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  1. That's my point exactly. These "southwestern" flavors have taken over American cuisine to the point where we can't even think of anything else. Corn and tomatoes, of course, are a natural for this combination, but other flavors could be used as well. How about Cajun? Carribbean? Thai? Greek? I think there are probably several other flavor profiles (if that's what you would call it; I'm not sure about the correct use of that term) that I can't even think of because I've never had them... because we've allowed this particular combination to take over our cuisine. ← Maybe you need to redefine your "we." At the risk of sounding obvious... Bittman's not the only show in town, or in American cuisine. I would no more regard him as the voice of American cooking than I would any other New York Times columnist. Tired of the combo? The patronize/visit/buy from/talk to other sources.
  2. We outfitted one (tiny) kitchen in Prague entirely from Ikea: cabinets, range, oven, etc. Nearly everything is as solid as it was after installation, two years on. (We hired an Ikea subcontractor to install the cabinets, stove, etc.) The only thing not entirely up to par has been the sink faucet, which leaked mightily until we replaced it--two weeks before the warranty was up.
  3. Euro books (including cookbooks) usually have the TOC at the back, where we Americans would look for the Index. Hopefully the publisher, who posted above, will take your comments into account when preparing other books like this for the North American market.
  4. Rehovot

    Dutch Kills

    Well, Astoria, just north of Long Island City, is one neighborhood with the demographics to support cocktail aficionados. If I had a job, I would probably be one myself. But I am content to wander along 30th Avenue and eat and drink myself silly for significantly less than what it would cost in Manhattan. By request: Percentage of population w/ household income <$50,000-$74,999 Long Island City, 11103: 20.7% LIC/Astoria, 11106: 17.1% Astoria, 11102: 17.1% Astoria, 11105: 19.1%
  5. David Lebovitz's Twitter feed is entertaining--tongue-in-cheek, down to earth, and usually about Paris or baking, or both. I only Twitter online (not from a phone), so I avoid any message-alert beeping...but not the procrastinating.
  6. Fictional food you'd like to sample: I can't think of one single food, but writers like Roald Dahl have some incredible descriptions of food that have stayed with me for years. And Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a food enthusiast's dream. Hamlet's line about the funeral-baked meats coldly furnishing forth the marriage table is also arresting...though I wouldn't have wanted to sample that. A fictional meal you'd like to have attended: The party scene in The Great Gatsby. Or an Austen banquet. A memorable work of fiction set in a restaurant or a café: The Czech novel Saturnin, by Zdenek Jirotka, has a marvelous doughnut-throwing scene set in the Imperial Cafe in Prague. (Until the cafe was refurbished and polished to within an inch of its life a couple of years ago, there was still a bowl of doughnuts sitting on the bar with a very small sign next to it noting that you could throw the doughnuts if you liked but it would cost you a thousand Czech crowns.) Food you've tried that didn't live up to the expectations raised by a fictional account: No madeleine is ever going to live up to its literary counterpart. But I'm still searching for my madeleine, a pull-apart coffee cake my family used to buy from a bakery in Orange County in the '80s. "Sublime" doesn't begin to do it justice. It was a magical concoction and had these veins of molten cinnamon-sugar streusel running through it. Food from fiction that you couldn't help but want to try even though you knew you would hate it: Oysters on the half shell have a decidedly glamorous reputation, but I can't get past the texture. An unappetizing food description from fiction: Writer's kid Sport, from Harriet the Spy, had some fairly dismal lunches, and Harriet remembers opening the fridge in Sport's family's apartment once only to find wilted celery. (But when Sport's father gets an advance check, he hollers that he's taking everyone out for steak.) A recipe you've tried or a meal you've recreated from fiction: Hmm. From fiction? I don't think I've ever done this. Food you associate with reading: Anything crunchy. Your favorite food-focused book/writer: Maybe not food-focused, but excellent writers who feature food: Dahl, Wharton, Proust (natch), Esquivel, Laura Ingalls Wilder. Also, Diane Mott Davidson's food mysteries are enormous fun.
  7. Any eGers going to this panel discussion on NYC's Local Food Movement? Here's a description of the evening, from the Museum of the City of New York's site: "'Eat locally'" has become the new byword of the sustainable food movement. Farmers markets, community gardens, urban farms, and innovative restaurants all play an integral role in promoting fresh, seasonal produce and in supporting local and regional economies. Join Dan Barber, Executive Chef/Co-owner of Blue Hill at Stone Barns and Blue Hill; Michael Hurwitz, Director of Greenmarket; and Ian Marvy, Director and co-founder with Michael Hurwitz of Added Value and its Red Hook Community Farm, for a panel discussion on being a "locavore" in the country's largest metropolis. Gabrielle Langholtz, editor of Edible Manhattan and Edible Brooklyn, will moderate the conversation. Presented in conjunction with Growing and Greening New York: PlaNYC and the Future of the City." It's tomorrow, 4/21, at 6:30, at the museum: 1220 Fifth Avenue (b/w E. 103rd and 104th). More valuable info: "Reservations required. $12 Non-Members $8 Seniors and Students $6 Museum Members *A two dollar surcharge applies for unreserved, walk-in participants. [You can purchase tickets online, though.] For more information, please call 212.534.1672, ext. 3395." I'm not affiliated with it; it just sounded like something up the collective eG alley. I plan to go, provided I can get up there in time to buy tickets.
  8. eG baking heroine Dorie Greenspan is there, too: @doriegreenspan. Actually, you can find quite a few food Twitter-folk (or however you say it) by having a look at each chef's connections.
  9. If you take a look at that website, you'll see that the conversions can be done from volume to weight, via an extensive database of ingredient weights, and weight to volume, etc...which, as someone who likes both precision and cooking, is what I did. No complaints so far.
  10. "Repackage"? So how did you do the conversions? ← "Repackage" just means translate (in the case of the French stuff) and edit for content. Truly, though, we were working with recipes that have been making the publishing rounds for years, and are simply redone every few years with new photos and graphics. Clever, no? The conversions were done with gourmetsleuth.com (by which I mean me running every ingredient and amount through it), which someone mentioned upthread.
  11. At a publisher I worked for, we did exactly this, at my urging, since we sold to two major distributors: one British, and one American. We'd buy the cookbooks from French and Australian publishers and repackage them for both the British and American markets. So, if you're really unhappy with the format of a cookbook, write the publishers and tell them. The fringe benefits of working somewhere where everyone took home the recipes, tried them, and gleefully brought in the results, were pretty good. After the cupcake book, though, I had to quit.
  12. I consider myself to have pretty good coordination, but have no idea how you twirl chopsticks... How does that work?
  13. My first two thoughts on the kids' menu are: 1. That's comfort food--a good idea after a morning of (to kids) baffling informalities, runny noses, and frozen extremities. 2. For the really young ones, it doesn't require knife-and-fork assistance from the parents, who were lunching in a different room. At least, that's my Devil's-Advocate way of looking at it. It's not like there won't be other (smaller and less public) opportunities for the younger crowd to tackle adult fare. But on the first day, I'd say...cut the kids some slack.
  14. Don't go grocery shopping anywhere in Europe east of Munich, then.
  15. If you're looking for the taste and texture of brown sugar, try the sugar + molasses trick. I used to eyeball it and add a bit of warm water while stirring. For a sharp molasses-y flavor, you really don't need that much, unless you're making gingersnaps.
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