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  1. has free shipping on orders over $50 and 15% off with coupon code 152017. I just placed my first order, but @DiggingDogFarm recommended them here and their prices seem very fair. I bought dried porcini and shiitake mushrooms, crushed aleppo and urfa biber chiles, cinnamon sticks, and a few other odds and ends.
  2. Taste and technique

    I felt compelled to revive this thread after reading the reviews and comments about Taste and Technique in this year's Piglet over at Food52. It is getting a lot more love over there. Admittedly I started to skim a bit, but I didn't see any of the issues raised in this thread mentioned there. I think it has an uphill battle ahead of it, but it could win. Go figure.
  3. Cheese (2008– )

    Vulto Creamery in New York state is recalling some of its cheeses after an outbreak of listeria caused two deaths. That is a link to a google search for an interesting NYT article. A couple of years ago I was doubly frustrated by Vulto when I vacationed not far from Walton. First I learned their creamery isn't open to the public (no store), then I managed to buy some of their cheese, but our puppy got it before I had a chance to try it (a somewhat expensive mistake on my part). I kind of feel a little better about that now, but of course it almost certainly would have been safe and delicious. There were three things in the article that caught my eye. First is that "only" 15% of cheese made in France is made from unpasteurized milk. That is followed by the statement that half of the artisanal cheese made in the US is made from unpasteurized milk. I don't know how US cheese is classified as artisanal, but I imagine it represents a very small percentage of all cheese production. Finally, considering that the sale of raw milk restricted in states near me, I was surprised to read that there is only one national standard governing the production of raw milk cheese - that it be aged for 60 days to block E. coli from developing. I'll be interested to learn whether there are any additional state regulations in my area. I don't know if I will be less likely to purchase local raw milk cheese in the future, but I suspect I will recall this incident the next time I see it.
  4. My digital scale recently went on the fritz. While I was waiting for a replacement I had to maintain my starter via volume measures instead of by weight. I then got lazier and switched to doing it by eye. I remove what seems to be about 2/3 of the starter, dump in a small scoop of flour, then add water until it has the right consistency. My starter is at least as healthy as it has ever been. The starter I remove usually gets the same treatment, sits on the counter overnight and is used to make a couple of crumpets in the morning. They are also as good or better than ever. Now that I have a scale again, I will weigh out the starter if I am going to use it for bread, but I am inclined to stick with the lazy method for maintaining it. Once again it has occurred to me that people on the frontier who routinely relied on starter almost certainly didn't maintain it by weight and probably didn't spend a lot of time babying it.
  5. For anyone who is browsing and now thinking about making brownies, I recently made these and they were quite good. They may not be for you if you like a super gooey/chewy brownie. Mine came out with a very nice middle of the road texture. I added walnuts - who eats brownies without nuts?
  6. Wawa vs Sheetz

    I don't know what to make of it either. Very odd.
  7. Wawa vs Sheetz

    It is probably a very good hoagie for FL, it is just OK/fine for Philly IMO. They sell a ton of them here though and many love them. Just remember, the Italian hoagie should have oil and oregano, not mayo
  8. Wawa vs Sheetz

    There is no doubt many people *love* Wawa. They do inspire loyalty like Wegmans does. Not to stray too far off topic, but I think Wawa loyalty is the basis of one of our local food dichotomies - as in, do you love Wawa or not? My favorite was always do you eat at food trucks or not? That was much more of thing 10+ years ago - before food trucks became fashionable. At the time food safety and cleanliness issues seemed to keep many people away, but not so much today. As for me, I've been eating truck food on a regular basis for 25 years so my hope is that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
  9. Wawa vs Sheetz

