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Everything posted by Clerkenwellian

  1. agree middle bit is unbearably noisy on Thursday and Friday evenings, but it's quiet enough Monday to Wednesday and rather good value
  2. Yay! Welcome to the cult-- er, club! In a few more months, when the new models are out, we'll have to talk you into roasting your own beans. I always thought I was something of a foodie, but until these posts I didn't realise anyone roasted their own coffee beans.
  3. thanks for all the replies - the Rancilio Silvia it is!
  4. thanks, but this is probably a little over the top for my small kitchen
  5. Hi, I realise this is slightly off-topic, but... am looking to buy an espresso machine, mainly for making my morning espresso but occasionally for cappuccino. Am looking to spend £200 or so. Have narrowed it down to these two: Gaggia Coffee Deluxe Traditional Espresso Machine Dualit 84009 Chrome Espresso Coffee Maker does anyone have any views on these, or any alternatives? thanks!
  6. Clerkenwellian

    Searing tuna

    thanks for all the tips - shall experiment and report back.
  7. Hi, I'm trying to cook nicely seared tuna (i.e. all-but-raw inside, all-but-burnt outside) but I always get something that's an unappetising shade of grey on the outside and/or overcooked inside. What's the best way to do this? Should I be coating the tuna in something? Griddle or pan? Oil or dry? Advice much appreciated...
  8. The sweet stuff with the mysterious numbers is sacramental wine, not table wine. Drink it at your peril. I think part of its uniquely unpleasant taste comes down to it having been boiled, although I don't know if this is due to kashrut laws or some weird custom. The other requirements I remember is that all the ingredients have to be certified kosher and all those involved in the preparation of the wine (from grape-pickers to bottlers) must observe the sabbath. (Of course "we" (as in secular Jews) don't put up with rubbish kosher wine at all, we drink the normal stuff)
  9. So what did you get in the end? I have only had a handful of decent kosher wines in my whole life, two of them last night. I can't understand why so few people bothers, as in the long-term, I don't think it's that much more or expensive, from an infrastructure point of view, than producing organic wine - or certainly biodynamic - wine, and a lot of people seem to be falling over themselves to do this. Plus those who are kosher are a captive audience and therefore probably willing to pay a premium for it as they can't have anything else, whereas there are far fewer people willing to pay big money for organic wine because fewer are obliged to drink it...so organic is in competition with non-organic, while Kosher is not in competition with anything. Discuss. I ended up with a bottle of Yarden Sauvignon Blanc and a Gamla Cabernet Sauvignon, both from the Golan and both best described as unmemorable. I'm Jewish but, surprisingly given my previous posts about cooking pork belly, don't remotely keep kosher. So I know nothing at all about kosher wine. That doesn't stop me having three opinions: most kosher wine is Israeli. Most Israeli wine is rubbish, despite a climate (at least in the Golan) which should well suit it. Don't ask me why. Have seen some kosher Aussie stuff but never tried it. everything that's kosher is more expensive, due more to the costs of certification than the physical costs of achieving kashrut. the corollary of your point about kosher wine not having to compete for the custom of kosher wine drinkers is that Orthodox Jews often seem to have no idea how bad most kosher wine is...
  10. thank you all for the suggestions: Selfridges came through for me in the end.
  11. I need to find wine kosher for passover by tomorrow night and I live and work in EC1. Is this a completely hopeless task?
  12. Many thanks. Interesting that Simon thought the monied thirtysomething clientelle were "very young"...
  13. The closest I've found to cheap decent sushi in London is Cafe Japan on the Finchley Road, although it's a year since I was last there
  14. The other night I walked past what used to be a grotty looking pub, only to see a bar full of monied-looking 30 somethings, a DJ-driven dance beat and a restaurant looking suspiciously "gastro puby". Don't suppose anyone's checked this place out?
  15. I occasionally make a large amount of dressing for a dinner party, forget to serve it, and then use it myself for weeks afterwards. Never noticed any deterioration in taste (in fact the opposite) or life threatening food poisoning incidents.
  16. Thanks - I've ordered the model below that (the "deluxe") and shall report back. Shall perhaps keep my current cheapo blender for small scale cooking.
  17. incidentally, maybe I'm being dense, but why on earth would anyone want *cold* frothed milk on their cappucino?
  18. The equivalent in the UK is the Bamix. Highly recommended by Gordon Ramsey, though I am not very impressed with it so far. Frothing cold skimmed milk is all very well, but these things can't seem to foam anything hot. The Braun is a better blender, but they do not supply a foaming disc. Check out www.nisbets.co.uk for all cooking needs I got mine here http://www.bamixuk.com/ thanks
  19. don't suppose anyone knows where to get hold of one of these babies in the UK? thanks!
  20. sounds good. how would you make it? onions caramelised in cider vinegar, then simmered for a while with beef/veal stock and mustard?
  21. Hi, Am slow roasting some pork belly for a dozen friends, and will probably serve with polenta or mash. Would be really grateful for suggestions of what sauce to serve with it, apple is the obvious one but perhaps seems a bit cliched. thanks!
  22. selling shares works great as far as the seller is concerned - only one tax hit (capital gains) and a lower rate of stamp duty. But unlikely a purchaser would do this if they just want the building , as they'd be assuming all the company's liabilities. People used to avoid this problem by selling the property into a newly created special purpose company and then selling that company to the purchaser - the idea was to take advantage of various group reliefs from stamp duty and capital gains tax on the first sale. This has gotten progressively harder over the years and as of this year's Budget I'd say is now a non-starter. the "abnormal dividend" rule is part of a complicated anti-avoidance provision that attacks various types of transactions involving shares and other securities. It doesn't stop you paying an abnormal dividend (and paying a *building* by dividend looks pretty abnormal to me) but cancels any tax advantage you might get. That said, even ignoring this, the way capital distributions are taxed means this idea would probably result in more, not less, tax. If the owners buy for fair market value then the company suffers a chargeable gain on the first sale (taxed broadly on the difference between acquisition price and sale price) and the owners pay stamp duty (probably at 4%). Sure, the owners don't pay any tax on their subsequent sale, but they haven't made any money either - the money is still sitting in the company. And when this money is dividended to the owners, they'll pay income tax on it. Net result: double taxation (as before) but a lovely new stamp duty hit. There's a special capital gains tax relief for people selling their business upon retirement. I'm taking a wild stab in the dark and guessing you're American - the US and UK tax systems have few points of commonality (and some wicked people make lots of money exploiting this).
  23. Nope - will be taxed as a capital gain. Paying the building as a dividend would likely fall foul of the "abnormal dividend" anti-avoidance rules, in the unlikely event it turned out tax efficent (the way capital distributions are treated means this sort of thing will normally increase the overall tax hit) You can't generally avoid a double tax hit in the UK in extracting profits. The Chancellor's pre-budget report just closed off one scheme often used to do this, involving offshore trusts.
  24. Yes - you are taxed on (broadly) the difference between acquisition cost and sale proceeds. So if (in your example) the restauranteur's company bought the building 10 years ago for 500K and sells for 800K then there has been a chargeable gain of 1.2m, against which they could set an amount reflecting inflation and certain acquisition and improvement costs. Sale of the wine will be taxed as revenue rather than capital gains (as the wine was owned as part of the restaurant's trade) but the end result will be pretty much the same. This will result in a pool of money sitting in the company which can be returned to the owner in any of a number of ways, all of which will result in another tax hit in the hands of the owner.
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