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Everything posted by Jaymes

  1. Jaymes


    As I said above, I definitely can see a time approaching when the notion of becoming a regular customer of Schwan's will appeal to me. Thanks to this post, it appears to be approaching rather more rapidly than I envisioned.
  2. Jaymes


    Well... That depends entirely upon exactly who the "one" is. And which Schwan products we are discussing. Not everybody likes to cook, or wants to cook, or has time to cook, or knows how to cook, or is a good cook. I certainly know people that can't produce an edible meal. And others that can but never wanted to. And even more that can, and wanted to, and did, but are tired, or incapable, of doing it now. Not to mention that, in my experience anyway, few of even the most competent and enthusiastic cooks are turning out chocolate-covered ice-cream bars, a Schwan's staple. http://www.schwans.com/products/category?c1=9403&c2=10445 Schwan's got its start, and its early fame, as a dairy, back in the '50s. I remember my grandmother always having a freezer full of assorted Schwan's treats. She was a legendary cook but, like most cooks, there were some items she'd rather just buy. Also, many, many people take advantage of a myriad of options other than cooking - they buy convenience foods in grocery stores, they eat in restaurants, they bring home takeout. Schwan's is just another one of those options. And they deliver. As I said above, I still drive, and I still cook - and god knows I don't need a freezer full of ice cream. So Schwan's is not yet appealing to me. But I definitely can see a time approaching when it will be.
  3. Jaymes


    Lots of folks here in my senior complex regularly get things from Schwan's. Many order online. If they're not going to be home at delivery time, they leave a small cooler with some of those frozen cool-packs on the front porch. It works out particularly well for those that are either not fond of, or no longer can, drive, or cook. For me, since I still do both, it's not worth the cost, but some of the most popular things seem to be the ice cream and frozen treats. And the roast beef - which I was even served at a neighbor's small dinner party: http://www.schwans.com/products/product?id=58043
  4. Well, god love him, at 94 he's been unable to "go merrily on his way" for several years now. But, yes, of course. He orders a meal. And then he mixes up his lemonade. However, several folks in this thread have indicated that they find the practice of mixing up one's own lemonade unseemly under any circumstances. So I felt the need to point out that there might be more reasons for somebody to be doing that other than just because they want free lemonade.
  5. Amen to that. My father does this all the time and has for years. He can't stand the "lemonade" that most restaurants serve - and, for that matter, neither can I. It's so strong, and cloyingly sweet. Not only does my father not like the strength and sweetness of the lemonade that most restaurants make from a powdered mix, he says it has an off-putting artificial and chemical taste. In addition to that, he, like so many older folks, is now a borderline diabetic, so these days he makes his "quicky" lemonade with one of the sugar substitutes that is on the table - presumably for his use, right? He never "orders a plate of lemon slices," however. The water most often comes with one slice already in it, or perched on the side, and that's usually enough for him. If it's a really big glass of water, he might ask for one or two additional slices, or point at one of our glasses and ask if we are going to use our lemon slice. It's not cheapness. He does this even when a drink is included with his order and the restaurant-made lemonade would cost him nothing extra. He does this even when my sister has ordered a pitcher of lemonade for herself and her kids and grandkids. And, frankly, if the server brings him a glass of water with a lemon wedge, and if there is a container with sugar and sugar substitute already on the table, and if all of these things have been made available for his use, I don't see any problem whatsoever with him combining them howsoever he sees fit.
  6. Which is exactly what I recommended on that other, identical, "What do I do with so many limes?" thread. Thought about reposting the same exact suggestion here as others have done, but seemed silly and a waste of space.
  7. Me, too. And Kwame's pickled shrimp salad.
  8. My dad lived in Saigon for a time during the mid '50s (the last days of 'Indochine' when the French were still there) and I was lucky enough to get to take a trip back there with him. In fact, I got to return with him to many of the places he has been over the 95 years he's been alive. Our trip was a four-month 'Around the World' cruise and it included several destinations in Asia. We sailed from the South China Sea up the Mekong River to Saigon. When my father lived in Saigon (he actually lived in Cholon, the Chinese section), he spent a lot of time at the Rex Hotel and very much wanted me to see it. So we went for lunch. Out in front of the Rex were two young girls selling flowers. They were so sweet and cute, wearing their school uniforms and smiling, and my dad was quite taken with them. In the dining room there was a large window overlooking the street and he sat there for a few minutes watching the girls. Then he sent me out to ask if they'd like to come inside and join us, which they did, laughing and giggling (although one of them was barefoot and had to run home to get some shoes). My dad told our waiter to bring the girls whatever they wanted, which he did. It was all served family-style, so we got to sample everything they ordered. There was far too much food for us to finish so, after we had a "pleasant sufficiency" - which was what we had to say (as opposed to "I'm full") when, as children, we were asking to be excused from the table - everything was boxed up for the girls to take home to their families. I really wish I had written down everything we ordered, and taken pictures of the food but, what with all the excitement, didn't think to do it. I just can't help myself. Got to post the photo of my papa and our luncheon guests at the Rex Hotel.
