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Everything posted by Jaymes

  1. And that's the case here in Texas as well. Sold everywhere including grocery stores. For next to nothing. Too bad about Norway. Guess that's due to those high taxes we all hear about.
  2. I agree the restaurant isn't using gin, and that gin isn't Chinese (however, neither is sherry, is it? an oft-suggested substitute). But the op seems to indicate that imported alcohol is almost prohibitively expensive in Norway. Gin is distilled right there. So suggested might be interesting to try a splash or two. My Chinese master chef friend was sold in the 40's as a small boy from a poor family somewhere in central China to a wealthy Chinese family that owned restaurants in Hong Kong & Singapore back in the days when Britannia ruled the seas. There was a lot of gin around. Eventually the family that had "adopted" him began the trek to the US, at one point owning at least a dozen Chinese restaurants in California, Colorado and Missouri. However, if you reread my post, at no time did I indicate in any way that I thought gin might be what the restaurant was using. Just more of a "if it's cheaper there, why not give it a try just for grins."
  3. My son's best friend's father is a Chinese master chef. In place of rice wine or sherry, he often uses a splash of gin. Says it's his "secret ingredient." Yes, I realize it seems farther afield at first thought but it might be cheaper and easier to source there (one of my favorite gins is Norweigan). If so, wouldn't hurt to try it.
  4. I definitely wouldn't say it was my "secret ingredient" but, when the kids were small, I often put hot dogs into my Sunday Gravy. I've written here before about the challenges of raising a large family on a small budget and toward the end of the month when money was tight, hot dogs found their way into quite a few of my meals. Including noodles and Sunday Gravy. I'd drop a couple of pork chops into the simmering sauce pot for my husband, and the cut up wieners for the kids. I don't see anything wrong, or even "weird" about it. They're basically a pork sausage, you know. Pork and spices, including plenty of garlic. My kids loved them. I don't know if the wieners improved the sauce, but they sure didn't hurt. And they were a lot quicker than meatballs for a busy working mother. Eh....you do what you have to, you know. Whatever suits the occasion. And, at the time, hot dogs did. Upon rereading some of the posts, feel the need to add that my kids never were what anyone would call picky eaters. And today, they're all in their forties, and are excellent and adventuresome eaters and cooks. So it didn't seem to have stunted them much. And if they were upset about it, they've forgiven me.
  5. Hi there. Sounds like a fun life! Where in Georgia are you?
  6. Personally, I'd also put prawns on that list.
  7. Right. My favorite for tortilla soup.
  8. Yeah, we've done the "waitress in Santa Fe" thing here before. Inexplicable to me that anyone could believe it. And my roots in New Mexico go pretty damn deep. Grandfather was a sheriff up in Farmington/Aztec back around the turn of the last century. He and my grandmother lived in an old stone house on the banks of the Animas River. That house had been the overnight stop for the Durango-Farmington stage. Before my grandmother married him, she had been a "Harvey Girl" working at several of the New Mexico Harvey Houses. Aunt owned a motel up there - The Aztec Motel, built in, I think, the 1930's. Uncle had the first pharmacy. Other uncle owned two Western Auto stores - Aztec & Grants. Cousin was the state hydrologist for many years...in...that's right...Santa Fe. Nephew currently state trooper assigned to Cuba. I spent most of my summers up on the Animas River. Two of my three children were born in New Mexico - Clovis and Alamogordo. So it's not a territorial pride Texas vs New Mexico issue to me. It's just common sense. Elmer Doolin started packaging Fritos in San Antonio in the 1930's. I repeat, San Antonio. The home of the Chili Queens, who were already a nationally-famous tourist attraction. I'm sorry, but who in their right mind could possibly believe that nobody in San Antonio, the home of the Chili Queens, would have considered the natural connection between fried corn tortilla chips and chili until some waitress in Santa Fe came up with the idea decades later? Not to mention that I was in junior high in San Angelo, Texas, in the mid-1950's and I distinctly remember at lunchtime walking across the street to the drive-in and getting Frito Pies, served in the little bags, with all the "fixin's" added. And absolutely nobody said, "OMG what's this???" They had already been eating Frito Pies for years. And years. And years. In order for me to ever believe the "waitress in Santa Fe" story, I'd have to believe that those hundreds of Frito Pies I ate when I was a kid in Texas in the 40's and 50's were all in my imagination. I will add, however, that it's such a natural combination that I have no doubt Santa Fe Waitress did start serving it, coming up with the "idea" on her own. I don't doubt that. But who logically could possibly believe that she was the very first. That utterly defies common sense. I cannot believe that they're still claiming to have "invented it." Seriously? Give it up already.
