[CnD] The Palm Test (Was: My thoughts on Recipes on the List)

Nicole Massey nyyki at gypsyheir.com
Wed Jul 20 05:22:02 CEST 2016

This is from "Consider the Fork", a book on the history of cooking utensils and elements, including fire, kitchens, and the like. It came from a French chef. The book is available from Bard, and I found it an interesting read. (listen, whatever)
This is for cooking on an open grill, so it won't translate to a clamshell grill like the George Foreman. With your secondary hand poke yourself lightly on the big fleshy end of your palm at the base of the thumb with the index finger of your dominant hand. Now take your index finger and your thumb and touch them together. You'll feel that fleshy part as it firms up a bit. That feeling you're feeling right there is how a medium rare steak should feel under  your utensil. Now add your communication finger next to it. That's medium, and adding your ring finger will tense things up a bit more for medium well. If all your fingers are together arched so the index finger touches the tip of the thumb that's how well-done should feel. And with no fingers touching that's rare.
I like this because it's a touch based system instead of one that depends on sight, and it allows me to translate things in case the recipe doesn't do things in a blind friendly way.

-----Original Message-----
From: Jennifer Chambers via Cookinginthedark [mailto:cookinginthedark at acbradio.org] 
Sent: Tuesday, July 19, 2016 9:46 PM
To: cookinginthedark at acbradio.org; Charles Rivard <wee1sman at fidnet.com>
Cc: Jennifer Chambers <jennilee99 at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [CnD] My thoughts on Recipes on the List

Nicole, you stated things very well.

Moving away from the subject, I have a question about something in your post: You mentioned the palm test for grilled steaks.  I thought I was familiar with all types of doneness tests, but I haven't heard of that one.  Would you explain it, please?  It may have been mentioned in a recipe that I deleted, so I beg your pardon if I'm asking for repeat instructions.


On 7/19/16, Charles Rivard via Cookinginthedark <cookinginthedark at acbradio.org> wrote:
> Who is this list designed for?
> If you think you're finished, you! really! are! finished!!
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Nicole Massey via Cookinginthedark
> Sent: Tuesday, July 19, 2016 4:02 PM
> To: cookinginthedark at acbradio.org
> Cc: Nicole Massey
> Subject: [CnD] My thoughts on Recipes on the List
> I've been reading the responses, at least the ones I get, (I filter 
> some folks here because of their interaction style, so I don't get 
> everything in
> my inbox) and there are a few things that I think might be good to 
> consider.
> First, not everyone here is completely blind. Blindness is a wide 
> array of visual situations, so what may be completely inaccessible for 
> someone might
> be no problem for another. Are we also expected to account for 
> neuropathy, which is a common adjunct to a couple of the most common 
> reasons for later onset blindness? If we do then we're going to get 
> very few recipes after all
> the possible factors are accounted for.
> We are blind people functioning in a sighted world. This means it's a 
> good idea for developing coping mechanisms. If a recipe is completely 
> free of any
> sighted elements that's great, and I support the "Tried and True" 
> label in the message subject for those recipes. But we don't live in a 
> world where others are going to do things just so we can participate 
> equally, so we have
> to work out or ask to find out what these visual cues mean in terms of 
> time,
> texture, and scent. I make sure to do this whenever I'm posting a 
> recipe from one of the cooking sessions I attend once a month. But I 
> also ask the chef what "when the juices run clear" means and other 
> useful things like the
> palm test for grilled steaks, as just one example. Learning these 
> skills will open up Avast array of recipes for you to use and make you 
> far less dependent on assistance from others.
> One more thing -- Dale Campbell owns this list. Steve Stewart moderates it.
> And they've been crystal clear in their list rules -- if you've got a 
> problem, take it to them. Don't. Post. It. On. The. List. "Maling list cops"
> tend to solve nothing and create more discord themselves. Let the 
> folks who
> run the list handle things, like they've asked us to.
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