  9. So, like I said, "Having lived in Asia for several years..."
  10. Andie - was looking over this thread and noticed this. Thought it sounded interesting so clicked on the link. Looks like it no longer works. Any chance you could post the recipe?
  11. Having lived in Asia for several years, I developed an unfortunate love for mangosteens. At the time I had no idea that they would be so difficult, essentially impossible, to find after I left. Not only are they my favorite fruit on the palate, they're my favorite to behold. I never grew complacent about cutting into the luxurious purple orb and finding the snow-white clusters of tangy goodness inside. That's been many decades ago but I've continued following the story about somehow getting fresh mangosteens in the US. So, imagine my pleasure a few years back to read that they were being imported. Houston has one of the largest Asian immigrant populations in the US and, as a result, a great many Asian markets. I've found fresh mangosteens in the produce department at 99 Ranch, H-Mart, Thai Lao, Viet Hoa, among others. And, despite the fact that even from the outside they're not so beautiful as the ones I routinely bought when I lived in Asia, I paid (dearly, as Huiray says) for them and took them home. Cutting into them is heartbreaking. Hoping to see fat white juicy sweet tangy clusters nestled in their purple nest and finding instead small ugly brown tasteless ones finally became just too much to bear. I've given up. Such a longing persists, however. Sometimes I've even wondered if perhaps I would have been better off not to have fallen in love with them in the first place. But it's true. With the mangosteen as with other things, it's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
  12. Any more news about where you might land? I'm working on tentative plans for next big road trip...
  13. My friend has been buying Smucker's Pineapple Preserves. But, since it's a present, I'd like to find something a little fancier. Although I am well aware, I should add, that fancier doesn't necessarily mean better. Still, since it's a present, am hopeful I can find something that will surprise and delight him. He's an aging relative (by marriage) and can be a bit cranky. I'm sure there are a great many folks here that know exactly how that goes.
  14. I want to purchase some commercially-prepared pineapple preserves as a present for a friend. This isn't something I am accustomed to buying, so don't have a brand favorite. Obviously I see the "usual" brands available on supermarket shelves, but am wondering if anyone that likes and uses commercially-bottled has a particular favorite to recommend. I do have access to a great many large import and specialty markets here in Houston, so can probably find anything anyone might recommend but, if not, will happily order online. I know I could make it myself, but don't want to. And just don't know what to look for. Thoughts?
  15. First thing I want to reiterate is that I'm not saying I am personally opposed to, or in favor of, any changes in the tipping system. Honestly, I don't really care. Neither I nor any of my family is currently working as a server although, in the past, we all have. And I'm a generous tipper, so if the initial cost of the restaurant food goes up, that won't affect me. But the bottom line for me is that I believe it's up to the servers themselves to make that determination. And not up to me to decide, no matter how compassionate and wonderful and moral and caring and empathetic and sensitive a person I believe myself to be. But, like many of us, I do have an opinion. And I find these posts that seem to be insulting the general dining public (including me) as being too greedy and selfish to want servers to earn a living wage slightly offensive. So to you I say that I guess I have more faith in the innate compassion of most human beings than you do. There have been a great many instances throughout history whereby some exploited, downtrodden, dire, desperate group have made their plight known and others rally to the cause to fix things, and things do get better. It's not hard to find lots of examples throughout the world, including in the US. I still insist that if the servers were really so miserable as you seem to think with the current situation, and if they were out on the sidewalks striking because those greedy, selfish, customers and greedy, selfish, wealthy restaurant owners refused to do anything to help the poor victimized impoverished and exploited servers, the public would indeed rally 'round and do something, and things would change. But they're not. They're not out on the sidewalks in front of the restaurants. They're not writing opinion letters to all the news outlets. And just saying, "Oh they can't; they're afraid they'll be fired!" isn't a good reason. That's always been the case with exploited workers demonstrating and striking to get publicity in order to make their situation known. That's always how it goes. That's always the risk. But, when their plight is dire enough, they take it. So, if their situation is so unfair, why aren't they out in front of restaurants carrying signs and demanding change? I repeat that, although some servers probably don't like the current system, a great many more do like the current system just fine. And that if they didn't, they would be mounting some sort of huge revolt, and that we would all know about it, and that the general public would support a change. You indicate that you don't believe that. You seem to believe that only you are thoughtful, rational, sympathetic and compassionate enough to support a change - in comparison, of course, with the majority of the restaurant-going populace that are just a bunch of jerks. I found this article really interesting. The restaurant owner is considering going to a