AskTP – Blissful Ignorance
There’s a lot of living to be done in one week. That’s the amount of time I have from when my blood was drawn until I see my doctor. Then I’ll learn how effective my draconian three month diet was at improving the state of my cholesterol. Granted, I did a fair bit of damage in advance of the diet. However, in the end I made it back down to my high school weight.
So last night I ate two poached eggs. I know. Living on the edge. Believe it or not, some of the healthy habits I picked up over the last twelve weeks are hard to kill off. Yesterday for lunch I had pan fried oatmeal with flax seeds by choice.
Speaking of old habits, there’s this thing I do every two weeks where I answer all the collected questions readers asked in the comments of the blog. A few questions get answered in a timely fashion. The others, they kind of hang around until this roundup called Ask the Profussor. And just so long as you used a question mark in the comment, it will get answered.
Now without any further ado, onto the questions.
WrigsMac may be surprised by my answer about aging cheap wine:
I think the only bottle – wait, two bottles – I have that’ve been lying around for a significant period of time were gifts of Red Cat. Ugh, shiver. Do you think that ages well?
Well, if it gives you shivers to even think about the wine, all I can say is that it probably can’t get any worse. Yes, a lot of cheap wine is meant for drinking right away. But what happens over time is that some of the fruit flavors die down, allowing other notes that were lurking deep in the wine to rise up.
Personally I’m hoping you pulled the cork on an older Red Cat so you can tell us what happened to it as it matured. Sometimes cheap wines that are a bit rougher around the edges mellow out surprisingly well. Other times they stay nasty. But as long as you’ve got some on hand, you might was well give it a try.
Burnt my Fingers confounded me by asking this on a post about GMO soy:
I guess this means I should throw out my sourdough starter purloined from the Cheese Board, yes?
I can’t imagine that the Cheese Board used GMO soy in their sourdough starter. So I would probably advise against throwing away the starter. Unless of course you somehow see this act as a protest against food science. Then please be my guest. But if not, please don’t waste the precious.
Mr. Dave isn’t as good at math as he seems to think:
Those cheese bags are cute I guess, but aren’t they really just gussied up two-ply cheese paper? You can get like a hundred sheets of the stuff for that price from cheese making supply co. Looky here - http://www.cheesemaking.com/TwoPlyCheeseWrapMRP.html
They are certainly similar. But 100 sheets of the small form cheese paper sheets will still set you back $15. I’m guessing you didn’t realize that these were sold in 25 count units and the listed price has to be multiplied by 4 to get the total cost. Plus the sheets don’t give you quite the same air circulation as the bag. If the good folks at the test kitchen vouch for their superior performance, I’m happy to pay a few cents more per bag. Those guys are hardcore.
Jessica R wanted a little convinced about one of my picks for the bestestes:
28. Best Farmers Market – Schenectady Greenmarket
I’m curious. Can you explain this choice over the Troy Farmer’s Market?
It’s my pleasure. The Troy farmers market is great. As is the one in Saratoga Springs. But to me the measure of a market is what they can pull off in the fallow times. And that is where Schenectady nails it. Their winter market in the Proctor’s arcade is great. As opposed to the Troy Atrium where you can feel like you’re a little loose screw knocking around in the heel of the Statue of Liberty, the Schenectady Greenmarket has found a way to make it feel more cozy. The fresh produce is downstairs, the artisans are in the lobby, and the food vendors are all over in Key Hall with plenty of tables available to enjoy your lunch. It’s a great setup with great producers. Maybe Troy has an edge in the summer. But winter lasts longer in these parts, so in my estimation that’s the key season.
Burnt my Fingers asks an interesting question about boundaries:
Has it ever occurred to you that your doctor might read your blog and so be up to speed on all these shenanigans?
Yes. Especially since her husband is involved in the restaurant business and sometimes we talk shop. My mother also lurks out there, and really I have to deal with more concerned phone calls from her than I do from my physician. It’s those calls that are more of a deterrent than anything else.
addiesdad decided to cover off all the questions on a topic that he could:
Are your inclusions of GB24 in the “Bestestes” posts sign of an inner conflict? Lack of options for the category? Both? Have you made peace with GB24? If you still feel the way you do about GB24 a year later, then why continue pushing them as one of the Capital District’s “Best of”?
