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hathor

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Everything posted by hathor

  1. hathor

    Tipping in Italy

    So, you're saying that there is no one consistent method for calculating a tip in Italy? Surely by now you've figured out that the phrase 'no one consistent method' could be applied to just about everything in Italy. Trust your instincts according to the place and the situation. Tipping is not mandatory, but always appreciated.
  2. hathor

    Orgeat

    The story/legend/theory goes that it was created in honor of the visit to New York by the first Japanese dimplomatic mission to the United States., which occured just a few years before the recipe was first published in Jerry Thomas' 1862 Bon Vivant's Companion. Full story here. ← Great bit of history. Kind of makes you wish you knew Tommy, he sounds like someone you would want to have a cocktail with.
  3. Another interesting guide is the "Jeunes Restaurateurs d'Europe". It's an organization of young chefs and we've been pretty consistently pleased with these restaurants. They have a web site....google them up. The Italian guide is all written in Italian, but it has the critical stuff like address and phone number.
  4. hathor

    Orgeat

    One "Adapted Japanese Cocktail"! I like it...we might cut back on the lemon. We've got some very strong lemons in the house. Jeff is not so sure, but I think it's rather refreshing and the orgeat gives it a nice mouth feel. thanks!
  5. hathor

    Orgeat

    Great info, thanks. (My e-mail notification is completely random, so I'm sorry not to respond sooner. I honestly thought that since no one answered, none of you really knew what to do with the stuff ) We were at a cocktail bar the other day, and I noticed that they subbed Cointreau for the Curacao, so that might be an option. We'll give the Japanese cocktail a try, it sounds intriguing. Uh, I'm a sissy-girl, I think the Fog Cutter would KILL me. That is a whole load of booze: rum, gin, brandy, and sherry. Oh, look. It's cocktail time in Umbria, I just placed my order with my personal bartender, I'd like an adapted Japanese cocktail. I'll let you know how it goes. But, Cocktail Historians: why is it called a Japanese cocktail?
  6. hathor

    Menu Input

    Is that a menu?? It's overwhelming. I just sort of glazed over. I'm not understanding the project. What is the focus? Who is the target market? What is the venue? Price points? Location?
  7. Honestly you stopped me dead in my tracks with that menu. Unlimited crayfish and meatballs...what a combo! Then again just seeing the words unlimited crayfish would certainly turn my head. Sounds like it was some good, tasty fun.
  8. hathor

