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Everything posted by Country

  1. Yes. Yes. Yes. It counts a lot. It's a commonsense thing to do - and one of those things we should use to our advantage. It costs nothing, and saves energy and money.
  2. SkoopKW, that's really very impressive. I use less than 3,000 kWh/ year. And I have an electric water heater.
  3. Wouldn't that be a more interesting subject than who you'd like to eat with? And has been discussed at length on eGullet here. The Chef last meals were discussed here. Thanks Heidi. For who, Scoop probably nailed it pretty well up above.
  4. Wouldn't that be a more interesting subject than who you'd like to eat with?
  5. Yesterday I made the Brandade de Morue - page 70. Very good and I'll be making it again.
  6. I rarely eat out - maybe 6-8 times a year - but when I do it's almost always at a place that has very good food. And it's almost always more than I can eat, so I always take the leftovers home and eat them the next day.
  7. I just checked back in and am happy to see so many good thoughts by people but, for now, want to get back to cooking being a small percentage of household energy use - which Dave the Cook first brought up, and is true when it comes to, say, monthly consumption. But there's also "demand", especially electric demand, to consider. Rather than being measured in kWh (kilowatt hours), as in a monthly bill (consumption), demand is measured in kW (kilowatts) and is the load being placed on the grid at any moment. In periods of high demand this is what causes problems for electric utilities in that the generation has to meet demand, or voltage starts dropping. And as demand increases the less efficient (and more expensive and more polluting) generating stations have to be brought on line. If all the generation resources aren't enough to meet total demand then "brown outs" (voltage drop) happen, followed by rolling black outs where all electricity is lost in some areas in a sort of rotating plan. (Hopefully it's planned.) I hope that isn't too confusing, but I wanted to try to explain how it works because even though cooking, and other energy consumption in the kitchen, is a small part of total household use, what goes on in the kitchen plays a large part when it comes to demand issues. Especially if the kitchen has an electric range and hot water is provided by an electric water heater. Quite often an electric system peak happens around supper time, and the more that can be done in the kitchen to reduce demand when that's happening, the better things will be. Utilities have "demand charges" for industrial and commercial customers, as well as many gov't facilities, and when demand exceeds a set figure an additional charge is applied to the bill. Some districts, and states, are considering applying demand charges to residential customers, so this is worth learning about. Here's a link to a utility that has apparently instituted demand charges for high use residential customers and included is a table that shows demand for a range of typical home electric appliances - as well as probably explaining demand better than I've done. I hope the above helps and next time I'll get into some of the other good points brought up in earlier posts. Now go back up to the top and read what Mjx wrote. She's right.
  8. Dave, I know cooking is a relatively small fraction of household energy use and you're certainly right that refrigeration and water heating use far more energy. I started with cooking because of the two threads mentioned earlier, as well as Reichl's mindless running of water to cool eggs. Outside of heating in the north and cooling in the south, water heating is usually the largest use of energy in a house, followed by refrigeration. So far as locavore initiatives, they are probably better if only because of reduced transportation. But, it's worth looking at in more detail to make sure. Got to head to bed now, but will check in tomorrow. Nibor, if you have natural gas at the patio that's probably as energy efficient as anything else.
  9. I first started thinking about this after I read Ruth Reichl's recipe for "The Perfect Hard-Boiled Egg" in her book, The Gourmet Cookbook. After the eggs are done they're to be run under cold water for five minutes. That's a lot of water going down the drain plus, if it's city water, it's not very cold and it all goes through an energy consuming waste treatment plant. Doesn't make a lot of sense. More recently, here at eG, we've had a thread on bacon cooking and it seems like a fair number of people prefer their bacon cooked in an oven. It seems pretty extravagant to fire up an oven to cook a few slices of bacon. Most recently, we have a thread going on self-cleaning ovens. The energy used in cooking bacon in the oven pales in comparison to using the Darth Vader approach to oven cleaning. Have you given any thought to reducing your energy and resource consumption in the kitchen and, if so, what helpful tips do you have? PS. I've been involved in energy and resource issues, policy, and analysis for going on forty years and I can safely assure everyone that we're getting into critical territory; which includes the resources themselves, geopolitics, and climate change.
  10. Does that mean that the self cleaning setting could be used to make a really mean pizza? More of the Wiki quote, "reduces foodstuffs to ash with exposure to temperature between 900–1000 °F (482–538 °C)..." Doesn't sound like it would work for pizza, especially since you can't get the oven door open.
  11. According to Wikipedia, "...between 900–1000 °F (482–538 °C)". In other words, pretty damned hot. Steel starts becoming red hot at anything over 1000F. I used the self-cleaning on my range once after I got it. It took so long and used so much gas (propane) that I've never used again. In the time it took, I could have cleaned it by hand two or three times.
  12. Ah,Erewhon on Newbury: brings me back (way back). I am mostly a white rice girl, but I too just cook my rice in pot. I know many people swear by their rice cookers, but I've never felt the need. Yeah. Erewhon on Newbury. That dugout, half cellar, place with all the weird stuff we'd never seen before. Sea weed, miso, tamari? I never did get into the macro religion that sprung up, but Kushi got something going that spread, and continues today. Even in Maine. Good thing I think.
  13. I don't want to seem like an asshole, but I've been cooking (brown) rice since around 1966, when Michio Kushi arrived in Boston and opened his little store, Erewhon, on Newbury Street. I can cook pretty good rice in my favorite little pot or, if necessary, any decent pot or pan. Where are we going when people need these new rice cookers in order to cook something as simple as rice?
  14. Tipping rates in San Francisco may be going up. San Francisco Restaurants Want To Make 25% Standard Tip Rate
  15. Scoop, Sorry to sidetrack your excellent thread with my Navy story. Slackers have no place in a busy operation. In our case there were 4-5 of us breaking down stuff to feed thousands. No time for the Junior types. Did your move up from helper come from the audition you wrote about on another thread? The one where the Chef was timing you with a stop watch?
  16. Fish sticks are probably responsible for me ending up liking to eat fish. I grew up in western NH in the 40's and 50's, before insulated, refrigerated, fish trucking began, and back then fish labeled as "fresh" from the coast was anything but fresh. So my mother, who was a very good cook, made things like "salmon loaf" made from canned salmon. If one wants a definition of "Yuck!", salmon loaf from canned salmon comes pretty close. Gorton's fish sticks changed that.
  17. That reminds me of when I was in the Navy. After boot camp, in 1960, I went to Memphis NAS for aviation school and got assigned to commissary for a month or so while waiting for the next class to start. The commissary supplied all the mess halls, feeding thousands of people three meals a day, so there was plenty to do. (Pulling the giblets from hundreds of still half frozen chickens kind of numbs the hand, and cleaning the bandsaw is a bit messy after processing hundreds of pounds of frozen beef liver into slices - but it sure beat working in a mess hall scullery...) Anyhow, we ended up with our version of Scoop's Junior... He wasn't worth a pisshole in the snow. He was lazy and he'd complain. The commissary boss, a career NCO, wasn't really a hard ass, but he had his limits and one day during a break our version of Junior made the mistake talking back to the boss. That was the final straw and one punch from the boss decked Junior hard enough to knock him out. The boss looked at the rest of us and said, "Anyone see that?" Everyone shook their head no, and that was the last we saw of Junior.
  18. Country

