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Thanks for the Crepes

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    Cary, North Carolina

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  1. Worst Halloween candy

    I agree with NECCO wafers coming in as the vilest candy. I never saw them at Halloween, but we would get them in our Christmas stockings in VT. Wow! even as a kid I couldn't eat them, except for the chocolate variety, and even that was horrible. I gave them away to siblings after unsuccessfully trying to barter for something else. They are hard to find now, and they do have their (deranged ) fans. @cakewalk, I also like Twizzlers, they're not too sweet. My favorite iteration of that is strawberry whips, which might not be Twizzlers brand, but it's the same formula. They all have some starch and oil and cut down the sugar to a reasonable degree. And yeah, I agree with other posters who used to like candy corn, and still think it's a pretty candy, but as an adult it tastes like waxed sugar to me. For what few trick or treaters we do get (only kids of neighbors I know personally and then they go to one of the organized events), I usually get a mixed bag of mini chocolate bars. They have a big thing up at the Cary Towne Center Mall near here, where all the stores give out candy, and since that started, most parents take their kids up there. There are other managed events for Halloween here in Cary as well. I miss the cute, adorable little costumed kids we used to get here, but we have grown a lot since then. I can still remember one adorable little girl dressed as an angel asking me what I was supposed to be dressed as. It was funny, because I hadn't dressed for Halloween at all, but instead was wearing a dress I wore often to work that was a cornflower blue with a small print of white flowers and multiple flounces of ruffles of the same material trimmed with white lace on the hem and around the short ruffled sleeves. I guess I looked like a fairy godmother to her? I think that's what she said, and it was a pretty dress that I liked very much. I love this memory of the cute little angel. With things like this, I can certainly understand why parents don't want to be roaming the streets with their kids, much less let the older ones go alone. This would never have happened in 1986 when I moved here from Tennessee. Halloween has changed, and not for the better here. And yeah, almost no one trick or treats at houses where they don't know each other pretty well, but I don't think the kids suffer with all the safe and organized events here. Cary is very family oriented.
  2. Restaurant pet peeves

    Is this what you mean? If so, I don't see what "blue" has to do with it. As a person who has a real aversion to wearing gloves in the kitchen with the exception of processing hot chilies and I tolerate it as a necessary evil even then, I can understand why restaurant employees don't want to wear them. Also, I've read many accounts of gloved employees handling cash, then touching food, handling raw and then cooked food. Gloves are no substitute for good hygiene habits. It's not a magic fix, and it punishes people who do follow good practices in the kitchen. I have to agree with the California's governor call on that one. I think these glove laws are passed by people who never even worked in a kitchen at home, and I don't agree with them. FWIW we have the glove law in NC, and I don't think for a minute it improves restaurant food safety. Might even degrade it, as the narrow profit margins in restos encourage management to instruct employees to always be gloved in case of surprise health inspections, but discourage frequent glove changes when transitions occur. The glove laws might work better in hospitals with their big profit margins. I think hospitals kill more people here than restaurants do.
  3. Restaurant pet peeves

    Wow! @liuzhouI would have a really hard time with this server behavior as well. I love reading menus, poring over them. Thank God and Tim Berners Lee that I can now do that in the comfort of my own home thanks to the internet, for most restaurants here. I also go to the Yelp reviews and look at photos as well as reviews for even a restaurant I've visited many times before. I will not even tell you how many hours, sometimes over multiple days I spend doing this before a visit to a restaurant. I know it's not normal, but whatcha gonna do? It's all foreplay which should be long and leisurely. This allows me to act more like a normal person who can walk into an unknown restaurant and decide what to order in about five minutes, which is the norm here. And no, that is not with your server hovering over you. I despise that. Cultural difference I'd have a really hard time adjusting to, but very interesting, as usual. Not sure, but I wonder if most Chinese restaurants have caught on to the advantage of having a web presence and posting their menus and pricing? If not, that would certainly make it much worse for someone like me. This leads me to another pet pea (I know it's wrong, but like it anyway *insert picture of cute little pea with a grumpy face*) . That is restaurants who don't include pricing on their online menus. From the high end ones with an attitude of "if you have to ask, you can't afford to eat here, silent sniff" to chains which not only insist you share personal info, but start placing an order before you can learn what their food will cost you. Grrrr!
  4. Restaurant pet peeves