What’s our best French restaurant? I won’t get into the details right now, but I’m certain it’s not The Epicurean or Provence. Don’t even say La Serre or I’ll smack you. Regardless of my opinion of their pricing strategy and market position, their steak frites and moules frites are still good food. And I could think of no better place in the area to take the title. Once again, the title is ‘Best” and not “Favorite”. That said, I still haven’t been back.
WrigsMac sounds like she took the red pill and has gone down the rabbit hole:
It’s easier to opt out of the industrial food system when you open your eyes to the realities of it; when you start questioning how something got on the shelf at your clean, brightly lit grocery store. It’s sort of like the Matrix, isn’t it?
It really is. And the rabbit hole goes deep. Sometimes it’s hard not to walk down the canned food aisle without inducing a panic attack–all that BPA–oh dear. It would be nice if one of the big supermarket companies would take a stand against all of the processed food on their shelves and truly push for the betterment of their customers lives by getting real food into their homes and onto their plates. Instead of discounting all the sugar cereals, they should mark them up to subsidize deeper discounts on fruits and vegetables. Imagine that!
RVGB has a good point, but with only one fatal logical flaw:
You know what’s even more respectful? Not eating “those doomed animals” at all.
I hear you. The sanctity of life is a compelling argument. However, all of these animals have been bred to be slaughtered. The population of CAFO is now so great, that I have to imagine letting them all free to live out their natural lives in the wild would be an environmental catastrophe. That may sound ridiculous, but by some counts there are almost 9 billion animals slaughtered annually in the U.S. Now if you could slow the rate of production first, then you may be onto something. [yeah, that’s so not convincing]
Jeni B must not have grown up with very many comic books:
Pan fried oatmeal?
You are my hero.
Thank you. Yes. Pan fried oatmeal. I figure it’s totally healthy too. Barely any oil goes in the cast iron skillet. In fact, that’s the secret for making sure a nice brown crust forms on the cereal patty. It’s also important to use properly overcooked oatmeal that sat in the bottom of the pot and is extra congealed.
Burnt my Fingers wants to know:
Where’s the pig rectum?
Adjacent to the pig anus, natch.
Jabroni is obviously not a surgeon:
How is it we send our kids to school to learn only to have them sit down to do one of the most important things that they will ever do and fail them?
Hopefully my kids will do far more important things than eat industrially produced stuffed shells. The thing is lunch is just one of three meals a day. If there is family dinner and a sensible breakfast, having pizza or fried cheese sticks at lunch isn’t such a big deal, just so long as the kids are aware it’s a treat. But I hear what you are saying. It’s also hard to teach nutrition at schools if the kids are getting junk at home for dinner. Maybe it would be better to send the kids home for lunch and have school run later. Then I could teach the little ones about the joy of having a glass of wine with lunch (kidding, mostly).
irisira is trying to trade in her husband for as many points as possible:
Also, my husband is a 1st generation German-American, if that counts for anything. (It should, right?)
He can probably get into the German-American club. And I would hope he could pronounce the words on German wine labels better than I can. So yes, it totally counts for something.
Theresa518 has a question on theoretical mathematics:
Is it possible to be a negative number?
I suppose it’s possible on some other scale. However when asked to put you knowledge on a scale of 1 through 10, a negative score would need to be transposed into positive terms. If you need help on the arithmetic, I’m sure Young Master Fussy would love the challenge.
-R may be a vampire, you never can tell these days, so his question makes me uneasy:
Will you be sharing a synopsis of your blood work with us? Just curious to see how your plan unfolded.
Of course. I’ll just be doing it from a safe distance, if you don’t mind.
addiesdad may have not realized this dish is for a shabbat potluck:
Can you share your recipe for the savory porcini bread pudding? It sounds like it should have speck or thick diced bacon in it.
Recipe? There isn’t a recipe per se. There is a technique. So I’ll just add the mushrooms to the basic form. But there will be no bacon. Maybe Parm-Reg though or a bit of pecorino? I have some lovely examples from Sardinia sitting comfortably in cheese bags. Man, those things are handy.