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Thursday, 21 March 2019


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America's Test Kitchen likes the thermapen:

Or its little brother, the thermopop.

You can also use the temperature probe in your oven to get your potato to the exact temperature you want without opening the oven door.

I recall reading that pasta is similarly more healthy if left to cool and then reheated. Good news if you like leftovers.

One restaurant in my area serves fabulous potato skins. I get them with no toppings.

When any country in North or South America makes top ten list for living the longest, then I might read a diet book, Until then I will just keep pushing myself away from the table, before I am filled.

If you want to lose weight, exercise more than you take in.
Works for everyone.
It really is just that simple.
All the fancy diets and programs can't get around it. You exercise more, maybe cut back on intake and your weight goes down. Even if you don't cut back on food if you burn off more calories than you take in you lose weight, inches and tone up the muscles you have.

“"Here, eat a bit, sir," said he, resuming his former respectful tone as he unwrapped and offered Pierre some baked potatoes. "We had soup for dinner and the potatoes are grand!"

Pierre had not eaten all day and the smell of the potatoes seemed extremely pleasant to him. He thanked the soldier and began to eat.

"Well, are they all right?" said the soldier with a smile. "You should do like this."

He took a potato, drew out his clasp knife, cut the potato into two equal halves on the palm of his hand, sprinkled some salt on it from the rag, and handed it to Pierre.

"The potatoes are grand!" he said once more. "Eat some like that!"

Pierre thought he had never eaten anything that tasted better.“

From War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, book 4, part 1, chapter 12

My grandfather always referred to a baked potato as a Bezukhov in honour of this passage from War and Peace, and I think you’ll struggle to find a greater literary reference to a baked potato. Tolstoy has a quote for most occasions.

Delicious? Ah, no! I prefer healthier brown rice.

As a SoCal guy I've ate Mexican and Asian food all my life. I've been known to eat Vietnamese beef pho (a soup) for breakfast 8-) My favorite processed food is native America hominy (corn soaked in lye water). Grits (ground hominy), makes a good breakfast.

It's not the quantity of life, it's the quality of life. I was very surpried when I saw this in the L.A.Times I’d rather be dead than linger on in an old folks’ home https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-goldman-worse-than-death-20190310-story.html

I'm Do Not Resuscitate (DNR). I see no reason to die more than once. YMMV.

Ketosis is not an unhealthy state and is sustainable. I have been in nutritional ketosis for about 9 years now and in that time have increased my muscle mass. Newborn babies are in ketosis a good part of the time and they seem to do ok.

The biggest problem with ketosis is that most doctors, dieticians and lay people confuse ketosis with ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis usually occurs in diabetics and is very bad.

As for the statistical outcomes being worse, like much of nutrition science, these are based on very poorly conducted epidemiological "studies" and are to all intents and purposes meaningless. For example, these studies are often based on Food Frequency Questionnaires which rely on the respondent recalling what they ate, sometimes years in the past. Can you accurately remember what you ate yesterday, let alone last week? Also, correlation does not equal causation. Just because someone ate meat is not necessarily why they got cancer. It could also be because of all the vegetables they ate along with the meat.

[I edited that part out. All I can say is that when I tried a ketosis diet--it was in the late '90s--few things have ever made me feel more horrible. I hated it. Never again <--for me. Again, not telling anyone else what to do. --Mike]

Got to say, Mike, that’s the longest recipe for a baked potato I’ve ever read.

You also might want to clarify one item in this paragraph:
“Set the oven on convection if it has it. Bake for as long as you need to to get the internal temperature of the potato to no less than 210°F (99°C).”

What’s the oven temperature? :)

So I just tried your method for making baked potatoes -- well, except I cooked mine on the grill because I hate to heat up the house but also so I could grill some sugar snap peas to go with them -- and they were indeed quite tasty.

So, thanks!

Mike, since you are becoming more interested in living longer, aren't we all, I would suggest picking up a copy of the book Younger Next Year it was on the N.Y. times bestseller list for some time, you would appreciate it I'm sure.

Use a micro wave

Moving away from spuds for a moment, I think of coincidence as an iceberg - the ones we experience are but a tiny part of the whole. Yesterday I went into a shop where, just a few seconds earlier, my first ever girlfriend had been shopping. It was a nearly-coincidence, we didn't quite coincide and there must be many, many more of these than the observed type. I do want to 'believe' in coincidences but, depressingly, it's probably all down to statistics.

Some follow-up on your observation that "the newspaper this morning relayed the news that the two Boeing "Max" jets that went down in clear weather in recent months both lacked two safety features that Boeing provides on the model only as options."

Boeing is apparently making standard the one that warns when the two angle-of-attack sensors do not agree. The indicator that adds the current agreed reading of the angle of attack to the information already overwhelming the pilots will remain an option.

A correspondent claiming that foreign airlines that don't take all the FAA's and Boeing's rules and advisory circulars as seriously as the American carriers do (see Jim Fallows' Notes at The Atlantic) points out that American and Southwest had installed both options in all their 737 MAXes, while United did not, because "our pilots know how to fly this airplane."

Why not WFPB nutritional plan, follow it 80%. Doesn't that provide a more reasonable life plan that one can follow and not feel as though you are on or off the wagon? I feel like any of these methods that require strict adherence are just short-term fads in one's life. What people need is to genuinely change their lifestyle. Eating real food is obviously better. Eating processed food full of sugar is obviously bad.

Old Weston darkroom thermometers can be used for cooking. Calibrate them by putting them in boiling water and note that assuming you are at sea level at normal barometric pressure for cooking purposes whatever the dial says is 100 Celsius or 212 Fahrenheit. The needle will have gone around the dial at least once.

I figured this out when I had to measure the temperature of a roasting turkey one thanksgiving when the stores were closed and all I had was film processing stuff that happened to be in the kitchen.

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