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Everything posted by tammylc

  1. I know that I've not yet gotten the final details to people, but I should have a few things finalized soon. So might as well start attaching some names to actual activities. Who's in for what? Overall attendance: tammylc Sam Iam & Joyce (bringing a Vita-Mix) tino27 (doing a bread workshop) Kerry Beal (doing a Thermomix workshop) Torakris Alex White Lotus & Dance Chris Hennes +1 (shipping charcuterie, dish masters!) Darienne +1 CaliPoutine +1 Edsel ronnie_suburban +2 Chris a2 Boagman (dishes) Luckygirl +1 Malawry NancyH & Bob Maybe Lior Fat Guy +1 of Chris jmsaul & kitchenchick prasantrin +1 of boagman If you're on the list above, please respond for each of the events below. Thursday night Szechuan Banquet at Chia Shiang ($25-$30 inclusive) tammylc Friday breakfast at SELMA (eating, not cooking - anytime between 6:30 and 9:30, $12-$15 donation) tammylc Friday morning bread workshop ($5) tino27 Darienne LuckyGirl Kerry Beal Edsel Chris A2 Alex Bob (NancyH's +1) Torakris Prasantrin Friday afternoon Thermomix workshop (cost TBA) Kerry Beal Friday afternoon Foodie Field trip... somewhere (including stop at restaurant supply shop). (free) tammylc Friday night dinner at Grange (price TBD, probably $50-$75 inclusive) tammylc Saturday Afternoon Session on Organic/Locavore/Personal Food choices ($3-$5) tammylc Saturday Evening Feast ($20-$25?) tammylc Sam Iam & Joyce (bringing a Vita-Mix) tino27 (doing a bread workshop) Kerry Beal (doing a Thermomix workshop) Torakris Alex White Lotus & Dance Chris Hennes +1 (shipping charcuterie, dish masters!) Darienne +1 CaliPoutine +1 Edsel ronnie_suburban +2 Chris a2 Boagman (dishes) Luckygirl +1 Malawry NancyH & Bob Sunday Bacon Tasting & Brunch (still being finalized, but I'm working on it right now... $20-$25, probably?) tammylc
  2. Question for those coming in for Thursday night - Hong Kong Chinese banquet (lots of seafood) or Szechuan? And for those who'd be interested in a Friday foodie field trip - Mexicantown in Detroit, or Dearborn, which is home to one of the largest concentrations of Arab Americans outside the middle east? http://www.mlive.com/travel/index.ssf/2010/03/dearborn_discover_a_muslim_wel.html
  3. Just some updates... I'm working with Grange right now to put together a menu for Friday night, so that's what we'll be doing for our Friday night dinner. Thursday night will be a Chinese banquet, those details also in progress of being negotiated. Those of you who were at our last Heartland Gathering may remember our visit to the culinary archive at Clements library, and meeting the fabulous Jan and Dan Longone. I've contacted Jan about putting together a presentation on some piece of culinary history for either Friday afternoon or Sunday brunch. So stay tuned for details about that as it develops. Earlier this year I put together a program for my cohousing community that was all about exploring our personal food history and how it impacts the buying choices we make. Along the way we did a taste-off of various foods (organic vs non-organic strawberries, fresh picked vs supermarket asparagus, grass fed beef vs factory farmed, etc) and talked about how the taste-cost-environmental-health spectrum played out across all those options. The goal wasn't to give people answers, but to help them consider different factors. Does this sound like something people would be interested in? It got absolute raves from everyone in my community who attended, and I've been thinking that I would like an opportunity to do it again. I think it took about an hour or 90 minutes for us to work through all the pieces of it when I did it in May. This could a potential Friday afternoon activity or something early Saturday afternoon before we get too deep into cooking for the feast. Thoughts?
