Chocolate-covered Bacon

Chocolate-covered Bacon

The chocolate-covered bacon craze is sweeping the nation! Have you tried it yet? 

Is That Really Pumpkin In My Pumkin Pie?

By R. Philip Bouchard

Autumn has returned, and with it come the rituals and traditions of the season. In North America, a key part of that tradition is pumpkin pie. But accompanying that joyful custom, there is a dark, nagging question that returns each year to haunt the diligent cooks who prepare this delicacy: “Does the canned pumpkin I’m using actually contain pumpkin, or is it really just squash?” Keep reading

The Difference Between Jam and Jelly

Jams and Jellies

By W. George Elliot

Have you ever wondered what the difference between jam and jelly is? There is a definite distinction that sets both of these canning products apart - but there is also a great deal of similarities. The simple answer is that one contains juice and flesh from a fruit or vegetable where the other only contains the juice. However, there is a bit more to the explanation that clearly defines the difference between jam and jelly.

Spreading A Little Jam

When it comes to preserving, jam is one of the most common because it uses much more of the fruit or vegetable produced into a spreadable food. Essentially a jam is a soft, firm canned item that contains a combination of the flesh and juice of the item being preserved. The term 'jam' is defined as something that is made from whole fruit that has been cut, chopped or crushed into smaller pieces. It is then heated with boiling water and sugar. The chemical reaction this creates activates the natural pectin contained in the fruit prior to being sealed in jars.

There is some science involved in preserving a good quality jam. Typically recipes call for the flesh and juice of a single variety of fruit or vegetable and many of them have a high enough amount of natural pectin in them that packets of additional pectin are not required. Examples of these kinds of fruits include cranberries, plums, apples and blackberries. Other fruit that contain lower amounts of natural pectin can produce quality jams when combined with fruits with higher natural pectin. For example, cherries, peaches, rhubarb and strawberries can be mixed with apples to make a great jam without having to add additional pectin.

Jiggling Like A Bowl of Jelly

Here's where the difference between jam and jelly becomes clearer. A jelly is a fruit spread that is clear or translucent and is made from the juice from sweetened fruit. The similarity to jam is that both products use naturally occurring pectin in order to set or gel. The second difference between jam and jelly comes from the final product. A jelly is not as firm as a jam as it does not contain pieces of fruit. Also, if the juice of the fruit or vegetable being used does not contain enough pectin to properly set then additional pectin may be required. The solution to this may come from combining fruit or adding store-bought pectin from a pouch.

The juice used for jelly comes from a filtering or straining of cut, crushed, chopped and cooked down fruit. The cooking of the fruit assists with both juice and pectin extraction when filtering takes place. There are jelly bags available on the market just for this purpose and there is a very simple, yet strict, method to the straining. Typically the bag is suspended over a bowl by string with gravity doing all the work. Squeezing the bag to speed up the process is not recommended as it may force some pulp into the jelly mixture. This is not a problem for some home canners where others adhere to the requirements of their recipe to the letter. Jelly is also a bit more versatile than jam in that the spectrum is wider in what fruit or vegetables can be used which is why there are such selections a grape or apple jelly all the way to spicy jellies containing hot peppers and additional fruits and vegetables.

The Bonus Round

Probably the best reason for canning and preserving jams or jellies is that it is an easy way to extend the lifespan of a harvest. Properly sealed and processed jams and jellies allow you to enjoy the great fruit and vegetable product from your garden or local market well after harvest time. The healthy extra is that regardless of the difference between jam and jelly, both are going to be lower in calories than some other spreadable choices used with toast, crackers or right out of the jar.

Now that you have a better understanding of what a jam or jelly is, do you know what marmalade is? Marmalade is a fruit spread that is produced using the juice and peel of citrus fruits. There is no chopped, cut or crushed flesh in the mixture which is boiled in water and sugar to activate natural pectin. Oranges, lemons, grapefruits and limes produce excellent marmalade as does combinations of these fruit. Again, there are some similarities to jams and jellies but this is still in a category of its own along with the difference between jam and jelly.

Learn more about home canning by visiting today!

Article Source: Ezine Articles

Impress Your Dinner Guests With This Recipe From the Movie, Burnt

Recipe from Burnt

Have you seen the movie, Burnt?
If you are a chef, home cook or foodie it's a must-see film.
Now you can impress your family or dinner guests
with this recipe from the movie:

Does Your Wiener Cut the Mustard?

By White Feather


The very best hot dog I've ever eaten I ate at the Frankfurt train station in Germany. I don't think I can actually call it a hot dog, though. A frankfurter maybe?

I was just a teenager and I loved trying new foods. We were waiting for a train and my grandfather pointed out a food vendor with a small cart set up on the sidewalk. "You Americans think you know what a hot dog is. You want to find out what a real hot dog is like?" he asked. I'm paraphrasing, of course, because he said it in German and I don't speak German so I'm just guessing he said something like that.

It was nothing like the hot dogs one buys at the ballpark on a summer afternoon in America. On a small paper plate, the vendor served a wiener, a roll and a giant dab of mustard. My grandfather showed me how to eat it. He picked up the wiener with his hand, dipped it in mustard then took a bite. He then quickly dipped the roll into the mustard and took a bite of that.

