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Everything posted by Lonnie

  1. Wow! What a great review! Fun to read and lovely pictures. We will definitely check this place out. Question: What's the difference between cilantro and culantro? I vividly recall two of my friends using one each. Referring to the same heavenly herb, the Mexican said "cilantro" and the Costa Rican said "culantro", much to the surprise and delight of the Mexican who immediately associated the "cul" part with one's posterior ("culo" meaning just that in Spanish). Fun with language and food! Lonnie
  2. This thread doesn't have a lot of recent postings, so I'll ask the simple question in hopes of getting up-to-date information. Hubby and I will be in Kingston July 25-27 and would love to eat well, once as a splurge and the rest on somewhat of a budget. We love food from around the world, but mostly enjoy quality no matter what country it comes from. Is there anything particular to Kingston that we simply shouldn't miss? Also, where is the best best best coffee in Kingston? Thanks!! Lonnie Syracuse, NY (where, believe it or not, we have great coffee)
  3. I just looked at the top of the page this thread is on and lo and behold, there's a bucket of steam! I have no idea how long this ad for "The Viking Life" is going to sit there, nor if everyone can see it (is it rotating with something else?) but it's got a picture of a huge bucket of steam. So it does exist!
  4. My first exposure to the hazing rituals for new restaurant employees was Jacques Pepin's description of his own unforgettable afternoon of lugging weird stuff from restaurant to restaurant in his book, The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen. Then my son came home one day after about his third day in a downtown, upscale restaurant. They had sent him out to see if any of the other restaurants in the area could lend them some "blue steam." He eventually came back with a can of Sterno, thinking it was blue and could potentially create something hot like steam. During his stint at the CIA he's collected a few more items that newbies are sent to look for: - left-handed mop - bacon-stretcher - slotted knife - a bucket of steam So... what other hazing rituals are going on out there in restaurant land? Lonnie
  5. Checking out the offerings at the local food co-op, I found ramps, aka wild leeks, which I had never eaten before. The sign said they were like strong garlic, which made them instantly appealing, and that they would be available for only two weeks out of the year. With advertising like that, I had to try them. So I cut them up and put the bulb end in the hash browns fried in olive oil and the leafy part in the eggs. They were not nearly as strong as I expected. I liked the potatoes but found the eggs to be much more interesting. We're going to the CIA next weekend to take a couple of their one-day classes - hubby Dave is doing Mexican, I'll be doing Sauces. Son Scott will be in my kitchen assisting Chef. Will he haze me or be helpful? But more important... what sauces have you used on breakfasts? Lonnie
  6. This thread - from our ever helpful Pinned Coffee & Tea Topics index is a great place to start Roasts... Buying It; In Search of Master Roasters ← Thank you sir. Didn't expect a rely from you. I'm flattered. Seriously, I miss mild yet full bodied coffee like the kind I had from your shops in Syracuse. Hopefully one of the places listed will be to my liking. Thanks again ← By all means check out the topics Owen suggests above. But I'm still going to give a plug to my local coffee roaster (local, meaning it's closer to my house than any of the other roasters in Syracuse!)... Cafe Kubal. He'll ship anywhere in the world. Lonnie
  7. Yes and no! Yes, please, send suggestions for your faves at Ariana or at any other really good ethnic dining in Rochester, and no, you're not late. We'll be out there next weekend for dancing at the Dino, which has the only decent dance floor Grupo Pagán plays at any more. We travel for food, coffee and Latin music. :-) We'll return to Rochester as long as there's one more place in which to try even halfway decent food. Lonnie
  8. full City Paper Ariana review ← I spoke with Adam Wilcox about it - he has one of the best ethnic food noses I've ever come across. He says the place was great so I'll take his word as gospel. ← Can anyone who's gone to this place recommend their favorite dishes? Also, we're looking for Vietnamese in Rochester, preferably open for lunch on Sunday and serving Ca Phe Sua Da (iced Vietnamese coffee, although I might take it hot if it's still this cold outside!). Got any pointers for a visitor? Lonnie
  9. I bought a bag, in Hudson, NY, of their Colombian Supremo, a medium roast, that was heavenly. Then I bought the same thing a couple months later from the cafe in Albany and was disappointed. Thanks for the lists of cafes and all, folks! Lonnie
