The food thread

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Well Ed, I think pig farms are universally disgusting places and we too have a number of them locally. Have you noted the size of the ventilator fans used to make the inside less odoriferous?
When my honey complains that my feet stink, I just take her for a drive by one of them. Problem solved.

There used to be a chicken "farm" on the SW corner of the 10 and 605 freeways interchange. On the way back from work, I'd take the 10 East and then the 605 South. Traffic was usually stop and go on the 605... right by the "building".... Dang it, that thing STUNK!

Then there's that stretch of Coalinga by the 5.... cows and cows and cows....

Thank God for the recycle and AC controls in our cars.
Where exactly are you now Nez?
I am in Montreal, in the SouthWest borough. My brother and his wife are visiting and I'm just trying to decide where to go for dinner tonight. Last night I grilled some Syrian chicken with pomegranate and sumac, and my wife made tian, and we had some nice french bread and a bottle of my brother's pinot noir. Thinking about a little joint near here called Bonyard, which has great food but very few tables. I could pick some up and bring it home. (Their French Mac with confit duck is very good.)
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Wow... you guys in Canada got locked down? No travel between provinces? They never did that in the US.

Couldn't you just rent a car and drive? Not "permitted".. WTH?

I noticed that until very recently they had a Covid Checkpoint on the way from the US to Vancouver? Did they get rid of that?

Honestly, I didn't know the Government had so much power in Canada.


What is "Syrian" chicken... is that like a Mesopotamian chicken that got lost crossing the road on the way to Sumeria and ended up in Assyria?
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When I finally left Quebec in May 2020, there were checkpoints on the highway. They didn't want people going from cities like Montreal to places in the country, potentially taking contagion with them. So traffic was diverted from the highway and police asked where you were going and wanted to see ID with your address. Presumably if your ID said you lived in Montreal and you said you were going to your cottage in Gaspe, they told you to turn around and go home. Although I was living and working in Montreal I still had a Nova Scotia drivers license, so I showed them that and said "I'm going home." That was inside Quebec! Then I was stopped at the New Brunswick border, same deal. They told me to drive straight through without stopping except for gas. I had a hotel room reserved in Edmunston that night but didn't mention it. Then same deal at the Nova Scotia border, where they said "I hope you have someone shopping for you because once you get home you can't leave for 2 weeks." I said yes, my wife has stocked up and we both know the drill. Over the next year and a half we did 4 separate 2-week quarantines. It got pretty old.

"I didn't know the Government had so much power in Canada" -- in a public health emergency they do. Nova Scotia had pretty draconian isolation measures, and as a result very low infection numbers. The hospitals were not overwhelmed and deaths remained low. We expect our elected representatives to take appropriate actions to protect us in an emergency. Keeping reckless morons out of the province and making them self-isolate when they got in, worked pretty well for quite a while.
"What is "Syrian" chicken" It is a way of preparing chicken that is popular in Syria and uses ingredients (like pomegranate molasses and Aleppo pepper) that are common there. The recipe was published by a woman who worked at a refugee center on Lesbos, who helped Syrian refugees to prepare food and share it. She published a recipe book, which I have not seen but some newspapers ran excerpts which I have. That particular chicken recipe is delicious. The marinade contains olive oil, pomegranate molasses, garlic, sumac, allspice, Aleppo pepper, tomato paste, salt and pepper. You rub it into chicken pieces and let them sit for a few hours, then bake or grill.
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Hmm.... I'm in Orange Cty, SoCal. We didn't have draconian measures. Our city and country parks and beaches were open. Stores were opened. Going into supermarkets -and Costco- they required masks and restricted the number of people inside... for about four months, I'd say.

Restaurants didn't shut down either.

And we had very low infection numbers too.

So, it'd seems to me like draconian government laws did nothing to control the spread of the Wuhan Flu. It was all just totalitarians being totalitarians...

You might want to look at them numbers in other places. Look at LA county where they went nuts. SF... Seattle. It seems to me like places that kept people locked indoors did the worst... while places where they allowed people to go outdoors did the best. It all came down to individual responsibility. If you felt ill, you stayed home. Simple as that. We didn't need no totalitarians to tells us what to do.

I understand at the very beginning why we shut down international air travel from infected places... but after a while it became useless.

That "lesbian" Syrian chicken recipe sounds pretty good. We don't have sumac nor Aleppo pepper, but we got the rest. I might give it a try tomorrow. Thanks.
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Aw jeez.... it's was just a play on words.

You don't like Sumerian Chicken? How about poulet a la Nebuchadnezzar

I'm gonna go the garage and massage the pork loins in their happy curing vacuum bags.... is it OK if I say "massage my [pork tender] loins"? o_O

And the new freezer is working great.

Wife is cooking tonight and last night. She decided to make dashi from scratch... I usually use Ajinamoto brand Hon Dashi.

I think I'll try that chicken this weekend.
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Oh, speaking of Sumerian....

Have any of you tried cooking with "ancient" recipes?

I've been looking at ancient, like before 1500 AD, cook books and I've thought about learning how to cook some of those ancient recipes.

I think it'd be grand to throw an early European Medieval party with just roasted birds and meats, some wines ( old grapes like garnacha ) and just knifes... but I need to know what kind of veggies and breads ( flat breads? )... we can do it in the atrium, outside, so when we're done all I gotta to do is hose the place down.
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I must note a significant lack of information about the use of coal outside of Britain.... I wonder why?

Coal and peat were used in Continental Europe as well but an "english search" on the web is mostly based on England. Something is not right... even Wikipedia noted that in the article I quoted you. There seems to be a systemic ethnocentrism in the web searches... or perhaps there is some issue with the information currently in the Internet?

Coal, charcoal and peat were better fuels for cooking and heating than wood. And for metal working as well.

My wife made some splendid "hambugah" for dinner. Ground beef "steaks", japanese style. Awesome with rice.
Much of the ancient Indian metallurgy has gone away in knowledge terms.
Charcoal was used, apart from peat and cow dung for metal work.

One of my college texts (ELBS version of British text) had references to horse dung and molasses as binders for the sand used in casting patterns.

Ah, the old days...

In cooking, whatever fuel was easy to obtain was used, I guess.
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Not perceived as so important to the Europeans of the time... so taken they were with gold, silver, glittering stones... was the flow of new foods that came from the Americas:

Corn, potatoes, tomatoes, tobacco, bananas, cacao, squash, sunflowers, etc...

Imagine european cuisine without those crops.

No coffee, no tobacco! Most of the European civilization would collapse! :)