Remember when I mentioned seeing savory cupcakes everywhere? Well, this week there were two things that kept popping up. The first thing I noticed was that over at Rachel Ray’s, it was SLOW COOKER WEEK. I really wish I had a joke for that. Any thoughts?
Actually, I only saw the promo. I admit I have no problem watching RR teach us 200 ways to wear the same dress, or handle a really uncomfortable sit-down with Nancy Grace AND Donny Deutsch (at the same time), but I WILL not watch her cooking.
AND, amazingly, right in the middle of RR’s Slow Cooker Week, the really adorable Chris Kimball was on the Today Show, demonstrating what? Slow cooker recipes!
We had learned earlier in the morning that Al has a slow cooker with an iron insert for searing in advance. I stopped liking Al when he was really brutal with Heidi Montag. (The “real” Heidi is actually worse.) Al basically told her she was a worthless piece of trash. True or not, it was his producers who booked her and he looked like a bully. I’m really mostly serious when I say that I don’t like him anymore because of that.
Back to CK’s recipes, which, unfortunately, were a little pointless. I don’t have a slow cooker and I’ve never used one, but two of his three recipes required browning either before or after they had been slow cooked. Isn’t the whole point of the thing to bung stuff in, turn it on and have dinner ready 18 hours later, or whatever it is?
Anyway, the slow cooker isn’t even the reason I’ve gathered you all here today. It’s to tell you about the second thing I’ve been seeing around. It started with this question on Chowhound about foods that don’t spoil, which led me to this funny Top 5 Foods That Never Spoil, Rot, or Expire post. HONEY is at the top of the list.
This is interesting to me, because in ALL the praise I’ve heaped on my favorite sweetener (when it's not in a bear container), I’ve never included its inability to spoil. In fact, I never even thought of it before. But I must have known it (on a subconscious level, at least), because I NEVER refrigerate honey and I DO refrigerate just about everything else - onions (it really does cut down on the tears), rice and barley, olive and nuts oils, whole wheat flour; plus I keep nuts, coffee and cornmeal in the freezer.
So, as I was ruminating on the magnificent qualities of honey, I see this same point made AGAIN by Mark Bittman. He was writing about how outrageous it is that McDonald’s can take something healthy and economical like oatmeal and turn it into a bowl of sweetened sludge that costs more than a double hamburger.
Incredibly, the McDonald’s product contains more sugar than a Snickers bar and only 10 fewer calories than a McDonald’s cheeseburger or Egg McMuffin. (Even without the brown sugar it has more calories than a McDonald’s hamburger.)
The bottom-line question is, “Why?” Why would McDonald’s, which appears every now and then to try to persuade us that it is adding “healthier” foods to its menu, take a venerable ingredient like oatmeal and turn it into expensive junk food? Why create a hideous concoction of 21 ingredients, many of them chemical and/or unnecessary? Why not try, for once, to keep it honest?
Interesting and so true. Why doesn’t McDonald’s offer its oatmeal plain and then make you order all that extra stuff, if you want it? Bittman also mentions that honey will not spoil, which makes it a perfect choice for a fast food menu.
I now know that honey will last forever, but I don’t think it will last that long around here.
By the way, I almost never substitute honey for sugar in baked goods. I usually buy pretty decent honey, which is pricey, so I like to use it in ways that I can actually taste it.
Here are my top three ways of using honey:
3) In my homemade granola.
2) Over bleu cheese with toasted walnuts. Mmm…
This is my Oscar snack tonight, actually.
NUMBER ONE WAY I LOVE TO EAT HONEY IS –
On a spoon…all by itself.