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Old 09-06-2006, 05:55 PM   #1
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My mother always did it....

I was reading (and shaking my head) at the 'thawing big cuts of meat' thread. My mother always always always took something out of the freezer the morning of...and let it sit on the counter all day...and then cooked it at night.
I shudder at the thought..
On a funnier note, she always stored the peanut butter in the refrigerator. If you wanted a PBJ sandwich, you had to plan for it 2-3 hours in advance. First you remove it from the fridge, go play outside for hours, and then stir it and stir it to loosen it enough to not tear the wonder bread..

She also left the ketchup in there. Ice cold ketchup on lukewarm fries, (I would like to say hot fries, but my mother never got the hang of 'hot' food.

When making gravy with canned tomatoes, she'd never use a measuring cup for any added water...she always used the empty can. Actually, I think this was a pretty good way of getting every drop out of the can.

We had an eat in kitchen which we always used instead of the dining room (except holidays). She would never call anyone to dinner until all the pots and pans were washed and put away (with my help, of course.) Dinner would sit on the counter, cooling (see above note on the absence of hot food) while we cleaned first.

She'd open a can of Campbells pork and beans, toss it into a pot of cooked ditalini with some water left...and call it pasta fagioli.

I know I can come up with a million more, gotta luv her. What about you? What did your mother do? Not trying to disrepect any Moms....but mine is just so good at being the root of my evil.

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Old 09-06-2006, 06:12 PM   #2
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I do it too. I leave the frozen package of meat or poultry on the counter to thaw throughout the day. When the kids don't see one sitting out they ask if we're having dinner that night. LOL Those are the days that I improvise.
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Old 09-06-2006, 06:35 PM   #3
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I do it too because if I put the meat in the fridge it stays frozen. And I can't turn my fridge down otherwise it gets too warm.
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Old 09-06-2006, 06:45 PM   #4
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I do it too, with a most things, but turkeys and whole pork butts thaw in a cooler out in Kims barn.

All this safety stuff is well and good, but you do need to use a little common sense. If your fridge is 40 degrees, as is recommended, boneless chicken breasts or fish filets will thaw fairly quickly, but it will take forever to thaw a big piece of meat.
In fact, even using the cooler method, I often have to move the meat to cold water for the last 8 hours or so.
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Old 09-06-2006, 07:02 PM   #5
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Well, as it would happen, I just got off the phone with my mother. She and Dad retired to Jacksonville a year ago (and there's a million jokes just in that sentence...)

I mentioned this thread I started, and she got a kick out of it. She still insists we all ate good.

She used to unplug all the appliances (with the exception of the refrigerator and the electric oven) before she left for work each day. I'm not sure what she was afraid would happen...probably the toaster would start toasting phantom toast and the can opener would open ghostly cans...

She ate raw hot dogs, too...said they tasted just like bologna.

C'mon, surely I don't have the only mother like this...??
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Old 09-06-2006, 07:05 PM   #6
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I leave stuff out, will not defrost in my fridge.
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Old 09-06-2006, 07:20 PM   #7
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My mother is too old to have had a freezer, she didn't even get a fridge until I was about 11 years old. The only frozen stuff available really was frozen peas. (Birdseye of course). We didn't really get frozen foods until the first supermarket opened here, in about 1960. And then it was very restricted. I will never forget seeing two chicken legs packed together, just the legs. But they were not frozen, practically everything was fresh.
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Old 09-06-2006, 07:28 PM   #8
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My mother would never have had a large cut of meat frozen... it would have been bought fresh, taken home and cooked that day, or refrigerated and cooked the next day. She was something of a whole-food fanatic, and deep in the Wonder Bread years we were eating sprouted-grain bread. She was absolutely appalled when (after I was married) I made pumpkin pie out of canned pumpkin--not pie filling, just canned pumpkin--instead of cooking the pumpkin myself--and toasting the pumpkin seeds, of course.

I learned a lot from her, but not cutting corners!
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Old 09-06-2006, 07:38 PM   #9
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Add me to those who thaw out frozen food on the counter. Actually, I usually put it inside the oven to avoid any - ahem - "accidents" involving my furry friends. . . . I tried a couple of times to follow "the rules" & defrost in the fridge. One small crummy chicken was still frozen in the center after 3 days. Sorry - don't have that kind of time. Any type of fish/seafood, however, I thaw under cold running water in the sink.

In fact, thanks for the reminder. I need to pop down & pull out a whole chicken to defrost for tomorrow. : )
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Old 09-06-2006, 07:59 PM   #10
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Ok Vera, I'll help ya out... My mom is quirky too. She always, and still does, cook way more than neccessary. She'll fill a large stock with stuff such as lima beans, turnips, or rutabeggars (spelling). She always fixed larged quanities of stuff that we didn't want large quanities of. We'd eat out of those stocks for days, relishing the thought of finally reaching the bottom. Oh my, this brings back night-mares of the purple-hull crowder peas.... My dad made us leave them on the vine till they were, "filled out". Naturally they turned tough by then. He loved 'em. I can still here him slurpin' 'em off his spoon, and then taking a bite of cornbread and onion.

