487: Mozzarella Sticks

Molly 0:04

I'm Molly.

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:05

And I'm Matthew.

Molly 0:06

And this is spilled milk, the show where we cook something delicious. Eat it all and you can't have any.

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:11

And today we are talking about mozzarella sticks.

Molly 0:13

That's right. You know, mozzarella sticks would be the perfect snack to enjoy. While you watch our live show on me.

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:22

Yeah, we're gonna set up a little concession stand on zoom. And, yeah, we'll be selling mozzarella sticks, jalapeno poppers wings. onion rings

Molly 0:33

go on.

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:34


Molly 0:35

And what happens when you order your rose through our zoom interface?

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:40

Oh, I was hoping you wouldn't ask that. We're still we're still working on developing the technology. We've got we've we've received some some angel investor funding. Ah, we eventually we want between now and may 13, which is when the light rays we want to figure out how to have it sure I was somehow emerged from your computer.

Molly 1:00


Matthew Amster-Burton 1:02

Can you Yeah, Jen. Delicious. Yes.

Molly 1:04

Anyway, all right. So yeah, we're doing a live show on zoom. On May 13. At 6pm Pacific. Yeah, and you can register through the link in our show notes. Or by going to bit dot L y slash spilled milk live. 21

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:21

I already saw someone on on the subreddit say that they're planning to to join us even though it's 2am in the UK,

Molly 1:28

thank you so much. keishon. Anyway, we will we'll be coming to you live from our closets. And it'll for sure be fun and and and filled with clothing.

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:40

Yeah, you know what I'm gonna do, I just realized I, I'm going to demo the the laser show device that I'm definitely going to talk about in this episode.

Molly 1:48

During the life of God, this is so exciting. Okay, anyway, but most importantly, most importantly, whether or not you plan to attend the live show, we want you to submit ideas for the topics of this live show, because we're going to do it as a lightning round where producer Abbey basically is going to pull topics submitted by you listeners out of a hat, and Matthew and I are going to have to spur the moment, do our spilled milk thing on a number of different topics.

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:16

During that we're going to spur we're going to spur ourselves on moment by moment. So yeah, so send those two topics at spilled milk podcast.com.

Molly 2:24

And again, to register for the live show. Go to bit dot L y slash spilled milk live 21

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:31

do we mention it's free? Oh,

Molly 2:32

it's free. All right. So Matthew, mozzarella sticks

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:36

Memory Lane memory lane. I

Molly 2:38

mean, we should maybe be eating mozzarella sticks on the live show because we know how our listeners love to hear us chew.

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:44

Yeah, that's true. Yeah, we got to choose something.

Molly 2:46

There's much less chewing since the pandemic started.

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:49

That's true. I mean, there's been a lot of chewing around my house in general. Just less of it on microphone.

Molly 2:54

Yeah, yeah, since we don't eat together anymore.

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:57

Have you been getting like when you do a grocery pickup like a free sample bag from the grocery store? Like this started happening a few months ago, I guess. And like sometimes we'll get like the same one like three orders in a row. And like sometimes it's not stuff we want at all like, you know, like some like off brand energy bar or something. But then most the most recent one had two different kinds of sugary cereal. One was like giant honeycomb and one was the dunkin donuts. Caramel Macchiato cereal, which is not bad at all.

Molly 3:27

You look so pleased saying that.

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:29

Yeah. And there's still there's one. I'm gonna get one for snack today.

Molly 3:32

Yeah, clearly. Clearly, we're not shopping at the same stores cuz I'm not getting anything free.

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:38

Okay, well, you should definitely like swing down to Broadway UFC. So you might get one free serving of cereal.

Molly 3:45

Oh, yeah, it's gonna be worth it for me to drive across town for that.

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:48

Yeah, mozzarella sticks.

Molly 3:49

My journalist who,

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:51

who suggested this topic? Was it me? Was it a listener?

Molly 3:54

Was there a listener? Who suggests Okay, look, look it up.

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:57

I'm gonna look it up. Look it up. Cuz? Because I think like whoever suggested this is gonna be really pleased with how much experience we have and how much we know about mozzarella. Yep, nope. There's no name on there. I think it was just us.

Molly 4:10

Okay, well, anyway, so thank you us for suggesting this. I did the quote unquote research for this episode. And wow, was it brief?

Matthew Amster-Burton 4:20

Okay, here we go.

Molly 4:22

So Matthew, let's let's go down memory lane. First, take it away.

Matthew Amster-Burton 4:25

I definitely ate these as a kid. Like, you know, these are something that would appear like on an appetizer platter, like at a Denny's, that type of that type of thing. So I definitely encountered them in that sort of context. And they were as something you could get in the cafeteria when I was in high school. And so I ate them there also. And then just like periodically, like run across them here and there ever since. Just like kinda like, I'll be like, dusting, dusting the corners of the room. And like, you know, there'll be a mozzarella stick.

Molly 4:54

Yeah, yeah. That happens to me too. You know, I'm glad you mentioned sort of the appetizer platter because Cuz I do have, I think a memory of encountering these, but not at a Denny's. We're like at Chili's or Applebee's.

