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  1. Kim, that might be the easiest solution, but there must have been something they used 100 years ago for this task. (Mortar & pestle?) I guess I'd go with the Breville because, recovering from back surgery, the less time I spend at the sink, the better, and it has a DW safe shaft. It's just a little scary that some people complain that it falls apart right away. Maybe operator error.
  2. I have some frozen melon chunks and strawberries that I'd like to thaw and use in smoothies. However, I'd rather not add another appliance to my countertop, especially one that needs hand cleaning. Best for me is something I can use quickly and put in the dishwasher. Do you think a potato ricer would be up to this task? I should add that I will never want kale in my smoothie, that I only need one serving at a time, and that I don't care if the drink is really smooth. I just don't want a huge battle with the fruit.
  3. Are recipes served at the White House considered public domain? Not sure if the chefs there are Federal employees, but if so, it would be nice to get their recipes.
  4. Not sure how cinnamon, cloves,etc. became the default flavorings for apple pie, but I'm not crazy about them. They seem especially dominant in cheap supermarket pies. But plain apples and sugar can be bland. What non-pie-spice flavorings do you use with apple pie?
  5. TJ's Blueberry & Pomegranate Unsweetened Green Tea: interesting product. I kinda like it, but I'm not sure I'd buy it again. Very fragrant, so you'd think the taste of fruit would be strong, but there's almost no taste. In fact, I tried a few sips while holding my nose, and it tasted like slightly tart tap water. I've never tried anything like Vitaminwater, so I don't know is this is a trend now. But in a world of overpoweringly sweet juice drinks, I was pleasantly surprised that it was so understated.
  6. The manager asked if I needed to shop, so she might have given me a credit slip if I'd said no. But since she might have gone on break or been called away, I'll just try to remember to keep my receipt and take returns to the checkout.
  7. We have a new TJs with lots of new employees, and there was some confusion about how to return something. I had a box of TJ cereal (no receipt) that I brought to the CS desk, and the woman there said to do my shopping and then let the cashier know I'd returned the cereal. When I checked out, I mentioned it but the cashier forgot before she totaled my purchases. So I paid with my debit card, and then she rang her bell to summon the CS manager. Fortunately, the manager was able to come over and remembered me, and I ran my card through the machine a second time for a credit. They couldn't have been friendlier, but the process seemed a little haphazard. I guess they don't have many returns! Is the normal procedure to hand the item and receipt to the cashier when you check out?
  8. My cereal struggle continues at TJ's. I came home with 3 boxes, but forgot to check the nutrition panels. Barbara's Spoonfuls, at 5g sugar, can stay. But the TJ mixed berry granola and raisin bran clusters (17/18 g sugar) have to go back. Am I missing any good bets in TJ's own cereals, like 5-10 g sugar, aside from the O's and shredded wheat?
  9. The more I visit our new TJ, the more I like it. One thing I've noticed is that the fresh produce always looks really fresh. In our conventional supermarkets, veggies often look like they're a day away from the dumpster. A product I really liked this week is the frozen Mojito Salmon. Plenty of fish for two meals, if served on rice or pasta. And I don't think you could get that much fresh salmon at a lower cost. I've also been enjoying their refrigerated wraps, like the Vietnamese chicken salad. One wrap makes two lunches at about $2/lunch. If I have to say one negative thing about my new love, it's that I can't get too excited about the cold cereals. Haven't found any yet that seem especially good, but have only tried 4 or 5 of them.
  10. Vermont's first TJ's has finally opened and I love it. When I go in, I'm reminded of the feeling I got in toy stores as a kid. It's also doing very well...I never see more than 10 empty parking spaces in their lot. One item I must rave about: the bagged chocolate chip cookies ("soft, chewy with rich chocolate chips and a hint of molasses") stocked near the fresh cakes and pies. They are the best CCC's I've ever had, including my own and pricey ones from bakeries.
  11. I checked out the lamb in our preferred supermarket, Shaw's. The plastic wrap on the boneless leg of lamb says it's a U.S. product, all natural, and it's $7 a pound. The pieces are about 4-5 lb. each, which seems ample but I'm sure there's a lot less after it's roasted.
  12. Well, I was planning to roast the lamb with root veggies. There are only two of us, we don't eat much meat, and we're having a couple over for dinner. So a whole lamb is way beyond our needs. I vaguely remember that the supermarket lamb is identified as from NZ, but I don't know if there are differences from store to store. I'm hoping that with enough garlic and herbs, it'll taste good regardless.
  13. I'm in Vermont. Actually, we belong to a coop of local farms. (You pay the coop, order items that the various farms produce, the cost is deducted from your remaining balance, and you pick up the whole order at a local store.) Anyway, I just looked and leg of lamb from this area is about $14-17 a pound, and that's for both bone-in and boneless. The pieces are 3-5 pounds each, so you could easily spend $60 or more. Unless supermarket lamb is considerably less, lamb may just be beyond my budget.
  14. Does it make much difference whether you buy a leg of lamb in a supermarket or a high-end butcher? I don't know how much variation in quality there is with lamb.
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