Cooking with Oil: Part 2

How are you, Dear Heart?

I hope you have had a wonderful week. Up here in the Upper Midwest, autumn has fallen upon us with a sweetness that can only be described as luscious. The leaves are just starting to change and I did a most delightful drive into the Wisconsin countryside to enjoy the soothing cool air, the country markets and beautiful scenery. The antique stores are making their final push before winter sets in and there are some wonderful finds to be had. I found an antique tin watering can and old small brass headboard with some pieces missing. Like dear Rose, they are past their prime but still have much enjoyment to give. I had to have these and will put them to use in the garden. The watering can is a little damaged, so I will plant some flowers in it. It’s just not able to hold water anymore and deserves to live the rest of its life out in the garden where it belongs. The old brass headboard will be propped up against the side of the shed and I will grow pole beans and morning glories on it.

I was thinking of you this week, Hon, and wanted to give you a little bit more about cooking with oils. When cooking your harvest, these tips will help you enjoy them a little bit more. As I mentioned last week, Dear Heart, oil and water don’t mix. This fact is important when using flavorings and seasonings. Herbs, spices and seasonings with a high oil or volatile compound content will pass their flavors on to the oil you cook in. So, these can be added with the oil when stir frying, grilling or broiling. Some herbs and seasonings with a higher oil content include cloves, garlic, onions and rosemary.  One rule is that very aromatic herbs, spices and seasonings have higher amounts of the compounds that mix well with oil. For these, oil can help spread the flavor across the dish evenly. But subjecting these flavorings to very high temperatures or long cooking times may change their flavor. Is it so important to try adding them at different times to find the flavor that works best for you.

The other types of flavorings are water based. These are found in things like pepper, celery, parsley and even finely milled salt. Oil can dampen these flavorings, so they should not be added to cooking oil. It may be best to add these after the cooking is complete, or nearly so, by sprinkling them over the ready-to-serve dish, then tossing or stirring lightly. The flavor will stay on the surface of the vegetable and will be the first taste experienced as it meets the tongue, giving it the attention it deserves.

I must go, Dear Heart. I will chat with you again next time and please do be well until then. Kisses!

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