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Everything posted by fiftydollars

  1. Not that I am in the habit of quoting Paris Hilton, but damn... That's Hot!! I think habaneros are only in the 200k-300k range.
  2. The temperature is actually a little more important than the feeding schedule. I usually try to feed it every 8 hours, but I don't sweat it if I'm a little late or early. However, I try to keep it within 1-2 degrees of my target temperature.
  3. I love these things. I got a fancy-pants silicone spatula that briefly distracted me from wooden spoons, but I soon got tired of the odors that are so much more easily stored and dispensed by the silicone and I switched back to plain wood (and some bamboo).
  4. I use a number of thermometers in the kitchen. My favorites and gotos are the probe electronic type. I like these because they can be left in the food for the whole cooking and because some have a wide range and they are usually pretty accurate. However, I also like photography thermometers that are accurate down to the degree for things like double-checking expensive steaks, setting custards, and other somewhat sensitive work. I also like accurate thermometers for proofing, fermenting, and sourdough whatnot that often requires long periods of near-room-temperatures that are within a degree of a target. Then there are the strip-type yeast thermometers that you get from red star. I like these and refer to them often when baking.
  5. The separation is normal. Although I am not sure if you got it right, a healthy starter does separate at rest. I think the liquid, which I believe some people call, hooch, is made up of some type of alcohols and whatnot. Anyway, just stir the stuff in before using it. If the layer of liquid, however, is not at the top, but rather in the middle with starter on the bottom and a layer of foam on top, it could be contaminated with something. Also be on the lookout for strange colors (pinks) and bad odors (not sure what to smell for, but I hear you'll know when you sniff it).
  6. Aluminum does react with acid and whatnot. I mean, I wouldn't buy a large un-lined aluminum pan if I was always going to make tomato sauce in it. But you are cooking a large batch that cannot be easily accomodated by any other cooking vessel. I would use it and not worry about it. The reactivity of aluminum is not in the same league as un-lined cast iron. I have used many an old aluminum pot for cooking all sorts of things and although I cannot speak for the healthfulness of the technique I can say the food tasted just fine.
  7. Well, for us the beans were even more expensive (we're Canadian, so once the exchange rate was factored in, they were outrageously priced for us), but according to my mother, the flavour and texture more than justified the price. She used all hers up, but she still thinks about them, and dreams of when we can visit SF again, just to buy some beans from Rancho Gordo. ← Ok... the next time I am standing there, I will buy a couple of bags in honor of your mother. I do love beans...
  8. His beans are definitely good, but the price is staggering. On more than one occasion I have stood at his stand in the Ferry Plaza, staring at the 1lb bags, wondering how I could possibly justify their price to myself.
  9. You can also try reducing the stock. I often re-use the bones after making demi-glace or veal stock and the resulting 20 qts of watery stock reduce down to about 1 cup of super concentrated veal goodness that is hard as a hockey puck at room temperature.
  10. Yes, with mixed, mostly bad, results. It doesn't really like to be frozen. It will come back, usually, but it takes quite a while. In his very good ECGI course on sourdough, Jackal10 advocates a method of preserving the culture by just drying it and putting it in a jar. I have used this method a few times for preserving my culture and for making it easier to share with friends and it works pretty well. I have also noticed that most cultures are sold in dry form. Anyway, dried cultures bounce back a lot faster than the frozen.
  11. I agree with Carolyn. Chinatown is not my first choice for Dim Sum. Yank Sing definitely delivers on the dim sum, especially mid-week. It's also just down the street from Tommy's, so maybe you can combine the two into a gut-busting eat-a-thon. However, on the weekends, for Dim Sum, I prefer to go to the Koi Palace in nearby Daly City. It's only a short drive south of San Francisco and it is definitely worth it. It sounds like you'll have a car, so I would recommend taking the trip.
  12. I think there are still a few Tad's around! ← We still have one here in San Francisco.
  13. I know it's probably bad form to reply to yourself, but I think I should elaborate on this. I miss the actual Bob's Big Boy statue. I loved seeing it and, up until the point where I was actually made to eat the food, I always asked my parents to take me there. The food, at least by the time I got to eat there when the place was on its last legs, was horrendous. I'm sure the food was good at some point, but by the time I got there, after much begging, it was really bad and went right along with their really bad service. But I really miss seeing the Big Boy alongside major thoroughfares and the now seemingly sad excitement that the sightings elicited.
