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Patapsco Mike

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    Baltimore, MD
  1. FDA rules are the way they are for all sorts of reasons, food science being but one. It could be to make it reasonably likely that the food will be inspected while frozen- who knows...
  2. If you must cook them, I prefer them broiled on the half shell with a tiny bit of butter and a light sprinkling of Old Bay. Cook until the edges start to curl just a bit. I've eaten hundreds of oysters this way. Oyster season just opened on the Chesapeake two weeks ago. Go get yourself some. They are amazingly inexpensive if you buy them a bushel at a time. This gives you enough to cook them many different ways.
  3. I think it's being made too complicated. It has nothing to do with sharp crystals. Freezing kills organic life forms that don't have some kind of anti-freeze for the same reason that a jug of water filled to the top and frozen will break. Water expands quite a lot when frozen, and cell membranes to not have room for the amount of expansion that takes place. The cells and even the structures inside the cells burst as the water expands, and this is fatal. Quite a few organisms can live at below freezing temperatures (ice worms, some amphibians, etc). These organisms have one thing in common- they live in an environment where they have had evolutionary pressure that forces them to adapt to being at below freezing temperatures. They will still die if frozen solid, but they have various types of chemicals that allow the water in them to stay liquid at below freezing temperatures. Fishes don't freeze, so the parasites that are adapted to live in them have never developed this ability. So freezing very reliably kills them.
  4. Two weekends ago in Ocean City (MD) a dozen large crabs was $54. It's crazy. I spoke to a couple watermen loading pots onto their boats up on the Sassafras River last Thursday. They were getting $80 at the dock, which is a LOT. However, they were having trouble finding reliable buyers. The price is so high that the market is saturated right now. This should drive down the prices before too long.
  5. Foodnerd- crabs aren't in season now- the Faidley's slump might be due to supply of crab meat. This is the worst time of year for getting the local jumbo lump crabmeat they use. You might want to stick with oysters until June when the crab season is cranking. I like the crab cakes (and about everything else) at Fernado's Salsa Grill in Woodlawn (across Security Blvd from the SSA). They are handmade- simple, and tasty. As they use crab meat from overseas, it's more consistent year-round. I had forgotten about The Narrows, they do make a very nice crab cake. Clydes in Columbia makes a good crab cake too, and I am assuming you've been to G&M.
  6. I have two young kids, and here is what we get the most out of. All are low maintenance, long picking season, and can be eaten with minimal (or no) prep. A freshly dug parsnip or carrot with a little sea salt sprinkled on it is kiddie crack- and both can be left in the ground for months in the fall. 1) carrots 2) parsnips 3) leaf lettuce/spinach (kids love raw spinach, but most hate it if cooked) 4) sungold cherry tomatoes 5) everbearing strawberries Here are my boys with their favorite snack...
  7. I've lived in Maryland for 39 years, 4 in Western Maryland, 5 on the eastern shore and the rest in the Baltimore metro area. Leaving Baltimore to find a better crab cake is a fool's errand. You can find a good crab cake in a lot of places- it's not rocket science- but none are going to be substantially better than Faidley's Jumbo lump. So many places where you would expect to find a good one try to get fancy and add unusual ingredients. Peppers, mango, whatever. Sometimes they are good, more often they are a disappointment. One I can recommend from the shore is in Ocean City- Marlin Moon Grill in the Francis Scott Key Motel. It's simple and delicious.
  8. In some cases, you are right about cladding protecting brittle steels. But as you point out in your last sentence, things are a bit different now. ZDP189 is not brittle like the older carbon steels. There are plenty of non-clad ZDP189 blades on the market despite the fact that this is a relatively new material. Spyderco and Kershaw both mass produce non-clad blades. I owned one myself, which led me to my warnings on this thread.
  9. It's just not true, in this case, that a softer material is needed to "support the core." I think your second statement is right- it's just to keep the knife pretty. I agree that the rust is not a huge issue, or that it will appreciably shorten blade life. It's just ugly, and something to keep in mind in terms of not letting the blade sit in the sink or on a damp dishcloth overnight.
  10. As a scientist and owner of one boat (and responsible for four work boats) used and sometimes left in saltwater I am painfully aware of galvanic corrosion. However, in knives this is not a problem. In fact, the cladding is typically used to prevent corrosion and discoloring (and/or to add toughness). I'm sounding like a broken record, so I'll stop. I wish you luck. So long as you do some light oiling after using the knife, you will probably end up loving the incredible wear resistance of ZDP189.
  11. I'm sorry if I wasn't clear in my posts. It's ZDP189 that is prone to corrosion, not the ATS-34 on the sides. The sides of these knives should be worry free. It's the core of the knife that is of concern (i.e. the part that does the actual cutting). It seems that practically all the makers of ZDP189 blades are aware of the rust issue. These knives are all being offered now either clad in a more stainless steel or with a durable coating on the blade. Such knives will stay nice and pretty even if the edge rusts away... Try the lemon test on the ZDP189 part, if you dare.
  12. Ah, yes, the Subject-expectancy effect. ;-) Seriously though, given how different one orange will taste from another, you had a 50/50 shot of figuring out which one was the washed one. After that it's gravy. Try washing half of one orange, or doing it double blind. You will still have the problem of taste differences between oranges. Science is a PITA. It's transparently insane. Orange membranes are nearly impermeable except to gasses. Washing a bit of tasteless wax off can't change anything. Unless you are one of those people who eat the rind too.
  13. It is difficult to find any fish/seafood that does not come with a lot of ecological/environmental baggage. Shrimp (bycatch), crabs (terrible overfishing), clams (extremely destructive harvest practices), etc etc. Fish farms are no panacea either- they cause all sorts of problems to fishes native to the areas where the farms are located (e.g. vectors for disease and parasites). A noteworthy exception is wild Alaskan salmon. They do a remarkably good job managing the wild stocks and ensuring enough fish spawn to keep populations in some semblance of balance. Eating local foods works well for a lot of things, but not so much for fish or seafood.
  14. FWIW my wife and kids freak out over this stuff. I just cut the whole thing into triangles. I put a lump of brie onto one- then another goes on top. Use a fork to seal the edges, and brush with egg wash. A few minutes in the oven and it's ready. I've yet to have one make it to room temperature before it's devoured.
  15. I've probably put 300 lbs of venison through my meat grinder attachment. It is a real workhorse and has never given me a bit of trouble. I have the slicer/shredder too, but only used it once. It's just too much of a PITA to get it all rigged up unless you can keep the KA on your counter at all times.
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