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 Post subject: What foods/techniques do you still need to work on?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:40 am 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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practice/perfect/not quite good enough/etc. ?

My list that I can think of at the moment (which is veryveryvery much not limited to 3 things):

hashbrowns-I think I always put too many in the pan, and they don't get crispy throughout
pancakes-I'm usually too impatient and have the heat too high, so I get some that aren't quite all done
roll out cookies/rolling out things-I'm not patient enough


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 Post subject: Re: What foods/techniques do you still need to work on?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:48 am 
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+1 for rolling things out. I can't ever get pie crust even.
also, piping icing with fine detail, stacking and filling cakes so that they come out level and the filling doesn't squish out the sides, making seitan that isn't too dry or too mushy.

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 Post subject: Re: What foods/techniques do you still need to work on?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:54 am 
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Chard Martyr
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Cooking, in general. I'm not risky enough in the kitchen and don't try new recipes often.
I would like to get better at my cinnamon roll rolling technique, though. I'd like it to be neater.
And I'd like to experiment with lentils more, too.
I can't roll things out for the life of me; it's too frustrating.


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 Post subject: Re: What foods/techniques do you still need to work on?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:08 am 
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Should Write a Goddam Book Already
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Pie crust is my biggest one. Technically, I know how to make a good pie crust. But the process is just irritating to me, so I often do a sloppy job, then I'm irritated again.

I do have an easy cookie rolling tip, though: put two cutting boards that are the thickness you want your cookies on either side of the dough. Roll so either end of your rolling pin rolls continuously over both cutting boards (this is kind of hard to explain in words). Since the rolling pin is straight, the cookies will be as thick as the cutting boards.


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 Post subject: Re: What foods/techniques do you still need to work on?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:19 am 
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Heart of Vegan Marshmallow
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I cannot make pancakes. Every attempt ends in total failure.


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 Post subject: Re: What foods/techniques do you still need to work on?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:59 am 
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Honestly? I'm a sloppy dicer. Fast, but so sloppy. If I dice an onion, usually the first half of the onion is nicely diced and then the second half is just a zany assortment of bits and bobs. I guess I don't have the attention span necessary... for chopping a freaking onion.

That's the only thing I can think of right now though.

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 Post subject: Re: What foods/techniques do you still need to work on?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 12:09 pm 
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waffles
pies

I am intimidated by both


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 Post subject: Re: What foods/techniques do you still need to work on?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 12:39 pm 
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Pretty much everything. I occasionally try something new but mostly I stick to the same tried and trusted recipes/techniques. It is sometimes out of laziness but mostly it is just that I have gotten things wrong so many times I am a little disheartened.


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 Post subject: Re: What foods/techniques do you still need to work on?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 1:28 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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I don't think I'm a good chopper. I don't stick to the "normal" methods-like the onion. I just chop them up how I've always done.


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 Post subject: Re: What foods/techniques do you still need to work on?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 1:37 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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All of you having difficulty with pie crust, take two sheets of wax paper, lightly spray them with cooking spray, and sandwich your dough between the two sheets. Roll the dough out by applying your roller on top of the wax paper and dough sandwich. When you need to transfer the dough to your pie pan, just take off the topmost wax sheet, and flip the thing onto your pan, gently push the dough into the corners of your pan, and peel off the remaining wax sheet. Perfectly even, no tearing, no flour all over the countertop. Seriously, it couldn't be easier.

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 Post subject: Re: What foods/techniques do you still need to work on?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 1:46 pm 
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Dying from Nooch Lung
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being more thoughtful when cooking for just myself.


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 Post subject: Re: What foods/techniques do you still need to work on?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 1:49 pm 
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Mincing. I can't mince at all. I have to buy preminced garlic :(
And dicing onions quickly enough to not get too teary to continue.

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 Post subject: Re: What foods/techniques do you still need to work on?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 1:57 pm 
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Keepin' It Seal
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hoveringdog wrote:
All of you having difficulty with pie crust, take two sheets of wax paper, lightly spray them with cooking spray, and sandwich your dough between the two sheets. Roll the dough out by applying your roller on top of the wax paper and dough sandwich. When you need to transfer the dough to your pie pan, just take off the topmost wax sheet, and flip the thing onto your pan, gently push the dough into the corners of your pan, and peel off the remaining wax sheet. Perfectly even, no tearing, no flour all over the countertop. Seriously, it couldn't be easier.

but I can never make it perfectly round! and all the recipes seem to have just enough to cover the pie plate, so there's little room for error.

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 Post subject: Re: What foods/techniques do you still need to work on?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 2:09 pm 
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Has Isa on speed dial
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I also suck at making pancakes. They always end up stuck to the pan or goopy in the middle.

I would love to learn how to decorate cakes and cupcakes. Nothing elaborate, just simple and pretty piping.


