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jefferyc

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Posts posted by jefferyc


  1. A quick look at Repertoire de La Cuisine will show you how usefull a short hand can be when doing things like cakes, breads, sauces, and sausages. If you're in a strange kitchen and want to make yeasted rolls think 5-3. If I need a quick cake to use up cherries in a sauce? Its easy to think 1-1-1 and you're ready to go. Its quite a different way of thinking than reading and following recipes and not every one will find it valuable I suspect. I however do and think its an excellent reference.


  2. My copy just came from Amazon this week. I remember the part of the making of a chef where this concept started and I was excited about the concept as well. I could not be happier with this. Its is one of the rare food books built from the ground up to be used as a basis for your own creativity. I personally bought it for the baking portion. I want to use it in conjuntion with books like bakewise to get my baking skills to the same level as my cooking skills. That alone was worth the price for me. The parts about stocks and force meats I found less usefull for me as I have several other books (one by Mr. Ruhlman) that deal with similar subject matter. If your goal was to get someone in the kitchen experimenting with new and fun things then you're sucsessful lin my case at least Mike. Thanks for the book.


  3. You're forgetting patrons from Europe who are used to waitstaff getting a living wage and were a gratuity is really a gratuity and not an expectation.  Sorry..talk all you must there is no other retail busines on the planet where I'm expected to pay soneone's salary.  I usually pay 20% but its the expectation that burns me.

    Actually, retail electronics store employees in the U.S. (not sure how they do it in other countries) earn their salary almost entirely, or possibly entirely, on commission. I am certain that they used to do this entirely on commission, with a back-up option that employees can be paid minimum wage for shifts where they make no sales, in which case they have the same situation that servers face, if they don't make minimum wage, in dealing with their employers.

    Of course, the commission for retail sales is a set part of the price, but you still pay it, whether you received good service or not.

    A number of retail electronics stores are going through bankruptcy right now, and/or closing all of their stores, so I'm not sure how long the system of guaranteed commission, if you make the sale, will last, or if it will become more like the restaurant model, or what will happen, actually.

    As far as people who come from different cultures where tipping is not customary, the Japanese have been great about educating their employees before business trips about all of the customs of the land which they are visiting. I'm not sure why all cultures would not do this, but I am sure that I'd always learn the culture of any land I'm visiting, before I visit there, in order to improve my own experience, visiting there.

    Edited to add that most other countries include health care coverage for everyone who works (or doesn't work) in any capacity. We don't. This is one of many things that might change in the very near future, but of course, that's another topic entirely.

    Thank you for making my point. The management of the retail outlets you describe have decided to reward their employees based on sales. Just incedently provide the pubic with a price that reflects the true cost of the goods sold. Your issue is with your management for not paying a living wage and not reflecting the true cost of the meal in the menu price. I know its much more easy to complain about an individual rather than taking on big bad management but there you go.


  4. If you were to ask me, which is unlikely, I would politely explain that while the tipping system may be locally widespread, and your service perfectly adequate, it is not my responsiblity if  the restaurant choses to under pay you; it is a matter for you and your management. I support honesty in advertising and am happy to pay any advertised price. Indeed I tendered the amount on the bill as I am legally required, and no more.

    If you are an independent contractor supplying server services direct to the customer I would have been happy to negotiate the fee for such services before the meal,  but  I understand you are on the restaurant's payroll with duties as a server.

    Further since the practice of not reporting the full amount of tips to the IRS is widespread you are asking me to collude in tax fraud, which is a felony offence.

    If your case is that you plead poverty and are begging, then I can reccomend several charities.

    We will then no doubt have a flaming row and shouting match, including your manager and several other patrons, to the amusement of all.

    Restaurant patrons of the US stand up for your rights! Support honesty in advertising and proper wages! Stop acquiesence in this dishonest, immoral and possibly criminal system!

    You're clearly just rationalizing your own cheapness, and it's a little sad.

    More to the point, what's the difference between you leaving a tip and having menu prices be 20% higher? Why is one more honest, moral and legal than the other? At the French Laundry, they build an 18% service charge into the menu. It certainly didn't make my meal and less expensive or more enjoyable.

    Save a small handful of tourists and rubes, everyone in America knows that a tip is expected. Your refusal to leave one is intellectually dishonest and your attempt to wrap yourself in a higher cause ludicrous.

    You're forgetting patrons from Europe who are used to waitstaff getting a living wage and were a gratuity is really a gratuity and not an expectation. Sorry..talk all you must there is no other retail busines on the planet where I'm expected to pay soneone's salary. I usually pay 20% but its the expectation that burns me.


