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Ellen Shapiro

eGullet Society staff emeritus
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Everything posted by Ellen Shapiro

  1. Everyone is different in what they can tolerate both at home and away. I have never gotten sick--not in Egypt (I drank the water in Cairo), not in Nepal after countless visits (I've had the water there too on many occasions), not in Africa. I have an iron gut so I know I can get away with whatever I want to eat. So while I'm not "afraid" to eat anything, I'm what I call a "recovering vegetarian." I was a veg. for 12 years and though I now eat meat with abandon I get a little squeamish in developing countries when I see meat lying about on the street and on the ground, etc. I'm a hypocrite as i
  2. I revert to my old vegetarian status when I travel to developing countries. There are too many problems that can develop out of eating improperly kept meat and fish and I figure it's not worth the risk. After all, how often do you get to travel to these places--I'd hate to waste the whole trip sick in bed (or elsewhere).
  3. Further to what the Fat Guy was saying, often times it's the different bacteria in the food and water that upsets your system--it's not that it's bad, it's just different--and your body isn't accustomed to it so it goes into defense mode. Cipro is another good antibiotic to have along. I carry it with me for stomach ailments on every trip to Nepal. Thus far--never had to use it--but I have a cast iron gut.
  4. This is the silver lining of the "bad" meal experience--the whole point of "living to tell the tale" -- is that you actually get to tell the tale! That's how I've made it through more than one bad meal--as well as countless other events in life too--like being on two broken down busses in Africa with lots of people and chickens and I can't remember what else . . . in the same day. It's like a mantra--think of the story value, think of the story value.
  5. How about the biting the fork trick--you know, you get so enthusiastic about what you're eating that you forget to actually get the food off the fork and into your mouth before chomping? Okay, maybe it's just me. Let's just say--it isn't pretty.
  6. I've really enjoyed Laurie Colwin's books too and I agree that Home Cooking is the best. I don't remember the chapter you refer too "Repulsive Dinners" -- I'll have to go back and re-read it.
  7. Never was an issue in my house growing up--or now either, for that matter. Come to think of it, Steven's making himself a snack right now. It's 11:50 but I'm going to qualify it as a midnight snack.
  8. Steven started a topic about the best meal he's ever had in someone's home (I was there and I have to agree with him on his selection)--I, on the other hand, would like to hear the horror stories of the worst meals people have had in someone's home. No need to name names--but I'm sure we've all been there.
  9. You've got to be kidding me! No snacking--that's an outrage! Snacking and snack foods are one of life's great joys. I love snacking on fruit and lately, cold cereal--no milk. Chocolate is always great too--but only the "trashy" chocolate brands (like Hershey's miniatures, kisses, etc.) qualify in my book for snacking. If we're talking about Maison du Chocolat--that counts as a religious experience--not a snacking experience.
  10. Snacking is one of my favorite activities. I particularly like to snack late in the evening. What are your favorite snacking times? Do we have any morning snackers in the house? Afternoon snackers? Middle-of-the night snackers? Note the related topic of grazing may need its own thread because a grazer cannot truly be said to be snacking without real meals to act as reference points. Thank you for considering this important topic.
  11. I have to agree with Plotnicki (is that okay?) on the "stuff in the tea" issue. I actually like the "bubbles." I like the texture and I think they're fun (and a shocking surprise the first few times you sip one up through the big fat straw). But they end up being a distraction from the drink. It becomes all about the bubbles rather than about the tea. In essence, the bubbles take over the tea so it's not about the tea at all but rather about the bubbles. The bubbles themselves add texture initially (they don't impart flavor and they do obviously add texture), but that textural experience is wh
  12. I have often thought that we could make peace in the Middle East if we just got a bunch of mothers and grandmothers together from Arab and Israeli populations to cook a big feast and then everyone would sit down to eat together and instantly be friends. I cannot tell you how many gaps I’ve bridged with seemingly hostile people by simply introducing the topic of humus and inquiring about the person’s personal recipe. Inevitably, at the end of the conversation, the person laughs at me and chuckles over the turn in conversation and the dissipation of all hostility. I make my humus from scratch j
  13. Since when is KC's gone? I was just there in November, 2001 to feast on KC’s salad (I know, they're famous for sizzling steak but I LOVE their salad and it’s iodine fresh). Perhaps the person who told you this was thinking of the place that used to be across from KC's the place with the amazing cakes--Helena's? In 2000 when I arrived in KTM I was devastated to find Helena's gone but it has re-opened since (I feasted there on many occasions in October and November 2002). If KC's is gone, the only thing I'll really miss there is the salad--and maybe the veg. lasagna--well, the fruit curd at brea
  14. He meant everything he said. Jason I've started a topic on best digicams for amateur food photography. See you there.