  10. A wonderful thing happened today. Cafe Kubal opened in Eastwood, a neighborhood of Syracuse. Four blocks from our house. They're doing small batches of coffee in a 1904 roaster and serving a nice, basic set of coffee drinks and teas. They also serve pastries that are made by some Austrian guy in Geneva, NY. To get those pastries, they bring coffee beans to a customer in Weedsport and this person, who goes regularly from the Geneva pastry-maker's place to Weedsport, hands over pastries. Because Cafe Kubal is run by it's owners, the cafe is able to cater to local tastes, pay attention to important little details, and still offer coffee that is quite possibly superior to anything else being currently roasted in Syracuse. (Lots of pictures in the slideshow here) My question: We travel for food and coffee. Where are the other truly great cafes in the Northeast... outside of New York City? (Okay, include it if you must.) I'm looking for places from Toronto to Buffalo to Albany to Boston, and maybe up and down the Hudson Valley. Into Pennsylvania or northern New England would be fine, too. Anyone have their take on Muddy Cup? They're expanding rapidly! Lonnie
  11. It's due to ingorance, generation gaps, a severe language barrier, and with them having grown up with sweets (possibly not the refined sugar we have today, though this would not be able to be explained to them and would be deemed irrelevant anyway) there's no absolutely no means, or hope of communication, trust me on this. Their kids, the parents of the kids getting horse-fed the sugar, will absolutely, positively not criticize their parents, nor will they tolerate any criticism of them (that was made perfectly clear to me), so that's really that, btw. ← Sometimes people will respond to authority figures, especially in their own language, when they won't respect the ideas of anyone in the family. Assuming the other language is Spanish, something like these might be of use: Las verdades sobre el azúcar MSDS Recomienda A La Población A Mantener Sanos Habitos Alimenticios Still, old habits are hard to break. How long has our own government been telling us to eat healthy foods? In the face of relentless marketing, there's just no way. Lonnie
  12. Sugar and culture... interesting topic. If I'm not mistaken, where you see tons of sugar being used is in regions that produce or formerly produced sugar cane. I'm thinking mostly the Caribbean. It's one thing if you're eating sugar in an otherwise sane diet of, say, beans, rice, corn, fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, fresh-caught fish, and only moderate amounts of meat. But when you transplant that tendency to eat tons of sugar into a junk food society, where people are so much more likely eat fast "food" or packaged "food" that is devoid of the fiber and hundreds of micro-nutrients found in real food... you're asking for a health disaster. Rate Of Latinos With Diabetes Almost Double Those Of Non-Latino Whites, USA In this country, you have to be educated, one way or another (family, school) in order to know how to avoid yielding to marketing and eat well instead. You have to go out of your way to know where to find whole food. In some other parts of the world, whole food is still all around you, easy to get at, and it's what everyone is eating. But the number of places unaffected by the marketing of junk food is shrinking. This article is very revealing: Even the French are fighting obesity Lonnie
  13. My breakfast today had both hemp and foreplay in it. Scrambled eggs with sauteed onions and tomato, seasoned with Syracuse's Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Cajun Foreplay Spice Rub and a little Redmond Real Salt. Plus my beloved hemp bread, this time fried in olive oil instead of slathered with my usual pound of butter. With it, my second cup of Muddy Cup's Colombian Supremo done in a little old vac pot and muddied with organic heavy cream. Served on discontinued Syracuse China restaurant ware. Lonnie
  14. If I were monarch of the world, these people would be put behind bars. (That's only one reason why they won't let me be monarch.) In my opinion, feeding kids this addictive substance is as bad as smoking around them. Don't these people know YET that there's an epidemic of childhood diabetes on? It's one thing to not take responsibility for your own health, but to create addictions in children amounts to abuse, in my not-so-humble opinion. And it's not just diabetes they're dooming these kids to. There's ample evidence that refined carbs contribute to the epidemic of depression we're having in this country, too. Why are those kids spending "hours" zoning out in front of screens, anyway? Why aren't they up and doing stuff with their hands and/or their imaginations? Ohhh... don't get me going! Lonnie
