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About Smithy

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    Northeastern Minnesota - yah sure, you betcha

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  1. Breakfast! 2017 (Part 2)

    The post-travel days are often a letdown for me. No matter what food I may have waiting at home, it can't hold a candle to the interesting and new food I had been exploring...and the fatigue makes it all worse. I'd say your breakfast looks inspired! It must be the jet lag that makes you feel otherwise.
  2. Fair Fare

    I have yet to be a state fair - any state fair. The writeup in @kayb's link makes me think I could eat myself silly, day after day there. Some of it I could pass by: call me unadventuresome, but the cricket pizza isn't something I'd jump at. Bacon-wrapped deep-fried oreos seems a bit much, too. OTOH I have had deep-fried Snickers bars and been surprised at their over-the-top deliciousness, and the offerings listed from Fried What? make me think I'd spend far too much time and money there. The Minnesota State Fair has come and gone, but it seems from radio reports that their food schtick is food-on-a-stick. (The logging and forest products industry must love this trend. ) Deep fried candy bars or chicken or pickles on a stick, anyone? This article from the Minneapolis Star Tribune, 10 foods on a stick you have to try at the Minnesota State Fair, lists some intriguing options like fried olives on a stick. There's hand food and plate food too, according to this listing of the 2017 new food offerings. (Warning to future readers: it looks like this updates yearly.) Perhaps I'll get there some year.
  3. Why, O Why do I keep checking in on this topic? Bittman's Kitchen Matrix was too good to pass up. For $2.99 (I also am a Prime member) it's a bargain. I think I'll be using it tonight for the shrimp that's currently thawing in my kitchen sink.
  4. Lunch! What'd ya have? (2017)

    Please tell us more about these dishes: what's in them? Do you make them often?
  5. ...and a lovely, nice touch of hospitality.
  6. Old cookbooks

    It's an interesting commentary on different cultural influences to see a 1950's cookbook referring to curry! In Central California where I grew up, I doubt curry hit public consciousness until the 1970's. What is Radiation "Regulo-Controlled" Cookery? Coming as it does from 1927, it can't be a microwave book.
  7. It's beautiful, and makes me envy your trips anew! The Cod Reuben brought me up short, though. How was it? Did the cod stand up to the other parts of that sandwich?
  8. The chocolate tools fooled me, too! These "chocolate letter" kits also look like a fun and clever idea: Can you tell more about what's included in the kit, and what the 'ink' is? I'm fairly sure that if someone sent me such a letter it would sit around, too precious to eat, until it bloomed.* It would be a cool gift, though. *(I kept a chocolate relief map of California, sent by my parents, for around 20 years before I gave in and ate it. It was still good, but there was snow on the Sierras by then.)
  9. Hm, I thought the point of sourdough was that you didn't use commercial yeast at all. I admit to boosting a slow culture with it for my last loaf, because I'd decided to bake too late to get the culture fully revived, but I felt like I was cheating. :-) All that said...when I use yeast for bread baking, I have come to prefer Red Star. Whether my bread has improved because of some quality superior to Fleischman's yeast, or because I have been improving my bread techniques, I leave as an exercise for the reader.
  10. Vanilla sticker shock

    I had no idea vanilla bean cultivation was so labor-intensive! I thought it was only the bad storms - especially in Madagascar - affecting production, but your comment about rising wages makes sense. If you haven't already, you may be interested in this topic, to which cakewalk just referred: Imitation vs Natural Vanilla Extract.
  11. Forum Newbie

    Welcome! With the exception of the sweet potato fries (sorry, I haven't warmed up to those) that sounds like an outstanding burger - and just the right size! If you care to tell, how did the Bar and Grill put you into the hospital? There may be some good stories there - or, less entertainingly, a discussion of the stress involved. Be sure to check out the Restaurant Life forum, if you haven't already. I hope you'll c'mon in, check out the forums and make yourself at home. If you have questions about how to find things or where to post something, feel free to ask a host (I am one) by PM or ask in the Moderation and Policy Discussion forum.
  12. Dinner 2017 (Part 6)

    Thanks, @shain. I'll be trying that soon. I think having it warm sounds especially appealing.
  13. Dinner 2017 (Part 6)

    I had to look that one up, then specify food in order to get past the 'prayer beads' translation. Then - surprise! - I ran into multiple descriptions of masbaha: hummus with whole chickpeas added; whole chickpeas with tehina and other additives; and so on. I liked the suggestion that masbaha originated as balila with added tehina. What do you think, and what's your preferred way of making masbaha?
  14. Hellmans: Piknik: The Piknik has proportionately less egg than the Hellman's and has no sugar. The fat, oil and vinegars are different. Eventually I'll get around to a side-by-side taste test. My real question is: what makes Piknik a Southern-style mayonnaise?
  15. This topic inspired me to try Duke's Mayonnaise last fall when I found it in a Texas grocery store. I liked it. I used it up. I think I did a side-by-side taste test of Duke's vs. Hellman's, my usual, but I can't swear to it. Nonetheless when we got home I began to check the Duluth grocery stores for Duke's. I never found Dukes, but sometime this summer, this product began to appear in our grocery stores: Piknik Real Mayonnaise. Southern style, it says. Duke's is a southern style mayonnaise, and I liked it. I overrode my contempt for cutesy misspellings and bought a jar. I like it. It may replace Hellman's in our household, although I haven't yet done a side-by-side comparison. My question is, what makes Piknik mayonnaise a Southern style mayonnaise? The label implies that its lack of sugar is the qualifier. Is that true? The label says it's made in Alabama, so technically it's a Southern mayonnaise regardless of its style. Piknik lists its ingredients as: "vegetable oil (soy and/or canola), water, eggs, distilled vinegar and cider vinegar, salt, paprika, natural flavor, calcium disodium EDTA added to protect flavor."