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Meat substitutes

Meat substitutes.  Check out this page on One Green Planet titled “10 Vegetables That Can Substitute for Meat“.

Not your hippie friend’s meat substitute

Not too long ago vegan friendly substitutes for meat were like eating cardboard.  Not to mention they were highly processed and contained a lot of chemicals.  Not so much today.  There are quite a few products that are very good and can even stand on their own without being called a “substitute”.

Cutting down on meat?

If you aren’t, you really should be.  I have been on a vegan experiment for the last 6 months or so with interesting results.  That is a story for another day, but suffice it to say if you are pushing 65 as I am or even 45 for that matter, it’s time to consider your long term diet, in order to have a “long term” at all.  I’m not saying to stop meat completely, in fact I’ve started back on a limited protein serving a couple of times per week.  I’ll explain that another time.

The products and the companies producing meat substitutes that I’m going to list below are a great way to expand your eating options and improve your health at the same.  Back off on the red, white and fowl meats.  Don’t stop by any means, but just imagine how much better they’ll taste when you aren’t eating them as often.

5 Options

Veggie Patch Products –  This is a large line of veggie and meatless products that might interest even the pickiest carnivore.  No artificial flavors, preservative and no trans fat.  These products include Meatless meatballs, chick’n Nuggets and Ultimate Meatless Burgers and many more. Click on the link to find who carries them in your area.

Trader Joe’s Meatless Corn Dogs and Morningstar Farms Veggie Corn Dogs – If you or your kids like corn dogs, try one of these substitutes and see if any one even can tell the difference. Trader Joe provide excellent products throughout their store and Morningstar is a leader in the vegan market.

Quorn –  While I’m not personally familiar with this brand, it is highly recommended.  Click on the link and check out the products for yourself.  They have meat and meatless products.

Quorn

Quorn

Turtle Island Foods –  I recently had my first Tempeh…. wait for it… wait for it… and I loved it.  Great texture, good flavor and cooks well with out falling apart.  Turtle Island carried Tofurky, tofurky pizza, tempeh and tempeh bacon.  I can’t yet vouch for all of these products, but the tempeh is great.

Gardein Seven – the article says about Gardein

“Gardein’s ad campaign advises consumers to “cheat on meat,” and their products make it easy to do just that. To boot, these breaded tenders contain heart healthy grains like quinoa, millet, amaranth and Kamut and have 8 grams of protein per serving”

Conclusions

I have concluded for myself that I am cutting down on meat and I will eat more of the products I’ve list above.  I recommend you come to the same conclusion, as I need to keep all the readers I have.  – jughandle

 

Food Source – Chef Kern’s fine foods

In the Cumming, GA area.  This place is worth the drive.  Chef Kern’s has been catering special events with his great Cajun food since the 1980’s.  I wanted to make sure you knew you could visit his store and buy food to take home.  Note that the dishes on his menu usually serve at least 2 people.  These are great prices on exceptional food with weekly specials. – jughandle

Chef Kern, Inc.

Chef Kern, Inc. is a quality full service catering and fine foods company servicing Atlanta and North Georgia since 1988. Chef Kern’s specialties include Cajun, French, Italian, Southwestern, Mediterranean and Classic Southern Cuisines. Chef Kern Chiasson applies creative fresh ideas and knowledge to his defined style of seasoning, always committed to providing the freshest food available.

“The total palate pleasing adventure”!

 

CHEF KERN, INC  – Kerns Fine Foods.

Onsite Catering Division

3060 Keith Bridge Road

Cumming, GA 30041

Office: 770-889-8800

Fax: 770-889-8838

Web: chefkern.com

Email: Chef Kern Chiasson

Store Hours

Monday Closed
Tuesday 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Wednesday 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Thursday 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Friday 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Saturday 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Sunday Closed

 

Directions

From Atlanta
Take GA 400 north to exit 17, hwy. 306. Turn right toward Gainesville. We are 1/2 mile down on the right, in the Lock Inns development. Second building back, look for the big red KERN’S sign

From Dahlonega
Take GA 400 south to exit 17, hwy. 306. Turn left toward Gainesville. We are 1 mile down on the right, in the Lock Inns development. Second building back, look for the big red KERN’S sign

From Gainesville
Take hwy. 53 toward Dawsonville; take a left onto hwy. 306 toward Cumming 1/4 mile past the intersection of hwy. 306 & 369. We are on the left, in the Lock Inns development second building back, look for the big red KERN’S sign

Fresh In The Store This Week

Weekly Specials

 

We are committed to providing our customers with the freshest, highest quality domestic ingredients available.

