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menon1971

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  1. menon1971

    Shallots

    I love shallots and use them frequently, so I decided to seek them out at my local old school Asian market, Chai's. I got a one pound bag for $1.61. Three out of the two dozen or so looked a bit battered, but this is a better ratio than many I have purchased at supermarkets. I used one of the sad looking ones in a salad this afternoon (just peeled it down to the good layers) and it was quite tasty. I buy stuff at this store all of the time (I get other vegetables like kolhrabi, bok choy, etc. - also usually fresher than supermarket produce and much less expensive), but never thought to looks for shallots. I like the fact that they are smaller, for often I just need a tablespoon or so. Thanks for the heads up!
  2. This particular phrase struck me, in the original post. Seems to me that family love and tolerance needs to be an interactive thing. Margie states clearly that she *did* try to order something and had already been put through the wringer in some sense by the server who would not serve half a salad. These situations, to my mind, require Jack Nicholson at the scene to reprimand the server with the appropriate come-back like the one he used in "Easy Rider". Instead, Margie was reprimanded. Whose comfort level was increased here with love and care shown by family? Looks like it was the servers level of comfort, to me. If I had been at the table with my daughter and this situation had occured, I would want my daughter (or DIL) to be made comfortable, not the server. Utter nonsense, that they would not serve half a salad. If then, my family member had chosen not to order something, I'd move my chair closer to them, wrap my arm around the back of it, and give them lots of smiles while giving the server utterly nasty and hopefully imperious-looking stares every time they approached the table. * *(And honey, we'd have a blast. Probably, we'd start laughing so hard at the utter ridiculousness of the situation that tears would be rolling down our cheeks. ) This is how I deal with my family in general - how we deal with each other, really. Cocktail hour, man. ← Very traditional WASP thing to do, Megan. My small, far-flung family does that too. Even if the day starts with Brunch. Startling the amounts of alcohol some of them can consume while still seeming totally sober. (I always wish I'd see them go past that point of seeming totally sober, but it's never happened. Someone should do a socio-cultural study on this. ) And they still manage to get up at the crack of dawn to make others feel guilty about not getting to work before they do. Scary, really. In a vaguely impressive sort of way. ← I think that is the operant definition of alcoholism among WASPs. It is not how much you consume, but how you conduct yourself. A faux pas would be to have your stiff upper lip visibly loosen a tad.
  3. In the defense of some of the posters, the devil was indeed in the details not provided. Given your clarification I think the situation in question was much more casual.
  4. In the defense of some of the posters, the devil was indeed in the details not provided. Given your clarification I think the situation in question was much more casual.
  5. 125 posts in one day when the situation was quite innocuous - interesting. However, not a bad conversation, all in all.
  6. I would ask of the righteousness of being forced/compelled to respect any food culture. On the other hand what are the truly important values we should observe? This is an honest question and not a slight.
  7. There's no confirmation yet on a companion tv series for the new book, but I've contacted WGBH, the Boston station that produced his other series, to see if anything is planned. SB (hoping ) ← Please start a new thread if you hear anything from WGBH. I really love to watch that guy (I mean M. Pepin, sir) cook, especially his knife technique. I also like to (respectfully) imitate his accent while cooking with my (French) girlfriend.
  8. (This may be fodder for a different thread), but suppose I said -- "I'm feeling like a little Italian today. Let me buy you lunch over at Luigi's Famous." Would you feel OK saying "you know, I hate Luigi's, why don't you buy me lunch at Sette Osteria instead?" Or: "Mom would really love to see us today. I know its a little bland, but she really loves The Rusty Spoon." "No, I'm only going to see your mom if we get to go to The Frying Dutchman." Or: "There's a hot new restaurant I'm dying to try, we're making reservations at Cafe Boeuf. You want in" "No, but I'll go along if you change your mind and go to the V-Note." What I'm suggesting is that in many situations, there's a place for "is this OK with you. (Whatta you wanna do?" "I don't know, what do you wanna do?" ) But there are many where not to accept an offer as offered would be to place -- somewhat ostentationsly -- putting your taste above the fellowship of the would-be host. And hosting entails both privileges and resposnsibilities, as does guesting (is that a word?). Host gets first choice. Guest gets to graciously decline. ← I state the following with a light hearted spirit: You live in DC, so how about some diplomacy (and honesty - I use to live there and always thought it to be in short supply, I am afraid) like saying actually I have had some bad experiences at X, could I buy you lunch at Y, or, say, suggesting that the person in question ask Mom if another restaurant would be acceptable (you are assuming that ol' Mom is inflexible - maybe she is really sick of the Rusty Spoon), and if not perhaps that is the time to "suck it up" as you proffered previously, or pursuant to the third example, simply telling the friend that you are not interested in Restaurant Beef - he or she is a friend so there should be some reciprocity, equality, and honesty. ← Well, as a diplomatic Washingtonian, were I able to avail myself of your Southern hospitality (my mother was from Alabama and, with my father [a damn Yankee] still lives in Atlanta, which is still partially Southern, so I use that phrase with respect), it would never occur to me to question your choice of restaurant were you to invite me to dine with you. Of course, were we ever to meet, between the diplomacy that leaks into my office like encrypted microwave intelligence reports from the nearby embassies, and the gentility that grows in southern soil like kudzu after a summer rain, we'd probably spend so much time trying to figure out where the other one wanted to dine that we'd end up sending out for Chinese. ← Well said. However, I suspect that we could settle on something via an honest attempt at consensus - when two people venture forth with a lust for good and interesting food it is a far cry than dinning with those less inclined. I am not that picky, but do have my opinions, and half a cobb salad is out of the question. In the spirit of full disclosure, I live in the Deep South, but am from VA and three quarter of my grandparents had Yankee origins (MI and MN). I am more mid-Atlantic than Southern, but I do like many aspects of the culture down here, especially the food (I moved here for a job, but have liked it so far). Were you to venture down this way I would provide you with many informed options as to render your choice pleasant and accurate, but I would prefer you to order something, although I would not shun you if you did not.
