Friday, August 26, 2011

Fucking Badass Guide to Boiling Water

To answer your immediate question... yes, I'm completely serious. It is, indeed, very simple to boil water. Put water in pot, put pot on stove, turn on burner, and wait. That's about it. But there is a right way and a wrong way to do even this simplest of kitchen tasks... and, knowing you, you're probably doing it wrong.
I'm not going to bore you with the science fair explanation of how water boils. I'm not your third grade science teacher. If you haven't figured out basic fucking physical science by now, you're beyond hope and should just go lay in traffic. This is simply a look at some of the common misconceptions about boiling water, as well as the rules you SHOULD be following when you put a pot on to boil.

Salt should only be added to boiling water if you're looking to season whatever it is you plan on cooking in the water. Practically speaking, salt doesn't cause water to boil faster: if you were working with pure water, adding salt would lower the boiling point by one degree for every ounce you add, but since we're dealing with tap water, it makes no difference. That being said, if you're boiling something that you don't want to infuse with salt, don't add the salt.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Fucking Badass Guide to Eating Cajun

I've never been to India or Vietnam, which I previously covered in Fucking Badass Guides. While you don't need to have visited a place to get a real sense of the food (thank you internationalism), it certainly doesn't hurt. That being said, I have actually been to Cajun country (south Louisiana, also known as Acadia, but more on that later) and eaten the foods therein, and if I were forced at gunpoint to choose a favorite cultural food-type, I might say Cajun. It really is just that fucking good. It doesn't hurt that the people are extremely nice, despite being some of the worst fucking drivers I've ever encountered in my life. Seriously, whoever laid out New Orleans should be dug up and shot. Four-way intersections without a stop sign? Let's drop that shit downtown! Sheer fucking brilliance.
Back on topic, you'll find two main types of food in this area of Louisiana: Cajun and Creole. Creole is more common in southeast Louisiana and New Orleans. Cajun is more common in southwest Louisiana, though there is a LOT of overlapping. While the foods are similar, the history and background is extremely different. For the purpose of this entry, everything is Cajun unless otherwise noted.

Shit You Should Know About Cajun culture

1. Cajuns trace their roots back to, of all places, Canada. The Acadians were French colonists who lived in eastern Canada. One day, the greatest dickbags in history (also know as the British) decided they wanted Acadia, so they took it in the Siege of Port Royal in 1710 (part of the French and Indian wars). Once the war was over with the signing of the Treaty of Paris, the Brits kept Acadia (eventually changing the name to Nova Scotia). The Acadians, wanting to stay French, moved as far south as their little frog legs would take them, showing up in the French territory of Louisiana around 1768. This was a great plan... except that the French were in the process of giving Louisiana to Spain. This left the Acadians in a very similiar situation to that time your family moved while you were at camp and forgot to tell you. Luckily for the Acadians, the new Spanish government was actually pretty cool, so they stuck around southern Louisiana, colloquially naming it Acadia.