Questions in the Food & Drink category.
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November 27

Puffy bag of nuts in freezer

I was trying to make a recipe that required pecans today, but when I went to get a bag of pecans from my freezer door, I found that the bag was strangely puffed up, as if someone had inflated it. The bag had never been opened and did not look like this when I originally put it in the freezer after purchase some months ago. Two questions: 1) What could have caused this? (Can things like botulism happen to nuts in a freezer?) 2) Would you still eat the pecans? They looked and smelled 100% normal.
posted by st elmo's fire at 8:36 PM - 6 answers

Why is there no meat sauce in Chicago grocery stores?

I've lived in Chicago for more than two years and am curious why there is no meat in canned or jarred pasta sauces here. In England Spaghetti Bolognese (an inauthentic italian sauce I know) was a grocery store staple and almost always featured ground beef. In Canada there was the poetically named Meat Sauce. In Chicago there is nary a mention of meat in any of the prepared pasta sauces on grocery store shelves (Jewel, Whole Foods, Trader Joes). What gives? Is there some sort of regulation preventing this or is it just a regional taste thing?
posted by srboisvert at 3:04 PM - 10 answers

November 26

What are the most complicated recipes you know?

What are your favorite super-involved, day-long recipes? [more inside]
posted by Itaxpica at 8:26 PM - 32 answers

Can you help me fix my sourdough dressing?

I am doing some pre-cooking for tomorrow, and hit a snag. The recipe I used for dressing was one loaf of cubed sourdough bread, some sauteed-in-butter celery/onion/green apple, fresh parsley, thyme, salt and pepper, and baked with turkey broth and eggs. The result is a dressing slightly too tangy and without much interest. Hoping you can help. [more inside]
posted by Ink-stained wretch at 8:15 PM - 8 answers

Give me your best cookie recipes (pretty please)!

I need elegant but relatively uncomplicated cookie recipes (yes, just cookies: I don't have any cupcake tins at present; not inspired right now to bake a pie or cake, either - however I am open to sweet bread loaves like chocolate pumpkin bread*) that I can make with what I *already* have in the pantry/fridge, and can whip up either tonight or tomorrow morning before Thanksgiving festivities. Pantry contents inside. [more inside]
posted by nightrecordings at 5:49 PM - 10 answers

What should I spike my cider with?

I plan on serving spiced cider this Thanksgiving, and I'd like recommendations for a brown liquor to spike it with. [more inside]
posted by TungstenChef at 10:47 AM - 28 answers

Thanksgiving dinner or bust

What are Thanksgiving sides that travel well? [more inside]
posted by heavyp08 at 6:08 AM - 16 answers

November 25

Don't be a Jive Turkey

We have lots of family over and this year my dad won an electric roasting oven (like these) and two turkeys. Recipe needed! [more inside]
posted by PlutoniumX at 6:52 AM - 1 answers

November 24

What did I do to my roast??

I ruined my pot roast last night! What happened? [more inside]
posted by yarly at 6:46 PM - 14 answers

Best pro-tips for managing a five day drink-a-thon

I'm home for the holidays and seeing many friends after years apart. I have five days, each consisting of brunch, lunch and dinner with others, and am looking forward to unimaginable quantities of free alcohol. I am a seasoned (pickled?) drinker that does not normally get hangovers but never have I been on such a social whirlwind with so many opportunities to celebrate. Does anyone have advice for overcoming the potential weaknesses of the flesh to rise to this challenge? Or, how to pace myself when offered so much free deliciousness? Details below [more inside]
posted by partly squamous and partly rugose at 5:41 PM - 23 answers

Gobble, gobble

Okay, having a problem with dry brining my turkey. Help? [more inside]
posted by BlahLaLa at 10:40 AM - 9 answers

Talk to me about chipolatas

I need to serve chipolatas at my Christmas dinner this year, but I only vaguely know what they are. [more inside]
posted by dirtdirt at 8:21 AM - 14 answers

November 23

Alls you can eat sushi in Chicago

Several years ago I went to an all you can eat sushi restaurant on Chicago's north side. You could order as many rolls as you wanted as long as you finished one before you asked for the next. What is the name of this restaurant? (Or failing that, what is a similar delicious sushi restaurant in Chicago?)
posted by helloimjohnnycash at 5:25 PM - 8 answers

Can I eat it? (Thanksgiving edition)

My mom is coming down from Boston to NYC for Thanksgiving. Her current plan is to cook the turkey, wrap it in aluminum foil, put it in a polystyrene cooler and then drive it down to NYC on Thursday. This is setting off my warning bells about food safety. [more inside]
posted by Hactar at 3:32 PM - 41 answers

What high-end alcohol is worth every penny?

I recently tried some decent single malt scotch for the first time, and was blown away by how much more complex and smooth it was compared to cheaper whiskies I had tried before. What other alcohol is worth spending extra money to get The Good Stuff?
posted by torisaur at 10:07 AM - 53 answers

November 22

Satisfying late evening cravings for something tasty

Of late I have a hunger for something tasty and perhaps sweet an hour or 2 after dinner and nearing the time I all go to bed. Tell me some of your favorite ways to satisfy that in a healthy way please. I can't eat chocolate.
posted by dougiedd at 10:10 PM - 40 answers

Red and yellow peppers froze on the vine

I thought that we had harvested all the peppers that were going to ripen. I was wrong. [more inside]
posted by WyoWhy at 1:43 PM - 4 answers

Help me host a fabulous brunchluck!

I'm hosting a brunchluck (brunch potluck, for my birthday) and want it to be festive, warm, etc. I'm not sure how to decorate/theme/make it really warm and welcoming given that it's going to be rainy and grey outside. Difficulty level: grad student brokeness and I'm *really* not a decorator, plus additional logistics questions. [more inside]
posted by verbyournouns at 11:07 AM - 13 answers

November 21

Watermelon in the NE in winter?

Where / how do I buy whole watermelons during the fall/winter (i.e. now?) Am located in a major metropolis in the NE USA. Thanks! [more inside]
posted by raspberry jam and clothes iron at 10:18 PM - 7 answers

Tryptophan Filter: Traditional Christmas Eve Dinners in NYC?

Back in NYC for Christmas and need a good Xmas-dinner restaurant pick. Help? [more inside]
posted by rokusan at 4:00 PM - 3 answers

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