Cooking by and for and with geeks

I recently got Cooking For Geeks for Christmas. It’s a fun read and I’m learning a lot, but it’s definitely written with geeks in mind – the explanations can go on a bit and it assumes a lot more technical ability than I actually have (as in “ability to solder your own electronics” and not “ability to use a stove”).

There’s a blog, of course, with more info along the same lines. A typical entry provides hints to prepare a Thanksgiving turkey in just 15 minutes. But apparently to be a successful turkey chef, you need to cook the breasts sous vide, which you can do by either buying your own sous vide cooker (at $449 – yikes) or you can hack your existing slow cooker, which I would think would take far longer than 15 minutes.

How does your garden grow?

It might be the dead of winter, but it’s never too early to start planning your spring garden. Mother Earth has an easy garden planner that you can use to chart your favorite vegetables, trees, herbs, and flowers as well as a handy chart describing the best planting times. I’m looking forward to a harvest of tomatoes, beans, peas, carrots, squash, and strawberries. Or I could just let the mint take over the garden again. Anyone need mint?


Jim’s Pancakes is cute blog about a dad who makes amazing pancake creations for his kid (via JML). I can’t make amazing pancake creations, but I can cook up a few batches of these Easy Pancakes – but don’t use as much baking powder and salt as the recipe calls for. Meanwhile, I bet Allie’s mom regrets making the birthday treat that made her 4-year-old daughter The God of Cake.

Second hand tab dump

Mom’s emailed me some interesting articles lately:

Food expiration dates: What do they really mean? – I’m a little cautious with food expirations but here’s a good explanation about what you should really worry about. That said, I don’t often encounter milk that’s anything remotely resembling tasty after its sell-by date.

4 Things You Should and Shouldn’t Buy at Target – Some may say not to buy anything at Target, though I find it’s pretty good for baby and preschool stuff. I don’t think I’ll buy a Kindle from them anytime soon.

7 Things You Should Always Buy Generic – Pain killers are one thing, but I’m not sure if I want to settle for generic spices. Salt is NaCL no matter who packages it, but I’m pretty sure there are better and worse curry powders, for example. And I guess I’ll save a lot for items I never buy at all, like bleach.

August Tab Dump – Part 2: Eating with Ebert

Got a rice cooker (otherwise known as “the pot”)? Then you have pretty much all you need for cooking just about any meal you want. Just follow Roger Ebert’s simple instructions. Man knows a lot about movies and, apparently, small kitchen appliances.

Well, maybe not any meal, but man, those things are versatile.

I know sushi is awesome and all…

But the amount I’d spend for a good sushi dinner? There’s a limit. And it’s far below this.

Ok, I admit, that sushi looks really good…. maybe someday, when have a few hundred to spend on raw fish and rice.

Eggs-citing article on how to boil eggs

We’ve all heard about different ways to boil eggs – starting in cold water, starting in hot, add vinegar, use a lid, don’t use a lid, etc. This guy has his own ideas about how to make “Perfect Boiled Eggs,” but his advice is based on experimental data and science. So I tried it. Seemed to work out pretty well, actually.

I’m not eating that

Make: Online asks: Do you eat the moldy stuff? I don’t, but according to the USDA, some foods can be eaten even after they’ve started to mold. And some cheese has mold on purpose:

Blue veined cheese such as Roquefort, blue, Gorgonzola, and Stilton are created by the introduction of P. roqueforti or Penicillium roqueforti spores. Cheeses such as Brie and Camembert have white surface molds.

So not only are cheese-eaters intentionally eating bad milk, some are also eating mold. I really don’t get it.


I won’t be eating this.