Two quotes passed along on September 11, from my meat-eating Grandmother:
A USDA inspector reviews the carcasses of slaughtered pigs for our safety. Credit: Wikmedia Commons
“As long as there are slaughterhouses there will be battlefields.” –Leo Tolstoy
“We are the living graves of murdered beasts
slaughtered to satisfy our appetites.
We never pause to wonder at our feasts,
if animals, like men, can possibly have rights.
We pray on Sundays that we may have light,
to guide our footsteps on the path we tread.
We’re sick of war, we do not want to fight –
The thought of it now fills our hearts with dread,
and yet – we gorge ourselves upon the dead.
Like carrion crows we live and feed on meat,
regardless of the suffering and pain
we cause by doing so, if thus we treat
defenseless animals for sport or gain
how can we hope in this world to attain
the PEACE we say we are so anxious for.
We pray for it o’er hecatombs of slain,
to God, while outraging the moral law,
thus cruelty begets its offspring – WAR.”
–George Bernard Shaw
A friend posted a link about some iPad App that will show you recipes. My reaction was one of being condescendingly underwhelmed, and here’s the gist of what I’d really like to see in a “cookbook app”:
“Will it plan a week’s menus based on seasonal ingredients and give you a shopping list? Because that’s the fucking time-consuming part the computers need to fix.
Any clown can convert a menu book to an App . . . and any clown can find a recipe, drive to the store, spend 45 minutes trying to find some ingredient they don’t know about which is out of season, pay a bunch of money, get home, if they still have the energy maybe cook something sorta edible . . .
. . . but this being the 21st century, an electronic cookbook ought to be able to suggest recipes for you based on the ingredients you have ready access to. (In your pantry, in your growing region, partner with a supermarket…) I have found a website that does a mediocre job of this. This thing is begging to be invented.
Anyway, what I’m saying is–cookbooks in an app–that’s like lets transcribe 15th century technology into silicon. I say hell no, with all this information technology let’s leverage the information to really make it easy for the people to cook healthy, inexpensive meals at home. THAT is the revolution that will make us all better off.”
You realize that I don’t know the names of different kinds of plants and birds and rocks and things. So when I say I saw a hawk this morning flying off with something in its talons, and settle on a roof, and I could see that it had caught a chickadee, what I mean to say is that I saw a larger bird with a hook-shaped beak catch a smaller bird. I found this really interesting and so I stopped and stared up at the hawk, to better see what was going on. The hawk felt a little awkward about my staring. It was just trying to eat breakfast . . . was the hairless bipedal ape going to try to disrupt its meal? No. The smaller birds had become very quiet, because one of their own had just been snatched away for someone else’s meal. I admired the hawk for catching its breakfast, which seems more appropriate than the way I get my meat.
Now, I love me some fresh fresh eggs, but for a lazy day-off scramble I am not picky. I’m a bachelor with a thinly-stocked refrigerator, and I have been traveling over the holidays. Today is the last on a two week vacation and I had two eggs left that I figured to scramble. Alas, the “sell by” date said November 7. Two month old eggs? Well . . . they’re probably fine but this struck me as occasion for a bit of research.
Google led me to a page which explains the Julian dating for egg packing, with the FDA guideline that eggs are good for up to three weeks past their “sell by” date.
Three weeks, eh?
Then I found a discussion among red-blooded Americans. The advice is that eggs age well enough if you are cooking them, and if there’s any doubt crack them into a separate bowl. Bad eggs will reek. If you are cooking and you crack the eggs into a separate bowl you will have isolated the bad egg without ruining the rest of your recipe.
The USDA will tell you more than you ever wanted to know. Dangerous bacteria are more likely to be on the outside of the egg, though eggs are washed before they are packed. The longer an egg sits the longer any bacteria inside has a chance to grow and make you ill. If an egg has gone really bad it will likely be somewhat obvious. All the same, cooking tends to kill bacteria, except that I personally do not cook eggs with the same heat and duration that I cook meat.
Anyway, I cracked my eggs, and while they did not have the beauty of fresh eggs they still looked and smelled okay. I cooked them in a hot pan over medium heat and enjoyed them with hot sauce, garlic salt and oregano. If they kill me in the next few days I’ll try to let you know.
All the same, if I was old, young, pregnant, HIV positive, or otherwise not a healthy adult with a strong immune system I would adhere more strictly to government guidelines.
I found this recipe on the Internet somewhere, halved it, and recently adapted it to weight measures. Makes about one dozen cinnamon rolls, and can easily be doubled.
135g water (2/3 C)
1/2 stick butter (set aside the other half stick for later)
315g flour (2 1/4 C)
35g sugar (3 tbsp)
7g salt (1/2 tsp)
4g yeast (1 tsp)
Run on “dough” setting (90 minutes)
Flour work surface and hands, remove dough ball, and knead out and flatten the dough into a rectangle. (If you are doubling this recipe, flatten half the dough at a time.)
Pretend you’re making a pizza, and top the dough to taste. I use:
1/2 stick butter (slice into pats and spread like pepperonis on a pizza)
a handful or two of brown sugar
a sprinkling of cinnamon
a dash of cardamom
Roll the prepared dough into a “jelly roll” and slice that thing into cinnamon rolls of desired size: I tend to get 12-15 pieces. Lay these out on a cookie tray, cover, and let rise for about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375F. Bake cinnamon rolls 10-20 minutes. Make sure they taste good, then share them with someone you love, or someone you would like to love.