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Pam R

eGullet Society staff emeritus
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Everything posted by Pam R

  1. Why not? As an unknown (ie: don't host a cooking show or own a well-known restaurant), it's getting harder to find a publisher who will take a chance -- or one that will throw their resources at you.
  2. I don't know about Dana, but I think that's a great post. Thanks for sharing it, Janet.
  3. I'm trying to come up with some new 'gourmet' snack ideas for a local theatre, and one of the ideas is hard pretzels dipped in chocolate (and/or various other things). I'm not sure if I can source the pretzels, so I've tried baking them . . .and I'm having problems. They taste great in soft pretzel form, but I can't get them to bake long enough to turn into hard pretzels without them getting way too brown. I'm using an old recipe and haven't worked out the weights yet, but in volume, here it is: 3 cups AP flour 1 tsp. instant dry yeast 1 tsp. salt 1 Tbsp. brown sugar 1 (+) cup warm water Mix everything up, knead and leave to double, about 1 hour. Then I cut and form sticks (about 1/2 inch thick) and let them rise again while I get the water solution ready: 8 cups water 1/2 cup baking soda 2 Tbsp. brown sugar Dip the pretzels in the water solution and leave for 15-20 seconds. Back onto a baking sheet and I've been sprinkling them when salt. The original recipe calls for baking at 375 for about 30-35 minutes. I use commercial convection ovens, so the first batch went into 350 oven and were too brown within 10 minutes. I tried another batch at 325 -- too brown. Today I preheat to 300, put the pretzels in and reduced the temperature to 275. These baked for about 20 minutes before they were too brown and still soft. Tried turning the oven oven off and letting them stay in while it cooled (like meringues) but they were still too brown. Any suggestions? Might it be the sugar in the water-bath? How do you get crunchy (thick) pretzels that aren't too dark?
  4. Food is not actually allowed in the theatre itself. Food/drink must be consumed in the lobbies during intermissions.
  5. Welcome to the forums, Jennifer02! Do you have any particular food or cooking interests?
  6. Not movie theatre, but live performance theatre. Plays, concerts, opera, symphony plays there and private events (we'll cater a fundraiser for 1000 there next month). The cookies are 7 inches and we use cellophane bags that have a sticky strip across the top - you pull off a strip of plastic and then fold the top over to seal it. We got lucky and one of our suppliers had the bags that fit the cookies perfectly.
  7. Thanks for the suggestions! I should have pointed out that the items are ordered every couple of weeks, so items like cream puffs won't work. But, I love the nuts idea and when I saw pretzel a light went off. I tried baking my first batch of pretzel today -- the oven temperature was WAY off, and they browned way too much before they were able to crisp up, but the flavour was great. I'll try another batch next week because I was thinking of large pretzel sticks, dipped in chocolate/caramel/crushed nuts/candies/etc. Brittle is also a great idea or, I was thinking, barks. I like some of the other suggestions too -- but I'm going to start testing these ones and go on from there. Thanks!
  8. Right now, we bake 7" cookies that are sold at snack stands at a large theater in town. (By snack stand i mean that they sell specialty coffees and wine and a few food items.) The FOH manager has asked us for some other ideas for items he can sell. He has already tried our caramel-nut-corn at a couple of functions we've catered at the theater, and he's interested in that as well. But I'm stumped on other ideas. The items need to have a pretty good shelf life, though there is a freezer in the building that things can be stored in. All ingredients need to be kosher and the items should be somewhat high end. Any ideas? Thanks!
  9. Yeah, does the box say kosher for Passover or NOT kosher for Passover? I just checked a box of Streit's regular matzo that is kosher for Passover and the ingredients are flour and water. And I don't think a north American company would use canola oil in something like regular matzo that is kosher for Passover (it's still considered kitniyot by many in NA).
  10. Dana, if it's something you want to do, do it. These days there are a lot of different options. When I decided to write my first book (over ten years ago, so a lot has changed since then) I started the work on it and when I had about 40 recipes tested and written out, I got a copy of Writer's Market and using it as a guide, put together a submission and then found about 100 publishers through the book that accepted unsolicited submissions and sent them out. There were many rejections, but there were also a few offers to publish and I ended up with both a Canadian publisher and an American publisher buying the US rights. The first run of 10,000 copies sold out and a few years ago a second edition was put out by my publisher. The second book I did had a much narrower focus and wasn't a good fit with my publisher, so I decided to self-publish it. The book-writing was very similar in both books, but self-publishing the second came with a lot more work when it was time to sell the books (I printed over 6000 copies and still have stacks). I was lucky that sellers knew who I was from the first book, so took a chance on the second. As a first time writer, it would be more difficult to get your book into stores. But these days, there are great options. One I'm looking into for my next book is a program Amazon runs. Basically your book goes up on their site as an e-book, but they also print on demand. So if somebody wants to order a hard copy of the book, they order it from Amazon and then it gets printed. There are other companies that are POD, but for my purposes, I think the Amazon program makes the most sense. (https://www.createspace.com/) Lots of options, even if you are an unknown. But if it's something you really want to do, start working on it.
  11. Too late for the seders, but still almost a week to go. This year, for the first time, I did a quinoa pilaf that I really liked. Steamed the quinoa, sauteed a lot of red onion, mushrooms, celery and orange/red peppers with some salt, black pepper and fresh garlic. Tossed it altogether and added heaps of toasted almonds. Delicious. There are all sorts of things you can do with potatoes -- I like reds or baby potatoes and of course, sweet potatoes. And then there are kugels and salads. And roasted vegetables and latkes and gnocchi and . . . lots of ideas.
  12. Pam R

