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Everything posted by SLB

  1. That's interesting, Kerry; I thought the cloudiness was caused by the use of grain alcohol as a "starter". I topped off my rum-based extract just now, and it was even cloudier than the Stoli-topped one! In fact, it looks a lot like Orange Julius, to the left below:
  2. Oh I tested it on just that theory. The swab came back bad. Sigh. This was definitely a vessel intended for cooking, and I'll probably keep it just because my loved one hauled it back from Morocco (as in, through the straights of Gibralter, up through Spain, and then back to Maine, then down to New York . . . I can't really toss it). On the lead -- fortunately, I am not a child, and have fed no children from that vessel that I can remember. Although, I guess memory loss is a symptom . . . . Just kidding. Lead is very serious, even for adults, and I don't know if mere serving is risky. In truth, I've ingested a whole lot of toxins over the years, and I'm otherwise undeservedly exceedingly healthy. So I'm not gonna get crazy with the regret. For now. Also, I'm kind of looking forward to tasting my favorites from Paula's original book in an unglazed clay context, which seems like it just has to taste different. Also, I have a strict rule prohibiting the purchase of new kitchen stuff (if I don't go strict, I kinda go crazy), and while I wouldn't wish lead toxicity on anyone, I'm kind of thrilled at the excuse to Get Some New Stuff! Seriously, I'm testing everything! On some level, I wish the 70s CorningWare would come back bad.
  3. Just following up -- for what it's worth, Vanessa at Tagines.com explained to me that mine was commonly used by Moroccans in Morocco, but that they are not rated for export to the US due to lead. I've had it for a decade, and used it faithfully for about half that time, so hopefully I didn't kill too many brain cells. I love this ole' girl, but . . . I've ordered myself a Souss! Yippee. And, to save on shipping, I also ordered myself a tagra that I've been pining away for. I keep meaning to eat more fish . . . .
  4. Interesting! I thought it might be too tall for the oven. Good to know.
  5. FlyingChopstik, thanks for posting the pix. I've never tried a bisteeya, but I think I'm going to take it on later this year. This is off-topic, but how do you like that Mexican bean pot? I'm intrigued with it, but wondering whether the narrow mouth makes it hard to clean.
  6. A friend brought me the following tagine back from Morocco. Unlike most of the tagines discussed here (or anywhere), the bowl is glazed, and about two inches of the interior of the lid is glazed. The rest is unglazed. The shape is like the "Beldi" on tagines.com, but that one is totally unglazed, and also has a steam hole in the cone (mine does not). Is there any particular point to the surfaces being half-glazed? I can't seem to find much discussion of this style of tagine anywhere.
  7. That's helpful. It does look like absinthe or ouzo-with-water. Not so appetizing, but I'm not having it on the rocks.
  8. My local butcher, who is trying to bring the hipster aesthetic to my neighborhood, charges $8/lb for leaf lard, and $8/pint if he renders it himself. Yes, they are organic pigs and whatnot. But still -- this strikes me as rather outrageous. I mean -- is that what people are paying for this in other parts of the country??? I'm in New York City.
  9. I started a bottle a couple of weeks back with Andie's method, of using grain alcohol to cover at first. When I topped off with my ordinary vanilla spirit -- good ole' fashioned Stoli -- the extract became not merely cloudy, but really milky. I can't seem to post a photo on this (how do y'all do that?), but I'm wondering if that's normal. One thing to note, this was the second extract on most of these beans. Actually, I don't know how you would really count it since I never actually decanted the extract from when I first submerged the beans (in 100% stoli, no grain-alcohol-starter); so it was more like in contant extraction for about a year and a half. I did add some new beans to this round, but I'm wondering if the first set of beans were dead and that's why the solution is so milky. Any thoughts?
  10. The book that changed my game from stir-fried-whatever-veg-plus-boneless-chicken-breast to genuinely recognizable meals was Pierre Franey, "The 60-Minute Gourmet." I have no idea whether it's still in print, or has been adapted to our retreat from butter in such doses; but my guess would be that the flavor principles hold, and you will finish the book knowing how to get a bona fide meal on the table, with no mail-order ingredients involved.
  11. This has been a wonderful thread, y'all. I've been making my own vanilla with straightahead Stoli for some time, but I'm curious about rum-based vanilla. Has anyone compared plain white rum with other more flavorful rums? By "more flavorful", I mostly mean "darker." I definitely do not mean "spiced", or anything like that. Any thoughts on this?
  12. This thread is kinda dead, but I don't know where to take the news that I've just had my first Rancho Gordo "REMARKABLE" experience. Just to be clear -- I think RG beans are wonderful, and I'm in full solidarity with the Xoxoc partnership . But I hadn't really experienced the *REMARKABLE* thing that so many others report, even with the Good Mother Stallards. (To be fair -- i live in a bean-eating neighborhood, so my basic beans at the grocery store are not ancient. They are not heirloom, no doubt; but they are not ancient in terms of shelf-time.) Anyway. No *REMARKABLE*, bean-localized taste, until today. With, specifically, the Reboseros. Those are some gooooooood beans, y'all! Also -- ahem: https://food52.com/contests/383-your-best-recipe-with-beans Teach, people.
  13. Is organic beef affordable in the UK? Its price in the states is downright terrifying, so this is encouraging.
  14. I like small white (non-navy) beans for baked beans. But I think any bean is gonna be pretty good when baked.
  15. SLB

    Salad (2011 - 2015)

    Hello everyone. I'm new to eGullet, and am posting here in an attempt to revive the thread. I have a hard time with salad in the winter, myself, so please, ya'll: bring on the winter-salad porn. I need inspiration.
  16. Hi everyone. I am new here, and I eat a lot of beans. [i eat a lot of cornbread, too, and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading through this thread]. I agree with the Good Mother Stallard love, but I am wondering if I'm the only person who finds them really very similar to a fat red bean that Colombians eat, the Bola Roja. (When I say "really very similar," I really mean, "I'm not sure I see the difference"). I have no idea whether the bola rojas that I've consumed were "heirloom" -- although it's unlikely since at least once the brand on my bola roja bag was good ole' Goya. Another Colombian bean that reminds me of the Good Mother Stallard is called "Cargamanto" on the Colombian package. It looks like a Bola Roja, but with some cranberry-bean-looking coloring mottling across the surface. Also, for those that worry that mass-produced beans are never fresh enough, I just wanted to note that if you shop in the regular store in heavy bean-eating communities (like Latino communities, for example), the commercial beans will be quite fresh. When I first moved to a Latino neighborhood eight years ago, the Goya beans were so fresh that they would be done half an hour before the meat stock was done; I started making the stock separately so I wouldn't end up with bean mush every time. I have never had to deal with a chalky bean once I started buying them in the neighborhoods of ethnicities that eat them regularly. It's of course true that you aren't going to get the subtlety or depth of flavor with mass-produced varieties that you will with, say, Rancho Gordo [Cayuga Organics, on the other hand . . . I honestly don't get why people pay for those beans at all, ever], but I think it's valuable to remember that one can find comparatively fresh beans at regular prices in places where the consumers are accustomed to them. This is kind of obvious but I wanted to repeat it.
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