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Everything posted by cakewench

  1. I've never quite understood the arguement that the cards will help them stock their shelves more efficiently. I mean. If say, Charmin, is really popular, and they sell 30 packs a day, are they trying to tell me that they wouldn't notice that they sold them unless the purchases were somehow tracked through this card system? How the hell did they stock their shelves before the cards? Did they wait until there was no product left, then stand around the emtpy aisles scratching their heads and wondering what master thief managed to sneak off with all the toilet paper? feh.
  2. mmm one of my favorite topics. I've been on many, many international flights (sure, it starts as just 'travel', but then you go and marry some foreigne... ), and all have been on my own dime, so no Business class for me. One day I might make some big bucks and be able to splurge, but I won't be holding my breath. KLM coach meals rank as some of the worst, in my opinion. I've heard some amusing anecdotes since moving to the Netherlands, on this very subject. I've tried to avoid flying with them when I could in the past, but now that Schipol is my local airport, I have a feeling I'll be flying with them again soon enough.... British Airways coach is one of the most consistently ... tolerable... in the meal department. Combine that with the fact that they always have 12+ channels for you to play with on your individual TV set, and that seals the deal for me. Luftansa: you'll live through the meal, though the Germans around you will be sure to complain through every minute of it. It's okay, it's what they do. Be happy you don't know the language. Assuming you don't. United: The carrier I've done all of my Australia trips through. I can't recall the meal. On one trip, they played Scooby Doo: the Movie twice one the main screen in my cabin. Who cares what the food was. bastards. American: I had an interesting burrito on a Dallas-D.C. flight. That's all I have to say about that. Air France: Not great, but lots of sparkling wine.
  3. My grandmother is from Armenia; one of the 3 survivors from a family of 12. See previous post by dankphishin re: massacres. Lahmejun is one of my favorite simple Armenian foods. It's offered on the menus of the many, many Turkish döner kebap takeout places throughout Germany. Sometimes, on these menus, it's referred to as 'Turkish pizza'. I still recall when my (now-husband, a German) first mentioned these things to me, like they were something new for me to try. my response: "not Turkish. Just call it lahmejun, and I won't get into the politics of it all. Nobody has to get hurt here." For an outside observer who really just wants to know about the style of food: yes, it's very similar to food from the more well-known countries around it. Armenians are known for complaining about the assumptions people make about the region, and some of it is justified. It's a tiny country now compared to what it once was. Greece and Turkey have better PR agents, or something. I met a Lebanese couple on a plane back from Australia. I confused their name, and assumed it was Armenian. The man bought me a glass of wine, for the sake of some other Armenians he knew, once upon a time...
  4. ah yes, Laksa, barramundi! Thanks for the memory jog. My brain kept getting stuck on 'barracuda', and that led the Heart song running through my head repeatedly, and clearly I couldn't think straight while that was happening.
  5. It might not be 'stereotypical', but from what I have observed over the last few months, Germans are absolutely obsessed with fresh asparagus, especially the white variety. 'Frisch spargel' (sp), with a hollandaise-like sauce, is announced on every cafe blackboard for the period of time that asparagus is even reasonably 'frisch'. The canned variety stands in for the rest of the year. I know the Aussie desserts: Anzacs, lamingtons, possibly some fairy bread for the kiddies. The main dishes? ... Lots of mediocre sausages (*tries to ignore the jeers from down under*) seem to be very popular at bbqs. no, wait! Yabbies (something crawdad-esque, quite excellent) from South Australia! Wines from the Barossa Valley... and damn, some awesome fish. I can't recall the name of the one I had the most often, but I hadn't seen it on a menu elsewhere before. Beer: Cooper's Pale or Boags, thanks. I'm sure some of the Aussie members will chime in, especially after that sausage comment. ahem. and as for my current country, The Netherlands: Brodjes (ubiquitous sandwich-roll things), raw herring (meh.), and a Heineken. natch. (they have some fantastic Surinamese and Indonesian food here, btw, but that doesn't count for this project!)
  6. My 2 cents on the topic drift: In Germany, the grocery stores sell unwashed eggs. By law, evidently (though this is just according to what a couple of people have told me; feel free to thumb through some German law code to correct me ), though I forget exactly what the reason was. To this date, I've run in to my share of poop, but no blood. yet! Here in Amsterdam, the eggs appear to be rather poop-free. In case anyone was wondering.
  7. I've had very little time for eG lately (frantic shuttling between Köln and Amsterdam - apartment hunting in the latter is a pain in the... ), and haven't even read most of this blog yet, but I wanted to pop in and say how excited I am that you're doing one, Boris! You're one of the first people to have replied to one of my sad posts. I believe it had to do with Bircher muesli, off in our quiet "Elsewhere In Europe" corner of eG. Boris brings ordnung back to the blogs! (I'm still trying to get through Mongo's! It did inspire me to inflict some red chili-based curry on the inlaws, though. He should be ashamed, really...)
