Silly’s A Portland Taste Adventure

July 9, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Posted in Food and Drink, FRIENDS, NEAT STUFF | Leave a comment
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Friday night, after checking out the Congress Street portion of Portland’s 1st Friday ArtWalk, we walked over to Silly’s on Washington street. It was not a walk for the faint of heart. If I had known how far away it was from High street (where my car was parked in a parking garage that charged by the hour $$$!), I would have gone back for my car and driven there. Seriously, it was like 2 sweaty, hot, hungry miles from where we were. However, the food, friends, and funky atmosphere made it all worthwhile! Each table has a Silly’s lunchbox on it – the plastic kind that held your peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in first grade. Inside are menus and extra napkins and games you can play while you wait for your food. I was too busy talking to play any but I did spy an Uno deck in there. The walls are covered in framed photos of people posing with Silly’s bumper stickers taken in different states and countries. The rest of the decor is funky and quirky and totally lives up to the restaurant’s name. The food was AWESOME! The menu has countless options so you can add to or alter the available menu options anyway you like. I had a “gut buster” burger with guacamole and it came with homemade sweet potato fries. I also ordered a side of fried pickles. I wanted to try the sliced variety since the last ones I tried were pickle spears. They come with this pink horseradish sauce that is out of this world! I ended up dipping my sweet potato fries and bites of my burger in it too. Sitting here thinking about it, my mouth is totally watering – no lie. They also have homemade shakes that you can customize with about 60 different ingredient choices. My daughter ordered a chocolate caramel BACON shake. She loved it and the extra mound of bacon at the bottom was soooo good. I want to try making bacon soaked in chocolate sauce at home sometime. It sounds bizarro but was AMAZING. Seriously. No lie. I would go back just for that. So, if you find yourself hungry in Portland, you gotta give Silly’s a try. I can’t wait to go back!

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Dented Cans Anyone?

September 6, 2009 at 8:32 pm | Posted in CLEANING | Leave a comment
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So I am cleaning out my pantry tonight.

I’ve got these spiffy black and white woven nylon baskets that I intend to organize the cans and boxes and various packages into. I’ve had a really hard time cooking or even getting up the INTEREST to cook anything lately. (Which is a little bit due to the sleep deprivation that I’m suffering from after getting up to see my oldest off to the bus each morning this week.) So I figured it would help to know what was actually IN my pantry. Maybe if I could find something I could bring myself to cook something that isn’t already pre-prepared, frozen, and requires no actual preparation. Laaaaaazy…. So anyway, that is what prompted my little project….

So as I am checking the dates on the cans, I started tossing out cans that were a little dented. My friend that helped me clean out my pantry last time (yes she is THAT awesome) told me that any and all dented cans are dangerous and would KILL ME. Dead, dead, dead.

But—-after a trash can FULL of expired cans and dented cans, I started being really annoyed because the girls stand on them (the cans) to see and reach what is stored on the higher shelves. Then they (the cans, not the girls- uh, usually anyway) get knocked over and dented. Food is expensive. I can’t seem to stay within my weekly budget and here they are denting up all the canned food! Arrrgghhhh….

It didn’t seem fair to be throwing out each and every can that they had knocked down from a shelf or kicked over accidentally. So I did a little research and here is what I found:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1175422/how_to_tell_if_a_dented_can_is_safe.html

Here’s the highlights:

“The number one way to tell if a can is potentially dangerous is to push on the top and bottom of the can. If the top or bottom of the can moves in any way or makes a popping sound, the can’s seal has been broken and air has made its way inside. Popped cans should be discarded or returned to the store where they were purchased for replacement. On the other hand, if the can does not make a noise or move, it is most likely safe to eat despite any dents.

Another way to tell if a can is safe to eat is by simply looking at the can. If the can is bulging and bloated it is most likely unsafe. Cans will bulge and bloat when bacteria begins to produce gasses which push the can outward. You can also tell by looking at the dented can if it rusting. Rust can weaken the integrity of the can and allow air and bacteria to enter it.

Sometimes cans can be fine when they originally get dented, but after a period of time begin to display some of the above changes. So when buying dented cans try to avoid buying cans that are dented on the top or bottom of the cans. These are where the main seams of the can are located and where the can is it’s weakest. Alternatively, if the can is dented along the side it is most likely safe to eat the food within.

The final way you can tell if a dented can is safe to eat is when you open it. Once you puncture the can with your can opener it should not spray or explode. If it does spray or explode do not eat the food within it may be contaminated. Safe dented cans will open the same as non dented cans.”

And if that isn’t enough, here is another site that provides similar info:

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20061111191500AAUasXP

“When a can is dented near a seam or a junction, it makes it possible for air to enter the can. A sharp dent can cause a pinhole in the can, which could also allow air to enter. This air, combined with the moisture in the can, allows the growth of microorganisms. These microorganisms cannot be killed by cooking. Consumption of this food could potentially result in botulism. Cans that are bulging or have rust that will not wipe off are also deemed unsafe.
Feel the can and visually inspect it. SAFE cans have smooth dents, dents that are not on the seams, dents that do not compromise can junctures.
DISCARD cans with dents on seams, dents where side and end meet, sharp dents, swelling or bulging, rust that does not wipe off If in doubt, throw it out.”

And did you know that they publish a poster for the employees of grocery stores to know which cans are dangerous and should be discarded? Here is info on ordering one for your very own self:

The “Classification of Visible Can Defects Poster” is a great way to help personnel learn how to quickly identify defects and the degree of acceptable damage in regards to dented cans. This 24″ x 36″ poster consists of colorful pictures and easy to follow descriptions that illustrate the amount of damage on a can.  This poster is published and available for purchase through AOAC for $29 a poster, $125 for a package of 10. Customers can order through AOAC’s website at http://www.aoac.org. Download information about the dented can posters.

And finally, this is what the USDA has to say about canned food safety:
“While extremely rare, a toxin produced by Clostridium botulinum is the worst danger in canned foods. NEVER USE food from containers that show signs of “botulism”: leaking, bulging, rusting, or badly dented cans; cracked jars; jars with loose or bulging lids; canned food with a foul odor; or any container that spurts liquid when opening. DO NOT TASTE THIS FOOD! Even the tiniest amount of botulinum toxin can be deadly.”

So after all said and done, I’m throwing out the of the “iffy” cans:

Any with rust or any that appear to have a dent on a seam or top or bottom. So far, the only dented ones I’ve found are recent and ‘safe’ dents. But the rusty ones are definitely going into the trash bin. How long have I had them that they actually RUSTED??? And Dude, how would you even rust a can if you tried?

 

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