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Special K

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Everything posted by Special K

  1. Chelsea Miller knives. Website of the same name and an article in today's New York Times, "At One With Her Knife." Now, if I just had an extra $800 lying around... I'm sure it would be worth every penny. (and I need a green-with-envy emoticon, too). K
  2. Wasn't sure where to put this, but I bought them, so ... USPS Celebrity Chefs Forever stamps - Edna Lewis, Felipe Rojas-Lombardi, Joyce Chen, James Beard and Julia Child - so cool! Goggle it on the Interwebs - I can't seem to paste a link.
  3. In the topic "Best Fried Chicken," which was redirected here, Scolobey asked if anyone had tried pre-cooking the chicken before frying. I think his plan was to poach them and then fry them. Today in thekitchn.com I ran across this tip: season, brine, marinate or whatever and bake the chicken first, cool, then proceed with the breading and frying. Seems like much less stress. I'm going to try it tonight. Kay
  4. Hi AnnieLo, and welcome to eGullet! I have several sizes of the Romertopf unglazed clay pots. I have used one to bake no-knead bread for years (I don't even soak it first) and the other two are for chicken, lamb, all sorts of things. I got all three of my Romertopfs at Value Village or Goodwill for not much money at all (two of them were brand new in their boxes - I think they must have been gifts the receiver wasn't interested in trying), and I'd suggest that you start there. Get one, try it out! K
  5. October 23, between 6:02 am and 6:02 pm, is Mole Day ( Avogadro's number). Big day for high school chemistry students! We don't serve moles, though. We serve avocados.
  6. The other day I reached into the fridge for some pre-cut butternut squash and I got to thinking, what other shortcuts do I take, and why? And what do I insist on doing myself that makes friends and family members look at me funny? Here are a few things I would rather just buy: Fried chicken - It takes a while, it's messy, and the kitchen smells like fried chicken for days. It's handy at the grocery store, just like ... Rotisserie chicken - It just smells too good in the store to pass by. So handy. Butternut Squash cubes - Because I nearly chopped off my thumb that one time. Homegrown tomatoes - Believe me, I've tried, but while I can grow many other fine vegetables, tomatoes elude me here in the Northwest. So I buy POMI boxed ones year-round. Some things I'd rather do myself: Beans - No more canned beans for me. It's too easy to dump a bunch of dried beans in the slow cooker, top with a little meat, some chopped veggies (maybe some POMI tomatoes), and some stock. Plus, those cans are heavy! Stocks - They're easy, cheap, wonderfully aromatic, and just way better. And again, those cans/boxes are heavy! Ground meat - I just don't want to eat it if it's been ground in huge mixed batches, and I like to season burgers and sausages myself. Bread - Again, it's easy, aromatic, and just way better. Mayonnaise - An egg, some lemon juice, some mustard, a pinch of salt, and some oil in a mason jar. Let the oil rise to the top, and then hit it with the stick blender. Lid and refrigerate. Can be seasoned any way you want. Does not last for a year in the fridge, which I happen to think is a good thing. Growing my own fruit and vegetables (within my space limits) - Except tomatoes, unless I give in and try again this year. There is nothing like a freshly dug potato or carrot! Tomato sauces - Well, using POMI, but still. I'm sure I've forgotten lots and lots of things in each category. What do you buy, and what do you insist on preparing yourself?
  7. According to this website: http://www.yumsugar.com/Burning-Question-Why-Dont-Limes-Have-Seeds-3281585, limes are parthenocarpic, meaning they are naturally seedless. Who knew?
  8. I just did this yesterday! (I was avoiding a huge pile of filing.) I started with the "junk" drawer and then found myself moving on to the rest, taking everything out, cleaning the crumbs out of the drawers (!), and putting only about half of the stuff back in. Then I moved on to the cabinets. Each object went through the "Have I used this in the last year?" test, and if it failed, out it went. (Now if I could only force myself to do this with my closet!) Then, "Do I really need three of these? Which is the one (or maybe two - I'm only human) that I actually use?" and out went the extras. Some lucky Value Village shopper in Seattle is going to be very happy soon. Do it, Katie. You can always store the culled items in some out of the way place for a while, just in case you suddenly realize you really do want to hang on to that pudding steamer (or save it for Annabelle). Bonus #1: I found several "lost" treasures, hidden under the detritus. (That's why I had three oyster knives!) Bonus #2: I ended up reorganizing - I now have a much more sensible baking station, one place for all of the small appliances, etc. I have a tiny kitchen, but now I feel like I have (just) everything I need, and I can put my hands on whatever I want quickly and easily. Bonus #3: That horrible excuse for a wafflemaker I've been lugging around for 40 years is GONE! My goal for the year is to keep things this neat and simple. At least for a while. K
  9. Or asparagus. That was 20 years ago, and I still think twice about putting anything in there. We ended up replacing the disposal altogether. Reminds me of a joke: Guest: Where's the switch for the garbage disposal? Host: We don't have a garbage disposal. Guest: Oops!
