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Posts posted by KennethT

  1. Homemade Thai Chicken noodle soup using some of the stock I made last week. Some crispy fried garlic, garlic oil and sawtooth coriander (not to mention roasted chili flakes on the side) are all traditional. The rau ram is not necessarily traditional in Thai noodle soups, but is tasty nonetheless - and brings is into Saigon territory a bit.


    • Like 6
    • Delicious 1

  2. 15 minutes ago, jrshaul said:

    Does it use a relay? It's usually something solid state, which have an unfortunate habit of causing collateral damage when they go boom. SOP on audio equipment is to assume a dead transistor blew up adjacent components, too, but I'm not too clever with analog power electronics.

    The motor appears to be a shaded pole motor. In theory, I could wire it to the mains power bus and just use a toggle switch to turn it on and off.

    I can't afford another one, and it's broken anyway...


    I don't think the motor changes speed - like a computer power supply fan would - I think it's either on or off, in which case, the easiest way to control it would be a relay.  I haven't taken mine apart so I don't know for sure, but it would make sense.  If I could, I would test it by turning on the fan mode and try to hear a slight click when the fan turns on, which would indicate relay, but mine is currently hiding in the bedroom, which it does when we're not using it (lack of kitchen space and all that)...

  3. 56 minutes ago, jrshaul said:

    Fixing things what aren't meant to be fixed is what I do. A dud motor is the easy option - finding something close enough isn't difficult, but dealing with dead control logic is a nightmare.

    For someone technically minded, it shouldn't be a difficult fix.  I doubt the logic control is bad - I'd assume it would either be the motor (easy to test) or the relay on the board that brings power to the motor.  That, or just a plain ol' bad connection somewhere...

  4. 1 minute ago, TicTac said:

    You would love this one client I was working with, Ken - they have node sensor technology for agricultural applications which automates the entire process based on the genetics of the plant being grown.


    Very cool stuff out there.


    And then there's old dirt farmers like me - KISS - just throw some compost and worm castings on for good measure when in doubt!



    Yeah, it's true - there is a lot of cool stuff out there.  With a $20 Arduino plus some sensors, I can do the exact same thing with a bit of programming.  That's what I'm eventually going to do with my herbs - once I move.  Each herb has different watering requirements (some, like the citrus tree and curry plant (which is technically a citrus) like to dry out between waterings while others want to be constantly moist) so that will require moisture sensors in some of the plants - others may just be dosed a few times a day which may waste a bit of water/nutrient but would otherwise require another $40 sensor per plant!  Also, some plants like full sun, others, like cilantro and sawtooth, like shade so I'll be getting/making new lights so I can light each group independently.


    I think there's nothing wrong with KISS - more often than not, it just works, but it does require more of a daily effort.  Plus, I love building systems, so it's a lot of fun for me... and, I'm lazy and time constrained - I'd much rather put in a bunch of hours of work all at once when I ahve the time, then have to put in minimal time - less than 5 minutes on a daily basis afterwards than having to do 20-30 minutes every day...

    • Like 1

  5. 5 minutes ago, TicTac said:

    You are like the mad (in a good way) scientist of the indoor plant world, Ken!


    I love it!!!!!!!


    All of that is way above this dirt slinger's head!







    You'd be surprised how much info is out there about hydroponics.  Although I do think that my garden's level of sophistication for those other plants (temperature sensor, moisture sensor, humidity sensor, CO2 sensor and automated nutrient/water dosing, CO2 injection, humidity injection /  dehumidification, and air conditioning) was pretty cool.  Eventually, I'm going to get that back again with all of these herbs, but for now, except for the lights, all the watering is manual and I'm leaving the tent doors open since it's a comfy 75-77degF in the apartment and the light makes a bit of heat and my A/C system isn't set up yet.  Plus these plants aren't really day length sensitive - so while the light is on for 14 hours (which is like a tropical summer day), getting a little bit of ambient light on them during the "night time" is no problem.  It's a fun hobby for an engineer like me... too bad all those sensors are so expensive!