  15. Looks like a good product but I'd like to see some photos taken with it. Maybe you'll post some on another thread. Should we start a digital cameras for food photography thread? You probably didn't need 5 megapixels (!) and of course you're giving up the convenience of a small camera. When you unsheath that thing in a restaurant people will run! But I wish I had one.
  16. Yesterday Steven and I were going to the movies with his mother and we got a very strange call—did we want a cream cheese and jelly sandwich. We looked at each other in disbelief. Does anyone like cream cheese and jelly sandwiches? I know it’s a relatively common sandwich for kids but really—does anyone actually like that combo?
  17. Singapore Airlines has most certainly declined in the last five years. It used to be that flying in coach class--even over a stretch of 24 hours or more--was bearable. The seats were roomy enough, the service was friendly, the food was interesting (Singaporean specialties) and somewhat edible. Unfortunately, I noticed a clear decline about three years ago and they've been sliding downward into the heap ever since. I will say this, I was able to use the Business class lounge in Singapore in transit to KTM and home again and it was downright luxurious. Of course, 12-15 years ago I had the oppor
  18. Jinmyo thank you for your kind words about my photos, however I should explain that they are not up to the standards I'd wished for them. The original plan was to shoot slides with my Leica R equipment for the duration of the project, but the newspaper folks changed gears early on and asked that we do all digital photography. This left me with several unusable bags full of film-camera equipment and one Kodak DC4800 digital camera that is only a small step above the point-and-shoot level and takes photos nowhere near as good as my Yashica T4 and Rollei Prego film point-and-shoots. Don't get me
  19. Robert, I'm a committed off-season traveler and there are always pros and cons to doing it that way. Shoulder seasons are complex phenomena but one thing you can almost always say for sure is that opening week is better than closing week. Closing week at a restaurant, hotel, or attraction is usually a disaster. People are exhausted and at the ends of their ropes. Opening week people are fresh. If they are into what they do, which is usually the case at the better establishments, they are gung-ho at that time. So I wouldn't worry. Steve P., maybe this should go on the wine board, but my experie
  20. Wolf, I don't mind being Mrs. Fat Guy. Sometimes Steven gets addressed as Mr. Shapiro. No biggie. What is it about that burger in Nebraska that's so good? I'm already salivating but I need more to go on than that. Fill us in.
  21. This is something I'm just not very successful at. The people at Domino Sugar ("We'll always be your sugar") say put it in a microwave-safe bowl, cover with wet paper towels, cover that with plastic, microwave for 1.5-2 minutes, separate it with a fork, and use. http://www.dominosugar.com/baking/faq.asp Isn't there an easier way to address this common annoyance?
  22. "Yes you can still get Fish and Chips and meat pies in Oz" Tony, I've been to Australia and New Zealand a total of seven times (three plus four) in the past decade and can say with some authority that fish and chips are a consuming passion for a large segment of the population. I would argue that far more people eat fish and chips on a regular basis than eat at or even want to eat at the Tetsuya-like restaurants in Sydney. Not to mention the best fish and chips I have ever had have been Down Under. I am sure our Australia-based hosts could say something about this. I'm not familiar with the im
  23. For more interesting and fun filled facts about the pommelo (and all sorts of other nifty fruits of the jungle) check out these two links. http://www.foodsubs.com/FGFruit.html http://gourmetsleuth.com/pomelo.htm
  24. Holly, you must have gotten some bad pommelos because they're actually quite good. I first had a pommelo the year I lived in Israel and have had them on subsequent visits (including fresh off the tree across the road from the Dead Sea). The flesh of the pommelos I've had has always been white. The texture is like a hard grapefruit. The appearance of the sections is the same as a grapefruit, though the slices are a bit thicker and longer. The exterior skin is so thick, there's no way to peel it without the assistance of a sharp knife. The interior skin between the sections is tough--I peel each
  25. You all are causing me a tremendous amount of pain and pleasure. Ah, the marathon bar. I remember that one. It was a long braided caramel candy bar covered in chocolate. I haven't thought about that in years--now I miss it terribly and I wonder if I will recover. Has anyone encountered the "Mr. Big" bar? It's Canadian (go figure) and happens to be really good but I bought it for Steven many years ago because of the humor element. The slogan "when you're this big, they call you Mister" puts it over the top. In the past year or two, they removed the slogan thereby turning the candy bar into onl
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