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  1. American Dishes

    @huiray - no I've never seen that before... interesting
  2. American Dishes

    @liuzhouYou've hit the nail on the head... I can't think of any 100% original, indigenous, American food, but as kayb said, most people here aren't "native" anyway. But, I don't think the OP was asking about native, indigenous foods.... but rather, foods that are popular in the US and are commonly known as "American" that may have started off as something somewhere else, and then was later modified/adapted.... like some of the examples in that wikipedia article. So, I think for the purposes of the OP (who is seemingly not American - or is only a recent American or resident, based upon the language in the post), I think the wikipedia article fits the bill. Many years ago, there were a lot of restaurants that served "American food" - the menu consisted largely of grilled or broiled proteins - steaks, broiled chicken or lamb chops, broiled flat fish (like fillet of sole), along with some form of potato (mashed potatoes, french fries or hash browns) and an overcooked vegetable or two - usually string beans, peas&carrots, etc. There were very few sauces or seasonings aside from salt & pepper, or Heinz' ketchup. Thankfully, these types of restaurants have gone out of fashion (and out of business), at least in the NYC area (with the exception of the steakhouse, which is as or more popular than ever).
  3. Gardening: 2016–

    I don't see how Epsom salts can help BER, as it is a calcium issue, and Epsom salts are magnesium. If the problem is with heirloom varieties (non-hybrid), the answer is that we just have to deal with it... many heirloom varieties root structure is not sufficient to bring in enough nutrients for the plant once it gets really going - this is (one of the reasons) why heirloom tomatoes can be expensive in the store since up to 50% of the crop can wind up being not saleable. Also, since Ca is not very mobile (it is moved by the plant with water flow due to transpiration, not actively by the plant itself), conditions that limit transpiration like high humidity or cool temps can exacerbate the problem. In order to fight this in a garden, you can make a foliar spray using CaMg, a good source of calcium. Spray on the leaves closest to the fruit - maybe you can even spray the fruit - I'm not sure if that works or not... but you have to spray before BER takes hold - it is irreversible. ETA: the crushed eggshells are a source of calcium, but are not directly absorbable - it must first be broken down by fungi and bacteria to the salt form so that the plant can take it up. So it will take quite a while (maybe for next year?) for the eggshells to make a difference.
  4. Pastries around the world

    I don't know if this is the proper topic to put this up, but my wife and I were wandering around in the nice weather tonight and I picked up one of these French little beauties, in NYC... Pistachio financier... I know it looks more like a muffin, but it had a really intense pistachio flavor, and the inside was a nice pale green color. Very tasty!
  5. Aldi $19.99 Food Dehydrator

