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Posts posted by ninetofive

  1. The same thing happened to me with my brand new 5 qt. Le Creuset. I walked away and the sauce I was cooking burned solid to the bottom of the pan. Nothing would get it out, including oven cleaner.

    I called Le Crueuset and asked what next. They told me to boil some water in the pot, then pour a scoopful of Tide (the powder stuff, regular formulation) into it. Boil it for five minutes, then let the water cool to room temp. Scrub with a nylon pad. They mentioned it might take a few tries to get all the black stuff off. With my pot, it took five treatments.

    For any staining, they said to soak the pot in a solution of bleach and water until the stain was gone.

    Wash and dry. Then wipe down the inside of the pot with white vinegar.

    It worked like a charm. The surface is still shiny, although I have noticed it is less nonstick than my other Le Creuset pieces since that unfortunate episode.

    Good luck!

  2. I've always been a milk drinker, and my son is following my footsteps. We get 4 half-gallons of 2% delivered from a local dairy every Friday; by most Wednesday mornings, I have to stop at the store for a half-gallon to get us through till Friday.

    Whenever someone makes fun of my milk addiction, I point them to my dairy-loving grandmother, who just turned 99. OK, the daily glass of Guinness might have something to do with it, too. :biggrin:

  3. After reading this thread, I tried a pot of black beans. I wanted to compare them with the beans I made on Friday with a pressure cooker, which is typically how I cook them. (The Friday beans were quick-soaked, then pressure cooked.)

    The no-soak beans were far more flavorful (and yes, they were from the same bag as the Friday beans). They also held their shape better, but the most noticeable thing was that they held their color. The pressure cooker beans were verging on gray, while the no-soak beans stayed deep black.

    Cooked with nothing more than a teaspoon of kosher salt, they were good enough to eat from the pot.

    Also, perhaps this is TMI, but six hours later, no toots. :raz:

    Thanks for reviving this topic, FG!

  4. I waitressed at an ice cream place on the CT shore during summer breaks in college (late 80s). We used to get a lot of celebrities, but the only two I can remember are Christopher Reeve and Frank Sinatra.

    One night a U.S. congressman came in with his family for cones to go, and I waited on him. The bill came to something like $9.98. He handed me a ten and said (with a wink), "Keep the change" and walked out. My family had a field day with that story for years.

    He ended leaving office after a surprising defeat. I like to think it was all the waitresses in Connecticut, rubbing their two pennies together.

  5. I boiled one pound of them in a bath of water, beer, lemon, peppercorns, a bay leaf and a little Old Bay. (They needed about 30 seconds of cooking.) Those I peeled for my (lazy) husband and son to eat. :raz:

    With my pound, I made this:


    It's a very thin, light shrimp chowder -- I'm on an athletic training diet, so we're trying to keep things light around here. It's a lot like the recipe above, except I used sherry, added extra hot pepper, and used only a touch of cream. I used very little tomato paste to get the color -- the pink is mostly from the shrimp. The broth is extremely flavorful, as well as filling. Yummy!

  6. Hi, Katie,

    I'm up in Boston now, but I lived in West Hartford for many years and commuted over the "mountain" to work in Avon, then Simsbury.

    I'm not sure if you know this so forgive me, but there's a Whole Foods Market in West Hartford center. I realize it's a bit out of your way for regular shopping, but if you're already in Simsbury and want to make a day of it, take Rt. 44 over the mountain into West Hartford to the intersection of North Main Street to Crown Market . That's where I used to buy all my meat -- great place, but closed on Saturdays. Then head toward West Hartford center you can hit Whole Foods. If you're there on a Saturday a.m.'s in the summer, they have a nice farmer's market on LaSalle Road.

    Next: head to Corbin's Corner to Trader Joe's. Once you're done there you can get back on 84 West and take Rt. 4 in Farmington to Rt. 10, which will bring you back into Avon/Simsbury.

  7. Definitely the Blueberry Hill cookbooks. In fact, I'm on assignment to write a story about them. :biggrin:

    I'd add Anne Willan's From My Chateau Kitchen to this list. Not only does the writing make me want to ditch it all and run off to France, but the photos are a gorgeous accompaniment. The recipes are pretty damn good, too. I have a few of Willan's other cookbooks and they're pretty dry personality-wise, but this one sings.

