whole shebang in the oven. Much less danger of the water boiling away, steam as long as you like, 3-4 hours would be fine.

[ Parent ]
Lamb (4.00 / 2)
We will receive our packages of lamb in January.
Pasture raised, chemical free, from a farmer I
really trust.  Have a new freezer to put it in.

Now, having eaten lamb maybe two times in my life
what do we do when we cook it?  Anything different
from cooking beef or pork?  Spices?  Recipes?
Lamb bacon?  It will be used in the Green Chile
Stew! Bien picante stew!

Peace, Bob

Best thing to do Bob (4.00 / 2)
is to start looking up recipes on the net. Pick the ethnic foods you like and look up recipes from that culture. Lamb can be strong or mild flavored depending on how much fat there is. I used to buy lamb shanks at the store (way back when you could get them for $.99/lb) and I used to like to marinade them in a sweet teriyaki sauce, then grill and smoke them. I'd sprinkle fennel seeds on the coals for the smoke.

Harold, back when he was fire marshall in The City of Industry in California had to go to a fair of some kind as an official function. There were a lot of Greek and Basque families there and they did lamb and goat. Harold normally didn't like lamb (he'd never had goat), and he said he never did come across anything that he DIDN'T like. He said it was all fantastic. So there's an area to start looking in.

The lamb I raised last year was very lean, and because of that, there was almost no lamb/gamey flavor that lamb can have. The loins on this one felt about the same as last year's when I checked him on slaughter day, so I'm hoping for a similar carcass.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
I love lamb (4.00 / 2)
but since I can't easily get pasture raised I haven't had in a while.

For a lamb leg or shoulder, I would make a mixture of olive oil lemon and garlic and rub all over and cook.For tougher cheaper cuts I would make a tagine. I posted a recipe for a veggie tagine here Just substitute the beans for the lamb and use some stock that you've made from the bones. Cooking tougher cuts of meats is fab in the tagine. Use a dutch oven if you don't have a tagine.

[ Parent ]
I wouldn't eat lamb . . . (4.00 / 2)
cause I'm a veg., but if I did I'd do a simple leg of lamb roast with crushed garlic bulbs placed in various spots in the meat. Then there's the crown roast -- a beautiful presentation. I think Indian cuisine from the punjab region is made to order for lamb. Plenty of recipes here, including lamb brains (yikes!):

[ Parent ]
I've never really... (4.00 / 1)
...cooked with it aside from ground lamb, though I always tend to look for lamb when I eat out.  So I don't really have any original / expert cooking tips on it.  But recipes - lamb curries and certain regional Indian cuisines use a lot of lamb, like Crider said.  Cumin is a lamb's very good friend.

Also look into Middle Eastern.  Countless recipes throughout the region use lamb.  Here's an Eastern Libyan-style lamb stew with raisins, chickpeas and pumpkin.  Grilled lamb shoulder recipe.  A Persian lamb stew.

[ Parent ]
I can attest to the middle eastern cuisine (4.00 / 2)
I used to do some work for a fellow who was from Iran (but don't ever wanted to let him catching you calling him an iranian, he'd lecture you on why he was Persian). Anyway, he knew a lot about lamb and about curries too. I didn't knwo that there were different curries until we started talking about food and lamb. He is the reason why the lamb I raised last year tasted so good. He cautioned me long ago when I was first thinking about raising lambs to not let the lambs eat anything other than grass and hay and maybe a little bit of grain. He said the reason for that was that anything else would taint the meat/fat. He said that sheep, more than any other animal, picked up the flavor of what ever you fed it.

Wish he was still alive. He was a great fellow.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
Lamb is prevalent in all Mediterranean cuisines. (4.00 / 2)
Check out Spain, Portugal, Northern Africa, France, Middle East. All have delicious recipes for lamb. You won't find the ubiquitous roast lamb w/mint jelly. You will find lots of olive oil, garlic, rosemary, etc.

[ Parent ]
"Exercise in idiocy"... (4.00 / 2)
Just about sums it up perfectly.


Cross walks to nowhere? (4.00 / 2)
What's the reasoning behind putting in cross walks in locations like those?

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
Required by law. ;) (4.00 / 1)
It's almost certainly some stupid municipal zoning code that requires it.  Note the curb-cuts too, those are required by ADA.  I can't imagine, however, that many folks in wheelchairs are going to find themselves going back and forth between that retaining wall and the little landscaped flower patch thing across from it.  Or would want to.

