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  1. rustwood

    Spiced Wafers, a Philly fall staple

    I never realized that they are a Philly thing. They were always just in the grocery stores in the fall - usually great piles of of them on a huge end cap display. I suspect it is not the same these days, but many moons ago it seemed like during October almost every other shopper dropped a box of them in their cart. I don't recall what they cost back then (certainly not $35 a box), but my impression is that they were a very inexpensive tradition.
  2. I recently finished this as well. I was in the process of creating a new post when I searched and found yours. Your post may have been my inspiration. I thoroughly enjoyed it, although I enjoy reading about the exploits of naturalists and explorers in that golden age (e.g. the recent The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century, also: The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon). It also contains a great deal of interesting history that is unrelated to food. I am tempted to say it is more food-adjacent than food-related. That may be splitting hairs, but I suspect it may not be sufficiently focused on food for some, while many who are not especially interested in food would also enjoy reading it.
  3. rustwood

    Crazy Good e-Book Bargains

    I just received an alert for the 2018 Piglet winner: Kachka: A Return to Russian Cooking @ $2.99 I think I set up an eREaderIQ alert for it after reading one of the Piglet reviews, but after re-reading a couple of them now (perhaps not the right one), I am not especially inclined to buy it. In fairness, that is at least partially because I already have a backlog of cookbooks I haven't 'touched' yet.
  4. rustwood

    Crazy Good e-Book Bargains

    I've had an ereaderiq.com alert on this book for a long time and it finally triggered yesterday. AFAIK, this is the first time this has been priced at anything significantly less than $18.99. Needless to say, I snapped it up.
  5. rustwood

    Cold Brew

    I wonder if carbonated cold brew is a thing in Japan and/or Asia. 25+ years ago I did product testing for a canned coffee beverage. I remember there were many different samples. They were blind, but it was obvious that they varied in levels of sweetness and carbonation. I believe there were also various flavor formulations and I suspected there were multiple levels of caffeine. My vague recollection is that the testing was done in advance of a product release in Japan. At the time, the notion of drinking cold coffee, let alone carbonated coffee, typically seemed very bizarre to those who were sampling it here in the US.
  6. rustwood

    Anova Nano --- New

    I think it ticks a lot of boxes for Anova: smaller but still with manual controls, waterproof, and a great price point. I don't think many people will miss the wifi connectivity. I also think the clamp is a bust, but only because having it fixed in one place limits the size of the pot you can use it in. I can't imagine why they wouldn't/couldn't have a sliding/adjustable clamp like their other models. I certainly hope it wasn't just to maintain a slimmer profile (which IMO would be silly).
  7. rustwood

    Cooking on a Big Green Egg

    I think all of the mini BGEs are way overpriced, although I would like to have a mini-max ($599 list). They are big enough to be more useful, but still heat up quickly for a quick grill. Of course there are many other possibilities for that sort of thing and nearly all of them are far more economical.
  8. I agree - only to a certain point though.
  9. An impulse buy of short short ribs led to a fair amount of effort today. I cooked them for 24 hours @ 167 and served them with polenta and a red wine reduction. They were tasty, but I find myself regretting that I bought them (like I always do). I enjoy eating them, but making any type of beef ribs at home always ends up seeming like a lot of work, mess, and expense for relatively meager yield. In my book, that makes them an excellent candidate for ordering out instead of cooking at home. I imagine others will not feel the same though as they seem to be a popular SV cook.
  10. rustwood

    Cooking on a Big Green Egg

    I did some spare ribs the other day and will be doing a brisket tomorrow (rain or shine). The rib cook went a little sideways, but they come out just fine. The ends of the ribs were sticking out beyond the deflector so they were a little dry, but I expect that when I crowd the cooker with ribs. I had planned to cook them at 240, but my kamado overshot to at least 270. After sampling one of the ends, I realized they were quite spicy so I foiled them with brown sugar and honey to even them out a bit - and to prevent them from drying out. I should have known better and pulled them off onto a second tray while I foiled, but instead I worked with the lid open and the fire really got going by the time I was done. I only left them on for another half hour or so for fear of burning the sugar, but by then they were already bending nicely. The brisket will intentionally be a hot and fast cook tomorrow as I don't like risking a brisket (nor any meal for guests) on an unattended overnight cook - especially when there might be rain. If I prep it tonight and start it early tomorrow, I should be able to get it done and properly rested in time for a not too late dinner.
  11. rustwood

