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Keith Orr

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Everything posted by Keith Orr

  1. What a lovely gift! The knive is unusual and kind of scary looking - here's the Williams Sonoma description: Perfect paring knife has a unique hybrid shape that combines the characteristics of a standard paring knife, sheep’s-foot paring and bird’s beak paring knife for deft preparation of fruits and vegetables.
  2. With that much sugar it should be pretty stable in the refrigerator. If you add a couple of oz of overproof rum or everclear it should last indefinitely in the refrigerator.
  3. The difference I see is that if I'm making fake cherries, I can start with top-quality real cherries. With industrially produced fake cherries, the quality of the cherries themselves may be questionable. In other words, it's not the magic white powders that make the fake cherries "gross"; it's the quality of the natural ingredients. I come from the land of fake cherries - Oregon produces industrial tank loads of them. The quality of the cherries used is very high in order to produce a blemish free product. What they do with the fruit is another thing. Bleaching the color out of them until they are whiter than white, treatment to give them texture, coloring and flavoring is added.
  4. It's National Margarita Day! I discovered that after I had consumed an Old Fashioned. I made up for it by drinking two Margaritas!
  5. Ciao Italia with Mary Ann Esposito, which claims to be America's longest running cooking show. I can't bear to watch it. Cucina Amore wasn't my favorite show and Nick Stellino (born in Palermo Sicily) seemed more like an enthusiastic actor than a chef - some of the things he did skills wise were pretty amateurish. His bio says he apprenticed with the best chefs in America, but makes no claim of ever owning a restaurant. That being said he seems to support himself well with his cooking shows, books and motivational speaking if his wardrobe is any indication of his success.
  6. I like the the Red Beans & Rice Recipe from Chuck Taggart's Gumbo Pages. It's worth the effort to start a couple of days early and make the pickle meat. Good Andouile and Meaty, Smoky Ham Hocks are worth their weight in gold too. Also a critical element of the full enjoyment of Red Beans and Rice in my house is a Zydeco playing loudly and a liberal dosing of Sazeracs!
  7. Picked up a SodaStream at Costco today - came with the larger CO2 tank, two of the 1 liter bottles with the stainless bottoms and an assortment of flavorings - all for $99.99. So far so good - I filled the bottles with water from the Brita Pitcher. The main reason I bought it was that I really hate the carting bottles of the store bought product and returning the bottles afterwards. I don't think that the financial savings will be large, but the savings in time and aggravation will be. I figure by the time I run through the 130 liter CO2 tank I'll have broken even dollar wise at about a dollar per liter. It appears that refilled CO2 containers are available locally for $30 which would bring the refill price per bottle down to about a quarter each. The water bottles are supposed to be replaced every three years, which would work out to $10 per year for the more expensive style that came with my unit - so add another nickle or two to the per bottle price and I'm still a happy camper. I don't disagree with the poster who said that using a Cornelius Keg in his Keggerator is cheaper, but I don't have a Keggerator or the space to put one even if I had the desire to have one. Also if anyone is so inclined, there is an adapter available on eBay for $90 that lets you hook up a larger CO2 tank - It kind of takes it out of the realm of kitchen countertop friendly though.
  8. Most mint used for flavoring is distilled into peppermint oil. Peppermint oil is readily available and may make a better end product, if not a true infusion.
  9. There's a local roaster here in Portland that has developed reusable filters for the Aeropress and a cone type drip coffee maker - they are different than the gold type screens. They use some sort of micro acid etch process I think. They come in a couple of grades of fineness and may be a good option for something between a French Press and a paper filter. There's a ton of coffee geekness on their website http://coava.myshopify.com/collections/store Darienne - I find a lot of difference in the way different coffees affect me - French Roast from one roaster can have a totally different level of acidity than from another roaster
  10. Here's a fairly new Vermouth Resource courtesy of Martin Doudoroff - Vermouth 101
  11. FWIW also the name of a Salem Oregon Microbrewery (Gilgamesh) Edit to add - I was trying to reply to the Gilgamesh Cocktail Post
  12. Call around to your local homebrewing stores, they all seem to carry dried elderflowers
  13. So Bitter Orange season is coming up and I'm going to make more of Boston Apothecary's orange liqueur. I've reread the thread and I'll comment generally. I had no problem with louching. This stuff is better than second rate triple sec in my opinion. In fact it's pretty damn good and the price is right. I've made cocktails with it and Cointreau and most of the time the difference in overall quality is insignificant (in my opinion). I've had great success using this product in Sidecars, Mai Tais (I make my own orgeat too) and Margaritas.
  14. I drink gallons of cold brewed iced tea in the summer. I mostly use the Trader Joe's Mango Black Tea, occasionally Earl Grey - 8 bags in a half gallon jar, fill it with water and put it in the fridge overnight. I pull the bags out when I pour the first glass. I like it straight on ice, no sugar or lemon.