  4. Thanks for digging that up, Tino. Nancy - Weber's Inn is the closest good hotel, and it's very near the venue. There's a cluster of hotels near the mall (State Street area) that are a 10-minute easy drive away. There is a conference in town, so some people have been looking further afield because of that. Ann Arbor is small enough that any Ann Arbor hotel is going to be within a 20-25 minute drive of everything. Another place to look is Chelsea, which is a small town just to the west of Ann Arbor and a quick 15 minute drive to the venue. We don't have many hotels in the downtown area, but Campus Inn or the Belltower will be convenient to Thursday and Friday night activities and Saturday morning shopping, and are only a 15 minute drive from the Feast venue. These are likely more expensive than other options, however. Hope that helps Nancy or anyone else!
  5. For Friday planning purposes, it would be helpful for me to get a sense of how many people are not planning on attending the workshops and would like to do something else instead, so I know what kind of scale I should be planning on for Friday's activities. I realize that some of you might change your mind about the workshops if there was a more compelling activity, but at least this would give me a starting point about what people are thinking. So please indicate which of the following you'd be interested in attending. I've give options for "other activities" that both would and would not compete with the workshops. If you're not planning to attend either workshop, for instance, select "5 - other activity overlaps both", but if you want to do the bread in the morning and something else in the afternoon, choose 1 and 4. 1. Bread workshop (morning) 2. Other activity (morning) 3. Thermomix workshop (afternoon) 4. Other activity (afternoon) 5. Other activity (overlaps both) Thanks!
  6. I have several irons in the fire and hope to have things confirmed very soon. Couple of questions for the masses: Maximum dollar amount you're interested in spending for a Friday night tasting menu at Grange? Both for food and for wine pairings? For those of you planning to come in Thursday, what's more appealing? Heading into Detroit to go to Roast (Michael Symon's fantastic restaurant at the Book Cadillac) or having a Chinese and/or Szechuan banquet at one of Ann Arbor's hidden gems?
  7. I find that toffee/Heath bar type inclusions stay crunchy only if the ice cream is kept very very cold. If it warms up at all, then the slight melting is enough to start dissolving the toffee.
  8. Gathering update People I know or think are coming (please confirm your intentions) tammylc Sam Iam & Joyce (bringing a Vita-Mix) tino27 (doing a bread workshop) Kerry Beal (doing a Thermomix workshop) Torakris Alex White Lotus & Dance Chris Hennes +1 (shipping charcuterie, dish masters!) Darienne +1 CaliPoutine +1 Edsel ronnie_suburban +2 Chris a2 Boagman (dishes) Luckygirl +1 Maybe Lior Fat Guy +1 of Chris jmsaul & kitchenchick prasantrin +1 of boagman Early menu thoughts Kerry Beal - app and light dessert Alex - something, maybe gazpacho Tino - bread Activity thoughts Sounds like most people like the idea of Grange. Would you prefer I try to have them put together a more elaborate tasting menu kind of event, or we just order off the regular menu? Alex has a preference for Friday night - do others agree? And then what to do on Thursday? We've often had Thursday be the more expensive/upscale dinner, and kept Friday to something more cost-accessible - any opinions on that? No takers on SELMA, which I can understand, it is a lot of work. But anyone who's interested should at least go eat breakfast in the morning, so I'll add that as a Friday activity option. Jiffy Mix tour also seems to not be appealing to anyone, so I'll ditch that. We have the common house reserved Friday through Saturday. Note for Friday workshoppers - Friday morning the common house dining room is used as a pickup location for a raw milk co-op. They start setting up around 9-ish, IIRC, and pickup is between 10 and noon-ish. The kitchen is still free for us to use, but there will be traffic in the dining room and some random onlookers. So, it's looking like this: Thursday night: Dinner TBD Friday morning: Breakfast at SELMA anytime between 6:30 and 9:30, $12-$15 donation requested at breakfast. Friday morning: Bread workshop Friday afternoon: Thermomix workshop Friday day: Foodie Field Trips TBD Friday night: Dinner TBD (maybe Grange) Saturday morning: Shopping at the Farmer's Market/ Kerrytown. Note that this would include Tracklements that Luckygirl suggests above. Cafe Japon and other tea shops are nearby. Saturday lunch: On your own at Farmer's Market or downtown - many restaurants within walking distance. Saturday afternoon: Gather for cooking as responsibilities dictate. Saturday evening: The Feast! Sunday: TBD I'm going to go do some networking now, try to fill in some of those TBDs...
