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Posts posted by donk79

  1. 4 hours ago, MelissaH said:

    When someone talks about cooking with light, the first thing that comes to my mind is the old Easy-Bake ovens, the kind I coveted when I was a kid and never got, where the heat came from an incandescent light bulb of a wattage that can no longer easily be bought!

    My first thought was that the Easy bake patent must have expired...  Now, someone, please put me in my place and explain why I should take this seriously!

  2. I would say that experimentation and record keeping is the way to go.  I have been trying to "decode" coffee brewing for a while.  I had a friend train with as a roaster for a very accomplished local roaster (Lexingtoncoffee.com) and experimentation was his encouragement.  With lighter roasts, I often use a coarser grind, but that is only my personal call.  I think it highlights the more citrusy flavors better.  My standard grind is pretty fine, though.  I use the inverted method, and one other thing that has improved my cup is letting it steep longer than I used to.  I now use 2 minutes as my standard.

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  3. In my opinion, more worth watching than any other show of the genre recently.  Is it stretching to say that a Victor in this competition is as qualified as those at the judges table.  I would say certainly, if the competitors were not already so qualified.  I will likely not sit at any of their tables, so I will have to let others judge.  Not a bad show for a casual watch, though, and I found myself rewinding to try to catch a description I missed many times.



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  4. 26 minutes ago, Kim Shook said:

    Ok, I'm outing myself on this one, but there are two restaurants that serve a ranch dressing that I would go out of my way to have.  One of them is Libby Hill Seafood - a NC chain.  The food is fine - typical fried stuff - but whatever prepared or mix ranch dressing they use is fantastic.  The other is GOLDEN CORRAL.   Crap.  I didn't want that to come out.  So, we occasionally crave a whole country spread - fried chicken, meat loaf, creamed chicken, mashed potatoes, collards, butter beans, sweet potatoes, etc.  Around here, the only place that has that is Golden Corral.  They also have that fantastic ranch dressing.  I will slink off now.

    Golden Corral....  My father used to take us there when I was a kid.  I cannot help but slip in there every once in a while still.  I always leave feeling worse for the experience.  And that pretty well sums up my relationship to Ranch, too.

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  5. The other evening I borrowed an Anova from a friend and cooked up a beef tongue prepared according to Thomas Kellers Corned Beef Tongue Pain Perdu from Under Pressure.  I skipped the whole pain perdu part, sliced it chilled, and warmed it in a non-stick skillet before placing on a baguette with some mayo and mustard.  Amazing!  The recipe called for 28 days of brining, so don't delay too long!

  6. 5 hours ago, Pan said:

    By the way, would you all suggest that we start with only spicy products such as hot sauces, or with both spicy products and savory ones that are unspicy or only very slightly spicy? This is one of the planning questions under consideration, and your input as people who purchase these kinds of products could help us.

    A quick google of "hot sauce online"  shows quite a few established competitors in that niche.  How would you be able to differentiate yourself?  I think a broader array of offerings would be a good idea.  I cannot think of any other retailer with the focus that you have named in this thread, and I would look forward to browsing such a site, just to see what has been curated.

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  7. Have to share!  A few days ago a friend posted on facebook that she was getting supplies together for a craft with her kids.  Only the gluesticks were nowhere to be found.  After a few minutes of searching she questioned her daughter.  "In the freezer." she admitted.  "Why are they in the freezer?"  "To harden the butter."  She had emptied all the gluesticks, melted butter, then poured the melted butter into the gluestick containers with plans to use them for applying to her toast in the morning.  May be another option to the butter cutter!

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  8. Thank you, Kerry.  That looks like a great site!  You would not happen to know if they ship to the US, do you?  I could not find an indication on the site.  Everything there seems to assume you live in Canada.

  9. Recently I have been looking for a new evening beverage.  I have tried several herbal teas but would really like something that I did not feel a need to add sugar to.  I can find this in coffee and tea easily enough, but then there is the caffeine I have to avoid in the evening (please don't mention decaf!).  I n pondering the topic, it occurred to me that one thing that tea and coffee have in common is a fermentation process that contributes to their complexity. Google tells me that rooibos is processed similarly, and that it potentially may be much better than the spiced blends I have already sampled.


    So I would love some recommendations.  If you drink rooibos, what is your favorite and why?  And if you can tell me where to get it, so much the better!  Thank you!

  10. 18 minutes ago, Thanks for the Crepes said:

    I was so disappointed the first time I ever bought and tasted OM cocktail "Smokies". I thought they were something special because they were significantly more expensive than regular hot dogs and was all fired up about serving them at a party where I was splurging. It turned out that they are nothing more than teeny hot dogs, which I don't care for. My guests enjoyed them, though, and that's good, but I won't buy those again. It was a real letdown for me, but at least I don't have to lust after them anymore.


    Polska Kielbasa is a sausage I do like pretty well, and that is good on a nice roll. Sorry for the folks that lost that option at Costco. I've read that their hot dogs are crazy cheap, like a loss leader, and perhaps the better quality sausage just didn't fit the budget. But yeah, in my book, kielbasa is a world above a regular hot dog. I really like a hot Italian sausage on a crusty roll with sauteed onions and peppers too. Do they have that at Costcos, or maybe it's too much trouble and expense?

    The Costcos I have been to in the past couple of years, in Virginia and Maryland, do have exactly that.  They do not, and have never had (to my knowledge) any sort of polish sausage or kielbasa.