    • Like 2

  6. 1 minute ago, TicTac said:

    Ken - Looks like ol 'lime tree needs a new pot!  Been playing with cloth pots for some indoor gardening...ahem....they work really nice!  No plastic involved either, which is always a big BONUS!


    They all need a new pot!!!!  For the first week, I wanted them to stabilize after the 6 days they spent in a box during shipping.  Then I had to wait until my new chlorine filter came in because I am going to put all of them into coco coir in air pots, and coco has beneficial bacteria in it that roots love - plus, I'd be adding some more, which would all be instantly killed if watered with chlorine-y nutrient.  The fabric air pots are ok but I'm not really a huge fan as the bottoms stay wet for a long time and don't drain that well.  For some other indoor gardening that I've done, I used a different air pot called "Radicle Bags" which are made from food grade, UV stabilized PVC.  They don't hold any moisture so allow for great drainage - and the airflow through them is amazing. The plants loved them.  So I got some smaller ones, but I don't have enough yet for everything..  This weekend, I'm going to transition some of them to teh coco... definitely the lime and the curry leaf plant.  I think it'll also be time to start some seeds - I want to start my cilantro (the sawtooth is doing well, but regular cilantro has its place, certainly).  I also think that I'm going to grow some galangal some time soon.... that'll require a trip to the Korean H-mart... it'll be nice to have a tropical flowering ginger in the apartment, that will also provide great flavor from time to time!

    • Like 3

  7. 11 hours ago, BKEats said:

    elmhurst is the best..  For me, it's like 15 minutes to the restaurant.. We ordered when we got in the car and the order was literally arriving from the kitchen as I walked in to the place.   I also love, Taste Good Malaysian, it's 5 minutes from the taco truck, Birria Landia, there are several good thai, chinese and vietnamese and tawainese and korean places.  Also, there is a branch of new york mart, a great chinese grocery store.. There is also, La Fusta, which is a fun steakhouse.  i also really like or liked, a few years ago, Zaab Elee or something like that, downtown manhattan... I have not been to ayada in chelsea but, the menus are the same...   


    I think Zabb Elee closed.  Somtom Der is still open (Ave A and 5th St.) and is still really good - although it's annoying that the Isan fried chicken thigh (one of their specialties) has been certainly using a much smaller thigh than a couple years ago, and no longer comes with sticky rice... but the price didn't change.  But the flavor is still really good.

  8. Fans are not usually easily "fixed".  If it's mechanical - that means the bearing seized up, and many bearings are press fit onto the shafts and can't be replaced without special equipment.  Also, if the bearing seized up, the motor would have tried to draw a lot of power to move it (called a "locked rotor") and probably would have tripped the thermal overload built into most motors.  Most thermal overloads are not reset-able - once they trip, it's usually cheaper to replace the motor, unless the motor is huge.  If the problem is electrical,  you'd need a voltmeter to first check if there's power at the fan to begin with.  The issue could be with the control board relay not sending power to the fan.  If there's power at teh fan but the fan doesn't turn, then see above.

    • Like 1

  9. 3 hours ago, BKEats said:

    So, I am guessing this has been about 2 months... In that two months, i have eaten 3 meals that I have not cooked.. One from my father in law,  a slice of pizza or two and lunch today... As much as I am enjoying cooking 2.5 meals a day, I am pretty tired of eating my own food..And don't get me wrong, I do not think I have repeated a meal.. I have made everything from freaking beer bread and pretzels, to pizza, pancakes, pasta, dumplings, whatever it is..  Trying to keep it fresh and exciting.  But, ultimately, it's hard to surprise yourself..  Well, on that rare occasion it happens and I try to cook with spontaneity but yeh, occasionally, i wouldnt mind eating someone elses food...  Things like, not really knowing what I am going to make until I assess my inventory, not planning too much.. 


    And, today was that day!   I haven't had thai food since all of this started... And well, I placed a called to my favorite thai restaurant in New York, Ayada Thai.. Its about a 20 minute drive away and it's as good as I remember.. 


