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Cooking Basics from Spike


by Spike the Grate

When I was in college, there were a few truly elementary classes, especially in English, that were called "Bonehead." Bonehead English[MAR1], Bonehead Geography, etc. It wasn't intended to be insulting - it was directed at students who had not had really good backgrounds in some of the basic courses. Bonehead English would help the student for the rest of his or her life. So will Bonehead Cookery.

Boiling stuff

When cooking directions say to boil something - pasta comes to my mind - it 
means that you put water into a pot and turn the burner [MAR2]on high for a few minutes. The water will start with the bubbles coming up from the bottom of the pan. When the bubbles are fairly large (1/4 inch or so in diameter) and there are lots of them, your pot is boiling. Water expands when it heats, so be sure your pot will hold all the water and whatever you are going to cook in it. It is a good plan to put about a teaspoon of oil, shortening, or butter into the water if you are going to cook pasta - it will help keep it from boiling over. 

Put your pasta into the pot, all at once, give it a brief stir with a wooden spoon, and plan on letting it cook for at least 8 minutes (depending on the type of pasta); the cooking time will be printed on the bag in which the pasta came. By use of simple math, you can figure out the amount of pasta to cook for the number of people you will serve; that is printed on the bag, as well. To test it for doneness, I like to use a pair of tongs to extricate one or two bits of the pasta, blow on it for a minute or put it under cold water, and bite into it. It should offer a little resistance to the bite - that is called "al [MAR3]dente (to the tooth)." It is done.

Rinse your sink, set your colander in the sink, and turn off your stove, pick up the pot very carefully, and pour the contents into the colander. Some people like to rinse the cooked pasta; I believe that it washes away some of the nutritive value, and I don't rinse. You decide.

Beating stuff

When a recipe tells you to beat something - like if you are making a cake, it usually tells you what implement to use; stand mixer, hand-held mixer, spoon,  whisk, or fork. Use what it says, because the degree of power you bring to bear on your batter will have an impact on the tenderness (or not) of your product. The purpose of beating is to blend and to incorporate air. If you beat too much, the air seems to go away.

Cake recipes used [MAR4]to direct the cook to "cream" the butter and sugar. That meant to put the butter (or shortening) into the bowl and stir it a bit with a wooden spoon, then to add the sugar, and using the back of the wooden spoon, crush the shortening and sugar (unmixed as yet) against the side of the bowl. It would soften the shortening and blend the sugar with it. The sugar would sort of dissolve and not feel grainy when a glob of it was rubbed against the side of the bowl. Next, the eggs were to be added, one at a time, and blended in between additions, using the same wooden spoon. I believe that our grandmothers had these huge arms because they formed the habit of doing all that stirring and beating by hand. For a pound cake, my grandmother beat it by hand for almost an hour. Today's woman would probably expire with that kind of exertion! The butter and sugar should still be creamed - but it's okay to do it with the mixer, and proceed as directed, but just don't beat it to death with the mixer.

Frying stuff

The first time I wanted to prepare round steak, I looked in the cookbook (my first one was The Joy of Cooking, by Irma Rombauer) and there was no recipe for round steak. There were several for sauced round steak, but none for just plain. I asked my mother, and she said, "Fry it until it is done." Thanks a lot, Mom. My mentor, who is an aunt by marriage and a dear friend forever, told me exactly how. Put some shortening (A fat, such as Crisco, butter or lard, used to make cake or pastry light or flaky and to lubricate frying pans) [MAR5]into a frying pan, and turn it onto a medium heat setting. Cut the round steak into serving-size pieces. Put a small amount of flour into a small plate, and drag the pieces of beef through the flour, on both sides of the beef. When your frying pan is sizzling, put the beef into it. Plan on a bit of noise and some steam rising from the pan. Watch the beef, and when the bottom looks kind of brown-scorched (not burned), turn it over, and cook the other side. The second side shouldn't take as long as the first side. Of course, round steak is usually less than 1/2 inch thick, so it doesn't take very long to cook it through to the middle before turning - and after turning, either. If you would like some sliced onions to flavor your round steak, put them into the same pan when you turn over the beef[MAR6].

If you are not opposed to eating pork products, bacon drippings give it a lovely flavor. Of course, it isn't "good for us," but almost anything that tastes good is said to be "not healthful." Choose.

I have always believed that it isn't good to salt meats (or eggs) while cooking, as it toughens them. Don't know if it's actually true. Salt can always be added at the table, but never taken out if you get too much.

