Food Poisoning vs. Botulism

June 22, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Posted in CLEANING, COOKING, Food and Drink, health, sick | 3 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

While doing a search for food safety, I found a very interesting bit of information. Check this out….


Food Poisoning — This occurs when you ingest food or water that contains bacteria, parasites, viruses, or toxins made by these germs. Most cases of food poisoning are from common bacteria such as Staphylococcus, Salmonella, or E. coli. (It can affect just one person or a group of people who all ate the same contaminated food.) Symptoms from the most common types of food poisoning usually start within 2 – 6 hours of ingesting. Symptoms can include stomach cramps, diarrhea, fever, chills, headache, nausea, vomiting, weakness, and serious dehydration.

Botulism — This is is an extremely dangerous form of food poisoning that is the result of ingesting food contaminated with C. botulinun, which is a nerve toxin (scared yet?). How can you tell if you’ve contracted botulism instead of ordinary food poisoning? Botulism causes an impairment of the muscular system. As a result, many people affected with botulism will have trouble speaking clearly, their breathing will become difficult and they may complain of having double vision or other visual problems.(GET TO THE ER!)

While eating meat is quite a bit more likely to cause food poisoning than eating vegetables, the actual muscle of an animal that is consumed is actually very safe as long as it doesn’t have the skin. That is the reason that you can feel safe eating rare steak, but would never eat rare chicken. It is the skin that is the breeding ground for most bacteria. Cutting through the skin during preparation spreads the dangerous bacteria.  The skin actually acts to protect meat from the bacteria that is crawling all over it, but once the meat is sliced, the bacteria races in to invade. (Which is why hand washing is so important. Beware that studies show that long fingernails carry and transmit lots of extra bacteria too, ladies.) After using a chopping board to cut meat, DO NOT use it again until it has been thoroughly cleaned.  NEVER, EVER allow your raw meat to touch  any other food, for that matter. (Beware of hand towels during prep too. Once you’ve used that towel during meat prep, throw it in the wash with some bleach to avoid cross-contamination.)



Why I don’t Teach…. or “pumpkin cookies”

July 26, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Posted in Baking, COOKING, FRIENDS, JUST DUMB, Recipes | Leave a comment
Tags: , , ,

Making Southern Pumpkin Cookies
.…………..The Sondi Way

Step 1. Check that your cupboards contain plenty of general baking ingredients.
Step 2. Call Friends (
who will motivate you to bake) and invite them over. Friends who are obsessive about clean sinks and who will likely wash your dishes are best.
Step 3. Glance over basic ingredients. These include but are not limited to:

½ cup butter (softened)    ½ cup sugar        ½ cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses        1 egg            2 cups flour
1 cup pumpkin substance mashed up and whatnot    1 tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsp cinnamon        ½ tsp nutmeg        ½ cup milk

Step 4. Get out a giant bowl since you will be doubling this recipe.
Step 5. Examine can of pumpkin. Mull over the meaning of:

NET WT.15OZ.(425g)”.