    Now, the thing about Ayada Thai is, when you ask for it spicy, they do not half step... They have a few levels spicy and thai spicy are the two hottest.. They use fresh thai peppers and tons of spice... And during these quarantine time, I haven't really been cooking any spicy food.. So, i guess my palate lost it's ability to easily handle the spice.. I literally use to not be able to tell the heat.. Someone would ask me if something is spicy and I would say, it's not bad.. Only to have it burn their face off.. So, i just went to, you shouldn't ask me.. Well, i normally get it all  thai spicy but, i was a little cautious today.. So, we went spicy and let me tell you, that was about my limit. 


    Fried watercress salad.. Shrimp, squid, cashews, lots of lime and onion.. This was soo good.. they packed the fried watercress separately and it traveled remarkably well. 






    Sour Sausage Salad.. I ordered this thai hot and yes, burned my face off! 




    This was catfish with eggplant.. I forget the thai name but, yes, a very spicy dish traditionally.. Did not disappoint.. we drank a gruner and I passed out for an hour.  The white in this dish are whole cloves of garlic... 




    Crispy Pork with chinese broccoli 




    We also got sticky rice and well, that just hit the spot,... 


    One day, when things get closer to normal-ish, I have to get to Elmhurst... I am sorely missing really good Thai. Do you know anything about Ayada's branch in Manhattan? They might deliver to me...

  10. I don't know how stable citric acid is....  This is unrelated - but when using acids to adjust pH of nutrient solution, it is always advised against using citric acid because while it may temporarily lower pH (as any acid would), it's not stable and the pH will go back up in a day or so...  I don't know if that's helpful to you or not....

    • Like 1

  11. Mine was hot too yesterday - first I had to fry a large batch of onions for the biryani, then making the biryani itself while making a large batch of chicken stock!  It was really hot, but worth it!

    • Like 2

  12. 6 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

    Dinner was supposed to be a Jose Andres soup.  It is not soup weather.  Dinner was a bowl of Momofuku with stuff to dip into it.  Like fingers.


    Depending on the type of soup, I love it in hot weather... reminds me of being in SE Asia...

    • Like 1

  13. The finished stock/soup...


    I love making stock in the pressure cooker. Hard to tell in the photo but it's clear like consomme - this was taken just after I took the lid off.


    This is probably the most expensive stock I've ever made.... The store had no backs or other cheap soup/stock parts. So it was a pound of feet, a pound of wings and two leg/thighs. On the upside, I was able to pick enough meat for four meals of noodle soup! Just needs seasoning.

    • Like 11

  14. So after half the day in the kitchen (the other half spent making Thai Chicken stock which is almost done)


    Hyderabadi chicken biryani:



    We enjoyed this very much. More than the Thai style I made last week... But not as much as the biryani restaurant in Singapore which I LOVE!!!  But it's a good starting point.

    • Like 18
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  15. Many years ago, I had grouse in a scandinavian restaurant in NYC.  I loved it. But finding it in a supermarket? Fuhgedaboudit... maybe you could find it in a meat market that specializes in game  - like Ottomanelli in Manhattan, but I haven't been there in a really long time.

    • Like 1

  16. I decided the other day to give dum biryani a try when I realized that most of my spices are really old and need to be refreshed.... It's a good thing Kakustyan's is nearby...



    • Like 10

  17. 27 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

    I made it back to Shoprite.  It was a beautiful warm evening.  The mixed game recipe I am making for calls for:


    1 grouse

    1 partridge

    1 quail

    1 pheasant



    However the recipe notes hare or venison may be substituted.  I guess I'll make do with chicken breasts.  And unlike last trip, Shoprite had hot peppers.  Only Jalapeno sadly, but one cannot be too picky in these times.


    I don't think you'd find that stuff in Shoprite in the best of times!

    • Haha 1

  18. When we were in Beijing, we visited a tea house with one of my wife's friends and another person we ran into while walking through the hutongs to get there...  The owner of the tea house put out a huge spread of snacks for us (which we were all too full to eat since we just came from a large lunch), but among the snacks was a plate of fruit smothered in what looked like mayo....  I can only imagine that it's the kewpie stuff.... let's just say that curiosity did NOT get the best of me...



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