    I wouldn't worry about it on these kind of unreasonable laws as a server on the water issue, at least not much. Our city didn't deploy "water cops" Eliot Ness-style or not (although, I found that amusing JNW) on either the outdoor watering issue or the automatic water at restos. They depend for even reporting on disgruntled neighbors at the home and employees at the the restaurants. In neither case, even if caught, I don't think the "perpetrator" was up for being drawn and quartered. They could be fined, though, and I tend to think even that is ludicrous especially when we have been under flood conditions. It's all about making the water treatment cheaper for the government, so people don't waste it. BUT, our municipality raised rates when people started conserving, during the drought as asked, so they (the government) would continue to get the same revenue. Rates haven't been lowered even with flooding. Surprise, Surprise, Surprise! /Gomer Pyle
  5. Restaurant pet peeves

    Our municipality passed an ordinance during the drought a few years ago limiting water service in restaurants to request only as well. I'm not sure if it's ever been repealed although we are well out of that drought. The one that limits outdoor watering has remained in place through several serious floods. So at least here, the law has not very much to do with fairness or logic. I noticed at the Turkish restaurant, they bring out water to every table first thing, and the Indian resto has always done this, ordinance or no. Most of their clientele are Indian and everyone drinks water. They must not have the widespread soda culture in India that we have here.
  6. Restaurant pet peeves

    This literally made me laugh out loud. Thanks! Yes, that makes me very uncomfortable too. I drink a lot of water, almost exclusively. Even when I order an occasional frozen margarita at a place that does them well, I want a glass of water too. I guess the wait person's mind goes "drink order: cocktail, better tips for me, water, no tip, phooey". I dunno, but my water does seem to be forgotten with cocktails more than any other time. I don't even think they do it on purpose, but still. Lack of malice doesn't help me in my discomfort. The water could easily be brought on the same trip with the cocktail, but asking for it again creates another trip and thus friction, making it more uncomfortable on both sides. I'm convinced that a really good server can turn your restaurant experience into a really memorable, wonderful time, and a bad one can ruin it and your appetite, no matter how good the food might be, if it were served in a timely and thoughtful manner. I am one that does tend to get my dander up when you mess with my food. If I get irritated enough, I don't even want to eat anymore, and when I try, it gives me indigestion. It seems unreasonable to let a messed up meal experience ruin your day, but I have to admit I have done that, especially if it was expensive. I remember messed up meals from twenty years ago, but I also remember the perfect ones that were truly transcendent. I takes a great chef and a great server to make these magical times happen.
  7. Napoleon / Mille Feuille

    Good luck. This will be a labor of love.
  8. I just can't cook __________!

    This! I used to make a milk loaf bread from the 1968 "Better Homes and Gardens" Cook Book all the time in the 70's and into the 80's. It was the only bread served in my home, and it was so delicious! Then I got caught up in a career and store bought bread had to do. I tried making the old favorite from Better Homes a few years ago and it was just pretty bad. It disheartened me toward trying to make bread so much, I haven't again, with the exception of @kayb's rolls one time which came out very fine. I need to get over my little snit fit about this bread failure and move on. I am only hurting myself. Especially now that I have the Cuisinart Steam Oven which was inspired by professional bread ovens, I need to move on in making bread. But yeah, JAZ. I know it is disorienting beyond logic and reason to have a long-trusted recipe blow up in your face.
  9. Hard boiled eggs in salad

    Hard boiled eggs are indispensable in Seven Layer Salad, which I made the other day. The basic salad is lettuce, tomato, green peas, onion, crisp bacon, chopped hard boiled egg, shredded cheddar and mayo. Normally it is made in a glass salad bowl or trifle dish in pretty, colorful layers. It will keep a few hours well chilled on the way to a potluck dinner and is always a hit. Living alone now, I just make up a single serving as I don't care for it leftover. I also think hard boiled eggs are essential in a proper chef's salad. Or whenever you want them in a salad. They are a cheap, easy, nutritious protein ingredient that tastes great, so why not?
  10. Restaurant pet peeves

