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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

fried and dried post 1 of 2 today


FRIED AND DRIED
note: post 1 of 2 today
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For whatever reason as I never know what is going to activate my “on a mission from God” ( Blues Brothers reference ) mode, I took it into my head that I needed to get into making tofu.  I think it was in a past article or comment mentioning that it would be nice if I could substitute or at least subsidize meat while living off grid.  If you didn’t have to pressure can, and didn’t need a fridge ( just cold cellar dairy ), life would be much easier.  You go into town every weekend, or even stretching it out to two weeks ( if you didn’t need to fetch water and you had enough clean cloths until laundry day ), avoiding the worst weather and wear and tear on the bike.  Well, I knew that you have to be careful eating beans because if they aren’t cooked your body can’t assimilate the nutrients, and in fact will actually LOSE some.  The only thing you end up with is calories.  And I already knew that soy has always been problematic in that they have the same issue as other beans but they take on the added issue of delivering or causing the formation of pseudo-estrogen. 

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I never wanted Bitch Tits ( guy boobies-you can get those from taking steroids to bulk up ) before and now I certainly don’t need my sex drive to diminish any more.  A little is good, as I like being able to think with the big brain and overrule the little brain.  That little humper has been in charge since my mid teens until around age fifty, and it was nice to see him kicked off the board of directors-now merely in a consulting role.  The thing is, if I get even less hormones I worry that the bastard will revolt and refuse to work at all.  At least now he’s still game most of the time ( we just went from a sprint to a marathon ).  So, no estrogen for me in my food, thank you very much.  I had read about the dangers of soy decades ago but decided that I needed a refresher.  I know, you know, and Ross Perot knows that everyone lies.  Those vegetarian folks pushing soy, the industry selling soy, and the publishers of articles and books warning you about soy, they all lie.  Okay, they don’t REALLY lie.  They pick and choose through the data to feed their conformational bias.  It isn’t willful untruth, just another unfortunate programming defect in our monkey men species.  We believe we aren’t lying when we lie and then lie to ourselves about lying so no one thinks we are liars.

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Of course what this means is that we have to make up our own minds about all the benefits and dangers of everything.  No one is going to admit being wrong about something so you can never wait for them to admit they humped it up.  Just keep an open mind in case you were wrong yourself.  I’ve always been partial to junk food, as is anyone because it is basically chemically altered corn that assumes whatever form your deepest desires take.  But at an early age my mom was a health food guru and past a very young age when I was allowed sugar cereal ( and I’m talking young, like four years old ) and other staples of normalcy, or at least normal for the children of the Manufactured Miracle Foods era, my parents, I was raised on healthy food ( I especially remember the adventures that was driving to other cities trying to find the one odd bakery that actually sold whole wheat bread, and this in California home of granola freaks-this prior to her making all her own ). 

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So, I was never a completely dedicated fan of either diametrically opposed food groups, rather of both, and I think it has given me a slight advantage in judging the accuracy of their claims ( well, that, a lot of reading and a lot of self experimentation ).  Which, unfortunately, both run to evangelical heights of absurdity.  The advocates of soy treat it like any other bean, and the detractors list nearly every medical ailment known to man as side effects.  But having encountered both types before, repeatedly, I kind of know what to watch for.  The advocates don’t admit to anything and the detractors claim all evil and wrong doing.  You know the vegetarians don’t know crap, since they don’t even know about the cooking issue ( they think raw ground soy as filling is acceptable ), and you know the scare mongers are snake oil salesmen ( selling the product, selling fear of the product-same difference ) and don’t know crap ( if a medical doctor is telling you this, is he an advocate of traditional practices such as chemotherapy? ).  Since the pros don’t know of any danger, add some.  And since the cons are overly excitable, take with a grain of salt.

