Bulletproof(butter) Coffee

I am willing to try almost anything once.  When I was pretty into eating Paleo(or similar), I kept coming across references to Bulletproof Coffee.  If you have somehow missed the hipster express and have not yet heard of this substance, here, let me explain it to you.  It’s basically butter and any number of other good-for-you fats dunked into your coffee.  It sounds totally sick, right?  Well it tastes incredibly close to coffee with cream.  And essentially, it is.  The concept is that it gives you energy, focus, and helps curb your appetite.  And it does.  You know, because coffee. And fat.  You could probably get a very similar product from just adding some grassfed cream and a couple hunks of coconut oil to your coffee in the morning, but for whatever reason, this feels like more of a ritual and leaves me feeling less hungry.  It very well could be psychological.

The recipe?
28 grams (2 tablespoons) of good fat (grassfed butter and coconut oil)
coffee

Grassfed butter is the preferred base of this.  People recommend unsalted.  It’s expensive at the grocery store, and our Costco only sells the salted stuff.  Craig and I use it because we don’t have any issues with sodium consumption, and frankly, we kind of like it.  Craig goes with the whole 28 grams in butter, because he hates coconut.  Joke’s on him.  I actually quite like coconut, so I either go 14/14 or 23/5 butter/coconut oil.  The reason to include the coconut oil is that the medium chain triglycerides are easy to digest and generally considered (at least for now) quite good for you.

Coffee.  Craig and I use the heck out of our Aeropress.  Like every morning.  I actually haven’t touched my espresso machine in over a year.  It’s on a shelf in our spare bedroom collecting dust.  Anyway, good coffee.  Organic coffee is better for the environment (duh) and has far less chemical residue that conventionally produced coffee.  And I find that when you start getting into decent quality coffee, there often is very little (if any) cost differential between conventional and organic, so might as well find something organic you love.  We usually  get the Whole Foods store brand, Allegro.  They have a medium roast that’s organic, called Early Bird Breakfast Blend.  A pound will set you back about $12.

weighing out the fat for bulletproof coffee

Here’s how we go.  I have amassed quite the collection of those flimsy plastic starbucks reusable mugs.  You know, the ones that cost $1 and look like a normal paper cup?  I am constantly losing or letting to-go mugs get totally disgusting, so I figured I’d just get these quasi-disposable cups and use them for coffee at home.  The only thing is that since I’ve gotten these, I haven’t destroyed any, and I’ve mostly stopped losing them.  And they last freaking forever. Oh geez.  There goes another rant.

doodles on reusable starbucks cups
Recognize  the llama?

doodles on reusable starbucks cups
Recognize the NWA reference?  Craig’s favorite cup.

I have a scale out on the counter all the time.  I use them constantly for cooking, portioning, etc, so it is a super easy way to ensure I’m getting the right amount of fat in my coffee.  While the water is heating and the coffee is grinding, I just toss the cup on a scale, and start adding butter/coconut oil til I hit 28 grams.  Then I brew my coffee right over the top of the butter.  It melts the fat, and then I just buzz the half-full cup with my hand blender.  It gets frothy and emulsified, I let it sit a few more minutes for the foam to die down a little, and then finish filling the cup with additional water.  Easy peasy.

brewing coffee with the aeropress

bamix hand blender
I got this 1970s Bamix on Ebay for $30 shipped.  It’s built like a tank.  Made in Switzerland, and should last you forever
blending the coffee and butter/coconut oil

blended coffee
Difference between blended butter coffee and unblended.  Gross oil slick on top of unblended.

Now, let’s talk about how this goes, realistically.  Nutritionally, it’s great.  It fills me up, and only sets me back a hair over 200 calories.  There are few breakfasts that do so.  It takes an equal amount of time to make as a normal cup of coffee (which I’d be making anyhow), doesn’t take any more time to consume than I normally would spend (sipping while I put on makeup and drive to work), and doesn’t generate any additional dishes.  The hand blender just gets rinsed off when I’m done and goes back in it’s little stand thing.

And the downsides?  If I let it get cold, it gets icky.  The oils solidify and then it gets chunky.  Microwaving fixes the chunky part, but then you get the oil slick on the top again.  Fix?  Drink it faster.  Done.  The inside of the cup gets oily, and I like to reuse my cups.  Instead of just rinsing the cup before refilling it with some hot water with tea, I actually have to wash it with dish soap. I can live with that.

