Coquilles Maudit Jason

There’s this dish passed around among Acadian families called Coquilles St Jacques, a French dish involving scallops and white wine sauce covered with Gruyere and baked in clamshell dishes. This isn’t how I was shown how to make the dish at all, though, and it seems every family does it a little (or a lot) differently. This is no Alton Brown recipe; it’s not an exact science, more of an art. Through a large number of modifications, I’ve come to a rough outline of a recipe, though my way of making this recipe is incredibly flexible and forgiving, so you could easily modify it to your tastes. I’m calling it Coquilles Maudit Jason, with “maudit” meaning “damned”, seeing as how I’m not in any way a saint.

I’ve included a number of options, including a choice between white wine sauce and savory gravy. If you try this, let me know how you’ve modified it in the comments below.
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Tryptophan isn’t to blame for your food coma

Even at Thanksgiving, even as a child, I was always “that kid”, who couldn’t leave well enough alone when someone said something blatantly false, or worth questioning and examining further. My father kept admonishing me to be on my best behavior for company, which invariably meant not challenging unevidenced or ridiculous beliefs.

This was one of the ones that filtered into my subconscious and I even caught myself thinking this very thing a few years ago, til I was corrected on it. All because I was asked to turn off my skepticism as a child.

I guess I’m posting this to tell you not to squelch people’s skepticism of strange unevidenced beliefs even if those beliefs are seemingly harmless.

Unless you know there’s absolutely no goodwill to burn, let the walking Snopes database do their thing, because as annoyed as the person may be who is corrected, they’ve actually had a valuable service done to them even at the cost of a little holiday peace. A service that helps insulate people from making mistakes, and having factoids filter into their brains as though they were facts, which might introduce errors in their reasoning later in life.

And if there’s absolutely no goodwill to burn at the Thanksgiving table, and you must suffer the tyranny of someone spewing factoids, both harmless and harmful? Well, consider a smaller and more intimate Thanksgiving meal next year.

But yeah. Sorry for the tangent. Turkey doesn’t cause food comas. And I wish I could spend the American holiday with my American friends and family, so enjoy your time with them. And I hope you find a balance between the factoid-spewers and the fact-checkers so you can all enjoy your meal.

Wayback: remember when Harper’s government wanted to process dead animals too?

Someone tweeted a link to this story a few days ago. The story happened in May, but it’s chilling in light of current events.

The Conservative government is pitching the change as a way to cut red tape and provide greater flexibility to slaughterhouse operators.

But the New Democrats are raising a red flag saying the move invites possible “contamination” of the food supply.

“Under the present regulations . . . it has to come in alive, be slaughtered on site,” said NDP MP Malcolm Allen (Welland), the party’s agriculture critic.

“Now you can bring in dead stock. It’s okay to bring in that animal into a slaughterhouse, have it cut, wrapped . . . for human consumption.

“The real fear is how did it die, (and) under what circumstances did it die.”

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Canadian beef recall due to E.coli

May want to check your ice boxes.

OTTAWA, September 21, 2012 – The public warning issued on September 20, 2012 has been expanded to include additional ground beef products because the products may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. Previously identified products included in this recall can be found on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) website at www.inspection.gc.ca/recalls.

The CFIA is warning the public, distributors and food service establishments not to consume, sell, or serve the ground beef products described below because the products may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.

This recall also includes unlabelled and/or unbranded ground beef products available for sale from August 24 through September 16, 2012 and sold at retail stores not identified in the CFIA’s product list below, which may include small retailers, local meat markets and butcher shops, etc. Therefore, the CFIA is advising consumers who are unsure if they have the affected ground beef product in their home to check with the store(s) where the product was purchased or throw it out.

Full list available here. A little diligence to avoid bloody diarrhea is a decent trade-off.

An evil Easter treat for us atheists

Not only am I only celebrating the secular part of the holiday, I’m doing it in such a manner that onlookers might think I was the single most evil person in the universe for doing it. See, for lunch, I’m eating deviled live baby chickens, whole.

Deviled eggs made to look like chicks

The beak’s a little crunchy, putting it at odds from the rest of the chick’s squishiness, but what can you expect?

Idea shamelessly stolen from this image.

Candy that tastes like burgers and fries

I present to you, via wanwan.fm, for the low price of $4.50, the Happy Kitchen Candy Hamburgers kit direct from Japan. And it apparently tastes like the real thing.

You have to spend precious candy-eating minutes preparing all the parts, including microwaving the burger, bun and fries. It’s part toy, part “food.”

O SCIENCE, WHAT HAVE YOU WROUGHT?!