  10. I've been using Mark Bittman's slow cooker method (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/06/30/magazine/bittman-slow-cooker.html?_r=0) since it ran in the NYT last June. Works every time. I mean, sometimes you just want to spend about five minutes in the morning and have a nice, hearty comfort dish when you get home. I was quite surprised that this didn't pop up here at the time.
  11. This is just a little stocking stuffer, but I love it - Melitta makes a little cutie called a "JavaJig," a reusable coffee filter thingy for use with Keurig-style brewers. BPA-free, the "starter kit" includes 2 reusable cups and 30 teensy little filters. No need to remove the machine's filter holder - this little guy pops right in and then the grounds and the filter can go straight into the compost bin. http://www.amazon.com/Melitta-Reusable-Brewers-Filters-filters/dp/B0091146V8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1387226264&sr=8-1&keywords=melitta+java+jig
  12. Anna, that is gorgeous. I didn't take a photo of mine (bottom round, not prime rib) the other night, but it was just about the same size and the finished roast looked exactly like yours, was juicy, tender and delicious - and took just over an hour. That's why I like Dave's method so much - easy weeknight dinner! Prep, shove in the hot oven, switch to broil, watch for a few minutes to see when the fat cap starts to brown, turn the oven off and go on about your business until it's done. I had plenty of time to make mashed potatoes with garlic and chevre to go with it. Steamed some frozen peas at the last minute - I swear, it was a Christmas dinner-worthy meal with absolutely no stress! Just goes to show you, there are many different ways to end up with the same results! We each have our favorite methods, and if we get the results we want, we're all doin' it right! Cheers, K
  13. You know, I skipped right over the tenderizing part - I never do that, for the reason you stated. I just "didn't worry," as Dave said. ETA: Although I think that probably the screaming hot oven/broiler until the fat cap browned probably was hot enough. Thanks for the warning, though.
  14. Just wanted to say thanks to Dave Weinstein for the Simple Roast Beef recipe above. Tried it last night and it worked like a charm! And no kidding, it IS simple! Easy, in fact, and the best roast I've ever cooked. This was a test run for Christmas dinner. Went very well with mashed potatoes mixed with garlic and chevre. Yum! K
  15. I recently read Luke Barr's Provence 1970, about MFK Fisher, Simca Beck, James Beard, Paul and Julia Child and Richard Olney all being in Provence at the same time in what was a pivotal year for each of them. It's an OK book; about what you'd expect from MFK's great nephew - hagiographies of one and all - with the exception of Olney, who comes across as a cantankerous know-it-all and a grumpy loner. BUT! that book led me to Olney's Reflexions, which was wonderful. After reading this uncompleted memoir, which was published posthumously, I don't think he was curmudgeonly at all. In fact, he seems to have been extraordinarily sensitive, and he comes across to me as a dear, sweet, shy, hardworking, extraordinarily talented man. He constantly found himself going out of his way to do people huge favors, and he usually got punished for his generosity. He was very, very close to his large extended family and had many dear friends (and the love comes across even when he's griping about how some of them treat him). Yes, he makes some catty observations about people, but what's forgotten, I think, is that this book is mostly excerpts of diary entries and letters to his brothers, the only two places he could "let his hair down," so if he comes across as bitchy, it's the kind of bitchiness you only find in these kinds of very personal writings. I'm sure he knew of his reputation and I'm guessing that's why he put this book together, in self-defense, knowing he was nearing the end of his days. The only complaint I have is that he often introduces people (and it seems like there are thousands of people!) early in the book and thereafter refers to them by first name only, so sometimes it's kind of hard to figure out who he's talking about (which Jimmy was that again?) but I think that probably would have been corrected had he been able to do the final editing himself. The last chapter, written by his brother after R.O.'s death, had me in tears, just as with the Eck/Winterrowd book above. And oh! the descriptions of the meals and the wines! Now I'm planning to devour everything he ever wrote. I'm already deep into Simple French Food. But next up is Ann Mah's Mastering the Art of French Eating: Lessons in Food and Love from a Year in Paris. No tears with this one, I hope! K Host Note: Here are eGullet Society friendly links to some of the mentioned books Provence 1970 Relexions
  16. Special K

    Fried Polenta

    This gives me an idea ... When we want grits of a Saturday morning I use de la Estancia (organic) polenta and (go ahead and call me a traitor to my Italian/Southern roots) I just whisk it with water (1/4 cup polenta meal per each cup of water) in a glass batter bowl and microwave it for a few minutes, then take it out, whisk in butter, S & P and sometimes cheese, and zap it a few minutes more. Comes out perfect every time. (I would never dream of sweetening it!). Now the idea: What if I heated up my lighly oiled cast iron cornstick pan in the oven, spooned some warm grits in the little impressions, and stuck it back in the oven? I don't know; I might end up chiseling out the sticks, but somehow I don't think so. I will report back when I get a chance to try it.
