The Best Way to Wash Your Fruit and Veggies.

Image Credit: iStock/courtneyk
The produce aisle is one of the best places in a grocery store to ensure you’re stocking up on nutrient-rich foods that add fiber, increase satiety, and generally keep your body in working order.
But as we’ve previously explained, those grocery store water nozzles are mainly for theatrics, and to add a little bulk to vegetables sold by weight—not to clean your produce.To really make sure your vegetables are clean and free of bacteria before adding them to meals, you need to take action at home.
As The Washington Post’s Becky Krystal recently explained, it’s a little more involved than just running lettuce under the faucet.The first thing you want to do is wash your own hands.
It makes little sense to rinse vegetables if your handling of them just reintroduces germs. Then, wash your produce with plain water and gently rub the surface to dislodge any gunk.
If it’s a root vegetable, like a carrot, you probably want to use a stiff brush to attack the soil left behind.
For leafy greens, a water bath might be preferable to a spray wash. Tearing off the outer layer will get rid of a lot of bacteria, and the remaining debris in the inner layers will get dislodged after being submerged. (You might be surprised by the dirt left at the bottom of a water basin.) Five minutes is sufficient. To avoid serving soggy leaves or herbs, dry them with a towel or in a salad spinner.
It’s also a good idea to wash your produce just before you’re ready to prepare your meal, not right after you bring it home.
Washing and then refrigerating just leads to dampness that expedites spoilage. And yes, you should wash your fruit, or anything else with skin.
Even though apples and oranges are basically sealed, you don’t want any surface bacteria moving to the interior when cutting or peeling.
[h/t The Washington Post]
Source: The Best Way to Wash Your Fruits and Veggies | Mental Floss

Germs & early Ice Cream Street Vendors.

An ice cream vendor in New York hands a young girl an ice cream, circa 1920.

An ice cream vendor in New York hands a young girl an ice cream, circa 1920.
Image Credit: Elizabeth R. Hibbs/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Before the tinny melody of “Pop Goes The Weasel” brought swarms of sweaty kids to the streets for an ice cream cone, mobile ice cream vendors used more primitive—and less sanitary—means.
In the late 19th century, vendors sold dishes of ice cream from carts cooled with ice blocks, which meant customers would lick their dish clean and then return it to the seller to use for his next customer. Not exactly a model of hygiene.
Before widespread milk pasteurization, ice cream also came topped with the threat of bacteria that could cause scarlet fever, tuberculosis, and other extreme ailments.
The frozen treat became safer to order after studies of typhoid in New York implicated raw milk, causing most cities to require pasteurization, and inventions like the ice cream cone made that whole sharing dishes issue disappear.
Technological advances around the same time made refrigeration easier and scoopers traded in their carts for cars.
Ice cream trucks, which first appeared in the 1920s, have seen something of a resurgence in recent years as other food trucks have flourished and anything vintage has become hipster cool, but the once-ubiquitous carts tend to remain relegated to zoos, amusement parks, and other touristy areas.
Source: 8 Summertime Treats We Should Bring Back | Mental Floss

Baked Bean Museum of Excellence, Port Talbot.

The Baked Bean Museum of Excellence is a museum dedicated to baked beans, owned and operated by a bean-obsessed superhero called Captain Beany. And yes, it is as eccentric as it sounds.
In order to understand the Baked Bean Museum of Excellence, you first have to understand Captain Beany. The man formerly known as Barry Kirk once worked in the computer department of the British Petroleum chemical plant in the village of Baglan in Neath Port Talbot.
Then, in September 1986, one sublime event changed his life: Kirk sat naked in a bathtub full of baked beans for 100 hours, setting a new world record.
At the same time, his one true destiny was revealed: Captain Beany was born, an honest-to-goodness real-life superhero rising like a phoenix from the rich tomato sauce of a thousand baked beans. It was a beautiful moment.
In truth, it actually took a few years for Kirk to complete his baked bean-obsessed transformation. But in 1991, he legally changed his name by deed poll to Captain Beany.

Not stopping there, he started painting his face and (now completely bald) head orange, and began wearing a golden cape, pants, gloves and boots.
Ever since, Captain Beany has been involved in a whole range of strange events, raising money for various charities.
In doing so, he’s raised more than £100,000 for charity.
In 2009, Captain Beany transformed his third-floor, two-bedroom council flat into the world’s only museum dedicated to baked beans: The Baked Bean Museum of Excellence. The tiny museum is packed with baked bean-related artifacts.
It’s bursting with baked bean tins from various brands around the world.
It’s a surreal experience, but one that most visitors thoroughly enjoy. Well done, Captain Beany.
Because the museum is located in a council flat, Captain Beany can’t charge an entrance fee. Donations are happily received, however, and are given to charity.
Source: Baked Bean Museum of Excellence – Port Talbot, Wales – Gastro Obscura

Robbie Burns Night & the Haggis.

