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Old 02-16-2012, 12:20 PM   #21
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It's been awhile since I had anything that went horribly wrong, but I remember once, about 30 years ago, buying some alligator meat from a grocery store in Florida. There was no internet at the time, so I couldn't research how to prepare it. Instead, I talked to a local guy who told me it needed to be soaked in something for a couple of days. He couldn't remember exactly what the "something" was. He thought it might either be milk or vinegar. Finally, after consulting with a friend, he decided it was vinegar.

So I soaked this expensive alligator meat in a vinegar bath for two days. When I went to grill it, it smelled so strongly of vinegar that it was inedible -- and I LIKE vinegar.
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:41 PM   #22
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Pie beans. I cook a mean pot of black beans, adding potatoes, carrots, onions, celery, some Mexican oregano, ham, or a bit of liquid smoke if I'm feeding vegetarians, and, of course, a habanero for heat. I dug around in the pantry and found a bag of dry black beans and soaked them, then threw everything in the pressure cooker, (yup), and waited the usual time. When they were done I sampled the gravy and it was perfect, so we were good to go. When we got to the library potluck, the first bean sampler almost broke a tooth. The beans were like buckshot. When I talked to my now ex-wife, she asked where in the pantry I had found the beans and I told her. She informed me that those were her pie beans, the ones she used to pre-bake pie crusts. She spread them in the crusts to keep the bottoms down, so they wouldn't crack. Said that sack of beans had probably seen at least a hundred pie crusts.
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Old 02-16-2012, 08:24 PM   #23
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I remember when St Julia first started. She was using her own pots and pans and other kitchen tools she brought from home. Nothing matched. There were not two pans that were part of a set. She was cooking in the kitchen of the Boston Gas Company. She was so nervous. Kept forgetting to talk to the camera, etc. But it was ground breaking broadcasting. Boston was the only area that got her program. Later those shows were released for the rest of the country to see when she went national. Those are the B&W ones you see. When she started PBS was Educatonal Television. Ninety-nine percent of the shows were directed to teachers. And they only broadcasted for about 15 hours a day.

Jaques Pepin and St. Julia became fast friends when he was a professor at Boston University. He was the head and teacher of their new Culinary School.
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Old 02-16-2012, 08:57 PM   #24
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Not only did she lug her own cookware, the "kitchen" was on an upper floor, with no elevator, and it all had to be carried up a flight of stairs.

She was so much better in those days. Everything was much more real. After she achieved national acclaim she started believing her own hype. Alas!

But the fact remains, she invented modern cooking TV.
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Old 02-16-2012, 10:20 PM   #25
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I love the stories about Julia's first broadcasts. I can't help but think watching Jacques that he's missing an important ingredient, like a car with only 3 wheels.

I'm glad I have three of Julia's best cookbooks (and a fourth shared with Jacques). These are among my best cookbooks.
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Old 02-17-2012, 01:01 AM   #26
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I remember another big fail I had. I was 20 or 21 and wanted to try a recipe I found for a candy called Sea Foam. It was supposed to turn out light and airy. I'm sure I followed the instructions, but as the ingredients cooked, suddenly it did more than boil over. It was a light green volcano erupting all over my stove! That sticky mess covered the stove and went down through the holes under the burners and all over the wires between the stovetop and the oven. If that stove still exists in a junkyard anywhere, I'll bet some of that Sea Foam "lava" is still there!
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:29 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbara L View Post
I remember another big fail I had. I was 20 or 21 and wanted to try a recipe I found for a candy called Sea Foam. It was supposed to turn out light and airy. I'm sure I followed the instructions, but as the ingredients cooked, suddenly it did more than boil over. It was a light green volcano erupting all over my stove! That sticky mess covered the stove and went down through the holes under the burners and all over the wires between the stovetop and the oven. If that stove still exists in a junkyard anywhere, I'll bet some of that Sea Foam "lava" is still there!

Sounds like an episode of the Lucy Show.
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:08 AM   #28
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Sounds like an episode of the Lucy Show.
It looked like it too!
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