KennethT

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  1. My dwarf lime tree in silhouette.
  2. The wrapper looked like brique pastry - sometimes called feuillete de brique...
  3. som tam is a thai salad - typically made with green papaya or green mango. The main ingredient is shredded and lightly pounded in a tall m&p (so stuff doesn't escape) with chiles, palm sugar, limes, etc. The Thai also use a smaller, granite m&p for grinding their curry pastes..
  4. I agree with @JoNorvelleWalker. When I was in Thailand, I saw a lot of curry pastes made by hand with m&p that looked EXTREMELY smooth.... - and when made into a curry, the paste basically dissolved into the coconut milk - there was no grainy-ness whatsoever. A good, solid m&p and lots of time and arm-grease can make a very smooth paste - much finer (and drier) than my blender can do. I've been thinking about those Indian motorized stone wet grinders typically used to grind lentils et al. Like this: https://www.google.com/#q=ultra+pride+wet+grinder But I have no idea if it can be used to make pastes out of harder ingredients such as galangal, which can be quite hard and woody. Plus, they're pretty expensive, unless you're making pastes all the time.
  5. That is really frustrating... I hope they can shed some light on this.... I'd be curious as to the solution.
  6. Rice paper uses

    @liuzhouExactly - NYC has very clean air for a big city, but I still wouldn't want to moisten them with the dew here! Plus, living in an apartment with no balcony would make it difficult anyway.... one day I'm going to experiment with the steamer method.
  7. Rice paper uses

    When we were in Saigon, last year, we saw a few uses - I've been meaning to do some experiments at home, but have not gotten around to it. In one area, they put the rice papers out on racks either at night, or very early in the morning, and allow the morning dew to soften the rice paper. They don't get as soft and flexible as if dipped in water, and they have a slight but pleasant chew. It is great to use as a taco of sorts - add various meats, veggies, herbs, etc. and then dip into some kind of watery (consistency-wise) sauce. You can also take the slightly softened papers, but them into quarters and deep fry them for a very nice snack. Now, I think it goes without saying that no one I know is going to go through the effort of trying to soften the papers using the morning dew... my experiments were going to be to try to mildly steam them in a low temp. steam environment.... ETA: we're going back to Vietnam (central Vietnam this time) in late June/early July - maybe we'll get some ideas then?
  8. I hate to say this, but did it come with an instruction manual or is everything done on screen? I'm wondering if there's a button you need to hit between to steps, to let it know that you completed that step. For instance, it tells you to add sugar - so then it has to wait for you to do that, and then receive a command that it's been done. Then it tells you to add water, and wait again for the command to tell it that the water was added... etc etc..
  9. I don't know about using it for fish specifically, but in general, batters made with alcohol (like vodka) as part of the liquid turn out crispier than those without. This may be harder to find, but I gather using Trisol as part of the dry mix makes things really crispy also, and it supposedly stays crispy too.
  10. My basil "tree"...
  11. powerful vacuum or compressed air
  12. Feasting My Way Through Japan

    Thanks so much for posting this! Loved it! I still can't imagine what sake flavored kit kats would taste like though... if you have time can you talk about sushi prices? Did you go to "average" sushi places, or more high end? It all looks like great quality...
  13. The light should be off when the door is closed! haha... Yes, the inside temp is definitely more stable with more mass inside. So the thermostat in most refrigerators is a "bang-bang" type where the compressor is on or off, set with some hysteresis to keep it from cycling all the time. So, just as an example, the compressor may turn on when the thermostat hits 36degF and then turn off when the temp reaches 33degF. So the interior temp cycles back and forth between them. The more thermal mass you have, the longer it will take for the interior to heat up once the compressor turns off - but it will also take longer for the compressor to cool it back down once it turns on. So, while it may not be more energy efficient, it will keep your compressor from cycling as often, which is better for it. On the other hand, some newer style and expensive refrigerators use a different style compressor that doesn't just turn on and off, but will speed up and slow down according to thermal demand. This refrigerator is much more energy efficient since it is very inefficient for the compressor to turn on from dead still, and is less dependent on the mass stored inside at the moment. Whether this difference in efficiency will ever make up the cost difference in the prices of the refrigerators is another question....
  14. I don't know if it would be more efficient as you have to cool the large mass initially, but I imagine it would keep the compressor from cycling on and off as often, as the large mass would keep the interior temps from fluctuating as much as it would if it were empty.
  15. @shainWhat are these? Are they peppercorns?