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Teri Everitt

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Everything posted by Teri Everitt

  1. I'll start. Mine seemed harmless enough. It was a muffin purchased at a fair-trade coffee shop last weekend. With all the strange things people eat, how could a mere muffin be that bad? Well, I'm really not into fear factor dining, so I don't eat many exotic foods. As for the Hippie Muffin of Doom: Heavy like a doorstop. Dry and flavourless, apparently it was fig and apple. I did spot some pieces of apple in it, complete with shriveled green peel attached. No figs were detected in the 1 1/2 bites I managed to eat. The second small bite was just to confirm that yes, it really was THAT bad. It was also apparently completely unsweetened. I asked the girl who sold it to me if it was sugar-free, and she replied that it was sweetened with a small amount of maple syrup. Measured with an eyedropper possibly. Harmless as it looked....it really was the worst thing I've had in my mouth all year. Since 2006 is almost over, let's hear yours. Also, I think the only fitting punishment for the person who baked it is to have to eat about 6 of them.
  2. You realize you're an EGulleter when..... ....while making kid's school lunches you realize that there is no bread in the house, so you whip out the crepe batter out of your fridge and make the kiddies crepes with berry compote for their lunch box.
  3. Hey Wendy, This is a master recipe that can be changed with different nuts and flavouring. I "inherited" it at one of my previous jobs, so forgive the awkward format. It's a fairly big recipe that can be mixed in a hobart. Ingredients: Butter 2 lbs Sugar 6 cups Eggs 16 large Flavour 2/3 cup (amaretto, hazelnut liqueur etc) AP Flour 17 cups Baking powder 1/4 cup Salt 2 teaspoons Anise seed 2 tablespoons ( you can chop it, but I usually pulse it in the food processor with a couple of cups of the flour) Toasted chopped nuts 4 cups Cream butter and sugar. Add in eggs and flavouring on low speed. Add dry ingredients in 2 stages. Dough will be sticky. Scale out at 1 3/4 lb and bundle in saran wrap. Freeze dough that you don't need right away. Use 3 bundles per batch and divide each bundle into 3 and shape into logs. Chill logs on parchment lined sheet pans and then bake at 300 degrees for 10 minutes. Rotate and bake for another 10 minutes. Let cool slightly and slice. Bake slices for 10 minutes, rotate and bake for another 10 minutes. For Orange Pecan : Pecans, orange zest and orange liqueur. For Cranberry Pistachio: Pistachios, chopped dried cranberries, whisky. For Cinnamon Hazelnut: Replace sugar with brown sugar, use hazelnuts, hazelnut liqueur and 1/4 cups cinnamon. Anway, there are dozens of variations you can do with flavour. Again sorry about the awkward format, I do have a version where I had calculated the weight for the flour (you just KNOW someone will come up and talk to while you're scooping out 17 cups of flour) but I misplaced that copy of the recipe.
  4. The ones at my work get fairly heavy use. Eventually they get to the point where they won't take the zest off a lemon easily but they WILL take off chunks of your fingernails. We usually buy a new one every 9 to 10 months, which isn't bad but I hate the idea of throwing the old ones away if they can be sharpened.
  5. The iced coffee we make at my work in the summer is really simple: Double shot of espresso Frozen milk (we stick the whole carton in the freezer, take it out to thaw slightly then break it up with a knife or wooden spoon) Simple syrup to taste That's it .....it's a lot lighter that the coffee shop ones thanks to the frozen milk......very important when you are working in a bakery in August in temperatures above 30 degrees.
  6. I was wondering if Microplane graters can be sharpened easily. We have 2 or 3 dull ones at work and it seems wasteful to just keep buying new ones as they get dull. Can you sharpen them....and what tool would you use?
  7. Usually I find it annoying, especially if they ask you several times over the course of a meal, but.... last weekend I took one of my daughters out for breakfast. I ordered eggs florentine and when it arrived I took a bite and discovered soggy bread underneath my eggs. The kitchen had substituted a hamburger bun instead of an english muffin. When I was a kid and my mom made "hot chicken sandwiches" for dinner I hated them. Soggy bread makes me gag. The waitress was busy, and spotting my unhappy expression made a point of NOT checking on my table. I was really hungry, and it had taken a long time for the meals to come out of the kitchen in the first place, so I had to move my eggs off of the nasty mess of bread just to eat them. I told the waitress when I paid for the meal that if they had told me the kitchen was out of an ingredient I would have changed my order to something I would have enjoyed. My point is.....the problem with the food could have been corrected with good service. It was not, and I won't be eating there again.
  8. Me vs. the giant pot of wallpaper paste: ROUND TWO Added corn, onions, coconut milk, a little sambal oelek when the kids weren't looking, and salt and pepper. Made a passable vegetable chowder. There's still a small container of the stuff........but it doesn't owe me anything. I'm throwing it away. And any further giant vats of anything will be sent home...with him.