Additional upside?  It moisturizes my lips.

So I implore you, please try this.  At least once.  If you have one of those little bullet type blenders, make the coffee in that!  I admit that it might be kind of a bummer if you just have a vitamix or other normal blender, but give it a shot, and if you love it, spend $30 on a hand blender, which you will use all the freaking time once you have it.

The "Work" Salad

I assume that we must all do something similar to this, but in the off chance that I am incorrect, here’s my rundown on the “work” salad.  The salad that consists of leftovers, stuff you dug out of the pantry, and random bits and pieces of tasty that have somehow gotten my attention.  Throw a can of tuna or leftover chicken breast over the top, and you have a full meal deal.  Here’s my salad for the day.  It was  huge, filling, and delicious.  As I assembled it, I just started entering the items that I added and their approximate measures to myfitnesspal.  It is an interesting way for me to determine where I could be “saving” calories, and what items I may want to add more of next time.  In this case, I had some duck confit (yes, from our ducks) in the fridge that needed to be used, and Craig won’t eat salads, so this came to the office for work salads.

work salad with duck confit

Yes. that’s a huge cottage cheese container from costco.  It makes a great salad bowl that I am not concerned with forgetting in my car for 3 days or leaving at work.

calorie breakdown of salad

I erred on the high side of everything for the salad.  Going over the calorie breakdown, I’d probably use half as many cranberries and half as many pepitas, and toss a couple of boiled egg whites only on top to boost the protein factor.

Nobody knows the trouble I’ve smelled.

Nobody knows the odor.

But seriously.  A couple weeks ago, I had just made a monster batch of chicken stock.  We are talking 4 gallons of liquid gold.  It was glorious.  And rich, and gelatinous, and all of the things you want chicken stock to be. And after it had simmered all night, I got up to vacuum seal and freeze it.  As the vacuum sealed baggies of stock set out on the counter to cool down to room temp, I decided to construct a flat spot in the chest freezer to set the baggies to chill and freeze.  So I went into our laundry room and flung open the door to the freezer, only to be greeted with the unholy stench of rotting flesh.  The freezer was not cold. Based on the state of things, it hadn’t been in quite some time. I checked the outlet to verify that it was working (it was), and the little light on the front was still blinking, but for some reason, the compressor must have bit the dust.

It was upsetting.  Not only because the chest freezer was only like 4 years old, and we would have to buy another one (I like to horde food projects like gyoza, cakes, and bread, also, we have some meat to replace, and our current fridge is 14 years old, making it essentially a ticking time bomb), but also because we had a pretty soul crushing combination of meat in there.  The ducks that I raised from ducklings and then slaughtered?  One of them was in there.  My favorite one.  The portion of the steer that we bought and split with friends?  The first deer that Craig shot?  Portions of them were all in the chest freezer.  So in addition to the putrid odor of weeks-old death, animals that I felt personally responsible for, and was doing my best to honor every time I cooked had gone to waste.  And not even in the “oops, I made this dish and it was icky” sort of way.  In the “we literally let this animal die and then just sit there and rot” kind of way.  So in addition to feeling somehow responsible for the freezer dying (I was not at all responsible for that), feeling upset at realizing that the freezer had died 20 minutes before I needed to leave for work, and trying to process that I’d have to do something different with the huge volume of chicken stock I had just made, I also began a sort of mourning for those animals who had lost their lives so that we could eat them, and that apparently wasn’t going to be happening either.

And with that, the freezer was closed back up, and I figured out where the heck to jam all of the chicken stock I had just made before heading off to work, knowing full well what awaited me when I returned.  While at work, I found out that the trash collection company that we are switching over to after the first of the year, and we’d have to hold onto the freezer til then.  That meant that it needed to be cleaned out.  It was not something that I was looking forward to.  But when I got home, I rolled the trash can into the garage (near the laundry room door) got out a few trash bags, and went to town.  I filled 3 kitchen-sized trash bags to the point that they were difficult to lift.  And then I had to suck about 2 quarts of rotten blood liquid out of the bottom of the freezer with a turkey baster because the drain in the bottom clogged almost immediately.  I dry heaved multiple times while trying to accomplish this task.  After I got most of the liquid out, I soaked and wiped up everything I could with paper towels and sprayed the inside with bleach.  Then I put the lid back on, and it is STILL in the laundry room, waiting to get picked up by the new garbage company.