  15. I need edification! Just what makes peameal bacon peameal bacon? When I go to the store here in Syracuse, not all that far from Ontario, I sometimes find something they call Canadian bacon. No peameal on it, however. But would this be the same thing? What part of the piggie does each one come from? Why peameal? I'm sure because it was handy or something, but what does it do for the bacon? Why don't we have our own version of this just over the border? And finally, why does the word "bacon" get applied to two apparently very different things: the lovely hammy Canadian version and the lovely fatty strips? I've had peameal bacon in Toronto but it didn't knock my socks off. I'm sure there are many gradations of the stuff, as with any product. Can anyone recommend a good source, either within driving distance ;-) or online? For your final quiz question, does anyone know of any restaurant in the United States, preferably in upstate New York, where peameal bacon is served? Thanks!!! Sleepless in Snowy Syracuse
  16. The topper at the CIA, so far from my son's reporting, was the idiot who got handed his very cool, brand new set of knives and stuck them in his cloth back pack without putting them in a knife sheath. The blade of one of them worked its way out of the bottom of the bag and was sticking out. Picture this: lots of students crowded into hallways between classes, a student on her way to class turns and ends up with the all tendons in her right wrist slashed. She's had several surgeries since then and it ended her career. We know this remarkable young lady, and she's a life lesson to all of us. She said, yes, it was awful and very, very disappointing, but you have to get on with life and just do something else. And that's what she's doing, studying business administration now. When I had this conversation with her, she was amazingly upbeat. May we all have this kind of resilience. Lonnie
  17. When were you there? I hear what you're saying about shutting up that cut and going right back at it. When we visited our son, Scott, at the CIA last year, he and a buddy made dinner for us in the dorm kitchen. During the food prep, another student walked in with his entire right hand bandaged up. He simply asked if anyone had something he could toss around in a pan. We gave him cheese rinds and he stood there for an hour tossing them with his left hand. He had to be able to work left-handed in the next day's classes. We asked him what had happened. You don't want a repeat of his description of this very serious wound. Scott names his burns: "from left to right we have Burnie, Burnedette, and Burnidict Arnold... yes, i name my injuries... my war wounds, but it's okay. getting hurt builds character and thickens your skin :-) " Lonnie
  18. Percy: Thanks! That batch of coffee was from Starbucks, but this morning we received two Trung Nguyen coffees: Passiona (naturally low-caffeine, but unfortunately only available pre-ground); and Legendee (whole-bean). We made Passiona coffee in the special filter this afternoon – it was excellent with sweetened condensed milk. My wife loved the coffee black – its chocolate and caramel flavors gave the coffee a natural sweetness. Filters are often available at Asian markets, or you can order them from Trung Nguyen Coffee Online (click) in Massachusetts. Aluminum filters are $2.50 USD, and stainless steel filters are $4.00 USD, a remarkable bargain IMO. ← I cannot agree with you more re: the benefit of using Trung Nguyen coffee. We can find it in Syracuse at a small Vietnamese grocery store, and what a bargain it is at $4.95/500gr. Even though we can only get it pre-ground there, it's delicious and does have a chocolate taste to it. If you can find a Vietnamese restaurant where they actually know how to make this coffee, it's worth it to see it in action before trying it at home. Here's a website that tells you exactly how to do it: How to make perfect Vietnamese iced coffee In this site they emphasize how important it is to get the right brand of sweetened condensed milk. However, they say that "French roast" means there's chicory included, which just isn't the case in most places selling a "French roast." That's usually a degree of roasting: the darkest, oiliest, most nearly-burnt roast. I think it's far more important to get a quality Vietnamese coffee than a particular roast, although a roast on the dark end is desirable. This coffee and some pho or a nice bit of pork, Vietnamese "quiche" and broken rice make for a lovely breakfast! Lonnie