Matthew Amster-Burton 5:08

Right? Yeah. You know, I think I've only been to Applebee's. Maybe once in my life. I've been to Chili's. I like Chili's. Like, I if there was a Chili's in my neighborhood, I feel I would probably go there pretty often.

Molly 5:20

I loved chilies. When I was like an adolescent and a teenager. I remember. So you know, growing up in Oklahoma, we would wind up like driving a lot of places to like, we have long car drives. I think if you grow up on the East Coast, like a road trip is maybe like five hours, you know, but where I come from, to get anywhere you got to drive like eight to 12 hours. Sure. And so I remember many road trips in my youth driving to like Albuquerque, or Colorado Springs with my parents and chilies was like, kind of the reliable place where you always knew what you could get. And it was totally tasty, right? No, I

Matthew Amster-Burton 6:01

remember the first time I went to Chili's saying that. You know, what I liked about this place is that everything is basically an appetizer.

Molly 6:09

Totally. Yeah, right. It's such a good point. Anyway, I think I may have the same is true of Buffalo Wild Wings, right?

Matthew Amster-Burton 6:15

Yes. Yeah.

Molly 6:17

Matthew, I really you were you mentioned it's gonna happen. So you mentioned it on a recent episode. And ever since then, I have been like, give me one a one of those giant Margarita is and some boneless wings, aka nuggets.

Matthew Amster-Burton 6:30

Mm hmm. Yeah. Gotta get the desert heat seasoning. So good.

Molly 6:34

I don't remember that. God, it's been too long. Anyway. Okay. So yeah, I think that I probably had some mozzarella sticks at Chili's in my youth, but otherwise, I don't really remember where I would have had them. It's kind of like French fries. Only less common, like they just sort of showed up places. And they didn't differ from one place to another. No, they

Matthew Amster-Burton 6:56

really don't. But french fries do actually. So yeah, I've ever I've never been to a place with that had like a signature mozzarella stick, and I feel a certain that must exist. Like why wouldn't you have like a spicy mozzarella stick or like, you know, panko crusted mozzarella stick or something. But I've never seen it.

Molly 7:14

Well. We're going to talk more about this and Okay, great. I do want to say that as I was thinking about where I have eaten mozzarella sticks before I thought about shits Creek, Matthew, I don't know if you watched all the way through to the final season? No, no, I'm

Matthew Amster-Burton 7:27

embarrassed to say like, we need to go back to it because I think like we stopped watching at exactly the point when people say like, if you watch like two more episodes after this, you'll be hooked for life. So we need to give it another try. You know, it's

Molly 7:38

interesting. I was kind of hooked right from the beginning. Okay. And I'm sort of surprised because I'm not usually like a sitcom kind of person. I mean, granted, it wasn't it didn't have a laugh track. It wasn't like a sitcom set car. There are a lot

Matthew Amster-Burton 7:51

of sitcoms with a laugh track anymore.

Molly 7:54

I don't know. I haven't watched a sitcom in decades. I'm too busy watching things like the endless stream of Peaky Blinders episodes. Sure. By the way, last night, I finally reached the conclusion that Killian Murphy would be nothing without his eyes.

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:09

Okay, I know I know.

Molly 8:13

Yeah, that's my hot take. Anyway, okay. What I'm trying to say is on shits Creek, there's a lot of mozzarella sticks. They serve them at the cafe. And I do remember that in season six, I'm not going to spoil it. But Alexis and Ted eat mozzarella sticks. I think with marinara at the cafe while having a really important conversation.

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:34

Yeah, no, I think I think mozzarella sticks like are a good sort of sort of marker of like, you know, if, you know, like a cafe that. Like, I don't want to be like overly critical of mozzarella sticks, because I've eaten a bunch of them in the last few days. And they were very good.

Molly 8:49

Did you actually did you actually eat them in preparation for this episode? I

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:53

did. Yeah. Oh, my

Molly 8:54

good co host.

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:56

Yeah, no. So like, such dedication. This guy.

Molly 9:00

I love it. Okay, all right. Go on. I

Matthew Amster-Burton 9:02

would like if I want if I was like writing a show and like wanting to wanted to have like a diner that that was sort of like kind of reaching the end of the line. Like I would sort of highlight the mozzarella sticks,

Molly 9:12

right? Anyway. Okay, so let's talk about what these things are. Okay. So they're always called mozzarella sticks. The word fried is never in the title, but it might as well be because the definition of mozzarella sticks is you know, like a pinky finger size, length of mozzarella that's either breaded or battered. And fried. So yeah,

Matthew Amster-Burton 9:35

I mean, they're, they're kind of the size of a Korean rice cake. The cylindrical talk that we talked about last time,

Molly 9:42

I think of mozzarella sticks as being a little bit bigger, a

Matthew Amster-Burton 9:44

little bit bigger. Yeah, they're kind of halfway between the giant dock and the add the regular size ones.

