Saturday, December 31, 2011

Getting Aggravated...

Well, something new to annoy me besides slow drivers, ranch-a-holics and the Peoria City Council..... CEFCU's new online banking system.

I've called for help. I've watched the on-line demos. I have three computers on which two of them I have used their old version of bill pay. Yet during the new sign up process, it "doesn't recognize this computer". So, on the new computer, never before signed into CEFCU, I give it a whirl. It recognizes me (although it doesn't recognize the computers I usually pay bills from - go figure), my membership at CEFCU, etc., but when asked to create a new personal ID, it claims EVERY new ID I put in is already in use. REALLY? Someone actually has samadamsbeerfarts1? Escoffier1028? idoubtthisworks2?

Tuesday morning sees me taking a stroll to CEFCU with my laptop.

Monday, December 12, 2011

There is NO Substitute For Fat

I'm sure most of you have experienced this in your workplace in some fashion or another. People want the cheapest way possible regardless of quality. Personally, I don't get this. Yes, let us try to feed a zillion people for $1.99 each. And Beluga caviar and saffron should fall from the heavens like manna, too.

Enter the roast beef saga. I'm sure USDA Prime Hereford Beef filet mignon would make some tasty "roast beef". However, most people don't want/can't afford that. I usually use a nice USDA choice Sirloin Cap for roast beef. Pretty reasonable in price and is probably one of the most tender cuts after filet, strip and ribeye.

But my idea of reasonable and someone else's are two different things. So, thinking marinating & roasting a lesser grade and cut to medium rare and slicing it very thin, I could make this work. No, not really. Just. Not. Good.

People...ya just gotta have fat, specifically marbling. And good marbling. All the culinary tricks in the book can't help you. If there isn't white-ish/pinkish stuff looking like a map of downtown Chicago traversing through your meat, look for a better cut. (OK, one can braise the bejesus out of something in a crock pot to get it tender, but that it usually hard to cut into thin slices for sandwiches).

And this applies to pork, chicken, lamb, etc. too. (Almost) everyone is screaming LOW FAT!!! So now animals are bread leaner to show little fat in their meat. Less fat=less tender. Then consumers scream ITS TOUGH! So manufacturers inject the meat with a saline solution-like substance. Instead of the fat cooking out to give you a tender product, the solution does. Personally, give me a higher grade of any meat with the fat and awesome marbling.

With either, the proteins can't bind (and make meat tough) if there is something in the way (fat or solution). The more finely the fat (or solution) is dispersed (marbling) the more tender the meat will be (yes, it also depends on how little the particular muscle was used during the animal's lifetime). Little marbling or solution will leave meat tough. Give me fat, please.

I'd rather pay a higher price for a better cut I know I will enjoy than to save a few bucks and think "that was kinda lame".

Shut the HELL up!

Why you should STFU if you are drunk and can't sing in the first place. I'm sure all the people around you were annoyed. At least all the guys in the audience can still marvel at how hot Suzanna Hoffs (the lead singer playing the black and white Rickenbacker guitar on the far right) is at 52 years old!