  • No Artificial Additives, Flavors or Colorings
  • No Preservatives or MSG
  • No Heavy Creams or Half & Half
We ARE what we EAT – Are your kids red dye #40?

It was brought to my attention last night that I have been remiss in my reporting about food that children eat.  More like, food that parents feed children.

blue dye

I’m not a parent

Keep in mind that I am not a parent.  I am however a uncle and I love my nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews, very much.  What is more important to a growing body and mind than what fuels their growth? Nothing!  Far from me to judge what a parent feeds their children.  Look what a young parent is up against.

First of all a young parent is new at everything.  There is no owners manual for a kid, only older family members, friends, self help books and human nature to provide a basis for keeping their child alive and hopefully making them thrive.  Young parents are many times, just getting married and are still learning who takes out the trash and who does the check book and whose mess is on the floor.  Then enters a child.  All bets are out the window.  Nothing matters except what is at hand; the life and well being of that new born.  What are you going to feed your baby?  You are going to go to the store, most likely hauling the child with you, and not being able to bend over, you are going to do exactly what the marketing people what you to do.  Are you going to read the label?  Hell no, not with a kid tugging at you.  You are going to buy the food on the shelf at eye level.  The highest margin products.  The colorful ones that the kids go oh, oh, oh and point at.  Maybe you’ll remember that you saw it on TV.  It must be OK then, right? Not so much.

National Advertising

National advertising from manufactures creates national peer pressure on parents.  While, I’m not a parent, I am an advertising major in school and worked with a graphic design group for several years and so is my wife.  Advertisers know exactly what children and therefore their parents are looking for.  Kids like bright colors, sweet stuff, things they see in bright loud ads but most of all, they want the stuff their friends have.

The manufactures have a responsibility to their board of directors, who have a responsibility to their share holders to make as much profit for the company as possible.  All companies have an ethical obligation to provide a product that won’t do immediate harm to its consumer and that is about as far as it goes.   But what if no studies have ever been done on an the long term effects of a food additive on growing children, but that additive has been used in the food industry for years with out many complaints?  It gets used until proven to be harmful.

Have you ever taken your child shopping with you (not really the best idea, but mostly unavoidable) and while you are picking out the product you intended to purchase, your child says, “no mommy, I want this one”?  That one is the bright colorful one right at their eye level.  Welcome to the world of consumer advertising.

You Are Responsible

You and only you are responsible for what YOU AND YOUR FAMILY eats.  Not the government.  They WILL NOT hold your hand.  I repeat.  This is on YOU!  You make the decision of what to put in your families bodies.  Contrary to many people’s belief’s, not everything for sale is good for you or even SAFE.  In this day and age of easy information, there is no excuse.  None!  I’m here to help.  Ask me a question.  please.  – jughandle

Too Much to Touch on

This topic is way too broad to even touch on all the important aspects.  What we’ll have to do is to delve into one of the most important HOT topics and move on later. Food coloring additives are a pet peeve of the Fat Farm and many of it’s Farmers.  That too is way to broad a topic to hit on so I’ll narrow it to one color at a time.

Red Dye

Red dye #40

 

Red Dye #40

Just to get your attention, I’m going to list just a few of the known side effects of this nasty color additive.

  • Impaired brain function
  • hyperactive behavior
  • difficulty focusing
  • lack of impulse control

Those are just the starters.  Don’t believe me?  Go to Healthy Living and read for yourself

These problems have been blamed on newly named syndromes and diseases like ADHD, ADD and others.  What came first the chicken or the egg?

If your child gets hyperactive after eating a sweet food.  Don’t blame it on the sugar any more, check out what color the food was.

Where are these dyes used?

EVERYWHERE!  Read the labels.  If you don’t have time to do the research, let me.  Send me a quick email or note on this blog telling me the name and brand of food you want me to research and I’ll do the math for all of us.  Better even than that – if you find a “good” food let me know and I’ll tell the world.  Shoot, I’ll write the president of the company and tell them we endorse their product.

