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Everything posted by DaveFaris

  1. When I travelled to Spain several years ago, I found a wonderful fresh fruit in the markets... it was late spring, early summer. The fruits were about the size of golf balls, maybe a little bigger, with orange/yellow flesh, and a large, smooth brown pit in the middle. The flesh was very, very juicy, and was both citrisy and sweet, like a peach. I have no idea what these things are called. Anyone have an idea?
  2. There's a place in Arlington Virginia called the Cinema & Drafthouse that plays discount 6-month old movies and will serve you any variety of munchies and beer... unfortunately, all of it is awful. The seats are sort of a cross between Las Vegas Lounge chairs and ordinary living room furniture. Comfortable, but sort of disgustingly ratty. And then there are the waitresses who wander around carrying trays during the movie. I'm pretty sure the whole idea is to have the divey bar experience without having to carry on a conversation with anyone.
  3. DaveFaris

    Throwing it away

    In anticipation of my just completed move, I decided I'd splurge on a housewarming gift to myself, and impulsively ordered Penzey's Spice Replacement Kit, and tossed out nearly all of the herbs and spices I had in my old kitchen. Then I looked at the assortment, and realized that most of the items in the kit weren't going to be replacing anything I use on a frequent basis -- sure, some things looked interesting (like their Fox Point Seasoning), but I concluded that I was mostly paying a whole lot of money for the wooden box. So I cancelled the order, and then went through their online catalog, and ordered the things I know I'll use, and more spices for less money than I would have spent on that weirdly stocked combo box. You ordered the following items: 30254 Basil French .7oz jar 1 @ 2.09 10658 Bouquet Garni .8oz jar 1 @ 2.89 11055 Chinese 5 Spice Powder 2.1oz jar 1 @ 4.59 27513 Sandwich Sprinkle 16oz bag 1 @ 10.90 12452 Garam Masala 2.1oz jar 1 @ 5.69 12144 Tandoori Chicken 4oz bag 1 @ 6.29 13354 Herbes de Provence .9oz jar 1 @ 3.69 22134 Northwoods 1.25oz pot 1 @ 2.29 31756 Oregano Broken Leaf Turkish .6oz jar 1 @ 2.09 14551 Parisien Herbes .5oz jar 1 @ 2.29 34052 Thyme Spanish .9oz jar 1 @ 2.29 23836 Turkish Seasoning 1.1 oz pot 1 @ 2.09 40552 Arrowroot Starch 2.8oz jar 1 @ 2.69 10458 Bavarian Seasoning 1.5oz jar 1 @ 3.39 21553 Fox Point 1.75oz jar 1 @ 5.15 54645 Ginger China Whole 4oz bag 1 @ 2.79 13783 Lamb Seasoning 8oz bag 1 @ 7.49 31943 Parsley Large Cut 4oz bag 1 @ 5.19 56852 1/2 c. Tellicherry Special Extra Bold Peppercorns 1 @ 3.39 23252 Pizza Seasoning 2.5oz jar 1 @ 3.69 Shipping Shipping 1 @ 10.50 Grand Total--91.47
  4. I've been eyeing those Popeil rotisserie cookers. After our recent move to a new apartment, without a microwave or easy access to a charcoal grill, I'm trying to decide if it's worth the counter space. My new cable system seems to devote three channels exclusively to infomercials, 24/7. Those spaghetti pots with the drainage holes in the lid might be better if they held more water. As it is, the commercial shows the pots practically brimming with cooked spaghetti. And that tiny pot that they throw in seems absolutely useless.
  5. DaveFaris

