Monthly Archives: December 2011

On Stoves

I currently live with a glass top (although I’m not convinced it is glass) electric stove. I am not a fan.

I grew up with a gas range and thought that’s what everyone had. Well, when I was a kid we took a vacation to my aunt and uncle’s house where they had an electric stove. The kind with the coils.

I thought of their stove as a kind of exposed toaster oven lamp in coils. I wasn’t sure how it cooked things when there was no fire. Well, I soon found out that those funny looking coils could make fire.

When our marshmallow roasting in the fireplace got cancelled, my cousin said not to worry and that we would roast some on our own. We dragged a chair to the stove, skewered some marshmallows on chopsticks and set to work. Turns out that your marshmallow can catch on fire over an orange coil of heat just like it can over fire. Who knew.

Well, it’s been many, many years since that marshmallow roasting experience and up until this year, I did not cook over an electric stove again. I was unhappy to find out that my apartment would have an electric stove, but I didn’t have much choice in the matter and just went with it.

Well, I can honestly say, I am not a fan. I know that a lot of people love their flat top electric stoves, but I really am not a fan.

I am a person of my senses and without flames leaping up, I don’t have a good sense of how much heat I’m giving to my pan. I’m also not convinced that electric does just as good a job as gas at heating my pan. I’m sure there is some personal bias in there.

The other thing that really bothers me about this stove is that my pans slide all over the place. On a gas stove the pan pretty much stays put when I set it down. On this stove, the pan will slip and slide if I so much as breathe in the direction of the pan. This makes cooking two handed at all times. I find this inconvenient since I usually am cooking on more than one burner at a time and I’d like to be able to reach over and stir in between attending to something else if I have to. That is not possible on this range.

I also find this range a bit dangerous. I had a scary incident a couple of months ago where I thought I had turned off the range, but instead of the range being off, the knob was slightly on and the setting for high heat is next to off. Well, I left a pan on there and left the house. (I leave pans on the range top so I don’t accidentally burn myself). When I got back, I opened the door to a funny smell. That smell turned out to be burning oil. Luckily, nothing had caught on fire and all that really went bad was a lot of wasted electricity. However, that situation could have gotten very dangerous. I like the ability to look at my stove and know that it’s off. I also like that I can smell gas, which can tell me if I haven’t turned things off.

The other dangerous part about flat top stoves is one I already alluded to – hot surfaces. I have definitely been almost burned more than a few times because I can’t tell if the surface is hot or not or I forget. A little light in the corner is not going to prevent me from trying to stick my hands on the glass top. So, as I mentioned earlier, I leave my pans on the surface until things cool off.

Finally, I feel like I’m constantly cleaning this stove top. I am always rubbing the surface to get the “stains” out and well, honestly, I’d rather not feel compelled to constantly clean my stove top because it looks dirty to me.

When it’s my choice, I will choose gas over electric. For now, this range does what it’s supposed to do and cooks my food. There are worse things in life than an electric range.

What are people’s thoughts on different stove tops?


Call Me Kohlrabi

Last post, I wasn’t entirely truthful about the lack of exciting food news.  On Saturday, I bought a humongous kohlrabi.  The diameter was probably the length of my entire forearm and it weighed at least 10 pounds.

Some Google assisted research told me that they aren’t always this huge.  Apparently, there are turnip sized ones.  This monstrosity took a good couple of hours Sunday morning to cut, peel, and chop up.  After doing that, I was too tired to cook and had to put off the cooking for another day.

The inside of the kohlrabi is a while, dense, crunchy flesh.  I would describe the texture and consistency as somewhere between a Korean radish and jicama.  Or maybe it’s more a combination of the two?  Either way.

I have two of these gallon bags of cut up kohlrabi.  I am trying to use less plastic, but there was so much of this stuff that I had to resort to bags.  Whew!

As for cooking kohlrabi, a generous chunk of butter, some chopped leeks, salt, pepper, and kohlrabi in a saute pan is quite tasty.  That’s what I’ve been eating all day today.

As for how long you should cook the kohlrabi, I would say experiment  a little.  I tried some raw.  Then due to my less than stellar chopping skills, I got a sampler of different levels of tenderness in my dish today.  I think my favorite is when the kohlrabi is cooked well, but before getting to the point of mushiness.  It’s more crunchy the more raw the kohlrabi is and more savory-sweet in taste the more cooked it is.

I was told that kohlrabi is quite nutritious when I bought it so here are some kohlrabi nutrition facts:

Self Nutrition Data – Kohlrabi, raw

Self Nutrition Data – Kohlrabi, cooked

Anyone have any good kohlrabi recipes or stories?

 


Hmmm…

I realize that it’s been many moons (or maybe it just feels like it?) since I’ve done a market haul post or cooked up a post about what’s being made in my kitchen.  I apologize.  (Not that I think you’ve been holding your breath waiting for me to post something…maybe someday I can be that cool as a blogger.)  However, the whole time change and lack of natural light exposure has gotten me in some kind of funk.  (Read about how I combat the winter blues over at Forks in the Crossroads.)  I need a vacation – one of the warm sandy beach variety (whoops, forgot to put this one on the list…).

In any case, I have been sort of cooking out of desperate necessity rather than taking any real joy in it.  You are seeing it (or not seeing it, really) as a lack of posts here.  The most interesting news…I bought and ate some rice!

I know it’s not paleo.  I know it’s a grain.  However, I couldn’t shake this feeling of wanting to eat rice for a few weeks now.  I usually walk right by the bulk bins at the co-op because most of those bins are not paleo food items, but today, I took a good look and bought myself some forbidden rice.  It’s a type of black rice.  Black rice is thought to have numerous health benefits, so I thought why not.

I am a firm believer that my body knows what it needs, so for the immediate future I will be eating a little bit of black rice.  I fully plan on going back to eating a grain-free diet after I’m done eating what I bought.

That’s about it for exciting food news (or maybe it’s not so exciting).

Once I’ve shaken my funk, I hope to be back with more interesting things.  Til then, I hope that everyone is enjoying the holidays!  Be safe, warm, and happy.