It doesn't hurt to make notes as to what it looks like when it is done. Another indicator of doneness is squeezing the beef with your spatula - if red stuff runs out of it, it is not done. It is okay to stick a fork into it to check for doneness, too. The chefs will tell you that sticking a fork into it can cause loss of juices, which is seen as a total disaster, but better take that risk than to serve a lovely meal and find out the hard way that the meat is not cooked enough. That messes up the rest of your meal. On your notes, include the amount of time it took to cook the first side, then the second side, and the heat setting, and even the amount of shortening you used. You will eventually teach yourself to do it by sight, smell, and feel, and you can have a celebratory not-burning ceremony in the back yard.

When cooking ground beef, as for burgers, it is good to form a ball about the size of a tennis ball, put it onto waxed paper, put another sheet of waxed paper over it, and smash it with a small cutting board. Get it thin, because the patties seem to swell upward when cooking - then they shrink in diameter and may not fit on the bun. Depending upon the fat content, frying hamburger patties can be done without lubricant (shortening, oil, drippings), or with very little. The fat in the beef will melt and come out onto the surface of the pan. I like to have a turkey baster handy and suck out the fat from the pan - putting it into a small bowl for transfer to the garbage after it has cooled and solidified. That way, the beef is not terribly greasy-feeling and doesn't make the bun get soggy with fat. Lift a corner of the first patty you put in, to see if it is looking browned, and if so, turn it over gently. (I say "gently" because if there is fat in the pan, it will spit and it burns.) I like to press a bit on the top of the patty awhile after turning it, to check the color of the liquid that flows from it. It can be dangerous to eat ground beef (or any ground meats) that is not cooked inside. Another good reason to make your patties thin. If one wants more beef in one's burger, it's best to use two thin patties than one thick one that isn't done on the inside. When you turn them over, you can reduce the heat by about two notches. (Divide the degrees of the stops on your burner knobs by 10 - that makes 9 very hot, 5 is medium, 1 is very low. Start your burgers on 5, turn it down to 3. This is all approximate.) Indicate the heat settings, time of cooking each side, and appearance of the cooked product, on your notes for future reference.

If you want to sauté some sliced onion, put in the slices when you turn over the patties. Keep your eye on the fat, and make sure you take out most of it.

Pork chops are nice, but they need to be [MAR7]braised rather than merely sautéed. Brown them in a little fat of some sort - veggie oil, shortening, or drippings. Turn over and brown the other side. At this point you can add onions if you like. A nice slice or two on top of each chop is good; similarly, a 1/4-inch thick slice of orange is very good. Make a cup of chicken bouillon and add it to the chops pan. Put a lid on it and simmer it for maybe 30 minutes or so.

Roasting stuff

Roasts are nice. They can be cooked [MAR8]one day, served sliced in gravy the next day, used for sandwiches, casseroles, tortillas, and many other styles during the three or four days that they remain safe to eat. (I have read that 4 days is the maximum for keeping cooked meats.)

Cross Rib Roasts of Beef are nice, and are relatively inexpensive. I like to spray my baking/roasting pan with no-stickum, and line them with foil, then spray again.

Put in the meat, fat side up, if there is a fat side, sprinkle with a bit of seasoned pepper and/or meat tenderizer. When you take the roast out of the package, make a note of the weight of the meat, because it is roasted at so-many minutes per pound. Since I like well-done beef, I usually plan on 20 minutes to the pound and most beef is roasted at 350 degrees F. I also like to put a beef bouillon cube into 1 cup water, nuke it for a minute, crush the cube, and pour the bouillon over the meat. It helps with flavor, helps keep the meat moist, and helps keep it from burning. (I actually knew a person who burned an entire turkey!) At the end of cooking, the bouillon and the liquid that came from the meat can be used in gravy. (There will be an interesting dissertation on gravy later on in this article.)

Tri-tip (brisket) [MAR9]roasts are nice, also, and I do them in the same manner. They can be barbecued, as well, and I don't know how. I don't do barbecue. Flames are not my friend. Barbecue is a guy sort of a thing anyway, and I'm a girl.

If you like, you can marinate your roast by putting it into a zip-lock bag with some purchased marinade or a mixture of veggie oil, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice - maybe a sliced onion and some minced garlic. It does not require a huge amount of liquid - the roast does not have to be immersed in it. Stick the bag into the fridge and let it sit there, bring it out occasionally and turn it to keep it moist, until you are ready [MAR10]to cook it. (Generally, 2 hours is about the briefest time for marinating.) Then put it into the oven, marinade and all, if you like, and do the roasting as previously indicated. You can even add bouillon and water if you would like to have lots of gravy. Be careful regarding the sugar content of your marinade (same with barbecue sauce) because sugar tends to cause the product to burn. If your barbecue sauce [MAR11]has much sugar, brush it on during the last segment of baking, to prevent burning and to take advantage of its flavor. If your marinade has a high sugar content, expect your meat to scorch on the barbecue.

