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  1. I'd be happy if they'd just put my sweet martini (Three parts gin, one part red vermouth, and a cherry, please) in a cocktail glass, without asking if I want it on the rocks.
  2. On the counter, of course. If your butter doesn't keep on the counter, you're not eating it fast enough. Eat more butter. This will prevent spoilage. "A little" butter? Why bother? The perfect food is plain doughnuts, split and buttered, and pan-fried til golden.
  3. Some of you guys led childhoods of restraint. My favorite of that time, which I cannot even imagine consuming nowadays (and which my health food fanatic mother had no objection to me preparing for myself, fat not being banned at the time) was juicy-cooked bacon and cheese sandwiches, fried in the excess bacon fat. Waste not want not.
  4. If you stretch the skin and fasten it with toothpicks (or skewers) to the perimeter of a rack, it will give you that perfect stretched-out appearance, and will be thinner and crispier. Because it will be thinner, I think you'd need to lower the temp a smidge.
  5. How bread works is that the air bubbles are trapped by the gluten, but it is the moist starch that cooks and sets them in place. Since your recipe has no starch (duh), I doubt you can get more fluffiness out of it by varying your technique. This is why neither gluten-free nor carb-free purchased products are especially like the real thing, and why they are usually full of additives and other odd ingredients. I think if the person who wrote the original recipe said they were fluffy, they were delusional.
  6. You are quite correct. It is all about the attention for some people. I think that the average reaction for polite people when one learns one has an allergy or food sensitivity is to feel somewhat troubled that one must accomodate this and explain it to friends and relatives who will inevitably ask why you're not partaking of an alcoholic beverage, or why you can't have dessert. Others, however, feel that it's a license to hold others hostage and demand that every host bend to their will, and every guest eat the same way they do. ← Please look at this from the perspective of a person who really is unable to eat something that is ubiquitous in our modern diet. Like, for instance, wheat. This summer I went out West to visit relatives who live in Montana. Even though I can't eat wheat, every meal was planned around it, without any contingency for me. Can't eat wheat? That's ok, we made you pizza. We took out quesadillas just for you. Pasta. Bread. Crackers. Cookies. Cake. Beer. Was I trying to get attention? What should I have done? Eaten it anyway? Actually, to some extent I did, and suffered the consequences. But it's embarrassing bordering on rude not to eat when others around you are eating. To say in someone's home, I'm sorry, there's nothing here I can eat...is unthinkable. But if there's nothing you can eat...? Luckily, although I didn't have a car I was staying in a motel one block from a Wendy's.
  7. Cranberry pie? I've lived in New England since I was nine, and I've never heard of it. There's one for the archives.
  8. I stopped being frustrated when I started traveling with a cooler of essentials, like butter and cream. I even took butter pats into restaurants and the homes of my relatives.
  9. For dinner I had oysters stewed in cream and vermouth, with just a touch of maytag blue cheese. With asparagus cuts. (Heavy cream is the secret ingredient. Ssshhhh...)
  10. I am not at all debating the ideals of an honest employee/employer relationship; obviously it is preferable. But unfortunately for me and perhaps others as well, it boils down to the basic principle "fool me once, shame on you..." If given the opportunity to sell another business, would I personally take the "high road" and divulge everything to my employees? Sorry, but the answer is a definite "No." ← Then they are probably right to be mistrustful. I'm sure they know you would leave them high and dry, and I wouldn't blame them if they left at the first rumor.
  11. No, I wasn't thinking about this type of outright cruelty, either. But I think the temptation is very high (bonus or no bonus) to slack off, or pilfer, or take advantage in as may ways as possible, when one no longer feels bound by the terms of their employment. I was simply trying to stress that "buying loyalty" is just as an utopian idea as assuming all employees are decent honest people. And the notion of offering to pay someone extra to stay is all well and good I suppose, but just because they stay doesn't mean they still won't be tempted to engage in dishonest behavior in the meantime. ← I think if you expect honesty from your employees, it is reasonable for them to expect you to be honest as well. Wouldn't anything less be demonstrating that management does not feel bound by the terms of employment, which is after all a two-way street?
  12. Curious, how can you be weary of poaching chicken breasts if you've never done it? I always poach turkey breasts in turkey broth at 160º until the center reaches that temperature. It comes out juicy, and slices perfectly. Another way to make sure chicken breasts sauté up juicy is to bread them and pan-fry in a mixture of butter and olive oil.
  13. Canned pumpkin is superior. It has a more intense pumpkin flavor and a darker color. Fresh small edible pumpkins just don't make pumpkin pies/bread that are pumpkiny enough. At least not in my experience. ← Happy you printed this, as I thought it was only me who liked canned pumpkin. Maybe I have made canned pumpkin the standard for assessing mashed pumpkin, but when I have used fresh, I just don't get the texture, the density or the deep flavor. ← I prefer frozen pumpkin. It has more of a fresh taste. Compared to frozen pumpkin, canned pumpkin tastes burnt. I thaw & heat the frozen pumpkin, then drain excess moisture in a collander lined with paper towels.
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