Perfect illustration of one of his ongoing themes, which is our sad and cartoonish built environment these days.

[ Parent ]
Kunstler is great! (4.00 / 2)
Saw an interview he did yesterday with Max Keiser:

[ Parent ]
New GMO Brown Rice Contains Blood Protein (4.00 / 2)
from Organic Authority

Human serum albumin-a blood protein-has been added to genetically modified brown rice by researchers in a new study conducted at the Yang He and Daichang Yang at Wuhan University in China, and published in the recent issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

Recombinant HSA proteins were introduced into the brown rice using Agrobacterium (a Gram-negative bacteria known for its ability to transfer DNA to other cells and plants) and wound up with nine plant species that could breed the GMO rice containing the blood protein. Test subjects with liver damage showed improved results after being fed the rice, confirming that the HSA was effectively present and capable of being extracted in "an efficient manner," resulting in nearly half of the plant's protein creating 2.75 grams of HSA from one kilogram of rice.

my dog is failing (4.00 / 2)
She's lost 10 pounds and during the day keeps pacing I spent 190 bucks at vet and all tests came back negative. The pacing I believe is due to senility.
She spent the weekend at Swarthmore College with my daughter.My daughter told me by the time they got to her apartment she was so exhaused but she kept pacing anyway and actually fell asleep on her feet.I don't think she is in pain and I hope she goes on her own

She will (4.00 / 2)
just be there to support her. I remember when Harold's original Sammy cat went. She was 19 years old and had been loosing weight rapidly for a couple months, getting really slow, etc. We knew what was happening, and kept an eye on her, didn't let her out of the house, etc. When she went, she came in and lay down at Harold's feet and just died. It was pretty incredible.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
thats sweet (4.00 / 2)
they couldn't find any physical reason for losing weight. Do animals eat less when they are ready to go?

[ Parent ]
I think so lots of times (4.00 / 2)
Having lost a fair number of animals due to old age, mine all have. Loiosh lost weight quite a bit at the end, his apetite just went away, although he was very old for a dog his size, he also had a back issue that finally paralilzed him and Harold and I put him down ourselves at home. Big Sammy did, Spot the emu did, he had a good appetite, but lost weight like crazy shortly before death. Sammy the wolf didn't, but even though she was pretty old she died of a stroke. I had a vet put her down with drugs but that was to speed up the process and relieve suffering. My golden retriever Esher lost weight when he was close, also his appetite went away. My big boer buck Stinky Pete just died the other day and I've been having trouble keeping weight on him for several months. He was almost 10 I think.

Death comes to us all, and if you live long enough the parts just wear out.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
Chellie Pingree (4.00 / 1)
Rep. Chellie Pingree, (D) Maine, is scheduled for The Rachel Maddow Show tonight, 9 p.m. eastern time. This will be the first time I have heard her or seen her.

Experimenting with beer making (4.00 / 2)
My first mash wound up as porridge. Second batch is looking much better.

Gonna be some happy chickens tomorrow for breakfast.....

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

Ah, shit. (4.00 / 1)
He was only 44.

Heavy D, the smooth-talking and cheerful rapper who billed himself as "the overweight lover M.C.," died in Los Angeles on Tuesday. He was 44.

Lamb (4.00 / 2)
Thanks all for the suggestions.


More adventures in brewing - malting grains (4.00 / 2)
I've got my first batch of hard red wheat, 3 lbs. worth, in its first soak.

Later in the day, I'm going to put 3 lbs. of pop corn in its first soak and after malting, I'll start experimenting with Chicha.

I came across this web page with Chicha Recipes. Jill, didn't you drink Chicha when you were down south?

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

Gotta get my hands on some barley to play with (4.00 / 2)
I need to go to the feed store later on today. I'm going to check on the price of whole barley and oats.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
chicha (4.00 / 1)
Here is Chicha de Maní from one of Jill's Bolivia diaries (last year). Chicha in the Andes is a general word for almost any homemade fermented beverage, which is very often corn-based. Maní is a Spanish word for peanut, and that recipe might not be what Jill actually drank in the altiplano.

Because I'm not a brewer, the page to which you linked seems very cryptic. In other words, I can't tell what's going on. Best of luck with your experiments.

[ Parent ]
Interesting (4.00 / 1)
the alcohol must come from wild yeast fermenting the sugar that's added to the mix. Starch in grains generally needs an enzyme to convert it to sugar so that the yeast (wild or a selected yeast) can convert the sugar to alcohol. That's why beers normally use malted grains, and why wine makers usually add sugar to bring the juice up the the brix level required for that particular wine they're making.