  8. re: reticence. Just jump in and post. Not everyone on the board goes out to eat all the time, or is in touch with the local restaurant scene. I don't even live in DC anymore. Hell, I don't even live in North America anymore. I just like to come read (and sometimes comment) on experiences people have back on my old home turf. Good luck trying some new restaurants. I think the forum has shown that you don't really need (and, in fact, probably shouldn't bother) to travel to Old Town for a good dinner. You probably have some great places right near you. As for me, I'm trying Rays the Steaks the next time I'm back in the States. It's always good to know that there are some decent options in the 'burbs, as well as the city.
  9. Yeah, Brad. Now those of us in Europe are fretting over missing out on this latest bit o'marketing. Damn you! so. What are the colors, anyway? *wanders off to have.... fruit.. or something.*
  10. Here in Germany, my husband and I have a dishwasher in our tiny apt (which we are currently in the process of moving from, oi). The dishwasher takes at least twice as long as mine did back in the US, and everything comes out sparkly clean. This could be more due to the serious 'ahh it burns it BURNS' dishwashing soap they have here than the actual washing time, who knows. When my now-husband was visiting me in the US last year, he was just shocked at how matter-of-factly I was handling the dishwasher soap. No rubber suit, tongs, mask, etc. In fact, all cleansers here are heavy-duty. Dirt is not tolerated. Rubber gloves: mandatory.
  11. What a great thread! Okay, how do you make a simple mayonnaise at home? I don't really like using it often, so I almost always end up wasting some if I purchase it at the store. I know I have seen someone (jinmyo, perhaps?) post regarding making it at home, but I think it's buried in a random-topic thread somewhere. Also, applesauce? I have apples. I'm trying to use up the contents of our pantry (we are moving next week!), and would like to make a bread recipe I have which calls for applesauce. I assume I can just cook the apples down somehow. Any ideas would be appreciated! Double boiler thing, as mentioned previously: I have run into that request in recipes, myself. How do the rest of you (assuming you don't actually do it) get around that instruction? The idea of introducing yet another specialty pan into my tiny European apt kitchen gives me a headache.
  12. oh, wow. I've seen that. I'm always skeptical about foods I perceive as knockoffs of something I love, but Zentis has pretty good food items. Jams in particular. Perhaps they are looking to corner the market on 'stuff to spread on bread'. I'll give it a shot the next time I allow myself down that aisle.
  13. Supermarket report for anyone still interested: Nutella in Germany has 'vegetable oil' listed, whereas in the States they use 'peanut oil'. I'm sure this changes the taste a bit, and there could possibly be a few more differences between the two recipes (I don't have the US jar to compare here, I'm just going by memory!)
  14. re: Nutella in Europe vs. Nutella Stateside: They really are different! I live in Germany now, and when I went home (Washington, DC) for a visit recently, a friend produced her jar of Nutella from the cupboard as we sat down to breakfast. I happily slathered some on my toast, only to find that the taste was just a bit... odd. Not what I was used to. Still fine, I suppose, but certainly different, and not the one I had fallen in love with over here. I read the ingredients, and made a mental note of the 'peanut oil' listed near or at the top of them. I have yet to check again now that I'm back in DE, but I'm pretty sure they use hazelnut oil in the version over here. I'll check when I go to the store (er, I can't keep a jar in our apt, as it would be gone within days. or hours?)
  15. Find yourself a can or five of Curry flavored Pringles.
  16. A quick check-in to the boards (off visiting family), and I see bleu is blogging! Damn! I won't be able to check in as often as I would like to, but things look great so far. Excellent cheese shots!
  17. When I waited tables, I always did the "I'll be right back with your change" thing. This was to avoid the perception that I was trawling for extra money. I would have loved to have just asked if they needed change, because even when I DID do the hinting "I'll be right back with your change!" thing, more than half the time I would just get the bills back anyway. Server wage in VA is $2.13, and it was the same in Dallas when I was there. This might have changed, though, because it has been a while since I waited tables. ...and now I'm in Germany, where the most 'rounding up' that is expected is that you don't request actual coins back. (and yes, people leave more than that, usually. Just not in the same league as American tipping)
  18. canned peas. meat from cans, covered in aspic or any sort of gelatonous substance. tiny-fish-from-cans, in whatever *shudder* dill cream sauce they might be covered in. Whomever the server would be, he/she would be checking every 5 minutes to see if I'm "still workin' on that?" My list of dining companions would turn this into a political statement, so I'll abstain.
  19. fifi- The picnic thing sounds lovely. The parks in London are gorgeous, and to have one of those BLTs with me would just be sublime. It's good to hear that they aren't just in the UK. I thought I had seen one in NYC the last time I was in town, but I hadn't had my Pret epiphany at that point. I would happily go there again. I'm not surprised to hear that they are owned, at least partially, by McDonalds. I guess I should state that the reason I was looking for a place other than McDonalds because I don't like the pathetic, grey, wafer-thin disks they pass off as hamburgers. I also just prefer to avoid fried food, unless it's really worth the fat grams (and, McD's doesn't fit that bill) The airport isn't the place to try to make a stand for the little guy; just about every retail and food establishment in there is going to be part of a chain. Pret was an excellent alternative, complete with fresh, interesting ingredients. It's what Subway wishes it was. (okay, except their tuna sub. Guilty pleasure. )
  20. cakewench