Think to yourself, “does that mean that it contains less than an ounce or 15 ounces and how many cups are in that many ounces?” Open can (without cutting yourself bad enough for an emergency room visit) and dump the contents into your mixing bowl. Since you’ve decided to double the recipe, dump in the contents of another can as well.
Step 6. Realize that the dry ingredients are supposed to be mixed together in a separate bowl and fetch one for that. Instead, use this bowl to mix together the doubled butter and sugars.
Step 7. Add in a cup of molasses (when it comes to sugary stuff, more is always better)
Step 8. Add in 2 eggs. Decide that they really don’t seem ‘large’ so put in another one just in case
Step 9. Dump all the resulting goo together into the bowl that had the pumpkin in it.
Step 10. Look for another mixing bowl for the dry ingredients. Since you have no clean ones, use a saucepan instead. Dump in all the ‘dry’ ingredients. Decide that the recipe really should have included cloves. Grind some up and then add that too.
Step 11. Mix
Step 12. Dump this into the mixing bowl with the gooey stuff in it.
Step 13. Mix again
Step 14. Argue with your friends over how much mixing is mixing ‘thoroughly’ and how much would qualify as “do not over beat”. (No matter what they say, stick to your guns and stir as much as you want.)
Step 15. Notice that you have not yet dumped in a cup of milk. Wonder how the recipe makers could possibly expect you to add more liquid when the recipe is already so watery that it looks more like cake batter than cookie dough. Mention this aloud.
Step 16. Smile and laugh good naturedly as your smarter-than-you-friend points out that “15 ounces of pumpkin is basically the same as 2 CUPS so you will need to quadruple your recipe if you want to be able to add in the cup of milk that you poured”.
Step 17. Discuss in reasonable terms (
with several well-timed, snappy comebacks) whether your current mixing bowl can handle a quadrupled recipe. Wonder if there is any flour left anywhere in the house and snatch up the last two sticks of softened butter before your friend can use them to make her icing.
Step 18. Break two eggs into the top of the gooey-yet-not-gooey-enough mixture. Discuss the preheated temperature of the oven and who said they turned it on and why it is at the wrong temperature and why the timer isn’t going off when the contents of the oven are clearly done baking. Decide to add in an extra egg (just in case).
Step 19. Put a lot more of all the ingredients into another bowl.
Step 20. Yell at the molasses for pouring ‘as slow as molasses’. Suggest to your friend that she take over holding the bottle since it would be a great opportunity for her to work on her patience skills. Try not to sulk when she refuses.
Step. 21 Wonder if you put in the second set of baking soda. (
Ask what would happen if you put in too much and what would happen if you put in too little.) Decide to put in more.
Step 22. Smile and laugh good naturedly as your friends point out that they are already finished with the ingredients, mixing their recipes and baking their recipes while you are still figuring out how much of stuff to add to fix your mistake. Agree that yes, there is likely enough dough now to last through the great tribulation and into the new world and that if we are ever imprisoned, we can live off of all the stockpile of hundreds of cookies that resulted from this botched recipe.
Step 23. Add more flour and mix
Step 24. Add more flour and mix
Step 25. Add more cinnamon
Step 26. Add more flour and mix
Step 27. Decide to bake an experimental batch at the directed 375 temp. for 12 minutes…
After the timer goes off, decide that they need more than the allotted  12 minutes due to their odd consistency.
Step 28. Ignore your friends as they make comments about how brown the cookies look while baking (“they were brown when I put them in!!!”) and argue that you do not smell smoke.
Step 29.  Take cookies out.
Step 30. Taste. Agree that despite their appearance, they don’t taste too bad.
Step 31. Add powdered sugar to the top. (Everything looks better with powdered sugar dusted on top.)
Step 32. Decide to experiment with the remaining goo by adding chocolate chips and walnuts.
Step 33. Discuss whether walnuts really taste like dried fencepost paint and the wonders of Omega 3 oils. (Ignore friends and add extra stuff anyway.)
Step 34. Keep baking more batches until you are too tired to finish and put remainder in fridge.

And VIOLA! You’re DONE! And it was JUST THAT EASY!!!!


August 15, 2008 at 4:27 pm | Posted in COOKING | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , ,

Well, being a New Englander, I figured it was about time that I tried my hand at preparing fish. Fish is plentiful here and I keep hearing about how inexpensive it is. So, while doing the weekly grocery shopping, I moseyed on up to the fish counter to see what was what. I ended up with a few weekly specials in my cart, one of which was previously frozen so needed cooking pronto. On my last GW excursion, I picked up a couple of fish related cookbooks, so armed with my little bit of knowledge (yes, a dangerous thing), I paid for my fish and scurried on home. Being that I don’t cook ….(frozen pizza and personalized mac and cheese are house specialties at cafe caserio), I felt like quite the brave little toaster.


After checking out the recipes for ‘flounder’, I settled on frying as my cooking method of choice. I always err on the side of white trash cuisine, afterall. So, this afternoon, I whipped out the bread crumbs, threw in some dried onion, chipotle, and some thyme from the garden, dipped the fillets in some egg, then the bread crumb mountain and then plopped them into the frying pan. I let my five year old smell the thyme before I used it, so she was eager to try it after it was cooked (am I a genius, or what??). I was quite pleased with the finished product. It was, in a word, YUM. Who knew fish could be tasty (outside of salmon, that is)??? My five year old liked it so much that she has been sneaking additional bites for the last half hour, while I pretend not to notice. How funny is that ?? A kid SNEAKING FISH ???? Still laughing over that one….

Create a free website or blog at
Entries and comments feeds.