Classroom Musings

I am taking classes from the County Extension Agents on Cooking. I will be a Master Foods Volunteer when I have completed the classes. The instructors are a great bunch but one of the ladies is a food Nazi. She makes measuring of flour into a Federal offense if you manage to pack an extra gram of flour into a measuring cup. She absolutely goes nuts if someone wants to taste the mayonnaise with a finger. We go through about a hundred extra plastic spoons. For lords sake, we are going to throw the Mayo away not try to keep it for a month or two. My cooking partner and I made Mayo and had to do it twice to get it right. The first time we either cooked the eggs too long because we didn't have the right thermometer or my partner poured too much oil in at the start of the process. The second time we used a hand whisk and everything came out almost perfect.

Why can you eat a steak rare to medium and not a hamburger? When you cut a steak, the cut is the part that is heated. It is generally cooked between 400 and 700 degrees and no disease germs can resist that. Hamburger is meat that has fat added from any other part of the cow and blades cut each tiny part. If there is any contamination at all, it is spread throughout the meat. Cook hamburger until it is brown all the way through or an internal temperature of 165 degrees. One of our class mates ate a rare hamburger last Friday and spent four days seriously sick. Many cases of botulism have been fatal if the person effected has a compromised immunity. Needless to say this applies to sausage.

Our guest speaker this week was the Douglas County "Pie Lady" If you had been there to see her demonstration and taste her pies you would agreed hat she has the right nick name. She makes a Crisco crust and it almost always turns out just right. We made several kinds of crusts and had a taste test to see which came out the best. The number one crust was a lard crust that just took us all back to the pies of our grandmothers. The second best was the butter flavored Crisco crust. Oddly the butter and margarine crusts were tied with an almost no difference in the taste. The oil crust was a failure in that it didn't seem to have a uniform texture. It tasted like a kind of fine sand. The last place crust was a whole wheat that in spite of what they did would not make into a crust. They made small cookies out of the crap and the results were staggeringly crappy tasting. I'm not sure that you could use 50% whole wheat and have results that are good. That mixture worked for cinnmon rolls.

Why am I writing about food? Because in the middle of my day yesterday, Baylor beat the hawks. What could I say about that but to say that I have the Boo Hoo's. KU was a step slow all day and couldn't hit the inside of the barn with a basketball (from the inside) Baylor hustled and got the loose balls and out shot the hawks. End of message. No, I want to say that the young men that play sports for their universities are primarily students and we should honor their work no matter what the outcome. They show up early and play their butts off for a scholarship. Each team is different and they play like a bunch of young men with good days and bad days. It is no fun when one team goes undefeated. The losses are what we remember and get excited about. If you saw the Oklahoma vs Oklahoma State game and weren't excited you should have been watching something else. They traded baskets and right down to the final shot could have tied the game up.

Oh well, cloudy here today and I probably won't be outside much. Got the trash out to the court and have this written. Big deal!


1 comment:

  1. I'm kind of obsessive and controlling, but I have learned to curb my impulse to boss and correct people constantly. Having other people in my kitchen can make me twitchy, though. I usually have to walk away in situations like that to avoid being a control freak. Even though I'm this way, or maybe especially because, it drives me bonkers when someone else does it.

    There is one woman at archaeology field school who runs the wet lab. Most people would describe her as a Nazi. Some people won't work with her. She sometimes drives me nutty. BUT deep down she is a very sweet lady with a lot of knowledge. I've had to work hard to get past her gruff and irritating exterior. It takes a lot of stuffing down my own pride, and that can be quite painful, but each time it has been worth it.