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Everything posted by Meanderer

  1. Have your friends ask whichever merchant they deal with if they can buy the spices from the merchant's non-displayed stock. While what is on display is very photogenic, it is also going to be exposed for some unknown time to air and whatever else might be circulating around a very crowded place.
  2. When our first pumpkin comes out of the garden, we have to have pumpkin ravioli with sage browned butter and parmesan.
  3. I don't know whether milk has disappeared from dinner tables or not but judging by the area devoted to milk at my local supermarket, people around here must be drinking a considerable amount of it during some part of the day. We go through about a gallon each week ( two of us) for breakfast, lunch or dinner, depending on what we are eating.
  4. The only time I will eat sweet corn is when I have gotten it from my garden an hour or less before I sit down to eat it. I know the supersweet and sugar enhanced hybrids don't lose their flavor as quickly after picking but they are often too sweet and don't taste properly "corny" so I prefer the old-fashioned varieties that need to be eaten quickly.
  5. I just returned from vacation where I had the good fortune of having access for two weeks to a good variety of fresh fish and I took advantage of the opportunity. The best I had and as good, I think, as anything I've ever enjoyed was red mullet.
  6. We saw it on menus at several restaurants in Madeira when we visited in the late '90s. My wife ordered it once and I seem to recall that she liked it but, a decade and a half later, I have no recollection of how it might have been prepared.
  7. Walnuts, unless they are toasted. Cauliflower, unless it is raw.
  8. It looks like late blight, the same thing that caused the Irish potato famine in the 19th century. It wiped out all of my tomatoes this year and once before, perhaps 5 to 10 years ago.
  9. The rain has been spotty around this part of Pennsylvania for the past month and most of the thunderstorms had skipped to the north or south of us. This has resulted in an odd situation in the sweet corn patch which has short, skinny stalks and ears developing about 1.5 to 3 feet off the ground. The moisture that was around was evidently reserved for the ears, however, as they are full and juicy.
  10. I stumbled across the Bloomery Plantation Distillery near Charles Town W. Va. today and bought, among other things, a limoncello which was more tart and less murky than any limoncello available in the liquor stores near me. The owners are actually growing lemon trees in a greenhouse on the property, although I understand the trees are not yet sufficiently mature to produce fruit so they are currently buying lemons grown in California. They are also growing raspberries and plan to use fruit--they mentioned cherries and peaches--grown by local producers to make other distilled products.
  11. There must be some good cooks in the south who use Mrs. Filbert's mayonaise. After all, the jar says it is "made with southern pride."
  12. I'm a great fan of the Clynelish 14 year old so when I saw a bottle today I bought it. Now, as I sit here typing this, I am regretting that I didn't buy two bottles because the place I found it is two hours away and it isn't available anywhere nearby.
  13. Tamworth is a breed few farmers around here (mid-Atlantic U.S.) raise and that is a shame. The best pork I've eaten came from a farmer who raises Tamworths but his farm is located an hour and a half from here and he no longer comes to the farmers market nearby.
  14. My mother gets them now and again at the Saturday farmers market in St. Petersburg. I don't know where they are grown, though.
  15. Like other posters, we have solar panels which generate more electricity than we need much of the year. We also have a thousand gallon cistern that captures rainwater from the roof and its use theoretically reduces power consumption because our well pump is much lower in elevation than our cistern pump. I say theoretically because the water flows past a UV light contraption before it gets to any faucet and I don't really know how much electricity that unit consumes. In the kitchen, cistern water is used for dishwashing and handwashing, but not cooking or drinking. We also use it for showering and clothes washing. I ordinarily use water out of the tap on our rain barrels to wash my root vegetables from the garden and that requires no electricity (although that process can be quite uncomfortable when the outside temperature is low). During the growing season, I use any scalding water left over from cooking to kill weeds that grow in the cracks of the brick patio.
  16. I wonder how much, if any, of the sales decline of Michelob and Budweiser resulted from the takeover by Inbev in 2008. I recall reports quoting some loyal Bud drinkers who said they would no longer drink the beer if a foreign outfit owned the company. Perhaps they meant it.
  17. If you plan to serve sandwiches, I suggest you use good breads only. Nothing ruins an otherwise good sandwich better than thin tasteless bread. By the way, where is your establishment located? We get up to the northwest(Durness area) with some frequency and occasionally go over to Thurso and Wick, which is what comes immediately to my mind when someone says NW Scotland but I understand it could also refer to the Aberdeen region as well.
  18. We live in a largely rural area of Pennsylvania and the nearest decent supermarket is 13 miles away, or about 17 miles by the scenic route which has only 1 stoplight vs. 14 of the things on the direct route. Because of its distance we try to go only once a week but if I happen to be going through town on other business I may well pick up some things that were forgotten or not thought of on the weekly trip. Milk and eggs are a separate story as we get them directly from nearby farmers whenever we run out. The same goes for whatever fruits and vegetables we have a hunger for during the growing season that we don't grow ourselves. The area has an abundance of large and small farm stands open from late Spring into Fall.
  19. The last time we were in Asheville, about a year and a half ago, we ate at Fig Bistro. While the food was very good, what most impressed me at the time was how well the place was run from a service standpoint. I've never been to a restaurant as busy as that one was where the staff handled things so efficiently without making us seem rushed. A well-oiled machine with a pleasant human face is what it was.
  20. It was touch and go this year, but we managed to get our first taste of sweet corn from the garden last evening and that, to me, has always been the crowning event of the summer gardening season. This year, the corn overcame a lot of adversity. It has been very dry since Memorial Day, a fallen locust tree flattened a large percentage of the stalks three weeks ago, and the ground hogs have helped themselves to much of the remainder. Now that I have belatedly fenced them out, I figure we will have 2 to 3 dozen ears to eat if nothing else untoward happens to the patch. By the way, while ground hogs may be a garden menace around here, I have to give them credit for having an educated palate. The ones that are bedeviling us have burrows only 10 feet or so away from acres of field corn yet they are willing to cross 100 feet of relatively open ground to get to my sweet corn. They also seem to prefer Cherokee Purple tomatoes to my other varieties and I can't fault their taste in that respect either.
  21. We had two excellent dinners last month in Dublin--one at Hugo's and the other at the Winding Stair. However, the most memorable single dish I ate in the city was during lunch at the unprepossessing Czech Inn. I opted for a pork hock item and annoyed my dining companions terribly by telling them countless times both during and after the meal how good it was.
  22. Heat by itself doesn't affect my appetite but heat plus physical activity affects it dramtically. I tend to have a difficult time satisfying my thirst on warm days when I have been active and I think my stomach becomes so full of liquid that it has little desire to add solids.
  23. Meanderer

    Corn season 2011

    Never even heard of such a thing. Give us at least a hint of where you live, please. Rural Pennsylvania, approximately 125 miles west of Philadelphia.
  24. Meanderer

    Corn season 2011

    My wife recently ordered a pizza that had corn and fresh jalapenos. I tasted it and enjoyed the balance of the sugar and heat.
  25. I nominate Sen Sen. It is akin to eating licorice flavored asphalt and the taste remains in your mouth for a very long time.
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