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Thread: Food memory ability

  1. #1
    Steve Pope Guest

    Default Food memory ability

    Let's say I have cooked twenty batches of chili per year,
    each year for the past thirty years (which is approximately
    accurate).

    How many of these is it reasonable to totally have a clear
    memory of -- the exact ingredients, the results? Thinking
    back, there are maybe a couple dozen memorable batches of
    chili that I fondly remember, and with those I could state
    exactly what I did; plus I still have a clear recent
    memory of most of them from the past six months to a year.

    The rest just blur into one merged memory of my chili-cooking
    experience. (i.e. When did I stop usually using canned
    serranos? I couldn't tell you within five years.)

    Is this reasonable? Is there anybody who remembers everything
    they've ever cooked with more or less complete clarity?

    Steve

  2. #2
    George Shirley Guest

    Default Re: Food memory ability

    On 6/25/2010 1:49 PM, Steve Pope wrote:
    > Let's say I have cooked twenty batches of chili per year,
    > each year for the past thirty years (which is approximately
    > accurate).
    >
    > How many of these is it reasonable to totally have a clear
    > memory of -- the exact ingredients, the results? Thinking
    > back, there are maybe a couple dozen memorable batches of
    > chili that I fondly remember, and with those I could state
    > exactly what I did; plus I still have a clear recent
    > memory of most of them from the past six months to a year.
    >
    > The rest just blur into one merged memory of my chili-cooking
    > experience. (i.e. When did I stop usually using canned
    > serranos? I couldn't tell you within five years.)
    >
    > Is this reasonable? Is there anybody who remembers everything
    > they've ever cooked with more or less complete clarity?
    >
    > Steve


    Nope, and wouldn't want to, cooking is a journey into the unknown.
    Particularly when you open the cupboard to look for a specific spice or
    herb and you're out of it. That's when cooking becomes experimental.

  3. #3
    gloria.p Guest

    Default Re: Food memory ability

    George Shirley wrote:
    > On 6/25/2010 1:49 PM, Steve Pope wrote:


    >> Is this reasonable? Is there anybody who remembers everything
    >> they've ever cooked with more or less complete clarity?
    >>
    >> Steve

    >
    > Nope, and wouldn't want to, cooking is a journey into the unknown.
    > Particularly when you open the cupboard to look for a specific spice or
    > herb and you're out of it. That's when cooking becomes experimental.




    Yes! It doesn't turn out exactly the way it was written/planned, and
    sometimes it's even better.

    gloria p

  4. #4
    Steve Pope Guest

    Default Re: Food memory ability

    gloria.p <[email protected]> wrote:

    >George Shirley wrote:


    >> On 6/25/2010 1:49 PM, Steve Pope wrote:


    >>> Is this reasonable? Is there anybody who remembers everything
    >>> they've ever cooked with more or less complete clarity?


    >> Nope, and wouldn't want to, cooking is a journey into the unknown.
    >> Particularly when you open the cupboard to look for a specific spice or
    >> herb and you're out of it. That's when cooking becomes experimental.


    >Yes! It doesn't turn out exactly the way it was written/planned, and
    >sometimes it's even better.


    Sure. I'm not questioning the value of improvising. Just
    whether one can reasonably remember it afterwards.

    It's frustrating to come up with something that works out
    and then not remember how one did it.

    One habit I've developed is measuring/weighing things as I cook, even
    though I'm not working from a recipe-- just for future reference.

    Steve
    >gloria p




  5. #5
    Doug Freyburger Guest

    Default Re: Food memory ability

    Steve Pope wrote:
    >
    > Let's say I have cooked twenty batches of chili per year,
    > each year for the past thirty years (which is approximately
    > accurate).
    >
    > How many of these is it reasonable to totally have a clear
    > memory of -- the exact ingredients, the results? Thinking
    > back, there are maybe a couple dozen memorable batches of
    > chili that I fondly remember, and with those I could state
    > exactly what I did; plus I still have a clear recent
    > memory of most of them from the past six months to a year.
    >
    > The rest just blur into one merged memory of my chili-cooking
    > experience. (i.e. When did I stop usually using canned
    > serranos? I couldn't tell you within five years.)
    >
    > Is this reasonable? Is there anybody who remembers everything
    > they've ever cooked with more or less complete clarity?


