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April 2005

Scum on Kalamata Olives

Q: I have a jar of Kalamata olives in my fridge, that seem to have developed a white scum (for lack of a better word!). What is it, and are they still safe to eat? Kalamata and other olives may release some of the olive oil contained in the fruit into the pickling brine. The low temperature of the fridge... Read more →




Due to the volume of questions received, not all can be answered, nor can we guarantee we will answer questions immediately
© Lost Hobbit Enterprises 2004 onward


Blind Baking

Q: What does the term "blind baking" refer to? When making pastries, tarts, flans, quiches or other items with a crust, it is sometimes necessary to bake the shell before the filling is put in. This helps prevent the filling from making the crust soggy or keeping it from cooking completely. It also allows you to cook the crust at... Read more →




Due to the volume of questions received, not all can be answered, nor can we guarantee we will answer questions immediately
© Lost Hobbit Enterprises 2004 onward


Grilling Steak - Part II "Rule of Thumb"

Q: I have heard that there is a way to tell if a steak is done by pressing on it and comparing that to your hand. How does this work? As steaks cook, the meat becomes progressively more firm as the muscle fiber in them tightens. By pressing on the center of the piece of meat, being careful not to... Read more →




Due to the volume of questions received, not all can be answered, nor can we guarantee we will answer questions immediately
© Lost Hobbit Enterprises 2004 onward


Leftover Rice in Fried Rice

Q: Why do recipes for Fried Rice say to use leftover rice? Why can't I just cook the rice and use it right away? If you were to use just-made rice, it would continue to cook during the making of the final dish. The rice would become too soft, and starch released from it could make the entire dish mushy.... Read more →




Due to the volume of questions received, not all can be answered, nor can we guarantee we will answer questions immediately
© Lost Hobbit Enterprises 2004 onward


Mother of Vinegar

Q: What are the wispy white streamers that sometimes appear in vinegar? Those white streamers are called "Mother of Vinegar". They are clumps of the bacteria that turn alcohol into vinegar. Generally, they are harmless and you can just pour the vinegar off the top, leaving the mother behind. Sometimes, if left in the vinegar for a long time, they... Read more →




Due to the volume of questions received, not all can be answered, nor can we guarantee we will answer questions immediately
© Lost Hobbit Enterprises 2004 onward