For the Tea Lover

I’ve worked with a couple folks in my career who can (politely) be called “Tea Elitists.” And really, shouldn’t the same attention be given to them that’s given to the coffee lover?

tea loverToday, we’re going to focus just a little on tea and those who obsess with it. Or fuss over it. Or just simply love a cup in the morning. Today, this post is for you, the tea lover.

In usual Metakitchen style – and with this friendly reminder that you should totally like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter – we’ll share a video or two, as well as a product or two or three. And maybe a statistic or two or three. Products where we have an affiliate relationship will be clearly marked as “ADVERTISEMENT.” So, without further ado, we present…

For the Tea Lover

Item one will look great in any tea lover’s kitchen – provided you have the right color scheme going with your backsplash and whatnot. Check this baby out – ADVERTISEMENT:

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(I want one. And I don’t really drink tea.)

Next, how about a video. A music video! These guys are pioneers in the musical genre known as “Chap Hop.” And this song is about tea.

BTW, another ADVERTISEMENT – here’s a general link to our friends at http://www.gopjn.com/t/TEFNTERIQUVHRElGSUFFRExES0g

Wait a second, how do you actually BREW tea? Watch this video and learn why the tea bag is considered…uh…evil.

If you don’t have time to watch the whole video…here’s a quick bullet-pointed recap:

  • Hand-picked tea is superior
  • Sometimes tea bags come from stuff that’s leftover on the floor at the factory
  • Any sort of bag, satchel, etc. is not good either
  • You can brew loose-leaf tea and it’s not inconvenient
  • There are two types of brewing: “Western” and “Tea Ceremony.”

And, here’s a video from a site called TastyTeas that will show you a few of the loose-leaf varieties of tea.

There you have it – a quick share For the Tea Lover. Drink up!

On Kitchen Hacks and the Joy of Cooking

From the “we couldn’t have said it better ourselves” department, Cracked.com has broken down “8 Stupid Kitchen Hacks…” and it’s one of the more awesome things you’ll see ever on the internet. NSFW, and here’s a link to the post: 8 Stupid Kitchen Hacks Tested for Usefulness. But it got us thinking about a more austere, diplomatic discussion of this pressing issue. Thus, we present: On Kitchen Hacks and the Joy of Cooking.

Hack-free Barbecue

First, the Cracked post. The upshot and/or if you’re a family audience (like ours is), 7 of the 8 “hacks” aren’t time-savers and/or didn’t work. And/or they’re stupid, which, again, Cracked says much more eloquently than we shall. The only one worth a darn, at least according to the article, is this one.

We wholeheartedly agree: that is one awesome kitchen hack. 3-million-plus views on YouTube can’t be wrong. (Or…can they?)

Does EVERYTHING need to be a “Hack?”

Webster’s Dictionary defines “Hack” as “to cough up part of one’s lung.” I made that up, it didn’t actually define it as such, but methinks thou dost hack too much.

For instance, I share the above photo of barbecue because my youngest and I concocted our own barbecue sauce. Or was it a barbecue sauce hack? We took regular old barbecue sauce and doctored it. A little of this, a little of that. Actually…

Doctored Barbecue Sauce

Truth be told, it was quite awesome. A cup of each of the bottled sauce, (yellow) mustard, dijon, and brown sugar; two tablespoons each of hot sauce, vinegar, and honey.

The doctored sauce went on top of ribs, which were also quite awesome. They had to be par boiled first, then roasted in the oven. Sauce went on when they went in the oven. Ribs were devoured.

No hacking was involved. Doctoring, maybe, but not hacking.

On Kitchen Hacks and the Joy of Cooking

Love spending time in the kitchen? Check. Don’t mind putting in a little extra effort to make something awesome? Check.

But what if stuff has a tendency to go bad: like the potatoes sprouting eyes, or the onions (or garlic) sitting on the counter growing new sprouts of onion (or garlic)? What if I’d rather use garlic out of the jar? Does that make me a bad chef?

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Really…it’s enough to really get super-confused. Am I supposed to save time, am I supposed to do it because it looks cool, am I supposed to hack my way into kitchen awesomeness?

