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My father used to say, “Chuck doesn’t do anything in halves.” He was right: sometimes its a virtue and sometimes a curse. He and my mother taught me to cook, sometimes using cookbooks, like Julia Child's, but more frequently just winging it. This site is a roller coaster ride of recipes, articles, ingredients and anything else that involves cooking and presenting food. There is something here for everybody from beginners to experts.

Cooking Temps

Chicken breast 165, Chicken thigh 170 or more. Pork med well 145, Pork med 140, Rack of lamb med rare 131, Beef very rare 125, Beef rare 130,Beef med rare 135, Duck Breast 126, Salmon med 118, Disclaimer: USDA stds dictate much higher temps. To be super safe, cook everything until it is dry and crunchy, then toss it in the trash

Mortar Madness

Here is the rig for the mold. Its a basic open pour mold with a containment ring built around the mortar. The bottom of the mortar with "Chef Sofi" is showing. The foam ring is glued to the mortar with hot glue. The red latex was poured into the mold and allowed to harden. The silicone was really thick and difficult to work with but I ended up with a nice "proof of concept" result. The next step is to make a more permanent mold and get some more silicone as well as black pigment for it. I designed a mold that I build shortly (see below)

Here is a cross section from Adobe Illustrator

The brown is wood and the black will be the silicone with the walls tapered in slightly to grab the bottom of the mortar better