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  1. Try these guys, in the EV: http://www.taralluccievino.net/ OR These guys: http://www.freewilliamsburg.com/listings/restaurants/neighborhood/graham/fortunato-brothers I'd choose the latter, but you would have to travel to Williamsburg, Brooklyn (2 whole stops on the L train). Super old-school, and the pastries are EXCELLENT, I kid you not. Though sfogliatelle are really only good the same day. F Bros is always fresh, can't vouch for the other. Just give them a call and see. Hope this helps.
  2. I'm so pleased to see the Grand Hotel in your AL travelogue! My husband and I were married there in 2007. The food was excellent, much better than I had expected wedding food to be, and the chef quite generous in giving us a tour of his garden. My husband's parents and grandparents live in the Lakewood neighborhood, directly adjacent to the hotel. Whenever we visit, we wind up at the bar for mint juleps at sunset. If you saw the statue of Bucky, the old bartender, that was sculpted by my MiL. We will be returning to the Grand Hotel next weekend for my husband's grandfather's 100th birthday party. Thank you so much for addressing the issue of the current state of Gulf seafood. As a former Gulf resident and frequent visitor with family down there, I can tell you that folks there took the oil spill pretty hard. It was demoralizing for a region already all too familiar with disasters. So I am very glad to hear that the reputation of the seafood seems to be making a comeback. My MIL does hold that the oysters are still questionable, due to their stationary status and filter-feeding, but she and the other kin have been enjoying the crabs, shrimp and fish that are always so delicious there. I'm glad you were able to find some of those wonderful Royal Reds. Sometimes we order those by airmail from Joe Patti's Seafood in Pensacola. I'm looking forward to checking it out for myself next week. Thanks again!
  3. Coffee, coffee, coffee. I recently had to quit all coffee, even decaf, due to ulcer-like stomach issues. I miss the hell out of it and sometimes buy it and take two sips, but even that will hurt for several hours afterwards. I try to subsist on the aroma. Pickles are out completely, which isn't too bad except for the vinegary cucumber-and-onion salad indigenous to the South, which I grew up eating and discovered this summer is now forever relegated to the past. Seltzer. My favorite fizzy water. Carbonation is a no-no. But I love Prosecco, so I figured for now I'll trade seltzer for that. Cutting out spicy foods is looming on the horizon. I've cut way back on hot sauce and will miss it heartily when the day comes, but for now I use it very rarely and sparingly, at least compared to how I used to pour Sriracha and the like all over everything. I just bought a bottle of the (locally) famous Guyank Sweet-Hot, which I believe ought to last me for about ten years. But I'd give up all this and more if I could have my beloved coffee back!
  4. Oh yes, Samoas are way too sweet for me now, but were my absolute favorites as a Brownie. McRib Sandwich- every few years, McDonald's would dust this one off and offer it for a limited time, much to my delight. Had one again about ten years ago, and boy howdy, was that gross! But I still, even now, feel a twinge of excitement whenever I see an ad for them. Vienna sausages- these remind me of fishing trips with my dad, but I have not considered eating them ever since because ew.
  5. I love reading these stories and seeing these pictures. The oldest thing in my kitchen is a cast-iron Bundt pan from the 19th century. It was my great-aunt Effeldee's; I believe she inherited it from her mother. So it is very old, and much smaller than modern-day Bundt pans. Also, we have a ricer from who-knows-where, that seems kinda old- then I saw the exact same model on display, and it was from the 1920's. Cool!
  6. I agree about the strawberries. They have been disappointingly watery this season, and they spoil quickly. I've had some okay sugarsnaps, but the flavor has not been up to par. Must be pretty rough right now for many of the farmers. Has anyone seen favas this year?
  7. As long as the for-profit business is set up separately, and pays even a nominal rental fee to the synagogue, it should be fine. Personal chefs and caterers do it all the time. Churches, synagogues et al. are required to maintain certified kitchens that they might only use for a few hours weekly. These kitchens are comparably inexpensive to rent, the rental generates a bit of income for those institutions which are often strapped for cash, and legality is maintained all around.
  8. You might want to check out Spuyten Duyvil Grocery in Williamsburg. It's run by the same guys who run Spuyten Duyvil, the bar (and Fette Sau). It's small, but the focus is on great craft ales from the USA and beyond. It is a shop, not a bar, in Bedford Cheese's old location on Bedford. I realize this is not in Manhattan, but hey, it's just one stop!
  9. Wow, there are some odd products out there. We are totally going to try the Zevia cola. Thanks, guys!
  10. My husband is looking for a beast which probably does not exist. Does anyone out there know of a diet, aspartame-and Splenda-free soda which still contains caffeine? He is willing to give up the artificial sweeteners, but not the caffeine. There appear to be some Stevia-sweetened sodas, but they are all caffeine-free. The ideal would be a diet China Cola. Alternatively, has anyone out there ever heard of a caffeinated seltzer or club soda type beverage? Weird, I know. Thanks!
  11. Does anyone know of a brand of butterscotch chips that does not contain nasty stuff like hydrogenated oil and artificial coloring and flavor? I want to bake some cookies for Christmas that I loved when my mom made them back in the day, but Hershey's and Nestle butterscotch chips and the like are full of nastiness. Any ideas?
  12. Check out Vosges, in Soho. Their chocolates are beautiful and unusual- also expensive, but they make lovely gifts. If nothing else, you can get a really nice mug of hot cocoa while you're considering their selection. I plan to get my dad their chocolate pig with bacon bits! Vosges suggests storing chocolates in the fridge for not more than two to three weeks ahead of time.
  13. Well, here is the response I got from the wonderfully named Mr. Jacques Couture, president of the Vermont Maple Foundation: > "It would be interesting to know how the syrup tastes after > 12 years! I would follow my instincts if I were you. If the > inside of the can is tarnished the syrup has probably picked > up a very tinny taste. If not, it may still be good to eat, > but don't take any chances if you are not comfortable. > I may not sound very decisive in my recommendations. > It's kind of hard to know not being there. > Good luck...be careful. > Jacques Couture" > Of course I threw out the can before thoroughly inspecting the interior, which was covered in crystals anyway, so I am going to taste a big spoonful and then decide. Probably it's going in the garbage. Thanks for all of your responses! -scottie
  14. What a good idea! I have emailed them this question. Thank you for posting the link. I agree with Chris that it would not be such a problem if the syrup had been stored in glass. I am pretty sure that protective lining was not in such wide usage 12 years ago. This can did not seem to have any such lining, though it was hard to tell through all of the crystallization. I have used the syrup once, and it tasted more or less okay, but I was so paranoid I haven't used it since. I am awaiting response from the Vermont Maple Foundation, which I will post here as soon as I get it. Thanks, guys!
  15. My husband has had this 1/2 gallon can of maple syrup for 12 years, never opened. I got a craving the other day and opened it to see what kind of shape it was in. It was really dark. I poured it all out into various bottles, thinking I could get a better feel for its condition that way. Of course there was all sorts of crystallization at the bottom- maybe that lent to the darkness of the syrup, since the crystals were clear. This giant, perfectly clear crystal fell out! That was cool. But not the point. The point is, is this syrup still safe to use? It seems like it might have absorbed a metallic character from the tin. I hate to throw out that much Real Vermont maple syrup, but who wants to eat tin? Any thoughts?
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