What is aluminium? It a silvery-white metal which is abundant in the Earth's crust. The Wright Brothers were early adopters of aluminium in engine construction. Now, aluminium is used to make cans, window frames, aircraft, fireworks and foil. Controversially, aluminium has also been used to make cricket bats. The ease of use of aluminium, and the flexibility properties especially when alloyed for strength or security for use in items such as coins, has helped make it the most widely used non-ferrous metal. Also, aluminium is often used to make kitchen utensils such as pots and pans. Finally, the sounds made by the manipulation of thin aluminium surfaces can have pleasing ASMR characteristics.
'I Butchered a Pig' - The process of butchering an entire pig while trying not to waste anything, documented by Mefi's own backseatpilot. [via mefi projects]
There's a lot of folk wisdom and myths surrounding baking Yorkshire puddings, so J. Kenji López-Alt decided to test them all and figure out which (if any) are true.. Previous perfect puddings post.
" Chinese emperors of the Tang Dynasty liked their ice cream a special way: Fermented buffalo or goat milk was heated, then thickened with flour and seasoned with camphor, which made it flake like snow. For good measure fragments of reptile brain were added, along with an eyeball or two." - "It Ought To Be Called Vice Cream" - Austerity Kitchen on the social and technological history of Ice Cream.
Summer's upon us, and that means it's time to wallow in delicious ice cream over at Serious Eats. Learn how to make sorbet, sherbet, gelato, fro-yo, and soft serve. While you're at it, mix in the best ways to swirl in chocolate, nuts, and booze. Top it off with myth-dispelling advice from the pros on when to use corn syrup, age an ice cream base, add eggs to a recipe, incorporate a stabilizer, and create a smoky finish. If the ice cream sounds like too much work, make a no-churn Key Lime Pie instead. For you vegans out there, we've got something for you too.
David Lebovitz visits the Le Creuset factory in Fresnoy-le-Grand, France.
Cooking In The Archives: recreating recipes from the Early Modern Peroid (1600s-1800s) in a modern kitchen. Not old enough? Then try some authentically medieval recipes.
Got a recipe with an ingredient you can't find? Never fear, the Cook's Thesaurus is here. The Cook's Thesaurus contains information on thousands of ingredients and kitchen tools, including recommended substitutions and commentary on flavors, and is especially useful for people learning to improvise in the kitchen. Entries range from callaloo to huauzontle to Velveeta. There's even sometimes a bit of colorful commentary, as in the entry for chipped beef.
"These vintage GE appliances are original to my house circa 1956. The house was never occupied and appliances were never used. The manuals were still taped to the appliances..." (Flickr) Welcome to the New Frontier - as defined by mid-century American suburbs. via
Amy Glaze writes How To Talk Like A French Chef:
I’m not learning the kind of French I intended to. The other night on one of my days off, I ordered a cocktail at an upscale restaurant that I had never heard of before. It was a mixture of rum and spirits with fruit juice. It sounded interesting but a little too sweet for my taste. I asked the server if it was dégueulasse (deh-guh-lass), which I thought meant ‘gross’.and The Chocolate Chip Caper:
My hands are permanently blood stained (out out damn spot!) and no matter how much bleach or hydrogen pyroxide I use it won’t go away. They are swollen from gutting hunted animals by hand and getting pricked by tiny bullet shattered bones – so much so, that I can’t even get my engagement ring over my knuckle let alone make a tight fist. The scars on my hands, wrists and arms from cooking and accidents (like the time I tripped on a box left on the floor and landed hands first onto our massive hot plate stove burning the entire side of my hand and wrist) are obscene.[more inside]
His recipe calls for a bustard stuffed with a turkey stuffed with a goose stuffed with a pheasant stuffed with a chicken stuffed with a duck stuffed with a guinea fowl stuffed with a teal stuffed with a woodcock stuffed with a partridge stuffed with a plover stuffed with a lapwing stuffed with a quail stuffed with a thrush stuffed with a lark stuffed with an ortolan bunting stuffed with a garden warbler stuffed with an olive stuffed with an anchovy stuffed with a single caper - The Roti Sans Pareil or Roast Without Equal.