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  11. Ok, today I experienced the customer side of what not to do as a restaurant manager.  I stopped into a local place to grab a quick sandwich for lunch, and was startled by the price.  When I questioned the charge, which seemed out of line with the menu prices, the cashier responded with a reference to taxes.  I accepted her response, figuring that the city must have caught this particular joint (located in an unusual location where I would not be astonished by multiple taxes applying) with several tax codes.  So I commented, "Wow.  20%.  They really hit you, huh?" as I payed the check.  It was as she ran my credit card that she admitted that tax was only 9%.  The management of the restaurant had applied a 10% surcharge to every check "instead of raising prices."  There was a full sheet explanation taped to the counter, which I had not yet noticed (this being the only notice of the charge) saying that they felt their food was worth the charge, and asking people to please still tip the staff.  I took a picture of the notice, to read in more detail later, but needless to say, I do not plan to return any time soon. 


    I have worked in restaurants similar to the one I was dining at today.  I know what it is to run a small business, and frankly, this place offers a type of  quickcasual local cooking not easily available where I live.  But this felt deceptive.  If you need to raise the prices, then raise the prices.  If you want to do a service surcharge, then do so.  But DO NOT try to do a surcharge without explaining the policy prominently and then ask me to tip on top of it!  I cannot imagine a practice more damaging to the waitstaff, both in terms of undermining the tips they receive, and in having to deal with pissed off customers like myself.  I passed on my feedback directly.  I should have asked to talk to a manager to give them my feedback, but I cannot say that I am deeply enough invested in their success to bother going back to talk to them. 


    Anyhow, I typically tip 20-30%, but I will simply cease to patronize any place that feels like they are trying to slip something past me.

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  12. Drinking raw milk from a farm you do not know...  That's a bad idea.  I grew up drinking raw milk from our own cows.  The first time brucelosis hit our herd, Dad stopped bringing milk from the tank home with him.  Its not worth the risk. 


    I have purchased raw milk from a local farm for cheesemaking, but my first step was to check their history and reputation.  In a small, close-knit community, they had done a good job of making certain they were reliable in taking care of the animals and people around them.  There was another certified raw milk dairy nearby.  Their reputation was nowhere near as good, and I would never have bought milk from them.  Sure enough, they had a similar recall a couple of years after we moved to the area.

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  13. Urban beekeeping is not that new.  I started keeping bees about 10 years ago, and it was a topic of conversation among beekeepers then.  Famously (among beekeepers) the White House had some hives installed at that time, and our local Bee Club hosted the White House Beekeeper for a presentation.


    So far as what the bees source their honey from, it is true that they can make use of anything sugary.  But they can also be quite picky.  When we had some display hives at the local fair, I noted yellow-jackets swarming over every half-empty soda can in sight.  But the honeybees, they stuck to the organic lemonade stand!  Cities, with their parks, and abundance fo flowers and flowering bushes and trees can often be a more concentrated source of real nectar than some rural areas, where wildflowers have been wiped out in favor of acres and acres of monoculture corn.

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  14. No one is going to be surprised by the idea that fake wine is out there.  But I do not think that anyone tries to market it to a serious audience.  It sounds like that could be changing, with an effort to develop artificial wine that tastes like good wine.  I heard this on KCRW's Good food podcast today.  I am curious what others reactions are to this.  Culturally, I find the idea abhorrent.  Culinarily, I am curious.




    The terroir at Ava Winery boasts neither nutrient-rich soil nor a mesoclimate, but rather test tubes and Bunsen burners. That’s because the synthetic wines are produced in their San Francisco lab without a single grape. It’s enough to make Bacchus’ (and Evan’s) heads roll. Co-founder Alec Lee explains the science behind their grapeless wines.



  15. On 1/11/2017 at 1:29 AM, Thanks for the Crepes said:

    By the way, we serve meals family-style frequently here in the U.S. at home, but not so much in restaurants. There are a few restaurants that do that though, and they are definitely the exception. At home, the host always makes sure there is plenty for everyone, and that usually means leftovers. I suspect so very few restaurants here do it because they are focused on their profit margins and don't want to be taken advantage of by big eaters. The Chinese restaurants here that do it limit their losses by serving it family-style, but when the dish is empty, it's empty. Order another. Western restaurants that serve family style will refill the bowl until everyone gets satisfied.

    I suspect family-style dining is becoming an increasing rarity in the US.  I have been to a number of places that serve this way.  It is even more common (though still rare) for sides to be served this way.  I cannot remember any family-style service that did not include refills.


    Most of the family-style services I have experienced have been connected in some way to Pennsylvania Dutch culture (ie Amish, Mennonite, etc.).  Maybe this is a relic that they have held on to?  Or maybe it has to do with their own cultural preferences and emphasis on sharing in community.

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  16. I wish I could remember how I originally found Egullet.  I do recall that some shift in the software provoked me to finally register, after I had been lurking anonymousy for quite a while.  My profile says that I joined in January 2003.  I have not been the most prolific poster, but for almost all of my adult life, Egullet has been my go-to for any question on food.  It has perhaps not been as transformative for me as it has been, for say gfron1, but it has still been one of the greatest influences on my experience of food. 


    When I first joined, I knew little, but thought I knew plenty.  I was still welcomed warmly by many signatures that I would love to see again.  But I still enjoy reading new voices, and gaining from the experiences of new participants in the forum.  Thank you to all of you for your sharing!

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