Molly 9:49

Nice. I love that you made the connection there. Anyway, I love that Wikipedia. I really didn't go much further than Wikipedia for my research here. But I Love it Wikipedia referred to these as an hors d'oeuvre. I mean, in what context? is one ever served a mozzarella stick, like in an establishment that would use the phrase hors d'oeuvre? Well,

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:11

I mean, that's a good question because I feel like a lot of the things we see on the appetizer platter today, like started out as something that you could like, you know, pass at a cocktail party, like in the 50s or 60s, but but have like kind of filtered down to like, now

Molly 10:26

tell me are you encountering like cherry tomatoes with like, piped cream cheese in the middle?

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:32

I don't know, with what I said. Like, I'm just imagining like, you're thinking about, like, you know, like, what was was that book called, like, depressing the like, halls of depressing cuisine or something? Like, oh, the

Molly 10:45

gallery of regrettable things. Yes. They're

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:49

like those kinds of like, 50s and 60s cookbooks. Like I feel like there there could be like a mozzarella stick in there. Like, you know, pitch just something like you know, it's it's European.

Molly 10:59

Yeah, that's okay. Fair enough. What word would you use to describe where these are usually served like it within a meal? Or? I mean, I think of them as like, they're not quite snacks. Because I think of a snack as something that you like, reach for to give a kid after school.

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:16

I mean, are they being eaten as snacks in this house within the last 48 hours?

Molly 11:22

Oh, yeah. Like I would never open the freezer Really? for like a snack.

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:28

What about a bond bond? Oh, I just I didn't know what about Dibs.

Molly 11:34

Anyway, whatever. Who cares. So these are usually

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:39

served to me like it takes too long to get from freezer to hot snack.

Molly 11:43

takes way too long. I mean, I'm just gonna like take the chip clip off the bag and put my hand in that

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:51

frozen mozzarella sticks and like left them on the top of the fridge. That would be upsetting.

Molly 11:56

Okay, let's talk about dipping sauces. So I think of these as being served always with like, tomato sauce or marinara. But Wikipedia says that you can serve them with plum sauce. Would this be like like a hoisin sauce?

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:11

Or sauces is like a like a base sauce. Like, plum sauce is like this like the sweeter you know lighter colored one. That's that's like sometimes serving Peking duck.

Molly 12:22

Okay. Hmm. So tangy. Yeah. Or you can serve them with pepper jelly says Wikipedia BB. Why not sauce? Honey Mustard or ranch? Yeah, no, I

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:31

was definitely thinking about barbecue sauce as I was eating a mozzarella stick the other day. I do think marinera would be my top pick

Molly 12:38

because it like creates this like pizza vibe.

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:41

Right? But like all the other ones sound appropriate to me.

Molly 12:44

Okay, well, Matthew, what

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:46

do you maybe some pairings that were that would be inappropriate.

Molly 12:49

So what do you think about this? Wikipedia told me that mozzarella sticks with raspberry sauce is like typical regional cuisine around Albany, New York. Do we have any listeners in Albany who can confirm or deny this? This set of mozzarella sticks with raspberry sauce?

Matthew Amster-Burton 13:09

Wow, there's an article about this on Atlas Obscura. Okay, where they it says they call it Melba sauce like yeah, only in one place on earth to these two components combined upstate New York namely Albany in the cities bars and eateries mozzarella sticks come with fruity tangy Melba. Sometimes marinara sauce is not even on the menu. Ah, it seems like this trend started about 30 years ago

Molly 13:35

corporate retreat in Albany, New

Matthew Amster-Burton 13:37

York. I would be up for this and there's a picture we're going to link to this article on Atlas Obscura in the picture it looks like the this this raspberry sauce is being served with like some housemade mozzarella sticks that look way better than the standard frozen ones.

Molly 13:53

So Abby, you know on our corporate retreat Google Doc please add a new idea that is Albany New York.

Unknown Speaker 14:01

We'll add that Yeah. What is it what

Molly 14:02

Whitehorse Yukon? Yeah, yeah, what else did we did we think of winter egg when a

Matthew Amster-Burton 14:09

Polaroid oh

Molly 14:10

my god happy is gonna hate us. These are all very cold place.

Matthew Amster-Burton 14:15

Not in the summer.

Molly 14:17

No, I think that some of them are still going to be cold in the summer.

Matthew Amster-Burton 14:20

Yeah. Okay. Maybe the Yukon But yeah, I don't think like Detroit is called in the summer.

Molly 14:25

No, no, in fact, we could swim in a great lake. Oh, we could I love

Matthew Amster-Burton 14:29

Yeah, I have I ever swam in a great leg. I've like dip my toe in a great leg.

Molly 14:33

I've never even dipped a toe in a great leg really

Matthew Amster-Burton 14:35

big there. These are very large lakes. I had no idea. They're great. Yeah, no. No, they're good quality legs, but they're also very big.

Molly 14:48

Okay, anyway. And then of course, there are non mozzarella cheese sticks.

Matthew Amster-Burton 14:55

So seems wrong.

Molly 14:57

I mean, like, again, Wikipedia told me This that you can do this with provolone cheddar American cheese. I feel like American cheese would just turn into a pile of goo.