    I remember foods and recipes not duplicated for a very long time.
    Duplicated recipes with small variations blur after a few times.

    Two batches of home made root beer starting with a literature search for
    the recipe, botany section to check for toxicity and so on. I remember
    those a couple of decades later. Making variations on beef stroganoff
    several times per year. I remember the last several variations. So I
    match you on one end of the spectrum.

    It gets hard to find a beer that I have not tried ...

  6. #6
    Sqwertz Guest

    Default Re: Food memory ability

    On Fri, 25 Jun 2010 18:49:28 +0000 (UTC), Steve Pope wrote:

    > Let's say I have cooked twenty batches of chili per year,
    > each year for the past thirty years (which is approximately
    > accurate).
    >
    > How many of these is it reasonable to totally have a clear
    > memory of -- the exact ingredients, the results?


    If you made it and ate it relatively the same way, with the same
    people every time, then you probably won't remember much about
    individual batch.

    But if you mix it up quite a bit and share it with different
    people then I, at least, would remember many of them.

    Think of it as sex. I can remember many places, people,
    positions, and, uh, other features if they are unique. But I've
    never followed the same recipe twice. Like food, I just make it
    up as I go along. And I remember most meals.

    And those who know me here know I don't do "recipes" at all.
    I do remember one particular batch of chile I made using goat and
    hatch green chiles (there was no sex involved). If I think really
    hard I can even tell you the date was... the last week of June
    2003. I took a picture of the ingredients but unless somebody has
    archives of alt.binaries.food, it is probably lost forever.

    -sw
    -sw

  7. #7
    Sqwertz Guest

    Default Re: Food memory ability

    On Fri, 25 Jun 2010 21:30:43 +0000 (UTC), Doug Freyburger wrote:

    > It gets hard to find a beer that I have not tried ...


    Beer or root beer?

    I have a hard time remembering single beers sold in 15.9-24oz
    bottles (at $3-$8/each). But if I bought a four or six, then I
    have no problem remembering them and how much I paid. Doesn't
    make sense, I know.

    Hairy Eyeball (10.95/six) and Palo Santo Marron (18.98/four) were
    my latest two multipacks. Won't buy either again. I'm more of a
    Belgian guy, but I try all the big beers.

    -sw

  8. #8
    Omelet Guest

    Default Re: Food memory ability

    In article <i033ae$d8b$[email protected]>,
    "gloria.p" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > > On 6/25/2010 1:49 PM, Steve Pope wrote:

    >
    > >> Is this reasonable? Is there anybody who remembers everything
    > >> they've ever cooked with more or less complete clarity?
    > >>
    > >> Steve


    Only if I type it out shortly after I did it... like that Italian
    dressing I made last night. ;-d
    --
    Peace! Om

    Web Albums: <http://picasaweb.google.com/OMPOmelet>
    *Only Irish *coffee provides in a single glass all four *essential food groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar *and fat. --Alex Levine

  9. #9
    Omelet Guest

    Default Re: Food memory ability

    In article <i0344j$d8m$[email protected]>,
    [email protected] (Steve Pope) wrote:

    > gloria.p <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >George Shirley wrote:

    >
    > >> On 6/25/2010 1:49 PM, Steve Pope wrote:

    >
    > >>> Is this reasonable? Is there anybody who remembers everything
    > >>> they've ever cooked with more or less complete clarity?

    >
    > >> Nope, and wouldn't want to, cooking is a journey into the unknown.
    > >> Particularly when you open the cupboard to look for a specific spice or
    > >> herb and you're out of it. That's when cooking becomes experimental.

    >
    > >Yes! It doesn't turn out exactly the way it was written/planned, and
    > >sometimes it's even better.

    >
    > Sure. I'm not questioning the value of improvising. Just
    > whether one can reasonably remember it afterwards.


    Considering I do this all the time and TRY to remember what I did when
    something works really well, all one can do is write it down within 24
    hours and guestimate the amounts used. <g>

    >
    > It's frustrating to come up with something that works out
    > and then not remember how one did it.