  9. I don't worry about the kids when I'm away. I know they eat more takeout when I'm gone, and more snacks, but I have them most of the time so they eat fairly well. Besides, even when we were married, his night to cook usually involved hot dogs or spaghetti. Lots of restaurant chefs don't cook at home. When I get really busy we end up eating takeout when I'm with the kids sometimes too. As for the "fixing inedible food" thread... My beef with the vats of "glue" in my fridge is that I resent the choice between having to throw out a giant batch of food.....or having to plan my weeks menu around a big pot of wallpaper paste that I didn't make. If only eGullet had a Meal Rehabilitation Hotline staffed by friendly volunteers!
  10. Thanks for the suggestions. Just to clarify.....my ex is a chef! He is perfectly capable of making edible meals. Making a meal that all three children will eat can get challenging......the youngest is autistic and has many food aversions. I rarely make the same meal for all 4 of us when I'm home. Apparently vegetarian cooking is not his thing, but I have been wondering if he was making this stuff as some sort of passive agressive thing. We get along well enough that we rarely disagree on things like money or how to handle holidays etc. He does have a rather difficult relationship with my daughter (the one that doesn't eat meat), which makes me wonder why he cooks for her at all. He also does things like buying "vegetable" soup for my daughter without reading the label to make sure it doesn't contain beef or chicken broth. Maybe his issues are with her and not me. Another divorced parent food horror story.......this morning I found a container of cooked bacon in the fridge so I was making Gordie a bacon sandwich for his lunch. Erin came down to breakfast and I asked her, "What day did Daddy cook this bacon?" She says, "He didn't cook any bacon this week." I had to throw it out and make a different sandwich.
  11. I was away last week and my ex stayed with the kids. Our oldest child is vegetarian so every time it is his turn to be with them he makes a gigantic vat of "stew" or "soup". I use the words loosely because what it is actually is a huge pot of wallpaper paste. I've hinted to him that he should just let Em cook her own meals (she's fifteen). Or that he could make SMALL batches of food. She's also not that challenging to cook for because she does eat fish and eggs. But inevitably, I return home to find that my biggest pot is taking up valuable real estate in my fridge, full of inedible goo. It's maddening because: 1. It's ALWAYS a full pot. He makes this stuff at the end of his week so he doesn't have to eat the crap. 2. He's used up all of the vegetable stock I either made or bought, so I go to make risotto and I don't have any stock. 3. I grew up in a fairly poor household where my mom had to work really hard at low paying jobs. I have a hard time throwing out large batches of anything, but trying to make an edible meal out of this nasty tasteless paste is more work than making a meal from scratch. Short of hiding all my large pots when I leave the house, what can I do with this crap? Anybody out there with a lot of experience repairing other people's bad cooking? Half of the pot of "glue" got turned into a curry of sorts, but I still have half a large pot left. Suggestions?
  12. I do plan to freeze the crepes. I am not the stressed out type when I have people over. Sometimes I don't even bother to wear socks and shoes. Great suggestions everyone. I'm a little embarrassed that I forgot the chestnut puree since I work in a bakery that sells imported French foods. There is a pretty good Latin market near me, so I can buy Cajeta too.
  13. He sure does! All those -ie's. I like 'A bit of the old foo', though. I use that one occasionally. Our lad's from Essex but uses a fake Cockney accent and manner known as "Mockney". Deeply offensive because it's just so bizarre and stagey. Hmmm! A friend of mine who came to Canada from the Caribbean has a similar term for white people who use island slang..........Ja-fake-ans. As for the topic at hand, one of the local food critics uses the word "yummy", sometimes twice in the same review. "Yummy" is what you say when you're six and your mom makes you a grilled cheese. A recent review by the same person used the words "drinkies", "snackies" and "veggies". I don't even mind so much when people say these words, I just hate reading them in a restaurant review of all places. Worst offender....word wise? One of the local student bars that has mini bowling lanes, pool tables etc calls itself "restaurantainment". This word has no place in a sanely ordered universe.
  14. I think you should get this one printed on a T-shirt!
  15. Side Towel Chicken Origami Hey, that's not stupid: that's art! ← Thanks Maggie! I think we all know what I'll be doing tomorrow if I get any down time at work!
  16. Abso-freakin'-tutely! Look at me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ← I knew all they did to create cooks was cut the end of the sleeves off their straight jackets. ← Fortunately we pastry people are even-tempered and sane (post-coffee anyway!)
  17. When I was in pastry school, a bunch of us were at a restaurant supply doing research for an assignment. We overheard this girl talking to another student who happened to work for one of the city's best catering companies about "her boyfriend, the chef". So to be polite Colleen asks her where her boyfriend works and she says "Wendy's". We actually had to walk farther away so we wouldn't laugh in front of her.