I always knew when it was "rutabeggar week", I could smell 'em when I got off the bus, all the way down the road at the bus-stop. Geez, a whole week of rutabeggars and cornbread. I think this is a major reason my bother and I loved to hunt and fish. At least we'd have some decent meat occasionally.

But, on a serious note, my folks did the best they could with what we had. I love 'em for it. But, I hope I never have to eat another purple-hull crowder pea.
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Old 09-06-2006, 08:11 PM   #11
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Marion, you got it!

You may have smelled rutabeggers (hehe) cooking when you got off the bus...but have you ever smelled tripe cooking when you were walking down the street?

Agreed, my parents did the best with what they had. Nevertheless, it's laughable. Imagine a 10 year old knowing what cooking tripe smelled like.
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Old 09-06-2006, 08:15 PM   #12
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I put mine in the frig the night before or put it in the sink in cold water to thaw. I'm too afraid to leave it out, although, my mom did it too.
I keep my ketchup in the frig too.
I really don't remember things other than the meat, that my mom did that is scary to me now. I'll have to think on that one.
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Old 09-06-2006, 08:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texasgirl
I put mine in the frig the night before or put it in the sink in cold water to thaw. I'm too afraid to leave it out, although, my mom did it too.
I keep my ketchup in the frig too.
I really don't remember things other than the meat, that my mom did that is scary to me now. I'll have to think on that one.
My very first job was as the 'greeter' at the Rustler Steak House at the Garden State Plaza in Paramus, NJ...back in the days when the mall still was open air and a Tbone at the Rustler was the most expensive thing on the menu for $4.99 for the complete meal. I recall that a condiment rack was on each table, left on the tables, forever. Heinz 57, worcesteshire sauce, A1 steak sauce and Heinz ketchup...all left out, overnight. I was stunned. Shocked and stunned.

It took almost 18 months to properly retrain my mother and the rest of my family to leave the ketchup in the cabinet. Sadly, I've never been successful with getting the idea of serving hot food across.
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Old 09-06-2006, 08:35 PM   #14
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Oh my gosh!

You know what tripe smells like??? Did you live on my road? Were you a passenger on the same school bus? Vera, I have found you... LOL!
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Old 09-06-2006, 08:49 PM   #15
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OK, have you ever smelt head cheese being made? Or how about being hit with a wave of fermenting sauerkraut when you open the door. Ugh. Still love sauerkraut, can't even comtemplate head cheese.

My Mom always cooked for an army, usually because one or two of us would bring home stray friends for dinner. Sometimes two or three per kid. LOL. She never complained, just added more food to the table.

Her quirk is not so much the cooking piece its the refrigerator. I have found generic cheez whiz that was more than 10 years old. My daughters were about to use it on their toast...EEK! Mom's fridge is legendary. Words like "science experiment", "depression fridge" have been bandied about. Ugh. She would even save veggie water to use in gravy.
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Old 09-06-2006, 09:01 PM   #16
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Head Cheese & Sauerkraut....

Yup, Alix has been there....
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Old 09-06-2006, 09:21 PM   #17
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Mom was a good cook. I never had prepared foods as a kid growing up. She cooked from scratch.

She was frugal to a fault. She would wash out Saran Wrap and aluminum foil and use it over. I her later years, she stopped washing Saran Wrap, it was to much of a hassle.

She always used all of a chicken or turkey. We seldom bought canned broth.

I don't have a clear memory of how she thawed frozen food. I'd guess she put it out on the counter.
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Old 09-06-2006, 09:26 PM   #18
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I can't remember any stand out quirks my parents had with cooking, but the meat did sit out all day and I do it myself.... or at least til it is cool to the touch and thawed.

As far as unplugging appliances... I do that, more to save energy than anything, but safety too. I keep everything unplugged unless it is something like the fridge.... you would be amazed to find out how much energy your TV burns even when it is turned off!!!
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Old 09-07-2006, 04:53 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sattie
I can't remember any stand out quirks my parents had with cooking, but the meat did sit out all day and I do it myself.... or at least til it is cool to the touch and thawed.

As far as unplugging appliances... I do that, more to save energy than anything, but safety too. I keep everything unplugged unless it is something like the fridge.... you would be amazed to find out how much energy your TV burns even when it is turned off!!!
Sattie, I much prefer my illusion of a slight touch of dementia in the gene pool when it comes to the appliances
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Old 09-07-2006, 05:16 AM   #20
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my dad was a fireman before i was born, so we always unplugged everything except the fridge if we were going to be out of the house for a good part of the day or longer.
like sattie said, a lot of electronic devices today use power even when turned off (oddly enough, they didn't back then but were more of a risk for fire using linear power supplies), so it's a good idea to unplug stuff, just to conserve energy.

my mom only defrosted stuff on the counter if she had to, if it was a rush. otherwise, she was ahead of her time. that is a down to earth, warm hearted and often funnier version of edith bunker. she is an amazing woman.

the only thing she did that i won't replicate is her "norwegian eggnogs" for breakfast on cold winter days. she would blend a few raw eggs into chocolate milk until it began to froth. e voila'. you didn't mind the taste, and you grew a shiny coat.
it was the doggie biscuits in our lunch that really bothered me... (j/k)
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