    Don't procrastinate.

    >
    > One habit I've developed is measuring/weighing things as I cook, even
    > though I'm not working from a recipe-- just for future reference.
    >
    > Steve


    Probably not a bad idea... ;-)
    --
    Peace! Om

    Web Albums: <http://picasaweb.google.com/OMPOmelet>
    *Only Irish *coffee provides in a single glass all four *essential food groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar *and fat. --Alex Levine

  10. #10
    Omelet Guest

    Default Re: Food memory ability

    In article <[email protected]>,
    Sqwertz <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Think of it as sex. I can remember many places, people,
    > positions, and, uh, other features if they are unique. But I've
    > never followed the same recipe twice. Like food, I just make it
    > up as I go along. And I remember most meals.


    Food as sex is not a new concept... Food porn is mentioned here
    frequently. ;-) Sometimes food is as memorable or even better than sex!

    But I do totally agree. With the vast majority of my cooking, I make it
    up as I go along. Any recipes I post are, at best, guesstimates as I
    only post personal (or sometimes altered) recipes.

    I am horrible about tweaking recipes!

    One does get better guesstimating over time and it works quite well.

    Funny enough, my words "guesstimate" and "Guesstimating" actually passed
    my spellchecker. <g>
    --
    Peace! Om

    Web Albums: <http://picasaweb.google.com/OMPOmelet>
    Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar and fat. --Alex Levine

  11. #11
    blake murphy Guest

    Default Re: Food memory ability

    On Fri, 25 Jun 2010 18:17:41 -0500, Sqwertz wrote:

    >
    > And those who know me here know I don't do "recipes" at all.
    > I do remember one particular batch of chile I made using goat and
    > hatch green chiles (there was no sex involved). If I think really
    > hard I can even tell you the date was... the last week of June
    > 2003. I took a picture of the ingredients but unless somebody has
    > archives of alt.binaries.food, it is probably lost forever.
    >
    > -sw


    so how was the goat chili? i've been toying with the idea for a while, as
    the local giant (in md) often has goat shoulder pieces (with some bones,
    but mostly meat). hatch chiles would probably be harder to come by.

    your pal,
    blake

  12. #12
    Sqwertz Guest

    Default Re: Food memory ability

    On Sat, 26 Jun 2010 15:15:08 -0400, blake murphy wrote:

    > so how was the goat chili? i've been toying with the idea for a while, as
    > the local giant (in md) often has goat shoulder pieces (with some bones,
    > but mostly meat). hatch chiles would probably be harder to come by.


    It was awesome. That's why I remember it. It was actually
    hindquarter of kid. I just searched usenet-replayer for the
    pictures I took (which showed all the ingredients laid out), but I
    don't know how to search back that far.

    -sw

  13. #13
    blake murphy Guest

    Default Re: Food memory ability

    On Sat, 26 Jun 2010 21:29:29 -0500, Sqwertz wrote:

    > On Sat, 26 Jun 2010 15:15:08 -0400, blake murphy wrote:
    >
    >> so how was the goat chili? i've been toying with the idea for a while, as
    >> the local giant (in md) often has goat shoulder pieces (with some bones,
    >> but mostly meat). hatch chiles would probably be harder to come by.

    >
    > It was awesome. That's why I remember it. It was actually
    > hindquarter of kid. I just searched usenet-replayer for the
    > pictures I took (which showed all the ingredients laid out), but I
    > don't know how to search back that far.
    >
    > -sw


    cool.

    i'm going to make some chili today, but i'm using some flank steak from the
    freezer. i'm hoping that small cubes in a long simmer will be tender
    enough.

    your pal,
    blake

  14. #14
    Bob Terwilliger Guest

    Default Re: Food memory ability

    blake wrote:

    > i'm going to make some chili today, but i'm using some flank steak from
    > the
    > freezer. i'm hoping that small cubes in a long simmer will be tender
    > enough.


    Ummm.... probably not. Flank steak doesn't have much in the way of collagen,
    so it doesn't break down the same way a pork shoulder or brisket would. I
    fear you'll end up with tough little cubes of leather. Flank steak is better
    when it's cooked rare over high heat, like for fajitas.

