the life and times of J T Frey

Dill Pickles

The plain dill pickle. No garlic or spices here, just a plain dill pickle, like what you'd get on a McDonald's hamburger. Heinz used to make these, but no more. Mt. Olive makes them, but few stores carry them. You can find dozens of varieties of kosher dill, but if you want a plain dill it's up to the DIY pickle-maker.

I like to use freshly-sliced onion every now and then: the pickled onion slices taste great on smoked pulled pork sandwiches. That is they in the jar on the right; the jar on the left doesn't have the brine poured over it yet.

Written by Jeff Frey on Saturday July 28, 2018
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Dried Toasted Sweet Corn

An ongoing Pennsylvania tradition in my family is the serving of Cope's dried corn. The recipe that's right on the box yields a delicious side dish: sweet, salty, buttery, with the flavor of toasted corn. Since I have a food dehyrator (orignally purchased primarily for fruit leather and jerky) a few years ago at the tail end of summer I bought about 16 ears of Lancaster county sweet corn, cut it off the cob, and dried it. The dehydrator gets just warm enough that as the sugar in the corn concentrates it begins to caramelize gently. Eight ears of corn yields around 7.5 oz of dried corn, which is the amount in a box of Cope's — and thus the amount in this recipe. I think this is very close to what Cope's recommends, but I'm recording it here in case Cope's were to disappear (like so many traditional/small-scale food products).

Written by Jeff Frey on Sunday November 24, 2019
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Honey-Nut Banana Muffins

When bananas become overripe they're perfect for a breakfast muffin. I wanted a muffin with a bit more complex flavor: something that reminded me to a bowl of honey nut O-shaped cereal (you know the one) with banana on it.

Written by Jeff Frey on Monday October 8, 2018
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It's-Just-Peanut-Butter Cookies

This is a COVID-19 stuck-at-home recipe Alton Brown published up on Facebook in his usual humorous fashion. No changes made — or necessary. I might add some chocolate chips if I'm feeling adventurous...

Written by Jeff Frey on Friday April 24, 2020
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Juliet's Fried Polenta

Once upon a time, there was a virus that scared the world so much that we were told to stay home for two months and not go anywhere. Juliet and Abby took to helping with dinner from time to time, to the point of Juliet's deciding she would make dinner one night. As a side to go with her mushroom and sausage lasagna she made (with a little help) fried polenta — but only after she found out that polenta is Italian for "grits."

Written by Jeff Frey on Saturday April 18, 2020
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Yes, the name of this recipe is very close to something served seasonally by a well-known fast-food restaurant. Why wait all year for a delicious porky patty? On top of that, why eat one that's full of who knows what kinds of preservatives (and "meat") and was formed and frozen who knows when?

Please note that this recipe uses sous vide to cook the formed patty low and slow.

Written by Jeff Frey on Tuesday November 19, 2019
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