*

And the verdict is in.  We don’t meet in the middle.  Middle ground is a compromise and with your health should you really be doing that?  Hell to the No, yo!  I could find no research that convinced me to think soy was anything other than poison on a stick ( the only way to safely eat it was Miso, a six month long fermentation process that needs an exotic store bought mold.  Really?  All that trouble for a bean.  If it was steak, okay ).  Look, I know sugar is terrible for you.  I consume it is much smaller doses than I used to ( I’m surprised I didn’t blow out an internal organ, the amount of coffee and soda I consumed as I weaned myself off of alcohol ).  I don’t think a little is extremely bad for you.  I don’t think my one cigarette a day is going to kill me ( how much car exhaust do you suck in? ).  I know moderation.  But soy, it just seems like a terrible food I should not use in moderation.  And I know that could be a too arbitrary of a decision, but sometimes the intellect can decide and sometimes you just need to trust your gut. 

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So soy is out which means tofu is a No-Go.  Which was sad.  Not that I like tofu as even the extra firm is a bit too nasty in the texture department for me.  But I sure liked soy jerky when I tried it ( all these were store bought.  They might taste much better homemade, but somehow I doubt it.  Factory food is engineered to taste better than homemade, or at least the expensive stuff is-you need to discount those manufactures who have recently gone all full retard on certain items, dropping the quality to near zero ).  My brainstorm was that I’d take tofu and run it in my food dryer, getting the moisture down.  Well, since tofu was soy and soy was out, I needed other answers.  I Googled “non-soy tofu” and got a bunch of Indian ( dot, not feather ) recipes, usually using garbanzos.  Which suck, from my experience with salads.  But those of course were canned and perhaps fresh was better.  But the video was saying as how you don’t get a milk out of that bean like you do soy anyway, so why go with a bean I don’t know much about?  They were saying just soak overnight and then blend into a slurry.  Then set up and cut into cubes.

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Well, I have this neat little device called a grain grinder, so piss on that soaking nonsense.  The grinder is the only way to process beans that have gotten too old to soak, anyway ( a pressure cooker might work, I’m not sure ).  So I’m just assuming the grinder is best all around.  I tried grinding on fine, but it seems best to grind just like you would the wheat, three times grinding from course to medium to fine.  Once you have your Victorian grinder ( which you order through my Amazon ad to give me a commission because you love me as no other non-fiction writer ) set up, looking at it with the hopper and handle towards you, you grind at 3 o’clock, then noon, then 9 o’clock ( 7 o’clock is closed completely-don’t use that setting as you’ll grind metal ).  I went with lentils, a more expensive option than pinto ( in our area of 25% Mexican population, pintos are the dominant used bean and hence the cheapest from quantity ).  I do fine with pinto as I like refried beans, but from some nasty soup/stew nasty concoction experiences I don’t like lentils.  My thought process was that if I could get those turds to taste good I could get any bean to work.

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Now you just cook the bean flour.  Remember about the seeds being designed to go through the gut of the bird and sprout from its droppings?  A bean will go right through you without absorbing nutrients if it isn’t cooked properly.  Just like a potato.  What you do is treat it like a pot of old fashion oatmeal.  Add water and let cook for awhile.  I had two cups of bean flour, so I doubled that in liquid.  The day before I tried half and half and it didn’t seem to cook very well.  By using three and half cups water and a half cup soy sauce, I got enough liquid in there to keep the paste bubbling.  I added a quarter cup sugar as I wanted a teriyaki flavor.  I was just kind of spitballing here, trying different things.  Once I realized I wasn’t making tofu as much as mush, it was a lot easier to figure this out.  Remember corn meal mush?  You take cornmeal, add water and cook for awhile, then put the mush into a pan and refrigerate over night, cutting into slices and frying.  Very tasty stuff.  Once I started treating the bean flour like the corn version ( polenta, in Italy ), it all fell into place.

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I placed the pan of two to one water to bean flour on medium and let cook for fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally ( I need to do a bit more research on how long it takes to cook beans, but this seemed reasonable ).  By this time the mush was nice and thick, and I glopped it onto a greased cookie sheet and put in the fridge.  You are going to have a really messy pan.  The bean paste cooks onto the bottom and is a bear to clean.  You’ll need to soak and scrape twice or so.  Make a big batch, so as to lesson the times you need to clean.  After an hour the mush is nice and firm, ready to be cut.  I made it about small French fry size.  I put most of them on the food dryer and some I tried frying up.  Oh.  My.  God.  That fried mush might not have been a perfect meat substitute but it was tasty as tasty could be.  It tasted nothing like bean paste ( I had tried some the day before in my first experimental batch, unseasoned.  It tasted exactly like what it was, mushy lentils.  Yuck! ) and very close to what the makers of tofu fake meat wished their slop tasted like.  Even the dog was impressed, but it is kind of hard to tell with her.  She is picky, but inconsistent.  I will say, as yummy as polenta is, the bean version is twice as good.

