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Everything posted by quiet1

  1. Thought I'd try starting a new topic as I don't think what I'm wondering is particularly specifically covered by an existing topic. Anyway - how did/do you figure out what you need and want when upgrading your stove or range? I'm trying to figure it out right now and it's so easy to be tempted by the Shiny, and I know you can go and poke at things a little in showrooms but that's hardly the same as actually cooking for any length of time. Did you just pick whatever would fit in the space you had? Did you work out how many ovens and burners/elements you wanted in some way? Then there's the ever popular gas/electric oven, gas/electric/induction, self-cleaning or not, etc. Just curious how other people work through these questions. I need to figure out what I want so we can upgrade. (I'm sure I want more burner space than we currently have - 4 on a 30" that doesn't fit a big pan with anything else, basically. But I do have room for a 36" or possibly even a 48" - although 48" just sounds HUGE. I'd do 36" and a spare oven somewhere if I could figure out where I could stick a wall oven, but our kitchen just doesn't have the space.)
  2. Apparenty the coffee thing isn’t as clear cut as it sounds, but I haven’t read about it myself in forever. The supplement industry is, however, utterly ridiculous and SHOULD be regulated better than it is.
  3. In both the UK and the US signs reminding people about proper cooking are not uncommon, and usually there’s something on the package in addition if you get it from the shelf. (Stuff packaged for you from the butcher on request doesn’t get the same kind of labeling.) As I understand it, they do that sort of thing because they’ve found that reminding people about such things actually distinctly reduces the rate of food poisoning, which means less drain on society (lost working hours, etc.) So it’s not just because they are afraid of being sued, it’s because it does actually improve the social situation to help people minimize mistakes in food prep. I don’t see the problem with that - people being sick and dying from easily preventable issues is wasted resources, if you look at it pragmatically.
  4. ‘My impression is that they are essentially claiming that they aren’t a foodstuff but more akin to a medication or supplement in terms of how they are meant to be consumed from this company. So perhaps drain cleaner isn’t the best example - one of the stomach meds I take looks and smells quite a lot like candy, would it be okay if that was on the shelf right next to almost identical packages of things that actually are candy? It is sold over the counter so they wouldn’t be dispensing illegally or anything, but if someone consumed a whole handful at once I’m sure it wouldn’t be any good for you. There HAVE been debates in the past about using things like cartoons in advertising for certain products. Cigarettes used to have a whole thing with cartoon camels. And dried beans aren’t exactly easily edible unprocessed (unless you like to break your teeth?) and being pink certainly doesn’t make the salt taste less salty so people use heaps more of it. I don’t think those are quite the same as putting something that MUST be consumed in tiny amounts to be safe in the same packaging and on the same rack as something that can be safely consumed by the handful, especially not when the dangerous thing (apricot kernels) can very easily be eaten in quantity. I’m not saying don’t sell them, I’m saying package things appropriately to help people not make mistakes. Because people WILL make mistakes, and I don’t see how we benefit as a society from people dropping dead because of easily prevented mistakes. Should there not be signs up around raw meat about safe handling and proper cooking temperatures? Someone can look all that up.
  5. So if they were selling drain cleaner in a bottle that looked like just another flavor of juice, on a shelf with nearly identically packaged juice, that would be just fine? I think there’s a pretty big spectrum between essentially the ultimate “buyer beware” and “consumers have no responsibility at all.”
  6. I think there are also cues that can be used to help people notice warnings, when we’re talking about product packaging. The pictured packaging looks identical to something you’d find on a rack for snacking - I’d expect to see walnuts and pecans and almonds and so on in very similar packaging. If they’re intended to be consumed 1-2 a day as a supplement, like a vitamin, then packaging them like a supplement - bottle with a pseudo-pharmaceutical label and clear doseage information for example - gives fairly strong cues that you should perhaps read the info on the bottle, you know?
  7. I think it’s quite reasonable to say that selling them and packaging them in the same way as snack nuts - making it easier for someone to purchase without noticing the label or grab the wrong bag by accident - is a bad idea. If they’re being sold and consumed as more of a supplement/vitamin type thing, the packaging could reflect that and encourage people to think about rate of consumption just through package design.
  8. quiet1

    "You. Need. That. Suction."