NEVER NEVER [MAR12]NEVER, EVER re-use marinade and don't use the used marinade as a sauce. It gets the bacteria from the raw meat, and unless you boil it hard for about 20 minutes, it is contaminated by that bacteria. Toss it out. It will save on medical costs.

Pork roasts can be done similarly - with or without marinating, and with chicken bouillon instead of beef bouillon. Be very careful regarding the time and temp - look in your favorite cookbook - because under-cooked pork can be extremely dangerous. A meat thermometer is a good thing to have for pork.

Ham is usually fully cooked when you buy it, so you don't have to worry about the "raw pork" danger. Most hams at the supermarket have directions for heating, and it is usually to be done in a sprayed, foil-lined pan, at 325 degrees for 15 minutes per pound. Pineapple, stuck onto it with toothpicks, is nice. If there are no restrictions on sugar in your family, a mixture of brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, mustard, and fruit juice is nice also. Baste the ham several times during the cooking. You can even pour half a can of coke or other soft [MAR13]drink on your ham. It is very forgiving. Ham does require moisture, and anything that tastes good can be used as the moisture for cooking ham. You are not going to be making gravy from the ham-baking residue, so it doesn't matter. Ham is a sweet kind of meat, and a sweet liquid is a nice touch. Apricot nectar is also splendid.

Poultry is easy, also. If you have a cut-up fryer or a package of breasts and/or thighs, roll them in a little flour, spray a baking pan, line it with foil, spray again, and melt 1/2 cube of butter in it. Put the chicken pieces into that, turning it once (that way the top is buttered before roasting begins with the skin [MAR14]side up), roast it at 350 degrees F. for about 20 minutes per pound. Turn it over half way through the roasting. If the pan gets dry, do the chicken bouillon thing and baste it occasionally.

Since turkey is my favorite food in the whole world, I'll put a lengthy discussion of that in here somewhere, separately. On second thought, I'll write a whole new essay on the subject of turkey.

I don't know much about fish, and don't fix it often. However, one good thing to do with fillet of orange roughy (and probably any white fish fillet) is to spray, line and spray a baking dish and melt a lump of butter in it. Heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare one wide bowl and two plates by breaking an egg into the bowl, stir with a fork, add a couple tablespoons of milk and mix it well; crush some corn flakes into a plate (put corn flakes into a plastic bag, close it, and run over it with the rolling pin a few times), and put some flour onto the other plate.

Roll the fish in the flour, then in the egg and milk, then in the corn flakes. Put the fillets into the baking dish, squeeze a little lemon or lime juice (or used the purchased bottled kind), add a small bit of butter to each fillet, and bake for about 20 minutes. Hit the edge of one fillet with your fork, and if the fish flakes off easily, it is done. That is all I know about fish. I wish it weren't called "fish." It may be more appealing if it had a nicer name. Orange Roughy is a nice name. So is Trout.

Are the veggies done?

Different kinds of veggies display their degree of doneness in different ways. You usually don't look for brown-scorched when cooking veggies, unless you are frying eggplant (Aubergine). Many veggies benefit greatly by being steamed rather than cooking them in a pot of boiling water. A nice, large steamer is a good thing to have. The bottom can be used for cooking soups or pasta if it isn't to be used for steaming; thusly, it gives you another justification for its purchase. To steam your veggies, put about 1 1/2 inches of water ** into the bottom and set it on high to bring to the boil. Wash your veggies and put them into the "basket " (top part of the steamer - a pan with holes in the bottom and sometimes up the sides a little), distributing them as evenly as possible. Your basket should be able to accommodate 3 corn cobs in one layer (it is okay to pile in some more - I just wanted to suggest the size of the steamer). When the water is boiling happily, put on the basket of veggies, and put the lid on top. After about 30 seconds, you should be able to turn the water down to a medium setting. It is important that you not look inside the steamer, because you will lose the steam each time you open the pan.

Many [MAR15]veggies take well to a slice or two of lemon in the steamer water, or a sprig of fresh mint from your garden. Asparagus, broccoli, and artichokes especially like lemon in the water.

