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08/05/2011

~ Culinary Q&A & Kitchen Therapy Too (8/5/11) ~

Culinary Q & A #2I had a great culinary question this week from a friend on Facebook and a regular reader of Kitchen Encounters, but before I get to that, because it has been such a crazy week here in Melanie's Kitchen, a little kitchen therapy is in order:

Perhaps I'm getting more intense as I get older, but have you noticed how when August rolls around everyone starts scampering around preparing for Fall?  Like squirrels scurrying to gather their acorns!?!  

In my opinion, the anticipation of a change-of-season is "a good thing" (as Martha Stewart would say).  I find myself pleased with all of the fine berries I have frozen and fruit preserves I have made.  I also pause to take a short-term look into the future.  I peruse my husband Joe's "Fall" garden and make plans for the upcoming deluge of cabbages, tomatoes and pumpkins.  So, from that standpoint, I suppose I am just like everyone else:  preparing my nest for the crisp Fall and the cold Winter ahead.  This is a comforting feeling, and it is indeed "a good thing"!  Next...

PICT5523 For all of the right reasons, on Wednesday, the FDA in conjunction with the CDC recalled 36 MILLION pounds of ground turkey from America's marketplace.  Thank goodness for these agencies and I for one am all for strict rules and swift actions where food safety is concerned.  There can NEVER be enough protection on this front!

For me, here at Kitchen Encounters, it just so happened that a few weeks ago I posted a recipe for ~ My Moist, Juicy, Grilled, Thai-Style Turkey Burgers ~, which can be found (gulp) in Categories 2, 3, 10 & 13.  I am proud to say that in my recipe, with all of it's step-by-step photographs are also instructions for safely cooking said turkey burgers to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.  That being said, two weeks ago, I featured that recipe on my "Kitchen Encounters with Melanie Preschutti" cooking segment on WHVL-TV, which just happened to air last night and will re-air this coming Sunday morning. There are no words to describe watching yourself make turkey burgers on TV one day after this recall.  I have wrapped myself around finding some humor in this situation and feel like I have just experienced my first out-of-body experience!

Now that my therapy session is over, and I thank you all for listening, I really do feel much better!

Let's move on to the question I got yesterday from a Facebook friend and regular follower of Kitchen Encounters:

Q.  Ken says and asks:  Mel, I'm back again with another question.  As you know, I get up at 4:30AM every day to go to work and I "brown bag" my lunch every day.  I also happen to love hearty  sandwiches.  I try to get-up early enough to pack my lunch every morning, but I was wondering: do you have any suggestions for making sandwiches ahead of time (that still taste like they were freshly made) or any recipes for sandwiches that can be made maybe even a day or two or three in advance and kept in the refrigerator?

PICT1577 A.  Kitchen Encounters:  Ken, you always ask such great questions!

As a matter a fact, I do have a "recipe" (more of a method) for making sandwiches that can be made ahead of time.  I do it for tailgating here at Penn State all the time and I'm pretty sure it will solve the dilemma you find yourself in!

Quick Tip:  Use firm-textured bread, make sure any greens are super dry and don't dress your sandwich with anything, and that includes mayonnaise and/or mustard!

That being said, I think a lot of people will be interested in my "make ahead sandwich method" and I will spend tomorrow working on this as my next blog post.  You can expect to see it early evening tomorrow or early morning Sunday.  That should give you plenty of time to pack your lunch for Monday morning!

Have a nice weekend everyone, and once again:  To leave a comment or ask a question, simply click on the blue title of any post, scroll to the end of it and type away!

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2011)

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