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  1. I would avoid using mol bio grade reagents in food. While the purity may be impressively high, the identity of the contaminants may be problematic. For example, mol bio grade ethanol may be 95 percent pure but may contain things like benzene or dioxin as trace contaminants at non-foodsafe levels. If you want to get kitchen supplies from Sigma (which I think is a fine idea), go for USP grade which is approved for human consumption and use in pharmaceutical products (USP stands for United States Pharmacopeia). USP ethanol (95 percent) might contain water as a "contaminant".
  2. Maybe you could use an inexpensive stainless steel flask (the kind used for sneaking drinks during boring family functions)? As long as it's got some sort of silicone seal, it should be leakproof and crushproof. It might be hard to clean, but if you only used it for oil, it might not be an issue. If you're hiking in the mountains and you'll be doing some significant altitude changes, you might need to stop every few hours to "burp" any airtight container to release any pressure from expanding headspace to prevent leaking.
  3. Macaroons (or Macarons... the flavored meringue kind, not the coconut kind) will be the new trend (replacing cupcakes, which is sad because I do love a good cupcake).
  4. My experience with them is that puff pastry squares fry up big and puffy but still soft. They tend to be a bit greasy, which may be part of the charm. The catch is that fried puff pastry gets soggy and unappealing when cool, so the pastry will have to be fried a la minute.
  5. I have to agree with Jaymes-- the food in Gustavus is amazing, if you can get your hands on some Gustavus strawberries, your life will never be the same!
  6. I got some at the Roosevelt Trader Joe's this weekend. It's back! Hooray!
  7. I've gone to pharmaceutical company sponsored dinner/lectures at El Gaucho-- they have a small back room (maybe it's downstairs?) that is perfect for a small meeting. The Metropolitan Steak House is also popular. You really need to pick somewhere special and higher-end or nobody (except starving residents) will attend. Sad but true.
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