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Special K

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Everything posted by Special K

  1. I say you shuld just "vote with your pocketbook." 20 miles is a ways to go for groceries, but I think it'd be worth it to avoid this terrible place. If you're feeling generous, let them know you are avoiding their store, and why, but it likely won't do any good. They probably have a target audience of people who don't care that much about food or are financially strapped and *think* they're saving lots of money when they shop there. I've thought a lot about this, since I am car-less and must either walk or take the bus to shop. I have decided that it's not worth it to shop at a place that makes me miserable, no matter how much closer it is. Plus, it's good exercise to walk a little further! O/T On the subject of the carts, thanks for validating what I thought might have been my own craziness about them. I've noticed that several grocery stores in my area now have sani-wipes at the front door by the carts, and a lot of them also have special carts that look like little cars for the kids (although the regular carts still do have the baby seats - urg). But since I am usually on foot and I can't carry too much at a time, I just use a basket. And I do bring my own canvas bags - and load them myself.
  2. So that's what it's called! You know, I think maybe I would like this feature. We have these in the chemistry lab where my husband teaches (and I volunteer). That raised edge has come in handy many times there (ninth graders!) and it would have come in handy a few times at home (clumsy me!). It does get marked up a bit, but for me that would be OK - it's so obviously lab countertop material that it doesn't need to be perfectly beautiful. I have granite at home, and I do love it for all the reasons I think I'd love lab counters, plus it is beautiful - but I have managed to chip a chunk out of the area in front of the sink (see above - clumsy me! I don't break glasses on the granite - I break the granite itself!). In my next kitchen (I think I have one more house in me) I will think long and hard about switching to lab counters.
  3. Ditto on Pasta Moon, and especially Duarte's - you can get a half and half bowl of half Cream of Artichoke, half Cream of Green Pepper Chili soup. It's wonderful!
  4. Well, I will be darned! I never would have thought of that. Thanks!
  5. My favorite aunt sent money! I got myself: Everyday pan - the one eJulia recommended a couple of years ago on the "Bare Minimum" thread. I got the one with the glass dome top, on sale from Amazon. Truffle Salt - I got some for a friend for Christmas and went back and got some for myself because I couldn't stop thinking about it. I'd never spend my own $$ on it, but as it was a gift . . . (the secret to gift $$ is to spend it as soon as possible!) One of those little plastic tomato-shaped tomato savers - I've had a whole tomato in it for over a week; I need to use half of it and put the other half back in and see how long that lasts. A bottle of Pernod - Mom sent me a Barnes & Noble gift card, but I frittered it away on non-cookbooks.
  6. Just be sure you have reservations for Joe's Stone Crab. Good food, but it's a very crowded, touristy spot. (Or it was, back in my day).
  7. Thanks. This is why I love eGullet. I learn something every day.
  8. ... and I can't believe I left out cottage cheese, sour cream, yogurt and cream cheese! Man, that coffee ice cream was good!
  9. I know. I posted from work (don't tell anybody).
  10. Just the other day, reading the minimalist kitchen thread here, I learned that when you're camping/fishing, the boat's paddle makes a fine cutting board! Not that I can foresee using this bit of info any time soon, but it's good to know.
  11. My husband and I just had that discussion this morning. He asked why I let the eggs sit out until they've warmed up just a bit. I do it when I'm frying them because I think a cold egg would have to cook longer and maybe over-cook. For baking, I think cold eggs are probably better.
  12. AKA Rinderbraten (sp?) It's a spiced, larded and corned whole beef round, boiled and then you wrap it in cheesecloth and simmer it until it's tender. What got us was the spices - things like allspice and cloves and cinnamon. Introduced to middle Tennessee by German immigrants. I'm not sure Dad really liked it, either. I think it just reminded him of his childhood.
  13. Likes (in no particular order): Early Alton Brown, not so much the motorcycle persona and I don't much like the new longer hair (but he didn't ask me). I liked Geeky Alton a lot better. Early Emeril Legasse, without the audience (but I do agree that he is to be commended for his response to Katrina, and I do like Emeril Green). He seems like a nice guy, and I'm worried about his health. Poor guy looks like a walking heart attack these days. Jamie Oliver, especially now that the camera work is so wonderful, as opposed to the Naked Chef, where the constant jumping around made me dizzy. The show and Jamie seem to have calmed down quite a bit, and I'm glad. Mario Batali, especially Molto Mario, not so much the Iron Chef shows - I'm just not into watching chefs compete - I think cooking should be an act of creation, of giving, not of trying to beat out someone else. I know this is Food Network's way of bringing in new, younger, male audience members, but I don't like it. Sara Moulton, love her. Ina Garten, love her too. Nigella Lawson, in small doses. Early Michael Chiarello, not so much the current show on FLN where he rants - I don't want to see him rant, I want nice, easygoing smiling Michael, not frowny, griping Michael. Tyler Florence. I want