Matthew Amster-Burton 15:07

Yeah. I want to talk about the texture some later on, because yeah, I think you're right. I think a fried cheddar stick sounds pretty good. Like you want to you want to avoid like getting the cheddar to like where it like, you know is overheated and starts to separate, obviously, but I think you're gonna use like, like a, you know, process chatter. Probably so it doesn't do that. And I mean, I've had I've had fried cheese curds. That seems like a related thing. At least

Molly 15:32

I think I've had fried cheese curds.

Matthew Amster-Burton 15:34

I mean, they're good. That sounds good.

Molly 15:36

You know? So Matthew, here we are about to enter the part of the agenda where I wondered if Wikipedia was messing with me.

Matthew Amster-Burton 15:45

Okay, you never know.

Molly 15:46

What do you think? So hold on.

Matthew Amster-Burton 15:49

I have a What just happened? Okay, all right. Let me let me like take the listener through this so Molly just like reach up above her head to grab something that was off camera that turned out to be a plastic clothes hanger which he is now using as an impromptu makeshift back scratcher.

Molly 16:11

It's right between my shoulder blades. Oh, it's like the part of your bag that you can never reach

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:17

alone. Yeah, okay. No, no, I know to me that is that is very frustrating when that happens and and like if only there is a way to turn your camera off. But it's too late. I already took a screenshot

Yeah, and now and now like I'm gonna have like, you know, psychosomatic back is because of this and like, like, like the whole rest of the I don't I'm not even like within reach of a makeshift back scratch. It's gonna be going like,

Molly 16:48

Oh, that was great. Okay, anyway, what I was gonna say is Alright, tell me if you think this is real. So, according to Wikipedia, like the history of frying cheese in a in a batter or frying breaded cheese dates back to at least 1393 in medieval France.

Matthew Amster-Burton 17:06

Okay. I mean, the specificity of that year is a little suspicious. Okay.

Molly 17:10

When a recipe for fried cheese sticks appeared in limine as ye the pally blog, right? It was a blog. Yeah, it was the first the first food blog. Okay. It was a medieval like, like, sort of, I don't know if there's an etiquette book. Wikipedia calls it a guidebook, a medieval guidebook on women's proper behavior in marriage, and in the running of a household.

Matthew Amster-Burton 17:34

Do we know whether this book was written by a dude? Oh, god, I'm

Molly 17:36

sure this book was written by a dude. I mean, like, do we think they were publishing female authors back then? I don't know. They were keeping female authors in dungeons back then.

Matthew Amster-Burton 17:47

I think I think you're right.

Molly 17:48

I was sure that I was getting punked here. But then I clicked on the link for luminous ye the path II, and it's an actual book dating to 1993.

Unknown Speaker 17:59

I don't know.

Matthew Amster-Burton 18:00

Yeah, but so in this book, there's a recipe for mozzarella sticks. No, like what? What are the details? cheese sticks? Okay, are they breaded?

Molly 18:09

So it seems so in some way they are. They are like battered or breaded and fried. You name it?

Matthew Amster-Burton 18:16

I mean, I think I think it's not implausible, right. Where they served with with like, a tower of onion rings. Yeah. And like ran Ranch,

Molly 18:26

because that was how to run a household in 1393. Gotta serve a lot of ranch dressing keeps those men happy.

Matthew Amster-Burton 18:34

Yeah, that's that's what I read in the in the in the luminosity. A blog?

Molly 18:38


Matthew Amster-Burton 18:39

How far back does your blog go? Like not not earlier than like, 1875? Right?

Molly 18:45

No, actually, I started mine in 1395.

Matthew Amster-Burton 18:51

Hop on the trend.

Molly 18:52

I know I read this blog called lumen SGA. The Pappy and I was so inspired. So my husband let me out of my dungeon long enough to bring my computer back down there with me when he locked me up again.

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:08

My favorite installment of the 50 shades of grace

Molly 19:13

started my blog orangette in 15, I mean, excuse me 1395. The first recipe was for mouse on klute

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:25

which is also the subject of next week's episode.

Molly 19:28

That was what I found when I was cleaning the dungeon next to a mozzarella stick. I found a dead mouse and I thought, Oh my God, I've got a whole meal here.

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:36

That's great. What did you use for breading?

Molly 19:39

Oh, the dust? The dust? Yeah, the dust that I was testing for? Of course.

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:44

Yeah. Okay.

Molly 19:46

I'm done with this bit now.

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:47

Alright, so let's move on to the 15th century. What what happened with mozzarella sticks then? Okay, no, but first go century by century

Molly 19:54

for real. Okay, modern mozzarella sticks. I love this concept. And mozzarella. That's the name of my new cookbook. You can pre order it now from spilled milk publications. The modern, realistic.

Matthew Amster-Burton 20:08

I mean, I think that could be a it's probably still going on that people like like whip up a, an E cookbook like really quickly to like jump in with a popular show or whatever, like, you know, I'm sure like within the first couple of months of Game of Thrones was like, you know, Game of Thrones inspired recipes like you know, you can cook like jack snow or whatever that guy. I've never seen the show.

Molly 20:35

Okay, okay.

