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    Buffalo, NY

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  1. Funny this should come up - Trader Joe’s has nice silicone baking mats for $5 so I bought a few to see if I could reduce my parchment consumption when I make chocolates. @pastrygirlis right - you do have to wash them as the chocolate leaves a residue.
  2. For several years, Anna accompanied Kerry on many of her trips to Buffalo for shopping, package pickup, and lunch. It was always a challenge to come up with a more interesting lunch spot than the one we last visited, but even when the restaurant was subpar, the company was always superb. As I think back on some of our more memorable visits, I concur with Kerry that time with Anna was often time spent laughing. I feel so fortunate to have been able to get to know her a bit, and like all of us I deeply admired her intelligence, wit, curiosity and genuine deep-down goodness. A few years before COVID hit, it became too challenging for her to make the trip down, and when I took a drive up to the GTA to join the original Ladies who Lunch she welcomed me into her home with figurative and literal open arms and she and Kerry and I talked about everything and nothing for hours, as if no time had passed since our last visit. Kerry's visits always include trips to Wegmans and Trader Joe's, and over the years we have engaged in many gleeful hunts for things Anna needed (UHT milk for Kerry's bottomless cups of tea) and wanted (cheeses of all kinds, especially interesting blues). I don't think I'll ever look at a cheese case again without thinking of her. Truly one of a kind. The world is a little dimmer without her, but so much richer for her having been in it.
  3. Here's a spinach pie I've been making for years - I serve it with a sauce made with greek yogurt, crushed dried mint, salt and pepper (all to taste): Mix together and season to your liking (salt, pepper, garlic powder, any favorite seasonings): 2 boxes frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed as dry as you can get it 1 onion, diced and caramelized (size of onion dependent on how much onion you like) 4-6 oz. feta, crumbled - measure with your heart 2 eggs Bake in well greased pie plate at 375 for about 35 minutes - the edges will get a bit brown and it will feel firm. It's great hot, warm, room temp, reheated, whatever.
  4. If you are on the fence about acquiring a melanger, may I suggest that you not rely on @Kerry Beal to dissuade you: At last weekend's chocolates and confections workshop, I fell off that fence and found myself purchasing the Premier 8-lb. model with the extra small bowl - my first outing with it, making banana chocolate at the workshop, was enough to convince me. I later made that into peanut butter meltaways, using Greweling's recipe and substituting banana chocolate for milk chocolate without adjusting the ratios. Turned out pretty good, but will need some tweaking for texture and flavor). This morning I took a package of Trader Joe's speculoos cookies and processed them with cocoa butter and whole milk powder (about 40% cookies, 40% cocoa butter and 20% milk powder) for about 3 hours. About an hour in I tasted it and it seemed a bit flat, so I added 2 tablespoons of white sugar and a few sprinkles of cinnamon. It turned out pretty good - texture is a tiny bit powdery, which I assume is unavoidable because of the cookie, but nice flavor. I can see it combined with a textural element and layered with maybe a gianduja and/or milk chocolate in a bar, or made into a meltaway with or without some kind of crunch. In all, an interesting experiment that I can see repeating with Trader Joe's lemon or ginger thins or some similarly flavorsome cookie. (The mold marks are a combination of technique and cheap, flimsy molds - please forgive.)
  5. patris

    Dinner 2023

    That soup looks tasty! I’d tell you that my favorite Progresso soup is Macaroni Bean, but I suspect you’d prefer not to think about that. And I believe I remember that bowl and you finding each other at my table years ago when you and @Kerry Beal stopped for breakfast as you were heading to PMCA in Pennsylvania!
  6. I took only the one picture, so I haven’t got anything more to contribute there. For me, fruit chocolates in the melanger were a real revelation. Also, Willow’s explanation of how to make Greweling’s leaf croquant without creating a sea of oily peanut butter has renewed my enthusiasm for trying that recipe again.
  7. Kerry reminded me it was for Willow’s vegan lavender caramel (get you some of that if you ever get the chance - it’s delicious!)
  8. That’s Goya coconut milk. I can’t recall what it was being used for, though.
  9. Falafel Bar is one of my favorite restaurants and I order the cauliflower almost every time I eat there. This time it was underseasoned (unseasoned, actually), but the yogurt red pepper sauce almost made up for that. I’ll still order it every time.
  10. So I have been keeping an eye on the weather forecast and there is a good chance that Saturday evening will also be rainy. Kerry arrived at my house a couple hours ago and we have been debating what to do about the Saturday get together - my house is too small to accommodate the full group and the shade sail on the patio is not waterproof so al fresco is a no go. We have concluded that the best course of action is for everyone to plan for Saturday evening on your own, and we will use the budget we had reserved for the original gathering for nicer lunches than DIY cold cut sandwiches. To that end, we were wondering who would be wanting lunch on Sunday before you head out - if there is interest I could arrange box lunches that could be eaten at Tomric or taken with you for your travels - let me know what you think.
  11. I don’t use Facebook Messenger, Signal or WhatsApp, but will use whatever the group decides. Wondering though - would an old fashioned text/SMS group work?
  12. As a Buffalo native I should have known to wait a bit, but this may yet change! Now it is looking like Saturday will be showery. I’m going to wait until later in the week to call it and hope the restaurant can accommodate.
  13. I've been keeping an eye on the weather forecast and it appears that we can expect some rain showers next Friday, which means that show and tell on my patio is probably not going to work out. Fortunately, I was able to switch our Saturday reservation at TCB to Friday night, so Saturday dinner is now Friday dinner. Those who are bringing goodies for Show and Tell can bring them with you to the restaurant and we can enjoy them after dinner. Just a reminder - the $25 charge for the Saturday dinner was food only, so we will all need to take care of our own beverages via the restaurant's bar. Dinner will be a taco bar with plenty of fillings and toppings to suit omnivores and vegetarians. At the moment it looks like showers will continue into Saturday morning, but I am hoping the promise of clearing later in the day will hold and we can enjoy Saturday dinner at my place. I'd so love to host you all, so fingers crossed the weather gods cooperate!
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