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Cooking 101 for the single Male.

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Cooking 101 for the single Male.

Postby alanjh595 » Nov 3rd, 2017, 3:52 pm

Well, today I have decided to make Chocolate Chip cookies by myself. First I must explain that I did get a "B" in cooking in grade 8, and I was the very first male to be allowed into that class in that year. YES, I am a real pioneer for others that have followed.

My Mom used to bake Chocolate Chip cookies for me throughout my lifetime, and now that she is gone, I really miss those cookies. I have tried many different "store bought" cookies looking for a reasonable facsimile for a replacement but nothing comes close.

Today, I took out Mom's old Mixmaster and acquired all of the ingredients according to her recipe, with one alteration, I wanted to add raisins. Then being a typical male and short on patience and the strong desire to make life easier, I felt that I could make a better cookie, in less time with less dishes to wash.

1st. problem. When using a stand based mixer, with duel mixing things, don't leave that other rubber thing on a stick in the bowel while re-reading the recipe again. It will get sucked in and get jammed in between those mixing things and destroy the rubber and twirl what is left of the stick around like a tree in a tornado, (watch Twister, the movie).

2nd. problem. Do not consume alcohol before/during this process. It will impair your judgement and will cause you lose control of what Mom considered a very simple operation. Excess consumption also makes it much more difficult to pick up crumbs from the floor. If this is your first attempt at making your own cookies, I highly recommend that you do it when there are no others around to laugh and ridicule you for your mistakes.

3rd. problem. Do not modify the recipe to what you might think is better. Most recipes are developed, experimented with, tried and have been proven to produce the best results. I could never imagine why Mom would have to use 4 baking sheets and cook them one batch at a time in rotation. IT just didn't make any sense to me, so today I put the whole batch on one big pan, leveled them off with what was left of that rubber thing on a stick and put them into the oven.

4th problem. Allow for expansion. I would have never thought that chocolate chip cookies would get bigger in the oven. That just not make any reasonable scientific sense as to why that would happen. After all these are just cookies that consist of butter, chocolate, raisins, flour, baking powder and sugar. We all know that butter, sugar, and chocolate will all melt when heat is applied and they will fill the void created by the inter-molecular airspace, right?

5th problem. Yes you can place that baking pan full of sugar and chocolate into the oven with your bare hands. NO, you can NOT remove it without some sort of heat barrier (hot pad), and you better have one for each hand, because they have gotten heavier with time and heat. (Reminds me of my ex-wives).

6th problem. They take a really long time to cool down, I assumed that after 40 minutes of cooling in the pan, that I could safely pick up the pan without hot pads. That is not enough time. Here's what they look like.
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7th problem. Here's what the bottom of my oven looks like.
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8th problem. Maybe Mom did know best.

My next try will be Apple pie.

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Re: Cooking 101 for the single Male.

Postby oneh2obabe » Nov 3rd, 2017, 6:29 pm

:up: for trying.

If you decide to try again, here are a few hints that may help.

1. Preheat oven - use a thermometer.
2. Read recipe through and assemble ingredients.
3. Have ingredients (eggs, butter, etc) at room temperature.
4. Do not overmix.
5. Use an ice cream/cookie scoop for uniform size cookies. Scoops comes in 3 sizes.
6. Leave 1-1/2" to 2" space between cookies.
7. Rotate baking sheets front to back halfway through cooking time.
8. Check for doness 2-5 minutes before timed called for in recipe.

Note: Chilling the dough will stop cookies from excessive spreading - 30-60 minutes will work but you can chill longer. Cookie dough (store in ziploc bag) chilled for 2+ days spread less and have a more intense flavour.

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Re: Cooking 101 for the single Male.

Postby alanjh595 » Nov 3rd, 2017, 6:40 pm

That's all great information, but I am a male and don't care about shape and form. My cookies ended up looking like a Yak barfed all over my counter.BUT, they taste just excellent. Since I am a single male now and eat 100% of my food in a dimly lit room, in front of a TV, I really don't care much for appearance but really appreciate the taste and texture.

Your suggestions are valid and your input is appreciated. Would you like to come over and help me bake a pie?

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Re: Cooking 101 for the single Male.

Postby alanjh595 » Nov 3rd, 2017, 7:24 pm

One thing you have to consider is that I am a "manly man" cooker.

For me, cooking should require some level of danger. That is why BBQing is what I am best at. It involves high heat, open flames and fire retardant clothing. (there is nothing that kills an appetite faster than burnt chest hair.)

Baking cookies, pies, and other things that take time and patience has never been my forte. Maybe that is why I am still single?
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Re: Cooking 101 for the single Male.

Postby alanjh595 » Nov 3rd, 2017, 8:49 pm

I just found 13 glass pie plates in Mom's stuff. How many pie plates does one person/family need? I figure 2 max.

I just through out 35 pounds of blueberries from the bottom of her freezer. I KNOW she has not bought blueberries since she moved from Richmond 26 years ago.
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Re: Cooking 101 for the single Male.

Postby alanjh595 » Nov 4th, 2017, 7:51 am

Today I had to clean the oven after yesterday's episode, it wasn't so bad. Nothing a putty knife and a shop vac couldn't handle. Word of warning though, shop vacs spew out a great deal of dust when it starts up, next time I start it up in the garage before bringing it into the kitchen again. Now I have to wipe down all the counter tops and floors.
Maybe I will just use the air compressor to do the dusting.

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Re: Cooking 101 for the single Male.

