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  1. Karen, thanks so much for your report! I just found out that my spouse and I will have the opportunity to visit Blacksburg in August, after having moved away from the state in 2004. I'm looking forward to trying some new places!
  2. What an interesting discussion...I agree that the white/orange cheddar distinction is mostly marketing at this point. Although I have to say that my brain processes the color difference exactly the opposite from what is being said here. I freely admit that this is my quirk, and not a truism on the part of the cheeses! See...I hate mild, flavorless cheddars and cheeses (see my username? It's ironic! Oh, the humor...). And while I do see that, in my supermarket, the mild cheddars = orange and the sharp cheddars = white, I just have had a hard time buying white cheddars. I think this is because growing up, when my parents would buy white cheeses, they would be the mildest, unaged swisses and bricks they could find. So in my head, white = mild. All is not lost, however--we can find lovely 4, 5, and even 10 year aged orange (!) cheddars at our local farmer's market every Saturday. And, I just made cheese straws using the white cheddar, so perhaps I'm finally growing up?
  3. I got this book for Christmas, but have not been at home enough to try it out. Then, this morning...18 month old woke us up at 7 a.m. We had been out late at a wedding, and then for post-reception drinks with friends, last night. It was a very early 7 a.m. indeed, and the typical breakfast of cereal or fruit was not going to suffice. Fearing a breakfast crisis, I rummaged through my fridge: Hmm. What's this? A package of country ham sent from friends in Tennessee? I bet Dorie has a biscuit recipe in there somewhere. Sure enough, here it is. We breakfasted at 8 a.m. with hot coffee, fresh-baked biscuits with country ham. Sheer heaven. I think this morning alone made the purchase of the book more than worth it! I can't wait to try the other recipes.
  4. Are you looking for a place in Green Bay, or would you be willing to drive for a bit? I actually don't know Green Bay restaurants very well, despite living about 1/2 hour south! For some reason, when it's time to go out, we head to other towns nearby. As for tailgating...show up, start grilling! Trinkets, gifts....heck, just bring beer and enough food to share. You'll make friends in no time. Honestly, the Lambeau crowd is really friendly, and I think you'll have no problem fitting in. Just don't make fun of our native accent, don'tcha know. Weather...it's so hard to tell. We went to the January 1st game last season, and I was terrified that we would FREEZE. It had been quite cold Christmas week. However, it was pretty sunny, and I was really comfortable the entire game. My best advice--yes, yes, buy a warm coat, and dress in layers. And while tailgating, think about making something hot. We had chili and actually made mulled wine in our turkey fryer--yes, people made fun of us ("this isn't San Francisco!!), but they weren't laughing we had hot drinks to keep us happy (and they were dealing with beer slushies!!). So, check the Weather Channel often, leave the flip-flops at home, buy extra socks, and have a great time.
  5. Many of the cases occurred in Wisconsin (in fact, the first confirmed death was in my town), but the spinach itself was tracked back to CA (Natural Selection/Earthbound Farms). Incidentally, our local health department has determined that there was a concurrent series of E. coli cases that were *not* linked (epidemiologically or genetically) to the spinach cases. Makes me wonder how prevalent these cases might actually be...
  6. I am so glad to hear that...I checked The Art of Eating out of the library this summer, and so had a limited time to read it. I started with Serve it Forth, and was just in love with the writing and was enjoying every word. By the time I got through How to Cook A Wolf, I was still impressed with the writing, but I found myself just...tired. I actually didn't come back to it much after that. I really thought that perhaps it was me, that I wasn't "getting it", or something. I'm going to have to come back to it...and take small bites this time!!
  7. I love POOO! Maybe we can convince Ray Rachel to use the term? It is so cute! ← Hee--yesterday, my husband peeked over my shoulder when I was reading this thread to see what had made me laugh out loud. Later, we were in World Market, and he commented on the fact that World Market had their own brand of extra-virgin olive oil. Then, without missing a beat, he said, "It's no POOO!" I tell you, POOO is taking off!!
  8. Congratulations! It looks like your culinary dance card is filling up quickly, so....*when* you get renewed...perhaps a trip just nort' of Chicago? I'm thinking Milwaukee--or even the Lake Michigan shoreline in WI--could be fun. Frozen custard, German food, the Friday Fish Fry phenomenon, perhaps? Just a thought!
  9. Wow...Verpas, okay, I wouldn't be thrilled, but at least they're in the same family as morels. But Gyromitras? Nothing like a little monomethylhydrazine to ruin your dinner! (I know that some gyromitras are not very toxic, and that since MMH is volatile, supposedly it's okay after lengthy cooking, but still. I'm a fungus geek by training, and I've never, ever been tempted--even when my morel haul was pitifully tiny!)
  10. Heh, mine said "pork rinds!" As far as I know, he's never actually HAD pork rinds (or maybe this is a secret male ritual?) He takes (mostly male) clients out to dinner often for his job, and says that based on where they go, steak is the word. EVERY time, they want to go to a steakhouse. He's actually pretty sick of steak. Perhaps that explains the pork rinds answer....
  11. Well, see....that's your problem. From Scratch? What are you thinking???
  12. Same here. Sometimes I even buy the pre-packaged veggies, like shredded carrots. I find that I am much more likely to have a salad with dinner if I don't have to wash and dry the greens (I don't have a salad spinner--not enough storage space, I guess... ). So many of those meal kits confuse me, though. Especially the crockpot meal kits. Does it really save that much time and effort? Seems like you could throw together a homemade crockpot meal in almost as little time as it takes to open the package, and it would be much, much higher quality in the end. Of course, I've never tried one of those-has anyone here? Your verdict? When I *have* used the meal kits (I tried some when I was living alone and they first came out), I was left with a resounding impression of sodium. Not much flavor beyond "salty". No thanks...I like salt as much as anyone, but as a flavor enhancer, not the flavor itself!
  13. I can definitely vouch for Nerv...we had the fortune to eat there more than once when it first opened, and that would be my first stop if I were to pass through again. (Not today, though--we just got through our own heat wave, and I have no desire to experience another one! ). I was impressed with the service as well as the food every time!
  14. Hi Carrot Top! Wow, so we were neighbors for a while...I lived in Blacksburg from 1998-2004. I've since moved home to Wisconsin, but really miss that area (no mountains here!). It sounds like there have been some significant new additions even since I've been there. I don't know if we're including breakfast, but I always enjoyed Gilles, next to Bollo's. I was only there for lunch/dinner a few times, and found that they probably would not rate well on your consistency scale. However, I always had good breakfasts there. On the "cheap eats" side, Emilio's and Souvlaki had good fare for lunch on a grad student budget.
  15. In Wisconsin Rice Lake Rib Mountain (okay, okay, so that isn't technically right) Sturgeon Bay Whitefish Bay Egg Harbor Sugar Camp Apple River Turtle Bass Lake Fish Creek Almond Friesland (what? No?)
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