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Katie Meadow

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  1. Katie Meadow

    Mussels!

    Freshwater mussels are not the same as saltwater. They look different. And they are endangered. The levels of toxins in fresh water lakes or rivers is killing them and it could make them unsafe to eat.
  2. Katie Meadow

    Peeps: Marshmallowly Goodness

    I have never eaten a peep nor do I plan to. However as a science experiment, applying fire might be interesting. Just make sure you have homeowners insurance and good medical insurance in case you burn down your house or breathe the fumes. This is the stuff of great science fair material! Your kid will be a star, even if he or she comes home with no eyebrows. Try roasting the ones that are already chocolate dipped. You will be two thirds of the way to a rainbow s'more.
  3. Katie Meadow

    I need a toaster

    We all need a toaster. Even those of us who already have more than one. I have spent a disproportionate amount of time in my life thinking about toasters. The old Sunbeams I used to find at Goodwill worked great for a few years, then kicked the bucket. The perfect toaster is the one that doesn't cost much and works for a few years. And that is still elusive. I will never give up on toasters and it will be a cold day in hell when I allow a toaster oven on my counter. When it comes to toasters, I have now determined that the great is the enemy of the good, at least for those of us who don't have a vast collection of vintage beauties. My only recommendation is this: if you buy a new toaster get one with a bagel button. That means the slot will only heat on one side. Not only does this work for bagels but it gives your toaster a Plan B. When your toaster starts to act up, burning one side of the toast or undercooking one side, the bagel button can be a corrective and a life extender. Oh, and one other thing. Any toaster that brags about its ability to cook fast should be avoided. Cooking fast is never a good thing when it comes to toast. Slow and steady wins. Morning is golden.
  4. Katie Meadow

    Sushi Rice

    True enough, and yet our biggest and best Japanese market in the east bay labels all short and some medium rice as "sushi rice" on the shelves, just to compound the problem. Recently I bought a bag of Kokuho Rose. The package says it is medium grain, but it looks like short grain to me. Before jumping on the onigirazu band wagon I didn't buy much short grain rice. This one's very good, I think. I haven't had the Calrose in several years, so I can't compare.
  5. Tillandsia can be quite small and used in all kinds of extremely silly decorative ways. Someone gave my MIL one that was perched on a ceramic head to look like hair. She had no idea it was supposed to be watered or that it was even alive. Not that I blame her. She's 93. Even I didn't know what it was until I saw instructions underneath. Not a very good gift. Who wants to be responsible for keeping something else alive when you are 93? @liuzhou as you no doubt know, bergamot citrus fruit flavors Earl Grey tea. I don't know where it is grown, but it has a very short season here in CA. That season is congruent (shorter, though) with Seville orange season here. That season is now, which is why we are making marmalade in March for the rest of the year. When available, we juice and zest a few bergamots along with the bitter oranges and it adds a very exotic taste. A little goes a long way, so I can't imagine wanting a marmalade that was primarily bergamot. Plus it would cost an arm and a leg....or a HAND. Frankly that copy about a "bergamot holder" in the Amazon listing must have been translated by someone from Jupiter. Bergamot is dear, but it ain't THAT special that you would want display just one. And I don't see wanting what you can't have as a strange character trait. I thought that was the point! Was I mistaken? Besides, if I had to name a strange character trait of yours it would be your corn phobia!
  6. Katie Meadow

    Dinner 2019

    @Ann_T Best to Moe. And I hope there's some decent restaurant take-out near the hospital!
  7. THE HAND! So I had to see what the Amazon listing was like. They're going begging, not a single review. Hilarious that it is marketed as a Tillandsia holder, but then in the small print tells you it's really a rest for your bergamot. My bergamots don't need much rest, they usually just sit around and do nothing. Besides, I usually have more than one at a time. But the funniest thing is the suggested list of "typical" questions (just in case you can't think of any), one being "Is it easy to use?" Well, that all depends....
  8. Katie Meadow

