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Monday, October 19, 2009

Chilling Bat

I'm not sure I can convey the amount of joy I feel for the recent change in weather down here in Florida. While the majority of folks here are lamenting how "cold" it is (you know, temperatures below 60 degrees), I am singing hallelujah. Did you know that yesterday I took my dog for a walk and did not even break a sweat? Granted, I am a bit freakish in that department... what can I say? Apparently, I was genetically made to live in the desert. But, still! It was so enjoyable! I keep trying to tell myself that I simply have to trick my brain into thinking summer here is like winter up north in that you don't spend a lot of time outside. As far as I'm concerned, we're just now getting into the good season.

But, despite the cooling temperatures, I'm pretty sure we'll never really get truly cold here. One of my favorite things about living up north is that in the winter, I don't have to worry about food safety when it came to chilling things quickly. You never worry about putting hot soup into the refrigerator; you just stick it outside! It's like the largest walk-in cooler ever! I'm pretty darn sure I'll never be able to do that here.

That means I have to stick with using a chilling bat when I have hot liquid I want to cool down quickly. Putting a big pot of hot stuff into your refrigerator not only means that the liquid will take a long time to chill down but it will also warm up the other items in your chill box. That leaves a fair amount of time for little microscopic critters to get a foothold in your food. Down with food creepy crawlies! Away!

In restaurants, they use a chilling bat... or paddle... or wand. The gizmos go by many names, but they all have the same purpose: to help cool down your hot liquids quickly so that they spend less time in the temperature "danger zone." Here is a picture of a chilling paddle from the Webstaurant store. Do you know food service suppliers want over twenty bucks for such a device? Crazy!
But, don't you fret, because for less than $1.50, you can have your own chilling bat. Just carefully wash and remove the label from a 2-liter soda bottle. Fill it with water until it's about an inch shy of being full, put the cap on, and store in your freezer. The next time you make a pot of something that needs to be chilled down quickly, you've got it made! I reuse mine over and over. Just wash the outside between each use and replace in the freezer.

Not a bad deal until I can make my way back to the land of real winters...


  1. I have never in my entire life, ever heard of this...:)

  2. Great info. What about this lovely weather FINALLY!!!


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