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  1. Dinner! 2004

    Nullo, I loves ya, I applaud your dietary goals, but this dinner...frightens me. That said, I ate a salad and some cold london broil. Bring on the soy nut butter!
  2. I'm sure you've sorted this out by now, but I wanted to weigh in on the "should I give her the recipe?" question. I think the answer is no. As you point out, your recipes are your livelihood. I suspect the woman who asked wasn't thinking of it that way -- she's used to asking her friends for recipes when they cook something good, and she just translated that behavior to you. On an only somewhat-related note, I have a problem with people expecting that because they are friends or good customers, you are obligated to give them a little something -- a recipe, in your case, a free book, in mine. Don't get me wrong: I offer "little somethings" when I can, when it seems appropriate. A lovely couple came into my bookstore on Sunday, piled up a bunch of stuff on the counter, and mentioned that they were in town for their 27th anniversary. So I gave them a 10% discount. It was their anniversary, we were having a good day, they were buying a bunch of stuff...it all felt right. But it sure would not have felt right if they had said "This is our anniversary, so would you give us a discount?" I think the real trick with your recipe-lady will be in not making her feel embarrassed for having asked -- again, I suspect she didn't remotely realize that she was asking you to give her something that has actual monetary value for you, and would be mortified to have this pointed out. In your shoes, I would be tempted to lay it off on someone else -- "I would love to give you the recipe, and I used to do it all the time, but my husband is trying to help me organize my business, and he's laid down the law: No more giving out recipes. But I'll tell you what: I would love to come prepare it for you sometime, and I'll be happy to do it at a 10% discount, if you promise not to tell my husband!" Playing the Beleagured Little Woman card does have its advantages sometimes.
  3. Dinner! 2004

    Roasted mushrooms, a hunk of wonderful manchego, and a large handful of roasted almonds. Was hungry, and had about 15 minutes to eat. But in fact, it was a dandy dinner. And later I had a beer.
  4. Hungry Like The Wolf

    You could just make a gigantic stir-fry of whatever's in the fridge and call it Wang Chung.
  5. If you can get somebody to get you into the China Club -- for lunch, for a drink, for anything -- go and plan on taking an hour to walk up the stairs. The food is fine, but the art on the walls is absolutely staggering.
  6. Hungry Like The Wolf

    Oooh, yeah, didn't Wolfgang Puck start doing gourmet pizza around about then?
  7. Actually, I had one of the best lunches of my life on the Eurostar between Milan and Florence. Or rather, I had a very good lunch -- unbelievably fresh caprese salad, followed by clearly made-on-the-spot artichoke risotto -- only to realize, too late, that the smart Italians around me were having a truly staggering lunch, that began with maybe half a dozen passed platters of antipasti, went on to a choice of linquine with pesto or spaghetti with tomato and basil, then their choice of three different roasts with appropriate vegetables (and selections, of course, from the basket of fresh-and-still-hot breads and rolls), salad with a selection of cheeses, espresso and either fruit tart or some sort of semifredo, and all washed down with pitchers of Chianti. I just sat there in awe, thinking This is a TRAIN???? Jeez, Amtrack has a lot to answer for. On the other hand, I was so excited when I made the return journey, thinking Boy oh boy, I'm sure ready to order my Eurostar lunch. Unfortunately, I got the train with the wheely-cart of overpriced pre-pack sandwiches and we're out of everything except the grilled zucchini croissant. If I could figure out how to tell the difference between one Eurostar and the other, I'd be a happier woman.
  8. Cooked Kale (w/o bad stuff)

    The kale recipes alll look great, but A) Mjamonica doesn't seem to have bothered to check them, after making the initial request, and B) almost all of them -- with the exception of the "blanch and dip in vinegar" one -- involve salt, fat, or both. Of course, Mjamonica seemed to find olive oil acceptable as a non-fat fat, so....
  9. Fruit Syrups

    Cool beans. Thank you again.
  10. Perfectly ripe mangos. That silky, juicy flesh....there is nothing in the world more sensuous. And then you can eat the fruit.
  11. Fruit Syrups

    Thank you so much, Andiesenji. I got some bottles with the rubber/wire gasket-thingie, but I wasn't sure if I would be able to store the syrup without processing in a water-batch, as for jelly, so I also bought a dozen small jelly-jars with vaccum-seal lids, that can be processed. I'm in the attic in NYC, and my place does get kinda steamy in the summer, so I may be better off using the jars for syrups (and processing the stuff), and saving the bottles for liqueurs. I'm in the middle of making what I hope will be a peach-almond-and-ginger syrup...though I am not at all sure what I plan to use it for. What do you do with your syrups?
  12. Fruit Syrups

    Ohhh, both of you, thank you so much! I think I will look for the Cambro containers, since I don't want to have to thaw the whole shebang at once. Alternatively, I saw something to the effect that if I processed the syrup in bottles -- exactly as if I were making jam -- that would preserve it for long storage. Does this ring true?
  13. A trick I learned from a Grace Young recipe made an astonishing difference in the flavor of the finished dish. After soaking dried mushrooms to rehydrate them (prior to adding them to a chicken stir-fry), the recipe called for the mushroom-soaking liquid to be strained, added to the wok full of chicken and vegetables, and boiled down hard to a syrup before the sauce-elements were added at the end. This kicked up the mushroom flavor by more than a notch.
  14. Fruit Syrups

    I have a sudden, peculiar desire to make my own fruit syrups, mostly because the currants, cherries, and peaches look and smell so good right now. I'm not sure what exactly I plan to do with them -- though making faux-Italian sodas, come winter, sounds like an idea -- but here's my question: The recipes I've seen indicate that these things keep in the fridge for a month. I want to be using these in February. Can I freeze them, maybe in ice-cube trays? Is there any reason why this wouldn't be desirable?
  15. Dinner! 2004

    Rachel, all stews, including chili, are usually better after a night in the fridge. The flavors "meld" or something, and just as important, the fat congeals on the top, and you can scrape it off pretty easily. Just cool the pot to room temp. on the counter or (turned off) stovetop, and pop it in the fridge.