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Everything posted by Dianabanana

  1. What does the family do for income? It looks like they've got quite a physical infrastructure there. Does the foam catch the sand on a windy day, so that the sand doesn't contaminate the milk? You just scrape it off once you're inside? *sound of Bedouins laughing derisively*
  2. My climate is Frozen North. I'm pretty darn sure lemongrass would not survive. As to the galangal, I've never used powdered, but since fresh galangal is very similar to fresh ginger, I would imagine that the difference is like the difference between fresh ginger and powdered ginger. It does keep very nicely in the freezer if you ever happen across it.
  3. Okay, I'll call the other repair guy in town and ask him to take a look. It's running perfectly fine right now. After I got it all cleaned out, I turned the thermostats all the way down (to off) then back up again, it made a lot of noise, and it's been fine ever since. Since we are peeking into one another's freezers, here's what I normally have in mine: Homemade raw dog food, edamame, lemongrass (hard to find here, so I bring it home from the big city and freeze), turmeric bulbs (ditto), galangal (ditto), lime leaves (ditto), curry leaves (ditto), peas (any brand), grean beans (Cascadian Farm), corn (any brand), blueberries (Stahlbush Island Farms), and cooked dried beans (there are only two of us so I usually cook a pound at a time, freeze half and cook with the other half).
  4. He couldn't see anything wrong with it and suggested it may have been that the ice maker bar got stuck in the down position. Butter! Why don't I ever think of keeping a supply of butter in the freezer? So obvious. That's why I'm asking you guys.
  5. My entire refrigerator and freezer mysteriously died on Sunday, destroying most of the contents before I realized what was happening, then just as mysteriously came back to life Monday morning just before the repairman arrived. The bright side is that I was forced to jettison a lot of food that was never going to get eaten anyway, and then was shamed by my dirty fridge into cleaning it. I am now the proud owner of a spotlessly clean and completely empty freezer drawer, and thought I would ask you all to hit me with your favorite frozen product recommendations before I go shopping tomorrow afternoon. I'm interested in pretty much anything you find useful to keep in a freezer, although I'm really not much of a consumer of prepared foods.
  6. Dianabanana