Don’t Confuse “Hack” with “Technique”

If you saw our post on Sous Vide and Blow Torches, you probably know where we stand here: we’re all about technique. That doesn’t mean we can’t actually do a hack – after all, making your own Sous Vide “machine” out of a pot of water, a thermometer, and a Ziploc bag is technically a hack. Right? Then so is the blow torch at the end. Then…

When “slow food” became a thing a dozen or so years ago, the argument sorta got boiled down to “it’s the journey, not the destination.” So, sure, peel the garlic by shaking it vigorously between two bowls. You’re now steps closer to roasting that garlic and spreading it on toasted artisan loaves and serving with your Sous Vide Duck.

Our point – trust us, we have one – is this: maybe you don’t need to try to hack your way through everything. It’s valuable to save time in the kitchen, and it’s great to experiment, but at what cost? Just like the point of the Cracked article – maybe the point of the sandwich is that there are imperfections, where meat doesn’t meet bread, and you’re not a five-year-old.

Plus, there appear to be about a thousand ways to boil an egg.

Enjoy the ride, people.

The Mother of All Mother Sauce Posts

Auguste Escoffier is considered the Father of the term “Mother Sauce.” While he’s to be commended for birthing the term a hundred or so years ago, he couldn’t have imagined that some blogger would try to incorporate his saucy theories into a post that includes Glenn Danzig and Tracy Bonham.

Chef Auguste Escoffier

Photo from recipes4us.co.uk.

First, Dear Gentle Reader, here’s a photo of M. Escoffier. His mustache – epic and French, n’est-ce pas? – is making a comeback. But, if we trust our friends over at Top Shelf, so are some of his ideas. Like this one: the Mother Sauce. There are five of them, and, in honor of our title – “The Mother of All Mother Sauce Posts” – we’re adding an accompaniment to each one. Bon appetit! *Note: Top Shelf pairs each sauce with wine and gives you a recipe suggestion to boot. We’ll share those with you, but with a twist: We’ll pair each sauce with music.*

The Five Sauces: bechamel, veloute, tomate, espagnole, and hollandaise. Learn them all and you’ll be on your way to greatness.

Bechamel

How to use it: While Top Shelf shows you a pretty cool-looking lasagna noodle rollup thing, we’re most familiar with this sauce as the base for Martha Stewart’s killer mac-and-cheese.

Wine pairing: They like White Burgundies and White Bordeaux over there. We won’t disagree.

Musical pairing: Let’s opt for the most relaxing song in the world.

Veloute

How to use it: Considering the article says we can use it in Chicken Pot Pie, let’s find a recipe for Chicken Pot Pie. This recipe starts off heading down Veloute Boulevard, but the sidetracks over to Dairyland. (Using milk.)

Wine pairing: Champagne? Cava? Works for us. (We should see what bubblies we’ve reviewed at Metasip HQ; the reality is that there’s only one that qualifies, and it’s the first one in this post: 10 Under 10.

Musical pairing: Challenging, but, since this is a post about Mother Sauces, let’s go with a song from the “Mother” category.

(Surprisingly good song to write to.)

Espagnole

How to use it: With roasted meat. We’re gonna go with roast pork. (ADVERTISEMENT: Last time we roasted pork, we should have had a working kitchen thermometer. So we’re going to nab a new one over at Cooking.com. Use this link and see what valuable gadgets you can find there.)

TIP: Don’t rely on color to figure out when pork is done. Learn more here: Pork.org.

Wine pairing: Dry Rieslings.

Musical pairing: Rodrigo y Gabriela.

Tomate

How to use it: We’ve decided to just link to the slide from Top Shelf because the meatball dish looks delish.

Wine pairing: Funny, before I read the suggestion, I thought “nice, cheap, but bold red.” You can get a Nebbiolo for a song some places, so…

Musical pairing: Is there any other choice?

Finally…

Hollandaise

If this post is The Mother of All Mother Sauce Posts, then Hollandaise is the Mother of all Mother Sauces.

How to use it: Benedict. Or as the Mother of sauces such as bearnaise or (gasp) mayonnaise. (EDITOR’S NOTE: I hate mayonnaise.)

Wine pairing: White and red burgundies.

Musical pairing: This IS the Mother of All Mother Sauce Posts. So, “Mother, Mother” is the song. Right?

Dang, that song is awesome.

And there you have it…

The Mother of All Mother Sauce Posts.