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Everything posted by MelissaH

  1. Great hard-to-find condiments

    I'm now totally intrigued by these. Any guesses where I'd find them in the USA, at least until @Pan gets his venture up and running? I'm in small-town upstate New York, a 6-hour drive from NYC but within easy reach of online sources.
  2. Do the nurses and others in your department fight with each other to get their shifts alongside you?
  3. Roasted Cauliflower

    I've always had better luck cutting a head into florets before roasting. It doesn't look as impressive as the whole head, but it also cooks more evenly and is easier to serve. (Toss the florets in a bit of oil with salt and whatever spices you want. I typically do about 400 °F, tossing and turning every 10 minutes ago until they're done. Exact cook time depends on how ambitious you were with your knife.)
  4. Goat

    Lamb is definitely not common in my area. It's not easy to find in supermarkets: Wegmans will carry specific cuts of organic Australian lamb, but anything other than that, good luck unless it's the week leading up to Easter. And even the non-organic lamb is exorbitantly expensive, compared to either beef or pork (or even chicken, which is <ahem!> a bird of a different feather completely). There is a small local grocery store that started out as a butcher and later expanded to carry other foods, but is still best known as a butcher; I can get frozen ground lamb in 1-pound packages there any time, and other stuff by placing an order. But even from them, lamb is still expensive. One year, we got together with friends and purchased a lamb from a local farmer. It was delicious. But those friends moved away across the country, so sharing animals is no longer practical. We have another friend, but need to wait till she gets back from her year-long sabbatical in Sweden before we can discuss meat and sharing. As far as goat: I've only seen it at some (but not all) of the Wegmans stores. But next time I'm in the Price Rite in Syracuse, I'll take a look there. They're definitely not catering to an affluent population, but they have things that nobody else (not even Wegmans) has. They're currently my go-to for all purchases Caribbean, so they may have goat available.
  5. Different regional ideals are a problem everywhere! My husband and I grew up about 700 km apart from each other, and we can't even agree on what characteristics macaroni and cheese *should* have! So we specify: are we making it my way, his way, or the way out of the blue box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese?
  6. What's suggested in the book (at least the original version; haven't checked the updated version) is to squeeze a large piping tip so the base becomes an oval, and use that as a cookie cutter to make the bases. It's been a while since I bought nilla wafers; have they been downsized?
  7. I was thinking that they'd be better with chocolate faces rather than royal icing, and with a chocolate coating rather than an adulterated glaze. Should I plan to prebake any cookie bases? Or is there something commercial that would work equally well?
  8. And for me, dipping is easier to deal with than shell molding, not least because I don't need to have tons of chocolate melted in big bowls. (And since I still lack an EZ Temper, that's kind of a big deal for me. When I win the lottery, it's on my list.) At the workshop, I plan to do lots of dipping. I'm contemplating a slight variation on these hedgehogs. And I think my husband would like to play with hard candy and other sugary stuff.
  9. It depends on the cookbook author. Sometimes they'll include how they measure their flour, usually in the beginning of the book. In that case, I'll weigh a cup of flour the way they do, a few times, and take an average. If not, I generally also go with 120 g but take notes and adjust as needed. What drives me absolutely bonkers is when there are obvious rounding errors. For instance, a recipe calls for 4 tablespoons/55 g extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for shaping and drizzling. Step 2 of the recipe starts, “Add 2 tablespoons/30 g of the olive oil….” Fine. But then Step 6 says, “Use a pastry brush to paint the focaccia with 2 tablespoons/30 g olive oil….” For those of you keeping track, that’s a total of 4 tablespoons and 60 g, but the recipe says 55 g in the ingredients list! Every single one of my four digital scales displays individual grams (or even portions thereof), so there's not real reason to round. For now, I'm not even going to discuss the Ottolenghi Sweet debacle. Whenever possible, I prefer to buy cookbooks printed for the country in which they were initially intended, if I understand the language. But I can't do that with Ottolenghi's books without paying a small fortune, so I'm stuck with the American printings, errors and all.
  10. I prefer mass measurements to volume measurements. But if more than one is given, I really need them to be correct and equivalent!
  11. Freeze Dried Fruit Powder

    I've seen freeze dried fruit at my local Aldi.
  12. A friend was just describing to me how she had this happen every time she put a whole chicken directly on the floor of the pot. She's since started to put the bird on the trivet instead of directly on the floor, and hasn't seen the message since.
  13. What's wrong with bringing wine, especially if you make it clear that the wine is NOT for now?
  14. Please put us down for two baguettes. Thank you, Rodney!
  15. And if there's a spare baguette or two around on Sunday morning, I'd be happy to purchase them and bring them home!
  16. I don't know about the other, but I enjoyed reading the flatbreads book.
  17. My dual fuel GE Monogram is 12 years old. It has electronic igniters, electronic fan, and (of course) electric oven. But it looks like newer versions have added more electronics.
  18. Rubs involve spices. Isn't that why you're getting a spice rack,
  19. I think this would make a marvelous Twinkie filling.
  20. Crazy Good e-Book Bargains

    I just checked again. It's still showing as $2.99 for me.
  21. Crazy Good e-Book Bargains

    Everything I Want to Eat: Sqirl and the New California Cooking is currently $2.99 (US, Prime). If you've been wondering about it, here's a cheap opportunity.
  22. Don't underestimate the distances, in terms of drive time. We had two weeks in Newfoundland, and it was barely enough time for us to see the Avalon Peninsula (including St. John's), Fogo Island, and Twillingate. (I second Doyle Sansone & Sons, BTW.) If you only have about three weeks for the trip, which will presumably include the time it will take to drive and ferry there, it sounds like you might be trying to squeeze in too much for one trip. We were warned by a native that it is NOT wise to drive after dark there, and he was absolutely right!
  23. Anyone using a LP Gas stove?

    My parents have LP. They use it for their stove (GE Monogram) and the boiler that heats their house, as well as to power the emergency generator. For the first year, they rented tanks that were above ground. After that, they bought their own tanks and had them buried. They need enough capacity to get from about November until May, as when it snows, the tanks are not easy to access and the road in can be impassible for trucks. If the avalanche runs, it can be impassible for everyone (hence the generator, as the power lines are not buried). They live in SW Colorado, a couple of miles up the mountain from a town with about 750 year-round residents. But even if they were in town, they'd still need LP, as there are no natural gas lines anywhere in the county. Electricity is more expensive than LP there.