Jump to content


legacy participant
  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About VMBrasseur

  • Birthday 04/30/1972

Recent Profile Visitors

266 profile views
  1. the WATER topic

    Favorite Waters? Why Alice, of course. I do Brita-filtered at home, when I drink plain water at all. Aside from that it's normally plain Oakland/Berkeley tap water for tea. Yes, I know the filtered would be better. But my Brita pitcher doesn't hold enough to fill my kettle, so I just use all tap rather than go halfway. --V
  2. I cook dinners at home at least five times a week, breakfast (old-fashioned put it in a pot heat it and wait a while whole grains) at least twice a week. Lunch is almost always leftovers from dinner earlier in the week. I used to go out even more often, but since I've admitted how much I enjoy cooking (which, not coincidentally, coincided with me getting my own kitchen again) I try to stay at home and cook. Practice makes perfect, after all. My fridge is always waaaaay too stocked with produce and such things. Plus, when I do go out I like it to be to nice places. Which, in this area (SF Bay), are rarely cheap. So limiting it to once or twice a week helps keep costs down. Which is a good thing, considering how much I spend on groceries every two weeks. --V
  3. Freezing pre-soaked beans?

    I use the overnight soak method, since it's more "fire and forget" than the boil/sit method. Low-impact is good. I'd imagine that the beans would be cooked in their frozen state. I can't see how thawing them would really help/hinder all that much. I cooked a bunch of black beans this weekend (which is what got me thinking about this matter). It took, oh, an hour and a half or so for about a pound of beans. I see the logic in your theory that the frozen pre-soaked beans might cook slightly faster. And yeah, they'd be mushier I bet. I guess personal preference would kick in here. Another use for this occurred to me last night: falafel. For falafel, a lot of recipes call for pre-soaked uncooked garbanzo beans. If you have some hanging out in the freezer already it'd help streamline that process a bit. Of course, this is a situation where you'd probably want to thaw the little buggers. I'd hate to think of the damage that can be done by a frozen garbanzo bean accelerated to food processor speeds... --V
  4. Freezing pre-soaked beans?

    I've read of at least two benefits of soaking them. The most popular and obvious one is that it takes less time to actually cook the beans. However, considering that the soaking itself takes time I'm not sure how this is a big advantage (aside from the fact that the soaking is entirely unsupervised and the cooking is not). The second benefit I've read of is that soaking helps to lessen the gas-causing enzymes in the beans. I'm not sure how much the soaking lessens it, and actually don't particularly care either way. Has anyone else heard this about soaking? Myself, I tend to soak them because I normally don't have huge stretches of time during which I'm in my apartment for long enough for unsoaked beans to cook. It's hard enough lately to find the time for tending the cooking of soaked beans. --V
  5. Freezing pre-soaked beans?

    I was making a pot of black beans this weekend. It's just something I do once in a while, then I take the cooked beans, measure them out and freeze them in 1 or 2 cup bags. It makes it really easy to just grab what I need when I need it. While I was doing this I wondered, "What's to stop a person from just pre-soaking these and then freezing the soaked beans rather than cooking them right then?" That way, assuming I had the time to devote to cooking them fresh at that time, I could do so. Has anyone ever done this? I currently don't see any reason why I'd need to, but I'm curious as to whether it's advisable. Just in case I ever decide to try it. --V
  6. The French Laundry 2001 - 2005

    Tickets? I don't need no steenkin' tickets. I live in Oakland. Napa is practically in my backyard. So do they just not answer the phone? Or do they give you the runaround when they pick up the call? I'd already been expecting to plan waaaaay in advance for this, so a bit of a wait on reservations isn't a problem. --V
  7. The French Laundry 2001 - 2005

    So what exactly did you have to go through during those weeks of getting a reservation? I've been toying with the idea of trying it myself lately and would like to know what sort of an ordeal to expect. --V
  8. La Folie

    I'm looking forward to reading what you have to say. Even though it's just the other side of the Bay Bridge, I never seem to get over to San Francisco. Not even for the great food. This way I can live vicariously through your culinary experiences. --V
  9. La Folie

    Google is a thing of beauty: La Folie Webpage Their page unfortunately doesn't include a wine list. And here is the SF Chronicle Review. They appear to have greatly enjoyed their meal. Enough to give it three stars. However the service is apparently a little lacking. According to CitySearch, they have a very good wine list. When are your reservations? I hope you get the chance to report back after wards! --V
  10. Garlic + salt = paste?

    Makes sense AND is helpful. You go, girl! --V
  11. Garlic + salt = paste?

    So what you're saying, Tommy, is that I need to add "just enough." OK, maybe I'll experiment with this a bit in the next couple of weeks. With the amount of garlic I use, I think I'll have plenty of chances to try this out. I might need a larger mortar though (mine is tiny, mostly for dried herbs). Time for an Ikea run! --V
  12. Garlic + salt = paste?

    So about how much salt do you have to add, Adam? --V
  13. Garlic + salt = paste?

    I've occasionally read about someone chopping garlic while adding salt in order to get some sort of a garlic paste. I tried this last night on a whim and just ended up with minced garlic. Which wasn't so bad, I guess, but not what I was expecting. So how exactly is this done? And what would I use this concoction for? --V
  14. Bread knife recommendations?

    I tried putting the bread on its side when cutting with my current knife (recap: it's an Oxo Good Grip). Even with the slightest pressure though, I ended up squishing and mangling the bread. Not a good scene. I'm now of the mind that my current knife is now and always has been far from sharp enough to deal with the kinds of bread I like best. --V
  15. Maybe I just have always used craptacular garlic presses, but I can never get any sort of garlic at all to squeeze through those tiny holes. Is that actually the intended goal of the press? Or is it just to squish the dickens out of the clove? --V, who still just doesn't get it