Matthew Amster-Burton 20:36

Speaking of which, by the way, I will link to this in the show notes. This is practically a cute animal you need to know but it's not teenager the show December at I yesterday watched the music video for the song holy diver by do early 80s metal song, which has one of the greatest music videos I've ever seen. I described the video as we have $100 some pet rats, and a bunch of cardboard Can we make Game of Thrones? That is what the video looks like. Oh, and some swords. It's wonderful. And the other song is quite good. Like, okay, yeah,

Molly 21:12

will you link to it in the show notes.

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:14

Well definitely liked her the shout outs holy diver by do I bet a lot of our listeners already know this song very well. I was not familiar with it for some reason.

Molly 21:30

Okay, modern mozzarella sticks are you know, as we know them, they most likely came on the scene in the 1970s. And this is because mass produced mozzarella became readily available in the 60s. And also because new frying technologies for like fast paced food establishments came about around the same time. So this all collided to make the modern mozzarella stick.

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:56

Do you know like, what the specifics of these new frying technologies were? No. Do you know?

Molly 22:03

Was it a wrong question? I

Matthew Amster-Burton 22:04

mean, I know I do you remember like I feel like I sort of remember when I first heard the phrase rhetorical question. And I'm like, oh, like I'm gonna use this all the time.

Molly 22:16

Oh, yeah. You used it like 1.5 times since

Matthew Amster-Burton 22:19

but right but but I but yeah, but I understood it like exactly as you just said to me, like, like a question that you don't have to answer. But I so I think probably like a couple of technologies that made like modern frying possible were cheap oil blends with with like, like silicone in them to prevent them from oxidizing quickly. And thermostats, with with good, really like fine temperature control. That's just these guesses.

Molly 22:46

These are great ideas. Thanks. These are great ideas.

Matthew Amster-Burton 22:49

Yeah, these are these are some ideas I just came up with. And I'm gonna revolutionize the fried food industry.

Molly 22:56

So Matthew, you know, what kind of establishment Do you expect to find mozzarella sticks in like, I think a bowling alley has going out mozzarella sticks roller rink. Oh my god. Yes. A roller rink. Yes,

Matthew Amster-Burton 23:10

jellies. Okay, sports bars in general, maybe maybe a state fair. I feel like it. I would have been surprised if you had said that. These started at a state fair and just became no widespread after after their success. Like, you know, the Minnesota State Fair or something.

Molly 23:25

Like if elephant ears just suddenly showed up in sports bars and bowling alleys everywhere.

Matthew Amster-Burton 23:29

Why don't we see elephant ears more places? Because those are so good. Yeah. Like, I remember like, was it at the zoo that I would get them as a kid or someplace? We went as a kid that was like the only place in Portland with elephant ears. And they're, they're incredible.

Molly 23:43

How are they different from funnel cakes?

Matthew Amster-Burton 23:45

Oh, they're much less crunchy like a funnel cake. Like, you know, it's all like craggy and crunchy. But an elephant here is just like a big like, you know, stretchable terrible piece of fried dough.

Molly 23:56

Maybe I've never had an elephant ear terrible.

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:00

not terrible.

Molly 24:01

It's terribly delicious. It's

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:03

terribly delicious.

Molly 24:04

I don't think I've ever had an elephant ear. Now that you describe it. I think I've only had funnel cake

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:09

yet. No, though. Completely different animals. Okay, final cake. Not even an animal. Some people say.

Molly 24:15

Anyway, okay, so I'm guessing that pretty much every place that serves mozzarella sticks, buys them frozen.

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:21

I think so. Or at least I believe that until I saw this photo from a bar in Albany. And I think they might be like, like breading these in house.

Molly 24:31

Do you think that this is one of those things that can be improved a lot by making it at home? Or do you think it's sort of like you know, the improvement is so minor. Let's finally know this rhetorical question. You don't have cancer.

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:46

But I want to even though I've never made a mozzarella stick and I was thinking about doing it before this episode, and I think I should get credit just for thinking about it because I didn't do it. Okay, but so I think the cheese quality And the breading quality certainly could be better. Yeah. But would that make the overall experience better? I'm not sure. Do you? I do kind of want to try this now.

Molly 25:11

You know, it makes me wonder, do you think that some makers of frozen mozzarella sticks? Do you think they're using like part skim mozzarella? Or do you think they're using whole milk? Because Oh,

Matthew Amster-Burton 25:20

I'm sure it's part skim mozzarella.

Molly 25:22

Wouldn't it be so much better if it was like I thought, yeah. Okay, okay. Well, I'd

Matthew Amster-Burton 25:27

have to try this. We might have to do mozzarella sticks too. And when we do when we make the poster for that the two will be Roman numerals, and each of the eyes will be a mozzarella stick. Yes. And

Molly 25:37

can we do this post vaccination? So I can come over and eat some mozzarella sticks?

Matthew Amster-Burton 25:42

Yeah. All right. Yeah, let's put that let's put this on the list of things. Things we're going to do.

Molly 25:48

So how do we rank these compared to other stuff? You'd get in an appetizer assortment like jalapeno poppers are onion rings or fried?

