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Special K

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  1. I haven't been to Lark, but I have been to Canlis several times, and I love the place. Once it was on my birthday (one of the big ones that ends in a zero), and my hosts had arranged to have their gift to me, a set of dishes and some beautiful candle holders, used at the table in place of the usual dishware. They later told me that this was done with complete good grace, no problem at all. Without any prompting from my hosts, our waiter suggested that I let the chef surprise me with my meal, and asked me if I had any dislikes or allergies. It was so long ago I can't quite remember what I was served, but I know that it was all delicious. It was just such special treatment for an ordinary nobody, and we have always been treated very well there. Also, they did NOT sing Happy Birthday! Another time it was prom night, and you know that can sometimes be a nightmare. Not at Canlis! Everything went as smoothly as ever, even with a room full of self-conscious teenagers. I'm sure they all felt it was a wonderful experience, too. Plus, one time I saw Tony Bourdain there. He didn't recognize me, though. I'm sure Lark is wonderful, but I can really recommend Canlis for a truly special evening.
  2. Or you could just say "Regular Coke, please."
  3. Oh, this news (to me) about their hiring practices makes me very sad. Whenever I visit my familiy in Florida we always make at least one trip to Cracker Barrel. I like the food, and there's some great shoppin', too. But now . . . Dang.
  4. Annecros, I don't think anyone else has mentioned the book "Still Life with Chickens," by Catherine Goldhammer. I'm about halfway through it and it's a hoot!
  5. When I was in culinary school usually there was no music, but on the few days when they played swing tunes (not too loudly) it was just wonderful! Everyone got into the "swing," so to speak. Things went very smoothly, everyone was smiling, there was a little dancing, but it was under control. We loved it! It was especially helpful during cleanup. I always have music at home. I'm one of those who couldn't do without it. In a professional kitchen I imagine that one problem would be getting everyone to agree on what to listen to. If chef's choice wasn't my choice, that would be a problem. For example, I can't stand hip-hop, so there'd be none of that in my kitchen, but I know a lot of people do like it . . .
  6. Or (duh!) gin! Extra water is good to have in an earthquake zone -- and so is gin!
  7. I have read that some people out there are saying that we eGulleteers are going to finish off the economy with the newfound food-shopping habits that we've learned from this experiment. The idea is that businesses and restaurants are going to go bust because we're no longer spending our money as freely as we "should." I submit that an economy based on waste and greed is not a healthy economy. I think that waste and greed is what got us into this mess to begin with. The idea of this challenge wasn't for us to stop shopping, just to be more mindful - to buy only what we need, when we need it, and to exercise our creativity and ingenuity by using what we have on hand. And nobody said anything about not going out to eat! In fact, I now have a little more money to do just that.
  8. Oops. Sorry. Forgot to say it's Model M-30. I'll hold onto it for a week or so, and if I get no replies I'll donate it to the local Goodwill.
  9. If anyone can use an extra grill insert it's yours. Just tell me where to send it. Oh, and there's a nifty concave wok burner, too.
  10. Well! We got the range installed, finally! They did have to enlarge the hole in the wall to the outside for the downdraft vent, but they did not have to chop a new hole in the floor, so that was a lot of worry over nothing. They also did some electrical work so that the dishwasher can be installed. Turns out the new dw backs right up against the wall, and for some reason there was a junction box sticking out about three inches, so they made that problem go away. The Luwa guy will be out to install it tomorrow (and I'll finally get it out of the middle of the dining room!). Many thanks to tsquare, again, for walking me through this. So, now I have a beautiful, working Jenn Air downdraft range -- which has no burners as yet but those should be delivered this weekend. But I do have the use of the oven, and the first batch of snickerdoodles turned out just fine! This oven is quite a bit larger than the old one, so I celebrated that by going out yesterday and buying (at a consignment shop) the biggest, baddest roasting pan (complete with a very nice roasting rack) that I could find. Now, finally, I can roast HUGE turkeys for the holidays! Aaand I can use my nifty new in-oven meat probe! I'm just amazed at all the new tricks ovens can do nowadays. And the clock works! I'm just giddy with excitement! I have the old grill insert from the Dacor range, and as soon as I can, I'll find it and post the details; if anybody here would like it, it's free to a good home.
  11. Two more for me from the thrift shop: Real Fast Indian Food, by Mridula Baljekar - I am new to Indian cooking, and I think this one will be very helpful. and Pierre Franey Cooks with His Friends - This was published jin 1997, just after he passed away. There's a lovely tribute in the foreword written by his daughter, who is listed as co-author.
  12. "First in, first out!" Why is that so easy to forget at home?
  13. Thanks, tsquare. Yes, the current range (Dacor) is vented through the back wall and I'm hoping this one can be done the same way - through the same hole if possible! But since the salesman mentioned the possibility of having to cut through the floor I figured I'd better be prepared for that. I do have the install instructions; I just haven't had a minute to look through them. Last night we wrestled the old dishwasher out and the new Miele will be delivered tomorrow and installed Friday. I'll read the JennAir manual and call the contractor while I'm home those two days waiting for the dishwasher people. I really do appreciate your interest and help. I'll let you know how things turn out.
