Posts Tagged ‘The Salt’

Snow Job

February 17, 2016


7103200281_compGrowing up, kids often look at freshly fallen snow as nature’s ice-cream.  Whether they eat it as is, or actually take it inside to flavor and eat as snow cones, the white stuff holds great appeal.

In New York City, it is pretty hard to gather clean snow. What starts out as pristine and white, quickly becomes grey mush as the urban grit takes over. Elsewhere, the snow in back yards and open fields gives the illusion of purity. But is it really pure? What exactly is in our snow, and could it be hazardous to our health?

NPR’s The Salt spoke to several scientists to get their take on the snow situation.

Jeff S. Gaffney of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock shed some light on the issue.

Snow contains primarily water, with hints of various pollutants such as nitrates, sulfates, mercury and formaldahyde. As the intricately structured flakes pass through the atmosphere, they form a net of sorts, catching black carbon, or soot along the way.

According to John Pomeroy of the University of Saskatchewan, it is suggested that one wait for the snow to fall for a few hours before gathering it up for consumption. The snow flakes scrub the atmosphere of pollutants, making the air and the snow itself cleaner and less polluted.

On a windy day, the snow mixes at lower levels with the soil on the ground. In areas like the Great Plains, the snow picks up whatever is in the soil and dust. If the area has recently been fertilized, that manure gets into the snow. And of course we all know not to eat the yellow snow at all costs!

In the city, all kinds of dirt, grit and chemicals mix with the snow making it less than palatable. Plowed snow, should never be eaten, due to all the contaminents that get mixed into it.

Despite the risks for contamination, most of the researchers agreed, that freshly fallen, unplowed country snow, holds no real risk. Dr. Pomeroy states that ” it is well-known amongst snow chemists that freshly fallen Arctic snow goes very well with 15-year-old single malt whisky.”

Now that’s a snow cone!

Photo: Glasshouse Images

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What’s Brewing? Dinner!

November 21, 2013

Detail of automatic coffee maker and cord.

Lately, I have been seeing all kinds of alternative cooking methods, ranging from poaching salmon in the dishwasher, to actually cooking the Thanksgiving turkey in it. One article suggested using it to wash large quantities of potatoes.

Of course we have all seen the trick of using an iron to make grilled cheese sandwiches, and isn’t a waffle iron just another texture of a Panini press or a George Forman grill anyways?
Today’s trick, discovered courtesy of NPR’s The Salt, shows you how to create an entire meal in a drip coffee maker!

While it seems a bit outrageous, we think it’s a stroke of genius!
Inspired by her nephew’s stint in Afghanistan, where the food was not up to par, and the only appliance the soldiers were allowed to have were coffee makers, Jody Anderson cooked up some recipes that he could whip up right in his quarters.

It turns out the coffee pot is very versatile, offering different cooking methods that can be used in tandem to create entire meals in 20 minutes.

The top basket functions as a steamer. Toss in a mix of cut vegetables that have similar cooking times. The vegetables can steam while the rest of the meal cooks elsewhere.

The vessel is the perfect place to poach meat or fish, boil eggs or grains, and cook oatmeal or soup.

The burner, albeit small, can be used to grill sandwiches, or fry an egg.

The NPR team attempted to cook a coffee pot meal, with astounding results.

They used the pot to cook up some cous cous, and then used it to poach a salmon filet.

While the food was cooking below, they steamed broccoli in the upper basket.

The finished product looked pretty appetizing, and the clean up was a breeze.
For how –tos, visit The Salt.

photo: Glasshouse Images

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