  14. I bought the all-metal Liss online for just a little bit more than the price I had paid for the plastic-headed Isi at Sur La Table. I'm sure the plastic will probably be fine, but for only a few more bucks the Liss is a lot better. Plastic does tend to fatigue, so it could possibly fail on you suddenly at just the most inappropriate of times. The Liss website also says the head is machined from a solid piece of aluminum, which I find to be really impressive because I am easily impressed. http://liss-america.airplanet.hu/liss-america/index.jsp
  15. I re-read the article and I still see that unqualified statement as a jab at Greek food as a whole.
  16. I bought the ISI dessert whip (the one with the white metal canister and the plastic head) and it instructs you not to use it with hot or warm ingredients. I'm not sure why... It could be that the head is not designed to withstand much heat. When I saw this I quickly returned it. I replaced it with a Liss stainless steel model that I ordered from target.com at a good price and I'm very happy with it. ISI also makes a higher-end syphon that is all metal. It's pretty much just like the thermal whip, but not insulated. A friend of mine has it and it's pretty good. I think the Liss looks better with it's totally shiny SS canister, but he prefers the ISI.
  17. My only beef with Weber is that you can't adjust the grill height. Even with the really fancy-pants models you have to accept the height that you are given and like it. But a friend of mine has this Weber with the charcoal starter and I'm hella jealous... So maybe it's just jealousy talkin' here.
  18. Yeah, what's up with that? I DVR a whole lot more ATK than I watch, but I still manage to catch most of the shows every season. I like the new set a little, but I'm distraught about Adam's facial hair. What the hell is wrong with this guy? He looks like he just barely made bail in time for the taping.
  19. I admire his conviction. Sure, it was, at best, an insulting and unfounded generalization about the food of one of our oldest cultures, but he wrote it with full, unwincing confidence. I really admire that about prejudiced people, bigots, and other types that often make insulting and unfounded generalizations about whole people and cultures. The comment is almost beautiful in its perfect offensive-ness. Almost by implication I feel that he is saying that Greeks, do not, even at their best, ascend to great heights. If I didn’t know any better and if, he had made a similar comment about, say, Mexican food, I would say his demonstrated ignorance almost rises to the level of bigotry. But I admire his conviction… or something like that.
  20. I seem to recall that they were both against the practice. I don't rinse poultry, unless it's the frozen kind with that nasty gooey watery stuff, which I rinse out of revulsion and not necessarily for safety or flavor. I would never consider rinsing a steak or, god forbid, hamburger. However, I have been known to rinse a fish or two when scaling does not go as smoothly as planned. ---------------------------- UPDATE!! ---------------------------- I tried to find where Julia Child said don't wash chickens, but I could not find it (although I did find lots of evidence of Pepin's, sometimes strong, opposition to the practice). I'm now thinking you were right. It seems that woman washed and cleaned everything, meticulously, and I just don't see why chickens would be any different. I read in another post on this board, that I could not link to for some reason, that she said the French don't wash their chickens, but nothing about her own poultry handling practices.
  21. That's usually called 'black salt,' even though it's pink. I like it in my fruit salad. ← Thanks! I went home and checked my salts and found the stinky Indian "black salt," which as you said is really pink. I'll have to try it on fruit salad or something else that is uncooked. Most of my culinary use of this salt has involved cooked preparations. However, most of my uses for this salt are non-culinary. I mostly use it as a novelty... I will say something like "hey, do you smell that?" Then I will reach into the pantry, or perhaps my pants, and pull out the "black" salt. It's pretty hilarious, really.
  22. Is this the stuff that smells just a little (and sometimes more than a little) like rotten eggs? Or am I thinking of a different salt?
  23. Thanks for the trip down memory lane, Robyn. The dot com memories are just flooding in...
  24. Yes, definitely, which is why I go with parchment. ← Has anyone tried this with those new fancy coated (non-stick) aluminum foils? Do they still react?
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