    I love that people here notice this sort of thing, after years of trying to explain to people about proper cleanliness and spreading germs in a more medical environment. It makes me feel like the world isn’t a completely stupid sort of place. (Especially after watching too much tv cooking. Don’t lick your fingers and then go back to what you were doing, omg!)
  9. That’s totally reasonable. Most good restaurants I’ve encountered seem to be pretty good about allergies - not just managing but saying so clearly when they can’t. I was just wondering how much planning and thought goes into that sort of thing. For me personally, I’d probably feel reasonably comfortable if I could be on one end and had a couple other people with me to set up as a buffer, given you aren’t a shellfish-driven menu. Places with a very high percentage of shellfish dishes on the menu I usually just don’t bother with because it seems like asking for trouble. And the communal tables I’ve avoided in the past were seating on both sides so it’s harder to create a reasonable barrier using people in my party. Which to some extent is paranoia, but I can get pretty freaked out about possibly having an allergic reaction even if I don’t actually have one, and I figure no one else wants to deal with an allergic reaction either, so I go with it. Would something like “can we have the end” for that reason as a request when making a reservation be considered a reasonable request?
  10. With diners all sitting in a row, how would you anticipate handling food allergies? I always ask to have my own table because that way I don’t have to worry about accidental contamination from someone sitting next to me (I had a reaction once from someone eating shellfish at the same table) and a table seems simpler than arranging communal seating so I have space or am on the end. (I’ve only been to a handful of places with communal seating, though, and they all had individual group tables also, so we just had to wait a bit longer.) I’m asking in part because maybe it’s a problem restaurants are more familiar with dealing with than I think?
  11. When I’ve accidentally made bread without salt in the past, it just came out tasting and behaving entirely wrong, it really wasn’t worth even trying to recover it with the right sandwich ingredients or some such. That’s the kind of disaster I’d hope to avoid - I’m willing to tolerate some flavor/behavior change, because I would be leaving out an ingredient, I’d just like to avoid extensive experiments that produce something basically inedible. I’m expecting to do some experimenting, but preferably with some notion of what will likely work out okay first. I’m thinking perhaps there are ingredients or methods that handle less salt better, also? There is one hard to find commercial bread that’s quite low sodium for bread - it’s a very dark brown, and I think it’s a variety of rye bread. (The color is quite distinctive so I don’t actually recall what it says on the package since I never look at the packaging.) But it obviously turns out acceptably with much less salt added than other types of bread, and I’d wonder why. Flavor? Behavior of different flours? Etc. I suppose the Modernist books do at least likely talk extensively about flour/grain types?
  12. Right, I want to know how to minimize it reasonably without causing major problems with flavor. (I accidentally made bread without salt once. It was gross.) So I was hoping they might discuss the role or roles salt plays in bread besides just making stuff taste salty - retards the yeast? Has some influence on gluten development? I dunno. But my thought was if I had a better idea of the science of things I’d be more able to look at a new recipe and make an educated guess at how much I can reduce the salt/sodium content without ruining the bread. It’s really hard to buy bread thst’s Low sodium, so trying to make bread for my mom seems a reasonable thing to attempt. (And honestly, basic bread is not where I want to be getting most of my daily sodium, either. I don’t watch like my mom does, but having to check sodium content for her has resulted in everyone weeding out some unnecessarily salty stuff just because you kind of go ‘wow, that’s a lot of sodium’ when you look at the nutrition information.)
  13. Do they touch on salt in an appreciable way? I know salt is needed to make bread tasty, but my mom is on a low sodium diet and most commercial bread is insanely salty. It’d be nice to have an idea how much salt is actually likely NECESSARY in a recipe versus to the recipe writer’s taste preferences.
  14. quiet1

    Smart Speakers in the Kitchen

    ‘The most techie person in this house is also a MASSIVE pen and paper nerd. And a software developer/networking geek. Our house is weird.
  15. ‘Ooh. I’m going to have to see if I can track some down.
  16. quiet1