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 Post subject: Re: What foods/techniques do you still need to work on?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 2:19 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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joyfulgirl wrote:
hoveringdog wrote:
All of you having difficulty with pie crust, take two sheets of wax paper, lightly spray them with cooking spray, and sandwich your dough between the two sheets. Roll the dough out by applying your roller on top of the wax paper and dough sandwich. When you need to transfer the dough to your pie pan, just take off the topmost wax sheet, and flip the thing onto your pan, gently push the dough into the corners of your pan, and peel off the remaining wax sheet. Perfectly even, no tearing, no flour all over the countertop. Seriously, it couldn't be easier.

but I can never make it perfectly round! and all the recipes seem to have just enough to cover the pie plate, so there's little room for error.


The wax paper method lets you get incredibly thin without tearing or leaving holes, and you can put the wax-paper-dough sandwich atop your pie pan to see whether you need to adjust your rolling before you commit it to the pan. I don't use a recipe per se--just three parts flour, two parts shortening, one part ice water, and a pinch or two of salt--so I usually have too much rather than too little, and I end up making a few croissant rolls with the ample trimmings. But the wax paper method gives you a lot more control, so it's easier to get a roundish crust.

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 Post subject: Re: What foods/techniques do you still need to work on?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 2:26 pm 
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Making Threats to Punks Again
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Hapax Legomenon wrote:
Mincing. I can't mince at all. I have to buy preminced garlic :(
And dicing onions quickly enough to not get too teary to continue.

Chill them before you use them. It will slow down the enzymatic reaction that occurs when the onion's tissues are damaged. Harold McGee says to put them in ice water (i.e. 0°C), but a brief stay in the freezer should probably do it.


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 Post subject: Re: What foods/techniques do you still need to work on?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 2:38 pm 
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Making Threats to Punks Again
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"Winging" soups based on what I have! I hate it when some veggies get forgotten and go to waste.


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 Post subject: Re: What foods/techniques do you still need to work on?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 3:26 pm 
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Keepin' It Seal
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hoveringdog wrote:
The wax paper method lets you get incredibly thin without tearing or leaving holes, and you can put the wax-paper-dough sandwich atop your pie pan to see whether you need to adjust your rolling before you commit it to the pan. I don't use a recipe per se--just three parts flour, two parts shortening, one part ice water, and a pinch or two of salt--so I usually have too much rather than too little, and I end up making a few croissant rolls with the ample trimmings. But the wax paper method gives you a lot more control, so it's easier to get a roundish crust.


Ooh I like your ratio recipe. I'd feel safer knowing I can fork it up a little. I'll try this next time.

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 Post subject: Re: What foods/techniques do you still need to work on?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 3:41 pm 
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Mediocre Tart
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hoveringdog wrote:
All of you having difficulty with pie crust, take two sheets of wax paper, lightly spray them with cooking spray, and sandwich your dough between the two sheets. Roll the dough out by applying your roller on top of the wax paper and dough sandwich. When you need to transfer the dough to your pie pan, just take off the topmost wax sheet, and flip the thing onto your pan, gently push the dough into the corners of your pan, and peel off the remaining wax sheet. Perfectly even, no tearing, no flour all over the countertop. Seriously, it couldn't be easier.


Wait... but this just makes the paper/dough scoot around my counter-top and I am doomed to forever chasing it afore getting into an almighty rage!

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 Post subject: Re: What foods/techniques do you still need to work on?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 4:08 pm 
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I'm a very lazy baker, so my baked goods never turn out as good as they could. I also tend to be kind of lazy when it comes to chopping/mincing virtually anything. I want to work on my knife skills! And, well, laziness.


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 Post subject: Re: What foods/techniques do you still need to work on?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 4:11 pm 
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I've never made a biscuit I liked. And I've tried a bunch of recipes, so it's real failure, not that never-succeeded-because-you-never-tried kind of failure.

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 Post subject: Re: What foods/techniques do you still need to work on?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 4:17 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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I tried that rolling method, but with glad sheets..I never have wax paper, but I guess I should get some. I'm actually ok with rolling out pie crusts, but I'm usually still too lazy to do it. Cookies seem even more "trouble," because you have to transfer the fragile pieces and then re-roll the dough. I never make rolled out biscuits..just drop ones.


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 Post subject: Re: What foods/techniques do you still need to work on?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 4:23 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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I don't have the patience for pancakes either. They usually turn out slightly gummy/uncooked in the middle and charred on the outside. I think I'll just stick to waffles from now on.

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 Post subject: Re: What foods/techniques do you still need to work on?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 4:25 pm 
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I have so much trouble with bread. for every successful attempt there's like five failures. I think it mostly has to do with me being horribly impatient when it comes to everything. and also not knowing if my yeast is good or not.


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 Post subject: Re: What foods/techniques do you still need to work on?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 4:33 pm 
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I also struggle with biscuits. I haven't mastered the art of not over handling the dough, so they're always slightly tough.

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