  17. Here is what Miss Manners has to say on the subject: http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/relationships-and-special-occasions/columns/miss-manners/gratitude-should-always-follow-generosity/article_29272bad-6547-5b3c-9a15-6dd2eb15f426.html (scroll down to third letter).
  18. Shel, I think that TJ's salt shaker has a grinder top, which may or may not work for you. Also, it might not be refillable. Some of those pre-filled shakers are, but some of them make it impossible to get the top off. (Editid ta kerrect speling erer)
  19. We turn the pumpkin on its side so that the stem becomes its nose. Then we carve eyes and a mouth shallowly into the flesh and spray the cuts with Wilt Pruf. It lasts for a good long while outside. We set up one of those outdoor solar-powered lights to spotlight it. Spooooooky! I got this idea from the book Play with Your Food, by Joost Elffers. K
  20. What Mjx does, only with chalk powder. Or, you know, you could wear an apron! (I always think of that too late, too).
  21. Yep, metal gears under that flimsy plastic housing. I'd just go ahead and replace the housing right away. All you need is a screwdriver. And some paper towels. You're welcome!
  22. Here you go: http://www.mendingshed.com/housing.html k
  23. This seems to be the most recent thread with messages concerning the plastic gear housing on KA professional 6-quart stand mixers, so I guess it's the best place to post this update. I had no idea there was a problem with the mixer I bought circa 2006 until quite recently, when I bought the meat grinder attachment. It had always done just fine for my weekly big batch of cookies, and the sandwich bread I make using the machine is a pretty liquidy dough, so that was never a problem, but apparently the grinder taxed the plastic housing a bit too much. For a while, things were just great - made some awesome sausage the first try, and then lamb burgers, turducken burgers, even! Then disaster struck! The "worm" turned, so to speak. Big, horrible noises, and no grinding happening. DH took the cover off the machine and checked, and sure enough, the gear housing was plastic ("What the -?!"), and it had cracked. So my natural inclination was to come here, looking for answers, and what I found was discouraging - of course my machine is out of warrantee, so I guess I'm out of luck. But wait! A little more searching on the InterWebs and I found a KA replacement parts site! For the nice low price of $12.95 plus S&H, I got myself a nice new metal housing, complete with gasket, which DH installed in about five minutes. Fortunately we caught the problem before the gear actually broke! While he was at it, he tightened up a couple more screws holding the top of the machine to the base, ending the annoying wiggling that was happening as well. Yesterday I made a big batch of sausage and a bunch of lamb burgers. Now what shall I do with the $500+ I thought I was going to have to shell out for another mixer?? K
  24. Coming soon to Seattle's Pacific Science Center! http://www.pacificsciencecenter.org/Exhibits/ModernistCuisine
  25. Basquecook, just a cautionary note - be careful about how much nori you give your little one - I recently found that it can contain a lot of iodine, which could lead to thyroid problems (I wasn't getting enough iodine, since I cut down on salt and switched away from iodized salt years ago, but apparently it is possible to go overboard and get too much). Unfortunately, iodine content in nori is highly variable, and this content is not required on food labels: http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iodine-HealthProfessional/. Back to the topic at hand, we usually bring in leftovers, which we can heat up as need be in the microwave. My husband is not a big sandwich fan, but I am (I make a Pullman loaf and cut the slices really thin so I don't eat too much bread), so if there's only one serving of a leftover, he gets that and I'll make a sandwich with whatever is on hand. And I bring in sushi once a week!
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