    Food Gifts 2011

    The tomato chutney is not for giving away!!!
  7. Dianabanana

    Food Gifts 2011

    Right, Jaymes's caramel popcorn. I was just coming in to say that.
  8. I'm all for a slow, leisurely meal if we're all having a slow, leisurely meal; what's rude is when one person forces his slow, leisurely meal on a table full of people who have a show to catch or who are just tired of sitting, have run out of things to talk about, and want the check. I am frequently obligated to dine with a slow eater and what is truly maddening about it is the way he simply doesn't care if everyone else has to sit and watch him eat for 20 minutes while he finishes, even if we have to be somewhere at a particular time. He just plods on through his meal at the same leisurely pace. And, just as you might expect, this same lack of regard for others' time extends to the rest of his life as well. Even if there is a busload of people waiting for him, he will never break out of his measured pace. He just doesn't seem to feel the same social pressure that others feel. It drives me crazy.
  9. Well, he grouted today and I have to say, I'm amazed at how much better it looks. No, it is not a professional job, and I think I could have done better myself, but I don't think I'm going to be glaring at it in irritation the whole rest of my life. I just keep telling myself I can always tile over it if I hate it that much. Randi, you've got stronger nerves than I have. If I'd tried to do my kitchen renovation while studying for my bar exam, I'd be writing this from prison. Good luck on both! Oh, and Jeanne, I did have his wife over yesterday! She thinks it looks terrific. She's a very supportive wife.
  10. I agree with ChrisTaylor--you eat what's put in front of you. If you have a dietary restriction or just gag on creamy eggs, then that's something you politely and almost apologetically mention to your host ahead of time, hopefully when they cheerfully ask you if you have any dietary restrictions or particular likes/dislikes and then assure you that they're happy to accommodate them--indeed, they look forward to it! If you're addicted to McDonald's and only want to eat that three meals a day, then that's something you bring up ahead of time, before your host goes to the trouble of planning menus and shopping. And in that case your host should smile and remark what a refreshing change it will be to have such an easy guest. Otherwise you just choke down whatever dreck they put in front of you and proclaim it the best dreck ever. But, in this guy's defense, I can kind of see it. A lot of people are terribly anxious about traveling, making it to the airport on time, etc. I'm related to one of them. All they can think about is whether everything is packed properly, checking and rechecking their tickets, planning everything out for maximum efficiency. . . it drives me crazy. I could see wanting to hit a drive through for breakfast as part of this kind of anxiety.
  11. I know tiling isn't that hard. I tiled our bathroom floor and shower surround myself in a quite complicated pattern and it came out great. Unfortunately health issues prevent me from doing this project. Also, I live in a very rural area, and the only guy who could have done a better job has had a double knee replacement and can't work. There is no Angieslist here. This guy is retired and only does it for spending money, and for various social reasons (it's a small town) I don't feel I can ask him to redo it. It's ridiculous. And I didn't mean to impugn Greek tilers! Just trying to conjure up a romantic vision, wasn't thinking about all the gorgeous mosaics, etc. . . .
  12. Has anyone else noticed the cool herringbone pattern subway tile backsplash in FG's new kitchen? I really like it. So much so that I decided to do the same thing in my kitchen. It's not coming out anywhere near as nice as his, though, due to the utter ineptitude of my tile guy. So, I'm pretending that I'm renovating a farmhouse in rural Greece and this is just the latest in a string of amusing anecdotes involving the local characters. Like when he discovers 3/4 of the way through the job that the yogurt container of plastic spacers he's been using contains not all 1/8" spacers but somehow a random mixture of 1/8" and 3/16". That explains why nothing is in a straight line! A ha ha ha. I'm sure I would feel better if I could hear a few tales of your kitchen renovation debacles.
  13. I have this Ozeri pan, same idea: http://www.amazon.com/Frying-Ozeri-Ceramic-Non-Stick-Coating/dp/B004AMUELO/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1320955710&sr=8-2 It's a bit unpredictable as to what sticks to it and what doesn't. One nice thing about it is that it can go in the dishwasher.
  14. Oh, this is wonderful! Reboiling water is a subject of hot debate in our house. I can't wait to whip out this fact. VICTORY IS MINE!
  15. Tea. 1. It goes with more kinds of savory food--in fact every kind of Asian food I can think of (including Indian), and many other cuisines as well. I like a hot beverage with most meals. It just feels good. 2. It's more reliably good than coffee (if you make it yourself, that is). 3. It's not as perishable as coffee. 4. It doesn't give you bad breath. Coffee does. 5. It's much easier on my digestive system. 6. It has less caffeine than coffee, so you can enjoy many cups of it without having a nervous breakdown.