    Other cookbooks -- Nigel Slater's Appetite, anything by Nigella Lawson, Savoring the Spice Coast of India by Maya Kaimal, Curries & Bugles: A Memoir and Cookbook of the British Raj by Jennifer Brennan, The New Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas, and The Passionate Vegetarian by Crescent Dragonwagon.

  8. I've been pining for a new knife for the last year. I have a perfectly fine Victorinox Fibrox 8" chef's knife, which is at the shop getting sharpened, and a Henckel's Santoku, which I loathe. It's uncomfortable in my hand (my wrist kills me after only a few minutes of slicing), and for the type of cutting I do, it's totally inappropriate for me. I also have assorted cleavers, boning knives, and poultry shears for the heavy duty kitchen work. I really rely on my Victorinox for the bulk of my prep work, though. It's been sorely missed.

    Since I've had to rely on the horrid Santoku over the last week, I was vulnerable to Octaveman's sweet talkin' :biggrin: on the Tojiro DP gyuto. I took the plunge and ordered the 240mm from Japanese Chefs Knives on Friday. The price was similar to Korin (a .10 difference) but shipping was $12.00 with Korin, versus the $7 flat fee from JCK. Plus, I read here (or somewhere else) that the shipping from Japan was amazingly fast.

    And amazingly fast it was. The knife arrived in Boston this a.m. and I've already put it through its paces for lunchtime prep. I just glided my way through a pound of carrots for a soup and salad recipe. I'm not especially fast or skilled with a knife, but I ended up getting a nice pile of matchstick carrots in a few short minutes. Only a very little pressure required, even with some of the bigger, tougher carrots. The knife was longer than I expected, but I know I'll appreciate the length once my 8" Victorinox comes back. Next up: eggplant and peppers for a recipe development project I'm working on.

    So Octaveman, I and my wrist thank you! :wub:

  9. I love veggie burgers and I just started testing a bunch of recipes to find some to get me through the winter. Last night I made the Outrageously Good Pan Crisped Millet Vegetable Cakes from Crescent Dragonwagon's Passionate Vegetarian, substituting pintos for butter beans. Very nice, although next time I'll add more garlic cloves (I used only two, versus the three to five recommended). Obviously they include the millet, plus carrot, beet, tahini, tamari, lemon juice, and s&p.

  10. Bill, I'm glad you had a good experience with Blood Farm. I didn't know they would smoke stuff for you -- great to know!

    As much as I love fresh mozzarella, I have to admit I'm all mozzarellaed out -- with the bumper crop of tomatoes I had in August/September and the availability of buffalo milk mozzarella at Costco, maybe next summer.

  11. I'm really happy with my 6 qt. Kuhn-Rikon, but I'm in the market for a bigger pot, maybe 10-12 qts., because of the stock issue. I make lots of vegetable stock with the cooker, but I only get 6 cups or so with the 6 qt.

    I've cooked rice in my pressure cooker; it's just easier for me to cook it in a rice cooker. I love that I can throw everything in a rice cooker, turn it on, and forget about it. Not so with the pressure cooker.

  12. HKDave's advice makes a lot of sense to me. I'm all for education -- from year to year, I alternate between applying to med school or cooking school just for the fun of it (yeah, I'm nuts!) -- but to put myself in that kind of debt so I could write about health or food? -- yikes. It seems to me you could spend half that money and give yourself a fabulous education that would make you a better food writer. You could travel the world and see things you wouldn't see in formal degree program. You could pick up the technical knowledge along the way while giving your writing some color and life. Just my .02. :-) (P.S. I'm a Smith grad too, minor in English.) :-)

  13. Wow, porcinis in New England? I had no idea such delights existed here.

    Are you going to be doing another BMS gathering this month? I couldn't make the last one you hosted. And are children allowed? I have a five-year-old who's actually an amazing mushroom spotter (but not toucher ... that's mom's job), but I do realize not everyone likes children underfoot.



  14. The cake section appears fairly comprehensive to me; I'm not sure whether to make the Swedish Visiting Cake first, or Big Bill's Carrot Cake.  And I love the story of "The Cake that Got Me Fired"; this mixed-blessing event in her life hints at the creativity that would make the author a complete blessing for home bakers like me.  (Her Korova Cookies recipe, not included in this collection, has raised me to near-legend status at my husband's place of employment.)

    Actually, the Korova Cookie recipe is in here ... they're called World Peace Cookies. The name change story in the head-note is charming. :smile:

    It's a fabulous cookbook. I, too, got my copy at Costco last week. Tonight I made the Caramel Crunch Bars. Oh, my! :wub:

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