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yvonne johnson

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Everything posted by yvonne johnson

  1. Thanks mikec. We're chancing a walk-in this week-end, and considering the pasta-tasting. I might re-consider given your experience, or at least make a substitution early on to break up some of the monotony.
  2. Interesting report, Sandy. I notice the price of the tasting menu has gone down in price since April. I'm pretty sure it was $75 then; Wilfrid reported $65 a little while back, and now it's $62. Given the problems with the wine pairing, I think we'll just order bottles ourselves on Sat. Hmmm, the sweetness thing, not for me either. Pity abut the skate too. I 'm beginning to think fish (scallops aside) is not the restaurant's strong point. Last thought: Do you know if Renaut was in the kitchen last night? When I was last there he wasn't.
  3. There's the rub. Out of politeness, I might say, on returning from the loo to find everyone digging in, "Oh, glad you stared without me". But in my mind I'd put the lot of you in a group of impolite sods.
  4. I'm coming in late on this one. How dare you all start without me. I don't follow a lot of the logic in this thread. If etiquette means "conventional laws of courtesy" (Chambers), then it's obvious to me that waiting for someone to return to table before starting any kind of food is considered the well-mannered thing to do. I think Wilfrid is correct on drawing on empirical evidence because this supports the convention. Maybe Fat Guy would like the the laws to make more sense than they do, but that's another point. Whether our decision to wait renders the food less hot is beside the point; whether the absent person would rather we begin is also beside the point. Waiting is deemed the polite thing to do and this instance it maybe conveys to the temporarily absent member that their presence is more important than hot food. I'm not sure I need an authority on manners to tell me what is considered well-mannered in this society, as I can see it with my own eyes. Changing those conventions may be a worthy cause, but again that's a different matter than identifying the conventions.
  5. Suvir, I don't know that much about Schmidt, but I use his "Master Recipes" quite a lot. Very good detail. A friend of mine took a cooking class that he offered and got a lot out of it. She described him as enthusiastic and approachable. I see from his book he writes for Cook's Illustrated and the Washington Post among other things, and the flap says he is writing a book on American desserts, which may be out by now.
  6. Funny, we'll be there with a couple of friends on Sat 14th. Should make for some interesting posts.
  7. Lyle, yeah, some of the oldies are good. Stephen Schmidt (whom I much admire) suggests 8 tablespoons=I stick of butter for 4 servings. Along with half cup of cream or milk (heated with the butter to just below boil). For 4-6 servings he suggests 2 lbs pots. He also recommends baking pots--I tend to agree.
  8. There's Fat Guy impersonating me again. By the way, when the older threads are brought to the fore, doesn't it feel like decades ago that we wrote and read them?
  9. We had the cheese course at Daniel a few weeks ago--and I may have mentioned it already--the cheeses were the best I've had in a restaurant, ever maybe. As for special occasions, I find the atmosphere (reds, and ornate decor) at Daniel a bit heavy. I like the airy feel to J-G more. I've not been to Ducasse.
  10. stellabella, First, thanks for the post a few back on Levi Strauss. I'm not really up on sociology and anthroplogy, but the functionalism reminded me of Merton(?). I'm behind with my reading. Yikes, I've not finsihed chapter 2. Off to read, as I really want to discuss cannibalism. More later.
  11. Thanks for the reminder about Danal. We often pass it, think about trying it and forget. The calf's liver sounds good.