Make a note of the time you put the veggies into the steamer, and the time you take them out, along with the degree of doneness. You can look at your veggies, and even poke them with a fork to test for doneness, even though you'll lose your steam and it takes a minute to get it back. It is another disaster to serve half-cooked veggies, or mushy veggies (which is what you get if you steam too long). Broccoli, for one, tastes really terrible if you steam it too long. To test with a fork, you want to use a regular dinner fork. If it is difficult to poke your veggie, it is not done. If it offers a little resistance, but does let you poke it, it is probably just right. You can also take out a little portion and bite it (after it cools a few secs) to see how done it is. Steamed veggies take well to being seasoned with a little butter, which of course is not good for us, either. They should be salted at the table rather than in the pan.

If you prefer to boil your veggies, use as small an amount of water as possible - just enough to keep it from burning. Check it frequently to make sure your pot does not boil dry and burn your stuff.

Veggies can be stir-fried in a wok or large skillet. Wash and cut up your veggies, put a couple of tablespoons of cooking oil (not olive [MAR16]oil, because it has a very low burning point) into your pan and turn it up medium-high (like 7 or 8). For flavor, you can put in one peeled clove of garlic, and take it out of the oil when it looks a little brown. You can also put in a slice of fresh ginger root - take it out when you take out the garlic. Put in your veggies all at once and give it a stir. You pretty much have to agitate the veggies all the time, so that they cook well but don't burn. A mixture of veggies is nice. When they are about half-cooked, you can toss in about an ounce of wine - or soy sauce - put a lid on it really quickly, and let it steam for a few minutes. Again, the fork test or a bite of it, will tell you if it is done or not.

Regardless of the cooking method, veggies should look bright and their original color. Gray or dim veggies are not appealing and probably don't taste good.

Several of our veggies and fruits that we eat raw (and some that we cook) rust (oxidize) rapidly, [MAR17]upon being peeled. To preserve their color and flavor, use a bit of lemon juice. Avocados, bananas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, lettuce, to name a few. I've been told that McDonald's puts their cut French fries into sugar water to prevent rust. It imparts a nice flavor also, and probably a few thousand calories, as well.


When I was first learning to cook, I wanted to prepare some mashed potatoes. I went to the grocery store, and was presented with several different kinds of potatoes. I didn't know what kind of potato to use for which method of cookery. I asked a customer who was near, looked to be about a thousand years old which automatically meant she knew everything about potatoes. She thought it was hilarious that I didn't know what kind of potato to buy for mashed. That did not help me very much. I bought two of each kind and kept my mouth shut. I learned, the hard way, that red potatoes are good boiled but not mashed. I learned that big potatoes take longer to cook than small ones (duh), that the white-looking potatoes that appeared to be clean didn't mash well, and that the dirty-looking potatoes (Russets) were best for mashing.

So get out a few dirty potatoes, wash them, peel them, cut them into pieces about 1 inch thick, and boil them in a small amount of water, checking often to make sure the pot doesn't boil dry. (If you cut them too small or use too much water, your potatoes will be mushy and taste as though they came from a swamp.) Test them with a fork for doneness. If they are hard, they are not done and will not mash. If they feel soft (not mushy - just that you can get your fork into one, easily), turn off the burner, remove the pot, and while holding the lid a little bit crookedly, pour out the water. (If you like, you can save some of that water for soup or to flavor your gravy.) While the potatoes are cooking, I like to put a measuring cup with 1/2 cup milk and 2 tbsp butter (about 1/2 inch from a cube) into the microwave for 1 minute. After draining your potatoes, toss in the milk and almost-melted butter, and start mashing. You can use a potato masher or an electric hand-held mixer. You can have really nice mashed potatoes with that method.

The "clean" potatoes (really called "white") fry very nicely. So do the dirty ones. Peelings are not my friends, but one can scrub the potatoes really well, and then not have to peel them. Whether you peel them or not, slice them thinly or cut them into cubes about 1/2 inch square. While cutting them, start your fry-pan on medium heat, with some veggie oil, shortening, or bacon drippings. Potatoes rust fairly rapidly after being peeled and/or cut, so work right along quickly. Put them into the hot pan all at once and give them a stir with your spatula. (Remember not to use metal instruments in your non-stick pans. One scratch with a fork or metal spatula will ruin your pan.) If you like onions with your fried potatoes, now is the time to dice one. I like to cut the peeled onion in half length-wise, halve it cross-wise, then cut into slices about 1/8 inch thick. After your potatoes are about half-cooked, toss in the onions, and stir well. If the pan is too dry at that point, you can slowly add a bit of veggie oil, dribbling it down into the edge of the pan. Incorporate it rapidly, so that the pan doesn't cool very much with that addition. Potato cubes or slices will be browned when they are done. So will the onions. (Onions reach a stage of translucency before they begin to brown.) Some people put in a bit of garlic salt (not powder) and/or onion salt (not powder) just before they are done. You can also put in some snips of parsley and chives if you like. Seasoned pepper is nice, but don't use lots - just a little will be fine.