    Steven Shaw

    I never met Steven in person, or had the chance to share a meal, but over the years volunteering here, we had the opportunity for many great chats. Whether we were talking about forum matters, the relationship the Jewish people have with Chinese food, the ups and downs of having books published or a host of other topics, I was always happy to see his little chat window open on my screen. The news of his passing is incredibly sad. My condolences to Ellen, PJ, and the rest of his family. He will be missed by friends, family and the food community. Baruch dayan ha'emet.
  13. We use a food processor. You kind of want the fish to be mush when it's raw.
  14. In Canada we had Chai and Marvid. Chai closed, so the only brand available now is Marvid.
  15. I'm curious to know what kosher chicken brands are available out there. I'm in Canada and last year our big kosher chicken plant shut down and we now have one company left servicing the whole country (as far as I know). So I guess I'm interested in what's available everywhere, but specifically, am I missing anything in Canada and what's going on in the USA? What's available?
  16. I rummaged through my freezer and found a bunch of beef scraps and a slice of chuck and a couple of ribs and turned them into a beef/vegetable/barley soup and a golden beef borscht (I also found a bag of gold beets I completely forgot I had). I freeze them in 500 mL deli containers and pull them out for lunch. I agree with those that feel soup is a year-round thing, but since this has been the coldest, longest winter in memory, these kinds of soups hit the spot even more right now. (One of my favorite foodblogs I've done here, was a joint effort, focused on soups: clicky)
  17. I've ordered small rounds and squares from Qualita Paper. The minimums may be too much for you (I think it's says 1000, but I honestly don't think I had to order that many -- but it's been years.) I think they make them from 1 1/2" and up.
  18. I've never made this cake, but we make a couple of tortes at work that start with biscuits (cinnamon biscuit for a cinnamon torte and shortbread round for a chocolate nut torte) and rather than rolling it out, I simply press the dough onto the base of a springform pan that's been grease/floured. Or if I need to produce dozens of rounds at a time, I trace the rounds on parchment paper and just press the dough onto the paper, making sure the layer is level. Not sure if that helps, but it may be worth a shot. Good luck! eta: I agree that buckwheat honey has more flavour than 'standard' honey. If I can get it, that's what I like to use for honey cakes.
  19. I only use notebooks when I'm working on recipes for books or articles, not when I'm cooking for myself (or friends/family), but I have stacks of them. These are a few that I've brought from home and are hanging out in my office at work right now. The top one is a project I'm trying to finish up ASAP. I once collected all sorts of cute ones and then decided I was spending way too much on them, so switched to the inexpensive composition notebooks that I pick up in bulk when all the school supplies are on sale. I went to the cheaper ones, because as you can see, I kind of abuse them! (Pages folded in half tell me that I've already typed the recipe into the recipe software I use. Pages with the corner folded down mean I'm happy with the final results.)
  20. Pam R

    Soup Skimming

    Yep. Of course! Skim soups with meat/bones. Don't skim vegetarian soups (like bean soups with no animal products). Those look less scummy to me and more foamy, which I always assumed was starches being released.
  21. I don't know about the history, though I do know it's still popular (we ship some Montreal smoked turkeys in for the Chanukah). Have you tried contacting any of the companies that do them in Montreal? Lester's and Schwartz's are just two companies that do them.
  22. Yeah, I could do without the egg. I don't mind it, but I'm not a huge chumus fan -- a little satisfies. Israelis love their dips. Some pita, chumus (ch in Israel ), babaganoush, techina, matbucha, a few other dips, maybe a few falafel balls, pickles and olives would make most Israelis very happy. When I was there after high school (on an organized trip with 40 of us taking over small restaurants) almost every meal started with a varIety of dips, salads and fresh pita -- never ordered.
  23. I forgot - I was going to say the same thing! Looks like it has olive oil, techina, onions? parsley or cilantro? anything else on it?
  24. Thanks for the report -- it's been too many years since I've been and I have great memories of the food in Israel. Because it just wasn't available or because you hadn't prepaid for it? The first time I was in Tel Aviv we also got there on a Friday afternoon but our hotel had 'Shabbat dinner' for the guests as long as you arranged for it beforehand. As a somewhere lactose-intolerant person I always stayed away from the cheeses on the breakfast buffets, but most people I know rave about them. Did you have a chance to try cheeses elsewhere, and if so, did they suck as well or was it specific to the ones at this breakfast? Anything you wanted to try but missed out on? Falafel? Bourekes?
  25. Wondering about what recipes y'all have tried from the book. I've had it for a few months and have a bunch of recipes tagged but haven't had a chance to try any. What are the favorites?
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