And now that I am done being negative, let’s discuss what we lost, and what we didn’t.

I had been meaning to reorganize the freezer situation for a few weeks.  The fridge-freezer was packed full, and I wanted to rotate things out to the chest freezer, but I just hadn’t gotten around to it.  (Thank GOD!)

What we lost:
~10lbs of ground venison mixture
2lbs thinly sliced and ready to be marinated venison jerky cuts
~20lbs of beef soup/dog bones
9lbs of beef heart
3lbs of beef tongue
2lbs pork liver
2lbs beef liver
6lbs of gorgeous beef marrow bones
2.5lbs oxtail
2 lbs beef shanks
1.6lbs t-bone steak
.75lb filet mignon
3-5lbs ground beef
2 duck breasts from my favorite duck
2 duck legs from my favorite duck
back, neck, wings, from my favorite duck (stock!)
2 dozen meyer lemon cupcakes
2 loaves homemade bread
2 gallon sized ziploc baggies full of falafel patties (probably 65-70 patties)
Other misc freezer items that I have blocked out

What we did not lose, because I am too lazy to organize my freezer space:
ALL of the really high quality deer parts.  This includes:
   Tenderloin
   Backstrap
   Stew Meat
   Shoulder
2 gallons grassfed beef stock (this stuff is like gold)
2 duck breasts from the scrawnier duck
1 dozen chocolate stout cupcakes
Everything else

I am pretty bummed.  We have taken so many steps this last year to make better decisions about our food sources.  We have switched over almost entirely to purchasing ethically raised and slaughtered animals, or doing the hard work ourselves in a responsible and respectful manner.  We go to the effort of making even convenience/junk foods from scratch most of the time (falafel, cupcakes, etc) in bulk in order to know what is going into what we are eating, and all of our hard work, money, and emotional investment has been rewarded with such a devastating loss.

And to try to bring this back to something a little positive:  Planning for the future!  We will get a new chest freezer, probably the next size up.  This will allow for us to get 1/4 cow ourselves, and still have enough room to store that and the next deer that Craig harvests.  In order to prevent losing all of everything in the eventuality that this freezer dies, I am going to get a thermometer with a probe that sits in the freezer, that has an alarm that sounds when it hits a certain temperature. If I set it to something like 10 or 15 degrees Fahrenheit, that should give us enough time to either figure out what’s wrong with the freezer and fix it, or get things moved around, or buy a new freezer and transfer stuff over before it thaws.  So now to keep my eye out for appliance sales!

Butternut & Apple Stuffed Endive Spears

My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving.  Something to do with gathering together with family for the first time in months, telling stories, eating, drinking, and laughing just feels so perfectly cozy and autumnal.  In my family, Thanksgiving is an all-day event.  We always get to my in-laws early to help cook, and snacking starts shortly thereafter.  The problem is that many of the snacks are so filling and heavy, that by the time dinner comes around, I’m too full to eat my favorite Turkey-Day foods!  You don’t have to only put out heavy items like full-on cheese boards, I much prefer a simple, bright, and flavorful appetizer that can be prepped days ahead of time, and then quickly and effortless assembled in a few minutes when your guests arrive.  Bonus points for it being gluten-free, vegetarian, paleo, low fat, and relatively low carb. The chevre can be entirely omitted for vegan guests. That means that all of your guests will be able to enjoy these gorgeous spears that are filled with little gems of autumnal vegetables.  

Butternut & Apple Stuffed Endive Spears
Ingredients:
3 tablespoons healthy cooking oil (I prefer olive or avocado oil)
1 large yellow onion
1 granny smith apple, peeled and cubed
3 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 clove grated garlic
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds(pepitas)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
Salt to taste
4-6 heads endive
2 oz chevre (goat cheese)
 