  9. OMFG!!! And then what happened???? See, I have a MILzilla too and I'd still break bread with her. Because I belong the the cult...WWBD? ← You won't believe it: her husband snatched the toast out of his mother's hand and crammed it into his mouth, which made everyone laugh and defused the situation. He'd thrown his toast away, too, but in the garage where it wouldn't be found. We grew up with a criminally polite mother who would rather die than hurt someone else's feelings, so my sister and I are well aware of the importance of being gracious and enjoyable. However, after a long holiday weekend of suffering meal after meal of dreck in suffocatingly close quarters, I'd forgive anyone for passing over another narsty meal. ETA: Sexist?? My apologies! I was just riffing on the post to which I replied. ← I should have added a smiley, for I was primarily ribbing you. My apologies, actually.
  10. I agree, he is truly a man from another time and place, and I will surely buy this book. When will the series be aired?
  11. Point taken, but one of my sister's favorite restaurants is Taco Bell, and she has been known to drink beer out of a can ON PURPOSE. One time, the MIL-zilla offered sis a slice of toast from her favorite kind of health bread. Sis tasted it, discovered it was awful to the point of inedible, discreetly wrapped it in a napkin and deposited it in the trash without being noticed. Only later, when MIL was digging around in the trash (why???) was the offending slice of toast discovered, paraded out in front of the group, and it was demanded of my sister why she didn't eat the toast. True story. ← Is the beer out of a can thing not a bit sexist?
  12. (This may be fodder for a different thread), but suppose I said -- "I'm feeling like a little Italian today. Let me buy you lunch over at Luigi's Famous." Would you feel OK saying "you know, I hate Luigi's, why don't you buy me lunch at Sette Osteria instead?" Or: "Mom would really love to see us today. I know its a little bland, but she really loves The Rusty Spoon." "No, I'm only going to see your mom if we get to go to The Frying Dutchman." Or: "There's a hot new restaurant I'm dying to try, we're making reservations at Cafe Boeuf. You want in" "No, but I'll go along if you change your mind and go to the V-Note." What I'm suggesting is that in many situations, there's a place for "is this OK with you. (Whatta you wanna do?" "I don't know, what do you wanna do?" ) But there are many where not to accept an offer as offered would be to place -- somewhat ostentationsly -- putting your taste above the fellowship of the would-be host. And hosting entails both privileges and resposnsibilities, as does guesting (is that a word?). Host gets first choice. Guest gets to graciously decline. ← I state the following with a light hearted spirit: You live in DC, so how about some diplomacy (and honesty - I use to live there and always thought it to be in short supply, I am afraid) like saying actually I have had some bad experiences at X, could I buy you lunch at Y, or, say, suggesting that the person in question ask Mom if another restaurant would be acceptable (you are assuming that ol' Mom is inflexible - maybe she is really sick of the Rusty Spoon), and if not perhaps that is the time to "suck it up" as you proffered previously, or pursuant to the third example, simply telling the friend that you are not interested in Restaurant Beef - he or she is a friend so there should be some reciprocity, equality, and honesty.
  13. Irrelevant, your honor. The guest had already accepted the invition. Further, expecting to negotiate the place at which your host choses to dine with you is presumptive in the extreme. It is a social occasion, not a business deal. I respectfully disagree. A proper host, in my opinion, always asks if a restaurant choice is acceptable to would be guests, e.g., "would it be alright if we ate at X." ← Charles is right -- usually, of course, but moreso in this topic. And while we're dispensing folk wisdom, two wrongs don't make a right, even if you think that "forcing food upon people" (aka "taking them out to dinner" -- if that's what was happening) is somehow rude. ← Lacunae in logic: two wrongs make two wrongs - she should have been more polite, methinks, but perhaps should not have been placed in that situation in the first.
