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  1. Yes, I think that is maybe the right track. I did find a Kusmi tea called Russian Evening that is 75% China black tea and 25% Darjeeling black tea. Unfortunately, its out of stock at the moment (just my luck). I plan on giving it a try. Hopeful. Thanks for the suggestions eGulleters.
  2. I have to go back into my flavor memory, but I don't remember it being smoky or with bergamot/citrus flavors. The Kusmi tea blends didn't sound close in description to me. I now found an empty box that I guess I kept in the back of the tea cupboard for reference when I realized the brand disappeared. it states "Jackson's of Piccadilly Russian Tea, a Delicate Tea. Russian tea is delicate and light in colour. It is best drunk in the afternoon and evening with a slice of lemon and a little sugar." in English, French and German. No ingredients or tea varieties are listed unfortunately. All the Russian Caravan and Russian style teas I have researched seem to sound the opposite of delicate. I've ordered a sample of Harney's Russian Country to test. I discovered this tea back when the Phoenician Resort started it's High Tea and they exclusively had Jackson's teas at the time. That was quite some time ago. edit: There is a line on one side of the box that states "A Blend of Russian Teas". Well, that's vague.
  3. Inspired by the "old tea" thread, I have an empty tin from several years ago that is "Russian Tea" (not labeled caravan) by Jackson's of Piccadilly. I loved that tea but it disappeared years ago as did Jackson's for a time. Now Twinings owns the brand. Jackson's was famous for the Earl Grey, and that is available. I am looking for something close to the Russian Tea which I fear will never be blended again by Jackson's. I am unfamiliar with Russian blends except for that one. Any suggestions of a brand or blend that may get me close to the old Russian Tea?
  4. Ikea's kitchen goods

    Well, I went to my local IKEA yesterday, specifically to obtain the BLANDA (parabolic reflector) bowls because I like to solar cook. I thought I would experiment with the newly found capabilities. However, the BLANDA bowls, in all sizes except the tiny ones were off the shelves and out-of-stock. Either IKEA pulled them or like minded people like me bought them all, I don't know. But they seem to be gone to the public at the moment.
  5. Hello,

    Those are probably glass marble reflectors for really old road signs and railroad signs.  Before reflective paints and tape, these were used to reflect the headlights.   I think those old signs are quite beautiful.

    Screen Shot 2016-07-06 at 9.28.37 PM.png

  6. UV sanitizing lights

    Hello dcarch, Thanks for sharing all the great info on the meal preps. I am duly impressed. I'm just starting fiddling with sous-vide and learning through egullet the tips and tricks of the practice. One thing you posted got me into a slight obsession. You stated you used a 55W UV light for sanitizing. I immediately did multiple google searches and came up with 55W bulbs, but could not find the fixtures for the bulbs. Can you tell me what you use? Was it a home-built or did you purchase a pre-made unit? It is now on my list for *need* instead of *want*. Any help/advice will be greatly appreciated.
  7. Deep frying in a pressure cooker

    Looks like the Fagor Pressure Magic and the Fagor Marine are the same item with different names. I have used my Marine to pressure fry chicken. It was the best I ever cooked at home. I soaked the chicken in buttermilk and double floured it, let it dry a bit and then fried it up per instructions for the pressure fryer. Crisp outside, juicy inside. Haven't done a batch for quite some time though.
  8. Deep frying in a pressure cooker

    I have the Fagor Marine pressure cooker that is also a pressure fryer. I have fried chicken in it. If I recall correctly, the chicken is fried in the oil initially to achieve the desired brownness, and then the lid is latched on and the chicken is finished under high pressure (I seem to remember 7 minutes under pressure). The quick pressure release method is used and the chicken removed. I recall under 15 minutes per batch actual cooking time. The Fagor Marine is expensive, but it's a cool tool. It's a very heavy duty pressure cooker. They used to hawk it at State Fairs and Home Shows. I think I have a video of how to cook with it somewhere, probably on vhs.
  9. American Harvest Jet Stream Oven

