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  1. I agree, I don't see the difference between feeding a dormant starter separately or just adding it to a bread recipe as-is, it's being fed both ways, I do it all the time. The only argument I can think of, and it is a good one, is that you want to make sure that starter is dormant, and not dead. It's not always easy to tell. A dormant starter usually will be more sour. Feeding a starter less often (deliberately) also makes it more sour from what I understand, although I couldn't explain the science.
  2. Chocolate egg seams

    I thought the topic must be a typo and was really supposed to be chocolate egg creams. Damn.
  3. NYU Dining Hall Shame

    I was looking through this thread and didn't feel compelled to respond. Not because I didn't have an opinion about it (of course), but I didn't have the energy to collect my thoughts. Then I was looking through the NY Times and came across this gem: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/17/world/asia/india-hitler-childrens-book.html?module=WatchingPortal&region=c-column-middle-span-region&pgType=Homepage&action=click&mediaId=thumb_square&state=standard&contentPlacement=4&version=internal&contentCollection=www.nytimes.com&contentId=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F2018%2F03%2F17%2Fworld%2Fasia%2Findia-hitler-childrens-book.html&eventName=Watching-article-click So yes, when we're on the receiving end, things look very, very different. I can remember all sorts of photos and pictures of blacks (children, adults, men, women) with big smiles and watermelons. Even as I kid I understood that an association was being made between black people and watermelon, and that it was intended to demean. It didn't stop me from loving watermelon, and I can't say I ever understood exactly how watermelon was intended to demean black people, but the intent of humiliation was there nevertheless. But the connecting thread is tenuous for most of us, and so we don't get it. And as with the article I linked to above, we are in trouble if we let ourselves forget these connecting threads. Then all we're left with is watermelon. And who doesn't like watermelon?
  4. Best First Cookbook

    One of my first cookbooks was Sunset Cookbook of Breads. I still remember the first loaves of white bread I made, they were great. As you said, there were clear simple recipes, ample pictures (black and white) that were meant to instruct rather than just sit there and look pretty, it was really a great beginning book. I have a copy that I bought at a second hand book store several years ago, it's a little different than the one I had but still basically the same. My friend's son was here a while ago because he wanted to learn how to bake bread (he's 25), and we used that book. The loaves still came out great.
  5. Good new topic, but apples and oranges, IMO. I'd still like to know why anyone thinks JOC is a POS.
  6. Best First Cookbook

    Interesting choices. I think the book one chooses would depend somewhat on whether you think the best way to learn to cook is by learning science and technique, or by following recipes and seeing what happens. Not that the two can't be combined, but different books will concentrate on different things.
  7. I disagree entirely. I think Bittman is pretty much of a sham, and Joy of Cooking in filled with an incredible amount of information. I don't think you're saying anything about people's mothers, but I'd like to know why you think Joy of Cooking is "POS." That's very different from just saying that you don't like it.
  8. And I'm sure everyone will love it.
  9. I'm no Bittman fan, but sounds like the gathering is supposed to be a social thing with food. Will anyone care if they're eating chicken braised in soy sauce with vinegar and garlic instead of chicken braised in vinegar with soy sauce and garlic, as long as it's good? I used to have that book and I gave it away a long time ago, and I am not a good cook; his entire "persona" rubs me the wrong way. But I know I've made things from it that I enjoyed. Maybe look though it until you find something suitable to your standards, I'm sure it's possible. (And no, I'm not being snarky.) (And Bittman will never, not in a million years, come close to Joy of Cooking!)
  10. I guess the same question can be applied to dining out habits: do you go to the same restaurants again and again? Or do you prefer to try new restaurants? I think for home cooking and dining out both, the choices are not mutually exclusive by any means.
  11. When do you over tip?

    This was commonplace in NY a while ago, but it seems to have stopped for the most part, at least in places I've been to lately. There is little that annoyed me more than this practice. I don't think it's because they cared about the money, it was usually just a few cents, but was more because they couldn't be bothered with the pennies. I don't care about the few pennies either, but it seriously bothered me that someone else thought they could make decisions about my money, that is completely out of line and I had no qualms telling the cashier to give me my full change. I ignore tip cups altogether. (They make me think of that Jackie Mason routine on Starbucks, he got that part spot-on.) In restaurants I usually tip 15-20% depending on all sorts of things. I don't do any high-end dining. The structure of our economy basically dictates that tipping is the norm and it will pretty much stay that way for quite a while. I'd like to see everyone (everyone, not just waitstaff) get a living wage, (and I'd also like to see lower rents), but we have a long way to go for that.
  12. Thanks. Every time I use it I cringe when it's time to get the cake out. A heavy dose of Baker's Joy seems to do the trick, but you can never be complacent with a mold like that.
  13. I'd replace the sour cream with buttermilk. Nothing beats buttermilk for tenderness in cakes.
  14. Unlike M&M's, which melt in your mouth but NOT on your hand ... (Sorry, I just couldn't resist.)