Freeform Fridays

Freeform Friday | May 31, 2014 | By

Okay. So the bloggie friends around me have been doing Throwback Thursdays, or Topic-Changing Thursdays, or Woman Crush Wednesdays  so today a light bulb went on in my head (said like Mr. Gru) and I thought to myself, “Self? Maybe you should do something like that. Sometimes dangerous food takes lots of time which means you’re not blogging as often as you could be.”

So welcome to Freeform Fridays! I was going to make it “Foodie Fact Fridays,” because most of you are foodies, but then I wanted to take pictures, and I thought to myself, “Self? Maybe you could take pictures of stuff other than food! Like, outside!” So all posts will now include photos. Freeform Fotos (That horribly spelled alliteration is my rebellion against  the OCD nature of the copyediting course I’m taking).

So. Here is the first freeform topic I’ll be discussing. It’s a foodie book review. Except that I haven’t finished the book yet. This freeform thing gets better and better.

Lobsters Scream When You Boil Them (Book)

My dad got me this book just because he saw it and thought I might like it. And he was right! Nice work, Dad. The book combines a bunch of great foodie things through dispelling food myths — weird facts, cooking tips, humour, and recipes.

Here are three sample myths and my thoughts:

1. Myth: Mouldy cheese should be thrown out



The book says that basically, the softer the cheese the less foreign mould you should put up with (pitch it), and to scrape that mess off of the harder cheeses which are still ok. Good to know. My rule before went something like, “if I paid more than $5 for it, let’s just call it penicillin.”

2. Myth: Rice should be rinsed until the water runs clear

Apparently rice used to be packed in talc for transport, which placed high importance on rinsing, but unless you buy mingin’ bargain basement rice, you should be all good without rinsing.

Good to know. Because I’m lazy. If there’s a kitchen corner to be cut, I’m going to slice it with a big dull knife (dull because I’m too lazy to sharpen things).



3. Myth: Never wash mushrooms

Where did the whole, “Don’t wash mushrooms,” thing come from? You can see the dirt, people! The book reiterates what we all know deep in our hearts — mushrooms grow in fecal matter. So if you don’t want a literal sh*t sandwich…

Awww, sweet little mushroom houses (growing in poo)

Awww, sweet little mushroom houses (growing in poo)

And this ends our preview of the book Lobsters Scream when You Boil Them. It’s a fun book.

And now, on to some pictures I took today in our gardens.

Our lilacs are really peaking right now. Two weeks ago my husband decided we didn’t need a lilac bush so he was going to wield a murderous lilac axe, but my daughter and I literally tree hugged so he moved it to a different corner, and it still bloomed. Charly and I are therefore quite proud of these rescued flowers.


My treatment of this next one in iPhoto makes me laugh. After I did it I thought, Perfect, that will one day be my funeral postcard. Lilacs in memory of Ann – she came, she saw, she cooked weird crap.

LilacsThis next one is a shot of our tranny garden gnome. My kids named “her,” Grace Ella after my cousin’s kids. I’m nearly as proud of her as I am of our lilac.
Grace EllaAnd … a tulip. Tulips are my favourite flowers. The axe wielder got rid of a bunch of those this year too, but he has promised me “tulip alley,” which will make for some great pics next year.


And a purple puffball. Just ’cause. Freeform Friday. “Just ’cause,” is the new M.O.

Purple puffball

Question: Are you into Freeform Friday? Can you think of a kitchen myth you’re not sure is true?


  1. Leave a Reply

    May 31, 2014

    Yay for random posting. 🙂 They’re sometimes longer to write for me, but fun to break up the normal recipe stuff. It’s cool to see you doing something like it, too. The rice thing is interesting…I thought part of it was also washing off some of the starch? But that might not make sense? I don’t know. I just do it because my husband said to, and he knows rice more than I do.

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      May 31, 2014

      He says that modern rice has been polished to a high degree so there isn’t much starch left after that. He says if you’re buying “straight from the farm,” bulk-type rice, it might be a good idea to pick the little stones out and rinse it because it’s been handled more, but that even then, rinsing doesn’t kill bacteria. Apparently bagged rice is pretty much good to go. So voila! That book just saved you 10 rice-lovin’ minutes! (Thanks, as always, for stopping by)

  2. Leave a Reply

    Trevor aka The Burger Nerd
    June 2, 2014

    Ahhh, today is a good day to wake up because I just learned something new. I did not know that about rice. Someone once told me you’re supposed to wash the heck out of it for the same reasons Aly mentioned but now I can stop that silly ritual. Thanks for another great read 🙂

    Here’s my contribution to the kitchen myths that aren’t true: You don’t need to put oil in your pasta water. This does absolutely nothing to help prevent the pasta from sticking and it doesn’t add any flavor. I’m not sure how many people still do it, but it was a popular technique for a while.

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      June 6, 2014

      First of all, sorry about not approving right away, Burger Nerd! Usually I’m obsessive about checking my email for new comments, but this time I didn’t get a notification or I missed it. I still like to moderate to save you guys the reading pleasure of spam like this:

      Uh-huh.70.40. Email us, But yeah, he is looking out the window at somebody coming in. Look down and see her ruined places.00.0.

      There are currently 1,446 of those kinds of gems in my spam folder, but they still manage to sneak through occasionally.

      Anyway, thanks so much for the pasta tip. I don’t usually salt or oil, but I always thought I was just being lazy by not doing it. Good to know that for once, laziness is close to deliciousness!

      • Leave a Reply

        Trevor aka The Burger Nerd
        June 9, 2014

        No problemo. I hear ya about the spam. I also get a ton…mostly ones that read like…”I make think you’ve done a superior job in testing your points of this valid topic. Buy sunglasses very cheap” – followed by some sketchy website addy. I’m going to assume you use WordPress and suggest a free plugin that works amazing. It’s called “Akismet” – not sure if you use it or heard of it. I’ve been using it for around 5 to 6 months…so far it’s caught over 5,500 spam comments and missed only 6. I have my comments set to auto approve and don’t have to worry about being blasted by spam. Anywhooo, just thought I’d pass that along in case you were interested. Cheers!

        • Leave a Reply

          Ann Allchin
          June 9, 2014

          Thanks! I do have Akismet and it works great, just missing things occasionally. I should let go of the reins too!

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