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Posts posted by StanSherman

  1. Iowa farm town of 160

    -Pomegranate molasses nope

    --Sumac nope

    --Aleppo pepper (Turkish-style red pepper) nope

    --creme fraiche nope

    --Mexican crema yup

    --Spanish smoked paprika yup

    --miso paste nope

    --sherry vinegar yup

    --duck (fresh or frozen) fresh (in the air)

    --duck fat from the fresh duck

    --pancetta yup

    --less common pig parts: trotters, from neighbors

    unsmoked hocks in store

    cheeks neighbor

    slab bacon, skin neighbor

  2. Nobody has mentioned eggs. Twelve for $2.50. What could possibly be more versatile and affordable than a chicken's egg?

    In my neighborhood, eggs are between $4.50 and $5.75 a dozen :hmmm: Add another $1 for organic.

    We have an Amish woman who sell her eggs for $1/dozen. Not certified organic, but better since they are truly free-range. Bug eating hens make the best ones.

  3. Haroset is a Passover food, meant to symbolize the mortar used by slaves in Egypt. However, it's not wrong to eat it at other times of year.

    Passover in the US starts on farms about now. It got me thinking about how apples became the centerpiece of this dish. I'm sure dates or raisins would be much more historically correct. I love the stuff and in a few weeks it will be made here because our apples will only last so long.

  4. I'd pay $50 for a proper Italian meat ball sandwich right now. I grew up in an area that had several competing shops that made the real stuff. The family home is now gone and it's possessions arrived today.

    We now live in a teeny town, well actually 3 miles out of a town of 160. The restaurant business has been pretty bleak around here, with one notable exception. There is a tavern/pub in a nearby town of 26 and they have Saturdays where they get 200-250 covers. Their signature dish is a 1 1/4# burger for $6.50. I've actually never even seen one but the free publicity is one of the keys to marketing. Your idea has multiple markets and advertising to them can get pretty expensive so the word of mouth thing may be key.

  5. I know many people feel the need to rush out and plant a vegetable garden. When you loose a job it may not actually be the wisest investment if you have no gardening experience. We've been doing it for many years and just the start up costs can be tough to recover for a few years. If your inclined there are local cooperative extension Master Gardener courses offered most everywhere (in the US). Community gardens also can be a great place to hook up with people and learn.

    We've been placing our 2009 seed orders the past couple of weeks and prices seem to have jumped quite a bit. We actually save a couple hundred variety of seeds but somehow we just managed to spend a few hundred more. We going to try a new idea and do a CSA in reverse. We are going to put boxes together for the food bank with recipes and give them away.

    As a practical matter gardening is fun and can easily distract you from seeking out the job you need.

  6. Looks like a delicious selection of "classics"—I think a bacon-wrapped shrimp with some kind of glaze would fit the theme well. But, of course, I'm a sucker for bacon...

    She's going to want bacon for breakfast the next morning, but I agree on the pairing. I'm getting ready to do a big batch so we'll save the bacon dishes for Valentines day.

  7. Looks like a pretty classic menu so I might suggest starting with a Shrimp Bisque-a different take on the "perfect shrimp" dish but one that is warm, satisfying and fits within your menu.  And it's probably a surprise to a lot of guests these days to see soup served at a meal-harkens back to the days when soups were more a part of home menus.  And shrimp bisque is delicious with champagne.

    I make a somewhat complicated recipe that involves cooking shrimp shells with vegetables, deglazing with brandy and then slow simmering with tomato paste and shrimp stock.  There are a couple of stages of straining and a final thickening with butter and flour, but the results are worth it. 

    If you don't want to go to all that trouble, Whole Foods usually sells shrimp bisque.  You could garnish the soup with a poached shrimp and serve with buttered toast points and flutes of champagne.

    I do have the perfect service for this idea. I have a bronze patina tree with birds holding small 2 oz cups with tea lights under as warmers. I've done a similar lobster bisque with saffron added.

  8. What is the rest of the dinner? It's hard to go wrong with shrimp wrapped in bacon (maybe with a miso glaze or something along those lines), but that's a pretty big flavor to kick off the meal with.

    So far:

    Schramsberg Blanc de Noirs 2002 with a perfect single shrimp

    Caesar salad

    Prime Rib w Horseradish foam

    Steele Stymie Merlot

    Green Onion-Parmesan Popovers

    Brussels Sprouts with Shallots

    White Chocolate-Raspberry Crème Brûlée

  9. Anyone ever blow bubbles in below zero weather. The kids love it.

    Boil water and then step outside and fling it into the air away from spectators.

    Winter can be quite long and makes one do anything for a few giggles.

    Our first Northern MidWest winter. I'll have to try that with the grand kids. I guess that building behind the house is basically a 75,000 cubic foot freezer for about 6 months. :shock:

  10. Kosher first cut brisket sells for $14.99/lb in Manhattan. 

    Within a half a mile of the packing house it runs $12.99. That was last Wednesday before the bank started foreclosure on the plant. They are the largest kosher facility in the US so prices may actually go up in a very soft market. I paid $1.86 at a non-kosher meat locker today.

  11. Oh Yummo! Just stay clear of the Old Roy Roll.

    Yesterday I was laughing at the Walmart add on that FoodTV channel. They were introducing their line of fine steaks. Now their are taking on the fishies. I'm old enough to be more than halfway through my life thank God.

  12. When this lass thinks of a big gathering, her heart immediately flutters to the thought of smoked and pulled butt.  It is forgiving, easy and just about as cheap as it gets.  Serve with those dollar rolls from costco, a coupla sauces and coleslaw, or with tortillas, some shredded cabbage, pico and queso.

