Monday, May 15, 2017

Teeth, Larding, Cloud Eggs, Grandma Dragon Day, Charles III

Hey, I get my new teeth today, hurrah. I will be going to the dentist at 9:30 and will be flashing my gnashers at everyone later on LOL. I have heard so many stories from people who's dentures or partials hurt so they don't wear them. I mentioned that to the receptionist when she phoned to remind me about my appointment, she told me not to listen to such stories - easier said than done. I firmly believe that waiting to allow one's gums to heal properly and the jaw to adjust before one gets the plate is a good thing. One doesn't look very pretty, but it's worth it I think.

Reading Hilary Melton-Butcher's latest post - Answer to some queries re Aspects of British County
Rare Breeds I was thinking about her comment that people preferred their meat and therefore their animals to have less fat which made me realise that this is a lot to do with the lack of tenderness in meats today. Once upon a  time we could deal with
this by 'larding' but this is something very few people know anything about today. The following is a Google quote Larding is the cooking technique of inserting strips or pieces of fat into a piece of meat that doesn't have much fat of its own. Fat is important in cooking, as it melts and keeps the meat from drying out. It's a myth that braising or even boiling meat will keep meat moist which then made me think, maybe I should start larding meat for Matt who finds meats very tough these days. I then figured I would, of course, need a larding needle. No, I have never done this before, but it does seem to me that it is becoming more and more necessary. Especially when even fillet steak can seem tough. Admittedly I did see some well marbled steaks at the store the other day which is unusual these days. In case you are unfamiliar with the term, marbled meats have streaks of fat running through them which helps the meat to remain tender as well as moist. We have become so worried about overweight that we have been spoiling some of our foods - not only does fat improve the texture, it also improves the taste. It may also be that store bought meat is not as well hung as from a farm or a specialty store. I still haven't bought meat at the local specialty store who advertising dry aging for their meat (other than fillet which they wet age). No not sure what that is, but dry aging you lose too much meat for it to be a good system to use on a fillet. OK I just read up on it and have added a link.

Have you heard of Cloud Eggs. I hadn't and came across them the other day and thought great, easy, I will try it. Basically you whip up egg whites as if you were making meringue. No problem, then you add some salt and some Parmesan, my beautifully fluffy egg whites became flat egg whites - in the end they became scrambled eggs. I did what the recipes said so I don't know why they died on me. I will have to do some research - I was terribly disappointed especially as the recipe looks so easy.

I hope you all had a great Mother's Day, well particularly the mothers of course. I normally don't get anything because I am only a step mother, but I am also a Grandmother to Dragons and I was thrilled to receive the following along with a delightful message.

Did any of you see Charles III on PBS Masterpiece Theatre Sunday night? Pretty powerful stuff and very well done. I do hope the family isn't like that though. Shades of Shakespeare in the dialogue.

Asparagus Salad with Hearts of Palm and Cherry Tomatoes

1 bunch of asparagus, steamed
1 can of hearts of palm
1/2 pint of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 green onions, sliced
1 small shallot, diced
1/2 lemon, juiced
1.5 Tbs red wine vinegar
1.5 Tbs white wine vinegar
1 tsp gluten free Dijon mustard
6 Tbs olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

1. Cook asparagus til al dente. Chill in ice bath or cold water. Chop into bite sized pieces cut diagonally. Place in large bowl. Cut each stalk of hearts of palm into 4 pieces and then each into 1 inch pieces at a diagonal.  Add to bowl.  Add your halved cherry tomatoes.  Add in sliced green onions.  Add in chopped shallots.

2. In a separate bowl, add in vinegars, mustard and a pinch of salt. Slowly pour in olive oil and whisk to emulsify.  Add in pepper and adjust ingredients to desired taste. Pour dressing over salad and mix.  Add lemon juice as desired.

3. Serve into bowls and enjoy!

4. This recipe would go great with some anchovies on top!  Also, if you can find jarred hearts of palm, please use those instead of canned!  Unless labeled, cans can be lined with BPA (toxic!!).  But some brands, like Native Forest, guarantee that their cans are BPA free so do some research before buying your canned foods.  Can also substitute hearts of palm with artichoke hearts!