Butternut & Apple Stuffed Endive Spears
Instructions:
*Caramelize your onion – Cut onion in half and then into thin slices.  Place in a skillet that’s been preheated over low (2/10) heat with 1 tablespoon of cooking oil.  Break up onion with a wooden spoon, and sprinkle a pinch of kosher salt over the top. Pour 1/4 cup of water into skillet and allow to cook, stirring and adding splashes of water occasionally, until onion has turned a shade of golden brown. Remove from heat.
*Prep your squash and apple mixture – Peel & core your apple.  Cut into approximately 1/4″ cubes. (Approx. 1.5 cups)
*Cut the stem end off of your butternut squash. Using a sharp peeler, first peel off the rind, then the green veins, if they are present. Cut approximately 3 cups of squash into 1/4″ cubes.
*Preheat a large skillet over medium-low heat (4/10) and drizzle in about 1 tablespoon of cooking oil.  Add your butternut squash and saute, stirring occasionally for approximately 5 minutes.
*Add apple and a pinch of kosher salt, and continue cooking for 2 more minutes.
*Peel and grate ginger and garlic using a rasp-style grater, like a microplane, then add to squash and apple mixture.
*Add 1/4 cup water, and stir to combine.  Continue cooking for an additional 2-5 minutes.  When squash and apple appear to be softening, grab a spoon and taste them.  If they are tender, remove from heat and allow to cool.  If not, continue cooking until they are.  Adjust salt if necessary.
*Toast your pumpkin seeds – in a small skillet over low (2/10) heat, add 1 tablespoon oil and 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds.  Stir or shake to coat, and add garlic powder, red pepper flakes, and a healthy pinch of salt.  Stand over seeds and stir regularly to keep them from burning.  Once they’ve crisped a little and begun browning, remove from heat and pour out onto a paper towel to absorb any errant oil.
*At this point, your onion and squash mixture can be put into airtight containers and refrigerated for up to 4 days.  The pumpkin seeds can be store in an airtight container at room temp for 2+ weeks(they never last that long in my house).
*Assemble – Cut the bottom ends off the endive, and lay them out on a plate.  On a square plate, I like to alternate top to bottom, on a round plate, they look great arranged like the petals of a flower.  
*Spoon a couple tablespoons of your squash mixture into each leaf, favoring the greenish tip end.  Add a few strands of caramelized onion and then crumble just a little chevre over the top and sprinkle a few pepitas over the top.  These stay good at room temperature for hours, but they won’t last that long!

Sous Vide Grassfed Sirloin Steak w/ Loaded Baked Sweet Potato

This was delicious.  But first, let’s talk a little about grass fed beef, and how it differs from conventional beef.

Sous Vide Grassfed Sirloin Steak w/ Loaded Baked Sweet Potato

 Conventionally fed cows are born and live on/in fields until they are weaned and old enough to be moved to a feedlot, where they generally live in pretty deplorable conditions and are fed a grain mixture designed to help the steers put on weight fast.  And they do.  Feedlot beef are generally slaughtered between 12-18 months of age.  And they have to be.  The grain mixture that feedlot beef are fed is not what their digestive tract has evolved to handle, and the grains begin fermenting in their gut, and acidify things far more than they’re capable of handling. The grains actually slowly poison cows by making it so the lining of their digestive tract allows bacteria through into the rest of their system, and they get blood infections.  As a result, feedlots generally feed prophylactic antibiotics to keep the cows from dying of sepsis prior to being slaughtered. So the steer are generally far less healthy overall.  Add in to that the type of fat that they put on while eating a high grain diet is Omega 6 fats, which are not great for you, and feedlot beef is overall a really pretty awful option.

Grass fed cows are born and live on/in fields until they are ready to be slaughtered.  Since they’re not being fed a mixture of grains designed to fatten them up(strange how cows have a tendency to get fat when they eat lots of grains, just like humans), it takes them much longer to get up to the desired weight. As a result, they live 2-4 years, and generally end up tougher, you know, because they are able to move around and use their muscles.  The grass-based diet allows the cows to gain weight slowly, and the fat ratio (O6:O3) is much healthier, both for the cow and for the people who eat it.  Anyway, how this affects the end product is fairly simple… the meat is tougher, leaner, a little gamier (think a combo of conventional beef and lamb) and the fat that it does have tends to be healthier.

When cooking a grassfed steak to medium-rare, it can be difficult to get a truly tender end-result.  Grassfed beef is great for long, low and slow cooking, but a quick and rare preparation will give you a tough shoe leather-esque meal, not good eats.  An effective way to still get a tender result with a perfect medium rare is to cook it in a water bath, sous vide. You can hold it at 135 degrees for 6 hours, during which time, enzymes in the meat begin to break it down and it tenderizes, giving you a result quite similar to a conventionally raised steak, without any of the terrible feedlot baggage.

