Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Chinese Tonic

Take one or two organic chickens, depending on the size of your crock pot. Mine holds two. Put them in the crock pot, add vegetables that will be healthy and not lend a strong flavor. Add 3 TB apple cider vinegar per bird. Add water to cover. Cook for 24 hours, at least 12 on high. It is done when the bones disintegrate at the slightest pressure. This was for my dog who has a tumor and is dying. He stopped eating and the vet gave me this recipe. The dying dog wouldn't touch it. He will only eat friskees canned cat food. But the other dogs were in orbit.
A word of caution. If you have a dog that is prone to gas, you will be in for a few interesting days.

making things better, whipped cream, sauteed squash

First whipped cream- whipped cream is the cure all, or the cure most, for desserts. A mediocre cobbler? Pile on the whipped cream! A lackluster fruit pie, pass the whipped cream. Some people, such as my bf, like whipped cream fraiche. I think it has an off, slightly fermented taste, which it does, that's what differentiates it from the real stuff, and consequently, I don't like it. I make whipped cream, organic heavy whipping cream, no stabilizers! If you are lucky enough to have any left over, save it for tomorrow. That mediocre cobbler is not improving with 24 hours on the counter. Or just add it to your morning coffee. But as for making it better, I think I have discovered why at times, I whip it up and the next day it is still holding together and holding firm peaks and sometimes I whip it up and mere hours later, it has separated and is altogether too runny to be any good to anyone and needs to be rewhipped. It has to do with the temperature of the cream when originally whipped. Cook books always try to instill fear of the unwhippable warm cream and insist on a chilled bowl and chilled beaters and heavily chilled cream, and this will make your cream whip up faster. However, it will not last. If you go with regular cream and a bowl directly from the cupboard and beaters right out of the drawer, it might take a little longer to whip, but it will retain its whipped-ness on into the next day and longer. I am guessing it has to do with the consistency of the fat in the cream at the different temperatures. But that's for the scientist. I haven't done a side by side yet on this, but I make plenty of disappointing desserts so there will be ample opportunity to test this out.

Sauteed squash- I made a squash and tomato gratin (BORING!) and because there was so much squash to slice, I hauled out the food processor. In general, unless the time saved with the food processor is at least twice as much as the time it takes to wash the wretched thing, I don't bother with it. But this was a big job, so I sliced an onion and then lots of squash, 2 mm slicing disc. I had squash and onion left over and sauteed them up in olive oil with some salt. WOW! I make a lot of sauteed squash in the summer, one of my most favorite things, and this was far and away the best I have ever had, not just made, but had. I will always use the food processor for this from now on.