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grumpy7

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  1. Enameled cast iron 6qt.

    Is Costco a membership store? Can anyone shop there?
  2. OXO Good Grips Kitchen Tools

    OXO products are very much hit or miss. I like their locking tongs. I have both a pair with Nylon Tips and with Stainless Steel tips. I also like their Can Opener -- this is the one I have, and Apple Corer, though often I just use a knife instead of the corer. I also have the Silicone Sink Strainer, which is nicer than anything else I've had but still not exactly as foolproof as Oxo claims. The flexibility is nice but food tends to cling to the silicone more than it does to a comparable stainless strainer. On the down side, this Garlic Press has been a real disappointment. It's hard to clean and the metal has now become so corroded (after about two years of use) that I've pretty much quit using it. But by far, the worst product I eve bought from Oxo, and one of the worst products I've ever bought, is the Multi Grater. It's a complete piece of junk. The white plastic frame cracked in half by about the sixth time I used it.
  3. You've gotten some good advice. Here's some more. There is no substitute for a good solid undergraduate education. Going to CIA, or any culinary school, may teach you the skills to work in the food industry -- it's vocational training. But you have to know that's exactly what you want before you make that big investment of time, money, and energy. Listening to you talk about the other things in your life, like orchestra, it sounds like you may not be 100% sure you want to be a chef, and that's fine. You're only 17. Go to college: Cornell, UF, wherever. Take some food science classes, and take other classes as well. Study art history, philosophy, music, math, etc. Put off declaring a major until you have to. Learn how to think, to write, to argue. While you're in college, get some restaurant experience. Working in your college's dining service is a great opportunity to get your feet wet and see what life in a kitchen can be like. Get a job in the real world in a restaurant, whether fast food or fine dining, maybe some of each. Be humble, take it a step at a time. If after that you are still are interested in being a chef, you can apply to a culinary school program after you have a college degree. Your college degree will not just be "something to fall back on." It will be the foundation of making you an educated human being.
  4. Cheesecake Factory- a few facts

    I've never been to Cheesecake Factory establishment. But I wouldn't expect much from a restaurant that calls itself a "Factory." Just saying. Also, the bare silverware on the table bugs me as well. Makes me wonder about other sanitation that goes unseen. Are any of these chain corporate places any good? They all seem to range from awful to mediocre, though I had some tasty salad dressing at an Olive Garden once. Maybe I was just hungry.
  5. Favorites: Julia Child (in a class by herself) Anthony Bourdain Alton Brown - TV persona Padma Lakshmi (for obvious shallow reasons) Eric Ripert Mario Batali Ming Tsai Alice Waters Michael Pollan Not so favorite: Sandra Lee Guy Fieri Alton Brown - real life persona Jamie Oliver Emeril Lagasse Bobby Flay
  6. Bare Minimum

    Great post. I'm living now, and have for nearly a decade, in a small house with a small kitchen. No dishwasher, no garbage disposal, two burner stove (there are four but only two have pilot lights installed). I have only recently started to acquire kitchen tools to replace those I got in college or for use when camping. And that was about 30 year ago. Just got my first blender. Still no toaster. I have a microwave and use it. So there's that. Most of my eating takes place out of a few nice bowls and lunch-sized plates except when entertaining and I feel like I should put the food on a dinner plate, even though it's the same food. The plates are very nice, but I don't eat large portions so why do I need a dinner plate is my thinking? Now here's the rub. I'm currently building my first house and doing all sorts of Westernized material things like deciding which counter material to install and which brand of dishwasher even though I'm not convinced I'll ever use it.
  7. Laboratory Countertops

    I'm also looking for new counter material and have yet to find the ideal material which would be (in no particular order): durable forgiving (glass will not break when tipped over) smooth easy to maintain sanitary attractive (subjective assessment) from a sustainable resource affordable Quartz and granite fail the sustainability test as well as the forgiving test. Tile fails both the smooth test (the grout ridges would drive me crazy) as well as the easy to maintain and sanitary (grout again) test Wood fails sanitary and easy to maintain test I'm intrigued by concrete. How hard is it? Would it pass the forgiving test?
  8. Northampton, MA

    Update: The Del Raye has closed and has been replaced with Paradise City Cafe (?). Went there once. It was horrendous. I had to send back the food, which I rarely do. Was met with disdain by the manager for that request. Avoid at all costs.
  9. Edible Pioneer Valley

    Unfortunately the publication got off to bit of an unpleasant start. On the eve of its launch, the writer of one of the feature stories sent an email blast to the entire Amherst Farmer's Market mailing list (and maybe other lists as well) complaining that his story had been edited against his will. So the first taste most people got of this publication was one of bitter infighting between writer and editor.
  10. Is Tipping Big the New Black?

    I think most owners would rather have people pay with a credit card than not pay at all, by not going to their restaurant. That's why 99% of restaurants in the US accept credit cards. They've built the 4% transaction fee into the prices and as far as I know they do not deduct the fee from the tip before it gets distributed to the staff.
  11. Near West of Boston

    Adventurous, yes subjective. I meant seeing somethings on the menu I haven't seen before. That probably doesn't help either. Cozy I mean warm, good lighting design. You know, it's February in New England. I don't want to feel like I'm in an ice cube but I don't want some cutesy New England "country" decor either. God, I'm picky.
  12. Is Tipping Big the New Black?

    Oh man. You mean the 20% I leave every day to the place I pick up my breakfast to go is just silly? No, seriously, I was just wondering, because I get A LOT of takeout and the guys are very nice to me. I call up and order my usual from a lot of fairly upscale places. The service is not included at any of these places -- all in the US. Just checking if the folks were expecting a tip. By the way, what does paying by credit card have to do with leaving or not leaving a tip?
  13. Near West of Boston

    Can anyone recommend someplace in the near west area of Boston -- Arlington, Belmont, Cambridge, Waltham area? Looking for nice cozy casual atmosphere, good food, maybe on the adventurous side, moderate price, varied wine list. The last few times in town I've been to Tryst in Arlington and Il Capricio in Waltham. Both quite good but looking for something new this time. Party will be two-four adults. Not Asian. Nothing against it. I'm just not in the mood. thanks.
  14. Is Tipping Big the New Black?

    I'm not in the restaurant business and I've always wondered do restaurants expect people to tip when they get a take-out order? Not a delivery order, but an order that they pick up and take home themselves? What do most people do?
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