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Posts posted by MGLloyd

  1. Hmm, there are five Costcos within a 15 mile radius of my home, and none of them have french fries or Italian sausage available in the food court. Which is a pity, since I would go for that italian sausage. And come to think of it, they don't carry italian sausage inside the stores, either. Their hot dogs are the Hebrew National brand.

  2. If there is a world in which a bacon tasting, accompanied by mimosas, has to be conducted with chi square tests, ANOVA calculations and what not, then I don't want to be part of that world.

    Some things are not amenable to dispassionate measurements, and bacon is one of them.

  3. Man, the Seattle area is sadly bereft of all these different types of bacon from delis and butcher shops. We don't have near the variety as seems to be produced in the Chicago area. Then again, I wonder what the job market is for interventional cardiologists in the Chicago area.....pretty good, I suspect....

  4. Pretty much since the day I bought it three years ago, I have run my Pasquini Livia off of a timer. Please note that for some of the espresso machines, they draw a lot of amps, so you have to ensure that you purchase a timer with sufficient capacity. I bought mine from Home Depot.

    My Livia is set to come on at 0400, and turn off at 0700, come on at 1600 and turn off at 2100 Monday through Friday. In other words, it comes on before I leave for work, turns off, and then turns on before I get back home and turns off in the evening. On the weekends, it is set to come on at 0600 and turn off at 2100. As a semi-commercial machine, it is actually designed to be left on 24/7, but I run it off the timer for energy-conservation reasons.

    For the more consumer-level machines, I don't think I would leave it on 24/7, but as Owen says, I don't think leaving it on for several hours at a stretch will hurt anything.

  5. Adding my two cents, as another one of the few remaining Seattle-area natives, if you want to have a short list of iconic Seattle foods, that list would include:


    Microbrew beer





    Please note I am not specifying sub-types or preparation styles, since we can argue that all day!

    In fact, I have made many a good meal using all of these ingredients at one sitting.

  6. I remember in my youth, going to Puget Consumers Coop (PCC) and even helping to paint the outside of the Ravenna store. There was a PCC for a while in Everett, but it folded, in large part due to competition from the Everett Farmers Market, another cooperative venture. So issues of food shopping as political statement no longer loom large in my life. I shop at the local TJs and am thrilled that they located a branch up here, one of two in Snohomish county.

  7. If someone put bacon ice cream in front of me, I would most definitely dig in. Perhaps a nice maple or apple ice cream with added bacon. But I would also try a straight bacon ice cream. Final judgement would depend on the taste and texture.

  8. Think about it: Michigan, has a large sports arena, cold and snowy 4-5 months of the year and has a large college student population. How many towns in Michigan fit this description?

  9. On my very first date with the woman who became Mrs. Lloyd 2.0, she picked up her glass of Guinness, peered at me through the glass, and said, "You are not cute enough yet, so I will have another pint!". I knew right then that I had found someone with a similar sense of humor. We were married 18 months later.

  10. And of course, we should not disregard the coolness factor, which may be germane to using a bottomless holder. I have noticed a big upsurge in photographs of pulling a shot with a bottomless holder. So far, I have not felt the need to spend $ 50-65 for one. I did borrow one for a bit and confirmed that I have no problems with puck channeling, but I was already pretty sure of that.

  11. Speaking as a former analytical chemist, there are different grades of purity among chemicals intended for lab use. Some of the common grades include 'industrial', 'solvent' and 'reagent' grade. If you are ordering something 'reagent' grade, it will be the most pure product manufactured. If the underlying chemical is consumable, a reagent grade of that chemical certainly will be. If you are buying lesser grades of a consumable chemical, you will want to look at the description to insure that it does not contain any additives that are harmful to health. But I would generally feel pretty darn comfortable consuming any edible chemical that was 'solvent' or 'reagent' grade. An exception would be ethyl alcohol, which if it is not 'reagent' grade, is generally adulterated with a chemical so that it cannot be consumed.

  12. The morning ritual actually starts before any given morning, seeing as I have to roast the coffee for the morning ritual. Every two weeks, on the weekend, I roast four-five pounds of coffee, in one-pound batches. I put each pound into a one-liter clamp-top preserve jar that I get at World Plus imports and put each jar into the freezer. So at any one time, I have five different types of coffee beans and one to two types of espresso beans to choose from.

    I get up during the week before anyone else, and the wife, two dogs and sometimes the cat continue to snore away while I am up. I go get the paper, open the freezer and select the bean for the first pot. I grind the beans in a KitchenAid blade grinder (the Rocky doserless is used only for espresso) and make a pot of drip using the Capresso MT500 coffee maker. I read the paper, drink a couple of cups of coffee, take a shower, get dressed in the monkey suit (what I call the business suit/tie expected in my position), fill up a thermal cup for the car and hit the road. Rinse and repeat.

    Evenings and weekends is when Rocky and Livia get to do their thing.

  13. A heatgun is essentially a handheld hair dryer on steroids. It runs on electricity and most models reach temperatures of 500-1000 degrees. They are commonly used in painting, plumbing, electronics assembly and other industrial applications. I have written a primer on the use of the heatgun to roast coffee. It can be found here.

