Catherine's picture

Do you know when to throw away food? part 1

If you don´t, you’re not alone. Statistically we waste 20 pounds of food per person and month; that’s about three times more than we did in the 1960th. Most people throw out food when it reaches its expiration date, but that doesn´t necessarily means that the food has gone bad.

There are different types of expiration dates, but none of them tells you when the food is unsafe from a health perspective. The "sell by" date shows the retailer how long they can display the items in the store; the "best by" date indicates when the food reaches its quality peak. The latter depends on how you store and handle the food, but it says nothing about when it´s unsafe to eat.

Our Grandmothers relied on their nose and taste buds and that´s probably why they didn’t throw away as much as we do. So let’s forget about the expiration date and instead look at how food behaves and when it becomes dangerous.

Catherine's picture

Apples, part 3

Let's wrap up the apple postings. We have two types of apples left. Juice- and wax apples.

Lets start with the Juice-apples. In our orchard we have both red and green juice apples. When you microwave them they behave similar to compote-apples, though you feel the difference when you eat them. They are so moist so they drip when you cut into them. In our orchard the juice-apples mature late September, early October. Even when they are ripe they stay on the tree, much longer than other apples.

If you cook them they behave similar to compote-apples, though they become apples pieces in sauce. Very delicious, but not at all fun if you expect apple jam. What makes these apples so special are their ability to make a clear, golden, sweet, beautiful apple juice, in large quantities. You can use a normal juicer, just cut them into pieces.

Catherine's picture

Apples, part 2

Let's continue to talk about apples. In our garden these apples are the next batch to mature and I simply call them Apple-pie apples, since that's what they do best. You can probably find them in different colors; but our varieties are yellow-red and slightly larger than our other apples, more oval than round in their shape.

These apples are perfect in food and baked dishes. They always retain their shape, meaning that even when they are soft; your apple pie has nice wedges. If you microwave a wedge it will hold its shape, regardless for how long you cook it. I don't know any other apples that does that, so they are easy to recognize.

If you puree these apples you get a grainy puree that feels like eating sand. These apples are very dry and the meat is firm, you can even chop and fry them without any problems. 
I use these apples for pies, in casseroles and I also dry them.

Catherine's picture

An apple is an apple is an…. Or is it? Part 1

We are lucky enough to have a small orchard, a total of 28 apple trees and three pear trees. The oldest trees was planted 130 years ago and they still give us fruit, so I feel blessed. The first apples mature in early august and then it continues until early November, depending on the weather. During a normal apple season we have 7 tons of apple, that’s around 14000 lb apple, so it’s a lot of apples.

A few days ago one of my cousins asked if she could pick some apples, she wanted to make some pureed apple jam.
“Of course” I said. “But if you are going to puree them, you are a month to late”
She didn’t understand what I was talking about, apples were apples to her and every apple could be pureed. I think most people think the same way, especially if you are not used to a large variety of natural grown apples. 

Catherine's picture

Stock or broth

Is there a difference between stock and broth? I had an old relative that was a chef and this is how I learned the difference. It’s basically the same thing, except for one major difference; broth is a seasoned version of stock. My relative used to say that; broth is nice to drink on a cold winter’s day, stock in a bowl and you call for the chef.

He had learned the difference the hard way, when he was a young man and started out in a professional kitchen. He was supposed to fill a bowl with broth and add some garnish as a small warming welcoming soup for the guests, this was during WWII and the taste for fine dining was obviously a little different back then.

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An ode to pasta

According to Washington Post yesterday, the sales of dried pasta has fallen 6 percent since 2009. The trend is the same all over the western world, even in Italy where the sales of pasta has plummeted by more than 25 percent. There’s mainly two reasons, gluten and carbs. Anti-carb diets have banned pasta as something evil.

When I was a kid, I was probably the only one who didn’t like to eat macaroni and cheese… or for that matter any other type of pasta. The reason could be traced back to my childhood summers in Italy. I don’t remember that much from it, except the food. We stayed at this family owned seaside resort, run by the matriarch of the family.

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