What to look for

Look for labels that say things like – ALL NATURAL; NO BINDERS, NO ARTIFICIAL COLORS, DYES OR PRESERVATIVES

What are your kids eating for breakfast?

Breakfast, as we’ve always heard, is the most important meal of the day.  More so for children.  Research shows that children’s brain function improves up to 80% when they consume protein first thing in the morning. What are your kids eating for breakfast? A fruity bowl of sugar and Red 40?

List of Dyes and their health effects

 

Sources:

 

 

DYE
HEALTH EFFECTS
Amaranth
FD&C Red No.2
not allowed in U.S.
E 123 Europe
Angioedema
Pruritus
Urticaria
Unspecified subjective symptoms
Bronchoconstriction (combined with Ponceau, Sunset Yellow)
Erythrosine
FD&C Red No.3
E 127 Europe
Bronchoconstriction (combined with Brilliant Blue, Indigo Carmine)
Sequential vascular response
Elevation of protein-bound iodide
Thyroid tumors
Chromosomal damage
Unspecified symptoms
Ponceau
FD&C Red No.4
not allowed in U.S.
E 124 Europe
Bronchoconstriction (combined with Amaranth, Sunset Yellow)
Anaphylactoid reaction (combined with Sunset Yellow)
Chest heaviness
Neutral Red Contact dermatitis
Carmoisine
E 122 Europe
not in U.S.; information not available yet;
Red #2G
_128 Europe
not in U.S.; information not available yet
Citrus Red No.2 Cancer in animals
Used for dying skins of oranges
Allura Red AC
FD&C Red No.40
Tumors / lymphomas
Tartrazine
FD&C Yellow No.5
E 102 Europe
Allergies
Thyroid tumors
Lymphocytic lymphomas
Chromosomal Damage
Trigger for asthma
Urticaria (hives)
Hyperactivity (Rowe & Rowe, Egger, 1985)
Sunset Yellow
FD&C Yellow No.6
Urticaria (hives)
Rhinitis (runny nose)
Nasal congestion
Bronchoconstriction (combined with Amaranth, Ponceau)
Anaphylactoid reaction (combined with Ponceau)
Eosinophilotactic response
Purpura (bruising)
Allergies
Kidney tumors
Chromosomal damage
Abdominal pain
Vomiting
Indigestion
Distaste for food
Yellow #2G
_107 Europe
not in U.S.; information not available yet
D&C Yellow No.11 Contact dermatitis
Quinoline Yellow
D&C Yellow No.10
E 104 Europe
Contact dermatitis
Used in several different Ritalin tablets
Fast Green
FD&C Green No.3
Bladder tumors
Brilliant Blue
FD&C Blue No.1
Bronchoconstriction (combined with Erythrosine, Indigo Carmine)
Eosinophilotactic response
Chromosomal damage
Indigo Carmine
FD&C Blue No.2
E 132 Europe
Brain tumors
Bronchoconstriction (combined with Brilliant Blue, Erythrosine)
Evans Blue
CI Direct Blue 53
Dermatitis
Patent Blue Purpura (bruising)
Dermatitis
Unspecified subjective symptoms
Gentian Violet
CI Basic Violet No.3
Contact dermatitis
Brown FK
_154 Europe
not in U.S.; information not available yet
Brown HT
_155 Europe
not in U.S.; information not available yet
Black PN
E 151 Europe
not in U.S.; information not available yet
E 320 Europe BHA
E 321 Europe BHT
E 211 Europe Sodium Benzoate
E 250 Europe Sodium Nitrite
E 251 Europe Sodium Nitrate
_621 MSG Monosodium Glutamate

 

Conclusions and Recommendations

Oh God, I could go on and on about this and I will another time, but I don’t want to lose you.  Please start by simply eliminating Red dye from your family’s diet.  What the hell, remove yellow dye too!  See if you can tell a difference.  More to come – jughandle

 

 

 

How to Carve a Halloween Pumpkin

How to Carve a Pumpkin

Pumpkin carving has developed from a fun thing to do at Halloween to a competitive art.

