Thursday, November 27, 2014

White Castle Stuffing?

OK, once in a great while I post a negative article about food. That would be the one that I wrote advising against a tortilla recipe I tried. It was an experiment contrasting tortilla and biscuit ingredients and processes, using an electric waffle-cone maker. Chewwwy!

The White Castle burger stuffing recipe caught my eye—more for the inspirational value for an article than inclination to make a batch. (Happy Thanksgiving day and weekend, everyone!)

Naw, I'd more make fun of the stuffing than make it or eat it. Before I launch into why the recipe tickles my fancy, a more positive thought about the product is that the name reminds me of "Harold and Kumar go to White Castle", a very funny and entertaining movie. It was released in 2004 (!!), starring John Cho (Star Trek Sulu) and Kal Penn (House). Neil Patrick Harris, post-Doogie Howser and pre-How I Met Your Mother, portrays himself. It's been awhile since I saw the movie, but his gestures and verbalizing in one scene seems to be pre-Barney Stinson-ish in delivery.

I've never eaten a White Castle burger. In the distant past, I would have considered it, but I didn't live near any WC fooderies. By the time I saw any WC burgers in the frozen food sections, I lost interest in burgers, and any other kind of meat that's been processed to the point of nonrecognition. This type of meat includes sausage, pepperoni, salami, and hot dogs/baloney. I'm starting to approach the same feeling about round slices of deli meat. Not a vegetarian, Still very much a carnivore, and somewhat picky omnivore.

OK, let's get to the WC stuffing recipe! First of all—TEN burgers—no pickles. I gotta believe the people who came up with the recipe tried including the pickles and decided the result was a bust. I have a gut feeling the sodium is out of this world even without the pickles. In addition, the recipe calls for additional sodium in the form of chicken broth. The paper recipe calls for 1/4 cup of broth. (What, not enough flavor?) Oddly enough, the online recipe also calls for 1/4 cup, but it also includes text in the procedure itself to "add an additional 3/4 cup of chicken broth". Yow!

Alrighty then, the main reason the recipe attracted my attention for amusement. The ingredients made me think of prison food I'd read about awhile back—Nutraloaf, except unmolded. "Food As Punishment: Giving U.S. Inmates 'The Loaf' Persists" describes putting ingredients together, baking it, and feeding it to inmates who present disciplinary problems.

So the WC stuffing is not exactly a Nutraloaf—less sodium for one thing. It's supposed to be a pretty flavorless (tasteless?) loaf. I can visualize the WC stuffing baked in a brick form. I am mercifully omitting links to Nutraloaf recipes.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Carrots and Tops and Bugs Oh My

Seventy-nine cents a pound for carrots is my usual paying price. But I couldn't find any on 10/26 or 11/1. Coincidence that those days were near Halloween? For a few weeks, I noticed the smallish carrots with tops. Eh, what's up with those? $1.99? Why do people buy those, except for decorations?

Normal price for bulk carrots w/o tops: 79¢/#
Carrots w/tops, always small and skinny, 5 bunches bundled together: $1.99/#

How about some more carrot price comparisons?
  • 1-pound bag, smallish whole, topless (woohoo): 78¢/#
  • minis, "baby" carrots: $1.28/#
  • matchsticks, like the ones you see in pre-made salads: $1.77/#
  • chips, crinkle-cut round slices: $1.38/#
Your prices might vary. Looking at price per pound, whole ones (topless) are way less expensive than consumer-convenient ones. However, these whole, unprocessed ones require trimming, peeling, and washing. Then you can cut them up into processed shapes.

"Baby" Carrots
Digging deeper into carrot topic, spreading the search for carrots and related, I ran across "Carrot Sticks vs Baby Carrots". The article has simple explanation, how-to instructions for processing regular, less expensive carrots, and an embedded link to YouTube video that shows the machinery processing of converting big carrots to small. Interesting to see that commenters for both article and video talk about baby carrots being soaked in a bleach solution. For those who buy "baby" carrots, at least RINSE those puppies before you consume them!

Carrot Tops as Edibles
Some links that provide carrot top information and recipes:
Iconic Carrot Consumer(s)—What's up, Doc?
The best-known icon is Bugs (natch) Bunny. Visit the YouTube video that shows Bugs seasoning his carrots on his rotating spit.

One very helpful website about Bugs is "7 Things You Didn't Know About Bugs Bunny". One fascinating factoid, for which the article's author included an embedded YouTube link is about the inspiration for Bugs Bunny chewing on his topped carrot.
Bugs' carrot-habit actually started as a parody of Clark Gable. In Clark Gable's movie It Happened One Night, there's a scene where Gable is leaning against a fence, talking quickly, and eating a carrot. ...Over time, the original movie has faded, while Bugs' carrot chewing has lived on.
The video is entertaining for more than just the carrot connection.

Segueing into Homophones
As language is one of my interests, I also include carrot homophones in this article.

a mark (^) made in written or printed matter to show the place where something is to be inserted.

Caret: "^" means "to the power of"
It means "raise to the power of"

1. a unit of weight in gemstones, 200 milligrams (about 3 grains of troy or avoirdupois weight). Abbreviation: c., ct.
2. karat.

a unit for measuring the fineness of gold, pure gold being 24 karats fine.
Abbreviation: k., kt.
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