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Everything posted by Katherine

  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.
  14. I presume this is a Freudian slip, eh?For supper tonight I had tripe and brisket stew with sauerkraut and sour cream. Yum.
  15. When I was baking, I realized through comparison that the main difference between banana bread (which is too bready and dry) and banana cake (too sweet and rich) is, duh, the butter and sugar. So I took a favorite banana cake recipe and cut the sugar and butter in half. Perfect.
  16. I have observed the same thing. When I was the only woman working in the maintenance department of a large company, the admin of that department used to take it upon herself to do things that would interfere with my ability to do my job. She had no knowledge of what went on in the environmental department, but she didn't let that hold her back. My department was responsible for hazardous waste shipments. Every Friday the company making pickups would call us with the manifest number, which we would need to write on every drum before it could be loaded onto their truck. I was the contact. One day I was working in the yard when the call came in, and it was transferred to her office. She told the person on the phone that a worker such as myself was not allowed to receive phone calls of any sort (even official work calls!), so we missed that shipment. And then we had to go out and relabel all the drums. WTF? I am reminded of the boss's bitter secretary in Dilbert.
  17. I believe the correct term is ADHD, which could only stand for Attention Deficit Husband Disorder. Speaking from my own experience, I can confirm that yes, younger men seem to have that problem.
  18. Perhaps they should not matter, but they do. These are the people who either help or hinder a person when they seek career advancement. Unfortunately, we are all members of the society in which we live. None of us functions in a vacuum, independent of social influences. Every woman who decides on a lesser career goal when the obstacles seem insurmountable, or when the choice needs to be made between trying to advance the career and having a family - has made her decision based on the choices that were available to her, not those we might like to have available to her. If almost every woman decides that she's not going to make it to the top, because so few are able, and chooses to have a family life instead, who is to say what might have been if the opportunities had been different, if she had had a spouse willing to babysit and clean house, and a real shot at a top-notch career opportunity? It's not enough to know that you're not inferior. How many women had equal opportunity when Eleanor Roosevelt said that?
  19. It is not really that few women have the "fire in the belly" necessary to succeed. That's like saying that the reason women aren't top chefs is because they really don't want it, so they only have themselves to blame. The real problem is sociological forces beyond anyone's control. To women fall the job of holding the family together. If a man decides to focus on his career and follow his blind ambition, he can often count on a woman holding the homestead together in his absence. A husband will not do that for his wife. And if a man should end up divorced because his wife got tired of being understanding, people understand his side. A woman who did the same thing would never be accepted. That would be considered abandonment by society. All of this is seen as potential character flaws in a woman, giving many employers an excuse not to hire a woman for a job she is well qualified to do.
  20. Candy corn, gah! When my daughter was a senior in high school, she and her girlfriend decided to go trick-or-treating one last time. She could have passed as a child in costume, being petite, but unfortunately she chose a prom-type dress, but that's a different issue. She came home, and her girlfriend called, saying that her mother was at that very moment inspecting each piece of candy for tampering, just as she had in previous years. Realizing that I had never done this, she asked me why. Didn't I care about her safety? I told her that I had used a different tactic. By purchasing for her only the best quality candy, I had spoiled her, and knew that she would never have been tempted to eat the stale, cheap candy people gave out. She realized that what I had said was true. "You ruined my childhood!" she wailed.
  21. I live in a 1906 bungalow, and I'm seeing things in your kitchen that are giving me flashbacks. That freestanding stove next to a door, for instance. It probably wouldn't work for you, but I ended up moving the bathroom doorway into the dining room, which gave me enough wallspace for a respectable L-shaped countertop. Don't rush these things. You want to make sure your ideas are fully planned before you start breaking walls and shelling out cash.
  22. Today, an asparagus and brie omelet, and a bratwurst.
  23. Yes, the beans. I've traveled the continent trying to avoid them, and wondering why they keep trying to serve Americans British-style breakfasts. Is it because we speak English? The tomatoes I can do, but those beans? And where are my potatoes? It's not breakfast without potatoes!
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