Ideas

There are as many ideas as there are pumpkins.  “The limit is only your imagination”, as the creative types like to say.  The following are pictures to help inspire.

Southern Living Idea

From Southern Living – https://www.southernliving.com

Seasonal designs

Seasonal designs are unique

How to make a pumpkin cooler

Or try something more traditional

More Picture Ideas

Pantry 101 – General Goods & Condiments 7-10

Pantry 101 – General Goods & Condiments 7-10

General goods & Condiments

1. rice
2. dried pasta in different shapes
3. dried onion soup mix
4. tomato paste
5. tomato sauce
6. canned tomatoes
7. peanut butter
8. jelly
9. canned tuna
10. raisins

11. chocolate syrup
12. cereals
13. chicken or beef stock
14. canned soups
15. canned beans
16. olives
17. canned pears
18. canned peaches
19. applesauce
20. vegetable oil
21. olive oil
22. red wine vinegar
23. white wine vinegar
24. vegetable shortening
25. nonstick cooking spray
26. mayonnaise
27. ketchup
28. mustard
29. salad dressings
30. soy sauce
31. hot pepper sauce
32. Worcestershire sauce
33. barbecue sauce
34. salsa
35. honey
36. maple syrup
37. white wine for cooking
38. red wine for cooking
39. Mango Chutney

7) peanut butter
 is a food paste made primarily from ground roasted peanuts, with or without added oil. It is popular throughout the world and is also manufactured in some emerging markets. Its primary use is as a sandwich spread.  Similar peanut pastes are popular in various cultures. In South Indian cooking, chili peppers are added to make a spicy variant of peanut paste. In Andhra Pradesh, India, peanut chutney is popular. In this variation, peanuts are ground and mixed with chili peppers and other ingredients.  In some types of gourmet peanut butter, chocolate or other ingredients may be added. Various nut butters are also made from other nuts.

Health benefits
Peanut butter may protect against a high risk of cardiovascular disease due to high levels of monounsaturated fats and resveratrol; butter prepared with the skin of the peanuts has a greater level of resveratrol and other health-aiding agents. Peanut butter (and peanuts) provide protein, vitamins B3 and E, magnesium, folate, dietary fiber, arginine, and high levels of the antioxidant p-coumaric acid.

Health concerns

For people with a peanut allergy, peanut butter can cause reactions including anaphylactic shock which has led to its banning in some schools.
The peanut plant is susceptible to the mold Aspergillus flavus which produces a carcinogenic substance called aflatoxin.[5] Since it is impossible to completely remove every instance of aflatoxins, contamination of peanuts and peanut butter is monitored in many countries to ensure safe levels of this carcinogen. Average American peanut butter contains about 13 parts per billion of aflatoxins, a thousand times below the maximum recommended safe level.
Some brands of peanut butter may contain a large amount of added hydrogenated vegetable oils, which are high in trans fatty acids, thought to be a cause of atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, and stroke; these oils are added to make the butter easier to spread. Natural peanut butter, and peanuts, do not contain partially hydrogenated oils. A USDA survey of commercial peanut butters in the US did not show the presence of trans fat.
Also, at least one study has found that peanut oil caused relatively heavy clogging of arteries. Robert Wissler, of the University of Chicago, reported that diets high in peanut oil, when combined with cholesterol intake, clogged the arteries of Rhesus monkeys more than did butterfat.

So, to sum up; peanutbutter good, additives bad.  As always, read the labels, look for and avoid added anything.  The shorter the list, the better.  Avoid hydrogenated vegetable oils.

8) jelly
Jelly is strictly defined in the US as: That semisolid food made from not less than 45 parts by weight of fruit juice ingredient to each 55 parts by weight of sugar.  This mixture is concentrated to not less than 65 percent soluble solids.  Pectin and acid may be added to overcome the deficiencies that occur in the fruit itself.  Flavoring and coloring agents may also be added.  The name of the fruit used in making the jelly must be stated with other ingredients, in order of declining by weights, on the label of such products offered for sale in the US.

Store bought jellies or Jams generally contain more additives than home made.  If you can get home made from a friend or relative that knows how to preserve, do it.  It will almost always be better.