Servings: 3

Source: Food for Rabbits

Have a great day


  1. Hi Jo - love the dragon ... wonderful to see! Thanks for the link ... I haven't done larding for years (decades I'd say) and then I'd help others with it ... though it was a necessary evil to help baste the meat - I still see it done occasionally on tv ... but I'm sure most of us wouldn't go near a larding needle now. My Ma for her pasty meat said buy the cheaper cuts ... they have marbling in them - delicious!

    Can't say cloud eggs sound good .. I'd rather have the real thing ... yours look as they should be - I think!

    Charles III - there was some hoopla - but I didn't watch it or read about it ... no doubt at some stage I'll get to see it ...

    Asparagus - must get some more ... but it's early days yet and now we have cold and rain - which we need ... but it is May!

    Cheers and hope the teeth fit and work well ... Hilary

    1. So did I Hilary. No I haven't done larding in decades but I am certainly thinking about it again because Matt constantly finds meat to be tough. That or wet aging stuff at home. You're right the cheaper cuts are usually marbled, but once upon a time, so were fillets etc. In fact I did buy some nicely marbled recently.

      Charles III didn't portray the family as being a very nice bunch at all, Kate comes over as a right itch with a b in front. It was a pretty good show though.

      I have been managing to get asparagus despite the weather, but there isn't a lot around yet.

  2. Replies
    1. I haven't yet DeeDee. Haven't had time.

  3. The PBS show is on my DVR for later. I did watch the rerun of The Queen at 90 and really enjoyed it. The Queen and Charles seemed very at ease with each other and other cousins and family members commented as old family videos were shown. I imagine that if the new series was true to life it wouldn't be very interesting to watch.

    1. I didn't see the Queen at 90 - pity. I guess you are right but if I were Prince Charles I wouldn't like it, not sure the kids would like it either.

  4. Glad I don't have a problem with tough meats as I'd hate to be forced to add fat to them.
    Sorry your fluffy eggs weren't so fluffy.

    1. Actually fat gives meat a better flavour Alex.

      Yes, it was a pity.

    2. You are so right about the flavor, but everyone wants to eat no fat everything.

    3. Not me Denise, I like my meat to have some fat, especially ham.

  5. I cannot stand fat in or on meat. I will cut every bit off before I'll eat the meat. My mom got a plate a few years ago and had to have it adjusted a ton of times but it kept hurting and pinching her so I'm not sure if she ever wore it.

    1. Yes, but it's already been cooked with the fat on/in it JoJo which is what makes it tender.

      Been wearing my plate since 10 this morning and it's fine.

  6. I've not heard of those eggs, no. Congrats on the new teeth. Hot dog.

  7. Ha, what a cool card!

    And I think fat on meat gets a bad rap. A proper amount of fat to help a piece of meat cook isn't going to clog your arteries on the spot. In fact, I'd be more concerned about the meat having nasty hormones and being overly processed - the stuff that really CAN hurt you.

    I learned pretty early on that when you cook meat, you want some that has a little bit of fat, because it helps it cook, so I always look for well marbled. It is harder to find these days, though, but you won't ever find me with a tough, dried out steak.

    1. It was Bryan. I was delighted.

      You are so right about meat and fat. I just don't know why Matt is having so much trouble, maybe what I am buying is not marbled enough. He doesn't find it dry, just touch.

  8. You're the best, Jo. Hugs and love to you- you deserve a day!

    My mother could NEVER get her teeth to suit her. I always swore it was because she gagged too often when they were molding her gums and so they could never get a good mold. And she had a small ridge and no anchor teeth.

    I have cooked my steaks in a bit of butter to make them a little more tender pr roasted in gravy-- then I wonder why I'm chubby!

    1. Thanks Liz. I appreciate it very much.

      My teeth seem to be doing OK. They hurt when they were first put in but my gum was still a tad sore. She ground the plate down a bit and it has been fine all day.

      A lot depends on which steak you are cooking Liz. Chubby? cuddly surely?

  9. Before I became a pescatarian I loved the fat on my meat. In my opinion I don't think that's the fat that makes people gain weight. I think it's trans fats that you get in cakes and biscuits, but I'm not a dietition. Good luck with the new gnashers, Jo.

    1. I totally agree with you Pinky. Been wearing them nearly all day now, eating however, is somewhat difficult. Changing supper to soup to accommodate them until I am more used to them.