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Are you a cook?

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scottr954
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Re: Are you a cook?

#81

Post by scottr954 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:05 pm

jj1j1 wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:37 pm
Something I learned as a cook in the Marines was a way to rescue spaghetti from too much seasoning, (which happened a lot because many cooks couldn't or wouldn't follow the recipe). Blend 1/4cup of sugar and 1cup of water, and heat on burner until sugar is dissolved. Then gradually stir into sauce tasting frequently so as not to add too much. Only add until the overpowering seasoning taste is neutralized. Preparing batches for a thousand folks we sometimes had to use imaginative methods to save a product. In this case it did add a sweetness to the sauce, but could be somewhat masked by adding more seasonings.
Cool story! I guess that explains the sweet spaghetti sauce I've come across from time to time in my lifetime. If it's piping hot and served with some garlic bread it actually tastes just fine that way.

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JayM
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Re: Are you a cook?

#82

Post by JayM » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:00 pm

scottr954 wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:05 pm
jj1j1 wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:37 pm
Something I learned as a cook in the Marines was a way to rescue spaghetti from too much seasoning, (which happened a lot because many cooks couldn't or wouldn't follow the recipe). Blend 1/4cup of sugar and 1cup of water, and heat on burner until sugar is dissolved. Then gradually stir into sauce tasting frequently so as not to add too much. Only add until the overpowering seasoning taste is neutralized. Preparing batches for a thousand folks we sometimes had to use imaginative methods to save a product. In this case it did add a sweetness to the sauce, but could be somewhat masked by adding more seasonings.
Cool story! I guess that explains the sweet spaghetti sauce I've come across from time to time in my lifetime. If it's piping hot and served with some garlic bread it actually tastes just fine that way.
Filipino spaghetti has a somewhat sweet-tasting sauce that reminds me a little of Chef Boy-ar-dee or Franco-American. They also put hot dog slices in it which gives it a bit of smokey flavor which actually goes pretty well with the sweet sauce, and they put a bunch of shredded processed cheese on top. Maybe the sweet sauce you've encountered came from a Filipino cook, or someone who'd lived in the Philippines in the past. (Or maybe that's just the way they learned to make spaghetti sauce in their family.) It can be an acquired taste, I suppose.

I read somewhere that spaghetti bolognese isn't really a thing in Italy, it's American. In Italy they eat long pastas like spaghetti and linguini with simple, lighter sauces and toppings like olive oil, herbs and cheeses, or a carbonara sauce, and spaghetti is always tossed, not served with sauce on top which is another American thing. The red sauces are used in tube-shaped pastas like penne because some of the sauce gets inside the tubes and makes them more flavorful. They also go easy on the sauce, so the pasta only has a light coating and doesn't get all moist and gloppy like some American pasta dishes. Also, their sauce is made from peeled, crushed, fresh tomatoes slowly simmered until it cooks down to a thick liquid, with some fresh basil, a little wine and some salt added. No oregano, and no (or only a little) garlic, no bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, tons of ground meat (although I thing ragu has meat in it) like ours has. And in Japan they add things like squid and sweet corn! I don't know what Malaysian spaghetti's like but I wouldn't be surprised if there were hot chili peppers, fish sauce and lime juice involved.
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richb
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Re: Are you a cook?

#83

Post by richb » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:12 pm

My Italian father had 100 tomato plants in the garden. My Mom made and canned sauce. It was tart, no sugar added and to this day that is the only way I like it. Hard to find these days. Closest I have come to it is RAO's. I have attempted to make it on occasion, but it is not like Mom's. My Aunt, my Mom's sister made sweet sauce. The result of my father teaching my Mom how to make it was that the initial family recipe stayed with my Aunt. I suppose when you acquire a test from childhood it stays with you.
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JayM
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Re: Are you a cook?