*

I tried the dried version after four hours and while good enough the middle was too raw.  After seven hours I had a better product, cooked all the way through but not so hard it was like burnt toast.  It almost tasted like jerky.  Of course, after sitting all night it went from chewy to crusty on the outside and chewy in the middle, so I don’t know if you could really say it is a proper jerky substitute in texture.  I’ll try to experiment on the next batch, only drying for four hours and letting it sit overnight to firm up.  Perhaps that will leave it staying chewy.  Of course I’ll update you the results.  I’m also going to try pinto instead of lentil beans.  I’m pretty excited about the results, even at this early stage.  Perhaps the soy sauce and the sugar take away some of the healthy aspects of this, as well as adding to the cost, but I think all things considered this is a relatively affordable and relatively healthy protein snack to replace what might be junk food binging when you are hungry between meals ( which I usually am, from late morning to early afternoon ).
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[ update.  Pinto beans are half the price and make less of a mess, but not only do they take a lot to grind-open the plates way out, grind about four times-they taste like utter crap using the above methods.  Also, just one pound of beans fills a 10x15 cookie sheet high ]

END ( end 'o the article Amazon link http://amzn.to/2u3XlwI )
 

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33 comments:

  1. interesting food test. I may have to try this! I also tried one of the authors books and it really looks go so far. They are free kindle reads if you are a free book member.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great author, I recommend. But, yes, of course get a free sample first as my style of author might not be yours.

      Delete
  2. I’m sure that soy in moderation is just fine. And you’re probably far better off eating organic soy than most of the meat that you get at the market today, that’s pumped full of nasty hormones and chemicals such as sodium nitrite (Hot dogs have to be the least healthy food known to mankind). If you’re an older guy the hormonal reduction might be more of an issue, but probably less so for the younger guys.

    Speaking of soy milk, that stuff is delicious. Personally, I’d avoid almond milk though, unless you like having bowels looser than Madonna.

    I think that there’s more to soaking beans than just softening them up, so I’m not sure if you can fully compensate for the soaking with the grinder. Lentils sound like a much better way to go; check out the quick graph below:

    lentils vs beans
    http://www.twofoods.com/compare/query/YmVhbnM=/bGVudGlscw==

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When you are younger I think your body can handle anything, so, yeh.

      Delete
    2. Jim,

      This guy (above) is FULL of shit! Just another stupid F***ing moron too lazy to research any thing.

      In other countries soy was always a CONDIMENT.

      In the U.S. it was NEVER approved aa a human food.

      Maybe he thinks GMO corn is great too?????

      Delete
    3. P.S.

      I bet he buys poop on a stick at the state fair as long as it tastes good.

      Delete
    4. soy is one of those things nobody can agree on, so let's not be too harsh. And, if the poop on a stick was deep fried, don't tell me you wouldn't be tempted.

      Delete
    5. “In the U.S. it was NEVER approved aa a human food.”


      Right, little boy diddling, chromosome absentia boy. Because the FDA will only approve food that is healthy for you.

      I’d advise you against having relations with your sister, as to avoid breeding any more of your kind, but I'm sure it’s already too late.

      Delete
    6. Completely uncalled for. I make comments if I feel that I can possibly be of some help. If I’m wrong about something, then please enlighten me and correct me. But if I’m going to be viciously attacked by such an asshole, I won’t comment anymore. Nothing on you Jim, I’m not blaming you in any way. But I’ll probably just be a lurking minion from now on.

      Delete
    7. Who would have thunk? I talk about religion, evolution, trash talk the military tactics and weapons, hate on 'Murican "heros" like FDR and Lincoln, and SOY, SOY OF ALL THINGS, brings out this kind of screeching monky feces flinging!!! Dude, I don't blame you for staying out of the comments after that. Just keep being a minion, and the love will flow.