Without malting, the only other way I know of converting starch to sugar is by adding amylase or by combining the starchy ingredient with saliva which contains amylase.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
Guisado! (4.00 / 1)
Opening soon ("anytime now"), just up the street from me.

Mi Mero Mole

Mi Mero Mole -- set to open soon at 5026 SE Division Street -- will be Zukin's first solo restaurant (he co-founded popular downtown deli Kenny & Zuke's) and will dish up Mexico City-style Tacos de Guisado inspired by his many trips to the capital city. [...]

"One of the things that will set Mi Mero Mole apart, even from really good places like de Leon, will be the variety. I already have several dozen recipes developed and expect to rotate through 50 to 100 different guisados in the first year. I'm focusing on dishes that are common in Mexico that you don't see here enough and interesting dishes that you would really only find in Mexico-and a lot of those dishes are vegetarian and vegan. Most of the taquerias and taco trucks in the United States focus on simple meat tacos-carnitas, carne asada, al pastor, and the like. If they have vegetarian dishes, they'll be entirely inauthentic dishes using soyriso or soy curls, maybe some beans and rice, or sautéed chiles. You'd think Mexicans didn't eat vegetables if you just looked at a taqueria menu, but vegetables feature prominently in guisados. Thirty to forty percent of my menu will be vegetarian or vegan, but authentically so.  And the dishes will be interesting and flavorful, stuff like tinga de calabacitas, a stir-fry of summer squash, onions, tomatoes, and chipotle chiles or mushrooms stewed in a sauce of guajillo chiles and cream or scrambled egg and cactus paddle in a bright and spicy tomato sauce."


Oh, and this will also be the first place in Portland to carry and sell Rancho Gordo beans to-go.  Can't wait, should be open by the time I get back from my Jersey trip!

This is good news. Can't wait to (4.00 / 2)
check it out. And I am a huge fan of Rancho Gordo beans. Having a local source is great.

[ Parent ]
I've just heard... (4.00 / 1)
...that Pastaworks and Foster & Dobbs also carry Rancho Gordo beans here.  So probably a mistake in the interview, then.  I've never been to Foster & Dobbs, and although I'm a regular at Pastaworks (Hawthorne and City Market NW, haven't been to their N. Mississippi location yet) I have to admit I haven't ever looked for beans there.  So this is probably true.  I'll just have to look next time I'm up at Pastaworks!

[ Parent ]
A question! (4.00 / 1)
I plan to bring a sandwich with me for Day One's dinner, on Monday on my Amtrak trip.  The train leaves Union Station at 4:45 PM, and I want to be there 3:30 or so.  I'll pick up the sandwich on the way over there, at around 2:30 or 2:45 I guess.

Looking at this menu (everything there is good, and all are acceptable to me), which sandwich do you think would last best on a ziploc bag with a few ice cubes until about 7 PM or so?  I'm leaning BLB or Green Bean sandwich right now.  The pulled pork is probably the only one I don't think would fare well in this manner...

Definitely do not choose the egg salad. (4.00 / 2)
I think the pork loin would work. I am hesitant about the soft-boiled egg on the Green Bean. And is their aioli the real stuff (garlic and olive oil) or the kind that is more of a garlicky mayo made with eggs? If it's the latter, then I'd probably avoid it.

You could substitute by, of example, getting the BLB with spicy mustard instead of  aioli.

I know you will pack a few ice cubes around the sandwich, but you do really want to chance it at the beginning of your  cross-country trip?

[ Parent ]
Thanks, good point(s) about the eggs... (4.00 / 1)
Not positive on the aioli, but it's definitely not a gloop-heavy kind.

Oh, and btw - if you've never had the green bean sandwich (they switch to asparagus in-season, but I prefer the green beans myself), you must get there and try it one day!  It's one of the best sandwiches I've ever had.

[ Parent ]
travel food (4.00 / 1)
Far be it from me to advise anyone on health issues, BUT:

I have made a bunch of sandwiches consisting of meat loaf and mayo which got me through a very long day's cross country trip with no problems. Put them in my backpack, no ice, no nothing. Also, I never have worried about sandwiches in my backpack with no ice on all-day mountain hikes.

