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Old 03-19-2012, 10:49 PM   #41
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Don't forget the packaging "peanuts" that can be eaten. I wanna recipe posted here on DC soon using this "free" and evidently very edible ingredient. Imagine getting a package of books from Amazon and then making a tasty recipe out of the packaging material!
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:25 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Gourmet Greg View Post
Don't forget the packaging "peanuts" that can be eaten. I wanna recipe posted here on DC soon using this "free" and evidently very edible ingredient. Imagine getting a package of books from Amazon and then making a tasty recipe out of the packaging material!
They have no flavor, kinda slimy when they get wet. They completely dissolve in next to no time.
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:48 PM   #43
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They are probably not very appealing so they won't attract rodents. Rodents are why they had to quit using popcorn as packaging material.
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Old 03-20-2012, 01:23 AM   #44
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So getting back on track. did we answer the question of why her cookies are not so successful lately?
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Old 03-20-2012, 03:01 AM   #45
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Well, I know that the front of my Blue Bonnet margarine sticks box says 53% vegetable oil, so until and unless I can find margarine sticks with more than that, I will stick with butter.

We got milk in bottles. My mom used to put these little orange fluoride pills in them that she got from Watson's or the Fuller Brush man or someplace.
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Old 03-20-2012, 03:50 AM   #46
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About a year ago I bought a box of Imperial margerine to cook with. Not for baking, just cooking. Thought it might save some money. Well, every time I tossed a piece in the saute pan, all I got was a lot of spitting at me and tiny burns. I used one stick. The other three went out in the garbage about three months later after languishing in the back of the fridge.

In spite of how we question Mother Nature every so often, She knew what She was doing when She made butter. Man cannot improve on it with margerine. Remember the commercial; "It isn't nice to fool Mother Nature".
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Old 03-20-2012, 10:44 AM   #47
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I'm confused of the topic and margarine and Cheetos and packaging material.

And oddly, nobody can agree on whether butter is more healthy than margarine, or the converse.
That's the thing with so many faddish food things. It's rare that anything is absolutely and finally decided. And when it is, it's most often misunderstood by people who get their knowledge from headlines and sound bites. People are both mostly terrible at critical thinking and at the same time terrible at evaluating their own judgments. There are some unqualified things in various foods that are likely to cause real harm at reasonable and normal dietary levels, but not many. If humans were so sensitive to dietary variations, as often imagined, they wouldn't have survived, and we would long ago have recognized the one and only perfect diet.

Butter or margarine? If you eat a pint of butter or a pint of margarine, you will feel unwell and probably slightly oily. If you do it daily, after a while you will feel even more unwell and will eventually become chronically ill (and probably disgusting). If you eat appropriately small amounts of either, which one you eat will make little difference. If there were a clear difference, we would have recognized which choice resulted in clearly healthier or less healthy people, and we haven't. I choose butter, because (1) it taste's good and has good mouth feel, (2) it has useful characteristics, and (3) it's been around for thousands of years and has therefore had plenty of time to be revealed as a slow poison, if indeed that were the case. Margarine comes in second in at least two of those three.

Targeting foods is, however, a convenient tactic in avoiding dealing with real issues of levels of physical activity and caloric intake. It's easy (and perhaps somewhat amusing) to make choices between "bad" and "good" foods. It's distinctly not amusing to restrain the very natural human drives to exert less effort and eat more.
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Old 03-20-2012, 11:12 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by GLC

That's the thing with so many faddish food things. It's rare that anything is absolutely and finally decided. And when it is, it's most often misunderstood by people who get their knowledge from headlines and sound bites. People are both mostly terrible at critical thinking and at the same time terrible at evaluating their own judgments. There are some unqualified things in various foods that are likely to cause real harm at reasonable and normal dietary levels, but not many. If humans were so sensitive to dietary variations, as often imagined, they wouldn't have survived, and we would long ago have recognized the one and only perfect diet.

Butter or margarine? If you eat a pint of butter or a pint of margarine, you will feel unwell and probably slightly oily. If you do it daily, after a while you will feel even more unwell and will eventually become chronically ill (and probably disgusting). If you eat appropriately small amounts of either, which one you eat will make little difference. If there were a clear difference, we would have recognized which choice resulted in clearly healthier or less healthy people, and we haven't. I choose butter, because (1) it taste's good and has good mouth feel, (2) it has useful characteristics, and (3) it's been around for thousands of years and has therefore had plenty of time to be revealed as a slow poison, if indeed that were the case. Margarine comes in second in at least two of those three.