  19. Okay, I'll confess. You have rightfully hooked me up with Dave. He's my husband (and I'm the proud mom of the kid at the CIA) but I didn't want to horn in on his message. :-) Said kid is great at phoning but really terrible at "sitting down to bang out an email." He's in cooking because he's too hyperactive to do anything else! So contact with him might be difficult, although I'll certainly run the idea by him. Mark, are you talking about building a business? Like a restaurant, or a chain of restaurants? Would you ever be a chef in such a business, or would you be the business-builder, hiring the chefs? What kind of a business background does one need to do the sort of work you seem to be aiming toward? Lonnie
  20. Because of the extreme demands of restaurant work, I gather that you'll be looking for something other than the traditional chef path. Best wishes to you in your studies! Dave ← I'd love to hear from other career-changers who have figured out what to do in the food world while maintaining a "normal" life. Mark, do you see yourself ever working on the line? If not, what else is out there for someone who can cook but won't cook during those insane hours? I'd also like to know how you feel about putting your hands in extreme danger. I, for one, don't feel like doing that. Like anyone here, I'm very interested in food and feel that it, and coffee, are two of the few worthy goals in life. Okay, outside of good relationships, which may be antithetical to cooking for a living. What does one do with an academic background and an interest in food? Does the world really need another food writer? Lonnie
  21. Our son did his externship at Terra - a great experience - and went to Ame twice to do the tasting menu. Couldn't say enough nice things about it. It was expensive but we chalked it up as tuition. As for knives, I think he's good to go in that area but his chef/mentor from Job Corps suggested ice carving tools since he's just begun to do that. Lonnie
  22. They're not the only ones. We're a large family of practically all adults who are adventurous eaters. The closest we get to any religious affiliation is Unitarian Universalist. Oh, and half the family is of Chinese descent. So we ordered a huge take-home meal from a very good Asian (Chinese, Thai, Japanese) restaurant. The son who just graduated from the CIA made a venison rillette with an apple cranberry chutney as an appetizer, plus he made three pies for dessert. And nobody got exhausted in the kitchen. Much more time to enjoy each other's company. Lonnie
  23. This is referring to the Franco era. Nothing could be further from the truth. Say what you like about his politics, but Franco brought Spain from impoverishment after the civil war to modernity by the time he died and he stage managed a transition to democracy before his death. ← For some time in the late 70's and into the 80's I lived with a man who grew up in post-Civil War Spain, in Galicia. Franco was responsible for not alleviating years and years of starvation in that country. My friend's family nearly got wiped out by hunger in the 50's. Depending on which side you'd been on, you either did or did not get rations of flour, eggs, and other basics. As for the transition to democracy, this was not Franco's doing nor that of his cronies, but rather that of King Juan Carlos. Franco thought he'd created a puppet in his young protege, whereas in fact Juan Carlos risked everything when he stood up to the fascist generals in February of '81 to put down their attempted coup. Spain nearly fell back into civil war during the era of the transition and had it not been for this brave king and the will of the people, Franco's cronies would have been running a fascist state all over again. Read the reviews and even the book, Juan Carlos: Steering Spain from Dictatorship to Democracy to get an idea. Yes, Franco did much to improve the infrastructure in Spain, at times at tremendous cost to the environment, and it sure was safe there, like it is in many police states. Democracy is messy, and that's not what Franco had in mind.
  24. My son is graduating from the CIA - Hyde Park - next week. My sister-in-law is in San Francisco for the next few days and wants to know what he'd like for a graduation present from there. He did his externship at Terra in St. Helena and had some wonderful times doing tasting menus ("think of it as tuition!") at various restaurants in San Francisco. Got any ideas? Thanks! Lonnie
  25. I adore Trung Nguyen coffee. Do you fix it in the little single-cup drip pot? I haven't mastered the method yet and I always want a lot more than one cup. So I stick it in the old vac pot and it comes out yummy. My question: which coffees go particularly well with which breakfast foods? I can see how the slightly chocolate-y Trung Nguyen would go well with the creme caramel. Maybe also with those chocolate chip pancakes. What are the Vietnamese eating when they're drinking this coffee? Lonnie
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