    Orgeat

    My cocktail mentor, Weinoo, sent me a short e-mail: Make Orgeat Syrup. Of course I obeyed, and I now have a bottle of orgeat syrup. Uhmmm....now, what do I do with it? Please don't say MaiTai because the chances of me finding curacao are slim to ridiculous. I live in the hinterlands, a cocktail wasteland, a mecca for cheap nasty gin and no rye.... (however, grzie dio and saints preserve us, the gelato is good). We just had a little aperitivo of pastis, orgeat and a bit of water. That was nice, refreshing; but I've got a whole bottle of the stuff now!
  9. Unless there are updated versions, this was written in 1996...so there has been some changes.... Talking to people, ask a shop keeper, the toll booth guy where they like to eat. The toll booth guy outside of Rome sent us to one outstanding seafood place.
  10. Absolutely on target reply! And oh so true about the indexes.... they just don't come naturally to Italians! Grab a guide or two, and trust in serendipity.
  11. Doesn't Gambero Rosso publish some sort of restaurant guide? But I'm not sure if there is an English version
  12. Holly, I couldn't agree with you more. One reason to go out to a restaurant is to experience what the chef has created and when a generic salad is created, then chain or no chain, it becomes a generic restaurant. That being said, there is certainly a place for generic restaurants where people will feel comfortable with the non-challenging food. It becomes disheartening when a restaurant presents itself as something special, and in fact, they are just treading the same old water.
  13. Sometimes, I'll give the dough 30 minutes to an hour out of the fridge, other times right into the oven (or dutch oven)...play around and see what works best for you. Be careful when spritzing into a hot oven, however...I've read horror stories about shattered oven glass or shattered oven lights, but it hasn't happened to me. Jude, do you ever spritz your actual breads before putting them into the oven...certainly gives them a nice, shiny crust. imo. And, this topic makes me a little jealous, as I curtail pretty much all baking activities during the months of June, July and August...no a/c in the kitchen, and it's bloody hot here. ← Ciao Mitch! If the dough is that soft then I can see why you would want to go from fridge to oven, it would never hold a slash. I'm pretty careful with the spritz direction....I go to the bottom and the walls, and yes, I do directly spray the bread or rolls. But usually after they've been in awhile and are starting to get brown, if I spritz too early I get little blisters on the surface of the crust. Now...as far as it being too hot in the kitchen....I thought you were made of sterner stuff! Here's today's bread: regular rolls, olive rolls, little salty knots and a totally bizarre baguette/loafy shape. I made it too thick and the poor thing wanted to be a loaf while it was trapped in a baguette skin. I've been getting really nice bread using Bertinet's ale poolish recipe, but I'm using 700g of bread flour and 600g of my natural starter. My starter is more like actual bread dough, it's not the runny kind. The rest of the formula is the same.
  14. Eilen, nice looking bread! I'm curious about the baking straight from the fridge business. Any of those more scientific oriented brains, step in here. What happens to the bread and yeast if it goes directly into the oven? Does the rapid heat escalation change anything? To go directly from fridge to oven seems innately wrong, but that's probably based on habit and nothing more. But, Eilen, if you free yourself from the dutch oven, you can make all sorts of shapes and sizes, which for a family of two is handy. From a typical batch I'll makes some rolls, some loaves, or a baguette or two, whatever my needs are for the coming week. Everything goes into the freezer and gets pulled out when I need it. Then your dinner guests think you are some sort of super hero...which of course, isn't true, but that's our secret. Spray bottle is what I use for hydration. Spray the bejeezuz out the first minute of so, then maybe a spritz or so later. The hard part is to only open the oven door a crack so that you don't lose the precious heat. You know I'm just enticing you over to the knead side of things........right? Bread is great fun, and that's probably the only truly immutable fact about baking bread.
  15. Hold on to your deep dark secret plans...they keep you going when your feet won't move another step.
  16. In bocca al lupo! Good luck! Having been through a similar experience, all I can say is "Buckle your seatbelts. It's gonna be a bumpy ride." - Margo Channing May your sense of humor keep you company every day and every night.
  17. Here's a link to Divina Cucina's website Judy is fantastic and has excellent, excellent info on her website regarding Florence. Although the Florentine beefsteak is divine, most restaurants will offer you lots of other choices. Here is another link to a recent blog post of mine that gives addresses for two of our favorite little trattorias in Florence. If you live in the US, you will want to be careful about what you bring back. You can bring back hard cheeses like parmigana, but nothing soft or fresh. I'm not sure about oils, but in any event, the disaster leakage factor is pretty high with olive oil! I'm a little out of touch with what can and cannot be brought back into the States, but you can probably google up some good info. And clearly it's time for us to head back to Sienna so that we can update our food files. Have a lovely trip!
  18. You make the brandy manhattan....and I'll be there with bells on!
  19. I'm picturing perfectly made and chilled cocktails, Myrna Loy, cigarette holders, ladies in gorgeous slinky gowns and a torch singer with a back up orchestra. Maybe some steak and a lobster, already out of its shell...... And it's all in black and white.....
  20. hathor

    Gnocchi Bianchi

    Bump. ....no one else has heard of this?
  21. OK - I hadn't thought about that aspect of it. If you have lots of gin, lemons/lemon juice and are in Italy, find a bottle of Luxardo Maraschino and start making Aviations! When life gives you lemons, make a cocktail! ← I can't find Luxardo, I did find some maraschino....but it was in the baking section! We're going to give it a whirl and see how it tastes. The other night it was manhattans made with some outstanding Glenfiddich scotch. Had that scotch funk thing going on, but they were pretty good. I need to start a making cocktails in the hinterlands thread....
  22. hathor

    Gnocchi Bianchi

    I had someone ask me if I knew anything about a desert type pudding/custard called gnocchi bianco that involves semolina, milk, cinnamon and is served warm. Maybe from up around the Friuli region..... I came up with gnocchi latte from my Artusi book, but it doesn't include semolina.
  23. Afraid so. Almost everything has at least a splash of fresh lime juice in it. Have you looked into mail order frozen fresh lime juice? There's a company called Orchid Island Juice Company that bottled fresh frozen juices that are excellent quality. Don't know if they ship to Italy, but it might be worth a shot. ← That's the emotion range as I think about the Italian postal service delivering fresh frozen juices. I may not be Beachcomber Don or Dan....but I'll be Umbrian Hathor and figure out something to do with a whole lot of lemons and cheap, nasty gin. The trade-offs we make...... This is why you need to visit Katie. It would be a humanitarian visit!
  24. Grazie per l'informazione! Saluti a Tupac!!
  25. Brava Katie!!! Katie: if I can't find limes, is it true that I can't make tiki drinks??
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