    Is that right??? Or one-time-use-only!
  6. Excellent timing indeed. The one you have in your hand (I assume that's your hand!) is the size of what we had...
  7. I don't think I'd do anything in it that required washing the inside afterwards (like rendering fat) - hard to wash through the small neck!
  8. @liuzhouVery nice... it seems your rougiamo was a big one cut into quarters. Most of what we saw were small - about the size of a traditional hamburger, but made with that flatbread. Do you know which is more traditional?
  9. I don't know what caused the haziness... it was beautifully clear our first day, and then proceeded to get progressively hazier as the days went on (with no rain)... Beijing is known for bad pollution, so I wouldn't rule that out, but I can't say that we were uncomfortable or had any issues breathing, and not that many people were wearing pollution masks...
  10. @DerynWe actually brought nothing back from this trip... I think it's a first. I have black vinegar at home that I got in Chinatown in NYC... I don't know if there's a major difference in brands anyway - wherever we saw condiments (basically in most local restaurants) they were always in non-descript bottles, so I wouldn't even know the name of a superior brand if I saw it - plus, the fact that the writing would be all in Chinese would be a problem as well since I can't really read it.
  11. The next day was the day we were leaving... We thought we had plenty of time since our flight left at 6PM, and we were checking out of the hotel at 3, but we wound up running into the hotel's restaurant manager on the street the night before on the way home from dinner (she was just leaving from HaiDiLao!) and we wound up chatting with her the next morning about traveling, life in the US/China, misconceptions from the media, etc. for about an hour at breakfast. Then, we tried to return our stored value "top-up" subway cards at the local subway station, but it turned into a wild goose chase as each person we saw told us we had to go to a different window in a different station... After about an hour of running around, we decided to just cut our losses and forget about it... the deposit on the cards was 20 Yuan each (less than $3 each), and we each had about 35 Yuan (about $5 each) in left over fares. So, all in all, not a huge loss, and if I knew it would be such a hassle, I wouldn't have even bothered trying in the first place. By the time we finished packing, we only had time for a pretty fast lunch, and we definitely didn't want to risk taking the time to trek around the city, so back to the mall we went! We figured it would be a fitting end to the trip to have some final jiaozi at the same place we went the first day. I think our waitress remembered us, since after I had ordered the jiaozi, she turned the page to the menu to the veggie section and pointed to the Chinese writing for the gailan (jie-lan) as we had a minor miscommunication about it our first time there. Who am I to refuse? Pork and coriander (cilantro) Mutton and scallion. I preferred to use black vinegar with roasted chili in oil as a dipping sauce... my wife preferred the standard soy sauce. So, that's it! A truly enlightening trip - not so much from a food perspective (even though the food was great) but it was great to have some long talks with a bunch of different sets of peers to get their perspective on what it's like growing up and living in a country that's been through such rapid and dramatic change in the last 30 years. And to do some sightseeing on some things that my wife and I have dreamed about since we were kids.... I'm glad we got a 10 year visa (it was the same price as a one time visa) as this definitely will not be the last trip to China!
  12. Evidently, people in Beijing love fresh squeezed orange juice. During our week, we saw people squeezing oranges all day at various street corners throughout the city: And in one mall, we saw this fresh squeezed orange juice vending machine!
  13. After lunch, we went to walk around BeiHai Park... like most things in Beijing, it is huge.... but beautiful. There is a large lake where you can rent a boat, and an island that has a large "dagoba"... as hard as I tried, I did not see Yoda.... More stairs to get up to Dagoba... That evening, we went for our last dinner - so, we wanted to have another Peking Duck experience. Fongyee had recommended a more casual place - called Hua's Family restaurant, which is always crammed with locals... and I could see why - the duck was excellent - maybe not as good as 1949's which was superb and extraordinary - but excellent... and also 1/3 the price! Scallion pancake Gailan - ordering this actually brought up a very interesting topic. Our waiter spoke excellent English (later in the evening, he gave us his card which said that he moonlights (or maybe the waitering was the moonlighting?) as a translator. When I asked for it (I called it "GUY-LAHN", as it was called in Hong Kong and in NY), he had no idea what I was talking about, so after discussing it in English, we determined that what I wanted, he called "JEE-EH-LAHN" in Mandarin... I had always heard that Cantonese (as is common in HK and NY) sounded very different from Mandarin, and this was a pretty good example of that. One thing that was interesting about this place was that they put the first few slices of meat and skin on some puffed rice to be had as snacks - like an hors d'oevre..... There was also some kind of sauce between the rice cakes and duck - it almost tasted like a horseradish mayo! They served the duck with some interesting accoutrements: Pineapple, iceberg lettuce, cucumber skin Cucumber, watermelon radish, scallion, melon, and some kind of jelly that reminded me of Thanksgiving Cranberry Sauce (the kind in the can), but it was more firm - almost like a pate de fruit.... Fongyee also told us that while 1949's duck is excellent, they do not use the traditional Beijing hoisin sauce... She said Beijing hoisin should not be sweet (which 1949's was) - and indeed, this hoisin was very different - it almost had a medicinal herbal flavor - it slightly reminded me of the herbal flavor you get in some Chinese Medicine (which unfortunately I had experience with a few years ago...) But, it went very well with the duck!
  14. @liuzhouThanks for that link... I seem to have missed that topic! Your version looks great!