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  1. Driving around the area between Portland & Augusta this week, I noticed several fishmongers advertising Maine shrimp at $1.29 / lb. Astounding; I so wish I'd had a kitchen. In other news, here is a story on the seasonal clogging of the Portland sewers with Maine shrimp parts.
  2. I finally got up to Fairway last night. Their selection of olive oils, which prompted the trip, is excellent, & reasonably priced - huge variety for under $20 / liter. The cheese counter was such a treat. Numerous other delicacies. I don't know of another store in this region that packs such quality & variety at such reasonable prices under one roof. Tip: early Sunday evening is a great time to go. Thanks to the Bergen County blue laws, there's very little traffic up that way, which makes it easy to navigate the Fashion Center Mall.
  3. We're in NNJ too, just 8 miles from NYC. I started keeping detailed records of our expenses this spring after my wife was forced to join me in, errr, "retirement." For the month of June, we spent $465.47 on groceries & produce. Folded into this is the cost of feeding 6 cats + whatever drugstore-type items we may have bought at the supermarket, I don't track those costs separately. At a very rough guess, it's $60 in cat food & $25 drugstore stuff, so call it $380 for food, paper goods & cleansers. We also spent $361.26 on prepared foods. This includes $110 for two actual resta
  4. That's what I used to use in the years before we had a dishwasher - you just make a little paste with baking soda & water & rub it around with a sponge or fingers, depending on pot configuration. Really stubborn stains, let the paste sit on them for a half hour or so. The pot into which I pour off my brewed tea is a vintage Hall with a white glaze on the interior. Rinsing it out isn't sufficient, as it gradually accumulates a film that will then flake off into the tea when it gets thick enough, if you let it go that long. I just pop it into the dishwasher when it needs cleaning. I
  5. I watched a travel documentary on Peru last year which went into the history of Chinese immigration there - apparently there was a huge influx 1850s to build the railroads, & once the community became established, more folks came over for the economic opportunities. That part of the show helped me understand the inefluences that persist in Peruvian cuisine. Technically, Rutherford isn't a completely dry town, in that wine/beer/liquor stores (there are several good ones) & BYOs are allowed. Bars & service by restaurants are prohibited.
  6. Since this is not a New York thread, let me toss Il Vicino into the mix here. I believe I've mentioned them once or twice in the Heartland forum. I've eaten at least 40 pizzas at the St. Louis location over the last decade or so. I shouldn't have to say any more than that, but I will report that (1) the place has nothing to do with "St. Louis-style pizza," which is a peculiar regional abomination & (2) without specifying "well done," I have never had an undercooked pizza there (or, for that matter, one with browned mozz). It may be a chain - a small one, with 8 locations scattered around
  7. I too am an everyday tea drinker. Given how cheap tea is per cup, & how many pots one can get from a half-pound of tea, this is pretty much the last place where I'm willing to compromise in my personal budget; though at the same time, I don't buy a lot of what I consider high-end teas these days. Mariage Fréres teas @ $64.00 / lb. are a bit high for what I'd consider an everyday tea, though it's always nice to have a couple of teas like that around for variety. Other teas mentioned in the $28 - $36 per lb. range are more in line with where we should be looking, I'd think, in terms of "bu
  8. Nope, did not, though I expect I will. I was talking with the lady behind the counter, she said they do lots of seasonal fruit pies. She mentioned peach pies in summertime, I'm going to try to hold out till then. BTW the Shepherd's Pie was fabulous too - ground beef, in an apparent nod to American tastes, peas, a bit of onion, lovely gravy & wonderfully buttery mashed potatoes on top. So far they've gotten every little detail perfectly right, at least to my tastes.
  9. The Pie Store Although this wonderful shop had opened last year - it's a spinoff from the London Food Company (downtown Montclair, Bloomfield Ave. between Fullerton & Seymour), where the pies were originally sold - I was somehow, inexplicably, unaware of it till yesterday. We were over in Montclair for the fab spring book sale. (Beard On Pasta, yes!) Afterwards we stopped by the London Food Company looking for pies & were informed of these developments. So we drove on over to the Pie Store, which is conveniently located on our route out of Montclair to get back home. Got a chicken pie
  10. Well, you can sort of glean my history with the place from this thread. I do think that they've gotten substantially better since they revamped the menu. Maybe I'm exaggerating in ranking them with Wondee, maybe in part that's my hometown bias showing. I'll be interested in your evaluation.
  11. I've had some serious Thai cravings over the past couple of months & have been sating them at Spring Grill, a Thai place with a history, some of which is noted above. Over the last few years they have really stepped up their game. After four meals there in this New Year, I've concluded that Spring Grill can compete with any Thai place in the region (defining "the region" as a westward semi-circle with a 15-mile radius centered on the Meadowlands) & will likely do it just a little better. Spring Grill opened in fall of 2004 as a pan-Asian place with an emphasis on Frenchified Thai &am
  12. Went by Riverside Market today, planning to buy a whole bunch of stuff for a party tomorrow. Hadn't been there in a couple months. Place was dark. Big sign on the door, "Under Repair." Peered through the glass, the store is empty, nothing remains but bare shelves & 3 brand-new kids' bicycles right inside the doors. I guess the recession got 'em. Pity, they were a reliable destination.
  13. They were back at Whole Foods last week. They seem to be available alternate weeks starting on Thursdays, has been the recent pattern. ← Man, that's a sobering story. Again I will recommend Colin Woodard's The Lobster Coast to anyone who's interested in how the Maine fishery got to this point.
  14. I discovered fresh water chestnuts 35 years ago in NYC's Chinatown. You are right, they are so superior to the canned variety. Sadly, my Chinese cooking has fallen by the wayside in the last decade. I would slice them thinly & stir-fry with snow peas, dried mushrooms & a few other ingredients which now escape me, probably scallions & a rice wine / garlic sauce. They also worked well chopped into rough cubes in a chicken / cashew recipe I had that involved hoisin sauce. I don't remember any clear tricks for peeling them, just had at them with a paring knife.
  15. I use Carapelli Extra Light oil for sauteeing meats & fish - not because of the smoke point issue, but for reasons of taste. I can't see using EVOO as my go-to cooking oil. I've tried it in just about everyting that I habitually cook. I found that the flavor is often too fruity or peppery, & the texture of the oil too heavy, for what I'm trying to do with my food. The Carapelli has a nice light flavor, it goes on sale at a local supermarket every month or so; it works for me. (Yes, I've read the labels carefully, I know that it's a mixture of Mediterranean oils that aren't cold-pre
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