Why Fruit Jellies are Stable – Jelly, jam, fruit butters, marmalades and preserves are products that are stable because they are high in solids (sugar) and high in acids.  A food substrate concentrated to 65 percent of more soluble solids (sugar) and which contains substantial acid may be preserved with relatively minor heat treatment provided that food product is protected from air.  The high fruit solids and the pectin bind or tie-up the moisture sufficiently to lower the water activity to a level where only molds can grow.  Hermetic sealing protects the product form moisture loss, mold growth and oxidation. – http://www.ianrpubs.unl.edu/epublic/live/g1604/build/g1604.pdf

Long story short.  Use good canning practices, use good ripe fruit and after you open it put it in the refrig.  Also remember that there are a lot of sugars in jelly and that will spike your blood sugar.  Avoid sugar when ever possible.

Side bar-  Jelly is made from juice, Jams are made with the fruit pulp in it, Fruit Butter is the smooth, semisolid  paste with a ratio of five parts fruit to two parts sugar, and Marmalade is usually made from citrus fruit or may contain a citrus peel.

9) canned tuna
This can be a controversial subject, because of the fishing methods used to obtain the fish.  Very large nets are strung out for miles and pulled in catching everything that’s out there.  Sharks are caught in the nets and drown, because they need to keep moving at all times.  Sea turtles are also caught and die in the nets.  Mostly people are upset about the dolphins getting caught and dieing or being injured  in the nets.  With that said.  Tuna is a great source of nutrition.   Most of the next paragraphs come from Wikipedia.

Tuna are several species of ocean-dwelling fish in the family Scombridae, mostly in the genus Thunnus. Tunas are fast swimmers—they have been clocked at 70 km/h (45 mph)—and include several species that are warm-blooded. Unlike most fish species, which have white flesh, tuna have flesh that is pink to dark red. The red coloring comes from tuna muscle tissue’s greater quantities of myoglobin, an oxygen-binding molecule. Some of the larger tuna species, such as the bluefin tuna, can raise their blood temperature above that of the water through muscular activity. This ability enables them to live in cooler waters and to survive in a wide range of ocean environments
Tuna is an important commercial fish. Some varieties of tuna, such as the bluefin and bigeye tuna, Thunnus obesus, are threatened by overfishing, which dramatically affects tuna populations in the Atlantic and northwestern Pacific Oceans. Other areas seem to support fairly healthy populations of some of the over 48 different species of tuna —for example, the central and western Pacific skipjack tuna, Katsuwonus pelamis—but there is mounting evidence that overexploitation threatens tuna populations worldwide. The Australian government alleged in 2006 that Japan had illegally overfished southern bluefin by taking 12,000 to 20,000 tonnes per year instead of the their agreed 6,000 tonnes; the value of such overfishing would be as much as USD $2 billion. Such overfishing has resulted in severe damage to stocks. According to the WWF, “Japan’s huge appetite for tuna will take the most sought-after stocks to the brink of commercial extinction unless fisheries agree on more rigid quotas”.[2]

Increasing quantities of high-grade tuna are entering the market from operations that rear tuna in net pens and feed them a variety of bait fish. In Australia the southern bluefin tuna, Thunnus maccoyii, is one of two species of bluefin tunas that are kept in tuna farms by former fishermen.[3] Its close relative, the northern bluefin tuna, Thunnus thynnus, is being used to develop tuna farming industries in the Mediterranean, North America and Japan.

Due to their high position in the food chain and the subsequent accumulation of heavy metals from their diet, mercury levels can be high in larger species such as bluefin and albacore. As a result, in March 2004 the United States FDA issued guidelines recommending that pregnant women, nursing mothers and children limit their intake of tuna and other types of predatory fish.[4] However, most canned light tuna is skipjack tuna, which is lower in mercury. The Chicago Tribune reported that some canned light tuna such as yellowfin tuna[5] is significantly higher in mercury than skipjack tuna, and caused Consumers Union and other health groups to advise pregnant women to refrain from consuming canned tuna.[6] The Eastern little tuna (Euthynnus affinis) has been available for decades as a low-mercury, less expensive canned tuna. However, of the five major species of canned tuna imported by the United States it is the least commercially attractive, primarily due to its dark color and more pronounced ‘fishy’ flavor. Its use has traditionally been restricted exclusively to institutional (non-retail) commerce.