  9. When I was cooking for my family of five on a very tight budget, I could usually make one roast chicken feed us for four nights pretty easily. First, I'd make the kids look through the entire meat section to find the biggest, fattest chicken, with a prize to the winner. I'd roast it with the usual vegetables - potatoes, carrots, celery, onions - and first night, roast chicken. Second night, some sort of chicken "stretch" dinner - chicken a la king on toast or biscuits, chicken curry on rice, chicken spaghetti, etc. Then carcass into stewing pot. I'd make a lot (at least two night's worth) of chicken soup, adding some sort of starch - noodles, rice, potatoes, etc. So, third night, "regular" chicken soup. And fourth night, change up the chicken soup to something different, so it wasn't boring. Most often, I suppose, I'd add some salsa (if I'd added rice as the starch) and make chicken tortilla soup, but sometimes I'd add cream and mushrooms (if I'd added noodles), or maybe Greek spices and lemon juice (best with the potatoes, but also perfect with rice of course). I tried to make a really big pot of that chicken soup and, often, after four good meals, there'd be just enough left over for lunch or light supper, if I included a salad or sandwich on the side. Our family of five in those "stretch a chicken until it squeals" days did include three smallish children. When those two boys hit their teen years, not so easy.
  10. No no no, silly girl. I'll pay of course (I edited previous post to remove confusion)! Would come this summer - sounds idyllic - but already obligated elsewhere. You won't need to spend a lot of time showing me around. You and I have much in common and we'll have tons to talk about. Not to mention cooking and eating. Doubt I'll be able to import any fresh fruit from the Rio Grande Valley. But I'm pretty sure I can schlep several dozen hand-made pork tamales from these nice folks: http://www.houstonpress.com/location/alamo-tamale-and-taco-6796427
  11. So I checked - $500 rt air Houston/Halifax; $500 for car rental. Perfectly doable. Can't make it this summer, but probably next. Is it too early to start planning an eGullet Nova Scotia meet-up?
  12. Maybe my sister bought it. She's in the antique business and she loves sterling flatware sets and she buys all she can get her hands on. She has a lot of it. She particularly likes buying monogramed sets because they're cheaper. And she uses them. Like much of our family, she never lets the truth get in the way of a good story, so one of her favorite things to do is to "invent" relatives from whom she has inherited these assorted sterling sets - a dear maiden aunt that was a spy for the Allies in WWII, assorted grandparents, whatever strikes her as an entertaining tale at the time. Younger folks here undoubtedly don't remember a time when nobody, absolutely nobody, had stainless steel flatware. It was really crappy and awful. If you couldn't afford sterling, and lots of people couldn't of course, you had silverplate. Some of that, especially the heavily-plated "railroad silver" has become quite collectible. Like most brides in the 50's and 60's, I, too, selected my silver pattern, along with the china and crystal. I got a lot of it as wedding presents, primarily because I got married in the Philippines, and most of our relatives lived in the US. Silver was easy to mail. So I wound up with service for about 24. I still have it, and use it all the time. Love it. A reminder of a lifestyle gone by, I guess.
  13. How about a B&B as others have suggested, but keep it very small, renting rooms for a few weeks, focusing on folks for whom the solitude would be a plus - a retreat for artists, writers, photographers, hikers, etc. Market toward single women like yourself. And require them to show up with a few bags of foodstuffs and recipes. Advertise in publications like Writer's Weekly, AARP. It would require minimal initial investment - not much more than if a friend or two were coming for a visit (although you might need a business license/permit of some sort and insurance). I've visited Nova Scotia and Cape Breton and that sounds like absolute heaven to me. Maybe, if the price is right, I'll be your first customer. And I feel the need to add here that I'm dead serious.
  14. Well, it is Vegas. Perhaps a bad night at the craps table?
  15. So clearly I was being a smartass about Padma and Tom and the red slip. But I do think that's one of the main reasons why Padma is there. She looks good. I'm sure that when the powers-that-be envisioned the show, they elected to follow the standard competition show format: contestants, judges, host. And they began auditions for the host. They may have decided from the beginning that they wanted an attractive, well-spoken woman, or they simply may have narrowed down a wide range of potential hosts to her. I don't know. But her role clearly began as a host/hostess/"presenter" in the manner of other hosts/hostesses/presenters, like Kat Deeley, Ryan Seacrest, Carson Daly, Nick Cannon, etc. She's there to say "Welcome" and "Our guest judge is" and "Your next challenge is" and "Please pack your knives and go." Most of these competition shows have this same format. Gordon Ramsey is the exception. On his shows, he's the host, judge, jury, executioner, but that doesn't seem to me to be the standard. How Padma morphed into what appears to be a full-fledged judge, I'm not so sure. But most likely she's there to stay. She's one of the producers. And with the exception of here, there doesn't seem to be a huge public outcry to get rid of her.