    I've had one for years, the OLD infomercial one with the dials as controls. I think a roasted chicken, spatchcocked, cooked in the Jet Stream is the best chicken I've ever had, bar none. However, if it's the newer digital control Jet Stream, piece of junk, pass on it. If it's the older model, there's a thin drive belt that falls apart over time and renders the oven useless. The belts can be bought (ebay I think) for a few bucks online, and are a little tricky to replace. Cleaning the oven is problematic. If you cook chicken, the fat and juices tend to be blown on every inch of the inside of the oven, meaning the whole oven will need to be disassembled and washed. So this is not a low maintenance appliance. I think the Jet Stream is a love-it or leave-it item. edit: I just saw that you mentioned it was a Nesco. Those are the junky ones. If it was an original American Harvest built model, I'd be more positive on acquiring it.
  10. Using fresh figs

    A friend of mine gave me a bagful of fresh figs recently. I didn't know what to do with them either. I made a fig smoothie and was extremely happy about how it tasted. A little honey, a couple figs, some greek yogurt and fresh mint was really, really good. I had one everyday until the figs were gone.
  11. I don't think you need to worry. Phoenix is home to a large Asian community so the flavors are very familiar most people living here. If the host family has already volunteered to welcome an overseas student, they are pretty open and adventurous already. I say let him cook what he feels he does best. The weather in August is tough, it's the middle of our Monsoon season. Afternoon thunderstorms and dust storms are common. The humidity level rises to average 40-50% with temps 105-110F. Everything is air conditioned, so comfort is achievable. The worst moment is getting into a parked car, ugh. Most houses have a pool or access a community one. We do any outdoor work after the sun goes down or early in the morning. Does his trip include the Grand Canyon? The weather will be significantly different there. Phoenix is only an hour or two away from cool mountains temperatures. I might try natto......once.
  12. Polish Village Cafe in Hamtramck will give you a great Eastern European food experience. It's about a quaint as you can get for a restaurant in a basement of a vintage building. Try the City Chicken if it's on the menu. Get there early or go on a weeknight if you don't want to wait in line. Also, look up Bourdain's Rust Belt episode of No Reservations for some other strictly Detroit food experiences. It's on youtube.
  13. Can't help you with late arrival advice on Pizzeria Bianco, but I can recommend a Mexican joint that has been a Phoenix institution for decades that has a location just south of Chase Field (within a mile of Pizzeria Bianco). It's called TeePee Taproom. This location is pretty big and serves Arizona-style Sonoran food, I can personally vouch for the "MaryLou Spanish-style" which is a green-chile stew folded in a tortilla slathered with oogey-gooey cheese. The house margaritas are above average and the table salsa is very good. Tee Pee Tap Room 602 East Lincoln Street, Phoenix, AZ (602) 340-8787‎
  14. Homemade butter

    When I was a kid, we bought homemade butter from a small dairy farm nearby. It was shaped in a big round clump and wrapped in foil. It was one of the best things I had ever tasted, the farmer used soured cream to make butter. I guess that's the more traditional butter, since you collected cream from your cows, stored it in the milkhouse for a few days until you had enough to make alot of butter. During the storage, the cream slightly soured. That tang is what is missing in commercial butter, I've yet to find even an artisnal butter that tastes like that. We would literally carve slices off the round and make butter sandwiches, it was that good. Has anyone tried to make homemade butter with soured cream? I don't think it was salted, since the slight sourness added so much flavor.
  15. Some Questions About Pyrex

    If you do a google search of "pyrex explodes" or "pyrex exploding" there's lots of hits. A theory is that the newer Pyrex is not made out of borosilicate glass anymore. I have had a newer Pyrex rectangular dish crack in half in the oven (it was a very new dish) but not reduced into shards. The old 60's/70's pyrex and fire king I inherited have never chipped, cracked or shattered in almost daily use. Just my gut, but I don't trust the new glassware now. I have never heard of expiring glassware before.