    Smart Speakers in the Kitchen

    We have one but mostly only use it for music and timers - we tried asking questions a few times but it comes up with such dumb answers I’ve given up. I also wouldn’t trust it to follow along a recipe for me, no matter what they claim in commercials. I do have a smartphone but the benefit of Alexa (a dot specifically) is it’s in the kitchen, not wandering off with whomever set the timer, so if a timer goes off someone near the kitchen can respond to it. There’s pretty much always someone in hearing distance of the kitchen Alexa so that works out.
  17. ‘To make proper tasting ice cream you really need more milk fat than is in milk. Does Lactaid make a cream? (We’re lucky if we can find regular Lactaid around me.) That said, I suppose you could possibly increase the fat content with something like coconut cream if you can make it work with the flavor. Or avocado? Has to be something with a good mouthfeel, though - cheap ice creams use vegetable fat that leaves a greasy sort of filmy feeling in the mouth, not enjoyable. Or you can ask if goat milk is okay, and see if you can get goat cream if it is? (My mom is crazy lactose intolerant but apparently there’s something different about goat or sheep milk so she’s okay with it, go figure. Definitely it’s the lactose, though, she doesn’t have a milk allergy.) I do recall seeing a chocolate ice cream recipe that used avocado somewhere or another. If you go sorbet I’d try to take advantage of making it at home by going a bit different with flavors - I’ve made pomegranate sorbet that worked out well (don’t think I have the recipe but I could look around) although you didn’t really want a huge scoop of it because it is a strong flavor. Went very well with nice crispy vanilla cookies. (I suspect ginger would also be a good flavor pairing.) Or something with some herbs maybe, like a lemon thyme or a strawberry basil?
  18. quiet1

    Drinks! 2017

    [Host's note: this topic is part of a continuing discussion. The conversation continues from here.] We played bar tonight, although with limited supplies - tried a French 75, a gin and tonic (which made the gin quite drinkable, I was surprised, I don't like gin usually,) and a cocktail picked from the Kindred Cocktails website called Act of Faith which I suspect we really didn't have the right ingredients for and tasted mostly of very alcoholic fruitcake to me. (Rum, sherry, and bitters with a twist of orange, basically.) We don't have particularly good sherry on hand, which may have been part of the problem. I stock dry sherry mostly as a reasonably shelf-stable alcohol I can grab when cooking if something needs that extra kick without opening a bottle of wine, so it isn't bad sherry but certainly isn't anything people would exclaim over to drink alone. I also made Shirley Temples for the resident kiddo using a fancy ginger ale we bought to try, and he was enthusiastic enough about the taste that I had to make a round for everyone else to sample. Tasty but definitely made me want better grenadine. Kind of fun, though, I haven't had one of those in ages and it was a nice break from sampling cocktails before we broke out the plain bubbly at midnight. All of the drinks we tried were a little too unexciting for my housemate, who wanted something with 'interesting ingredients' whatever that means. I'm tempted to buy him a bottle of Somrus (Indian spiced cream liquor thing) for his birthday, but I have my doubts as to how much you could do with it other than drink it as is or make a milkshake type thing. Maybe a riff on an Irish Coffee with tea?
  19. I’m intrigued but I agree about the handles being a problem.
  20. ‘Good surprise. I’m supposed to pick out some pasta attachments for it, too. (They weren’t sure if they were good or not so they didn’t get them right away.) So once I get it set up it’ll be carb overload at our house.
  21. Why has this never occurred to me? I’m going to try that ASAP. I did well this year. My SO and my mom conspired to get me a Kitchen Aid mixer and various accessories. I also got an Avengers waffle iron which, in addition to being geeky fun, makes nicely toaster shaped squares, so I can freeze some and toast them on days I don’t feel up to cooking breakfast.
  22. My mom wanted to cram in as many good luck foods as she could so we did pork and sausage cooked in apple cider with sauerkraut and onion and apple, and I made a version of Texas caviar, and we bought a new year’s pretzel. Also made mashed potatoes to go with the pork. Tomorrow will be leftovers.
  23. quiet1

    Menus for Christmas Dinner 2017

    We had pork nachos for Christmas Eve, which is family tradition, but everyone was sick or getting sick on Christmas Day so we had a good breakfast and skipped the big dinner. Big dinner x2 happened since then. For one we had rack of lamb with a mustard cream sauce, hasselback potatoes, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. For the second (the one i’d planned for Christmas Day) we had roast duck with Bourdain’s a l’orange sauce, mashed potatoes, more Brussels sprouts, green beans almandine, and an extra sauce for the duck I made up with tart dried cherries and a splash of brandy. All meals were very successful. The duck was maybe a touch overdone (I was going for slow roasted but our oven is having temperature troubles again} but everyone really liked it and we’ve never had duck before, so we’re definitely going to do that again. Maybe with more of a Peking Duck approach next time.
  24. quiet1

    So I bought a duck

    Favorite method for slow roasting? I’m finding recipes with times from 1.5 hours (? How is that slow?) to 7 or so.
  25. quiet1

    A Small NYC Kitchen Reno 2017

    Okay, I misremembered, so hopefully your counters will behave well. The problems seem to be the RUGGED concrete color. But the thread is here: https://www.houzz.com/discussions/5013208/terrible-experience-with-caesarstone