Canned tuna

Canned tuna was first produced in 1903, and quickly became popular. In the United States, only Albacore can legally be sold in canned form as “white meat tuna”; in other countries, Yellowfin is also acceptable as “white meat tuna.”
While in the early 1980s canned tuna in Australia was most likely to be Southern bluefin, as of 2003 it is usually yellowfin, skipjack, or tongol (labelled “northern bluefin”).
As tuna are often caught great distances from where they are processed, poor quality control may lead to spoilage. Tuna are typically eviscerated by hand, then pre-cooked for 45 minutes to three hours. The fish are then cleaned and filleted, packaged into cans, and sealed. The second cooking of the tuna meat (called retort cooking) is carried out in the cans, this time for 2 to 4 hours. This process kills any bacteria, but retains the histamine that can produce rancid flavors. The international standard sets the maximum histamine level at 200 milligrams per kilogram. An Australian study of 53 varieties of unflavored canned tuna found none to exceed the maximum histamine level, although some had “off” flavors.
Australian standards once required cans of tuna to contain at least 51% tuna, but these regulations were dropped in 2003. The remaining weight is usually oil or water. In the US, the FDA has regulations on canned tuna

Association with dolphins

Many tuna species associate with dolphins, swimming alongside them. These include yellowfin tuna in the eastern Pacific Ocean, but not albacore or skipjack. The reason for the association is believed to be the avoidance of dolphins by sharks, which are predators of tuna. Swimming near dolphins reduces the likelihood of the tuna being attacked by a shark.
Fishing vessels can exploit this association by searching for pods of dolphins. They encircle the pod with nets to catch the tuna beneath. The nets are prone to entangling dolphins, thus injuring or killing them. As a result of public outcry, methods have been made more “dolphin friendly”, now generally involving lines rather than nets. However, there are neither universal independent inspection programs nor verification of “dolphin safeness” to show that dolphins are not harmed during tuna fishing. According to Consumers Union, the resulting lack of accountability means claims that tuna that is “dolphin safe” should be given little credence.

Canned tuna is a prominent component in many weight trainers‘ diets, as it is very high in protein and is easily prepared.
Tuna is an Oily fish, and therefore contains a high amount of Vitamin D. A can of tuna in oil contains about the Adequate Intake (AI) of the US Dietary Reference Intake of vitamin D for infants, children, men, and women aged 19–50 – 200 UI.
Canned tuna can also be a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, of which it sometimes contains over 300 mg per serving. A January 2008 report conducted by the New York Times has found potentially dangerous levels of mercury in certain varieties of sushi tuna, reporting levels “so high that the Food and Drug Administration could take legal action to remove the fish from the market.”

To summarize:  Canned tuna is a great source of protein.  Avoid tuna packed in oil.  If you don’t want to risk the off flavor associated with cans, look for pouch packaged tuna.  If you don’t want to hurt other fish, buy only line caught tuna, or tuna steaks.  If you don’t want to risk mercury poisoning or IF YOU ARE PREGNANT, avoid tuna all together.


10) raisins
Raisins are dried grapes. They are produced in many regions of the world, such as the United States, Australia, Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Greece, Turkey, India, Iran, Pakistan, China, Afghanistan, Togo, and Jamaica, as well as South Africa and Southern and Eastern Europe. Raisins may be eaten raw or used in cooking and baking.
Raisin varieties depend on the type of grape used. Seedless varieties include the Sultana (also known as “Thompson Seedless” in the USA) and Flame. Raisins are typically sun-dried, but may also be “water-dipped,” or dehydrated. “Golden raisins” are made from Sultanas, treated with Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) , and flame dried to give them their characteristic color. A particular variety of seedless grape, the Black Corinth, is also sun dried to produce Zante currants, mini raisins that are much darker in color and have a tart, tangy flavour. Several varieties of raisins are produced in Asia and, in the West, are only available at ethnic specialty grocers. Green raisins are produced in Iran. Raisins have a variety of colors (green, black, blue, purple, yellow) and sizes.

Raisins are about 60% sugars by weight, most of which is fructose. Raisins are also high in certain antioxidants, and are comparable to prunes and apricots in this regard. As for all dried fruits, raisins have a very low vitamin C content.