to adopt him. Ming Tsai, although my enjoyment was somewhat ruined by a report from a local food writer that he was inexplicably very rude to her when she interviewed him. I've never glimpsed any sign of rudeness on his shows, but I can't stop thinking about it when I see him. Anthony Bourdain, loveable bad boy. Not so much: Bobby Flay (the competition thing again). And I don't think playing tricks on people is nice. Rachel Ray, although I have to say I know lots of young people who started cooking with her, and anything that gets young 'uns in the kitchen is good. Her voice always bothered me, but it turns out she just had throat surgery for a nodule or something. Sandra Lee. Skin-crawling aversion to the woman for reasons I can't really define. I can't turn the channel fast enough when her show comes on. But I do want her kitchen. Paula Deen. Now, I'm a Southerner myself, and I just don't buy it. I think it's all an act. Plus, it seems obvious to me that she's trying to kill us all. Martha Stewart. Now that she's come down off her pedestal I think I understand why everyone hated her before. Still, I feel sorry for her about the "Whatever, Martha" show, although I've read that it was her idea. I actually liked her more when she was perfect. I didn't believe it, but for some reason I liked it. I guess we want our teachers to be paragons (or I do). Really Dislike: The whole crop of new shows on Food Network which have replaced the educational, informative ethic with testosterone.
  14. Have I mentioned the mud hens Dad shot and Mom dutifully cooked? The horrible sulphur taste was bad enough, but the pieces of lead shot she missed were really something! Dad was so proud of himself when we sat down to dinner that nobody had the heart to tell him the ducks were inedible. We rarely all sat at the "company" table for family meals, so this was a big deal (thank goodness there was no company!). We all tried to hide the meat under the potatoes . . . even Dad, I think. Come to think of it, he switched from hunting to wildlife photography shortly thereafter. But he had to have his spice round every Christmas. Apologies to those of you (probably Tennesseeans) who love it, but we couldn't stand it (couldn't figure out what the heck it was!), and every year he ordered a huge one. Maybe the problem was the way he prepared it; I don't know. Again, not wanting to hurt his feelings, we choked as much of it down as we could. Poor Dad. Whenever he got the chance to cook he'd always go for something weird, or burn something normal to a crisp. But it was always offered with such love and pride! I miss him.
  15. Okay . . . let's see. I'm going to take you literally and post the entire contents of my fridge/freezer. There's milk, heavy cream, some kind of fruit juice, usually some buttermilk, and always a bottle of club soda on the top shelf on the right. On the left are all my various and sundry mustards and mayos. Next shelf down is for eggs and leftovers/sack lunches on the right; the cheese bin is on the left - always has cheddar, goat cheese, a big hunk o' Parmesan, and some gorgonzola. Bottom shelf holds all the meats, bacon, sausages, whatever's thawing for dinner. Below that are two more bins; on the right are the veggies, on the left, all my baking bits and bobs (dried cherries, nuts, candied ginger, butter, etc.) I probably should put the meat in that bin, but there are so many little packages and things that I use for baking that it's easier to corral all of that stuff there. The shelves are glass so there's no problem with meat drippage (and anyway I'm scrupulous about keeping things clean and tidy). In the doors are various condiments that don't really need refrigerating. In fact, I realized when we got the new fridge and I was transferring stuff that a good portion of the refrigerator's contents probably don't need to be in there at all. But where else would I put it? In the big bottom drawer freezer are the martini makings - two glasses, the shaker and a small bottle of Tanqueray (gin) - in their own handy little box which I think is supposed to hold extra ice. There's a pull-out top shelf, which is where the frozen vegetables live. In the big bin, on the right I keep the roasts, chickens, steaks, etc., and on the left are the other frozen stuff, small things, little those tiny little containers of coffee ice cream that I try to forget about so that when I have a craving I can forage and there they are!, and things like turkey pot pie made from the Christmas turkey, usually a big container of spaghetti sauce and another of beef stew. In a little basket thing along the front of the drawer, I keep things like yeast and wheat germ and extra butter and nuts. O/T, I love my new side-by-side-with-freezer-drawer-on-the-bottom-and-ice-maker-in-the-door-as-opposed-to-taking-up-valuable-freezer-space refrigerator, but I wish I'd noticed how easily dented the front of it is! My 'fridge is tucked back into its own little box, which looks nice and saves floor space in my relatively small kitchen. But this means I can only open the doors straight out, not wide, or they'll hit the walls on either side of the box. (There is no center divide, though, so I can open both doors and fit in big trays and things.) I'm not normally a magnet-on-the-fridge person, but now I have to have a bunch of stuff on it now to cover those dents. Oh, well. There are worse catastrophes! Edited because gorgonzola IS blue. Doh!
  16. Whenever I make spaghetti sauce I make a huge batch. Half goes directly to the freezer, 1/4 is dinner that night, and later in the week the remaining 1/4 gets dosed with cumin and beans are added to turn it into chili. (The miracle stretchy ingredient is tomatoes.)
  17. Special K


