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Everything posted by Cronker

  1. Oh, absolutely. I’m guilty of buying things from my store simply because they sit there too long without being snapped up.
  2. I use engine degreaser spray to clean my oven. It’s fantastic as long as you clean it off completely, and far cheaper than purpose-bought oven cleaner.
  3. The Lonaberger is worth about $10 on its own, but only to someone who actually knows what it is. Right person, right day...
  4. I’m hating on jarred minced garlic. It’s in no way a good substitute for the real thing. It’s more like pickled garlic.
  5. Cronker

    Great hard-to-find condiments

    No problem. Keep in mind that the brand I have suggested is one of the larger producers- a great amount of Bush tucker is very artisanal and small scale. You might be better off having a purveyor if you’re after the really good and interesting things..
  6. Cronker

    Great hard-to-find condiments

    The bush tomato sauce and the lemon Myrtle chilli are both really good and give very interesting variations on flavours you are familiar with.
  7. Cronker

    Great hard-to-find condiments

    These products are pretty good. http://www.outbackpride.com.au/products/sauces-and-dressings
  8. Cronker

    Great hard-to-find condiments

    There are some very interesting relishes, jams and sauces made here in Australia from native ingredients (we call it bush tucker). lemon myrtle, finger lime, quandong and samphire spring to mind, and are quite prevalent in better restaurants, although often expensive
  9. Why not a nice port? Still a wine gift, and might go nicely with the cheese toward the end of the occasion.
  10. Cronker

    Ahh, Bisto! The Gravy Mix

    We get it quite easily in most of our supermarkets in Australia, but it’s probably because there is still a lot of convict and migrant stock amongst our population.
  11. Nope. They look like the seed bells we hang in our budgerigar cages, though.
  12. Cronker

    When do you over tip?

    Yes, it’s for this reason. At least, here in Australia. At the end of shift, when you are settling the card machine, tips are shown as a seperate “pool” of transactions. It’s done this way firstly to ensure that tips are accounted for correctly (ie: not double taxed) and secondly as a deterrent for owners to pocket the tips themselves. There are still very dodgy practices by owners trying to get their hands on the tips, in some restaurants. It used to be common for owners/management to rule that breakages, walk-outs or comped meals come out of tips. This is illegal now. In Australia, we have a decent living wage, and tipping is an exception rather than a rule. Tipping is generally for excellent service or, sometimes, large groups. When waitstaff see an American tourist come through, they will knife each other in the back to get them to their table section.
  13. Cronker


    and yet, you’re the one buying verjus in a can...
  14. I'm going to spin this off from the other thread to keep things clean. although I have no room or reason, I've started a little collection of vintage cookware and would like your input on what you might think is collectible-not from a financial position, but just enjoying nice things from long gone days.
  15. Cronker


    It’s just unfermented grape juice, really, and it’s like a vinegar style. I really get hot under the collar when ‘celebrity’ chefs just bang on about one particular ingredient, especially when they sell it. Balsamic does pretty much the same thing as verjus, and far cheaper. Maggie Beer comes across as the best grandma you could ever wish for in your kitchen, but truth is, she is a hard nosed **** to work for.
  16. Cronker


    If you come to Australia, there is a local cook in SA called Maggie Beer who never stops shilling the damned stuff. According to her, every single recipe in existence needs verjus.
  17. Cronker


    I will admit that I’m also one that has used mine only once.
  18. Cronker

    Satay from scratch

    This topic interests me as well, since I’m about to introduce a satay dipping sauce to my delivery-at-home-from-scratch menu. for those unaware, it’s basically a Meals-on-Wheels for time poor folk, without being takeaway or pizza every night. i know my clients will be used to the generic Asian takeaway satay sauce, so they will be expecting crunchy peanuts and creamy, spicy goodness. thanks for the above recipes, I will be kitchen testing some of those this weekend. for the record - I have perfected my KFC style fried chicken just recently, and received rave reviews so it’s being incorporated into my new season menu. Instead of partnering it up with a carb (ie: potato or rice) I’m offering it on its own with four different dipping sauces: Lemon (to make Lemon Chicken) Garlic Tzatziki (for a Greek style) Asian Soy and Spring Onion Satay any hints here to make it shine beyond every day takeout would be hugely appreciated.
  19. Perhaps try making a roux and then adding, little by little, until you have the consistency you are looking for? the question is a bit odd, to me, since I’m not sure what you are going for.
  20. In many respects, you are at the mercy of the shop staff and the various store policies. As an example, I found a brand new Breville coffee tap out bin that had been thrown away by one of my staff simply because she didn’t know what it was. I work for a charity store that is connected to a religious organisation, so we are not allowed to sell Buddha ornaments. Harry Potter and Twilight items are likewise outlawed (supernatural themes) but in most cases, if you get to know the people in your local store and let them know what interests you, they will keep you in mind when a good piece comes in. It’s a bit of a misconception that all the good stuff gets snapped up by staff and volunteers-sure, it does happen, but it’s exactly the same as if you work in any retail store - you are there all day and therefore get to see all the products as they arrive. Policy generally dictates that every item must be priced and placed on the shelves before any staff or volunteers can “snap it up”. Never had a KitchenAid donated (!) and my personal focus is kitchenalia, but I’ve had numerous brand new items like slow cookers, portable induction hotplates, Bodums, high-end dinner sets and deep fryers come through. The latest hot item that seems to be highly donatable is multi-chopper vegetable thingos - (Zyliss et al). We get about five a week. And cut glass - anything, platters, trinket bowls, punch bowls. Please make it stop.
  21. Cronker

    Great hard-to-find condiments

    Delivery to Australia would be wonderful, albeit at a higher premium, surely.
  22. Cronker

    Cuts and scrapes

    Hello I guess, professional or not, most of us have battle scars from the kitchen. I witnessed a young apprentice chef take of the top of his finger on a mandolin, hospitalised. I've driven a very sharp chefs knife into my thumb through sheer stupidity, cutting a cake in half. please share your wounds (with/without pictures) to demonstrate to the younglings amongst us just how death-defying our passion is.
  23. Cronker

    Do you cook with a "360" vision?

    Hello friends. my question relates to certain dishes and their accepted sides. for example - if you were going to make smoked cod, the traditional accoutrements would be peas and white parsley sauce. you wouldn't serve the peas and white sauce with salmon. You would use dill, for example, and probably potato. I'm not sure if I am putting my question across correctly, but will just say, do you as a cook throw different influences together with any success?
  24. Hello all I have been providing portioned, ready to defrost and reheat meals for a very time poor family member. He has now told his friends and it looks like it could become a cottage business for me (with all the associated headaches that will entail!) He is loving what I already provide, which goes along the lines of curries, stir frys and casserole type dishes. Also, lasagne and pasta meals. I'm not a real chef, but my food is sophisticated and above novice level. I have been told many times that I'm a skilled cook. Intricate menu prep doesn't phase me, and I (embarrassingly) own just about every tool needed. I want to keep my menu exciting and moving, so any advice or ideas for meals that freeze and reheat well would be most gratefully accepted from me in this thread. thanks in advance.
  25. I’m eating Bunnings sausages in bread every weekend to just protest moving Australia Day. or something