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Ask Carb Diva: Questions & Answers About Food, Recipes, & Cooking, #156

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Linda explores food facts, folklore, and fabulous recipes, one ingredient at a time.

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Happy Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary to me and all of you who have followed the Q&A's for the past three years. I could never have imagined that it would continue this long. My heartfelt thanks to all of you who have stayed with me, sending in your questions, providing great feedback (and honestly contributing great content to this series).

I’ll keep this going as long as there are questions and continued interest, so let’s do this thing. (I dare not waste any time; there's a chocolate cake to bake for the celebration!)

If you're an old friend, you already know how this works. But, if this is your first visit, let me introduce you to my kitchen.

Each week I receive questions about food ingredients, cooking or baking terms or methods, requests for recipes, and queries about nutrition. Just about anything food-related has been covered here.

I'm sharing this past week's questions and my responses; it happens every Monday. Want to join in the fun? You can leave your question in the comments below, and next week the answer will be right here. It's that easy.

Whoopie Pies vs. Moonpies

The first question this week is from Flourish. About a week ago I published an article on whoopie pies. And so she asked:

"I wonder if whoopie pies are related to moon pies, the commercial confection down South?"

Flourish, they are similar, but not the same thing. Let's say they're cousins. Here's the comparison:

Whoopie vs Moon Pie

Whoopie vs Moon Pie

 Whoopie PieMoon Pie

Size

4 inches

4 inches

Origins

Lewiston, ME 1925

Chattanooga, TN 1919

Filling

marshmallow fluff

marshmallow fluff

Outside (what the filling sits between)

soft cake-like cookie

round graham crackers

Dipped in chocolate

Sadly, no

Oh YES!

Safe Resting Time for Roast Turkey

"I was recently watching a video where Jamie Oliver was preparing a Christmas dinner. He said the turkey should sit for two hours after cooking. The guest said, (as I would have) how will it still be hot? Jamie didn't show that so I thought I'd ask you. He pulled foil away and it was hot but two hours seems a long time. Will foil over a turkey keep it hot enough for two hours?"

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Mary, to me that seems like really pushing it to the limit. I checked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety Division and they tell a very different story about preparing and resting that turkey. I know you only asked about tenting the turkey for 2 hours, but I think the other safety concerns about roasting turkey are worth mentioning too.

  • First, the USDA does not recommend stuffing your turkey. "For optimal safety and uniform doneness, cook stuffing separately. However, if stuffing a turkey, it’s essential to use a food thermometer to make sure the center of the stuffing reaches a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F. Cooking a home-stuffed turkey is somewhat riskier than cooking one not stuffed. Even if the turkey has reached the safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F as measured in the innermost part of the thigh, the wing, and the thickest part of the breast, the stuffing may not have reached a temperature high enough to destroy bacteria that may be present. Bacteria can survive in stuffing that has not reached 165 °F, possibly resulting in foodborne illness.
  • They recommend dispatching that turkey within two hours of roasting. "When dinner is over, carve the rest of the turkey from the bone and refrigerate it immediately. For safety, make sure the turkey is refrigerated within 2 hours of coming out of the oven."
  • Of course, there is a difference between letting turkey sit on the table and tenting it with foil to keep it hot (as Jamie did). But is 2 hours safe? "Leaving food out too long at room temperature can cause bacteria (such as Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella Enteritidis, Escherichia coli O157:H7, and Campylobacter) to grow to dangerous levels that can cause illness. Bacteria grow most rapidly in the range of temperatures between 40 °F and 140 °F, doubling in number in as little as 20 minutes. This range of temperatures is often called the Danger Zone."

So, after all this rambling, I've finally answered your question (kinda). If turkey can be tented AND maintain a temperature above 140°F, then I think that what Jamie is proposing is safe. However, I've never seen recommendations of tenting for longer than 45 minutes, tops.

A Gift for You

A few weeks ago I received a postcard in the mail from a real estate broker. She wanted to know if I am interested in selling my house. Short answer "NO." But on the postcard was this recipe. I'm feeling benevolent, so I'm sharing it with you.