  14. Irrelevant, your honor. The guest had already accepted the invition. Further, expecting to negotiate the place at which your host choses to dine with you is presumptive in the extreme. It is a social occasion, not a business deal. I respectfully disagree. A proper host, in my opinion, always asks if a restaurant choice is acceptable to would be guests, e.g., "would it be alright if we ate at X."
  15. How do you feel about your father's ire? ← When the incident first occurred I felt he overreacted. (I didn't witness the incident myself, so I don't know what really happened.) Although BIL did pour him tea since, Dad never forgot the first transgression. Dad was very, very traditional, and as someone who grew up very Americanized, I didn't understand until I got older. When I started appreciating my heritage more, I realized how important being respected was to him. So I can see how he felt that the act, or lack thereof, was disrespectful to him. I do think he carried his anger too far, but I can understand it more now. Gastro, I don’t know what my brother was thinking when he started dating that girl (well, maybe I do ). But I’m sure that Dad didn’t pitch a fit when that happened was because he was dating Only Son. What that incident did teach me how important it was to inform my (non-Chinese) boyfriends of proper behavior. ← One the one hand I feel that one should obey the traditions of the home in which one finds him or herself out of general respect, on the other I respectfully ask why those outside of a given tradition have to acquiesce. Is that expectation not a bit rude, especially if it contradicts the other's beliefs, concerning patriarchy, for instance. I guess I am conflicted: respect for another's culture v. personal freedom and conviction.
  16. Just for the sake of argument, why is it rude to refuse food on the one hand, but not rude to force food upon people, by not consulting your guests on the restaurant choice, for instance.
  17. This is sympathetic laughter, Margy. Geez, you described a situation with my in-laws, so very well. They eat at chain restaurants for lots of ridiculous reasons and no, I don't tell them they're ridiculous. They also get very offended and take it personally when I don't eat anything, even if I have a plate in front of me. The attitude is theirs, and it won't change. You can't win. To me, insisting that someone eat something they don't want to, is the same as insisting a teetotaler have a beer, or vegetarian a meatball, or a diabetic eat a cookie. Isn't being together the important part? ← Was there no side salad? The civil libertarian in me says you should feel free to do anything unless it is of obvious harm to another. I do find it horrible when a friend or relative, as in the above example, insists on always going to certain restaurants because of their unwillingness to compromise, especially if they expect other to eats things they find disagreeable or do not approve of for other reasons be they religious, etc. (I have a good friend who for years dragged me to the Cheesecake Factory against my objections). The person who get cranky in me when not fed on a regular basis can't understand skipping a meal, even if the food is sub par (I did eat at the CF although I generally felt ill afterwards). The repressed WASP in me would have felt awkward not ordering anything, as it is a social expectation. Perhaps another good question here is whether it is socially acceptable to veto the selection of a restaurant before you actually commit to eat there. I had one of the worst meals in my life at a sports bar in Pittsburgh because ONE person in the group (we were at a conference) was a pick eater.
  18. Muted or toned down? He has been quite vocal lately on Ruhlman's blog.
  19. I would beg to differ, The Fish Market Southside has great simple seafood (and super fresh - they have their own truck that goes to the gulf daily) and Ocean in Five Points South is excellent.
  20. Let's see..............I like Stitt's Highlands and Chez Fon Fon restaurants, Bottega was disappointing the one time I went, but others seem to like it. I would check out John's City Diner downtown - upscale Southern in a 1940s diner. I recently hosted a banquet there and all were satisfied. They have a website. I also like Little Savannah in Forest Park for upscale casual. For BBQ I am partial to Carlile's. It is off the beaten track on Bham's Southside, and only open for lunch.
  21. I would try a higher heat for the roasting, say 475F, for 20-30 minutes until nicely browned. Also heat is important. The stock should never boil. If the vegetables lose structural integrity or if the remaining meat is "boiled to rags" the stock will be murky. Thorough straining is essential too, before the stock is reduced. I may be called out on this one, but I generally do not simmer for more than 5 hours before straining.
  22. So you are making a white stock? Are there raw bones involved and if so try roasting the bones at 450F for ten minutes or so, or until nicely browned.
  23. I am pretty sure that what you have is an old confectioners pan. Unless you plan to use this with something really acidic I think you are ok. Brass is mostly copper, so you are at the same risk of corrosion from acids, but not sugar. Brass has similar heat distribution properties to copper, but melts at a lower temperature which makes it better for welding.
  24. In some books they recomend doing chicken stock only with back bones, which are often readily availabe in 10 kg boxes directly from the processing plant. When I make stock with back bones, even if I use A LOT, I dont get a gelatinious stock as the gelatin is concentrated in cartilage from leg bones, and also from the skin (I think). I get a gelatinious stock when I make stock from whole chickens. ← If you're looking for a more gelatenous chicken stock, see if you can find some chicken feet at the grocery store (try Latin or Asian markets). Similarly you can add pork feet to a beef stock to get the same effect. ← Chicken feet rock for stock. Jamaicans also make a righteous soup out of them.
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