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Everything posted by ScorchedPalate

  1. Actually, I go back because I *love* canned corned-beef hash. But that, as they say, is for another thread.
  2. My paternal grandparents died when I was very young, so I have no memories of them. To hear my father tell it, though, I probably wasn't missing much, culinarily speaking. They did live on a chicken farm on the outskirts of Monrovia, CA (near Pasadena), though, and that I would have liked to have seen. My mother's parents are a source of many food memories. They lived in Glendale, CA (northern L.A. county, near Burbank), so we got to see them quite a lot. My most vibrant food memory of G&G was their pantry, which consisted of 2-x-4s that Gramps had hammered in between the wall studs of the basement stairs. The wall was perfectly deep enough to hold a single row of cans and jars... it was great fun to explore! My grams, a first-generation Italian-american was a good home cook; I still use her chicken stuffing recipe, and a few others that fit into the day-to-day, down-home American genre. I don't have any of her Italian recipes, but I do have a few letters that her mother wrote to her when she was first married, nearly all of which end with a recipe for something she thought the newlyweds would enjoy. They're written in a lovely phonetic Italian-English hybrid that never fails to bring me a chuckle. Gramps was always something of a gourmet at heart. He loved Julia Child -- I have his copies of Mastering the Art of French Cooking -- and shopped at Trader Joe's back when it was a single store with a funky selection of cheeses and wines. I also remember the aunts (including my mom) chuckling with amusement as he showed off the unglazed paving stones he'd used to line his oven for bread baking -- this in the early 70s, when pizza stones weren't yet something you could buy. After Granma passed away, my mom sent me to stay with Gramps for a week, probably over spring break. He made me tomato soup for lunch, from scratch... I'm ashamed to admit that I turned up my nose at the stuff, since it was nothing like the Campbell's I was used to at home. (In my defense, I think I was about 6 or 7.) Family holidays always started with hors d'oeuvres, known in our clan as "befores"... and Gramps usually brought them. The usual creamy dip with crudites (always including black olives for me), some cheeses, and 'funny' crackers. Gramps was a bourbon drinker, and his kisses always tasted like Kentucky. It's taken me a long time since his death to be able to bear the taste of bourbon -- it's just too closely tied to my memory of him.
  3. I ate at Tres Agaves a couple of months ago, and despised it. Here's a review I posted elsewhere: We're going to Mamacita for my birthday in a couple of weeks... I have heard good things.
  4. Damn, San Francisco is only 946 miles south of Vancouver. I guess I will have to open Palate's Pudding Palace in San Jose. I can buy a LOT of butter and flour for the price of a round-trip SFO-YVR ticket. But I agree: I have the recipes for two of my favorite seattle foods -- Tom Douglas's Coconut Cream Pie, and the lasagne at Cafe Lago -- and just reading the recipe convinced me that they were worth every penny I paid for them in the restaurant. ~A
  5. I'd like to see you walk in and get a table at Lupa. I'd also like to see your check at the end of the meal. I think you'd find yourself saying "there's just no comparison at all" with a whole new tone.
  6. Let's see... I will find... a talented architect to remodel my kitchen. - Working on this one. I will read.... cookbooks from the library before I buy them, to keep my media budget sane. - Check! I am loving this. I will taste... , at least once, anything that's put in front of me, no matter how 'weird'. - Definitely had a chance to put this into action in Thailand and Japan. I... will fill my new garden with as many edible plants as possible. - Tree removal starts next week, planting sometime in March. <little skipping happy dance> We... will finally take our long-awaited culinary tour of Thailand. - Did it, loved it. Can't wait to go back.
  7. Any chance we could get the ice cream recipe? Edited to add: Hmm, the version of the recipe posted upthread says nothing about sifting...
  8. There's a nice (if a bit outdated) neighborhood writeup on SFGate. Potrero Hill standout restaurants include Chez Papa, Aperto, and Bakara. The Ramp is a nice place to go for happy hour, if you come during a warm spell. Depending on what part of the hill your stepson lives on, you're also close to South of Market and/or the Mission District, both of which are teeming with dining and shopping options.
  9. I like the Elizabethan brand that you can get at World Market and some gourmet groceries.
  10. Can I cheat and use Bloody Mary variants, like the Caesar and the Mad Bull? Hmm... Beer buster? (Vodka, tobasco sauce, beer) Or Bulldozer (vodka rocks highball with beef bouillon) And, of course, vodka-tonic, gin-and-tonic, gibson...
  11. How about: 1) A side-by-side cocktail list, with all the cosmo-clones on one side, and a list of alternatives on the other? (This is a riff on jsolomon's 'tragically hip' idea). Sort of like this: 2) You could offer a money-back guarantee if people don't like what you've suggested. You'd probably would do this anyway, but put it right on the cocktail menu... 3) Discount the 'new' drinks, just enough to make people think twice. 4) Contact your local newspaper food editor or lifestyle reporter. Talk to them about how you're trying to bring the cocktailian revolution -- you know, the trend that's taking big-city folks by storm -- to your part of the world. Even if you just get a little press, you'll start to get people coming to you. There have to be people in your area who have given up on finding a decent cocktail, just like you have.