To be super safe I would

1. Make it myself.
2. Make it simple.

[ Parent ]
I'm with Count (4.00 / 2)
I used to make my own sandwiches all the time to take to work with me. Winter or summer, and my mom used to pack my lunches for me when I was in school. I never did pack ice or any kind of cold pack with it.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
we are on for the 22nd? (4.00 / 2)
here in Philly?

I could meet you in Center City and we could come back to my house for dinner. One of the local trains 5 min from here ( Chestnut Hill) goes to Trenton NJ. Let me know.I'm not eating out much these days and wold be happy to cook you dinner.

Sandwiches...Challah holds up well. What about cheese?

[ Parent ]
Sure! (4.00 / 1)
I'd be coming into town from Camden on PATCO as I want to ride the RiverLine again (one of my favorite train routes - also about $8 cheaper than NJT to SEPTA), but yeah I could go back home via SEPTA to NJTransit.  So that works.

Meeting up in Center City somewhere works.  How about Reading Terminal Market again?  Do you have an email so we can plan it out and I can send you my number?  The email I use these days is my name and I don't want to post that publicly, especially with the problems I've been having with a few certain whacked out creepy characters at dKos who follow me all over the internet now.  :/


You know, I really haven't been eating much cheese lately.  Now if I could stop eating meat again I think it would be easier to go vegan this time!  Heh.  Right now I'm leaning toward something like this from the Addy's food cart -

chickpea spread + pickles + red onions + roasted green chilis

Now that I think about it, how about falafel for the first day of the train trip?  I think the only problem there would be the pita falling apart after sitting for a few hours, though.  Hmmm...

[ Parent ]
Huh, yeah I forgot about that... (4.00 / 1)
Good points from you and count.

I used to brown-bag it for school lunch all the time, and never got sick off the sandwiches which must have sat in my backpack (no ice) for sometimes up to five or six hours before lunch.  Whenever I take a lunch to work, I've always done the small canvas cooler thing with an ice pack.

Going the simple route sounds like a very good idea (hey, pastrami on rye from K&Z's!  the a la carte lunch special for just the sandwich is cheaper than most of the MCB sandwiches, too...).  The only tough part about making one and bringing it is just buying enough stuff for one sandwich, though.  Leaving home for two and a half weeks, so anything left in the fridge will surely rot by the time I get back.  So that's why I'm thinking picking up a sandwich on the way to the train is probably the best idea.

Hmm.  There's Bunk and SandwichWorks, too.  And Addy's.  I don't suppose bringing some pho or khao kha moo is a good idea?  Heh.

[ Parent ]
I love Addy's. (4.00 / 2)
Have not tried all the sandwiches at Addy's, but my current have is the house cured ham + gruyere + butter. So, that one I can recommend. But you just said you are off cheese, so scratch that.

I am not as sanguine as count and Joanne about carrying sandwiches on the train. There are many things we used to do back in the day that we now know are bad ideas. No carseats comes to mind. Sometimes I am amazed that so many of us survived childhood given all the potential dangers we now know lurk there. Anyway, not tempting food poisoning seems like a reasonable course of action.

To my mind the things to avoid are limited to mayo and eggs. I think anything else should be fine given that you will be eating it that same evening. It's not like you're going to haul that sandwich all the way to New Jersey

BYW, have a great time. See you when you get back.

P.S. New Indian restaurant just opened on NE Sandy Blvd. at 42nd. We can add it to our list.

[ Parent ]
Thanks! (4.00 / 1)
And yeah, I read about that one last week I think it was.  Noor Mahal?  Someone made a joke that it sounds too close to "normal."  Heh.  Hoping it's better than that.  ;)

I think it's in the old spot which hosted the Thai place and the radio station, no?  Across from Hollywood Burger Bar?  I haven't been up that way in a while, though...

And yes!  Go TCU!  Ughh, so sick and tired of hearing "Boise this, Boise that" year in and out.  There you go.  They play two decent opponents and ten patsies a year, every year.  That's the only reason they win 11 or 12 games a year.

Put Boise in a BCS conference and they'd be lucky to win 8 games a year.  This (and their loss to Nevada last year) proves it.  Now, can the 'experts' all stfu about that team, finally?  TCU isn't even a Top 25 team this year, too.  But they're better than Boise!  Heh.  Can't wait until Boise joins the Big East and Rutgers stomps them in Piscataway...  ;)

[ Parent ]
After... (4.00 / 1)
Can't wait until Boise joins the Big East and Rutgers stomps them in Piscataway...  ;)

...they come off the first three week stretch in their history of playing back-to-back-to-back games against decent opponents is what I mean, of course.  Louisville, South Florida and Cincinnati may not be Oregon, Stanford and USC; but they're surely not Idaho, New Mexico and Louisiana Tech either.