    I grew up not far from Wawa #1 and my spouse grew up within walking distance of Sheetz #1, but we aren't huge fans of either of them. I am happy to get gas and I occasionally grab a not especially good Wawa coffee in the early morning; however, that is the time when I most loathe stopping at a Sheetz. I don't think I've ever been in a more visually and aurally irritating store - except maybe Spencer Gifts in the late 70s. The colors and lights are way too bright and flashy early in the AM. There also always seems to be some sort of annoying music playing way too loud. I have no idea what demographic they are shooting for, but it clearly hasn't ever been mine. They must be doing something right though because they seem to be doing just fine. As for the food, I don't mind Wawa in a pinch, but I very rarely eat there - at least not since they made the sausage eggs and cheese breakfast muffins "healthier" several years ago They were getting bad press about the huge number of calories in them. I am kind of glad they changed them though because not eating them at all is saving me loads of calories. They have improved their soft pretzels though. For years and years it would have been difficult to find soft pretzels that were consistently worse anywhere else in the greater Philadelphia area. Even the "armpit" pretzels were tastier.
  10. I don't think I've seen it for physical books, but I can do that when searching the Overdrive books. As far as I know, none of the ones I've recommended have been purchased. On the plus side, I recalled that I am eligible to use the library where I work and they do have it. It is currently checked out and I am second on the hold list so it will be a while yet.
  11. I looked but it isn't in my library system. I also looked for the chicken with walnut sauce (?) recipe the other day and found things that seemed to be similar, but nothing that said it was from the book. Like Anna, I would prefer to buy a Kindle version. Perhaps in time. I have plenty of books to keep me occupied in the interim.
  12. ChefSteps is sending out referral codes for $20 off on Joule ($199 - $20). Each code is good for 5 uses. Message me if you would like to use the code I received.
  13. Advice: Braising in Smoker?

    I am not going to disagree with that and I understand why you called me on it. I think it would be more accurate to say that many believe that it doesn't need more smoke after about 2 hours. In addition, I think there is also a widely held belief (which may or may not be accurate) that compared to the first 2 hours, relatively little smokiness is added later in the cook. In my experience (which is surely not authoritative) those who are cooking with charcoal (as opposed to stick burners) rarely add wood for smoke after 2 hours. Often they add enough at the beginning of the cook to last a couple of hours and don't add more during the cook. About the only thing that everyone can agree on in BBQ is that there is no one true way. People do all sorts of things with BBQ. Some things are rooted in regional differences, some in personal/family traditions and preferences. Certainly science has made inroads, but I personally doubt it is going to significantly change how the "art" of BBQ is typically practiced.
  14. Advice: Braising in Smoker?

    There is a lot of good advice in this thread. In part due to logistical necessity, I've been using my smoker for big holiday meals for the past few years. I've also been competing in a number of KCBS events each season for a few years so I have been somewhat immersed in this stuff. With ribs, brisket and pork butts, the general rule of thumb is that they aren't going to pick up additional smoke after about 2 hours. With chicken most competitors don't use any wood because it takes smoke very easily and thus quickly gets plenty just from the charcoal and drippings. I am not sure where rabbit would fall on that spectrum, but I would guess it is more like chicken. I also believe any braising liquid could easily pick up too much smoke if it isn't covered for at least most of the cook (if not all of it). While I like smoke, some of my holiday guests are not nearly as enamored with it. Even I think some of my turkeys have been too smokey so I have been working to reduce the amount of smoke they get. What I have learned is that when cooking on a smoker or grill, not getting smoke is much harder than getting enough smoke. I even tried cleaning out my smoker and using extruded coconut shell charcoal, which produces very little smoke (some people/brands claim none), but there was still some smokey flavor - perhaps from the remaining buildup on the surfaces in my smoker. That is why competitors who cook those dishes typically have a cooker that is only used for the "dessert" category (it usually isn't actually a dessert category, but that is almost always what wins it). I also find that a dish might not seem too smokey to me after tending the smoker all day, but it comes though clearly when I get to the leftovers a day or two later -- and even after pulling them out of the freezer months later.
  15. Using Mexican Chocolate

    Mine must be defective because because I've been munching on it and not getting anything of the sort. Have you made champurrado? Of course it is basically just more chocolate milk, but it is very good. I initially intended to make mole, but then I bought a pint of prepared mole paste that that has lasted me a long time. I think at this point I need to toss that paste though so perhaps I will get around to making some - unless I decide to use my last couple of discs to try for the Aztec experience.