  12. Erik: I've got a triple-batch of bergamocello steeping as we speak. It's looking -very- golden already. I saw a ton of interesting citrus at Berkeley Bowl on Monday... made me wonder what a Sweet Lime-cello would be like. They even had esrog citrons, so of course I thought of Perlow's comment upthread. Steve: I would add fresh lemon juice to your drink every time. The juice probably won't go bad, but it might discolor. You could also make a second lemon infusion, then add enough of the resulting infused vodka to your over-sweet batch to fix it, and then use the rest either as flavored vodka, or another batch of limoncello. Horseradish schnapps would make a kick-ass Bloody Mary! Hmm... ~A
  13. Quilscene Bay oysters Quince preserves Quaker oats Quillisascut cheese
  14. MFK Fisher (who's always my answer when asked this question in a non-culinary setting) and Tony Bourdain. ~A
  15. They're in season here in SF. If anyone sees them in Seattle, let me know. I have a friend (who -gasp- doesn't read eG) who is begging me to ship him a case from California, which seems a bit drastic. ~A
  16. What about all of those "Impossible {fill in the blank] Pie" recipes onBisquick boxes, where you blend the Bisquick in with the wet ingredients and it makes its own 'crust'? Edited to add: And, of course, Lipton Onion Soup Burgers...
  17. In the Santa Clara zone, veggie friendly options include: I can't say enough good things about Fiesta del Mar! We love this place so much, we drive to Mountain View from SF, just to eat here. (We've also been known to plan our flight times out of SFO to give us enough time to have lunch at FDM.) Make sure you go to the one on Shoreline right off 101, not the one in downtown Mountain View. They're justly famous for their shrimp dishes -- my husband loves their Camarones Alex and the Camarones a la Diabla -- but I love them for their great margaritas and their unbattered chiles rellenos. I've heard amazing things about Amber India on El Camino, though I have never been there personally. For Afghani food, we've had a couple of good meals at Kabul. If you should happen to find yourself down by Valley Fair Mall, Falafel's Drive In on Stevens Creek (just the other side of 880, if memory serves) is great; not really worth a special drive to San Jose, but good food in an otherwise dead culinary zone.
  18. Not Jewish, but... the last couple of years we've been travelling at Christmas, and the best options for meals have been Chinese. This year, we leave for a 3.5-week trip on Christmas day, so we'll probably have Chinese food for dinner on Xmas Eve, since I don't want to cook the night before we leave. There's a thing here in SF called Kung Pao Kosher Comedy: Tribe-centric standup performances on (and around) Christmas in a Chinese restaurant, complete with full meals at the early shows. (edited for a typo)
  19. That be my suggestion: Take the one you like to an auto-body shop and have it painted whatever color you want.
  20. Baking with Julia used to be my go-to general-purpose book until I added Baking Illustrated... which I love. You can't go wrong with either one: Baking Illustrated has perhaps a bit more depth and Julia is a bit more entertaining. ~A
  21. In 2006, I will eat... more food that I can trace to its source. I will make... time for entertaining friends at home. I will find... a talented architect to remodel my kitchen. I will learn... where to find better lunch possibilities near my office, and not just lazily fill my belly with convenient crap. I will teach... the basics to my friends who want to learn to make Thai food. I will read.... cookbooks from the library before I buy them, to keep my media budget sane. This is the year I will try... to cook at least one new recipe a week. I will taste... , at least once, anything that's put in front of me, no matter how 'weird'. I will use... my new smoker (you know, the one I hope to get for my birthday) often enough to justify its purchase. I will give... my time to the food bank, and not just when my company gives me time off to do it. I... will fill my new garden with as many edible plants as possible. We... will finally take our long-awaited culinary tour of Thailand. My kids... are dogs, so their culinary needs are relatively simple.
  22. We've done it a few times. it works like a charm, but you're a little behind schedule if you're planning to cook it this weekend. Edited to add: OK, maybe not behind schedule. Although the method we used -- which I *thought* was Alton Brown's -- involved a plastic box with lots of holes drilled into it, and about a week of aging.
  23. You have a camel disk?! I want one! Mirro you say?Indeed, but it's vintage; I don't think the current set comes with it. You might get lucky at a thrift shop. The camels make adorable christmas cookies if you make them with spice dough and decorate their necks with those flat, tiny colored sugar discs... makes them look like they might be transporting gold, frankincense and myrrh.
  24. From my reading, the part of the cow that's becoming known as bavette in the States -- quite trendy in San Francisco these days, by the way -- is more-commonly known as flap steak here. But I think this is a marketing liberty, more than actual fact. Paraphrasing from my favorite reference, Field Guide to Meat: Flank steak is known as bavette de flanchet; it's a single muscle from the flank region, beneath the loin and in front of the back legs. It has a coarse, lengthwise grain; moderately fatty, with no connective tissue. Skirt steak is known as bavette de aloyau or hampe in French; it's a long, thin fan-shaped cut from the plate (belly). Inside skirt is preferred; it's the part used for authentic fajitas. The outside part is the animal's actual diaphram. Both have a coarse texture and pronounced crosswise grain. Chain is the cut of beef that's usually known simply as bavette or chainette. This is the long, thin muscle outside the main tenderloin muscle. Niman Ranch -- a favorite of local restaurateurs -- sells a cut called Bavette, which appears to be the end of the flank steak, a cut that our grandmothers knew as "flap steak": Niman Ranch Bavette (This is the cut that I am seeing in my area, listed simply as "bavette", almost always served cut across the grain, with a bit of sauce. It's a good, beefy cut of meat.) Edited to add: The article posted upthread says that the Niman cut is the bavette de aloyau , which is entirely possible, although the Field Guide says the flap is the end of the flank, not the belly/skirt.
  25. How about the Scoff Law cocktail? Oooh, I got it: Beehive (Utah being the Beehive State...)
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