I copied my grandfather. The wiener tasted better than any wiener I've ever had in America. And the roll was outstanding; a hundred times better than those flavorless, nutrient-free white bread hot dog buns sold in America. And the mustard......

Oh, the mustard! I thought I had died and gone to heaven. It was the very best mustard I've ever eaten in my life. My life immediately changed right there in the train station. When I got back to America I never again ate that yellow stuff that Americans mistakenly call mustard. American mustard doesn't resemble real mustard in any way at all. It's like a completely different food. I think every American should take a trip to Europe just for the purpose of finding out what real mustard tastes like. They, too, would never eat that American yellow stuff again. It's like night and day. The quality of American mustard is so profoundly inferior that the French's company would go out of business if every American teenager would spend a summer in Europe.

I have never found a mustard in America that is as good as that mustard in the train station so long ago. I settle for Grey Poupon, which isn't quite as good as that train station mustard but almost. Actually, I must be honest and admit that I'm a Grey Poupon junkie. I go into withdrawal should I ever run out of it and that's why I always stock up on it. I cook with it all the time. Some day I'll have to share my Grey Poupon chicken recipe.

Nowadays I hardly ever eat hot dogs but when I do I put Grey Poupon on it. Grey Poupon, onions and maybe some thinly sliced cucumbers; that's the perfect way to dress a hot dog. Try finding that at an American ball park! Or anywhere in America! You can't! You've got to sneak in your own Grey Poupon into the ball park. Maybe that's why I haven't been to a ball game in over a decade.....

Copyright by White Feather. All Rights Reserved.
Follow White Feather on Medium

Are You Eating Thai Food Correctly?

By M. K. Albus

Thai Food

 I have to snicker whenever I see a television show or movie in which the actors are eating Thai food. Invariably they are eating it with chopsticks. This shows a lack of research and authenticity on the part of those who put the show or movie together. The people of Thailand do not use chopsticks! (Unless they are eating Chinese food.) And if anyone else in the world thinks they are being authentic by using chopsticks when they eat Thai food they are dead wrong!

Of course, Thai cuisine will still taste delicious no matter how one eats it, but it can be beneficial to know the official eating customs of Thailand. Just because the country is located in Southeast Asia does not automatically mean chopsticks are the appropriate way to eat Thai food.

Instead of chopsticks, the people of Thailand us forks and spoons. Knives, however, are never used. Knives belong in the kitchen, not on the dinner table. Whenever cooking and serving Thai food that contains meat, the meat is always either shredded or cut into bite-sized pieces in the cooking process so knives are unnecessary at the table.

Forks and spoons are used differently in Thai eating, though, than the rest of the world. In Thailand one never puts a fork into their mouth. Forks are only used to push food onto a spoon and it is with the spoon that the food is put in one's mouth. Using a fork to put food in one's mouth is considered rude. The fork is always held in the left hand and the spoon in the right.

Like practically every other culture across the globe, some Thai foods are designed to be eaten by hand. It is the Thai custom to only put food in one's mouth with the right hand. What may be even more important to remember is that in Thailand it is considered EXTREMELY RUDE to lick one's fingers! (Kentucky Fried Chicken never uses its slogan, 'finger-lickin' good' in Thailand.)

Something else that is fun to know about eating Thai cuisine is that in Thailand it is customary to leave at least a few pieces of uneaten food on your plate when you are done eating. This is considered a sign of gratitude to the cook for the abundance offered. Eating your plate clean is considered a sign of gluttony.

And there is one last thing that I must mention. If you are eating out at a restaurant in Thailand or even eating in a Thai restaurant elsewhere or even eating Thai food at home, it is imperative that you know this. In Thailand it is considered BEYOND RUDE to blow your nose at the dinner table!

So there, I have given everyone something to think about or talk about the next time you eat Thai food.

Bon appetite!

 See other articles by M. K. Albus: Using Roses in the Kitchen - The Wonders of Kale - Dogs and Nuts Are Not a Good Mix - A Taste of Paprika - Food and Vibration - Dad's Apple Pandowdy

The Food of Northern Thailand

Food of Northern Thailand

The foods available in Northern Thailand must rank among the most interesting and amazing in the world. There are influences from throughout Asia including China and India and the fragrant dishes of Malaysia, Indonesia, Laos, Vietnam and Southern Thailand (the old Siam). It is a giddy mixture and a life's work to get to know and understand them all.....

Keep reading: The Food of Northern Thailand

CT Limousine and CT Limo Service is provided throughout Connecticut to and from NYC, Manhattan Cruise Terminal, Grand central Station, Penn Station, Port Authority Bus Terminal, Lower Manhattan, Ground Zero. CT Airlink use Sedans, SUVs and Vans for Limo Service CT to NYC and Limo Service NYC to CT towns Greenwich, Stamford, Danbury, Brookfield, Bethel, Newtown, Redding, Ridgefield, Weston, Wilton, Norwalk, Bridgeport, Milford, West Haven, Shelton, Trumbull, Monroe, Naugatuck, Waterbury, Hartford and Southbury CT.