  12. No, you're not wrong Wilfrid. I thought it was quite good overall. My rare strip steak (for one) was, as usual, very tasty, well seasoned and tender. I tasted the double-cut strip for two and it was more tender and flavorful than mine, so I'd go for the double in future. I liked the creamed spinach (in the past I've found it over-salted or over truffley), and the pots cooked in goose fat were as good as usual, and crunchy on the outside (I thought they tasted of goose-fat--I must've missed that conversation about them not tasting of it), and the French fries were very good plus, thinnish, hot, needed further salting (nowhere as good as those at Les Halles, though. Sorry, Wilf, that they didn't reach you). I was very taken with the layered (13 stories) chocolate cake. I've never seen such a huge slice of cake. I'm not a fan of chocolate desserts, but it was one of the best chocolate desserts I've had in a while as it wasn't very sweet. A few downs: We ordered garlic bread and this was mediocre (bread was a cardboard specimen). My appetizer, torchon of fie gras was nice and silky smooth, melted in the mouth, but was too cold. I think it had been in the fridge along with Wilfrid's cabbage till seconds before being brought to table. Agreed on the marrow bones. Maybe few people want to eat the marrow, and are there for decoration? Liza: On the wine glasses, maybe they'd run out and had enough clean ones to give us only one each. Also, in future I'd ask for the wines to be left on the table to get around the slowness and having an empty glass in front of me (the horror). Nice to see the chap with the long tongue again. *PS: On that old thread Wilfrid links you to in his opening post, that's Fat Guy impersonating me. Yours truly started that thread. FG impersonates stefanyb too. You have to watch those moderators.
  13. Interesting note from one source: "A particular difficulty in marketing sheep meat is that the distinction between lamb and mutton is only whether or not the animal had any permanent teeth when it was slaughtered, and therefore in some circumstances the distinction between lamb and mutton is not detectable post slaughter" I love mutton, and wish there was more of it in the US.
  14. I question F-A's major point that cooking made humans social. Don't the facts that human infants have a long period of vulnerability and development offer a stronger case for socialization? The more humans collaborate in rearing children the more likelihood of success in numbers. This argument would not support his argument that humans are different than other animals for other species socialize and collaborate in rearing of young. F-A seems to be looking for something we do that other animals don't do to prove our social nature--why he focuses on cooking so much is a little puzzling to me. Or am I missing something? I imagine humans could've achieved just as much without cooking? (I'm not up on Levi Strauss at all. Wish I were.) The last part of the first chapter on the microwave reads like a rant to me and the tone is very different to the the one he uses in the rest of chapter. Surely a cooker in previous generations offered family members the freedom to eat meals at different times. I don't think F-A can blame the microwave for the flexible current family life style. I agree the anecdotes up to now have been very enjoyable, but I look forward to chapter 2 on cannibalism.. Maybe it'll have more meat.
  15. I agree. Marcus described my shopping patterns very well. It made me think about the loyalty that my mother had to stores when I was growing up. There was a butcher she used her entire life and I never heard her say we got a poor piece of meat. I'm wondering if it's impossible to have a shop the size of D& D and expect it to be very good-excellent across all the ranges of products it sells. I see there are a few negative/mixed comments about Jefferson Mkt. I think the service isn't quite a s good (neither as friendly nor as helful) as it was 10 years ago, and the shop could do with a good clean. A plus is that it can be used a one-stop place as it sells cleaning things, cat food etc, whereas if you use D&D or Balducci's chances are you have to go somewhere else, and if you're running home late that's a pain.
  16. I don't know. I agree on your definition of artisan=skilled worker, but I think buyers are wanting things to look rustic, non-mass produced, and looking for products that look and taste artisnal/small-batch, etc. Take Le Pain Quotidien, if I knew nothing about the company and I were to see one of these round peasant (there you go.) loaves, I'd probably conclude it was made in a cozy farmhouse. I'd no idea until recently that this was a huge international company, yet to me its taste conjures up "artisanally-made" and I imagine that's what customers like. Same for the loaves made by the Parisian baker who recently died, yet the bread was made in huge factory-bakeries.
  17. Something that has "artisanal" written all over it is something made by reasonably well-off hippies who want to get in touch with their skilled manual laboring side. Partly joking.
  18. yvonne johnson