    Teal Hearts

    Oh, @Shelby your cats must be hard to scare. And to the OP, @mome23, you must think we are insane.
  9. Since I started cooking with a wok forty years ago I have developed a technique and a familiarity based on trial and error such that I can make a simple stir fry practically in my sleep. Most of my stir-fries are fairly similar. I'm very lazy, and for the two of us I am not going to make more than one dish, so the basic dish typically involves a modest amount of shrimp, chicken or whatever protein, plus a variety of vegetables, usually cabbage, choi sum and Chinese chives. For a beginner I suggest reading and trying various recipes or taking a class, although I kind of agree that timing and experience and technique are also a matter of practice, practice, practice. I wouldn't have assumed this, but lately I am trying to teach my husband how to make our basic stir fry and it's trickier than I thought. The things my husband is good at, like baking bread, give you time to think and plan in a way that is very different from the speed of a stir fry. Remember that stir-fry came about because there wasn't a lot of fuel--a short burst of high energy was the best you could get from a small bundle of sticks. Okay, I don't know if this is totally true, but it must be a factor. A decent round-bottom wok is a necessity. My preference is carbon steel. So is the ability of your stove to produce a high flame as needed. So is making sure your wok is sitting in a stable fashion and at a distance from the burner that works well for you. After years of cooking on an under-powered gas stove we finally put in a small-size Viking range that can generate some real heat. I bought an interchangeable cast iron wok burner as part of the original purchase. If you cook with a wok once or twice a week like I do, that was worth the upgrade. I've never done a stir-fry outdoors, so I'm ignorant about that. I've never heard of a sauce packet, but it sounds like you can't get much variety that way. The basic ingredients for marinades and sauces are easy to work with and mostly cheap and will allow for creativity and different flavors. Books can help there, both with suggestions for purchases and ways to combine ingredients. Eventually you will find your favorites, and hopefully you have access to Chinese ingredients, although the basics such as various soy sauces, vinegars, rice wine, peanut oil, chiles etc are pretty available. For me this has become the most efficient dependable meal that I can put together without thinking, and it never gets old.
  10. Katie Meadow

    Shrimp

    I'm very squeamish about seafood. And I have a very sensitive nose, which is often a liability, but nothing I can ignore. My strict rule about shrimp and all seafood is that I eat it the day of purchase. We buy wild gulf shrimp here in the Bay Area and I assume it has been frozen once; the price is embarrassing but the farmed shrimp that's available isn't appealing. It would be very exciting to live somewhere with shrimp day boats!
  11. Katie Meadow

    Teal Hearts

    And same here. Chum must have been exhausted. A lot of teal needed for an entree of hearts.
  12. Recently the NYT featured a Tejal Rao recipe called Citrus Salad with Peanuts and Avocado. What was unusual about the recipe was that it included fish sauce, in fact a fairly substantial quantity of it. Another unusual thing was that in the body copy this salad is referred to as "Sicilian." Well, maybe without the fish sauce it could be. The comments on the Times site are all over the map, from "disgusting" to "in permanent rotation." I love citrus salads, but just the thought of fish sauce with either blood oranges or avocado makes me wobbly. I think of grapefruit and avocado salads as being a very Sunset Magazine kind of thing. Nice served cold with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper on a hot day. Mint, absolutely. Fish sauce, I don't think so.
  13. Katie Meadow

    Breakfast 2019

    My mold just arrived! Timely, too, considering it ships from Japan. Very cute, but the push-out flap doesn't look like it will last forever. I ordered it before I discovered the Italian Ashtray technique; area in two dimensions is almost identical. Of course I have already noticed a design flaw: the press-top is fitted, so you can't really adjust the thickness of the rice if you happen to want your rice squares a bit thinner. C'est la vie. On the other hand the life expectancy of an ashtray that routinely gets slammed on a wooden board may not be so great either. Next up is probably a Lox Omelet Onigirazu.
  14. I was given a copy last xmas. Not enamored. Maybe I cooked one thing, but I can't even remember what. My most useful cook books are ones that I borrowed from the library and liked so much I had to purchase them. If there are only a handful of recipes in a library book that interest me I just make a copy of the page. My books could really stand a thinning; there's quite a few that get little or no attention. I am thinking that perhaps as I get older I tend to rely on tried-and-true favorites or I improvise rather than actively searching for new recipes.
  15. Katie Meadow

    What Tea Are You Drinking Today? (Part 3)

    My last tea order included a sample size packet of Black Dragon Pearls, which had a lot of rave reviews. I've had it twice now and I'm not impressed. It's very pricey and you need at least three pearls (they are large, and Adagio says to use 2-3 per cup) to make a small cup of tea with some body. Otherwise It is pleasant enough but pretty wimpy. For a straight ahead black tea I'm liking Irish Breakfast these days.
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