    Coffee Milk

    ahhh yes, 'commissary' is the word that was eluding me. Thanks, Tryksa. On another international note, I found 'iced coffee' in South Australia (the state, although it is available in other states down there, it doesn't seem as pervasive as it was in SA), which was pretty much our coffee milk. It wasn't quite as sweet as our version (gee, what a surprise, we Americans made something sweet ), but it was still addictive. I had the low-fat version almost every day at lunch. mmm good times. I should also admit that my devotion to Autocrat is purely out of nostalgia. I also just happen to like the ancient label that all of the bottles sport; the logo hasn't changed in my lifetime, I don't think. (in fact, I sense an avatar change, once Easter has passed! I know I have the pic here somewhere, because I used to use it on my journal site ) http://www.autocrat.com/pages/sales.asp According to that, Autocrat runs the entire coffee syrup industry. such as it is. Coffee cabinets were also a fave. It's like a milkshake, but thicker. A coffee syrup - cup of coffee sounds sinful. I'll have to try that.
  21. cakewench

    Coffee Milk

    COFFEE MILK THREAD!!! I have no idea how I could have missed this. I spent all of my summers in Rhode Island, with my grandparents. My mother lives there now, as well. Coffee milk and fluffernutters were two of the things my cousins and I would look forward to the most, as kids. Autocrat. Always has to be Autocrat!! BTW, Naval uh, grocery stores (the word fails me right now... duh) evidently carry it. I was informed of this a few years after I got a friend's kid addicted to the stuff. (seriously, one of my joys in life is bringing home small bottles of it and giving it away as gifts. People think it's so weird, they never want to try it, but when they finally do... haha. It's my little way of putting RI on the map for those folks who seem to honestly believe that it is an island. ) and uh. I sure can't get it here in Germany. I'll add it to my list of things to pick up next time I'm in the States. mmm.
  22. Here in cold, rainy Germany (I think Sarah has been passing off her weather system on us! ), my husband and I are really enjoying this blog. Heavenly Hash was one of my favorite ice cream flavors when I was a kid! I think Breyers made it... Sorry, that's a bit random, but the mention of the heavenly hash egg just brought back memories. And on a non-food note: LOVED the photos of upstate NY contrasted with the NO photos. Thanks for taking the time to do this blog for us!
  23. Yes, I've actually done a good amount of reading on the 'begging the question' debate, in university and since that time, and stand by what I said before. I understand that other people will have different interpretations. Anyone with time to waste can Google 'begging the question' and all of those interpretations will pop up, via different language forums. eek, for the good of all, I've just erased my blahblahblah post. This is not the place... It's a great subject, though. The idea of what is 'proper' and what isn't. I'm still saying 'cue-min', thank you very much.
  24. well, gosh, if we want to be really pedantic, 'begs the question' doesn't technically mean what it is being used for in this thread. I mean, it has evolved into this use, but only in the past 50-100 years. It actually means just the opposite of this use. But hey, I wouldn't want to step on someone's use of a word. or phrase. or whatever. But if we're breaking out the OED, let's just be completely correct here, and accept no differing opinions! (okay, sorry, I couldn't help myself. Why all the fuss over an herb?) bleu, excellent story. I had to read it aloud to understand what the heck you were trying to say.
  25. This seems as good a place as any to post this. I pondered giving it its own thread (that's just how much I enjoyed it!), but it didn't seem like it would be interesting to others. I was at Heathrow about a month ago on my way to visit the US (so, international terminal area, a little slice of hellish wasteland for food). Had time to kill, and was starving, so I was prowling for something affordable and not McDonalds. Right NEXT to the McDonalds was a place called Pret a Manger. I have seen a location in London (so, it's clearly a chain of some sort), but never tried it. They have ready-made sandwiches for you to choose and purchase. According to their info sheets, they make them all day long, so they are fairly fresh. I chose a BLT. It was possibly the best BLT I've ever had. The bacon was clearly fresh, at least cooked that day. The meat wasn't hard, the fat wasn't stringy, it was just perfect. (For those keeping track at home, and who know the difference, it was American-style bacon, not British) The lettuce was crisp, the tomatoes were a shade of red and still retained some flavor, and the mayo was... um, mayo-y. The bread was just substantial enough, a whole wheat grain. mmm. I considered buying more for the flight, but didn't. I do know where I'll be going the next time I'm stuck in that pit, I mean, terminal.
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