Pumpkin Spice Syrup

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons pureed pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Instructions

Heat water in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Heat to medium, stirring constantly until all the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Pour into a jar with a tightly-fitting lid and refrigerate.

We're Organized

Did you know that there is a Table of Contents for this series? I have created an article that provides a detailed listing of each question I've received. It's broken down by category, and within each category, the questions are listed alphabetically. Each question is actually a hotlink back to the original post.

Here's a link to that Table of Contents.

I have also cataloged all of my personal recipes that I have shared with you in this weekly Q&A series and in all of my other articles as well. The link to that Index is here. There are hotlinks to each recipe and this will be updated as new recipes are shared.

I've Promised to Always Share At Least One

I've tried to incorporate at least one photo of a cat in each episode of the Q&A. Well, instead of a still pic, I'm sharing a video of this cute little kitty. She's quite the drama queen.

Next Week, Same Time, Same Place?

Let's do this again next week. If you have questions about foods, cooking techniques, or nutrition you can ask them here. If you are in search of an old recipe or need ideas on how to improve an existing one I can help you. If you want to learn more, let's do it together. Present your questions, your ideas, your comments below. Or, you can write to me personally at this email address: lindalum52@gmail.com.

And, I promise that there will always be at least one photo of a kitty in every Monday post.

© 2020 Linda Lum

Comments

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on October 03, 2020:

Eric, although you've not asked a specific question, you bring up a wonderful topic that needs to be explored--foraging. I'll have something for you (and Denise) a week from Monday. Stay tuned.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on October 03, 2020:

Dearest Ms. Diva,

It is that time of year. I put together some freewheeling stuff. I just finished a “jam” with wild prickly pear fruit. I regale some with my wild dandelion and watercress salads. I like wild blackberries and interesting grape of wildness. Are we to forget raspberries and long left apples?

Natural stuff is different as we have learned from you about game meat. What about game fruit?

No specific answer is raised. Just your thoughts.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on October 03, 2020:

Denise, thank you. The potato rosette dish sounds fascinating. I've seen something similar done with apples and puff pastry. I'll poke around in my "usual places" and try to find some suggestions for you. Since the Monday Q&A is already done, my answer will appear a week from Monday. Take care and have a good weekend.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on October 02, 2020:

You didn't get too many questions last time. But that's the way it is sometimes. Feast or famine. I'm happy for your anniversary celebration. Have a slice of cake and a scoop of vegan ice cream for me!

By the way, I stumbled on a thing showing a baked potato roset where they rolled slices of potato in bacon, put it into a cupcake pan and baked them. They came out looking so good I wanted to try it... without the bacon of course. So I thought maybe rolling the potato slices in thin strips of zucchini but wouldn't the zucchini become mush before the potatoes were cooked? Then I thought maybe I should use strips of rice paper but I just haven't had the gumption or the time to try it yet. Tell me what you think. Should I just forgo the bacon-type binding at the bottom altogether and bake them with just a bit of oil in the cupcake pan? I'd love your opinion.

Blessings,

Denise

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on September 28, 2020:

Oh. The word syrup must have thrown me. I don't drink latte, so my mind didn't even go in that direction. I drink my coffee with 1/4 teaspoon stevia and a splash of half and half.

I appreciate the offer of your oatmeal pancake recipe, but I'm just not a fan of pancakes. They're too filling. I prefer French toast if I'm going to go the sweet breakfast or brinner route.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on September 28, 2020:

Shauna, I don't dislike stuffing in the bird but I have one daughter who is vegetarian so.... I know you're a smart/careful cook so have no doubt you've got this.

I think the pumpkin syrup was meant to be for making latte's but your idea of using it on pancakes or French toast sounds wonderful. What about ice cream? Hmmm, I have a recipe for oatmeal pancakes. If you look at my Recipe Index (under We're Organized) you will find it under Breads and Baking.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on September 28, 2020:

What a cutie patootie! The big cats don't seem to know what to make of the vocal baby. :-)

I know that you're not supposed to stuff the turkey, but I prefer to do so. There's always enough left to bake in a dish, which I do, but prefer what comes out of the bird. It's much more moist and oh so yummy! I've been doing it that way for leventy forty years and I'm not dead yet, so I'll keep on keepin' on.