The best potatoes for baking seem to be large Russets - the dirty ones. Scrub them well with a brush, trim off a little peel from both ends of the potatoes, and wrap them in foil. (Wrapping them in foil does not make them cook faster; I think it keeps them a little more moist than not wrapping. The main benefit of wrapping baking potatoes in foil is that if it explodes in your oven, it won't be a horrible thing. I don't know why them sometimes do that, but it smells really awful and takes forever to clean up and get the smell out of the oven. You want to use a minimum amount of foil - just enough to cover and enclose the potato. Don't have it folded or twisted at the ends like a party favor. 

Most cookbooks say that they should be baked at 450 degrees F. for an hour or so. I would never bake potatoes unless I was cooking something else in the same oven. Few other things are cooked at that high a temperature, so my baked potatoes get cooked for a longer time, at whatever temperature I'm using for my meat loaf or whatever casserole. (Not cookies or cake!) 

Potatoes are baked when they can be easily squeezed. Just reach into the oven with your tongs or wearing oven mitts, and squeeze one or two of them. If they are soft, they are done. If they are hard, they are not. I think one would have to make an effort to burn a baked potato, but probably it could happen eventually. When they are done, keep them in the foil, and, wearing your mitts, give the potatoes a good squeeze all around. You can then slit the foil and the potato in "one swell foop" with a sharp knife, squeeze it from end to end, and pop in a lump of butter. 

Let your guests peel and season their own potatoes. Many people like sour cream; it is good to have some snips of parsley and/or chives on hand, and some grated cheddar cheese. Cream cheese instead of butter or sour cream is also a good seasoning for them.

Potatoes can be baked in the microwave. After scrubbing, you poke them all over with a fork, wrap them individually in a paper towel, and put them into the microwave. Your unit will have heat setting, time, and method directions. It is my considered opinion (which is worth exactly what you've paid for it - nothing) that nuked potatoes do not taste very good and their mouth-feel is rather like bubble-gum. I know people who much prefer nuked potatoes to baked. I always say, "De gustibus non est disputandum," which means "You can't argue taste."

Red potatoes - and even white ones - sometimes referred to as "new" potatoes - are really good boiled. Scrub them with a brush and cook them "in their jackets" as the saying goes. It takes probably 20 minutes to 30 minutes to boil a batch of medium sized new potatoes. You can poke with a fork to test for doneness - what are a few fork-prints between friends? They will not be soft like the mashed ones, but they will be comfortable with the fork when they are done. Your guests can peel their own, or eat the peels along with the flesh. Boiled potatoes are nice in a white sauce (1 tbsp butter, 1 tbsp flour browned together in small pan, add 1/2 cup warmed milk and stir until bubbling and somewhat thickened. Add salt and pepper if you like. Pour over the peeled, boiled potatoes.), or with a lump of butter, cream cheese, or a spoonful of sour cream.

Peeled, boiled potatoes are nice with cooked peas and pearl onions (or not), in a white sauce. A few slices of leek (instead of pearl onions) would be appropriate here, as well.


Everybody - well, almost everybody - likes gravy. It was one of the most difficult tasks for me to perform. I have very recently experimented with roux [MAR18]and bouillon, for the times when I don't have the proper type of meat to make gravy. Sometimes there just isn't enough liquid in the meat; sometimes it is too oily or fatty; sometimes it is just a pain. I make a roux (pronounced "roo") with two tbsp butter, and two tbsp flour - or a little more. In a saucepan, melt the butter and add the flour gradually. Stir like mischief to make this pasty-looking substance. It will be the thickening agent for your gravy or sauce. Continue to cook and stir with a wire whisk until the roux looks a little bit brown. Gradually add one cup of very hot bouillon, continuing to whisk. Kitchen Bouquet - just a few small drops - makes gravy have a nice color and is a nice mild seasoning for it, as well. When you've made a roast of beef or turkey, you will have enough liquid that you won't need bouillon. Unless you want mass quantities of gravy...