    Dinner! 2011

    Last night, a hot turkey sandwich with mashed, green beans, and lots of gravy at Moody's Diner. One of those occasional cravings that can't be denied.
  19. Before this thread disappears... Holding flatfish for aging is tricky business because its fillets are so thin, and it can quickly turn from a beautiful, sweet, delicate flavor to something more suitable to being buried in the compost pile. Especially considering its price, it's better to eat while fresh than take a chance on turning too fast. It has such a fine flavor that I always just quickly sauté in some butter.
  20. I'll catch it now, but I like fish sticks.
  21. Here's the first offense - unless someone else beats me to it. Some fish, especially cod, improve with a few days aging in the fridge. Cod, fresh off the boat, has practically no flavor. Careful aging results in better flavor. Same is true of hake, though one has to be more careful. Not offended, but also not sure we are talking about the same thing. Do these aged fish smell like the fish counter at Albertsons/Krogers/etc? We don't have Albertsons or Krugers here, so I don't know what their fish counters smell like. But, if a fish store, or supermarket fish counter, doesn't smell good it's probably because they aren't cleaning their showcases every night, and doing a good washdown of the floors and counters. That has to be done. Also, some people may not be able to tell the difference between a good fish smell and one not so good. In the case of my aging cod, some people might find the smell offensive because they're used to eating fish that has no smell - and no taste. And I wouldn't be surprised if some supermarkets used some sort of chemical solution to suppress the smell of fish because of this.
  22. What on earth does that mean? Undercooked grouse is not for women, or the faint of heart?
  23. Here's the first offense - unless someone else beats me to it. Some fish, especially cod, improve with a few days aging in the fridge. Cod, fresh off the boat, has practically no flavor. Careful aging results in better flavor. Same is true of hake, though one has to be more careful.
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