"....many a tragic episode in family life is superinduced by the baleful influence of a tortured stomach. Mighty is the hand that holds the ballot-box, but mightier is the hand that wields to advantage the pepper-box, the salt-spoon, and the sugar-shaker." read the entirely of Maud C. Cooke's, Breakfast, Dinner and Supper; or, What To Eat and How To Prepare It (1897) online and enter a world of home remedies, large scale recipes, sound advice, leftover wizardry, squirrel stews, scientific digestion, and horrible things done to vegetables.
"If there is an assassination planned for the meal, then it is seemliest that the assassin should be seated next to he who is to become the subject of his craft" - Leonardo da Vinci: head of the kitchen, designer of horse-pulled nut-crushers, inventor of napkins, and assassination etiquette expert.
So the label on your frozen food gives a cook time, but it says it's for a microwave of a wattage other than what it says on yours. How are you supposed to know how long to nuke it for? Well, you could consult one of these handy charts!
For the first time in Kitchen Nightmares history, British chef Gordon Ramsay walks off his own show. In the segment that aired this week, the difficult owners of Amy's Baking Company in Scottsdale, AZ - Samy and Amy Bouzaglo - are shown stealing tips from their waitstaff, admitting to firing more than 100 employees over a one year period, firing a waitress for asking a question, telling a customer who had been waiting over an hour for his food to go fuck himself (yes, the police were called during filming), and passing off frozen, pre-made raviolis and desserts as if they were homemade. The couple was so resistant to criticism that even the typically steadfast Ramsay decided he couldn’t help them and shut the show down before beginning the rehab phase. [more inside]
Kitchen Junkets in New England homes were a wintertime venue for live music and contra dance - a social dance form that's never really faded from the region's popular culture. Often credited with keeping the form alive, scholar/musician Ralph Page celebrated the kitchen junket and other contra traditions from 1949-1984 in his hand-printed magazine Northern Junket, available indexed and fully digitized via the University of New Hampshire. [more inside]
I’m about to tell you a story about videogames, kitchens, and internet forums that has a happy ending. Stop laughing, I’m serious. - A woman gamer declares Gaslamp Games's Dungeons of Dredmor forums awesome.
America's Test Kitchen Super Quick Video Tips: "Test Kitchen wisdom distilled into eminently watchable video clips" of no more than a minute or two long, including tips for meat (how to make the most perfect bacon ever - how to quickly defrost meat - how to dry-age steak at home) to coffee (how to make pour-over coffee - how to fake a latte at home) and wine (the fastest way to chill wine) to pizza (flattening dough and baking a perfect thin-crust pizza ) and general kitchen tips (is your knife sharp enough? - do you really need to buy regular olive oil? - how to quickly soften butter and soft cheese). And there's Ask the Test Kitchen quick video tips as well (what's the best way to peel eggs? - how do I store brown sugar?).
Don't toss that celery base! Did you know you can use it to re-grow a new bunch of celery? The same thing works for romaine lettuce and bok choy. You can regrow scallions or leeks or any cooking onion. You can grow garlic. What about lemongrass or ginger? Try planting pepper seeds or key lime seeds; a leftover pineapple top or the classic avocado pit. You can eat the leaves from carrot tops or sweet potato vines or just keep them as houseplants. Seeds Straight From Your Fridge (NYT link)
True Adventures in Better Homes - Here is a collision of two worlds: men’s adventure magazines or “sweats” meets Better Homes and Gardens. These photocollages are set against the backdrop of the McCarthy era, advertising, sexual repression, WWII and the Korean War. The cool, insular world of mid-century modern living glossed over all danger and darkness, which the heroic male fought off in every corner.
The Victorian Kitchen Garden is a 13-part TV series that aired in 1987 on BBC2. It follows the month-by-month restoration of the Victorian walled kitchen garden at the Chilton Foliat estate in Wiltshire, England. Almost all the episodes are available to watch online. (via hark, a vagrant) It had three sequels - The Victorian Kitchen, The Victorian Flower Garden, and The Wartime Kitchen and Garden - and inspired more recent historical reconstruction programs: Tales From the Green Valley, A Tudor Feast at Christmas, Victorian Farm, Victorian Farm Christmas, Victorian Pharmacy, and Edwardian Farm. (Victorian Farm and Edwardian Farm previously.) [more inside]
By now we all know how to pimp our grilled cheese sandwiches, but maybe that's just not your style. Maybe you're like me, and enjoy the simple pleasure of a melts-just-right Kraft Single, but don't like the long list of unpronounceable ingredients. Well, today is your lucky day: America's Test Kitchen comes up with a recipe for DIY American Cheese.
