Squirts Stars, thermometers and gender stuff

In Canada we call the little kids that play hockey, Novices.

sorenne.coffs.horbor.14In Brisbane they call them Squirts.

Novice is better.

Whatever they’re called, mucho kudos to the Brisbane  Southern Stars Squirts (5-9-years-old) on winning all six games at the 4th Annual 3-on-3 tournament at Coff’s Harbour, NSW, during the school holidays (Oct. 4-6, 2014)

I was out a couple of games, but Sheldon (another Canadian) ably stepped up (and his wife helped me), and his daughter Noelle, who may actually be younger than Sorenne, rocked it. I spoke with the kids afterwards to address any concerns and they seemed cool.

We may have gotten outshot every game, but superstar goalie Ronan Hoy registered two shutouts and pulled us though every other game. Each team member was awarded a gold medal, and coach Doug Powell’s medal is already proudly hanging downstairs with old-timey hockey paraphernalia.

Cole Hardiman was a scoring machine while brother Liam was no slouch (thanks for your help, parents Susan and Brad), while Onrii and Didier Dalgity chipped in as well. John Kelly, Alex Wentz Luke McNamara, and Ethan Poole all knew their role and to watch little kids change on the fly, pay attention to offside, and spread out and pass the puck was gratifying when we haven’t really practiced it.

sorenne.stick.hit.oct.14I apologize if I missed anyone, just like when I wake up in the morning and apologize to my wife for anything that may happen, and apologize when I go to bed for anything that did.

And of course we don’t teach little girls to hit other players in the back of the calves where there is no padding; that would be unsportspersonlike.

I didn’t go to the BBQ but Amy did and took a tip sensitive digital thermometer. A coupe of the dads said “Really?”

It’s food safety 1978 here, and more about that next week.

Thanks to all the parents for their time and helping to build the sport.

In a related but sorta unrelated story, my friend Elizabeth Weise, one of the few remaining reporters at the The USA Today, sent out a note asking now that “Apple and Facebook include egg freezing as a benefit. I’m curious what working mothers might think of this. One woman I know said it made her feel as if these companies were in effect saying to employees that they should have kids later on, on their own time. She worried anyone who actually had kids would be seen as a slacker who wasn’t committed to the job. Any thoughts? I’d love to quote some real mothers in the story.”

Also, “Anyone have thoughts they’d like to share with USA Today on Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s comment yesterday that women in tech don’t need to ask for raises, they should just trust the system to do well by them.

braun.sorenne.hockeyI can put you in touch with Beth.

How about another gender story? Most people know this– it’s a not a secret.

My comment to Beth was that as a father of five hockey-playing daughters – he’s a jackass.

We’ll work more on positioning for the rest of the season, as well as the basics.

Also, the girls-only session last week was a success. When we started the Guelph girls hockey league in about 1996, (that’s in Ontario, in Canada, a town of about 120,000), the girls came out of the woodwork and now is a vibrant league with house league, various rep teams, and probably some 1,000 girls playing.

girls.hockey.international.oct.14

dp

Dr. Douglas Powell

powellfoodsafety.com

barfblog.com

dpowell29@gmail.com

 

Reader’s Digest nosestretcher alert: 13+ things you shouldn’t eat at a restaurant

In its futile quest to compete in a 140—character universe, Reader’s Digest (Canada) included meat with the bone in as a restaurant no-no.

steak.tartareAnd I quote: “small cuts of meat, like bone-in pork or chicken breasts, are harder to cook thoroughly because their outsides easily char. This often translates to crispy on the outside and raw on the inside. Unlike undercooked beef—say, a rare burger or a steak tartare—undercooked pork and chicken are highly dangerous and could causes foodborne illnesses.”

Rare burgers and steak tartares are microbiological messes and shouldn’t be touched. Regardless of the cut, use a tip-sensitive digital thermometer and stick it in.

barfblog.Stick It In

Hockey, thermometers and disbelief

News has been a little slow because we spent the long weekend with 120 (ice) hockey players in Coff’s Harbour, a primarily fishing town about five hours south of Brisbane, and home to the big banana.

powell.coffsAnd a decent-sized rink, so it was a 3-on-3 games.

The Saturday night is a large BBQ for parents and players of all ages and, as usual, I volunteered to cook and brought a couple of tip-sensitive digital thermometers.

Unfortunately, I spent the night in the hospital for other reasons but, the show must go on.
temp.burgers.coffs..harbour.14Proving that even French professors can use a thermometer, by all accounts Amy was a food safety master.

Although a couple of the parents said, a thermometer, you’ve got to be kidding, Amy had all the answers.

The team I co-coached won gold.IMG_0038 But fun was had by all.powell.coffs.3

big.banana

Use a thermometer and stick it in, not a knife

Bad food safety advice from Tesco Ireland today on Twitter:

@safefood_eu tip: To check meat is fully cooked, stick a sharp knife in & check that there is no pink meat in the middle #homecooks

barfblog.Stick It InColor is a lousy indicator. There’s lots of references on barfblog. Why stick in a knife when you can stick in a tip-sensitive digital thermomter?

