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Well, today is another odds and ends post. This simply means none of these items merits a full post, (Translation: I don’t want to write that much.) But they are interesting items worth sharing with you. So when I get a few items like this lined up; or when I am too lazy to write a full post, I bundle them together and stick a recipe at the end.

First out of the starting gate today is a case of my arm not being long enough to pat myself on the back. In other words, I am going to shamelessly gloat today.

Some of you may remember way back in June, almost five full months ago, I wrote a post about the new remake of the TV classic Hawaii Five – O. In that post I called it a stupid idea.

Well, this is what I actually said:

From what I saw in the trailer the new show looks pretty weak; all glitz and no substance with trite, boring, and insipid dialogue. And the actor playing McGarrett looks like he is still in prep school instead of an experienced, seasoned, hardened head of Hawaii’s elite state police unit. CBS has traded stubbled-chinned youth for experience. I’ll give the new show a chance. I will watch it once or twice. Maybe I will be wrong. But I doubt it.

Well, despite what CBS is promoting as the #1 new hit of the season, evidently things are not going so well over in paradise. Yesterday I read a blistering critique of the new show. I think the critique is poorly written. The author tries for sarcasm, but falls short on that score.

Better than the critique, though, are the comments in the Comments Section. This is what us regular folk, like me, really think. That’s what I am interestetd in. I think about ninety percent of folks pan the show and for many of the same reasons I did back in June as well as from my viewing of the first episode. Well, to be honest, my viewing of the first half hour of the premier. The show was everything I said in my critique but on steroids. That premier was so painfully boring I could not watch it all. 

Click on the link above or right here to read both the critique and the comments. Many of the comments are a hoot!!

Thank heaven, I will not have that problem on Thursday when the new season of Burn Notice, with that coolest of spies, Michael Weston, and his friends Fi, Sam, Madeline, and Jessie will be back. Yipeeeeee!! Three cheers for quality programming.

 

Number 2 – In a post I wrote back in April on hamburgers, I featured a video that claimed to have the ‘world’s first bionic burger.’  The maker of the video said he had kept a fast food hamburger for over a year and it did not rot or spoil a bit. I wrote of the video, “True or not, it is interesting.”

The reason I wrote that is at the time I tried to confirm the truth of this claim and could find none. I don’t know if this video was the first or not. But since then I have read several other articles and seen other videos and pictures claiming the same thing. All of them have proof in the form of an old fast food hamburger that has not rotted.

Of course, the insinuation is that fast food burgers are SOOOOOOOO bad and have SOOOOOOO many evil preservatives, chemicals, and nefarious ingredients in them and that they won’t even decompose.

Well, riding in on a white horse and wearing white clothes to save the day, or at least give us the low-down on the facts of the matter,  is Kenji Lopez-Alt, an MIT-trained chef. He had read and seen these same stories and videos. He too wondered if these never-rotting hamburgers were true. So he devised an informal, but valid scientific experiment to test it.

He pitted a

McDonald’s burger against a burger that is absolutely known not to contain anything but beef. The only way to do this, of course, is to cook it myself from natural beef ground at home.

Guess what?

Neither burger rotted.

The result, as reported on a blog called, a ham burger today:

….the burger doesn’t rot because it’s small size and relatively large surface area help it to lose moisture very fast. Without moisture, there’s no mold or bacterial growth. Of course, that the meat is pretty much sterile to begin with due to the high cooking temperature helps things along as well. It’s not really surprising. Humans have known about this phenomenon for thousands of years. After all, how do you think beef jerky is made?

The full report is very lengthy. You can read the entire thing including how the experiment was conducted complete with pictures by clicking the link directly above. It is worth a look-see, even if you do not read the entire article.

So it is true, fast food burgers do not rot. Neither will most other burgers made and cooked the same way and kept under the same conditions.

This does not mean that fast food burgers are healthy. But there is nothing nefariously evil going on either. I still say the hambuger I made in the post, It’s Not the Burger It’s the Bun is far better than any fast food hamburger. I think it is also healthier. But then I am not a disinterested party in this debate.

Featured Recipe    Cranberry Pear Sauce

Since I called the last recipe I shared with you the best ever Thanksgiving side dish, I can’t very well call this one that. Can I?  But is it a very, very, very, very, VERY close second. Let me put it this way. This is the best cranberry sauce Thanksgiving recipe ever. 