[ Parent ]
Yes, it is the spot that housed (4.00 / 2)
the Thai place and the radio station and  Mark Lindsay's, of Paul Revere and the Raiders fame, burger place. Let's hope Noor Mahal has both better food and better luck.

Both Boise State and Stanford lost today. So, the Ducks should move up to the top 5, yes?

[ Parent ]
Oregon #4 in both human polls... (0.00 / 0)
BCS not out yet.  LSU, Oklahoma State and Alabama are 1, 2 and 3.

What needs to happen is for Oklahoma to beat Oklahoma State, but in that case Oklahoma may end up jumping Oregon.  Which would be bullshit, but until we get a playoff...

Ughh.  How ridiculous would it be that Oregon's only loss was a close one at a "neutral site" (which was just next door to LSU and over a thousand miles from Oregon) in Week One to the #1 team in the country (a game in which they also scored 27 points, three touchdowns more than Alabama did), and they'd be left out of the National Championship Game in favor of a Sooners team that got their ass whooped by an unranked team at home?  And Alabama can't even win their conference now, so I don't see how they can possibly play in the title game?

If Oklahoma State goes undefeated, and assuming LSU does as well, okay I can live with that as the title game.  Oregon in the Rose Bowl.  But if OSU loses and Oklahoma or Alabama jumps Oregon in the final BCS rankings, that's just absolute bullpucky.

[ Parent ]
LSU and Oklahoma State I understand. (4.00 / 1)
They are undefeated. What I don't get is Alabama's ranking. As you note, both Oregon and 'Bama lost to LSU. The difference is 'Bama got creamed, and the Ducks did not. I thought margin of victory figured into the BCS rankings somehow. Am I wrong? Or is this just more of the same old same old BCS bias in favor of the SEC?

If the Ducks demolish USC hope, hope) will that get us to No. 3? The BCS has no respect for the Pac-12. They are totally enthrall to the SEC and what remains of the Big 12.

No disrespect to the Rose Bowl. I love the Rose Bowl. It is the bowl game of my life, the one where my childhood (Big-10) battles it out with my adulthood (Pac-12) (hey, it's sports. of course I personalize.) Still, if Oregon wins all the rest and LSU or OSU loses, well, why shouldn't the Ducks play in the big one?

[ Parent ]
The computers aren't allowed... (0.00 / 0) count margin of victory, unfortunately.  And beating USC won't help us, as they're still Bowl Ineligible thanks to the Cheat, I mean Pete, Carroll years.  They technically don't exist this year, insofar as the BCS Computers and the Coaches Poll are concerned.  And ughh, ASU losing to friggin' Wazzu yesterday did NOT help the Pac-12's computer rankings, either. :/

And actually, Alabama only lost to LSU 9-6... it was a close game, but they still got shut down.  And as long ago as it was, not many people tend to remember the Oregon - LSU game was also close all the way to the end.  LSU didn't run away with that one by any means.  And Oregon scored more points on them than anyone else has this season.

In the end, sadly, I think the Ducks just can't make it to the title game because of the current stupid system.  It's probably going to be LSU - Oklahoma (I think the Sooners are gonna beat OSU).  Which would be ridiculous, but that's the way it is.  Sigh.

Well, at least a Big Game win would help shut up the naysayers.  Let's whoop Michigan State in the Rose Bowl!  :-D

[ Parent ]
National Institute of Health Wants Cholesterol Tests for Children 9 to 11 (4.00 / 2)
From Reuters:

Children from ages 9 to 11 should be routinely screened for high cholesterol so that action can be taken to avoid the development of heart disease, according to new guidelines from the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

The guidelines, endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, aim to identify early risks that can sharply increase the likelihood of developing heart disease as an adult.

"Convincing parents and kids to change their lifestyle is hard," said Dr. Daphne Hsu, chief of pediatric cardiology at Children's Hospital at Montefiore hospital in New York, who was not involved in crafting the guidelines. "If you find high cholesterol, it will give you extra ammunition to talk to the family and talk to the children about the need for changes in diet and exercise," Hsu said.

