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Thursday, June 03, 2004
Epiphany Example #2 and Other Musings

The following epiphany occurred over the Memorial Day weekend, and was just as successful as the Limeburner... and it goes a little something like this: (sorry -- I worked in radio during the late 80s and early 90s!)

My mom buys canned pineapple chunks, divides them up into those cute little "snack size" Ziploc bags, and freezes them. She later eats the frozen pineapple chunks for snacks. It's such a simple thing, but it's so good! I bought a can of pineapple a couple of weeks ago with the intention of doing the same. It sat in my cupboard for a good week and a half, waiting to be frozen. It never happened... until...  I was at her house over the weekend and got into her stash. As I sat there eating frozen pineapple, I realized that there was some potential for kicking up this snack. I decided I'd puree the pineapple, juice and all, and freeze it in popsicle molds. Then I decided I'd add a handful of shredded coconut. I couldn't wait to get home and try it!

The next day, I got out my popsicle molds that I bought a couple of years ago but have probably only used once. I got out my trusty purple blender. I poured in the can of pineapple chunks, juice and all, just as I had planned. I gave the fruit a few pulses on "puree," then added the coconut, as I didn't want it to get completely pulverized. I wanted some texture, dammit! I tasted the mixture and decided it needed just a dash of honey to sweeten the pot a bit. As I rummaged through the cupboard, I stumbled across a bottle of coconut extract! In went a dash of that... a couple squeezes of honey... a couple more hits of the puree button... another quick taste, and wow! Did I have something! I had just enough of the mixture to fill six of my eight popsicle molds. I waited impatiently for them to freeze. The next day, I had the absolute most delicious fruit-and-juice bars I've ever tasted... with no yucky, unpronounceable stuff, no refined sweeteners, no artificial colors or flavors... just some nice fruit, a bit of flaked coconut, and some organic coconut extract. YUM! There's not an exact recipe, but I'll estimate for you...

1 can of pineapple chunks in juice -- what are they, about a pound? You know what I mean...
1/4 cup dried, flaked coconut -- I used the unsweetened kind from the health food store
1/4 teaspoon coconut extract, or to taste
1 teaspoon honey, or to taste, if needed

Put the pineapple and its juice in the blender and puree to desired consistency. Add coconut, flavoring, and honey. Puree just long enough to blend completely. Pour into popsicle molds of your choice, and freeze until solid -- overnight is best, of course. Serve and enjoy!




And now, I must vent... yesterday I mentioned that I watch a lot of Food Network. I do -- it's the truth -- but these days, I am not enjoying it as much as I did in its earlier years. My favorite shows star chefs: Sara Moulton, Gale Gand, Wayne Harley Brachman, Jacques Torres, Alton Brown... people who cook! A lot of shows on Food TV these days seem to focus on how not to cook... "Semi-Homemade Meals," "Good Food Fast," "$40 a Day," etc... (though I admit I am a closet Rachael Ray fan, so please don't flog me!). And even more shows aren't about cooking at all -- "Top 5 blah blah blah," "Al Roker's yadda yadda yadda," "Podunk Food Festivals..." Don't get me wrong -- I enjoy "Iron Chef" and "Unwrapped" as much as the next person, but I want to see some real chefs do some real cooking once in a while! The latest campaign is the upcoming "Wedding Weekend." Apparently we'll have the pleasure of watching everything wedding -- from engagement to planning to wedding to reception. I assume there will be a focus on what's served at the reception, but please. Do I care about the weddings of people I don't know? No. I really don't. The worst part of it all? We even get to see Paula Deen get married, though I'm sure for her it will actually be referred to as "gittin' hitched." She has to be my least favorite person on the network right now. Forgive me for being a Yankee, but that accent -- it's unintelligible! "From my country kitchen to yerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrs." What is that? I guess I'll just have to invest in a Tivo and capture every episode of "Good Eats" that airs. What a great show.

Sigh. I think I need a pineapple popsicle to console myself.