Sous Vide Grassfed Sirloin Steak w/ Loaded Baked Sweet Potato (serves 4)

Ingredients:
1-1.5lbs grassfed steak
2 medium sweet potatoes
2 strips bacon, chopped and cooked until level of desired crispiness is achieved.
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup crumbled bleu cheese
1 green onion, green part, chopped
sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
prepared horseradish

Instructions:
*Liberally season steak with pepper (not salt) and vacuum seal (you could also add thyme, rosemary, etc to this if you wanted to get fancy.
*About 6 hours before you want to eat, place in a water bath set to 135 degrees, and let it hang.
*About an hour before you want to eat, preheat your oven to 400 degrees, scrub your sweet potatoes, half, and place cut side down on a lightly greased baking sheet (I used some avocado oil)
*Bake your sweet potatoes until tender, this took mine 45 minutes.
*Prep your toppings and enjoy a glass of wine or an apertif in the mean time.
*When the sweet potatoes are tender, turn over and cut a line down the middle of them.  Split as much as possible and sprinkle inside with your crumbled bleu cheese. Return to oven until cheese has begun melting.
*Preheat a pan you don’t mind getting very hot over high heat.  I like using cast iron, but a stainless or carbon steel pan would probably work like a champ as well.
*Remove your bag from the water bath, remove the steaks, and dry off using paper towels.  Do not salt.
*Sear the steaks by placing in the (literally) smoking hot cast iron pan without any oil.  Leave be for 30 seconds or so. When the steaks are seared enough, they should release from the pan and be easy to pick up. When this has happened, flip, and allow to sear on the second side.  Remove to your cutting board.  No need to let them rest, the juice is already distributed where it should be.  Slice and salt liberally(remember, your beef hasn’t seen a bit of salt yet).
*To plate, place your potato half on a plate, top with remaining ingredients. Place your portion of steak on your plate, salt again (this is a great time to use finishing salt), add a bit of horseradish, and enjoy!

Sous Vide Grassfed Sirloin Steak w/ Loaded Baked Sweet Potato

Grinding and mixing Venison

So that time that Craig shot the deer and then we had to figure out WTF to do with it?  Well most of it ended up as stew meat, and all of the odds and ends are going to be dog food. 10lbs made their way into a bin to get ground up and turned into hamburger, etc.  Now the thing about venison, is it has pretty much NO intramuscular fat.  The remainder of the fat is what contributes more than anything to the gaminess of the meat, and to me, that is not a desirable quality, so we trimmed what existed of it out, and put it in the dog food collection.  When people grind up venison, it is oftentimes “cut” by another animal’s meat or fat.  Either beef fat (which you can apparently get very cheaply) or pork fat.  Pork seems to be the most common, and has a far more neutral flavor than beef.  For this, I used high fat-content pork products, a pork belly, and a pork shoulder, totaling about 7.3 pounds of meat.  The venison weight came out to a hair over 10.5 pounds, which gave us a roughly 60/40 split between venison and fatty pork.  Anyway, I pulled out my handy dandy 5 gallon bowl and got to grinding!  And boy-o did that Kitchenaid not appreciate the 18lbs of meat that I ran through it!  But it ran like a champ.

ground pork
This is just pork

weighing out venison chunks
Weighing out the venison to verify the weight

ground venison and ground pork

When it was all ground, I carefully mixed it all up.  Not to one homogeneous mess, but just to get a semi-even spread of meat.  Then I threw a sheet of parchment on my scale and got to weighing out 1lb chunks.  Each chunk got wrapped in plastic wrap, then set on a sheet of freezer paper.  I have never used freezer paper before, but was instructed to grab some for wrapping up the deer, which we ended up vacuum sealing instead, so I had 2 huge rolls and a roll of freezer tape (apparently the adhesive stays sticky in freezing temps), and I figured I’d give it a shot.  True story, I’m not great with freezer paper, but I think after 18 packages, I finally have my technique figured out.  I just have to eat the first few that I wrapped before I eat the others.  They’re kind of a mess.