  9. If you're not there who am I going to lounge about with when everyone else is working? If tradition holds, you'll be too busy tempura-frying something for Fat Guy to have time to lounge.
  10. We cooks never mind having eaters to cater to. And dishwashers are among my favorite people. You should totally join us for the Feast - it's the centerpiece of the whole affair, and everyone is welcome, cooks and non!
  11. Yes, no problem sending stuff to me in advance. I'll even promise not to eat anything!
  12. We have the common house reserved for the entire day on Saturday, so you can definitely use that time/space to bake off bread. The kitchen has one 6 burner stovetop and 2 ovens.
  13. There's a good locally owned kitchen store in the Kerrytown Shops, which is where we'll be shopping for the Saturday feast. Bed, Bath and Beyond and Williams-Sonoma are big chains, and have a good selection of items. I'm not familiar with Beehive. There's a decent restaurant supply shop between Ann Arbor and Detroit - if any of the proposed Friday "tours" happen, it might be a good stop along the way.
  14. Hey all, sorry for going MIA! Let's start planning this thing! Dates are August 5-8. Location, Ann Arbor, MI. Who's in? People I know or think are coming (please confirm your intentions) tammylc Sam Iam and Joyce (bringing a Vita-Mix) tino27 (doing a bread workshop) Kerry Beal (happy to do a workshop on something) Torakris Alex White Lotus & Dance Chris Hennes +1 (bringing charcuterie) Darienne +1 CaliPoutine Edsel ronnie_suburban +2 Maybe Lior Fat Guy Chris a2 jmsaul & kitchenchick Thursday night, dinner TBD. We could head into Detroit for Michael Symon's Roast, reserve the upstairs at Grange (new farm-to-table restaurant in the same space as the Friday night dinner of our last A2 gathering), get jmsaul and kitchenchick to organize a Chinese feast at one of the local restaurants they are regulars at, or something else entirely. Any preferences here? Friday, Tino's offering to do a bread workshop, and we have space to accommodate other workshop type activity at the same time. Is anyone interested in a Jiffy Mix factory tour - that would need to be a Friday morning thing. There had been a proposal to put together a few driving tours for people to enjoy on Friday in small groups - possible destinations are Mexicantown in Detroit, Dearborn for Middle Eastern shops and restaurants, Hamtramck for Polish, and I bet we could do something interesting with one of the local farms that afternoon too. Dinner TBD - maybe one of the things we didn't do the night before. Saturday, we'll shop at the even bigger and better Farmer's Market and cook our fool heads off. Given people's preferences for having some down time/ time to explore the place they're visiting, I'm inclined to leave Saturday largely unscheduled in terms of pre-Feast activities. Agree, disagree? Sunday, really haven't thought that far yet. Alternately to the Thursday/Friday plans mentioned above, I had posted earlier about Friday Mornings at SELMA, which is an amazing local breakfast salon which raises funds for microloans to farmers building hoophouses (and helps to construct them too). It's been an incredible force behind the growing locavore and slow food community in Ann Arbor. Each Friday morning they serve breakfast to between 80 and 150 folks. I've been head chef there once, and think it would be really neat to field an eGullet team to cook and serve. But this would mean having at least a couple people who wanted to run the prep for that on Thursday night (there's a regular stable of volunteers who shows up to help with that), and then a group of us (5-6 people, ideally) who are willing to head over there at 6 am Friday morning and cook and serve until 10. Does this sound fun to anyone, or is it just too much work? Any other ideas, requests, suggestions? My ears are open.
  15. tammylc

    Tapioca Maltodextrin

    Has anyone tried to powder mayonnaise? Does it work, or is there too much water content?
