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Everything posted by Fernwood

  1. Salt doesn't do the work directly, it recharges an ion-exchange resin which binds calcium and magnesium from the hard water. So the salt compartment is just the most obvious component of a water-softening system built into the dishwasher.
  2. We "upgraded" from a 1993 dishwasher last year and we were finally forced to switch to Cascade Platinum pods. Now everything is clean and pretty but the silicone spatulas smell of the detergent fragrance and I swear that it leaches from the spatulas into the food. If I lick the food residue that has been sitting on a spatula for some minutes I can really taste it. We have never used rinse agent because we didn't see the need; our water is soft and we got good results with quite small doses of powder or gel in the old machine; there's no visible residue on anything else. Does anyone know ab
  3. I did not notice the blue cheese flavor; must be the minority ingredient.
  4. I have to wash my hands over and over again at work and I do find that certain antibacterial cleansers and alcohol-based rub-ons are especially hard on my skin. At home, in the kitchen, I have taken to wearing disposable gloves for many tasks in order to minimize the hand-washing. I think the best ones are made of nitrile; these are the non-latex gloves most American hospitals use now. The nitrile is not as stretchy as latex but it is tougher and, if I wear a size that fits snugly, they don't interfere much with touch/dexterity. (You do adjust to the difference. Health care workers used t
  5. (Unless another version of this is widely available) I have had it a couple of times at my neighbors' house. Phyllo and warm cheese--what's not to like? The photo shows a full wedge cut from the disk but when I had it the coils separated easily so you could grab smaller pieces. That worked well for casual snack service, like a more flexible format for tiropita.
  6. Well, I can imagine that the photographer may have thought it looked neat--I rather like the look on purely aesthetic grounds. Not that I would serve it that way. But as I contemplate it longer, I find a certain nostalgic appeal as it reminds me of a (frozen) Sara Lee cake that was an occasional childhood treat.
  7. I'm not sure it's what you're thinking of, but this thread is about something similar: http://forums.egullet.org/topic/129316-ultra-pride-wetdry-grinder/
  8. I think cashews are especially tender that way. I've made "cashew cream," popular in some vegan circles, with nuts and water in a standard blender and it was impressively smooth.
  9. Fernwood

    Recipes with Dates

    I've just reviewed this whole thread and a number of linked recipes because I was gifted with almost 2 lb of dry khalas dates in a vacuum-packed brick. I have never been a fan of dates in general; I don't find them particularly unpleasant, just sweet and not very interesting. The only information on the label is pack date, "Variety: Klass" and "Product of K.S.A" but when I looked closely I realized that there are spices in the package--various-shaped seeds. I don't know how common that is; I didn't find any advertised that way when I perused some vendor sites. I think I am primarily int
  10. Are the baked weights closer than the appearances? We have a family bread recipe that used to be executed by my DH but I always make it now. His loaves used to be almost flat on top with "ears" drooping over the sides of the loaf pans. I shape the loaves and they rise up beautifully, similar to your "bigger" loaf.
  11. Is there any grenadine in your recipe?
  12. I don't know why I could not imagine the parchment in the bottom of a skillet/equivalent. I have lined baking pans with parchment many times but I have never before seen it used over direct heat and somehow I couldn't picture the food browning on the parchment. Now I see there is no reason why it shouldn't work. I see some experiments with eggs, fish, etc., in my future.... Does anyone else use it this way?
  13. Is the parchment being used as a cover?
  14. Thank you all--this is an awesome amount of information and I'm enjoying the research (less fattening than the actual dining)! Still hashing out a general plan with Mr. Fern. We will be driving from and back to Cincinnati, not all the way from CT, thank goodness; the Chicago excursion is a mini-vacation embedded in a trip with family obligations in OH. When I read those great menus though, I'm sorry we will be only two because I want to taste everything.
  15. Thank you, gulfporter, huiray and Alex. We will be staying in the Magnificent Mile neighborhood. We will arrive by car but prefer to leave it parked while we are in town; we expect to use feet and public transit as much as possible. The last time I was in Chicago (decades ago!) I think I slept on the floor of a graduate student's apartment. I remember going to a very small blues club and getting chicken, including an order of gizzards, from a South Side place where the cash and the food were passed on a turntable through the bullet-proof glass. Now I am middle-aged and I have a husband w
  16. Monday eve to Thursday, two weeks from now. Two adult omnivores. We don't get good Mexican or Southwestern much and I would love to go to Topolobampo. Other names I picked up from older threads: Acadia Avec Little Goat Mexique Publican Purple Pig Sable Wieners Circle Comments on these and additional suggestions would be much appreciated. Our first evening we will need to eat early-ish and I expect many places are not open Mondays so I need to do some homework. We are New Haven pizza eaters at home and I'm not sure Chicago pizza is a must for me but I'd be happy to hear an argument for it.
  17. This. Some items are TJ's staple, others disappear as soon as I get them on my standing list so I would caution you not to count on specific "fancy" items too much. But most tend to be very reasonably priced = worth an impulse buy. My staples: -lots of nuts, esp toasted slivered almonds -lots of dried fruit, esp tart Montmorency cherries (get these even if you're not sure what to do with them and then try them wherever you might use dried cranberries or maybe raisins) and Blenheim variety apricots (less sugar/more flavor than the usual sort, fantastic for baking) -freeze-dried fruit (st
  18. Apparently Canadian Benefibre is inulin and American Benefiber is wheat dextrin; go figure! http://www.benefibre.ca/fiberHealth/index.shtml?faqs http://www.benefiber.com/fiber-faqs/
  19. I'm seeing it frequently in southern CT (greater New Haven). Time to try tropical cocktails against the seemingly endless winter!
  20. Whenever I remember to, I like to rub citrus zest into the sugar before combining with butter or other ingredients. I do think it releases the aromatic oil into the mixture better. I think I picked up that trick from Dorie Greenspan's Baking book.
  21. Thanks! I had a feeling I had seen it mentioned before but I truly could not get a result from either the site search or from Google, though I double-checked my spelling. Sunspots, gremlins, rogue electrons, etc.
  22. What is "dutch potato spice" and why is it that when I google the phrase, I get NO results, not even this thread? Is it top secret?
  23. My sister-in-law changed my life when she taught me to use a plastic knife for cutting brownies. This am, as I was working my way through two 9 x 13 pans of >1" thick brownies (college athletes) with a flimsy plastic picnic knife, it occurred to me that I should ask Santa to put something sturdier in my stocking this Christmas. Does anyone use this Zyliss Dessert Knife? Or this Bakeware Buddy plastic knife? Other recommendations? Thanks, Fern
  24. I think acetic acid is quite volatile. If you boil down white (distilled) vinegar, you will find there is no residue at all. That's why potato chip manufacturers have to fix it with maltodextrin or something similar in order to create a dry vinegar-flavor seasoning: http://www.seriouseats.com/2012/09/the-best-salt-and-vinegar-chips-tasting-brands-most-acidic.html I have to think it gets sucked away with the water during the freeze-drying.
  25. In the US, isopropyl alcohol solution is commonly available as one variety of "rubbing alcohol" ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubbing_alcohol ) and denatured ethanol is another. Denatured alcohols have additives to discourage consumption: the additives are stinky, or bitter, or toxic in some way. If you have pure alcohol (ethanol or isopropanol), or a solution of nothing but alcohol and water, there should be no residue after the surface is completely dried. If there is an additive that is less volatile, it may leave an undesirable residue. Pure isopropyl alcohol should be OK as a solvent
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