  14. Maybe. The guy I'm thinking of calling has a general contractor license and is recommended by Albert Lee, so I'm hoping he can cut the hole and route the vent to the outside wall if he needs to. The range is under a window and the current one vents to the outside; it's just that the new range's downdraft apparently goes straight down. I guess they'll try to install it without cutting a hole in the (wood) floor, but if they need to, they need to. I will insist that this one vent to the outside. As you can probably tell, I don't know nuthin' about the process and I am at the installer's mercy here. Thanks, tsquare. And LEdlund, thanks for your recommendation. It's nice to have a back-up! On Angie's List, the contractor above got one very good vote and one very bad one (about showing up late, not about bad work).
  15. The vent for the downdraft is different on this one; they might need to chop a hole in the floor . . . Albert Lee will take away the old range, but they don't do "complicated" installs. They gave us a list of installers, but only one is a licensed electrician - guess I'll have to go with him. Thank you for responding.
  16. This weekend we orderd a new dishwasher and an electric range. The dishwasher will be installed by the Miele people, but I need to find someone to install the range. Has anyone in the Seattle area had a good (or bad!) experience lately you can share? Thanks very much.
  17. One thing I don't think has been mentioned here is that your freezer has to work harder when it isn't full. I did a little search and found a suggestion that made sense to me. Freeze water! (Make sure you leave room in the bottle for the water to expand into ice). The person who suggested this said she did it to keep the freezer full so it wouldn't have to run so often, but she found that the water was a lifesaver when her water was cut off for several days after a storm.
  18. A fictional meal you would like to have attended: Any meal shared at Nero Wolfe's table A memorable work of fiction set in a restaurant or a café: Reunion - Cheever - several restaurants/bars, in fact (they keep getting kicked out) Food you've tried that didn't live up to the expectations raised by a fictional account: Can't think of any offhand Food from fiction that you couldn't help but want to try even though you knew you would hate it: Haggis, can't remember where I first read about it - "knew" I would hate it but it was not bad An unappetizing food description from fiction: Mrs. Tebbins' "meals" in Angela Thirkell's August Folly, which I'm reading right now A recipe you've tried or a meal you've recreated from fiction: Nero Wolfe's scrambled eggs Food you associate with reading: Apples - Jo from Little Women is always reading and eating apples Your favourite food-focussed book/writer: Too many to choose from!
  19. Thank you, TSquare. I was away for a while and just saw this today. I just got back from Albert Lee ("Major appliances since 1936") and after backing and forthing with a very knowlegeable salesman (I hope), I decided on the downdraft slide-in JennAir electric with the burner cartridges (It comes with the grill assembly, which we probably won't use, because we use the Weber outside in all kinds of weather, but that's OK). Yes, it would be nice to go for a higher quality vent, but money and logistics make the JennAir the better choice for me. The oven is much larger than my current Dacor, and it has "MultiMode" convection. I think I'm going to be happy with it (I loved the JennAir I had years ago). I got a pretty good deal, I think, because I also bought a new dishwasher (Miele Inspira). These two items, plus the refrigerator I bought a year and a half ago, are all I'll need for a while (Wait! Is that the microwave making funny noises now?)
  20. Yesterday I had the day off, so in between loads of laundry, I cleaned out the freezer (now that the job had become manageable). First of all, I was amazed at how many little plastic hanger thingies (the ones that they glue to plastic bags of things like shredded cheese to hang from hooks in the grocery store) I found in the freezer - I don't remember ever putting bags of stuff with those hangers in there, but there must have been twenty of them! Could they have migrated somehow from the cheese drawer? Spooky. Secondly, I found out I had a lot more individually-bagged meats (steaks, chicken pieces, etc.) than I thought (and here I was buying more and using it while these just got older, and older . . . ), and a lot of unidentifiable leftovers tossed in there who knows when - and tossed out again yesterday. (Note to self, #1: Don't over-fill the freezer to the point where I can't see what's in there, and #2: If it's just a little dab of something, and it doesn't get used right away, don't throw it in the freezer - it will never see the light of day again.) I wish I'd taken pictures to post here from work, but what I ended up with was a very neat half-freezer drawer with a goodly amount of meats, a pull-out shelf full of frozen veggies (and the martini glasses, shaker and gin), and the other half of the drawer full of goodies like spaghetti sauce, chili, various stocks (which I made yesterday from the bones and scraps I found), and other odds and ends. And now, everything is labelled and dated! So lovely! Even though I certainly have fewer items in there than when this whole challenge started, I feel very satisfied that I have plenty in my hoard, because now I can see what I have and it's more than enough. Same with the pantry - I used up, gave away, or tossed out all the stuff I rarely use normally, and have re-stocked only what I will actually use. This lovely feeling of being satisfied with having just enough of the right things on hand even inspired me to go through the rest of the kitchen cabinets and get rid of non-food items - duplicates and things I haven't used in a while. In my very small kitchen with its limited storage space, this really made a difference! Thank you, Fat Guy.
  21. The Ballard TJ's opened last Friday (March 6th). I checked it out today and was pleasantly surprised - it's BIG! Nice, wide aisles and all the usual TJ goodies. And if you can't find what you're looking for there, check out Cash "n Carry across the street. I've heard bad things about the parking lot (small spaces), but I walked, so I don't know if those complaints are valid.
  22. Thank you very much andiesenji. I'm just now seeing this - been away from my computer for the last week. I will look for kale and the book is on order!
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