Henry's Kitchen is a cooking show unlike any other: it is unpretentious (he's no arrogant, trained chef), dramatic in a unique way, and has some information that one doesn't find anywhere else. Henry's Anytime Chili for One is a classic. There's also Killer Oven-Baked French Toast, Spicy Shepherd's Pie, and Delicious Nutty Chocolate Truffles.
Modernist Cuisine, a 2400-page, 6-volume lavishly-illustrated and highly-anticipated $625 list price set (available for pre-order) by authors Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Young, and Maxime Bilet, expounds a deeply scientific and avant-garde take on cooking techniques and been praised as the most important cookbook of the last 10 years. Its burger recipe. Its kitchen.
Offshore drilling/container ship catering crews know some really cool kitchen tricks. (equipment cleaning/maintenance/repair tips, not cooking tips.) [more inside]
Dutch artist Zeger Reyers has created some ponderous and messy installations in the past. However, his latest one, Eating the Universe, definitely needs to be cleaned up. [more inside]
Sharing means caring, right? Well, Masao would like to share with you his techniques for cooking Torta di ceci which is a type of Italian cake. If beverages are your thing, perhaps you'd like a nice glass of Sambuca exotic fruit punch, some peach juice, or something he calls his "Super Energy Raisin Juice". More of a hot dog or sausage person? Well then, our buddy Masao has got that covered for you!
In all fairness, these video clips might ruin your appetite so be aware of that in advance.
In all fairness, these video clips might ruin your appetite so be aware of that in advance.
How To Clean Stuff. From kitchen and bath, to flooring and carpets. Indoors, outdoors, your car, dog, colon and bong. More than 800 cleaning tips in all. Submit your best ideas. Each one that gets published, the site will contribute to the Clean Water Fund.
On ham, with a fascinating (well, unless you're kosher) history of colonial curing methods.
Carbonated watermelon. Gelatin spheres with liquid centers. Broths and sauces whipped into foams. When the world's best chefs want something that defies the laws of physics, they come to one man: Dave Arnold, the DIY guru of high-tech cooking. Want to turn your kitchen into a science lab? Check out 25 extreme kitchen gadgets. Related, previously on Mefi: molecular gastronomy.
Behold: the self-contained circular kitchen. Design coolness for apartment dwellers. "After centuries of conventional kitchen design, the self-contained circular kitchen challenges many of the notions of a normal kitchen, treating it more as an appliance than a dedicated, inflexible room."
Vittles and verse - two great tastes that taste great together. Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you the poetry of cookery. As an appetizer, Chris Tusa serves up a tasty bowl of gumbo; next comes the entree, Mark Strand's comforting pot roast. Meanwhile, Shanna Compton imagines herself as the food itself -- eager ingredients in the skilled hands of Jacques Pepin. If you'd prefer to dine out, Charles Simic presents the menu of Cafe Paradiso, while Don Winter, a former night manager at a Niles, Michigan Burger Chef, proffers a more downmarket culinary experience. Bon appetit! (Poemhunter.com previously on MeFi here. )
Englands proposed kitchen knife ban. Since May, "A&E doctors [have been] calling for a ban on long pointed kitchen knives to reduce deaths from stabbing." That's right, kitchen knives. Apparently, a full 1/3 of all deaths in the UK are knife-related. "The doctors, as part of their research into ways to reduce violence, say they consulted with leading chefs who said long knives were not needed for cooking." But not everyone agrees: Peter Hamm, a spokesman for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, which supports gun control, joked, "Can sharp stick control be far behind?"
Non-electrical refrigerator. This stove is cool for the single person on the go type. "The History of the Refrigerator and Freezers."
If you can't stand the heat, better stick to the kitchen of your dreams... Reading about the new industrial home chic in last week's Time and The Wall Street Journal, with its Viking and SubZero worship, how couldn't one be reminded of Mark Shatzker's now classic "My Dream Kitchen" piece for McSweeney's? In the light of all this fetichism, it deserves to be read afresh. For a sobering dessert, may I propose a look at Julia Child's kitchen, now in the Smithsonian?
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