    I like the kind that you just tap lightly on the counter to open in a hurry -- I like them to lock because they hang off the side of my utensil crock (actually an old silver loving cup) and they keep a lower profile if they lock. A locking ring would be a PIA. I have two pairs of regular-length tongs - one with silicone tips and one plain stainless. I also have a really long (like two-foot) pair that I use all the time to grab stuff my husband keeps putting on the upper shelves (cuz I'm too lazy to drag out the step-stool). Couldn't do without any of them.
  18. May I suggest a little jar of truffle salt? It costs about $25 and will last for a very long time. I bet they'd both like it.
  19. Found it today at QFC in Ballard. The website has a whole bunch of recipes, but first it's going on a turkey sandwich! May I say, LB, that your comment strikes me as . . . not exactly in the eGullet spirit? Lots of people like the taste of bacon but can't or won't eat the real thing. If you find this product repulsive, don't buy it. But don't judge those of us who are interested in trying it, please.
  20. In all the confusion, I didn't notice that my recipe for Parker House rolls would have fed an army. After baking two half-sheet pans full (for four people!) I realized my mistake. The next day I just baked the rest of the dough in a loaf pan. DH said, "You've made Wonder Bread!" It was perfect for the day-after sandwiches.
  21. Special K

    Popcorn at home

    "Get out the nested bowls, everybody gets one, including the bird. The bird doesn't get seasonings, but he likes to stand on the side of the bowl and loves popcorn." One of my Abys (cats), Nora, loves popcorn. I believe that's because she thinks it's styrofoam, which she would eat by the bucketload if we didn't watch her. (The other Aby, Nick, prefers gel shoe inserts.) Oooh, duck fat, bacon fat! Nora and I are about to enter a whole new phase of good livin'! ETA a comma.
  22. Actually, what I'd like to get rid of is the "Preheat" setting on my oven. Either that or I'd like to get a better memory . . .
  23. Actually, it's multiplication AND addition: multiply by 1.8 and add 32. Sorry, couldn't resist!
  24. Holy cow. Now I know why my English teachers always stressed good paragraphing!
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