The first supper was held in memoriam at Burns Cottage by Burns’s friends, on 21 July 1801, the fifth anniversary of his death; it has been a regular occurrence ever since.
The first still extant Burns Club was founded in Greenock in 1801 by merchants who were born in Ayrshire, some of whom had known Burns.
They were held to celebrate the life and work of Legendary Scottish poet Robbie Burns
They held the first Burns supper on what they thought was his birthday, 29 January 1802, but in 1803, they discovered the Ayr parish records that noted his date of birth was actually 25 January 1759. Since then, suppers have been held on or about 25 January.

Photograph: Sheep’s stomach stuffed with offal, suet, oatmeal and spices is better known as haggis and eaten on Burns Night in Scotland.
Burns suppers may be formal or informal. Both typically include haggis (a traditional Scottish dish celebrated by Burns in Address to a Haggis), Scotch whisky and the recitation of Burns’s poetry.
Formal dinners are hosted by organisations such as Burns clubs, the Freemasons or St Andrews Societies; they occasionally end with dancing when ladies are present. Formal suppers follow a standard order.
Source: The most disgusting food in the world – in pictures | Food | The Guardian

The Humble Yorkshire Pudding.

yorkshire-pudding
It is not necessary to buy a Yorkshire-pudding tin to make an authentic Yorkshire pudding.
What you actually need is a 30cm by 20cm rectangular tray, the kind now sold as tray-bake tins for things such as Mary Berry’s millionaire’s shortbread or lemon-drizzle squares.
The true Yorkshire pudding, says Peter Brears, “is always made in a rectangular dripping tin and cut into squares just before it reaches the plate”.
Brears is the author of Traditional Food in Yorkshire (Prospect Books) – less a cookbook (though it does include recipes) than a brilliant social history of how they ate in Yorkshire in the 19th century.
The perfect pudding, according to Brears, has a high crisp rim and a “deeply rippled centre”.
The round puddings that are now deemed the classic version were originally called “Yorkshire puffs” and were a way to save on oven space, as cooks dropped spoonfuls of batter into the hot fat around the roasting meat.
Quite why batter pudding – which was made in various forms all over Britain – should be so closely associated with Yorkshire isn’t clear. The first written recipe is by Hannah Glasse in 1747, who seasoned the batter with grated nutmeg and ginger and cooked it under a joint of “beef, mutton or a loin of veal” as it spit-roasted before the fire.
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Yorkshire pudding remains one of the glories of a Sunday lunch: crispy outside and custardy inside.
It’s one of the few dishes – soufflé being another – that elicits a gasp when it arrives at the table.
Authentic or not, I like to make them in a muffin tin (three eggs, 120g flour, 300ml milk and a pinch of salt for 15 minutes in a hot oven), preheated with oil for maximum puff.
Some serve the pudding as a sweet course, with golden syrup and cream, but I see the battery crevices as the perfect vehicle for meaty juices.
Traditionally, the pudding and gravy were served as a first course, like pasta, with the meat and vegetables to follow.
A roast dinner that includes Yorkshires as well as roast potatoes is a double-carbohydrate feast.

Continue reading via The Kitchen Thinker: the history of Yorkshire pudding – Telegraph.

Eating South Australia’s iconic Pie Floater and what to expect.

saflag_floater

I guess most people realise that Australia was first populated by the Aboriginal people.
Then in the late eighteenth century the British our Imperial Overlords rocked up with their ships, diseases and rabbits.
“I say what an ‘orrible place this is, let’s populate it with the garbage from Britain”. “The poor, the Irish, union men and women, orphans, workhouse people and oh yes, some criminals”.
But not in South Australia, we are the State of the very poor free settlers that they wanted to get rid of anyway.
We came here in 1836 and started eating pie floaters soon afterwards.

What is a Pie Floater?

Some claim it is indigenous to South Australia, but I’m not so sure of that.
It is an Aussie Meat Pie, submerged in a sea of green pea soup, with the peas quite visible and topped with lashings of “dead horse” (tomato sauce) and vinegar if you so wish.
Sounds disgusting, yes, but wonderful to eat after a night on the piss in Adelaide, the city of churches.
PieCart_4
Where did you get it? For many years Cowley’s Bakery, based at Cross Road, South Plympton would park their pie cart outside of the Adelaide General Post Office in the City at night and dispense pie floaters late into the night for drunks, shift workers, unsuspecting tourists and coppers.

THE RESULTS:

A shortlived general feeling of wellbeing and happiness, perhaps a gentle vomit or two and for many hours afterwards a series of foul smelling, arse tearing, bowel burning pie floater farts.
They were Wonderful!         Rod
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