  16. 1. My diet is almost entirely vegetarian and has been for 25 years. From the carbon footprint calculators I've used, it seems this is a much bigger carbon savings than almost anything else I do in the whole rest of my life. 2. I have an induction cooktop, which is vastly more efficient than any other type of cooking surface. 3. I'm a big fan of the pressure cooker. A pressure cooker combined with an induction cooktop is incredibly efficient. I also do a lot of stir-frying. I hardly ever use the oven--not with energy conservation in mind, though. It's just the way I happen to cook. 4. I live in the frozen north. I'm rich in cold. Anything that needs cooling gets thrown out on the deck or in the front vestibule. 5. I keep a few laying hens, and they eat everything we don't, and give it back to us in eggs. Their manure goes into our garden. I don't know if keeping a garden does anything for the environment (it certainly doesn't save any money, the way I do it), but at least all the food scraps are getting used very efficiently and don't have to be hauled to a landfill. And I have a LOT of food scraps. Which leads me to . . . My biggest sin: I waste a ton of food. It's shameful how much I waste. I travel a lot and it seems I can never use up what's in my fridge before I leave. So much food has just a brief rest in my fridge before making the trip out to the chicken coop. I really think that food waste is probably the single biggest energy waster in my kitchen, and in most people's kitchens. Not that we shouldn't also pay attention to everything else as well, but this is the number one issue that I want to get a handle on.
  17. Some day I would like to see on the internet a calm, rational discussion of the actual merits of various positions on animal welfare without a single mention of PETA. Ha. Jenni, thank you for holding down a sane position in this discussion. I'm afraid I get too annoyed to engage in it myself, but you're doing a fine job of speaking for me!
  18. I can't stand it. I love asparagus but hardly ever eat it because I know I'll be smelling it the whole next day. I look at a stalk of asparagus and immediately think, "asparagus pee." Yuck.
  19. Yes, but was it a fuzzy logic rice cooker? I do know people who've abandoned the pot cookers, and I can see why--they're not that great. It's the fuzzy logic ones that are so addictive.
  20. Nobody "gets" the rice cooker until they try it. I should know--for years I maintained that a rice cooker was a pointless waste of space when I could cook perfectly wonderful rice in the pot I already owned. Well, I was wrong. If you like rice, you should consider trying one, so you can see for yourself. I've never known anyone with a fuzzy logic rice cooker to say they still prefer cooking rice in a pot. I'm sure such people exist (one's bound to chime in just after I hit "post" ) but I've never met one, and I seem to get involved in an inordinate number of discussions about rice cookers, both in real life and online, so you'd think I would have by now.
  21. I've always used self-cleaning on all my ovens. My current range is the Kenmore/Electrolux induction with electric oven and the first time I used the self-clean on the oven, it did stink a lot. I've never had that much stink in my prior ovens. If I lived in an apartment and had to leave a cat in there with the oven while it cleaned, I don't think I would use it. It was pretty bad. Luckily I live in a house and the cat (and I, and the dogs) can just go outside. The cat is 18, by the way, and a veteran of many cleaning cycles. Also, I don't know what oven cleaning products are like these days, but the ones I remember from 20 years ago were way stinkier and more toxic-seeming than what the self-cleaning cycle puts out.
  22. On further reflection, I don't think almond milk and rice pasta can be rightly considered "fake" or "mimic." Almond milk has a long history in India as its own thing, and rice pasta has a long history in Thailand, Vietnam, etc., as its own thing as well. Edit: Wikipedia says "In the Middle Ages, almond milk was known in both the Islamic world and Christendom, where its vegetable composition — being a nut that is the seed of a fruit of a plant — made it suitable for consumption during Lent." Hmm.
  23. Almond milk! Specifically Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Original, the one in the cooler, not the aseptic box. I love it cold with cookies. I love it warm with a little crushed cardamom. I love it in chai. I love it on cereal. Dairy milk leaves a kind of sour coating on my tongue; no such problem with almond milk. I'm a total convert. I haven't had much rice pasta, but I have had the Amy's frozen Rice Mac & Cheese, which I thought was better than any other frozen mac & cheese I've ever had. I don't really know how to describe it other than "toothsome." It felt so satisfying against the teeth, in a way that regular macaroni never does.
  24. I most certainly will not accept it as true simply because they said so, nor will I necessarily 'agree' with them by keeping silent if keeping silent would indicate consent. Self observation is pretty close to hopeless. If people want to try out various things and make their conclusions, that is ok, but you can't expect everyone to roll over an agree just because those people have found comfort. Perhaps I'm not quite understanding you. If I tell you that green bell peppers give me indigestion, you would not accept it as true simply because I said so?
  25. A gluten-free diet is expensive, inconvenient, and, as amply demonstrated by this thread, rather a social liability. If people are going to all the trouble of trying a gluten-free diet in lieu of proper medical diagnosis, I'm inclined to aim my disapprobation at a health care system in which it costs $1800 to get a 10-minute upper endoscopy, the entire cost of which must be borne by the person with high-deductible health insurance. Of course some people will try diet first.
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