      Delete
  3. Hey Bison! Really appreciate today's post. Though I like tofu and soy sauce, I never considered using soy as a staple. My grandfather was a wheat farmer who insisted soy wasn't even fit for animal feed. He had a habit of being right about a lot of things so his advice stuck.

    Funny that I never tried bean jerky. Several years ago I was into making "wheat meat" or seitan. Basically wash the starches out of wheat dough leaving an elastic mass of gluten, then use it to make all kinds of meat substitutes, including jerky. I found the key to a good jerky product was to make sure the strips were thin enough. Sounds like your first bean jerky attempts may have been too thick. Though I sometimes added about 30% pinto bean flour as an extender, I never considered trying your pure bean approach... doh! The wheat meat approach has a nice meat-like texture and toughness that I fear might be lacking with the pure bean approach. On the other hand, the pure bean approach sounds a bit simpler.

    In the end, its whatever tastes good and is satisfying. You might consider sprouting the beans first. Improves nutrition and I think it improves flavor a bit, especially when toasted. While playing with making sprouted breads, I found that coarsely ground sprouted beans stick together well when pressed into shapes. Might add a bit of wheat or corn flour as well to make a more cohesive product and alter the flavor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish I had a successful Wheat Meat experience. I'd much rather stick with that, but, alas...

      Delete
  4. OMG!!! You telling me that bottle of Kikkoman in the fridge is gonna shrivel my nadz and prevent me from hitting the headboard 5 nights a week?

    "Dyin' ain't much of a livin' boy"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why are you so dramatic? It is only FOUR nights a week you're doing the boom-boom!

      Delete
  5. Incoming $

    Watch for it.

    YKW
    MM

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aaaahhhh...thank you? Is there a trick, here? :)

      Delete
  6. Seems like Saxon (gawd, not again!) had a recipe for bean-fortified cornmeal mush - cooked, chilled, sliced and fried. Close to what you're doing.. I thought it was this:
    http://www.survivalplus.com/foods/CORN-AND-BEANS.htm
    but not quite. The recipe I remember had 3 ingredients, cornmeal, mashed beans, and... uh..?? Ground rye or oats or something. I think he baked it into a loaf. YMMV.

    N.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Was that the super 3 cent breakfast? I'm sure how I did it was far from unigue and I'm just reinventing the wheel.

      Delete
  7. really interesting! if they are soft in the middle they may need refrigeration so no germs grow.
    i have read that dehydrated food must be dry to brittleness to avoid mildew.
    sounds like a food you could carry long time, long distance. properly prepared it should not need refrigeration.
    since it is ready to eat it could provide a nutritious snack on the run.
    great idea!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A lot of dried foods off of the dehydrator are soft, then dry as they cool-I'm sure that was going to be the case here even after different dry times. I'm still munching on the lentil batch after two weeks, no refridgeration. I would have kept fridged otherwise. I threw away the pound of pinto-too gross to eat.

      Delete
    2. the desert environment -good for drying.
      t-storms here and a river valley.
      probably better if i dry completely to be safe?
      the pintos sounded nasty as mush.
      we use occasional organic soy sauce.
      daughter says the gmo soy is different and packs on fat that won't burn off.
      also says to avoid the soy protein isolate sold as 'health' food.
      not good!

      the lentil snacks sound so good. want to try them.
      thanks for doing all the work for us, mr. magnificent mane.

      Delete
    3. I've now recently heard both potatoes and sugar are GMO. Where the hell does it end for those greedy bastards? If you are storing the bean sticks, yes, dry completely. I wouldn't trust anything done otherwise. Just don't expect it to be easy on your teeth. The slightly soft held in the fridge are much tastier.

      Delete
    4. You really should lean to grow potatoes. Then you could control if they are GMO or not. Plus, they are a great survival food.

      Heck, you don't even need any soil to grow them. Potatoes can grow in straw and actually prefer new (and not heavily fertilized soil.)

      When the LDS pioneers first reached the Salt Lake Valley in July, they planted potatoes knowing that they would at least get a tiny harvest of small spuds. So you still have time to plant a few as an experiment.