    Wegman’s Brand Products

    We routinely purchase many of Wegman's house brand staples and have never been unhappy with them - canned goods, condiments, foil/cling wraps, freezer bags, TP/PT/tissues, trash bags, dish/laundry detergents, and cereal come to mind. They also seem to be a good value - I think usually cheaper than Costco. We rarely buy their prepared foods so I haven't tried any of their fancier refrigerated soups. Speaking of Costco, @MetsFan5 has your husband tried their Manchego? If so I'd be interested in hearing how he thinks it compares to Wegman's. Costco routinely puts it on sale at a great price. I am certainly not a connoisseur, but I enjoy it - when I can find a wedge that isn't huge (not often).
  12. rustwood

    Ramps: The Topic

    Mine are just starting to fade. Unfortunately, they also don't look any bigger than they were 2-3 weeks ago. Hopefully that is a function of how long the bulbs have been growing more so than how much they like the growing conditions. At least the deer haven't been interested in them. It doesn't look like they have even been sampled - even though the azaleas adjacent to them have been getting munched.
  13. rustwood

    New Wegman's near Boston

    I am a big fan of our Wegmans; however, I routinely come home without one or two items because they are out of them - sometimes even basic produce like broccoli. With that said, it is somewhat understandable as our nearby Wegmans is one of their smaller stores (relatively speaking) and it is a very popular location. Our store seems to carry the full array of the prepared fresh foods and the ready to eat stuff - which makes sense since that seems to be their major profit source ($7.50 lb for spiralized zucchini!) . The "reduced" store size seems to primarily impact the selection and available quantity of pantry items. They do try to keep things stocked though - as evidenced by people stocking shelves even during peak times (which otherwise would make no sense at all).
  14. +1. I have one of these and love it: King Kooker 24WC Heavy-Duty 24-Inch Portable Propane Outdoor Cooker with 18-Inch Steel Wok The first time I used it my oil burst into flames. I hadn't even started cooking anything yet so it wasn't from a spill. Lesson learned! I use a more moderate burner setting now and I don't put anything on it until I am 100% ready to cook - all my ingredients at hand, a clear plan for what I need to do, and a vessel for the finished dish (basic wok protocol). I have a kamado, but it takes a while to get the charcoal hot enough for stir fry. My weber chimney gets more than hot enough in a hurry, but as @FeChef said, it gets dangerously hot. I would want to corral it with some sort of fire-safe surround if I were going to wok on it as it is might be too easy to tip it over. I have occasionally used one to do quick sear on steak though.
  15. rustwood

    Ramps: The Topic

    Ramps have appeared in my local Wegmans - I believe they were $16.99 a pound. I didn't notice an origin for them. They had roots on, but were very clean. They had very skinny stems and mostly had no, or almost no, bulb at all. The bulb ends were mostly just a slightly thicker white stem. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they were still very tasty. I am wondering if they were skinny because it is early in the season and it has been a cold spring, or if perhaps that is how they are being commercially raised and harvested. Any thoughts? On the plus side, because they were clean and had small bulbs, it only cost $1.50 or so for more than enough to make a delicious egg scramble (butter, eggs, ramps, salt, aleppo pepper, and a bit of mild cheese on top). I had been thinking I might take some from the fledgling patch of ramps in my back yard, but now I won't. I planted them in 3 areas 2 years ago. They came up in 2 of those locations last year, but it looks like only one patch came back this year. They seem healthy so hopefully they will start to thrive in that location. I am still a long way from being able to sustainably harvest more than a taste though.