  16. 1. Yes, although I have found that if I go just a bit above and quickly add some fresh chocolate, it will temper fine. And the exact temper range will vary depending on the chocolate you are using. 2. Yes, if you are using the seed method you always need to have tempered chocolate as seeds. The only way to re-temper chocolate without fresh seed chocolate is to use a method such as tabling described above, which uses a completely different method to introduce the appropriate crystals.
  17. I've also attended a Chloe lecture and have the book, and my take away from her lecture is that most high end chocolate is going to be untainted by child labor *and* the producers are getting better than Fair Trade prices for their chocolate anyway, because of the focus on quality. Two brands that are not labeled Fair Trade but are excellent chocolates and not sourced from child labor regions are Michel Cluizel and Valrhona. Both of these companies spend a lot of time working directly with their suppliers. These are the real deal, and excellent chocolates to work with for truffle making, etc.
  18. I have access to a dehydrator, so it's not that big of a deal to do the dehydration step. Just seemed extraneous. But on the strength of Rwood's experience, I think I'll try my regular method this time around, especially if I'm going to go to the bother of making the candied grapefruit peel!
  19. We've got some nice tarragon coming up in the herb garden, so I thought it would be a good flavoring for some truffles I need to make for a dinner party. I looked up the Tarragon-Grapefruit recipe from Recchiuti's Chocolate Obsession, and note that he calls for dehydrating the tarragon before infusing it in the cream. Then has you add the dehydrated tarragon to boiling cream, cool to room temperature and then refrigerated overnight (or up to 3 days). This all seems awfully elaborate! Has anyone make a tarragon ganache before? Is the dehydration step necessary to remove some bitter volatiles? Usually when i infuse cream with herbs, I just use fresh, steep for 5 or 10 minutes, and proceed.
  20. I always just eyeball it too, sorry I can't be more precise. I have added small amounts of melted cocoa butter to tempered chocolate to adjust viscosity. So long as it's not so hot as to bring the temperature up above temper, it works fine. Give it some good agitation to seed the cocoa butter and bring it into temper as well. ChrisZ - at the small quantities needed to adjust viscosity, I haven't noticed any impact on the color of the white chocolate.
  21. I haven't used that particular brand, but the Michel Cluizel white chocolate that I use is always much too viscous for molding or dipping unless I add cocoa butter.
  22. tammylc

    Pizza "Paper"?

    Has anyone ever tried to make anything like the "pizza" that Achatz served a Trio before moving to Alinea. I found a description online that says it's "a postage-stamp-sized dehydrated vegetable paper seasoned with different powders designed to evoke a pepperoni pizza." Any ideas where to start trying to recreate or riff on this?
  23. Thanks for the heads up re. Priceline. Definitely good to know. Re. dinner - so many good choices, but Common Grill is definitely worth considering. Thanks, Sam. Just as an FYI for folks - Dundee is also on the east side of Ann Arbor (well, east and south), so that adds a few miles in terms of getting to the venue. And all this said - there are 1000s of hotel rooms in Ann Arbor. Chances are you can find one right here and won't need to worry about any of this!
  24. I agree, Randi, the Hampton is a a good hotel, but it was showing no room availability on Expedia for our dates. Full of plumbers, no doubt! If we need to look outside Ann Arbor, Chelsea is a town just west of Ann Arbor and might be a bit closer to me because I'm on the west side of town. Comfort Inn: http://www.comfortinn.com/hotel-chelsea-michigan-MI164?promo=gglocal Holiday Inn Express: http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/h/d/ex/1/en/hotel/csemi?&stopredirect=true It's about a 20 minute drive from the venue to those hotels, and since they're in a sleepy rural town and probably not impacted by the Plumbers convention, might have good rates. (The airport hotels are probably about a 30 minute drive from me, for comparison purposes.) Plus, Chelsea is home to Jiffy Mix, and a Jiffy Mix factory tour was one thing I was thinking about coordinating for the Gathering...
  25. Darienne - Wouldn't surprise me if the rates are up a bit because of the convention being in town.
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