#84

Post by JayM » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:41 pm

richb wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:12 pm
My Italian father had 100 tomato plants in the garden. My Mom made and canned sauce. It was tart, no sugar added and to this day that is the only way I like it. Hard to find these days. Closest I have come to it is RAO's. I have attempted to make it on occasion, but it is not like Mom's. My Aunt, my Mom's sister made sweet sauce. The result of my father teaching my Mom how to make it was that the initial family recipe stayed with my Aunt. I suppose when you acquire a test from childhood it stays with you.
Yep. My mother learned to cook fried chicken from her mother who was from Georgia, and she learned it from her mother who was from Texarkana. She'd fry it in the normal way until it was crispy and golden brown then she'd drain the grease and fat (to make gravy), add some water, cover the pan and steam it for several minutes so instead of being crispy and crunchy it was soft and moist. She once mentioned to me that that was the real Southern fried chicken. That's the way I like it, but I can never find any and when I try to cook it, it never turns out the same as hers.

My mother's father was French and he used to grow tons of garlic in his garden. Once when we went to visit he gave us a big paper shopping bag full of garlic bulbs and I remember thinking "well, that should be enough to last a year." Less than six months later my mother was buying garlic at the supermarket again. We went through a lot of garlic. To this day when I'm cooking something and the recipe calls for four cloves of garlic I say "nah, make it a bulb, 10 or 12 cloves."

We never had much luck growing tomatoes but ever year she'd can home-grown green beans, greens, make pickles (dill, sweet and bread-and-butter), can peaches if someone happened to give us a box of them which happened often, and put up her own jams and jellies: blackberry, apple mint, boisenberry, pineapple-apricot, strawberry (my favorite, though the rest were good too.) She'd also make zucchini relish in an effort to use up zucchinis (because someone, somewhere, always made the mistake of planting a hill or two of them and ended up with enough zucchinis to feed the entire neighborhood. Man, those things really grow in western Washington!)
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richb
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Re: Are you a cook?

#85

Post by richb » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:52 pm

A man after my own heart. Cannot get enough garlic. We had it hanging in our fruit cellar, several braided strings of it. Along with 2 barrels of homemade wine that would knock your socks off. Of course Mason jars of tomato sauce and peaches . I only came to appreciate all this as an adult and boy do I miss it.
I have many other stories of freshly prepared daily meals and holiday foods that I have not had in many years. My fault. With a little effort I could have learned how to make them but did not. As a child and teenager you think it will last forever. Too soon old to late wise. And even now I could make the attempt. But have never got around to it.
Thanks for the inspiration to go down memory lane. My mouth is watering.
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JayM
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Re: Are you a cook?

#86

Post by JayM » Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:25 am

It wasn't just things from our own garden. My mother and my aunts would share what they'd grown, so somebody would do lots of beans or corn, somebody else would have extra Swiss chard and kohl rabi, etc. and everybody would get some. And if somebody happened to go to eastern Washington they'd usually stop at one of the fruit stands and load up on pie apples, cherries, peaches, apricots, whatever and those would be shared as well. Plus there were the neighbors and family friends, and everybody had vegetable gardens, and everybody canned and pickled every fall.

Speaking of zucchini, I remember one year there was a knock at our door and when my mother opened it no one was there, but there was a big bag of zucchinis on the porch in front of the door like an orphaned baby. Someone was that desperate to get rid of the things! So once again we had fried zucchini slices (which are pretty good: shake the slices in a seasoned coating mix like for chicken and fry 'em up), zucchini relish, zucchini bread (like banana bread only with zucchinis) and anything else she could think of to try to use it up. It's really weird: you plant a hill of zucchinis, you go out and check them one day they're not quite big enough but almost ready to be picked so you give them a couple more days, and then when you go to get them you find dozens of these huge, gargantuan zucchinis four times as big as they were, then you think "What have I done?"
Please read How To Ask For Help and How to Break Your System.
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jackdanielsesq
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Re: Are you a cook?

#87

Post by jackdanielsesq » Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:16 am

Amen ..

Men after my own black heart ... add herbs, spices, some red wine and lets roll ... :number1:

Jack

JayM wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:41 pm
richb wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:12 pm
My Italian father had 100 tomato plants in the garden. My Mom made and canned sauce. It was tart, no sugar added and to this day that is the only way I like it. Hard to find these days. Closest I have come to it is RAO's. I have attempted to make it on occasion, but it is not like Mom's. My Aunt, my Mom's sister made sweet sauce. The result of my father teaching my Mom how to make it was that the initial family recipe stayed with my Aunt. I suppose when you acquire a test from childhood it stays with you.

To this day when I'm cooking something and the recipe calls for four cloves of garlic I say "nah, make it a bulb, 10 or 12 cloves."


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