Matthew Amster-Burton 25:57

fried okra? Yeah, absolutely. Okay. So so I think like, partly like, I can't answer this without talking about like, you know, do I like mozzarella sticks? And the answer is kinda, you know, so I think I put onion rings at the top. I love onion rings. You can get a bad onion rainbow, you get a good onion ring. There's like nothing better than that to me.

Molly 26:15

Have we done an onion ring episode? I think we did. We should

Matthew Amster-Burton 26:19

we should check this.

Molly 26:21

This should be one of our segments.

Matthew Amster-Burton 26:22

Yeah, like, have we done? We've done and sometimes there's no like when we last time, we redid our website and made it much worse. Like now you can't even search past episodes. So like, it's really increased and I don't blame listeners at all. It's increased, like the the amount of emails we get from someone saying like, you know, I think you should do an episode on nachos. I got the other day. And, you know, I think I was able to make the listener happy by sending them the link to the Nacho episode, but also like you made yourself sad. I made myself sad because I because I ruined our website, but am I gonna fix it? That sounds like a lot of work. The thing about mozzarella sticks is I want the cheese to be kind of gooey or, but not have the whole thing fall apart. And there's a real tension there. I feel like there's always like, a cylinder down the very middle that isn't melty enough. Okay. Okay. And like and it has, it has a little hint of like a like raw, not raw, but like, you know, unheated mozzarella, chew to it. And I'm not a big fan of that and like they, you know, they cool off faster than you would expect. So like, I really want to just kind of scarf that first mozzarella stick and then it's and then I'm done. So I guess I would say they're kind of in the middle for me. Okay. Like I'm not a big jalapeno popper fan. Even though I do love jalapenos. I don't know.

Molly 27:42

I think I've only had jalapeno poppers maybe like once or twice and I think that they were I think it was a while ago before I had the tolerance for spicy food that I have built up to now. Yeah, I do like an onion ring. It's been a long time since I add onion rings. I do also like fried okra even though it scorches the living daylights out of me. I mean, like it goes. You

Matthew Amster-Burton 28:04

ever had fried pickles?

Molly 28:06

I had fried pickles at Buffalo Wild Wings with you? Oh, that's possible. I think so.

Matthew Amster-Burton 28:11


Molly 28:11

Yeah. And we got mozzarella sticks once it Buffalo Wild Wings, didn't

Matthew Amster-Burton 28:15

we? Yeah. Fried mushrooms. That's something you sometimes see also, I think they might have those like kid Valley.

Molly 28:20

They're fine.

Matthew Amster-Burton 28:22


Molly 28:22

they're fine.

Matthew Amster-Burton 28:23

What were what was the thing we were wondering if we've done or not? I already forgot. onion rings. onion rings. Thank you.

Molly 28:30

Will you look it up?

Matthew Amster-Burton 28:31

I don't think we've done it. We've done onions. We've done pickled onions. Oh my god. And I've made homemade onion rings that were quite tasty.

Molly 28:39

Oh my god. I'm so excited.

Matthew Amster-Burton 28:41

Yeah, let's do it. I've so much to talk about. We can talk about the onion ring tower at Red Robin. We can talk about the onion ring loaf at Tony Roma's we can discuss whether or not a bloomin onion constitutes onion rings. Let's start the episode right now.

Molly 28:55

I'm tired. Okay. Okay, so Matthew, I think we've already discussed the fact that you would make these from scratch and we're gonna do a realistics to

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:05

I'm curious.

Molly 29:06

Now, here's a question for you. So a lot of recipes that I saw for homemade mozzarella sticks. Have you read them in Italian style breadcrumbs. I assume that there's like oregano involved in this, but Giada dilaurentis there's a little twist in there she has you bred them in a mixture of Italian style breadcrumbs and parmesan, which I feel like that can burn

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:27

easily but it sounds tasty.

Molly 29:29

And then bone up a tea. I have really mixed feelings about this. Of course bone up a tease recipe has you use panko and a whole bunch of herbs and spices you know from your your spice drawer instead of using pre seasoned breadcrumbs.

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:45

Yeah, that's where I feel like there's going to be an uncanny valley there were like what you you're you're eating this and it is good but what what you really want is like the junk food mozzarella stick like I think I want so why Bought a two pound box of Kroger frozen mozzarella sticks because that was what they had. And we're gonna get through them because because it's like fried cheese. But yeah, they are made with seasoned breadcrumbs. I think there's like there's like a seal on the box. That's that's meant to look like a like a rubber stamp that says seasoned breadcrumbs and like, I want to get this as a rubber stamp. So I can go and stamp it on.

Molly 30:25

Oh, that sounds so fun.

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:27

Oh my God, why wouldn't you stamp so so what I really want is something that is, like recognizably The same thing is that but maybe a little better?

Molly 30:36

Okay. I think this is gonna take some trial and error.

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:39

Yeah, I think it might.

Molly 30:41

So I saw some recipes that said like, you can either take like a block of mozzarella and slice it up. Or you can use string cheese.

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:51

I don't see why not.