The pumpkin spice syrup sound delicious. I'm not a pancake person, but I do like French toast. I'll have to make up a batch and keep it on hand.

Have a great week, Linda. Hopefully, between you, me and John, we can ruffle some feathers and force the HP powers to listen to the people!

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on September 28, 2020:

Hi Mary, the pumpkin syrup is for flavoring coffee (latte-style). I suppose you could drizzle it over ice cream too. BTW, have you read the articles that have popped up in the past 72 hrs about Hub Pages? Jodah, BraveWarrior, and I have all chimed in.

Mary Wickison from Brazil on September 28, 2020:

Thanks for tackling my turkey question. As soon as he (Jamie Oliver) said it, you popped into my mind.

I love the pumpkin syrup idea but what would you use it in or on?

Congratulations on hitting the 3 year mark.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 28, 2020:

Thanks Linda, Gabe is starting to take words and look them up and question me on them. He keeps me on my toes in the kitchen.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on September 28, 2020:

Eric, a very long time ago I did a lexicon of cooking terms; it was quite extensive. I'll dust it off and pull out the active verbs for you. How's that?

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 28, 2020:

Marvelous, like all of these for three years. Such pleasure you have brought me. This has not necessarily made me a better cook but it darn tooting has made me enjoy it more.

This is a vocabulary type question. I think I was whisking eggs for Gabe this morning of course following your answers to making eggs, but it struck me that I may have been stirring them or beating them. I bet I do more than just this. What does it all mean all the way to kneeding?

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on September 28, 2020:

Bill, no matter how fast I write I'll never catch up with your Mailbag.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 28, 2020:

Three years? Really? Well Happy Anniversary/Birthday! I'm actually shocked it's been that long. Talk about time flying. Whew! I have whiplash from the speed.

Have a fantastic week; beautiful weather heading our way, before reality arrives and cloaks us in doom. lol

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on September 28, 2020:

Flourish, I have you to thank for this column. It was you who suggested that I do a weekly Q&A and I'm so glad that I listened to you. I knew that you would enjoy that little kitty. Her falling backwards somehow reminds me of the Muppets.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on September 28, 2020:

Pamela, we need to get that contact info on each other so that we can still communicate. I tried to add a link to one of my articles on the niche site and got a severe wrist slap.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on September 28, 2020:

Chitrangada never fear--the Question and Answer series will never go to a niche site. Have a great week.

FlourishAnyway from USA on September 28, 2020:

How wonderful that this column has lasted so long and has been such a success. Congratulations! Thanks for answering my question. That recipe by that realtor seems over the moon fantastic. Cute video too. Have a wonderful week.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on September 28, 2020:

This is another good article and I never thought of letting turkey sit for 2 hours and usually it is about 45 minutes for me. It is good to know.

I have several articles on niche sites also but I have not corresponded with anyone very often. I guess things are changing and I am a bit in the dark. I hope you continute to write each week well beyond this three wonderful years.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on September 28, 2020:

Great series and many congratulations for your anniversary. I wish you all the best for continuing this wonderful series.

I am happy that I was able to comment, before this goes to the niche sites.

Your pumpkin spice syrup recipe sounds delicious.

Thank you for sharing and wish you a great week.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on September 27, 2020:

I wouldn't say that he/she is a personal editor, but because I write so frequently there is one person I hear from on the posts that go to the niche site. We correspond often.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on September 27, 2020:

Wow, do you have your own personal editor? I have no idea who edits my articles. I just thought it was random people. Most of what I write nowadays goes to niche sites (apart from Poems From the Porch) and I think I have articles on about five different ones. I’m starting to wish I didn’t with the recent changes.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on September 27, 2020:

John, as long as I get questions there will be answers. This series never goes to a niche (and never will--my editor HATES it). So yes, I hope for a 4th, 5th, and dare I say even a 6th anniversary God willing. Thank you for your kind words and your continued support.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on September 27, 2020:

Happy Three Year Anniversary, Linda. I hope this wonderful series continues for another three years. Thanks for sharing about the turkey resting time. I agree 2 hours seems far too long, but nice to know about keeping the stuffing temperature up.