  18. Do coffee drinking mishaps count? I almost never drink coffee at home since I can drink all the free Illy coffee I want at work. I usually am grabbing my cup before I even say hello to my coworkers........ Anyway, not once but TWICE I've had a full freshly poured (stryrofoam) cup sitting on my workbench and looked up to see coffee all over the table. I'd think "Huh? I haven't spilled it or bumped the table or anything.." only to look over and realized I'd managed to stab the cup with the knife I'm chopping with. Quite the sight.....punctured cup "peeing" coffee everywhere. All of my coffee disasters seem to end in mopping.
  19. Bryan, make friends with some art gallery owners. A vernissage is basically a party...with art. And artists generally hang out where there is cheap alcohol and free food.....but people who BUY art generally like to try new things and don't mind spending money. Plus, vernissages are fun. You meet all kinds of interesting people.
  20. Well, I was going to have the Food on a Stick Party II........but after reading through the crepes cookoff thread, I bought a crepe pan instead. (Although I really don't feel I've fully explored the world of food on a stick). Anyway, I'm planning to make plain crepes that can be filled with sweet or savoury fillings, buckwheat crepes as well as the chocolate crepes from the cookoff thread. I want to have various fillings, such as ham, cheeses, a garlic and herb bechamel, poached eggs, caramelised apples, sweetened mascarpone cheese, nutella, fresh fruit, sausage, whipped cream, spinach, chicken, sauteed mushrooms, etc and just let people choose what they'd like in their crepes. So..........hypothetically: If you were invited to a crepe party, what would you want to put in your crepes? Am I missing anything obvious?
  21. I rule at garbage bag basketball.......I suck at actual basketball though. A friend at pastry school could fold a side towel to look like a chicken. I had him show me 3 times and I still can't do it.
  22. Hey Susan! I went to pastry school at 30. I had 3 kids who were 8, 4 and 3 years old at the time. The class "babies" were 18 and 19 years old, there were some twentysomethings, about 5 people that were 30, a 45 year old and a 50 year old. There were apprentices, some people who had some experience, and a few newbies. There was one woman who was completely deaf. Anyway I had a blast, made lots of friends (I was completely over my high school shyness by 30) and was the only student to make the honours list that had children. Almost as soon as I graduated my son was diagnosed with autism, and it was impossible to get daycare for him. This was discouraging, and I was worried it would be forever before I found a job that would accomodate my family's needs. I started part time and went through several jobs all of which added to my skills and experience. I now work for a really family friendly employer who pretty much lets me dictate my own schedule within reason. I don't always love the job, but I do love the work. I can't imagine doing anything else for a living. Starting out later and having a family will not hold you back. There is a lot of room in this industry for people to find their niche. Have fun! Teri
  23. I had this happening to me this summer. Unfortunately, it wasn't a neutral third party --- a former employer who had treated me quite badly kept coming in to my work to ask me to help him out. He had screwed over the person who replaced me, and it blew up in his face. He came in to my work twice when I was on shift, and sent someone else in a third time to ask me.....while my boss was standing about 4 feet away from me! I was pretty upset about it because I am happy in my current job and didn't want my current boss to get the idea that I'm looking for work. I haven't even updated my resume in the 3 years I've worked there. I thought it was really unprofessional for him to come in and approach me at work.
  24. Me too Megan! I've worked in restaurants since I was 20 years old and never used one.....however, I have good reason: Maternal great-grandfather, missing left arm, train yard accident Maternal grandfather, missing 3 fingers, carpentry accident Maternal aunt, missing 2 fingers, seamstress, industrial accident I have 3 sisters, and 2 first cousins, we all have all our digits....but given my family's history of losing body parts at work, I do my chopping and slicing with a knife and I never care if it takes me longer for the same reason........I'm not into using power tools either.
  25. Alacarte, your article made me laugh a lot....and wince a little. Flipper arm?! Someone actually said this to you? And being denied chopsticks? I deal with this sort of stupidity occasionally. My youngest child is autistic....apparently if you don't speak much you must not be able to hear either. People he doesn't know are always shouting at him as though he is deaf or quite stupid. I also admire your confidence with Indian buffets. With 2 normally sized and functioning arms I always manage to wear some butter chicken or chickpea curry after I eat at one. Maybe you're half as clumsy as I am. (Bad joke, sorry ) You seem to be pretty comfortable with how you're made....... I don't think I'd handle all of the solicitousness and fussing as graciously as you do. All this fuss on your behalf actually has nothing to do with making you more confortable....it stems from other peoples discomfort. Anyway, great article, thanks for sharing your experiences.
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