Cooking Corner
Spice Cadet Cookbook - on sale PDF Print E-mail

The Spice Cadet cookbook, produced for the 2006 Worldcon  put on by Los Angeles fen, is now offered by Amazon.  See  or 



Last Updated ( Saturday, 30 May 2009 )
Pre-made ingredients PDF Print E-mail

Mike, you ask about whether it's cheating to use pre-made incredients in your chili, saying that you don't make your own gelatin from hooves, or draw your own cream.  Watch Iron Chef America sometime.  When they need gelatin, they take out pre-made sheets and dissolve them in warm water.  When they need hot sauce it comes from a bottle; cream comes from a carton.  There's only so much they can do in 1 hour, after all.  I've seen them use canned tomato paste, catsup and even canned soda as ingredients.  (Cat Cora used what was clearly cans of Coke as part of a mixture she was cooking a ham in when ham was the key ingredient.)  If they can do it, why can't you?


The only time I know of that canned chili was in the contest was the first year.  That's because Bob Nul was planning to open a can of chili for an afternoon snack, a few others offered to bring some home made and it suddenly morphed into a contest, with the Hormel included for contrast.  If it's ever been done since, I didn't know.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 16 July 2008 )
Premade Food-Grade Substances PDF Print E-mail

Mike Thorsen asked "at what point does the use of premade food-grade substances cease to be cheating?"


For me -- and for others whose interest in a recipe is being able to use it to cook something  that tastes good -- the issue is whether the recipe will still be usable in years to come.  


My mother gave me some recipes that require ingredients that I used to be able to buy routinely but that are no longer being made.  There are other ingredients that I now have to buy on the Web instead of being able to buy routinely in supermarkets.  And still others that aren't quite the same. 


Mike, if you have a recipe that specifies a can of something, please mention how many ounces are in the can, so in later years the cook realizes that the recipe may need rebalancing if the manufacturer has changed the product.


I am looking for something that approximates "Bor-do-Lays Sauce" (a dark garlicky liquid, with no horseradish, which seems to have been what the Wikipedia article called a "New Orleans bordelaise" as opposed to a "French bordelaise").   

Last Updated ( Thursday, 17 July 2008 )
Re: LaLa Con Chili Cookoffs PDF Print E-mail

There seems to be creative life left in the chili cookoff. We always get plenty of entries featuring an interesting variety of recipes.


One of the first club events GVDub and I attended was the 2002 LaLaCon. We really enjoyed it. While I'm sorry it couldn't happen this year, I like to think of it as going on haitus to retool, retrench, etc.


I'm looking forward to the return of LaLaCon next year.



Last Updated ( Monday, 14 July 2008 )
The Late Lamented LaLaCon Plutonium Chili Cookoff PDF Print E-mail

Since practically no one pre-reged for it this year, LaLaCon was postponed indefinitely.

(Ie, no secondary date set this year, ie, cancelled.)

Which means there will be no chili cook-off this year, and no ice cream social, and no banquet.  You just don't realize how much you'll miss 'em until they're gone.....  Oh, well.


So....  The subject at hand is cooking, and the context is chili.

Last Updated ( Friday, 11 July 2008 )