    Bob




  15. #15
    brooklyn1 Guest

    Default Re: Food memory ability

    On Sun, 27 Jun 2010 09:49:22 -0700, "Bob Terwilliger"
    <virtualgoth@die_spammer.biz> wrote:

    >blake wrote:
    >
    >> i'm going to make some chili today, but i'm using some flank steak from
    >> the
    >> freezer. i'm hoping that small cubes in a long simmer will be tender
    >> enough.

    >
    >Ummm.... probably not. Flank steak doesn't have much in the way of collagen,
    >so it doesn't break down the same way a pork shoulder or brisket would. I
    >fear you'll end up with tough little cubes of leather. Flank steak is better
    >when it's cooked rare over high heat, like for fajitas.


    Ridiculous... flank is about the best cut for braising.... but much
    too good a cut to waste for chili.

    A classic for flank steak:
    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/fo...pa-Vieja-11486

  16. #16
    Steve Pope Guest

    Default Re: Food memory ability

    Sqwertz <[email protected]> wrote:

    >On Fri, 25 Jun 2010 18:49:28 +0000 (UTC), Steve Pope wrote:


    >> Let's say I have cooked twenty batches of chili per year,
    >> each year for the past thirty years (which is approximately
    >> accurate).


    >> How many of these is it reasonable to totally have a clear
    >> memory of -- the exact ingredients, the results?


    >If you made it and ate it relatively the same way, with the same
    >people every time, then you probably won't remember much about
    >individual batch.


    >But if you mix it up quite a bit and share it with different
    >people then I, at least, would remember many of them.


    Yeah, that's what I'm thinking.

    But my memory is fading enough that there is one type of pork chili
    I used to make pretty frequently 20 to 25 years ago or so, and
    I cannot remember exactly how I did it. I know that I started
    out with sauteed boneless pork chunks, bell peppers, onion, and
    canned serranos; I know that towards the end of it I would add
    some jarred salsa and red vinegar, then serve it over rice; but
    I for the life of me cannot remember if I added any other liquid,
    such as canned tomato, or stock, or canned tomatillo salsa. Perhaps
    I did all of these things on various occasions, but these details
    are lost in the passage of time.

    I guess if I can't remember it, it can't be important.

    Thanks to everyone who responded.

    Steve

  17. #17
    George Shirley Guest

    Default Re: Food memory ability

    On 6/27/2010 6:10 PM, Steve Pope wrote:
    > Sqwertz<[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >> On Fri, 25 Jun 2010 18:49:28 +0000 (UTC), Steve Pope wrote:

    >
    >>> Let's say I have cooked twenty batches of chili per year,
    >>> each year for the past thirty years (which is approximately
    >>> accurate).

    >
    >>> How many of these is it reasonable to totally have a clear
    >>> memory of -- the exact ingredients, the results?

    >
    >> If you made it and ate it relatively the same way, with the same
    >> people every time, then you probably won't remember much about
    >> individual batch.

    >
    >> But if you mix it up quite a bit and share it with different
    >> people then I, at least, would remember many of them.

    >
    > Yeah, that's what I'm thinking.
    >
    > But my memory is fading enough that there is one type of pork chili
    > I used to make pretty frequently 20 to 25 years ago or so, and
    > I cannot remember exactly how I did it. I know that I started
    > out with sauteed boneless pork chunks, bell peppers, onion, and
    > canned serranos; I know that towards the end of it I would add
    > some jarred salsa and red vinegar, then serve it over rice; but
    > I for the life of me cannot remember if I added any other liquid,
    > such as canned tomato, or stock, or canned tomatillo salsa. Perhaps
    > I did all of these things on various occasions, but these details
    > are lost in the passage of time.
    >
    > I guess if I can't remember it, it can't be important.
    >
    > Thanks to everyone who responded.
    >
    > Steve


    And did the old time cowboys who made this pork chili do this whilst
    driving the pigs to market in Topeka, Kansas? (Just joshing of course,
    as a Native Texan I just cannot imagine chili with pork or any other
    meat than beef in it.) My lovely daughter made some sort of thing she
    called chili with ground turkey in it, even her kids wouldn't eat it and
    when they were teenagers they would eat the table if they were hungry
    enough.