I do not know where I got this recipe. From some woman’s magazine I am quite certain. Like so many of the recipes I like, I cut it out and taped it into a book to keep. It never occurred to me to keep the source way back all those many years ago.

I have been making this for at least 15 years. It is the best cranberry sauce I have ever eaten. It is also relatively easy. Compared to all of the peeling and dicing in the last recipe it is real easy.

I think the thing I like best about this recipe is the whole cranberries. I can get more of the wonderful and healthy nutrients and benefits of cranberries with this sauce than with canned. Plus it just looks so pretty.

This is what you will need for 4 people:

1 bag, 12 ounces fresh cranberries

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Pinch salt

2 pears, peeled, cored, and diced

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

2 teaspoons grated lemon peel 

NOTES: I do not use the ginger, or if I do I only use a fourth to half a teaspoon only. It’s that super taster thingie I wrote about here.

Second, I only use 1 pear. When I use 2 pears I think the sauce becomes a pear sauce not a cranberry sauce. In other words, two are too many.

I also wait until right before serving time to add the pears. Otherwise they become too soggy. I think the sauce is better with crisp pears. Makes a nice contrast.

The recipe makes 3 cups.

The recipe is easily doubled.

The recipe can be made ahead and can be kept, covered, in the refrigerator up to one week.

ABOUT GRATED LEMON PEEL: The recipe calls for grated lemon peel. It does not call for lemon zest. It is a fine distinction. To get grated lemon peel, use the gadget on the right. It will give you long strips of the lemon peel, not a fine zest. See picture with the recipe below. This article may help clarify.

If you don’t have a gadget like this, use a potato peeler and take off just the yellow, not the white part of the lemon peel and slice them into tiny slivers.

However you do it, be sure to wash the lemon first.

The other gadget in the picture is a fruit peeler. It will take off just the skin of the fruit. I used it and showed it with the baked apple recipe a few weeks ago too. I will be using it to peel the pear today. Makes peeling fruits a lot easier and quicker.

Here is what you do:

Heat the berries, sugar, lemon juice, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat.

At first everything will look something like this. But soon the sugar will melt as the berries release their moisture.

Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. If you look closely, you can see a few bubbles in the syrup. That is what you are looking for.

Reduce heat to low; cover, and simmer 10 minutes, until the berries begin to pop open.

Peel the pear or pears. See how that special peeler makes a nice job of peeling fruit?

Cut the pear in half……….Please note the halves are not equal. It is because just like in 5th grade, I cannot cut straight. But I should get an ‘A’ for effort for still trying all these many years.

 ….then into fourths………

 ………and then cut a small piece from the top and bottom of the pear and then using a small knife cut out the core. I find this the easiest way to core the pears. You should do what ever is easiest and most comfortable for you though.

Then dice them into nice sized chunks.

By now the 10 minute cooking time should be up. Do not over cook the berries.

Stir in the pears, the ginger, if using, and lemon peel into the sauce. Reserve a bit of the lemon peel to garnish the sauce with before serving. Stir one minute. NOTE: If you do as I do, leave the pears out of this step until ready to serve.

Cool the sauce.

When you are ready to serve stir in the cubed pears if you did not do it earlier, and then top sauce with the reserved lemon peel.

Serve.

Wait for the compliments!

Bon Appetit!!!

Cost

1 bag, 12 ounces fresh cranberries             $2.99

1 cup sugar                                               $0.32

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice                     $0.14

Pinch salt                                                  $0.01

2 pears, peeled, cored, and diced               $1.30

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger                 $0.22

Re: 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel ???? *

*I wasn’t sure how to cost this ingredient out. I used the entire lemon for the peel. But I only used 2 teaspoons of the juice. So I can still use most of the lemon for another meal or meals. What to do?  I just left it out.

Total cost = $4.98
Cost per person = $1.25

Quote of the Day

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.

Helen Keller

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2 comments to Etc.

  • I can’t remember if it was in Super Size Me or a Michael Moore film that they did the mold experiment on French fries. I also can’t remember exactly what they did. It could have been that they took homemade fries and MacDonald’s fries and put each of them under glass covers for months. The MacDonald’s fries never got moldy and the other fries got disgusting. (I could be imagining this. That’s the way I think they should have done it.) But now I wonder if what happened to the MacDonald’s fries is the same principle as with the burgers you describe here – they lost moisture and were cooked in really hot fat.