    Yes, but you can never say anything to the miscreant parents about their "little darling". That was what started the brawl at the Fayetteville Chuck E. Cheese. I kept looking for the Grrrr/Angry icon. That would really trip my trigger too. Good for you for not leaving an undeserved tip on that sneaky upsell. This comes from a former waitress who thinks non or low tippers are consummate slugs.
  11. Mark Bittman and the politics of food

    Yes! I have been afraid of what Monsanto is doing for many years. I hope I will be long gone before they patent, control and corrupt our entire food supply. They have prosecuted American farmers whose non-Monsanto fields have been contaminated with cross pollination from their GMO crops for saving seeds, and sadly, Monsanto wins. This seems unjust and unbelievable, but it is happening. It passes under most people's radar. Who cares about the hayseed small farmer, right? Anyone who eats should! That means you! Our government is coming down strongly on the side of Monsanto's attempt to have a food monopoly. This is scary, and there is evidence that the plants need higher dosages of herbicides as time goes on and the weeds develop resistance. *Shudder*
  12. Commercial mayonnaise – likes, dislikes?

    Full disclosure is always really good in my book, but Antioxidant (385)? WTH is that supposed to be? Possibly calcium disodium EDTA? Gotta love our various government's avoidance of truth, or NOT. Sheesh!
  13. Meeting-friendly snacks to bake

    Is Smudge okay? I love gingersnaps too, but I would not want to take a fall down the stairs over them.
  14. Restaurant pet peeves

    I could not care less if someone chooses to keep a hat on or not. It doesn't affect me. I don't have to look at him/her. Why would this bother me in the least? What I do care about is children being allowed to screech at the top of their "adorable" little lungs, run laps around the aisles, interfering with and endangering waitstaff and patrons, smear their dirty little hands on me (this happened to me once) and kick the back of my booth. This latter one has happened so many times it is just ridicules for the little amount that I eat out. Parents today seem to be oblivious to how much their children are annoying fellow diners. I remember but cannot find an incident at a local restaurant that got into the news over a booth-kicking kid. Police were involved, and I can relate. And yes, even poor people who are only able to afford eating out occasionally at less expensive restaurants should be able to expect a pleasant experience unmarred by unsupervised, out-of-control children. I avoid places that cater to children like Chuck E. Cheese (link to a video of a recent brawl with 4 arrests in Fayettville, NC), of course, and always skip nights where kids eat free. I try to avoid children in restaurants as much as possible, but that is hard when one cannot afford high end eateries. Not all children are allowed to go crazy in restaurants, of course. So many are these days, though. Cudos to the parents who still teach their children manners, and they're probably in the majority. It is just that the few that don't take the responsibility to do that make it very miserable for everyone around them. I have a metal sign, given to me by my brother, that reads: "Unattended children will be given an espresso and a free kitten". There's a picture of a very cute little red-headed girl that looks much like my sister as a child with a cup of espresso in her hand. His son and daughter are actually very well behaved in restaurants and everywhere else since they were infants. I will also say that when I recently ate at Bosphorus, our great Turkish restaurant we are so lucky to have, there were many Turkish families who brought their kids to this restaurant. All of the children were extremely well-behaved and bothered no one. Why can't we Americans get this down?
  15. Commercial mayonnaise – likes, dislikes?

    No sugar is my vote. And the ingredients on your Piknik brand are pretty close to the jar of Duke's I just pulled out of my fridge to compare. Duke's ingredients: Soybean oil, eggs, water, distilled and cider vinegar, salt, oleoresin paprika, natural flavors? , calcium disodium EDTA added to protect flavor. My jar lists The C.F. Saurer Co., Richmond VA, but this wiki article says it originates in Mrs. Eugenia Duke's sandwich shop in Greenville, SC in 1917. I love it, and it is as good as homemade. My only gripe with it is that it's hard to find it around here in less than a quart jar so I can't use it before it goes off. I did manage to buy a 16 oz. jar last time, so I have a better chance of getting use out of it. It was only 25 cents cheaper than the jar twice the size. *Sigh* @Kim Shook may have some thoughts as well on what constitutes a Southern mayo, and I'm pretty sure she is a Duke's fan. Remember ya'll Julia Child never told any of us to put sugar into mayonnaise! She was a very wise woman, in my worldview.