    Kids like it, adults like it.  Butt can easily be smoked in advance and reheated gently in a low oven.

    I would tend to agree with you. Sat lunch may be a good time. I like the idea of going Latin since these guys are always getting Q. I have a better chance of sneaking in some fresh veggies and fruit too.

  13. I’m planning the food for 3-5 meals for a weekend event this November in SE Kansas. The group is mainly pyrotechnicians and their family and friends. Friday night we wish to emphasize a social gathering and some low-key pyro demonstrations with apres-boom bonfire, while Saturday the whole day is energetically spent preparing for a four hour fireworks show spread out over 40 acres. At dark-thirty, usually 6pm, the fun begins. Last year we opened the show with 124,000 firecrackers going off at once, then 25,000 Saturn missiles went off. About 20 teams did smaller displays and then two professional companies went at it. 1300 large aerial shells hit the sky to music. We like to say we painted the sky. A show that would put most cities’ 4th of July events to shame. This was all done with private money and personal effort during which many diverse people cooperated at a high level of coordination, without any “official” organization.

    By 8:00pm the Highway Patrol had to block off several major area roads to help the cars pulled off the road to sit and enjoy the show. The public was not apprised in advance of the show, so people came in droves to find the source of the sky show. The only part of the weekend that was disorganized was the food. It needs major help and improvement over last year. I’ve stepped up to volunteer my efforts. I’m planning early, since we still have time to add to the garden if necessary.

    The tone needs to be kept as far away from a club or convention as possible. This is just a loose group of friends. Even though certain people need to “be in charge” for safety reasons, we want a family atmosphere with nobody being required to pay or do anything they don’t want. We usually get enough donations to cover the costs and give a few bucks to a charity. Alcohol is not served until about 11pm when the safety officer gives the all-clear order, so wine pairings are not an issue.

    We have a big party tent, large BBQ, possible BBQ trailer rig, Propane burners, large pressure cooker, cast iron Dutch ovens, cast iron turkey roaster Dutch oven, Digital Bradley smoker, coffee makers. We have a backhoe if we want to put a whole pig in the ground and several smart seasoned rednecks (mostly Hillbillies with chemical engineering degrees) to build most anything. (their definition)

    My first thoughts are:

    Friday night party: (100 people)

    This should be the fun one.

    Saturday Breakfast: (25 people camping)

    On hand several home grown jams. We can cure and smoke bacon and ham. ¾ of the crew heads of at 9:00 am to tour and buy fireworks from a local nationwide distributor.

    Saturday lunch: (100 people hard working crews with very little time)

    Besides everyone else I need make one crew(15) a very special lunch. They do the main show gratis. Last year they shot off 1300 shells. They have to string miles of wire and fuse them all, after trucking in high explosives, truckloads of racks and more equipment than most rock bands. They will be scrambling all day and will need to be fed in 20 minutes.

    Saturday dinner. (100-200 people)

    We have the option of catering by one of the best fried chicken joints I’ve ever been to. The area is famous for it. There is a serious labor shortage on Saturday afternoon so this may be the best option.

    Saturday post shoot before the bonfire

    About a hundred people will be trapped for 30-60 minutes while the roads unclog. (I’m thinking coffee, deserts and hot chocolate for the kiddies)

    Sunday Brunch (25? People to say farewell)

    We are looking for some great fun and practical ideas from my food-obsessed friends.


    If any pyro-loving creative chefs want to help with the food for this group. I can barter but not pay since we are attempting to keep this as non-commercial as possible. (we can pass a tip jar around) Your real payment will be a day/weekend of camaraderie with a nice group of people from about 10 states, some of us drive up to 2,000 miles to participate. You will have front row seats for a pyro show at least 4 hours long, of the best aerial stuff you can have in a show. Do you know what a “Thump Junkie” is? It’s those of us that just can’t get over the nearby, deep thump of the guns firing the big aerial shells, the thump of the shell exploding overhead and you’re right there, something you will never experience at a commercial city show where you are kept far away from the show site. You might be a Thump Junkie and not know it! You will be part of a family of privileged close-up viewers while a whole good-sized town is green with envy. Last year they started the show with salutes, that were heard 10 miles East and West in nearby towns. Everyone is aiming to have this year be even better and more fun.

  14. We have traveled the Utah canyons on several trips and I'll have to second Santo's recommendation for Boulder, UT. The first half of the drive from Boulder to Moab is truly spectacular. One of the great drives in the US. You will want to venture on to Hell's Backbone road from Escalante to Boulder. It climbs up to around 10,000 feet and you end up in Boulder with a nice place to stay and unique dining.

    Thanks, for reminding me to add Boulder to our July trip.

  15. But, I still don't understand the intent of the last line of your original post.

    What would you expect? What would you consider to be a correct response? I just am trying to understand your point of view.

    Hey, I'm a guy I don't think that deep. I think my original intent was to gripe in general about the loss of some great places due to quality going downhill. I know in my business (unrelated to food) if we downgraded the quality we'd certainly be out of business. Its a tough place to be and I understand.

    My other point was to discuss how wait staff all over the country now use the same exact words. It can be in CA, MA, Texas, Kansas etc. They all use the same generic phrase. Is it Sysco approved? Are people allowed their own personality anymore.

    I'm not sure what the appropriate response for an unhappy customer is, but I do know a certain percentage are not going to return. Thus the reason for the question.

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