  18. #18
    blake murphy Guest

    Default Re: Food memory ability

    On Sun, 27 Jun 2010 09:49:22 -0700, Bob Terwilliger wrote:

    > blake wrote:
    >
    >> i'm going to make some chili today, but i'm using some flank steak from
    >> the
    >> freezer. i'm hoping that small cubes in a long simmer will be tender
    >> enough.

    >
    > Ummm.... probably not. Flank steak doesn't have much in the way of collagen,
    > so it doesn't break down the same way a pork shoulder or brisket would. I
    > fear you'll end up with tough little cubes of leather. Flank steak is better
    > when it's cooked rare over high heat, like for fajitas.
    >
    > Bob


    it turned out pretty well, actually. it's not what i would normally do
    with it, but it had been in freezer for about two years (well-wrapped, but
    still), so i was a little worried about it. it looked fine, though. i
    marinated the cubes with a little tequila, lime juice adobo seasoning and
    olive oil for about two hours beforehand.

    your pal,
    blake

  19. #19
    Felice Guest

    Default Re: Food memory ability


    "blake murphy" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:6znzs8t67whs$.1pkkfh5vgodnt$.[email protected]. .
    > On Sun, 27 Jun 2010 09:49:22 -0700, Bob Terwilliger wrote:
    >
    >> blake wrote:
    >>
    >>> i'm going to make some chili today, but i'm using some flank steak from
    >>> the
    >>> freezer. i'm hoping that small cubes in a long simmer will be tender
    >>> enough.

    >>
    >> Ummm.... probably not. Flank steak doesn't have much in the way of
    >> collagen,
    >> so it doesn't break down the same way a pork shoulder or brisket would. I
    >> fear you'll end up with tough little cubes of leather. Flank steak is
    >> better
    >> when it's cooked rare over high heat, like for fajitas.
    >>
    >> Bob

    >
    > it turned out pretty well, actually. it's not what i would normally do
    > with it, but it had been in freezer for about two years (well-wrapped, but
    > still), so i was a little worried about it. it looked fine, though. i
    > marinated the cubes with a little tequila, lime juice adobo seasoning and
    > olive oil for about two hours beforehand.
    >
    > your pal,
    > blake


    No wonder it turned out pretty well. Jeez, if you marinated me in tequila
    for two hours I wouldn't put up much of a fight, either.

    Felice



  20. #20
    George Shirley Guest

    Default Re: Food memory ability

    On 6/28/2010 4:19 PM, Felice wrote:
    > "blake murphy"<[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:6znzs8t67whs$.1pkkfh5vgodnt$.[email protected]. .
    >> On Sun, 27 Jun 2010 09:49:22 -0700, Bob Terwilliger wrote:
    >>
    >>> blake wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> i'm going to make some chili today, but i'm using some flank steak from
    >>>> the
    >>>> freezer. i'm hoping that small cubes in a long simmer will be tender
    >>>> enough.
    >>>
    >>> Ummm.... probably not. Flank steak doesn't have much in the way of
    >>> collagen,
    >>> so it doesn't break down the same way a pork shoulder or brisket would. I
    >>> fear you'll end up with tough little cubes of leather. Flank steak is
    >>> better
    >>> when it's cooked rare over high heat, like for fajitas.
    >>>
    >>> Bob

    >>
    >> it turned out pretty well, actually. it's not what i would normally do
    >> with it, but it had been in freezer for about two years (well-wrapped, but
    >> still), so i was a little worried about it. it looked fine, though. i
    >> marinated the cubes with a little tequila, lime juice adobo seasoning and
    >> olive oil for about two hours beforehand.
    >>
    >> your pal,
    >> blake

    >
    > No wonder it turned out pretty well. Jeez, if you marinated me in tequila
    > for two hours I wouldn't put up much of a fight, either.
    >
    > Felice
    >
    >

    Damn! Just the vision of that thought made me spew Diet Dr. Pepper all
    over the monitor. Thanks a lot.

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