      As a school project, the kids grew potatoes in black garbage bags filled with dirt. They can also be grown in garbage cans.

      Idaho Homesteader

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    5. I don't know how you burrow into my subconscious. Now I'm scouting out a corner of the lawn to experiment. I haven't gardened since the late '80's. Can I fluff up the soil with shredded newspaper? Trying for materials on hand.

      Delete
    6. Just digs up the soil with a garden fork and plant the potatoes.

      Planting potatoes are ideally around the size of a chicken egg. If you have a big potato, you can cut it into pieces that size. Just make sure each piece has a couple of eyes.

      Mulch with grabs clippings -- not too heavy at any one time or too close to the actual green plant (give yourself an inch or so). Piled too deep when fresh and the grass clipping will get hot and burn the plant so an inch or two of clippings every few days is better than all at once.

      You can also mulch with leaves, straw, and dirt.

      You won't get very big potatoes planing this late but you should harvest something.

      Keep records (date planted, weather, pounds harvested) and it would make for a good article.

      Idaho Homesteader

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    7. I appreciate the help. I'm not even sure I'll get enough sun every day-about six hours direct. Sorry, but I pretty much have forgotten all the little I ever learned. Do I keep the soil conditioned every year just with mulch? How am I getting nutrients back? You say they don't like overly fertilized, but this is soil on the edge of grass that we cut an evergreen tree away from. The bare patch never grew grass from the shade. If I don't fertilize now, when do I and how much? Thanks.

      Delete
    8. Preferably, you plant potatoes in a new piece of ground every year. Helps keep disease down.

      In my garden, I rotate them around and purposely don't fertilize the patch for at least two to three years prior to planting (longer would be better.) My garden is fairly shaded. I get maybe 8 hours of sun on it--too many trees around. And it is former pine forest with clay soil.

      However for your patch this year, I would do nothing but dig up the dirt and plant. That would make the best experiment. When TSHTF the average person will be digging up a corner of their yard to plant and probably won't have any fertilizer.

      Weigh how much you plant and then weigh how much you dig up. Water and mulch. After the plant flowers, cut back on water.

      If possible, it would be interesting to plant some down by the river and along a train right of way.

      Remember, you are planting really late in the season so don't expect much but it would be interesting to see what you could get and whether it would be worth to buy a couple sacks of potatoes on the "Last minute grocery store trip prior to the apocalypse."

      Idaho Homesteader

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    9. Appreciated. I'm more excited about this than I should be. Five years since I've really worked with my hands and created anything. Dried bean sticks don't count as much.

      Delete
    10. Your right on time for your end-of-the-world potato planting test.


      "Since it was already late in the season, being July, plowing and irrigating occurred around the clock. Between July 23 and the 28th eighty-four acres had been farmed with corn, potatoes, beans, buckwheat, and turnips."

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mormon_settlement_techniques_of_the_Salt_Lake_Valley


      Idaho Homesteader

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    11. I'm planting today, in two far less than ideal spots, one in the sun only four or five hours and other in a spot fertilized last year. One plant each location. Any advice on watering? I thought a pitcher each morning and evening. Too little?

      Delete
    12. Water pretty good at first. Obviously, keep the soil moist. You may need more water if you get some really hot days. I don't know your soil (clay or sand) and I don't know your daily temperature so you'll just have to watch your plants.

      After the potato plants are done blooming, you can cut back a little on the water but still keep the soil moist. Remember -- mulch is your friend.

      Idaho Homesteader

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    13. This will be good practice for me so I know the daily habits of the taters, so I can plan future water needs. I appreciate all your help. I knew some growing up then quickly lost all knowledge through lack of practice.

      Delete
  8. Very interesting post

    I removed Soy from all my animal feeds six years ago and for a number of the same reason's you listed, I removed soy from our own house other then fermented soy sauce that is used as a touch of flavour now and again.

    Very interesting on grinding the beans. I want to give it try with a few of mine now

    Thanks for the idea

    ReplyDelete

I must moderate-trust me. You don't want to see what happens otherwise. Sometimes it takes awhile to respond as I only check two or three times a day. No N-Bombs, nothing to get me libeled. Otherwise, have at it. If you criticize me, make sure to praise my hair first.