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  1. I found them confusing, and weighted with assumption. Which I've already said with commendable clarity, but I can be more specific. Confusing because I couldn't really follow a logical thread. You touched on Italy, Spain (as in jamon iberico) and something about small family farms. I didn't understand what point you were making. The assumptions seemed to center on the idea that "we" are wealthy while others, the people producing our food, are not. You mention "the small, peasant, artisinal woman in a small town in italy". Questions come to mind. Is this intended as a type (a possibility sugg
  2. I agree. I'm not too keen on the mess, but I think it does improve flavour.
  3. If it's what you want, unless your stove is _really_ bad, you can probably manage to get the oil to ignite. You need to heat the wok, a couple of minutes if the flame is weak, put in the oil, get that as hot as possible, add the food, and give everything a good shake or two. As you say, the aeration helps, and if you can get the oil to aerosolize above the pan, it doesn't take a lot to ignite it. Tilting the wok also helps, moving it off the centre of the flame. Obviously, you need to be a bit careful, especially first time around. I nearly had a heart attack the first time I did it, because i
  4. Discourse and ideology. Well, there are people who will put everything into those terms. I don't find it very persuasive, because it reeks of intellectualism for its own sake. On this score, Wikipedia's entry seems to confirm my worst fears: Aspirin please. The other problem I've got here is that you don't seem to have said anything without resorting to comfortably held assumptions of your own. And some of it's just confusing.
  5. But they'll happily spend the $25 on something else. Perhaps in the majority of cases, that's going to be on something that you, and society, deems to be non-elite. And then the question of having the financial means to do it once again fades into irrelevance, because we know that nearly everyone has $25 to spend from time to time on non-essential items. And that's my point. The distinction here between what is elite and what isn't is superficial and irrational. I'm not sure that any label at all is required.
  6. I think you're splitting hairs there, considering you said "what else would you call people who...", but what the hell, I'll concede that point. Just out of interest is $100 the minimum expenditure? I think it's relevant because most people I know don't buy the expensive ham by the pound unless they're laying it in for a party. It's certainly not the way I've ever bought it, either. There's a world of difference between putting down $10 or $20 and spending $100. Blowing just $10 - even on something frivolous and supposedly overpriced - doesn't have quite the same psychological impact, does it?
  7. No, it's an opinion. People from all walks of life place high value on things that interest them, and are prepared to pay for it. This doesn't make them elitists. The elite label attaches to certain things and not to others, and although it's usually based on cost/income arguments, this seems quite irrational to me. For example, three pints in a pub in England will cost around 7.50 GBP. You can choose whether you want to drink it in a frightening inner city dive, a gracious 17th century coaching inn, or something in between, but it costs about the same from one pub to the next. And drinking b
  8. On the contrary, it seems to me that people are suggesting - with some scientific backup - that one method of killing a lobster is little different from another in terms of pain and/or suffering inflicted. That is very different from arguing against being humane, because it denies that method A is more humane than method B. I haven't seen any very convincing scientific argument to refute that yet.
  9. I'm thinking that paying for the coffee was showing it as much respect as is possible. ← No doubt, but it's no reason why another shop has to let people come in with hot drinks - or concern themselves with what was paid for them. I wasn't sure if this coffee was being carried to the car with a detour or two, or drunk on the hoof, but if it was my shop, it would make no difference and I'd have done the same.
  10. Lemongrass: to get enough to use effectively, I think you'd need quite a bit of space. I'm not sure if a pot would yield much. When I grew it in Hong Kong (in the ground) it got large very quickly. The good thing is, it's low maintenance. I had less success with it in Japan, probably because of the lower temperatures, but it did grow reasonably well in summer. If you need more plants, if you can get hold of lemongrass fresh from a Thai shop, you can get it to root in about two days just by standing it in a glass of water, and it's very easy to plant on from there (obviously not in midwinter t
  11. Actually, nothing's to stop him finishing the coffee, then going into the shop. But if you value the coffee for reasons of price, taste or whatever, how about respecting it instead of taking it shopping with you?
  12. Teaching people to cook is one thing. But it has been pointed out that many recipes in this book/series do not save time, are more expensive, or require ingredients that are difficult to find (and are therefore no kind of timesaver). People have also pointed out the direct contradictions between what Smith says in this book and what she has said in other books she has written, concerning the use of fresh ingredients for example. I've no particular dislike of Delia Smith - other than for her insistence on using the term 'freshly milled black pepper' in every recipe, and her apparent belief that
  13. Thanks to V. Gautam for that extremely helpful answer! Exactly what I needed. Yes, I'm in Japan, and in light of your comments, I'll try to get seeds locally as far as possible. To the person asking about cilantro, seeds are very easy to find - they seem to be available almost anywhere that sells vegetable or herb seeds. They will be under the name "coriander" (in katakana). Once the full heat of summer arrives, you may find it doesn't grow well (i.e. dies), but worth trying anyway. Growing tomatoes on rooftop: I'm no expert with tomatoes, but find them relatively easy to grow from seed, and h
  14. The gardening thread linked by Toliver is also very good, and might be more specific to your needs, geographically speaking. With those very hot temperatures, you'll need to keep basil well watered, especially if they're in pots and getting a lot of direct sun. You'll see a huge difference between clay and plastic pots - clay looks nicer but will dry out much faster, and obviously, smaller pots will too. Also, if they're placed directly onto concrete, tile or stone, hot summer temperatures will really hit them hard. For your first year, it's a good to do some successive plantings a few weeks
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