    Smithfield Ham

    They generally hang in the shop and are not in a refrigerated case. Of course they could be dummy displays. Down here in Virginia, you can buy a Smithfield ham, day or night, at the 24-hour supermarkets, for all your heavily salted cured ham needs. These hams do just hang out in room temperature, on carts, along side sealed plastic packages of ham slices, fatback, and other cured pork products. For those of you who think that Smithfield hams are too, too salty, you might want to investigate a sugar cured ham... (And I have to say, those photos look positively lurid.)
  6. My Griswold Chicken Fryer has seasoning instructions etched into the bottom of the pan. People may still not read them, but you have to admit, they're always handy and available.
  7. Fat Guy said (in another thread) : "I've tried a few times to get food magazines to let me do a cast-iron-versus-all-other-types-of-cookware cookoff test demonstrating that the best cookware for the largest number of kitchen applications is a $10 cast iron skillet, but nobody was buying." I understand there's now a new webzine that is looking for this sort of content. Maybe you should pitch this idea to them?
  8. oi. I guess I'll try and think before I post next time, Mark.
  9. It's interesting that they sell wasabi plants. If I were doing another garden this summer (which, sadly, I'm not, since I am moving into a highrise apartment complex in a few weeks... ), I'd surely try my hand at growing it. I wonder if it is as invasive as common horseradish is said to be?
  10. Thanks for the link, Jinmyo. I just ordered half a pound of it, and I'll be giving most of it away as christmas gifts to my sushi loving friends and family.
  11. Two recent threads discussing english mustard and homemade sushi reminded me about wasabi, which I just learned that unless you live in Japan, and are very rich, what we've been told is wasabi paste is actually a bogus mixture containing regular horseradish and chinese mustard and green food coloring. That wasabi is difficult to grow, and supply never meets demand, and so North Americans and Europeans never get the chance to eat the real stuff. Frankly, I'm a bit crushed. I mean, I always knew that wasabi had the same effect on the back of my nose that chinese mustard had... Has anyone out there ever had real wasabi, and does the imitation wasabi come close to the real?
  12. I think I will stop recommending places for you to try.
  13. I would be willing to meet you guys and have someone show me the error of my indian restaurant choosing ways!
  14. We usually go to Rio Grande or Flat Top Grill on that street You know -- not to derail this thread (any more than I already have), I've tried both of these places, and I've been fairly dissatisfied with both. I've never felt satisfied leaving Rio Grande, and that's not to say the portions are tiny... they're just not as good as I think they should have been. And Flat Top -- well, I might be prejudiced since the one and only time I went there, it was close to when they opened, as well as a Friday night, and considering the style of the eaterie, not really condusive to being crowded -- anyway, I guess I once thought that mongolian barbeque was a funky idea and all, but these days, when I go to a restaurant, I sort of want someone who knows better what they're doing to prepare my meal for me. If I want a salad bar, I'll go to a salad bar, yknow?
  15. My brother used to live down in Richmond, and he and I still talk about how telling it is that the Reader's Choice for best restaurant in that town, one year not too long ago, was Red Lobster.
  16. try it for lunch one day, but try not to be the first people in the place. My wife and I had a not so good experience there once, where the bread baked in their tandoori oven had some of the clay oven sort of ... integrated into it. but it wasn't enough to put us off on the place. and the family that run the place seem very, very nice.
  17. Three of my favorites ... (I can't promise they will stand up to Monica's expert palette, though!) In DC, there's AROMA. It's at 1919 I Street, NW. I've never had a bad meal there. In Arlington, there's a place called FOOD FACTORY that specializes in kebabs as well as curry specials. Look for it directly across the street from the Ballston Metro, (4221 N. Fairfax Drive). Don't be put off by the decor. It always gets high marks in the annual Washingtonian Cheap Eats Issue. In Falls Church and also in Bethesda (though I've never tried that location), there's HAANDI. Really good food, I think.
  18. I've been told that The Palm probably has the best steak in town, but you could also try Morton's or Sam & Harry's.
  19. Someone should have warned me before I waded into the eGullet equivalent to the rest of the internet's PC vs. Mac Geek Holy War.
  20. OK. Here's a recipe I've been noodling around with for pickled onions... it's pretty much the same recipe that you'd use for bread & butter pickles, but without the cucumbers and other stuff ... just onions. I've found that frozen pearl onions work just fine for this recipe, so you can make them pretty much any time of the year. You can use fresh pearl onions, but they require peeling, and the ones I find in the produce aisle tend to be a little too large for my liking, since the syrup doesn't seem to permeate them as well. When I make them, I put them in jars, and can them up. They make pretty good gifts, too, since the syrup ends up a yummy looking golden color. A friend told me they're excellent snack food, but I serve them just like I'd serve a relish or a chutney. 1/4 c. salt 2 c light brown sugar 1/2 t tumeric * 1/4 t cloves * 1 T mustard seed * 1 t celery seed * 1 or 2 hot chili peppers (optional) 2 c white vinegar 2 lbs. fresh pearl onions, peeled, or 4 packages frozen Combine everything in a pot except the onions and slowly bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Strain out the spices, and return the syrup to the pot. (You can leave the spices in for more zing as they age, but I strain them out because they make eating kind of clumsy later on.) Add in the onions, and return the mixture back to just below the boiling point. Spoon into sterilized mason jars, and add a clove or two (and a hot pepper or two, if you want), and leave a 1/4" headspace... process the jars in boiling water for 15 minutes if you want them to keep more than a week or two. If you decide to serve them up fresh, best to let them steep, covered, in the liquid for at least day or so in the fridge (I'm guessing). * note: you can replace all of these items with a prepared pickling spice mixture if you want. Penzey's makes a really good one that I've used with good success. Also, if you want to use fresh pearl onions, just trim off the root end, and cut a shallow x where the root was, and dunk them in boiling water for a a minute or two -- the papery skins will slip right off. I've also tried making this recipe with cider vinegar, but it added an off flavor that I didn't care for.
  21. One year, I made homemade fudge for everyone I knew. 35 pounds of the stuff later, and I can't stand to think of doing it again, or eating any more. Another year, I bought decorative bottles, expensive vanilla pods, and quality cognac, and made home-made vanilla essence. People seemed to like that. I'm considering making pickled onions for my friends this year, using the same recipe I'd use for making bread & butter pickles, but without the cucumbers. I made a batch a couple of months ago, using fresh pearl onions, and another batch using frozen ones. The frozen ones tasted as good, if not better...
  22. chopjwu12: I was never stupid enough to buy those knives. You know, I kind of resent that statement.
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