Molly 30:53

I mean, I think you could totally use string cheese, but it seems like it's a much more expensive way to do this. Right? Like

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:59

when they make string cheese. I think we did a string cheese episode we probably talked about this. Like, Is there like a process that used to like align the strands of the cheese so that it's strings or like would any mozzarella use magnets? I was I was wondering if like if a string cheese is the cheese equivalent of a laser? Because like a laser like all the all the light waves are aligned. I don't realize it i don't know if i know what a laser is. But it's like it's like a string cheese of light. Yep. Okay, back scratcher is back. What is happening is that your your way of signaling me that it's time to move on to second?

Molly 31:38

Because the season is changing or something my skin?

Matthew Amster-Burton 31:43

Yeah. Do you have a trick knee that tells you when it's gonna rain also. Yeah.

Molly 31:52

Okay, so um, so I think that we both would want marinera Yeah. With our mozzarella sticks and you're gonna make this from scratch right? When? Yeah, the mozzarella sticks.

Matthew Amster-Burton 32:04

Yeah, and I i've been totally spoiled like I used to be the satisfaction, but you're gonna have to do it again in just a minute right? I've been spoiled. I used to be a big consumer of jarred spaghetti sauce. And like I haven't bought it in ages because I just keep making friend of the show Kenji Lopez halts pizza sauce recipe. Oh, would you make with a 28 ounce can of whole tomatoes and butter olive oil, red red pepper flakes, salt and pepper sugar and just puree it and simmer it and like it's called pizza sauce. But it's like you know, the perfect marinara dipping sauce. It's not hard to make will link to the recipe and that's what I will use.

Molly 32:48

Cool. Matthew. I think it's time for some segments.

Matthew Amster-Burton 32:51

I think it is time. Okay, the first segment is called you scratch my back. you scratch your back. I'll scratch your back.

Molly 32:59

you scratch your back. I'll scratch mine.

Matthew Amster-Burton 33:01

Yep, it's a great deal forever ad Okay, so let's start with spilled mail.

Molly 33:11

All right, this week we have an email I sent a letter like as though

Matthew Amster-Burton 33:19

it's a letter was written with a quill

Molly 33:21

from listener at me

Matthew Amster-Burton 33:23

when I was a kid at one point I made the letter. No. This is just this is me. This is Matthew talk giving you some real talk. Okay, when I was a kid, I was like I found like a seagull feather and like stuck a I don't I saw this on TV show or something like stuck a ballpoint pen refill into it to make a quill and I thought it was so cool. And I had this nasty seagull feather just hanging around in my room giving me weird bird disease. So cool, dude. Okay, here's the email for listener at D Are you ready? Yes. Or do you want to read it?

Molly 33:59

Hey, Matthew, this is the letter Yeah. Hey, Matthew, you only have a little over a month to finish your worst to share sauce before it expires.

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:08

So I checked it this must've been something we set out our Western share sauce episode and listener That is correct. Thank you for saving my life.

Molly 34:16

It's time for cute animals you need to know or Yeah,

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:19

kay if you Oh, if you want to send us a letter first of all like you need to use like the the finest fountain pen what's what's a brand a fancy pen?

Molly 34:28

Just water

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:28

just water down block

Molly 34:30

mom. There. Aren't there Waterford pins or is that just crystal bright? You

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:35

write us a letter on Waterford Crystal using your mom blonde pen. We only accept fancy me. Anyway, so if you know when any of my other condiments are going to expire, please get in touch contact at spellbook podcast calm. That's my point. Okay. All right now here's a cute animal you need to know.

This was suggested by Joan ces 78 on Reddit and it's sugar gliders. Have you even heard of these things? I think I had heard the term but didn't know what it was.

Molly 35:04

Oh my god. I think I'd heard the term but I didn't know what they were Why are they called sugar glide?

Matthew Amster-Burton 35:10

Oh, so they like to eat sugar like like nectar and stuff and they glide like flying squirrels but they are not flying squirrels. What are Sugar Glider This is according to Wikipedia is a small, omnivorous arboreal and nocturnal gliding possum, belonging to the marsupial infra class. This Sugar Glider is characterized by its pair of gliding membranes notice pitahaya, which extended from its four legs to its hind legs.

Molly 35:34

Oh my god, they look like they look like little CGI creatures. Yeah. Or made for a movie?

Matthew Amster-Burton 35:43

Yeah. Remember?

Molly 35:46

Are these fully grown ones?

Matthew Amster-Burton 35:48

I think those are fully grown. There are some babies in the video. Also, there's if there's one where there's like a parent with some babies, I see the parent with babies. Yeah. What was the little the jerboa? Like the little jumpy guys? We did a few weeks ago. These are kind of like that. And like they seem like a cute cartoon animal that someone made up but they're real. And I'm delighted to say that according to iu pack these are not currently endangered. there that's least racers. Yeah. Oh, that's

Molly 36:16

great news. I love I love to hear it.

Matthew Amster-Burton 36:19

I also learned while reading about marsupials in general that most female marsupials have two vaginas, and two uteruses and most male marsupials have a bifurcated penis. And so I was reading this wait.

Molly 36:32

penis is this, like, on that episode of the office? When one of them like when they learn about male homosexuality, and one of them asked? Yeah, like, it's that one. It's that episode. Yes. Oh, yes. That's great.

