Episode-1710- Expert Council Q&A for 1-15-16 — 18 Comments

  1. Jack, does the Expert Council Member receive the email address of the questioner when you send it over? It seems like Ben’s question could have greatly benefited from a bit of correspondence [if Ben had the time to do so AND if the questioner responded of course.]

  2. For the folks who want to propagate the family apple tree: St. Lawrence Nurseries sounds like just the kind of place Jack is describing and should be not too far from your family home. I haven’t dealt with them (nor am I connected in any way) but as I recall their online reviews were very good. Website is:
    Hope that helps.

  3. The Apple Cider Vinegar does help with blood sugar, I know because I gave it to my step father, when his sugar was up over 300. I only had to use it a few times but it worked. Bringing it down to 200 within a half an hour and then steadily back to normal over the next two hours which could have as easily been just not eating anything or eating only protein for those two hours.

    I have made a seltzer type water with it too, for upset stomach. I used about one quarter baking soda, to one teaspoon vinegar in half a glass of water. if you get the proportions just right the taste of either one is mitigated.

    • Evelyn,

      I would say there were a couple factors working together bringing your step fathers blood sugar down. Apple cider vinegar works to bring blood sugar down a little bit by reducing the absorption of starch. By fasting and not consuming any carbohydrates would obviously bring blood sugar down. Apple cider vinegar does have some sensible applications, but I think some in the natural crowd have turned it into a medical wonder, which it is not. I just want people to not get their expectations up, and use it as a real weight-loss method, because it flat doesn’t work in that sense.

  4. On the topic of Sous Vide, it really isn’t that complicated and can be done on the cheap with a cooler, thermometer and zip lock bags. Don’t even need a food saver. I have been using the technique for a few years and find that it makes grass fed meats more tender and easier to deal with. Also I use it to save time by packaging meats with seasoning, butter and a fresh herb such as rosemary and vacuum seal before throwing in the freezer for later use. I can pull the frozen steak out of the freezer, throw it is the sous vide set up let it go all day and come home to a perfectly cooked steak at 133 degree temp. Open the bag to sear it off in a hot pan or I like to use a MAP torch and some tongs to put a nice crust on the meat. Like a crock pot but better. Google the site Chefsteps if anyone is interested in learning more. If you do go to that site be prepared for some serious hipster sightings but put that aside and learn the basics.

    I was about to get around to sending Jack an email about using a sous vide set up for making yogurt. Chefsteps put out a video about it. Basically you can use the sous vide to hold the yogurt at a precise temp while it cultures.

    Is it for everyone? No. Can it be expensive? Yes. If you really like to cook, it can a great tool to get to know.

  5. I sous vide (plan on doing it this week). The whole secret is uniform cooking. If I bathe vacuum sealed meat in a controlled water bath I can control the final temp easily. Very valuable when you want mojo (Cuban) pork @ 190f or pulled pork @ 200f. It’s the ultimate “low & slow”.

    You can do the “poor man’s version” with ziplocs and a beer cooler (or your brewing liquor vessel); it will work. 2 hours at your desired temp topped off with hot water will do an approximate job for a steak.

    I sous vide steak @ 120f (I like bleu beef) and then finish it in a ripping cast iron pan with butter, pepper, and parsley. Rarer than most Americans like but the texture is amazing. But you could do rare @ 130f or whatever you prefer.

    Give it a whirl, you’ll be amazed.

  6. On Clearing Land: That’s a question that invites more questions. Good perspective from Falk on what to ask as you are observing and planning. Something else to consider, for food and income, is transitioning to a scaled agroforestry system. Create a totally customized solution.

    I love trees, especially the ones that feed me and my wallet. I heartily recommend Mark Shepard’s “Restoration Agriculture” and J. Russel Smith’s “Tree Crops” for inspiration. Cheers!

  7. I’d like to add to what others have already said about sous vide. Yeah, it came out of the gastronomy movement and can seem pretty pretentious at first but it’s actually really easy. Everyone points to steaks and the ability to get that beautiful pink color throughout but I think it really shines with tougher meat. Holding meat at a lower temp for a short amount of time won’t break down the connective tissue but if you hold it at that same temp for longer, it will. This leads to things like the 72 hour short ribs (yes, you cook it for 3 days).

    You like runny eggs but don’t want to get sick? Most pasteurization happens at a high temp because it’s quick. You can do the same thing at a lower temp if you hold it there longer. The best part about eggs is they come in their own container, just drop it in the water.

    Oooh, and chicken breasts too… 145F for about 2 hours. (+30min-1 hour if frozen) Then a quick sear on cast iron. Very moist, almost no effort.

    If you already have a vacuum sealer and a cast iron pan, I highly recommend you at least look into it. Prepare your foods normally with the vacuum sealer and throw it into the freezer. (Maybe add some spices in the bag) When you are ready to cook, take it out and throw it in… don’t even need to defrost first, just add some time to compensate for the lower starting temp. It’s like a crock pot but better.

    I think in the future, grocery stores will have pre-prepared sous vide meals already cryovaced and ready to just throw in the water with sous vide instructions written on them.

    • For any entrepreneurs out there, add an RFID sticker and the your sous vide cooker can automatically set the time and temp.

      More of a no-brainer than microwaving! (and you could do ‘multi-step’ temp changes).


  8. As Linda mentioned: St Lawrence Nuseries in Upstate NY has been around since the 1920’s. I’ve purchased from them and have had complete success with various Apple, cherry and raspberries. They be just the ticket to help you out.