 

Posted at 6/3/2004 5:06:25 pm by KelliMelli

Carole from Sacramento
January 3, 2006   12:20 AM PST
 
I just ran across this page, and while I'm not one to spend time on message boards, etc., I just can't resist commenting that Paula is a wonderful lady, reminiscent of all those fabulous Southern cooks who practice old school down home cooking. As for her folksy manner and her shows featuring regional Southern cuisine, I don't recall that she ever made the claim to be a sophisticated, nouvelle cuisine chef educated at CIA or the Cordon Bleu, with a resume from an assortment of snotty, self-important New York restaurants. I can easily go to San Francisco, or drive over to The French Laundry in Napa, or just stay here and eat at Biba's if I want a continental flair, but Paula's warmth and charm are the real deal, whose table offers the ne plus ultra of comfort food. I wouldn't change a thing, especially her Southern accent.
Lisa J
March 11, 2005   05:36 PM PST
 
oops. my computer is freaking out on me - sorry for the duplicate posts.
Lisa J
March 11, 2005   05:36 PM PST
 
Hey - I'm a Yankee too - NYC, and while I can be as jaded as anyone else here, I LOVE PAULA DEEN. She and Alton Brown are my favorites on the Food Network; if you hadn't noticed, Alton is also from GA and has a different dialect.

I'm officially changing my pronunciation of oil to "awl", and I'm happy to do it.

Paula makes me smile, cynical as I am; she's incredibly real, as opposed to the all-too-often phony Rachel Ray with her unavoidable eye-roll every time she tastes something.

Then you go and piss off her cutie son?

To call yourself a Yankee is a disgrace to Yankee people. Rock on Paula.
Lisa J
March 11, 2005   05:16 PM PST
 
I'm also a Yankee through and through - NYC, to be exact, and Paula Deen is my favorite! (Alton Brown is up there too - he's from GA too, and has an accent if you listen hard enough).

I love Paula - after getting off the subway and dealing with the lack of space, Paula Deen makes me smile. She's one of the most real people you'll ever see on TV, and at least she doesn't do that predictable eye-roll that the sometimes phony Rachel Ray does every single time she tastes something!

Lay off Paula - and why would you want to piss off her cutie son?
Lisa J
March 11, 2005   04:42 PM PST
 
I'm also a Yankee through and through - NYC, to be exact, and Paula Deen is my favorite! (Alton Brown is up there too - he's from GA too, and has an accent if you listen hard enough).

I love Paula - after getting off the subway and dealing with the lack of space, Paula Deen makes me smile. She's one of the most real people you'll ever see on TV, and at least she doesn't do that predictable eye-roll that the sometimes phony Rachel Ray does every single time she tastes something!

Lay off Paula - and why would you want to piss off her cutie son?
Name
March 6, 2005   06:48 AM PST
 
Lets talk about Yankee accents especially those from New York and Mass.
Name Lisa
February 22, 2005   03:11 PM PST
 
I'm a Yankee through and through, and I love Paula Deen's Show. She is the perfect southern lady. You've obviuosly never been to the south, and met the wonderful people that live there, "hokey"accents and all!
Angie
October 5, 2004   09:57 PM PDT
 
If you want to see some real chefs do some real cooking once in a while, rather than lounging around in front of the television, you should go to Savannah and sample the food at Lady & Sons. But - oh no... our southern accents are so “unintelligible” that you might not be able to understand what we're saying! Fear not, oh Yankee of purest and most pristine dialect, when my fellow South Carolinian friend and I were in the restaurant last week, there were plenty of other Yankees there (and they seemed to be enjoying the food quite well); I’m sure they’d be willing to translate for you.

How interesting it is that Paula’s son, Jamie, responded to your comment by merely recommending that you try some gorilla bread! While there might be the slightest little hint of an insult there, he refrained from saying lots of things that he, an experienced chef, might well have said to insult you - defending not only his mother, but his culture. Yet, he managed to reply and keep his status as a gentleman. That’s a little example of what we in the South like to call “hospitality.“ But I guess, since we’re relying entirely on stereotypical notions of how entire groups of people live here, it is okay for me to assume that you are an incredibly rude person, being a Yankee and what not. So, again, following the example that you have set and judging you only based on the group with which you identify yourself , you likely do not know what “hospitality” is.

Oddly, the Yankees that we met in Savannah last week were quite nice, as are most of the other Yankees I know. Could it be that cultural stereotyping is not a full proof way to judge others? (Or maybe that judging others in and of itself is a faulty way to look at life?) I do declare - what a scandalous thought! Thank goodness you have been rude enough here to set me and my analytical mind straight.
Amanda
October 5, 2004   09:37 PM PDT
 
I have to agree - Paula is the greatest! Her show is great, but the restaurant is unbelievable. And her sons are just as fabulous as she is...they truly are the epitome of Southern hospitality. Eat all the popsicles you want, but send me some of Paula's fried chicken.
Name
June 20, 2004   10:24 PM PDT
 
Paula Deen is the greatest! She is a true Southern lady and would never make such unkind remarks about anyone. PLEASE remain a Yankee!
 

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