    Roasting pork

    Some, like Schmidt, recommend pork that's faintly pink.
  19. yvonne johnson

    Roasting pork

    Schmidt in his Master Recipes suggests removing pork from the oven when boneless meat reaches 140 and bone-in meat reaches 145F. He says that pathogens "including the trichinae parasite...are disabled at 140F." Ideal final temp for pork, after resting, is 145-150F according to Schmidt. As for recommendations that meat should be cooked till internal temp is170F, Schmidt writes in bold "IGNORE"
  20. Any thoughts on the book? ____ For those who don't have it, but would like to join in here's a brief summary of Chapter 1. The invention of cooking The chapter looks at one of eight revolutions that Fernandez-Armesto (F-M) identifies in the history of food. These aren’t in a linear order, they are more overlapping themes, and he assigns one chapter to each one. Some of his arguments in the first chapter include: When we eat raw food, e.g., oysters, the experience is a “throwback to a precivilized world and even to a prehuman phase of evolution” (3), a time before we cooked. He suggests we are now embarrassed by raw food and to cover up its rawness, we make it elaborate (e.g., steak tartare, sashimi) “Culture begins when the raw gets cooked” (4). What makes humans separate from the rest of nature is cooking (not language, consciousness, use of tools). There are many ways of changing food, e.g., wind-drying, hanging, marinading, fermentation, but according to F-M, it was cooking—strong evidence of which goes back only 150,000 years-that had a huge effect on society because cooking brought people together around a fire, created regular patterns of mealtimes and social interactions and rituals as well as divisions in labor were enhanced. Cooking was probably invented by accident. Advantages in cooking: makes meat mess fibrous, more digestible, kills poisons and worms. Modern day eating with the invention of the microwave allows family members to eat at different times and in isolation. F-A laments the loss of communal family meal times and doesn’t have much time for meals on the run. There are many examples of cooking practices in many cultures—Japan, Hindu society—too many to list. ____ I have a problem with his basic premise that cooking made us social. I'll leave my thoughts for now. Is there anyone else out there?
  21. I'll tread lightly here, but aren't British people over-represented among those who aren't sold on BH?: Simon, SamF, ScottF, macrosan, g. and I have had mixed experiences. Who else? Poor theory? Maybe. I seem to remember that Steve P's posts don't go overboard about the restuarant, and neither does tommy's. (The above is from memory and I apologize if I've mis-remembered.) Wilfrid, I agree there is a feeling of some innovation. The "cautious" part hits the nail on the head, as some of the dishes are neither bold enough nor flavorful enough for me.
  22. Yesterday, I shopped and D&D. I'd got most of my shopping in other stores, but thought I'd head down to D&D for cheese and shellfish. I bought around 10 items. Eight of them (including green beans, Caerphilly, an Epoisses-like cheese, biscuits and tea) were excellent, but two were unacceptable, and I didn’t realize how bad they were till I got home. 1. Scallops. I asked to smell them in the store, and they did have a stronger smell than I anticipated. Sometimes they have a mild odor (those who say that shellfish and fish have none are exaggerating I think) but I didn’t trust my judgement in the shop and I bought 16. After rinsing them at home and after g. cooked one I knew they were way past their best, and we chucked them. Off to my trusted Jefferson Market for another 16. Miles better. (Aside: The scallops at JM were half the price.) 2. After getting very good advice from the cheese counter staff I got 3 fine cheeses. I then asked for some cabrales and they said, oh, yes, and without showing me the cheese close up (staff member held it up the air, label side up and used knife to gauge the portion I wanted—I do not mean to imply he was hiding the quality of the cheese, but I now wonder). Once opened at home, I was amazed at the blue mess and later threw that out too. (The cabrales I’ve bought at JM has always been better than that.) I’m disappointed that a store that has (or at least did have) such a good reputation can charge so much for things I can get elsewhere in much better condition and for less cost. If I’d had more time yesterday, I’d have returned both items. Lesson: trust judegment and see up close, if not taste the thing before buying. Any other experiences?
  23. That's a fine looking kettle, Sandy. Who needs a regular spout and lid? Cool.
  24. Sounds interesting. Will give it a try. Couple of tangential thoughts. I've not found good Brussels sprouts this fall--loose or on the stalk. Any idea where they were from? Second, on the sumac, Jarnac used it (still uses it?) on their steak, but before I read their menu it was new to me and I've not seen it elsewhere.
  25. It doesn't say whether Seeber is there or not. My impression, though, since much was made in this small write-up of the time when he was there, is that Seeber is no longer there. I'm not sure "french fries avec ketchup and mayo" bugs me to the extent it does Asimov.
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