  16. The red slip looked terrible on Tom. Seriously, that's why she's there. Obviously.
  17. Oh, and PS Shelby, not sure if it makes any difference regarding your "watching online" capabilities, but those LCK episodes are short. They're not like the 1-hour TV shows. They're usually less than 10 minutes and you can scoot them right along to the end and the judging if you wish. Of course, it's all over for this season, and it may not have made any difference regardless, but just wanted to be sure you knew.
  18. I spend a lot of time in Mexico and a very popular breakfast there is called a "bionico." Naturally, it varies somewhat but, usually, it's yogurt topped with granola and fresh fruit. I don't often have granola around the house because the brands I particularly like seem loaded with fat and sugar and I go through them too quickly. I do, however, always have some dry cereal. Like others, I mainly eat it with milk as a late-night snack, rather than for breakfast. My current favorite brand is the Great Grains with raisins, dates and pecans. So my current fave breakfast is my version of a bionico - yogurt topped with cereal and fresh fruit.
  19. Jaymes


    Did you order? How was everything? As for me, ordered chicken & wild rice soup - just okay, won't order again; tomato basil soup - thought it was very tasty and handy to have, will order again; tortilla soup - also pretty tasty, added fresh tortilla strips and cheese, will order again; shrimp scampi-style - kind of surprisingly good, will order again; mini-corn-dogs - guilty pleasure, got two boxes, took one to grandkids, entire box gone in one sitting, ordering three more boxes today; crab cakes - pretty good and I enjoyed them but not great and I can definitely do better easily enough that don't think I'm going to order again. Still haven't tried the sea scallops and the "Fire Roasted Mixed Vegetables." All in all, a success.
  20. It was I that posted the link, rather than the results. Not that I have anything against posting reviews and results of LCK here - in fact, that's pretty standard - but I didn't know that you basically can't see the episodes online, and I thought that breakfast one was particularly good. As for the current status - I'm happy that Carl made it through to the final of LCK. The "no cheese with seafood" thing kind of irks me. I get that strongly-flavored cheeses overwhelm delicate fish and you want a balance and compliment of flavors. But sometimes it seems like some sort of hard and fast "rule" gets stuck in people's brains and robs them of nuance and independent judgement. When Chef Traci said (and was she actually on a soapbox?), "That's my pet peeve!" I didn't think that was enough of a reason. Wish she had addressed the actual result of the dish rather than just basically saying, "I hate that, no matter what, and you did it, you broke the rule, and how dare you, and you're an ignorant moron, and everybody knows not to do that, and you should have known better, and you'd better never do that again, and that's all there is to it, and you're not advancing." IIRC, Tom preferred the dish...is that right? Because, if so, it couldn't have been so awful that it should have been dismissed out of hand. And I can think of a great many dishes combining fish/seafood and cheese that are pretty darn tasty. Including one of my personal favorites, Lobster Thermidor. However, if the "clues" in the episode are any indication, this is it for Carl. When Tom walked over to talk to Amar, Amar said, "Watch this" and sprinkled salt on his fish. Then, after Carl and Amar finished their dishes and tasted one another's, Carl said something to Amar about his dish being "too salty." And then Tom said the final winner came down to salt. So, unless there's a startling reversal of tradition and Amar's dish was too salty, he's got it.
  21. Much as I'm a fan of mimosas at brunch-time (and I most certainly am), these folks have another hour's worth of driving. Think I'd save the alcohol for the return trip.
  22. Thank you so much for this. Boy, do I ever love egg tarts. Those pictures remind me of joining the "egg tart scrum" that meets daily to do battle at Golden Gate Bakery in San Francisco. Thankfully, I've discovered some that are just as good, if not better, at Eck Bakery here in Houston. http://www.houstonpress.com/restaurants/the-best-thing-i-ever-ate-egg-custard-tart-at-eck-bakery-6410615 But your excellent instructions make me wonder if perhaps I could make them myself!
  23. Jaymes


    Pretty smart. Thanks.
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