  15. I just came across this thread during a search. According to Dept of Agriculture, there are patches of blackthorn in the NE where is has become naturalized. According to legend there are some thickets of blackthorn here in the Willamette Valley of Western Oregon - I haven't figured out where just yet. While I'm looking for the naturalize patches around here I'm working on growing my own. I acquires eight rooted suckers this weekend and I've got them potted up and I'll plant them on my property once they're going well. Hopefully in the not too distant future I'll be picking my own. Unfortunately the fruit from the bush I got the suckers from is spoken for.
  16. So my original effort was a failure - the dried orange peels I bought had very little flavor and less aromatics. I saw Boston Apothecary's post a while back and using 100 proof vodka made a couple of litres of sour orange peel flavored infusion that I'm very happy with.
  17. I think it's certainly worth a try. It's easy enough to make that you might want to try aging a batch and making a fresh batch to make a side by side comparison. Might be a good topic for your blog... One thing about the amount of sugar in Morganthaler's recipe is that is makes nog that's comparable in sweetness to the commercial product. I prefer it less sweet.
  18. I think Morgenthaler's recipe is great for quick and dirty eggnog - use 1/3 less sugar though or it's overly sweet to my tastes. I don't think it's in the same league as eggnog that's aged for a minimum of three days and more is even better. I also agree that even for this Yankee, bourbon is a must ingredient.
  19. It's eggnog season again, at least in my mind. I just made a two batches of my Shop Eggnog. I varied a bit in one batch by using Whaler's Rum which is darker and sweeter than the Cruzan 2 yo I usually use. I also substituted some housemade pimento dram for some of the brandy. The traditional batch is aging for Thanksgiving festivities.
  20. Teardrop is the ultimate Cocktail Experience. Clyde Commons is a wonderful place, but the old wood grain experience was Erickson's - at one time the longest bar in the world, at least according to local legend. It was a working man's bar and probably had very little other than alcohol in common with Clyde. Clyde Commons has much to recommend it. Even more so since Morgenthaler took the helm at the bar, but it's more than cocktails and IMHO is the best Happy Hour place in Portland. Second best, but first in other's opinion would be Ten-01. Teardrop is the Cocktail Intellectual's hang out of choice. Personally a couple of Clyde Common HH cocktails, a burger and fries followed up with a visit to Teardrop is as good as it gets for this Oregon Boy.
  21. Ten01 Bistro with Kelley Swenson behind the bar is pretty good. Heard good things about 50 Plates, though they were too mobbed the last time I was in town and I didn't get a chance to visit the bar. Jeffrey Morgenthaler just started working at Clyde Common, which already had a decent bar. And best of all, these are all within a few blocks of each other (and of Teardrop). ← Thanks for the recommendations Paul. I'll hit as many as I can. By the way, I'm a big fan of your blog. Lots of great info and very well written. If you ever happen to find yourself in Reno, NV stop by Chapel Tavern. We're a small place but we're doing our best to raise the bar, so to speak, in the land of sweet and sour long islands and red-headed sluts. Thanks again. ← Those three places are probably the cream of crop. Happy Hour starts at 3 pm at Clyde Common and they have great $5 cocktails, HH Burgers & Fries and then it's a couple of blocks to Teardrop and or Ten01. Powell's Books which is an enormous local bookstore is right in the middle - a square block multistory bookstore.
  22. Thanks, Tim. But are you assuming that the alcohol and water of the spirit get absorbed into the solid matter at an identical rate? Because it's been my experience that the solids (fruit, herbs, etc.) absorb more alcohol than water. If you taste a piece of fruit that's been macerating in booze for some time, it hardly tastes like fruit, just fibrous booze. And the resultant liquid is much more flavorful and has a lower proof than the spirit used, hence the ability to freeze. Without a hydrometer, how can you tell what the proof is? ← Hi, I never assumed that precision was important to this equation. If you have to be that precise, a $10 hydrometer is the obvious solution, and probably faster than a caculator. Tim ← A Hydrometer won't tell you the alcohol of the resulting liquid only the specific gravity of the finished product. Alcohol has a lower specific gravity than water, sugar a higher specific gravity. You can come up with an approximate amount of alcohol by comparing the volume of alcohol you started with and the volume of the finished product. I.e if you started out with a liter of 100 proof vodka and you end up with 1.25 liters of finished product it would be about 80 proof.
  23. Yeah, that's exactly what I will do. I've heard there are some brands of around, but I don't see much point in searching them out for a couple cocktails. Prolly, the quick orange infusion is superior, anyway.← I'd been looking for an excuse to make something with my homemade apricot brandy and this drink looked interesting. I didn't have any orange gin so I used a couple of dashes of Angostura Orange Bitters. I liked the drink. A bit sweet but the flavors worked well together.Moderator note: This topic continues in the Stomping Through the "Savoy" (2007–2008) topic (The original 'Stomping Through the "Savoy"' topic became too big for our servers to handle, so we've split it up).
  24. That seems like a lot of nutmeg, although I notice it's double what you had in an earlier batch. I find a little nutmeg goes a long way, even though I like it. So how strong is the nutmeg in the finished product? How are you crushing the nutmeg and how fine are the pieces? ← I can't get Wray and Nephew Overproof. Given the comments about using demerara, I was wondering what folks thought about using Cruzan Clipper at 120 proof to come up with a less rummy product at about the same proof?
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