Targeting foods is, however, a convenient tactic in avoiding dealing with real issues of levels of physical activity and caloric intake. It's easy (and perhaps somewhat amusing) to make choices between "bad" and "good" foods. It's distinctly not amusing to restrain the very natural human drives to exert less effort and eat more.
I agree with you on all of it, but especially on the last paragraph.
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Old 03-20-2012, 07:24 PM   #49
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Well in any case, and I believe I mentioned it earlier, margarine has a lot of water in it (compared to butter) and so is not as good as butter for saute, and must be adjusted for in baking when comparing to using butter or other shortening. Furthermore margarine formulation varies from brand to brand, and manufacturers may reformulate their product whenever they believe marketing conditions might improve their profit line by reformulation.

On the other hand butter is butter. Although there are brand and regional differences butter is still more like other butter than margarine is like other margarine.

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Originally Posted by bubblegummom View Post
I have to admit I haven't baked my favorite oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe for a long time. When I try it with butter, it works well, but when I try it with margarine, it just doesn't turn out the same as it used to at all.

Is margarine just not the same as it used to be?
So what I'm telling you is that I'm not surprised your recipe works better with butter, and that you shouldn't be surprised by the idea that margarine changed. Maybe you switched brands, maybe the brand you use reformulated their product.

My brand of margarine (Smart Balance) lists ingredients as "natural oil blend (soybean, palm fruit, canola and olive oil), water, ..." So you know there's more oil than water (due to the order on the ingredient list). The rest of the ingredients seem to me to be minor ingredients so I think it's safe to assume that the formulation is somewhat more than half fat (oils) and somewhat less than half water.

We can make some assumptions. Let's assume that both butter and margarine are primarily fat and water (and ignore the rest of the ingredients). My margarine has 9 g of fat in a 14 oz serving. My butter has 11 g of fat in a 14 oz serving.

The margarine is 9/14 fat = 64% fat, so it has 36% water.

The butter is 11/14 fat = 79% fat, so it has 21% water. (Probably less because I think butter has a lot more non-water composition, including milk solids).

My calculator tells me that margarine has about 70% more water than butter, maybe more. (36%/21% = 171%) That is IMO the primary reason why margarine doesn't act like butter!

I don't recall that cookie recipes generally use water. I looked up several oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipes on the Internet and none of them called for water. If you're going to substitute margarine for butter you're adding less fat and making up for the difference by adding water. It's not surprising that doesn't work as well.
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Old 03-20-2012, 08:27 PM   #50
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Not all butter is the same. It depends on where and what the cow eats. A field of clover will give you sweeter butter than a field of just grass. And if you really want to increase the butter fat, then feed your cows alfalfa while they are in the barn for the night. And the evening milking tends to give more butter fat with their milk. Unless you were feeding them alfalfa.

Farmers have different pastures that their cows feed in. They changed the pastures each day. In the fall they seed their fields with clover. Come spring time the fields are full of clover.

All teat bags are washed down with a bleach solution before being hooked up to the milking machine. The milk is weighed by the pounds. The average cow gives 25 pounds of milk each day. A good milker will give more. And sometimes her bag will be dragging on the floor at the end of the day. She has to be milked more often. A virgin cow is called a heifer. Her teats don't develop until she gives birth. Most calfs are taken away from the mother after about 12 hours. It will suckle so hard on the teats that it will ruin them for milking. The farmer does want the calf to get the colustrum. It is useless to the farmer. But does the calf a world of good. The calf is then bottle fed in the barn until it is old enough to go out to pasture. A bull calf is sent to slaughter almost instantly, unless it lineage is A1. That is where you get your veal meat. You can only have one bull to a herd. Bulls never see the cows. Their semen is collected and injected into the cows. If the lineage is the right one, the semen is sold for thousands of dollars to other farmers. Only one generation of cows to a bull. Then he is sold off or goes off to slaughter.

And you thought butter was just butter.
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