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Vinegar 101

by Jane Wangersky August 29th, 2014 | Cooking Basics
Cooking Basics A while ago, I mentioned the time I tried to make gari -- pickled ginger for sushi -- and couldn’t get it to turn pink. I thought maybe I’d used the wrong kind of vinegar. (I’ve found out that very young ginger is supposed to turn pink when pickled, but most commercially pickled ginger has been helped out with beet juice or artificial dye.)

Vinegar is one of those supplies you can have around for most of your life without ever thinking much about what it is, where it comes from, or why it does what it does. Doing some
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Recipes for Apples of All Sizes

by Jane Wangersky August 28th, 2014 | Recipes, Simple Solutions Recipes
What’s local right now? What isn’t? The service that delivers produce to us is even showing locally grown okra on its site. That used to be unheard of north of the Mason-Dixon line, let alone the 49th parallel. For a few brief weeks, all sorts of fruits and vegetables are local.

Most local of all are the apples falling off the tree in our backyard. They’re green, not because they’re
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Ask The Chef

Forming Hamburgers- Is There a Proper Method

by Elizabeth Skipper August 27th, 2014 | Ask the Chef
Is there a correct way to form hamburgers? I have hand-formed them and used a patty maker.  I also have made patties that are flat and added a dimple to them to help with cooking. Are any of these methods better than another, or is there a totally different way that I should be trying?

Is there one correct way to form hamburgers? I wouldn't say so, although there are basic principles to follow. A good burger patty shouldn't be overworked and compacted, or it will be tough. Other than that, form them any way you like. And there's
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Best BnB Bites

Sweet Cucumber Pickles from Big Mill Bed and Breakfast

by BnB Finder August 26th, 2014 | Best BnB Bites, Recipes
When I think of pickles, I typically think of kosher spears to accompany a burger or hot dog.  However, if I think back to my childhood, I think of holiday celebrations and pretty bowls with divided sections.  In one section would be black olives, and in the other would be sweet pickles.  How elegant I thought we were serving these treats before dinner.  It is how I imagined all dinners at fancy restaurants started.  Ahh, the joys of being a child.

Seeing this recipe from the Big Mill Bed and Breakfast in Williamston, North Carolina, I couldn't help
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Fresh Corn Cakes- Local Produce in a Delightful Package

by TT August 25th, 2014 | Appetizers, Recipes, Side Dishes, Tapas Monday
Recipes Last Tapas Monday, I made a menu that placed a spin on southern flair.  I started with pulled pork, which I let simmer in a mini crock pot for the afternoon.  It was incredibly tender by the time our 8 o'clock dinner rolled around.  Rather than serving it on white bread, I went with the healthier option of lettuce wraps.  Of course, using lettuce as the vehicle leaves more room in the stomach for a second (or third or fourth) serving, so maybe it isn't that much healthier!

I wanted another dish that had hints of southern style.  I automatically
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