Matthew Amster-Burton 36:50

It was it was like how do you know whose penis opens up to accept the other one? Okay, yeah. So I was reading this, I was thinking, wow, marsupials are so weird. And then I was like, that is very judgmental of me. Like I imagine like if we were marsupial's, we would think placental mammals are so weird, right? My God, seriously placental mammals are so weird. Like, like, they only have one of stuff that you're supposed to have to have. Like, they don't have pouches at all.

Molly 37:15

It's really cute in this video when it jumps off of like a, you know, platform. And you can see it unfurl its membrane. Yeah. Wow. It's really cool.

Matthew Amster-Burton 37:29

Yeah, it's like, Get a load of this.

Molly 37:31

Wow. That's super cool. It's like it has its own parachute built in.

Matthew Amster-Burton 37:36

Yes. Right. And like, again, we don't have anything like that, do we? What if we do and we just don't know it until we need it?

Molly 37:44

Well, time to go jump out of an airplane. All right. So hey, it's time for now. But Wow, stuff we're into this week.

So you know, I'm actually in the middle of listening to mine now. But Wow. But it was really interesting and really caught my attention. So this is an episode of The Black Mountain Radio Podcast, okay. And the Black Mountain Institute is a literary Center at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and they're the publisher of the believer, you know, the literary magazine, the believer. There is an episode on the Black Mountain Radio Podcast, in which they interview the native author who lives here in Washington State. She's a member of the cowlitz people. Alyssa was shuda the episode is called ghost of the future. And she tells this really interesting and sort of far out story about encountering what she really believes is her future self on, like, on the streets of Seattle. Anyway,

Matthew Amster-Burton 38:49

that sounds good.

Molly 38:50

It's it's quite like this podcast is, you know, it's pretty far out. But I found it really fascinating. And I can't wait to get back to listening. So yeah, so that's Black Mountain Radio Podcast.

Matthew Amster-Burton 39:01

We can link to that episode that

Molly 39:03


Matthew Amster-Burton 39:04

I feel like if I encountered my future self, they would just say like, trust me, you don't want to know and I'd be like, what? No, tell me walk off into a crowd. Yep. They've a walk off out of an airplane and their parents their built in parachute with deploy. And I'd be like, yeah,

Molly 39:20

you'd be like I did want to know.

Matthew Amster-Burton 39:23

My now but well, this week is kung fu on The CW. It is a new one hour drama. That is a reimagining of the 1972 series with an all Asian American main cast and kick ass female hero watsa and I watched the first episode when it debuted by the time you hear this a few weeks ago, so it'll be a few episodes to catch up on. And it is a super fun show. And on the the favorite part on the first episode is on the the premier kung fu master Nikki goes on a date and tells the guys she likes about how she got into trouble while she was basically like on her like gap year in China. Studying kung fu at a monastery and like her mentor was murdered by by a villain with a magic sword. And the end the boyfriend is just like okay cool I can help research magic swords are both like no do not bring up the magic sword they got the first date everybody knows

Molly 40:18

that is amazing.

Matthew Amster-Burton 40:19

But it is it is a it's filmed in Vancouver set in San Francisco but filmed in Vancouver so you'll recognize Vancouver landmarks everyone on the cast seems like they're having a great time and this is really like the the first one hour drama featuring an Asian American cast and it's great. Oh my god,

Molly 40:37

I'm so glad to know about it. So that's kung fu on The CW.

Matthew Amster-Burton 40:40

Yes. And you can watch it for free at cw tv.com Oh,

Molly 40:44

god cool. Okay, wow. Well, this episode was really a one stop shop because we gave you cool things to watch and snacks to eat with them.

Matthew Amster-Burton 40:53

Yeah, and little and little flying animals. Right over

Molly 40:58

Okay, as always, our producer is Abby circuit tele

Matthew Amster-Burton 41:02

Yep. The CDC says you can get together with up to three sugar gliders.

Molly 41:07

If they've been vaccinated to right right,

Matthew Amster-Burton 41:09

yeah, and you can find a spill belt podcast.com reddit.com slash are slash everything spilled milk. If you look at the little info window in your podcast player that's where we link to all the things we said we would link to like our now's but wow, our cute animal video. pizza sauce recipe maybe someone

Molly 41:29

else knows what else hopefully Abby knows.

Matthew Amster-Burton 41:32

Yeah, baby maybe Molly's blog post about about cheese sticks from 1395 fried rats mouse on klute mouse on klute

Molly 41:42

or as some people call it mouse in a coffin.

Matthew Amster-Burton 41:45

pastry coffin. That's right. Oh 17 all of your first year of blog posts was bad like different things you put in the same pastry coffin that you kept using over and over

Molly 41:59

God knows what the golden years of blogging

Matthew Amster-Burton 42:03

Yeah, and it till next time I beg you for listening to spilled milk will scratch your yours if you'll scratch ours.

Molly 42:10

Molly weissenberg.

Matthew Amster-Burton 42:11

And I'm Matthew Amster-Burton.

Molly 42:20

boy did we pull one over on her. Oh my god. I'm so tired.