The natural sugar in grapes crystallizes during the drying process.

Raisins are sweet due to their high concentration of sugars. If they are stored for a long period, the sugar inside the fruit crystallizes. This makes the dry raisins gritty, but does not affect their usability. The sugar grains dissolve when the raisins are swelled in (hot) water.

 

Grape and raisin toxicity in dogs

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The consumption of grapes and raisins presents a potential health threat to dogs. Their toxicity to dogs can cause the animal to develop acute renal failure (the sudden development of kidney failure) with anuria (a lack of urine production). The phenomenon was first identified by the Animal Poison Control Center (APCC), run by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). A trend was seen as far back as 1999. Approximately 140 cases were seen by the APCC in the one year from April 2003 to April 2004, with 50 developing symptoms and seven dying.

Cause and pathology

The reason why some dogs develop renal failure following ingestion of grapes and raisins is not known. Types of grapes involved include both seedless and seeded, store bought and homegrown, and grape pressings from wineries.  A mycotoxin is suspected to be involved, but one has not been found in grapes or raisins ingested by affected dogs. The estimated toxic dose of grapes is 32 g/kg (grams of grapes per kilograms of mass of the dog), and for raisins it is 11–30 g/kg. The most common pathological finding is proximal renal tubular necrosis. In some cases, an accumulation of an unidentified golden-brown pigment was found within renal epithelial cells.

 Symptoms and diagnosis

Vomiting and diarrhea are often the first symptoms of grape or raisin toxicity. They often develop within a few hours of ingestion. Pieces of grapes or raisins may be present in the vomitus or stool. Further symptoms include weakness, not eating, increased drinking, and abdominal pain. Acute renal failure develops within 48 hours of ingestion    A blood test may reveal increases in blood urea nitrogen (BUN), creatinine, phosphorus, and calcium.

Treatment

Emesis (induction of vomiting) is the generally recommended treatment if a dog has eaten grapes or raisins within the past two hours. A veterinarian may use an emetic such as hydrogen peroxide or apomorphine to cause the dog to vomit. Further treatment may involve the use of activated charcoal to adsorb remaining toxins in the gastrointestinal tract and intravenous fluid therapy in the first 48 hours following ingestion to induce diuresis and help to prevent acute renal failure.Vomiting is treated with antiemetics and the stomach is protected from uremic (damage to the stomach from increased BUN) with H2 receptor antagonists. BUN, creatinine, calcium, phosphorus, sodium, and potassium levels are closely monitored. Dialysis of the blood (hemodialysis) and peritoneal dialysis can be used to support the kidneys if anuria develops. Oliguria (decreased urine production) can be treated with dopamine or furosemide to stimulate urine production.

The prognosis is guarded in any dog developing symptoms of toxicosis. A negative prognosis has been associated with oliguria or anuria, weakness, difficulty walking, and severe hypercalcemia (increased blood calcium levels).

 

You might have noticed that I added Mango Chutney to the bottom of the list.  This was a suggestion from Mittie.  We’ll talk more about it when we get there.  Thanks, Mittie, for the input.

later-
Jughandle

Pantry 101-General Goods & Condiments 11-19

General goods & Condiments

1. rice
2. dried pasta in different shapes
3. dried onion soup mix
4. tomato paste
5. tomato sauce
6. canned tomatoes
7. peanut butter
8. jelly
9. canned tuna
10. raisins
11. chocolate syrup
12. cereals
13. chicken or beef stock
14. canned soups
15. canned beans
16. olives
17. canned pears
18. canned peaches
19. applesauce
20. vegetable oil
21. olive oil
22. red wine vinegar
23. white wine vinegar
24. vegetable shortening
25. nonstick cooking spray
26. mayonnaise
27. ketchup
28. mustard
29. salad dressings
30. soy sauce
31. hot pepper sauce
32. Worcestershire sauce
33. barbecue sauce
34. salsa
35. honey
36. maple syrup
37. white wine for cooking
38. red wine for cooking
39. Mango Chutney

11) chocolate syrup
Let’s skip this one. I personally don’t see a need for another sugar packed pantry item. Anything you can do with chocolate syrup you can do with chocolate. Prove me wrong.

