Monday, May 30, 2005

Bachelor Chefs

My eighty-two year old father talks on the phone with my twenty year old son about the ice crystals in the bag of frozen hashbrowns. They are just two guys cooking for themselves, separated by 576 miles.

I suspect both of them sometimes use the infamous "sniff test" to decide if their clothes are really too gross to wear again. Nobody likes doing the "sniff test" in the refrigerator, though. That's why I was pleased to find this storage safety chart for keeping foods in the refrigerator and the freezer. It comes from the Canadian Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education.

I like Mrs. Cookwell. She reminds me of my mom and my grandma. I liked this tip, too, even though it goes against my upbringing. I think Mom used to worry that the hot leftovers would warm up the refrigerator too much, so she let most foods cool before placing them in the fridge. She must have been pretty savvy about bacteria growth, though, since we were never bothered by food poisoning:

Should you cool leftovers before refrigerating?
No, you do not need to cool hot food before you put it in the fridge, but very hot food (e.g. simmering chili) can be left out for 30 minutes before refrigerating. The key is to cool hot food quickly to prevent bacteria growth. Bacteria grow very well in the temperature range of 4ºC - 60ºC. Food should be cooled to 4ºC or lower as quickly as possible.
Fast cooling tips include:
  • Store food in shallow containers (3 inches (8 cm) or less).
  • Stir hot foods occasionally to speed-up cooling.
  • Do not stuff the fridge - allow cool air to circulate around food.

If I had ever studied an instrument, besides the piano, it would have been the sax. Piano lessons provided plenty of evidence that I probably didn't need to study another instrument! That is why I push the buttons on the blender and sing "Born to be Wild" to the revving sounds...
Like a true nature's child
We were born, born to be wild.

We don't like growing wild green fuzzy stuff in the refrigerator, or even purple haze on the leftovers. It's not safe to eat!

Purple haze all in my brain
Lately things just don’t seem the same
Actin’ funny, but I don’t know why
’scuse me while I kiss the sky

'Scuse me while Jimi Hendrix and I go clean out the Frigidaire.

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