Kitchen Science

Why is it that whenever I make scrambled eggs they end up in a puddle of yellowish water? - Gwen As is so often the case in cooking, the culprit is overheated protein. When you scramble eggs, initially the protein molecules in the eggs unfold into long strings that cross-bind with each other to form a network. That network holds... 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


Is it okay to use extra virgin olive oil to season a pan? - Mary I wouldn't recommend using extra virgin olive oil, simply because you are paying a premium for the extra virgin part. That said, pretty much any cooking oil can be used to season frying pans. I use regular olive oil to season my cast iron pans,... 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


Why isn't it safe to cook kidney beans in a slow cooker? -Elanor Kidney beans contain a toxin called Phytohaemagglutinin, also known as Kidney Bean Lectin, that, if the beans are not cooked properly, can cause extreme nausea, cramps, vomiting and diarrhea. The symptoms typically start within 1 to 3 hours of ingestion and can last for up to 4... 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


I keep seeing cooking references saying that you need to dice your vegetables to a uniform size in order for them too cook evenly. Is that true? -Fred In a word, no. There may be an argument made for an even dice for aesthetic reasons -- a lovely rice pilaf with nice uniform cubes of veggies shows attention to detail... 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


Okra - A Slimy Puzzle

I have a great gumbo recipe, except for the okra, which makes it slimy. Is there any way to prevent the sliminess? -Bob (& Kay) I haven't cooked with okra much, only a time or two, largely because it isn't that common in the produce markets I use, but I know what you mean about sliminess. In Ghostbusters II, singing... 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


Why I Won't Ever Be a Mainstream Food Writer

Not that I have ever actually aspired to be a food writer for a mainstream newspaper or periodical, but occasionally I see an article that really brings home the truth that I could never cut it in that job. The most recent was an article just before Christmas in a national paper. It was a question from a reader who... 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


Despite its reputation as being the hallmark of a skilled chef, a beautiful cheese soufflé is surprisingly simple to do, takes very little effort, and wows dinner guests. And, contrary to popular myth, you don't need to tiptoe around the kitchen while it is baking. 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


Why is Cream of Tartar So Expensive?

Why is Cream of Tartar so expensive? Can I make my own? - Alice Cream of Tartar (AKA tartaric acid, chemical formula KC4H5O6, Potassium bitartrate) is formed during the production of wines made from grapes. For commercial production the crystals that precipitate out in industrial fermentation vats are collected and purified into the white powder that you buy at the... 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


I'll Drink to That (Not!)

I read recently in a magazine that you can lose weight just by drinking cold beverages, since your body has to burn calories in order to warm the liquid up to body temperature. Is that true? - April The short answer is 'yes, perhaps', the longer answer is 'not very effectively'. To start, we need to understand that the word... 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


Some Like It Hot

A friend of mine just made a small batch of salsa and put in 5 habanero peppers. She wanted it to be smoking hot but to her dismay it came out mild. It did get a tiny bit hotter after a couple weeks but still is mild. Any idea why it didn't turn out hotter? I can think of a number of reasons why your friend's salsa ended up not being as hot as expected 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