12) cereals
Have only one personal rule with cereals. They must be high in fiber per serving (5grams or more) low in sugar (5 grams or less) and low in calories. I have found a couple, but the one I like the best is Trader Joe’s High Fiber. It has 9 grams of fiber for a 80 calories 2/3c serving. Only 5 grams of sugar. It is a twig style cereal. Kashi makes several good ones too.

13) chicken or beef stock
These you need! You’ll use stock a lot. Don’t get the canned stuff. Buy the stock in the cardboard boxes with the spout. There are several different brands. Look for low sodium with little or no additives. Absolutely no MSG.

14) canned soups
These are an easy way to have a quick meal, snack, or just to add to a sauce or stew. Again, look for low sodium, no MSG, yada, yada. We’ve even found some good soups in those same cardboard boxes that are GREAT! Look around, read the labels, find something you like and buy 5 or six. They keep.

15) canned beans
The only canned beans we might do are canned re-fried beans or black beans. It is always better to buy dried beans and make your own. Plan the night before and soak your beans in a big pot. They will absorb a lot of water. Rinse and repeat. Then slow boil them in water, beer, stock, or what ever you come up with. Beans are a great source of everything good. EAT THEM OFTEN.

16) olives
I love all things olive. Oil, paste, whole, black, green, greek, etc, etc. They are very GOOD for you. Plus they are great to add to a dish either whole, chopped or in a puree. Olives are a strong flavor and mix well with a variety of dishes. We’ll do several olive recipes later.

17) Frozen pears
This was originally canned pears, and I can think of several uses of canned fruits, but all canned fruit has a bunch of added sugar. Frozen ones probably do too, but at least they aren’t already cooked to death.

18) canned peaches
See # 17

19) applesauce
This I kind of get. There are a lot of jarred applesauces that are naturally sweetened without additive that I would use. But I personally don’t use much applesauce, I like it, I just don’t use it. Let me know how you use it, if you do.

 

Until tomorrow –

Jughandle

25th Anniversary Party Cake
This is a cake we made for a 25th anniversary party. It is a yellow cake with white butter cream icing, covered in white and silver fondant with a royal icing bow on top and gum paste bows and ribbons on the bottom. Designed to serve 150 people. This actually was a very successful cake with few problems because yellow cake is naturally dense and it could easily hold the weight of the small cake on top. The only caution here is about the royal icing bow on top.
protect-the-bow

Gum paste bow with temporary supports

This type of bow is very fragile and should be supported with tissue when transporting. Make sure you have a bag of royal icing to re-attach any broken loops that occurred along the way. The dragees (small silver dots on the fondant) are great to cover any minor problems with the fondant.

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Finished Product

Finished Cake

Cake Recipes – when to make it yourself, when to buy it made, and when to use a box mix
Types of Cake – yellow, chocolate, white, red velvet, cheese cake, carrot cake
Structure – supports, framework, columns, wire, wood, plastic, steel
Types of frosting– fondant, butter-cream, royal, gum paste, cream cheese, glaze, poured fondant
Decorations– pre-made, gum paste, fondant, royal icing, piped butter-cream
Fondant– white, chocolate, marshmallow, poured
Butter-cream Recipes and Problems – cooked, with eggs, with out eggs, no cook
To Freeze or not to Freeze – fresh or frozen
When to refrigerate
When to deliver the cake
How to deliver the cake
How NOT to transport the cake
What to do on site at the event and what not to do
How to fix disasters – and you will have disasters
Why you can’t prevent disasters 
I know there will be more, but that is a good start.

Cake, fondant, weddings, special events

I am frustrated in my efforts to create the perfect cake.  Yes, I know, perfection is a lofty goal, but the finished product can be a hell of a lot better than most we amateurs – and even professionals, turn out.  I call myself an amateur, because that is exactly what I am.  My wife and I made (I use the past tense because we have retired from the stress of the cake making business) cakes for special events that our friends and family have, and we didn’t make money in the process.  We watched every “cake challenge”, “Ace of Cakes” and any other show that broadcasts cake making events and contests.  REAL secrets of how to bake, decorate and deliver a cake to an event are never full explained. I intend to revel those secrets, eventually, in this blog.