Well, my wheat's germinated. (4.00 / 2)
I've moved it to a small tub so I can toss it every couple of hours. I think either tomorrow or Monday it'll be far enough advanced that I'll be able to dry it in the oven to stop the growth and fix the starch conversion. Then I'll have to decide how much I want to roast and/or toast.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

malt (4.00 / 1)
Interesting wiki about malt and malting.

[ Parent ]
Malting is a fascinating process (4.00 / 2)
for me it's a combination of horticulture and chemistry. In order to make beer, the starches in the endosperm have to be converted to carbohydrates that the yeast can use. Germinating the seed of the grain that's going to be used does that, as the embryo of the plant can't use the starch and protein as they exist in the dormant seed either.

And, having used pure raw grains in an attempt to make beer, I had my nose rubbed in that fact last week. I wasted 6 lbs of wheat, 1-2 lbs of rolled oats, and 1 tablespoon of bread yeast. I used the liquid to make some bread and it wasn't even very good for that. If I'd had amylase to add to the mash the starches would have been converted. But I didn't and what I wound up with was only good enough to be tossed out.

Pale malts are used as the base for beer making. They're by far the bulk of the 'grain bill'. The darker and specialty malts are used as adjuncts for flavoring and body. Given the price difference between malted grains ($1.00+/lbs) and raw grains (-$0.30/lbs.) and how easy it is to malt, I'm going to do all my own base malting. All you need is a small bucket, a collander and a pan to hold the sprouted grain in. The germinated grains can be killed in the oven as long as the oven will go as low as 150°. I can also use my food dryer. For that matter, I could probably use my big cabinet incubator.  

Over the winter I'm going to build myself a drying kiln. All you need to do is build a box out of plywood and use a heat lamp and fan to dry the grains. I have everything I need to build one here already (one of the advantages of being a pack rat and buying odds and ends of things when they're on sale is that I have a stocked wharehouse).

Over the winter I'll be malting wheat, barley, oats, and rye.  

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
germinating (4.00 / 1)
When you say germinated, do you mean sprouting has begun?

Taking whole grain to at least the beginning of the process by soaking overnight is said to increase the food value for humans, too. That's why I soak whole oats overnight before making oatmeal.

I don't know how true this is.

I've never soaked brown rice. Maybe I should?

[ Parent ]
I can speak from experience now (4.00 / 2)
sprouted wheat is delicious. I've been taste testing...

I would say that sprouted grains would have a higher food value because a lot of the starches are already converted to sugars, and the protein is broken into something else too (I forget what).

The tricky thing about sprouting grains is that you have to be extremely careful of mold and other fungi. For instance, when working with rye, beware of ergot, which will kill you. Or at least make you loopy as hell for a while. Also, there's aspergillis with corn, and you probably need to be careful of botulism.

Then there's our old pal Salmonella, who's the reason why I won't grow sprouts, even though I could probably make a mint on them. Two things I won't do out here becuase the risk is just too high - raw milk and sprouts.

Different grains take different times to germinate and sprout. The wheat I'm working with goes through a soak and drain routine for 2 days (6-8 hours soak, then 6-8 hours drained). Once the grain chitts (that is it's begun to sprout) it's drained and moved into a pan where it's kept moist and tossed every few hours, until the acrospire (the plant embryo) is 75%-100% the length of the seed. My first batch of wheat has been in the growing stage for 2 days now, and tomorrow the acrospires should be long enough to kill the embryos. I'm going to dry them in the oven. You want to toss the seeds while they're growing to keep them evenly moist, and to discourage mold growth which will ruin the grain.

So for the hard red wheat, it's 2 days of soak and drain, then 3 days of growth.

Next week I'm going to get some barley to work with. I think that the barley will go about how the wheat does and on the same schedule. The nice thing about barley is that it has a husk (wheat is a bare grain). That hust protects the acrospire when you're tossing the grain.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
'Sprouted wheat is great in bread (4.00 / 2)
I used to buy a certain bakery bread with sprouted wheat in it. The bread was so heavenly that I still remember it from three decades back.

[ Parent ]
Sprouts are a big problem to grow (4.00 / 2)
I only grow sprouts in mid-winter when the air is arctic outside, so there are fewer active mold/fungus/yeast spores ready to land and cause havoc.

Growing sprouts any other season yields slimy results unless I rinse the sprouts every hour or so.  

[ Parent ]
Scathing accusations against Monsanto, Bayer and Dow (4.00 / 2)

Posting this now just in case nobody else has posted this year.

Pot Luck | 58 comments
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