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Everything posted by fresco

  1. Steak is sold by the pound, though. Usually.
  2. Does anyone have any idea why supermarkets insist on cutting steaks and chops about half an inch thick? Is it because thin cuts look like a lot more meat in a flat package, or is this what most people prefer? It's always seemed crazy, if not criminal, to me.
  3. With profits squeezed, fast food operators, including McDonalds are trying to save costs by instructing counter staff to rigidly limit the number of napkins doled out to customers: Paper companies in Wisconsin, which produce most of the nation's paper napkins, have developed dispensers that allow customers to take just one napkin at a time. http://www.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news/1-0...004-301517.html
  4. If you do wind up in Montreal, don't miss the great food markets, including Jean Talon downtown and the Atwater in St. Henri, both with incredible local cheeses, charcuterie, baked goods and tons more.
  5. Give him full marks for being open-minded about cooking, though.
  6. There used to be a place in Vancouver called Fish on Yew, but the staff took the rhyming possibilities to heart in their attitude and it soon closed.
  7. Didn't Gacy start his business and molesting career as the manager of a fast food restaurant?
  8. This is a high risk job. New CEO has colon cancer surgery: http://ap.tbo.com/ap/breaking/MGANUH97WTD.html
  9. Because, like much ritualized behavior, dining is a lot about fashion.
  10. It sounds an awful lot like a variation on an old joke, "My dish is a classic, yours is a fad, hers is a cliche."
  11. I hope for all of our sakes that eGullet and other sites are not killing food magazines. They do provide a livelihood for a lot of people who are worth reading.
  12. It's not, though, the "average American" who buys food magazines, or magazines of most sorts. I'd say the magazine buying people are consistently much less than about 10 per cent of the population, probably closer to five per cent. What's frightening is that this group appears to be shrinking. Or not, I guess, depending on your perspective. It may not be a bad trend for eGullet, for instance.
  13. It's fascinating (and a little terrifying) that despite what seems to be an unprecedented interest in food, travel, cooking, kitchens, restaurants, etc., Food and Wine is compelled to cut its editorial budget, Saveur is struggling to acquire readers and advertisers and other food magazines don't seem to be doing that well. Keep in mind that editorial costs are a tiny fraction of the overall costs of producing a magazine (printing and paper costs are much more). Do publishers have their budget priorities wrong, is there too much market fragmentation, are advertisers throwing their dollars at Food TV? All of the above? In any case, none of this bodes well for good food journalism.
  14. One thing to remember about Costco--everything comes in big, big bundles or enormous sizes. Great if you're shopping and cooking for a bunch of people; not so convenient for one or two.
  15. Produce clerks are so poorly paid in most places that it's probably a bit of a stretch to expect them to arrive knowledgeable or to stick around long enough to become that way.
  16. The incisive (some would say cutting) but always informed and intelligent commentary on Amanda Hesser's book in one of the other threads got me thinking about just what it is I find admirable and worth reading in the way of food. Two of the writers I admire most and never tire of reading are Jane Grigson and Elizabeth David, who were, probably not coincidentally, friends, Englishwomen and people who spent much of their lives in countries with much better food than England, but who wrote, first and foremost, for people who did not live in France, Italy, Greece or any of the other places which informed their understanding of food and human nature. A third writer I like a lot is Richard Olney, so long as he sticks to food--his memoir, Reflexions, made my feel quite badly for him. Olney, of course, was originally from the United States, but, like David and Grigson, spent much of his life in France. David I know from other reading could be impossible in person, but both she and Grigson had the most persuasive and likeable authorial "voices." They were both broadly knowledgable about food, and much else, but managed to deploy their vast trove of wisdom and arcania in a way that charmed, rather than alarmed. Olney was much more prickly, didactic and preachy in his writing, but somehow, you set that aside, because he was an original, and usually right. Years ago, someone once observed to me that hacks (meaning people who wrote stuff that was lifeless and banal and got paid for it) were born, not made, and I came to think there was a lot of truth in this. So tell me: what is the source of food writers' ability to beguile and charm?
  17. Epicurious is great, a wonderful resource. You just have to ignore the user feedback idiocy and choose your recipes carefully. It does have just about everything, including a lot of stuff you (or I, anyway)would never want to try.
  18. "Cooking Lessons" sounds like a logical progression for a guy who directed "Meatballs."
  19. The cardinal rule for cooking with wine especially fortified wine is: Use good wine. Cheap stuff will ruin your dish. An excellent rule. I've usually heard it expressed this way: if you wouldn't drink it, don't cook with it.
  20. I've heard that older eggs peel easier because the white has shrunk away from the shell a bit.
  21. That's a great suggestion, Dave. You are absolutely right about the variability of "lowest settings."
  22. White long or short grain: twice as much water as rice. Bring to boil, reduce heat to lowest setting, cook, covered, 18-20 minutes. Brown rice: roughly 2.25 cups of water to one cup of rice. Bring to boil, reduce heat to lowest setting, cook, covered, 45 minutes. Take off heat and let sit, covered, for 10 minutes.
  23. Glad we can play tag--I actually know this. Before refrigeration curing, of course, was the main method of preservation. It was apparently called "corning" because the salt pellets used were about the size of corn kernels. These days brining is done instead of dry curing, but the name remains. I think this is partially correct. The term to "corn", meaning to preserve in brine, is British in origin. "Corn" the cereal is not. Likely "corn" in this context refers to salt granules. \Corn\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Corned (k?rnd); p. pr. & vb. n. Corning.] 1. To preserve and season with salt in grains; to sprinkle with salt; to cure by salting; now, specifically, to salt slightly in brine or otherwise; as, to corn beef; to corn a tongue. 2. To form into small grains; to granulate; as, to corn gunpowder. 3. To feed with corn or (in Sctland) oats; as, to corn horses. --Jamieson. 4. To render intoxicated; as, ale strong enough to corn one. [Colloq.] Corning house, a house or place where powder is corned or granulated. Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.
  24. Michelin has taken out full-page newspaper advertisements to defend the integrity of its Guide Rouge against a book published last week by a former inspector who insists that the system for rating restaurants is somewhat less than rigorous. 'In the advertisements, the Michelin man – known in France as Bibendum – is seen holding up a letter he has written to the public. “What has been said and written over the last weeks leaves me pensive about the excessive tone that has been adopted, and the image of France created by certain gastronomic chroniclers,” it reads.' http://www.sundayherald.com/41524
  25. Some of the most memorable images from the movie Withnail and I were the shots of crockery containing weeks old half eaten meals of beans, eggs, curry, etc. stacked in the kitchen of a slum student flat in London, growing mold. As amusing as I found the movie, I didn't take any of this as an indication of the lifestyle or hygienic standards of most Brits, or students. Interesting, though, that accusing another race or nationality of being unclean is still about the most common slur going.
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