Sweet potatoes/yams:
In the northern hemisphere, you will not find genuine yams. The veggie we call "yam" is truly a variety of sweet potato. Genuine yams are nothing like what we call "yams." Still it is okay to call them "yams"[MAR19], because it differentiates between red sweet potatoes and yellow-brown sweet potatoes.

Sweet potatoes and yams can be baked - scrub, trim off ends, wrap in foil, bake with anything else you're baking. Medium size would bake through in maybe 45 minutes. They cook faster than potatoes.

You can peel them, cut them into slices about 1 inch thick, and boil them in a small amount of water. (Sweet potatoes and yams rust[MAR20], and a little lemon juice will help with that.) Probably 20 minutes of cooking would be enough. Test with a fork. They will be quite soft. Toss in a lump of butter and mash them with a hand tool for mashing potatoes. They tend to get a little gummy if you beat them with an electric mixer. I would not use milk. They are very good with a can of Mandarin [MAR21]oranges mixed in; also, sliced bananas, peaches, apricots, kiwifruit, regular oranges (without the rind); almost any kind of fresh or canned fruit.


In the Elementary Elements of Cookery (check our index) on our cookery site, you will be able to read all about measuring and other stuff you need to do when making desserts. There are some things it won't hurt to know in advance of that, however. Bananas rust very soon after peeling and slicing or mashing. A little lemon juice will help avoid that. You can put a little lemon juice into almost everything, including soups! Raisins are benefited by soaking in very hot water for about 15 minutes before putting them into the cookies or cake or bread. Same with snipped dried apricots. Dip your kitchen scissors into water when they get sticky. Breads are affected by the weather and humidity of the day, in that they need either more or less flour than the recipe suggests. Doesn't seem to happen with cakes. The amount of flour in raisin or fruit breads would be affected not only by the ambient environment but by whatever liquid content the raisins or fruits would contribute.

Pie crust is really easy, but you can't be afraid of it. You can't handle it a lot, either. When I first did pies, I decided that tasting good was more important than being pretty, so I didn't worry about its appearance. Its purpose is to cover the pan and to hold the filling. Ugly pie crust, with patches and all, will do a very adequate job. After you learn to make it taste good, you can work on making it look pretty. Flaking well and being fairly thin is better than thick and under-done. That frilled edge around the rim of the pan permits some expansion of the filling while it is cooking so that it doesn't run over and burn on the oven floor. It is not very much fun to try to scrub off the berry pie filling, and it smells really bad as it continues to burn. Every cookbook in the world has several "never-fail" pie crust recipes. So does our web site. If you don't have that kind of time, you can buy it in cubes like butter. I don't know how good it is. When you need to bake an empty pie crust, it works well to have some dried beans you keep separate from your other supply, and use them for this purpose only. Scrub them and dry them thoroughly before using for the first time. They will act as weights to hold down the crust while it is cooking. You can buy pie weights, but I don't know what kind of metal they are, and we are told to stay clear of cast aluminum because of a possible link to Alzheimer's disease. Be sure to let the crust cool before adding cooled filling to it; otherwise the crust will become soggy.


If you have questions, don't hesitate to ask. No question is "dumb" and the smart people are the ones who ask questions.

Shalom, from
Spike the Grate and Jamie the Webmistress June 18, 2002

[MAR1] I believe we called it "Dumb Bell English", this was at UC Berkeley.

[MAR2] "the heat" instead of "it"

[MAR3] I'd like to hear the literal translation.

[MAR4]How about putting this retrospective into its own paragraph and conclude with a restatement of today's advantages?

[MAR5] I'd like a comprehensive definition of "shortening" right here.

[MAR6] The paragraph of the 2 asterisks should be separated from body of text.

[MAR7] Please define "braised" here.

[MAR8] Omit "initially"

[MAR9] please tell me here just what a tri-tip roast is.

[MAR10] Is there a minimum amount of time you'd suggest?

[MAR11]If you mean "marinade" please say so even if it's repeating the word twice.


[MAR13] Please expand on this concept. I have never heard of this and find it intriguing.

[MAR14] Is this phrase "with the skin side up," misplaced in this sentence?

[MAR15] I think these "** paragraphs "should be separated from main body of text.

[MAR16] Please explain why I should not use Olive oil.

[MAR17]This comment appears to be out in left field-could you snuggle it in somewhere?

[MAR18] Please define, and/or explain. I have never heard this word.

[MAR19] It's okay to call them what? Not clear to me.

[MAR20]I have never hear the word "rust" used this way, I love it!

[MAR21]I am going to try this!





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