Postby Bsuds » Nov 4th, 2017, 9:44 am

Funny but you need to change the title.

That's Baking not Cooking.

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Re: Cooking 101 for the single Male.

Postby Lady tehMa » Nov 4th, 2017, 9:50 am

alanjh595 wrote:Today I had to clean the oven after yesterday's episode, it wasn't so bad. Nothing a putty knife and a shop vac couldn't handle. Word of warning though, shop vacs spew out a great deal of dust when it starts up, next time I start it up in the garage before bringing it into the kitchen again. Now I have to wipe down all the counter tops and floors.
Maybe I will just use the air compressor to do the dusting.


Use a vacuum cleaner with a soft attachment for dusting (not the shop vac, it doesn't filter the way a proper vacuum does).
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Re: Cooking 101 for the single Male.

Postby Bsuds » Nov 4th, 2017, 9:57 am

Ours is self cleaning and seems to get dirty all by itself too.

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Re: Cooking 101 for the single Male.

Postby alanjh595 » Nov 4th, 2017, 9:59 am

Lady tehMa wrote:
alanjh595 wrote:Today I had to clean the oven after yesterday's episode, it wasn't so bad. Nothing a putty knife and a shop vac couldn't handle. Word of warning though, shop vacs spew out a great deal of dust when it starts up, next time I start it up in the garage before bringing it into the kitchen again. Now I have to wipe down all the counter tops and floors.
Maybe I will just use the air compressor to do the dusting.


Use a vacuum cleaner with a soft attachment for dusting (not the shop vac, it doesn't filter the way a proper vacuum does).


Well I was going to be using my air compressor and use high pressure air (90-100) PSI for dusting. I used the shop vac to clean the oven out.
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Re: Cooking 101 for the single Male.

Postby alanjh595 » Nov 4th, 2017, 10:02 am

Bsuds wrote:Ours is self cleaning and seems to get dirty all by itself too.


Mine says self cleaning, it is written right on there, but I have never seen it clean itself yet. I was hoping that when I got up this morning and looked inside it would have cleaned itself by then, that part must be broken.

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Re: Cooking 101 for the single Male.

Postby WeatherWoman » Nov 4th, 2017, 12:24 pm

Bsuds wrote:Funny but you need to change the title.

That's Baking not Cooking.



I was going to say the same thing.

Keep practicing with the cookies then move in to other baking items.
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Re: Cooking 101 for the single Male.

Postby alanjh595 » Nov 4th, 2017, 12:50 pm

My issue now is that since Mom is now gone and I have to sort through all of her stuff and either use it or lose it.
I now have 12 lbs of butter, 5 lbs of margarine, 4 x 1/2 loaves of frozen bread, 30 lbs of flour, (and that doesn't include the pastry, whole wheat and the best for bread flours), 20 lbs of sugar, 40 tins of canned salmon with an expiry date in the late 1980s, home canned fruits that I can't identify and are not labelled, 500 plastic, bread bag ties, two large, industrial size, garbage bags (and counting) full of disposable food containers........etc.
I know this has little to do with cooking but, I was making my attempt to make use of some of the margarine and butter by making cookies yesterday.........I don't want this stuff to go to waste and all but, either I learn to bake or I have to chuck this stuff out. If I eat it all, I will not be able to walk through a doorway without exhaling first.
Yesterday's batch of cookies should keep me in dezerts for at least 2 weeks.

I think my next project will either be apple pie or cinnamon buns. Both scare me, big time.

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Re: Baking 101 for the single Male.

Postby oneh2obabe » Nov 4th, 2017, 5:43 pm

alanjh595 wrote:I just found 13 glass pie plates in Mom's stuff. How many pie plates does one person/family need? I figure 2 max.

2 max? Sorry but [icon_lol2.gif] Pie plates come in different sizes and materials ... 8" - 9", 9-1/2" - 10", 11" and up in metal, glass/Pyrex or ceramic. Then you get into plain sides/rims or fluted. And don't forget regular or deep dish pie plates. Then there's the aluminum foil pie plates when you make pies for friends or neighbours.

alanjh595 wrote:My issue now is that since Mom is now gone and I have to sort through all of her stuff and either use it or lose it.
I now have 12 lbs of butter, 5 lbs of margarine, 4 x 1/2 loaves of frozen bread, 30 lbs of flour, (and that doesn't include the pastry, whole wheat and the best for bread flours), 20 lbs of sugar, 40 tins of canned salmon with an expiry date in the late 1980s, home canned fruits that I can't identify and are not labelled, 500 plastic, bread bag ties, two large, industrial size, garbage bags (and counting) full of disposable food containers........etc.

If the butter was stored unopened in the fridge at 40°F it will last a month past the date printed on the package. Butter that has been frozen constantly at 0°F will last indefinitely.

Flour will go rancid so do the smell test or look for weevils. If it's been around longer than 9-12 months, toss it. Sugar will keep indefinitely unless it gets wet.
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Re: Cooking 101 for the single Male.

Postby dirtybiker » Nov 4th, 2017, 10:30 pm

Sorry for the loss of your Mom.

Thank you for a truly entertaining account of your baking adventure, and I look forward
to more.

My experience with baking apple pies is, cut the amount of sugar of the majority
of recipe's by 2/3 - 3/4, bump up the cinnamon slightly. leave the apples chunky, not puree'd.

You can tin-foil the base of your oven, shiny side up, to catch the inevitable drips.

Baking always keeps a home warmer in temperature and aroma.

Keep it up.

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