  5. I love the book but this one needed some improvement I thought. I simmer the chicken stock with dried mushrooms (as noted above) to get more mushroom flavor in the mix. I saute the onions and mushrooms separately and deglaze the mushrooms with a little white table wine. Some cream towards the end of the simmering process adds some richness.

    [Edit]

    I forgot, a few drops of truffle oil at the end perks it way up.

    [second edit]

    Does the loser have to do the 'honorable thing'.


  6. Has anyone come across this Anvil Pasta Rethermalizer before? It doesn't say what its capacity is, but it seems like this could be a controllable water bath in disguise. It looks like it is aimed at simply reheating food, but it doesn't seem like there is any reason why it can't be used to sous vide as well.

    My guess is that this is not very accurate. You could probably work to calibrate the set temp. to the actual temp. but I'd still bet the temp. swing is more than you'd get with a PID and a slow or rice cooker for much less.


  7. You can par boil the bones for 10 to 15 minutes, dump out the water then make the stock.  That cleans out a lot of the scum before you start.

    Just to clarify, parboiling bones and carcasses is called for when making a white stock. If you're making a brown stock (browning the protein and bones first) the blanching step is unnecessary. The browning process stabilizes the proteins that would otherwise turn into scum and contribute cloudiness.

    Excellent point..thanks for the clarification ( so to speak).


  8. i cannot imagine a situation where i'd find it appropriate for a server to "call out" a customer about the size of a tip.

    The server confronting the table is not appropriate, I agree.

    The restaurant group where I work has a policy wherein the manager on duty in the front of the house makes a table call to ask if everything was OK with their food and service whenever a tip of less than 10% is left. This policy is rather complicated and involved, since it means that the server must receive full payment, look at the tip, then get a manager to make the table call, presuming the table has not left yet.

    The manager then goes to the table, asks how everything was, if service and food were good. Upon receiving an answer of "Yes, everything was fine (good, great, whatever.)", then the manager says;

    "Good. We were just concerned, because, whenever someone tips less than 10%, we always want to make sure that service was up to our standards."

    At this point, the patron is able to make other comments, but of course this brings up other questions. If service was sub-par, then why didn't you mention it when asked by the manager the first time? The resulting responses are often entertaining.

    "Oh. . . yeah. . . she was a little slow at times."

    "Oh, well, sure we tipped $5 on a $110 bill, but, well, . . . we're Canadian." (An actual response. I couldn't make this stuff up.)

    "Times are tough. We can't afford to tip that way."

    We have had managers ask patrons not to return to the restaurant, based on some of these responses, but we also state clearly on the menu that we stand behind our service, and that a minimum 15% tip for good service is customary and expected. It's a reasonable policy, since almost everyone does tip according to custom, and the house charges tipshare of our servers, in addition to the IRS assuming that tips will constitute a certain percentage of sales, as has been noted.

    Tips as a percentage of the sale is a form of wages in this country, and I think it is reasonable to expect that people either follow the custom, or speak up to management if service doesn't merit an appropriate tip.

    Quite frankly then your group is being misleading about the true cost of providing food and service to the public. Increase the menu prices to reflect that you pay human beings a living wage and are proud of it. Pay good service people a wage they can live on and I will patronize your establishment to the detriment of just about all others (providing the food is good of course). This issue does irritate me a bit as it seems that wait people always blame the random public (me) and not those who offer a service with out stating the full cost of the service.

    Rant complete..please carry on.

    :biggrin:


  9. Could the vinegar you soaked the horseradish in be the culprit?

    I've read that horseradish "heat" comes from an enzyme reaction that begins when the cells are crushed.  Vinegar stops this reaction.  So, soak your grated horseradish in vinegar immediately after grating to preserve a mild flavor.  Or, let it sit for a few minutes before adding the vinegar to let it get more pungent.

    I have to agree with Bridgestone here. The references I have for this sauce is that the horseradish is added directly to the bechemel, then the result is strained through a tamis, then added to a cream/egg liaison.


  10. Shouldn't there be a way to find a suitable crock with all those "features" for, oh, I don't know ... $100 less?

    My father used a straight sided crock with an upturned plate weighted by a 'crock stone', with a cloth cover over it. It works but there's a chance of contamination. The ones I pointed out are pretty much fool proof.


  11. Looks like a whole fillet to me.

    Diameter of the fillet will depend upon the breed of the beef. Most fillets here in France are certainly no more than 3 inches in diameter.

    Then get me to that store because if you look at the tag the whole thing is $8.87. Rare is the tenderloin at 1.36 a lb.

    I vote eye of round as well.

    **Edited to correct price.


  12. Its funny this comes up right now.  I was thinking of getting a Harsch Gairtopf Fermenting Crock Pot to do this.

    To do what? Make a pickled onion?

    Make Pickles in general..sauerkraut, cucumber pickles, yes even onion.

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