18lbs of ground venison

The only trick with the meat will be to either cook it fully (like in sloppy joes), or wait til at least a month in the deep freeze is up to help ensure that whatever parasites that may be present in the meat are dead. :shudder:

The safety of eating wild game

I admittedly know little about this subject. This both makes me a very good source for trying to decipher information, and also a wildly unreliable source.  Take everything I have to say with a grain of salt.

OK, so conventionally produced meat for sale in the US has been monitored and treated to prevent parasites.  The whole trichinosis in pork stuff is a thing of the past if you’re buying pork from the grocery store.  Raw and rare beef tends to be “safe” if it was processed commercially.  Wild game has not been kept healthy by any people, and hasn’t been wormed.  While it’s not a sure-thing that any one animal has parasites, the likelihood of it being contaminated is far greater than something raised under controlled circumstances with access to vet care.
When looking into feeding raw venison (deer) to our dogs (we feed them raw meat), I happened across a link to a raw feeding website that suggested that 3-4 weeks in the freezer should be enough to kill parasites.  And that got me thinking.  If unfrozen raw or undercooked meat is enough to infect a dog with parasites, shouldn’t that same hold true with humans?  Yes.  Absolutely.  So I got to doing some additional research.  I have primarily found 2 different answers.  The most common answer that I find on hunting boards & the like (which generally lacks any level of logic, and instead is anecdotal evidence at best) is “Well I ate fresh backstrap rare right after I killed the deer and I don’t have parasites, so there’s no reason to bother or be worried.”  The other answer that I’m finding is “The beef jerky marinade package says that wild game should be frozen for at least 60 days.”  Now my understanding of science prevents me from believing that meat that hasn’t been treated for parasites isn’t capable of giving me parasites, but it also lets me know that temperature and time spent at that temperature is incredibly variable.  For example… to pasteurize an egg, you can either hold it at 131F for 90 minutes, 135F for 75 minutes, or 140F for 60 minutes.  The same holds true for breaking down and killing cold-sensitive goobers. A deep freeze that gets well below 0 degrees Fahrenheit should theoretically kill things much more quickly than a freezer that hovers around 11 degrees.
Unfortunately, the best information that I’ve come across is from a University of Minnesota Extension Office.  I haven’t found any more effective information, and this link from the Illinois Department of Public Health says that freezing venison jerky for 30 days will make it safe, with no mention of the temperature at which it is frozen.  The information from U of Minnesota says:
Parasites and Tapeworms
  • Parasites and tapeworms are common in all wild game.
  • Eating fresh venison is not recommended.
  • Freeze wild game down to -4 degrees for a minimum of 4 days before eating or processing it into jerky or sausage to help kill parasites or tapeworms.
  • Cooking venison to 160 degrees will also help to kill parasites and tapeworms.

E.coli O157:H7 – A Concern in Wild Game Venison Jerky and Sausage

  • E.coli O157:H7 has been found in the intestinal tract of wild game.
  • Research shows E.coli O157:H7 can survive in homemade wild game jerky and fermented sausages like pepperoni.
  • Researchers found that E.coli 0157:H7 survived more than 10 hours of drying at 145 degrees.
  • The U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends that jerky made from beef or venison be steamed, roasted or boiled to 160ºF before drying.

So this leaves me with questions.  I have to check the temp range of our chest freezer and see where that stands.  I assume it will hold negative 4 if I turn it down far enough.  The refrigerator freezer ranges from 11 to 1 degree above zero, so we will see.

I am wanting to make jerky and am now mildly concerned about e.coli.  Perhaps after marinating the meat, I could vacuum seal it and pasteurize it in a water bath before drying in the dehydrator.

Regarding cuts that we expect to be eating medium rare – I’ll get those in the coldest part of the freezer and count on leaving them there for a few weeks, and leave them in the sous vide water bath for a little longer than would normally be necessary to cook them to the desired temp.

What it really comes down to is if I am going to be not only eating this myself, but feeding it to friends and family, I want to be sure that the meat has been handled safely and isn’t going to give my loved ones food poisoning or parasites!

It feels silly that this is so difficult to get really effective information.  I am a skilled researcher, I have a firm grasp of food science, and I have the equipment to hold sustained temperatures, yet I can’t find ANY charts that will tell me what I need to be doing!