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Andrew Fenton

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Posts posted by Andrew Fenton

  1. I know people who are addicted to the stuff. Personally, I find it kind of nasty. Whenever I've had it (twice now) the "bubbles" are flavorless or bitter; not very appealing at all. I'd rather just dump a bag of gümmi bears in a cup of iced tea...

  2. Oh man, I love Trader Joe's. Every month or so I drive from Philly to the wilds of Jersey on a food-buying circuit (wine store, TJ's, pastry shop, onion rings) and they're the highlight. Always wind up spending way too much money there (because it's so cheap and all). Once we realized how much money we were spending, we wanted to buy stock in the company, but couldn't... Damn those German brothers, anyway!

    I think I've got some of those TJ's chocolate-covered espresso beans left... time for a rainy afternoon fix!

  3. How long do cultural influences last? We need Balic on this, but I suspect that contemporary Greek and Turkish cooking looks little like Greek cooking in 500BC, whereas contemporary Turkish cuisine will be similar to that found at the end of the Ottoman empire, less that 100 years ago.

    Ha! Finally a topic on which I have some expertise! OK, short answer is that ancient Greek cooking was pretty different. Lots of ingredients (e.g. tomatoes, potatoes, rice) weren't available then, so that's an important difference. Also, it looks like an average Greek diet was pretty monotonous. Mostly based on grain (either bread or porridge), with stuff on it: olive oil, fish (fresh, or pickled as a fish sauce called opson-- probably a lot like SE Asian fish sauce), some vegetables. Like today, fish was a central protein source; unlike today, most people only rarely ate (non-fish) meat, and when they did it was usually in the context of a religious sacrifice.

    Basic ancient Greek cooking was probably more like the modern stuff (one of the earliest surviving Greek recipes is for a whole fish broiled with olive oil and cheese) than ancient haute cuisine, which featured lots of sour and spicy flavors. And fish sauce; lots of fish sauce.

  4. I try to always buy the same size of plastic containers. Makes it a lot easier to stack them. Also, quart yogurt/takeout containers stack really, really well.

    Storing the lids in a ziplock bag is brilliant, Vanessa! Gonna steal that one.

  5. At the beginning of The Russian Debutante's Handbook, there's a great description of the narrator eating a hard salami and avocado sandwich. Ever since I read that, I've been addicted: it's a great combination of creamy and chewy, sweet and salty. Yum!

  6. And there's the interrogative reply-- used instead of "beg pardon" and so forth-- "Do what?"

    As in: "Y'all heard about Sadie's grits with white truffle oil recipe?"

    "Do what? Next thing you know, she'll be adding Manchego cheese to collard greens, bless her heart!"

    Brunswick stew! If it's done right (and it usually isn't), it's food of the gods! Well, very earthbound, plain-folks gods, anyway...

  7. Shrimp n' grits. Which has the distinction of being the only acceptable combination of seafood and cheese...

    Low country shrimp boil! Oh man, that's some good stuff...

    I'm telling y'all, the best move I ever made was to marry a gal from Savannah... gives me the chance to do some serious eating down there on holidays...

  8. Oh yeah, I love yogurt containers, and their cousins, quart soup containers from takeout Chinese restaurants (which have the added advantage of being clear).

    The big ones are all-purpose storage: in the freezer right now I have a dozen or so holding chicken, beef and lamb stock. The little ones are perfect for freezing single servings of pesto, too.

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