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December 2011

December 25, 2011

A Christmas Miracle

...being the true story of a Christmas Miracle, for Megan and other foodies at the 'rents for the holidays, with apologies to everyone else...

Come on over and sit with me Megan. Let me tell you a story. Now this is a true story, though some folks doubt it. But I was there that Christmas Eve and it happened just like this...

Way back when your mama was just a wee thing, there was a great storm. You can find mention of it in the history books, things like this:

"On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 1945, 20 hours of continuous snowfall blocked roads and required snowplow operators to work the holiday in southern Minnesota."

But they don't tell the true story. Not the whole story.

They don't tell you about The Thing that happened on a dark road, way out of town...

Picture it. A small town in southern Minnesota, Christmas Eve, 1945. It wasn't like now, where you can order everything under the sun with just a click of your mouse. No, in 1945 if you wanted something you had to go to a store, so near everyone in town was out that fateful day.

The war was finally over and the troops were starting to come home to their families. After the last few holidays which, as you can imagine, were not festive affairs, it seemed that the entire town was having a party...

Continue reading "A Christmas Miracle" »

December 15, 2011

Debunk of Day: Potato Fixes Too Salty Soup

Seems like some old wive's cook's tales just won't die. Like the one about adding a potato to overly salted soup to remove salt and make it palatable. Old-cooks-talesIt shows up more than once twice three times four times in the first twenty of Babble's current list of how to fix food failures leading me to think that maybe people aren't actually doing the things they are suggesting.

I mean on the surface, it seems like it should work: the potato sucks up a little water and dissolved salt...why wouldn't it selectively suck all the dissolved salt out of the liquid. (Oh wait, see that's absurd on the face of it...)

Rather than calling bullshit on a crowded twitter—because that just makes people unhappy—I set out to test the theory. I wasn't sure I had a tool better than simply tasting it to check the water but it turns out that my refractometer, which lets me measure the sugar content of fruit, also measures salinity. Who knew?

Not to ruin the suspense but no, potato in oversalted soup does not work.

Continue reading "Debunk of Day: Potato Fixes Too Salty Soup" »

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