Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Since we were talking about cooking, I figured that I'd dispel a few cooking myths. I know that a lot of women out there claim that they "don't know how to cook but I can boil water." For some that could be doubtful.
1) There is an old wives tale (or maybe it was a way to keep the women in the kitchen longer) that cold water will boil faster than hot water. I have no idea how they thought this up but changing the temperature of a liquid mass is gradual. If it's hot already... it'll get there quicker. Maybe they believe that being on the opposite end that it would gather speed exponentially... ain't happening.
2) Some people believe that you should season your water before boiling. Possibly to dissolve the salt better. But, salt has a unique attribute that it slows the temperature change in water. So much so that, if you plan to go to the beach with a cooler full of drinks... feel free to pour some salt in there with the ice. It actually will melt slower. (Just wipe the lids of the cans because that'd be gross.) When cooking, season the water when it starts to boil.
3) When making pasta, adding your oil to the boiling water before or during your noodle cooking will keep them from sticking together. This is tricky one because it is very very slightly true. Since the oil sits at the top of the water and your pasta sits at the bottom... they really don't get time to interact. When you go to drain your water, most of the oil will drain with it and most of the oil that will hit the noodles will be what clings to the pot. Most chefs toss the pasta in a little oil afterwards which will be absorbed by the noodles. If you are worried about the noodles sticking together in the pot, make sure to stir the pasta occasionally while they are cooking.