    Another very simple method is stovetop roasting. I recently wrote a post on this method, using a heavy-gauge stockpot, on Coffeegeek, and have cut and pasted it below:

    Longtime readers of this board will recall that I am a long-time fan of using the heatgun/dogbowl to roast. The other night, I was giving a poster on another board some tips about getting started in coffee roasting, and I gave him some information on stovetop pan roasting, and pointed him to Tiim Eggers' lovely site on this topic.

    This morning, I needed some coffee for the office tomorrow, and just for the heck of it, thought about stovetop roasting. It has probably been a good four or five years since I last did stovetop roasting with any regularity, using both a stockpot and a Whirly-Pop. Back then, my usual batch size was 1 to 1.5 cups. My main concern over stovetop roasting these days was worry about the amount of smoke and chaff, since I usually roast one pound batch sizes.

    But I decided to give this ancient method a whirl. So I dug out a Faberware stainless 3.5 qt. stockpot (with the clad aluminum disk bottom), heated it up for five minutes on my electric range (Whirlpool) on the large burner set to '4' on the control knob. I dumped in two cups by volume of Red Sea blend and started roasting. I stirred pretty frequently with a stainless balloon whisk to prevent scorching. I got to first crack at about 10 minutes, and it finished at a full city roast at about 15 minutes. I dumped, cooled and jarred the beans and repeated the experiment with three cups by volume (one pound by weight) of some Sumatra Mandheling that I had on hand. This got to first crack at about 15 minutes and finished to a full city plus roast at 21 minutes. Please note that I continued to stir the beans frequently to prevent scorching, turned the heat down to '3.5' as I got to first crack, and roasted both batches with the stockpot uncovered. Both of these batch times are longer than I would typically see with my HG/DB method.

    Much to my surprise, the tall sides of the stockpot kept the chaff contained pretty well. The stovetop hood (vented to the outside) on 'high' managed the smoke pretty well. We were not smoked out of the house nor did the smoke detectors go off. Since this is one of my commonly-used pots for cooking, I will not be letting this pan season for roasting. There was a brown haze of baked-on coffee oils and volatiles, but it came right off with a Scotch pad and some Bar Keepers Friend.

    Both of my roasts were fairly even but not as even as my HG/DB roasts, but I will continue experimenting. During the winter, I would not mind finding a method that I can do indoors, as opposed to outside on the front porch. My experience in roasting by other means came in quite handy with the stovetop, being able to monitor the roast by appearance, sound and smell. Tim Eggers is fond of using his cast-iron saucepan, and I thought the Farberware clad stockpot would serve a similar purpose in terms of heat retention and even bottom heating.

    Some people have used a wok on the stovetop with good results. I can testify that you cannot use a wok with a heatgun since the beans will be blown right out of the wok.

    If someone wanted to immediately try coffee roasting, I suspect that most readers of this board have a sturdy stockpot and a stovetop readily to hand. There is a learning curve to roasting coffee, and particularly with a stovetop method, I roast at medium heat (4 out of 10 on the knob) to prevent scorching. This should also only be done if you have good ventilation at the stovetop, since if you roast more than a cup of beans and/or roast to a dark roast, copious amounts of smoke are produced.

    Please let me know if you have any further questions, and I will be happy to help.

  14. I have been a home coffee roaster for about four-five years now, and I am quite confident that my coffee is better than anything I can buy locally. I moved on from a popper years ago. I currently use an industrial heatgun and stainless steel bowl to roast my coffee.

    Sweet Maria's is an excellent source of information and beans. The definitive book on the subject is 'Home Coffee Roasting' by Kenneth Davids. Coffeegeek is one of the most popular websites for all things related to coffee and espresso, including home roasting.

    Read the material at Sweet Maria's first, and then let me know if you have any questions.

  15. I do remember that it came with some kind of nutritional dessert thing that was in a little cup. Not quite ice cream, richer than sherbet, unnaturally pink, and apparently chock full of nutrition.

    I wonder if it was Ensure pudding, or a fascimile thereof. I worked my way through college doing scutwork in a hospital kitchen. I can tell you now that you never want to have liver failure and have to live on Hepat Aid.

  16. This can't possibly be right. No sugar or cloves. This one is closer. But I will swear that I taste cloves in there. Maybe from the Lea & Perrins?

    On the Todd Wilbur site and other copycat recipe sites, there is much debate over this recipe. Many people say it tastes exactly the same, many people think they detect a hint of cinnamon, cloves or Worchestshire sauce in the sauce found at the actual Arby's.

    I just went to the Arby's site and read the ingredients list for the Arby's sauce: it does not list Worchestshire sauce nor does it contain any ingredients consistent with Worchestershire sauce. It does list spice and spice extractives, so perhaps there is some cinnamon or clove flavoring in it. I have not been in an Arby's in years, since there are very few of them in the Seattle area. Perhaps you should make the recipe, split it in half, and to one half add a dash of cinnamon, and to the other half add a dash of clove. See which one tastes the closest to the original as you recall it.

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