higher wage for FOH, but NOT because he thinks they're not earning enough. His rationale is exactly the opposite. He says they make too much in comparison to the BOH, and he's planning on taking some of the FOH money away from them and giving it to the BOH. This really flies in the face of those that believe the situation is the other way around. Excerpt from article: "Then we have another problem, which is that when a server is getting $10.50 or $11 an hour, plus they’re pulling down between $150 and $300 a night in tips, it’s pretty hard to look a cook in the eye and say we cant afford to pay you $15 or $16 an hour. But of course if we make wages equitable between front and back of house, we will go out of business in a matter of months or weeks. It’s just…we can’t do it. It’s not possible. So everybody’s looking for a solution." And this: "But yeah, it’s a crisis morally. I started out as a line cook. I was a line cook for two decades on and off. You would make $8, $10, $12 an hour. You’d work 10 hours and you’d make $80, $90, $100. And meanwhile the serving staff would walk away with 200 bucks. They were sniffing cocaine and fucking the waitresses and eating steak. We were drinking Budweiser and smoking dirt weed. And that was just the way it was. In those days, you could rent an apartment and you could live on being a cook almost anywhere you were. Unfortunately, that’s not true anymore." Article: http://www.playboy.com/articles/pok-poks-tipping-experiment-didnt-work-and-chef-andy-ricker-blames-l-a So it turns out that it's the poor cooks on salary that we all really need to worry about. Again, I repeat, I'm not taking a personal stance for or against the changes. But I don't like being told that, if I'm not manning the barricades for a "livable wage" for the poor exploited servers, it's because I'm a selfish, greedy, soulless, uncompassionate, unmitigated asshole. Or because I'm simply too stupid to really understand the situation. .
  16. Well, yes, it is sweeter than "regular." I don't know what brand you bought and maybe it's sweeter than the brands I buy, but perhaps my family and I just like it sweeter than you do. Sorry. But, hey, next time you'll know, and your kraut & chops meal looks terrific, so not complete waste, right?
  17. I'll definitely have to do that, because this entire concept is completely new to me. My huevos rancheros start with a crispy corn tortilla, topped with some beans (either pot beans or refried), a freshly-fried egg, a ladle of salsa, and maybe a sprinkle of cheese. Whole thing never takes me more than five minutes. The runny egg yolk is pretty important. As is the crispy tortilla. Have no idea how one could do either of those things in a slow cooker. I am going to have to see what Oprah has to say about it. Never really thought of her as a Mexican cook, but, you never know. I'm sure curious.
  18. Thanks for reminding me that I can look around and buy some at a bargain whenever I see them, at camping and hardware stores. And probably other retailers as well. Seems obvious when you think about it. But I hadn't.
  19. Not sure what sort of sauerkraut you buy, but I usually get "Bavarian Style." Already has the caraway seeds, and a hint of sweetness. Love the stuff. Many brands, but I think they're all good, especially when I'm pressed for time.
  20. I see your pot isn't right in the flame. I'll admit one reason I wanted to cook with the flame is aesthetic. I like the black sooty smoky char look on the bottoms of clay cookery - the look that clearly indicates you use it for the purpose for which it was intended. I wonder if I'm going to be able to sit my pot right on my brand new burner, or if I'll have to use some sort of heat diffuser anyway. Anybody know? If so, maybe I'll just go ahead and use the electric stove and simmerpat. And rub the bottom with ashes. Kind of like distressing a brand new chifforobe. Cheating, I know, but if it looks good...
  21. ...and a couple of new potatoes... Oh, wait. Carbs. But, hey...
  22. Well, there are different types of rib dishes, many of which don't require "finishing off." Perhaps short ribs cooked some sort of hot-pot or Asian style. And I'm a big fan of ribs & Bavarian sauerkraut - although it's true that not everyone likes the aroma of sauerkraut cooking as much as I do. But you could just go with German red cabbage - not quite so pungent.
  23. I've also ordered a couple of those simmermats that someone recommended. Going to cover all bases. And I really want to thank each of you that took time to respond to help me out. I've really learned a lot, and I mean a lot. I think this little butane burner is going to work just fine for me and, if I decide 'better safe than sorry' regarding using it indoors to simmer those beans for five or six hours, I'll still have it when the next hurricane blows through. All in all, a nice thing to have. For those of you that suggested a larger propane tank, believe me, that would be my first choice if I felt it were an option at all. I've always had one of those when we lived somewhere without gas in the house and I really do miss it. But, as I say, I live in a small apartment (650sf) with a very small balcony (40sf) by myself (so cooking for only one) in an old folks' home Active Senior Retirement Resort and a larger propane tank is just not workable. But thanks again for all your suggestions. Been kinda fun, I think.
  24. Yes, that does look pretty wonderful, but my circumstance is that I live in a small apartment with a small balcony. Not sure that larger appliance would work for me. Also, there are plenty of folks that will tell you that, at this late date, I don't need to worry about becoming "batshit crazy." That train left Nutsville Station long ago. And I was in the club car. ________________
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