No thermometers in sight? Gold Coast French chefs Meyjitte Boughenout and Arnault Ollivier to open a burger restaurant at Coolangatta

Coolangatta is, to date, my favorite Australian beach. It’s about an hour away, not nearly as busy as the Gold Coast, but with all the amenities that are missing in some of the more, uh, remote places (which we’ll be investigating next weekend on our way to the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour, about five hours south, for a ice hockey tournament).


sorenne.beach.14
The Gold Coast Bulletin reports that two French fine-dining chefs say there’s been a countrywide “dumbing down” of the burger and they’re fighting back with fresher flavor.

Meyjitte Boughenout and Arnault Ollivier, owners of Absynthe French Restaurant at Surfers Paradise, promise to restore the appetizing art form to its former glory when they open the Burger Trap at The Strand, Coolangatta in November.

When hamburgers were created in the eponymous German town back in 1880, it was to allow travellers to eat a meal very quickly, yet of a high standard of nutrition and quality.

Meyjitte says, “Burger Trap is going to make it fun, a visual treat and just put healthy back into burgers. You can see the patties being made in front of you.”

That should mean I can see the cooks use a tip-sensitive digital thermometer to ensure safety.

Shattered: UK FSA annual science report published

I saw the Rolling Stones in Buffalo in 1981. We stayed up all night, and drove from Guelph, crossing the border about 4:30 a.m. George Thorogood opened in the rain, and was awesome, followed by Journey, who sucked (hence the Journey effect) and then the Stones.

barfblog.Stick It InThe UK Food Standards Agency is the Journey of the food safety biz: they make other agencies look good.

Catherine Brown, the chief executive of the Food Standards Agency, writes in the annual science report that it demonstrates “science is at the heart of everything we do.”

It’s hard to take that seriously from a group that recommends piping hot, steaming hot, and cooked until the juices run clear.

There’s no mention of thermometers.

Brown also writes, “A fundamental principle in this process is to maintain a clear distinction between the independent, expert assessment of risk, and decisions on risk management.”

The U.S. got rid of that in 1997.

But Journey was popular back then.

Food safety for Father’s Day (in Australia)

The teacher looked at me as we arrived at school this morning: Sorenne, you’re with me, dad, take her backpack upstairs and meet us over for assembly.

sorenne.fathers.day.sep.14My mom taught kindergarten (what is called prep in Australia) for some 40 years.

I didn’t argue.

It was all about Australian father’s day, which is this Sunday, and out of about 30 parents in attendance, four were fathers.

I’m used to that.

The New South Wales Food Authority, which is the state below Queensland, decided to issue a presser to avoid food poisoning on Father’s Day this Sunday.

Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson said, “If you’re looking to fire up the barbecue for dad this Sunday, make sure you remember that safe food preparation is just as important when you’re cooking on the barbecue as it is in your home kitchen.

“Cross contamination is a common mistake when people are cooking outdoors. It is important to always use a clean plate for your cooked meat and to not reuse one that may have raw juices or marinade on it.

“Outdoor eating and the warmer weather can create an ideal environment for bacteria.”

Here’s a better tip: use a digital thermometer and take out the guesswork.

barfblog.Stick It In

Nosestretcher alert: steaming hot taxpayer-funded UK food safety nonsense

bites.stick.it.inYou don’t even need a temperature probe, just keep dad handy. Meat should be steaming in the middle, with no pink on the inside. Any juices should run clear.”

Nonsense.

And taxpayers pay for this.

I also wouldn’t use tongs on raw meat and then stick them in my apron.

Use a thermometer and stick it in.

Use a digital meat thermometer

Consumer Reports gets it only partially right when it says, “for perfect roasts, use a digital meat thermometer.”

barfblog.Stick It InInstead of perpetuating the fairytale that thermometers are only used for roasts, the self-proclaimed bishops of all things consumer should be preaching thermometer use in all kinds of foods.

Consumer Reports tested 46 meat thermometers and found 10 impressive enough to make our top picks list. Spoiler alert: They’re all digital.
 Most of the meat thermometers we tested were accurate within 2 to 4 °F of the reference thermometer and none was more than 5 °F off. Digital models generally performed better and were more accurate, consistent, and convenient to use than analog models. Analog thermometers were often more difficult to read, had the longest response times, and have few if any features. So go digital. 

Want to avoid an E. coli burger? Cook the outside and inside to 71°C (160°F) – regardless of color

It’s a beautiful thing, for a Brit publication to embrace temperature, even when their own overpaid food safety types won’t.

terrance.phillip.fartExcept the person giving the advice is Canadian.

Dietitian Cara Rosenbloom, writer of the Words To Eat By blog, said minced beef is one of the main carriers of E. coli, a harmful bacteria among the most common causes of food poisoning.

But, she said, spotting a burger riddled with the bacteria is difficult as the meat will smell and look normal.

‘While the surface of any meat can technically harbor E. coli, it is killed when you cook food at a high temperature.

‘If E. coli is on the surface of a steak, it is killed by the grill, even if the inside of the meat stays pink.

Needle tenderized?