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    Ann Arbor, MI
  1. Tarka, For tasty brunch, you might try The Bongo Room, on North Milwaukee. Also a visit to Chinatown is in order, I would think. Elizabeth
  2. Make rice pudding with salt instead of sugar... As a student, newly moved to rural Japan, I wanted something homey. Rice was readily available, and I went shopping to buy some sugar. White grains in a clear bag = sugar to me, but I was so dazed I think I failed to notice the pictures of fish and vegetables on the bag, which would have been a clue. Imagine a love pot of rice pudding that as it simmers, begins to smell more and more like play-dough. Imagine a recipe that includes 1/3c of salt. Imagine the dismay of my housemates who had been anticipating a taste, when they saw me dump it all
  3. Just back from a long weekend in Chicago, I missed "Taste of Chicago" but I did get to "Taste of Randolph Street", which was supposed to be a smaller, hauter version. Admission was $10/person, which got us NO food. There were no tickets or tokens - everything was paid in cash. There were ten or so restaurants represented, some of high repute, some not. There were MANY single people there with dogs hooking up, which was amusing to watch. I had a steak sandwich with sauteed onions and garlic aoili, with beef hand-carved by the chef of Red Light. That was maybe the high point. Also tried a N
  4. AnneL, Thank you for bringing us back to the original topic! The story of your weekend guests was an excellent example of gracious hosting, but terrible guest behavior. I think most people have some picky friends, and do their best to accommodate them. But people who say they will throw up from spices, and complain about good wine and coffee are beyond picky, they are ill mannered. Bravo for "sucking it up". Good daycare is hard to find! Elizabeth
  5. Priscilla, Thanks for the cha/chai/tea analysis and interpretation. When I was studying Japanese I learned that tea was cha, or ocha if you wanted to be honorific. When I married into a Cantonese family and heard my new non-English-speaking grandmother offering me cha, I thought I'd stumbled across some great linguistic discovery. Now you have enlightened us all. On the subject of American-style chai, I do have a word to say. When I was recently shopping in my local Indian grocery, I saw a bottle of ground spices labeled "Chai Masala, for tea". I asked a woman there whether it was an ins
  6. I have always thought that beets taste like dirt, but no one would every agree with me. I feel validated somehow. In college I lived in a collective house where we had a share of a community agricultural project. One week we got a huge amount of beets and I had no idea what to do with them. I asked Mom how to cook them and she told me to boil them until they were tender and their skins would slide off. Well, I didn't cook them quite long enough and had to work far too hard to get the skins off and wound up with red hands and still had a ton of beets that I didn't know what to do with. Act
  7. Thanks Kate and Tommy - I guess I'll go with my gut instinct and just drop the "thingy" part.
  8. Hey, this is more about service than cooking, but anybody know what those crumb scraper thingies used at "finer restaurants" are called? I can't think of anything better to get crumbs off a tablecloth when I have dinner guests, but I don't want to walk into a restaurant supply store and say, "can I have a crumb scraper thingy?" Help!
  9. JosephB's story of the guest who refused butter reminds me of a good friend of mine who was hosting her in-laws. She called me to consult on a chicken recipe with lemon and garlic and herbs - yummy and easy. On Sunday I asked, in front of her m-i-l, how it turned out. Friend said, "I enjoyed it..." Later I asked, and she said, "Oh, my m-i-l just doesn't like anything I like to cook. She doesn't like onions or garlic or anything spicy." I said, "You could have just prepared it with lemon juice and olive oil" and she said, "Oh, she doesn't like lemon either." I had to give my friend credi
  10. Better Made Special Hot! Hot! Red Hot! Barbeque potato chips. My absolute favorite, even if they do turn my fingers red and make my mouth burn. Made right here in Detroit, thank you very much. They don't sell them in bags larger than 4oz, unfortunately. Or maybe that's good, since I've been known to eat an entire 4oz bag in one sitting...
  11. Holly, I was so inspired by your article, I decided to try to fry a chicken for the first time ever (I only started cooking about 3 years ago). But, I left your instructions at work. So I consulted two or three other cookbooks and ended up with a composite recipe. I also decided to "oven fry" the chicken. It was v. tender and tasty, but a lot more work than my favorite chicken in the oven recipe. (For anyone interested, my favorite recipe involves a baking dish, some lemon juice, some olive oil, some whole garlic cloves and whatever herbs I have on hand. You set the pieces of chicken on
  12. I tried to read all nine pages of this thread, looking for something on Cookworks all the while, but gave up and just decided to post. So please excuse if this has already been covered. I did see someone noted Cookworks as "OK". I must say that I really enjoy the show. I find the host Donna Doohr (sp?) to be terribly charming, and I love the format. It may be set up for novices - I think that's what I like about it. I hardly cooked a meal until I married three years ago, and have mainly been focusing on my cooking skills. After watching an episode of Cookworks, I was actually inspired to
  13. Thanks Matthew! I've been lurking for a few days, but just couldn't contain myself any longer Elizabeth
  14. I live in Canton, MI, which is not a very exciting place by itself, but has the advantage of being in the midst of Detroit (Eastern Market), Dearborn (all manner of Arabic grocers), Ann Arbor (lots of interesting places), and in Canton itself a newly burgeoning Indian population. Just weeks ago I first visited Anand Bazaar in Canton and found a big (5 lb) bag of red lentils for the same price as I'd been paying for one pound at Meijer's. Never mind that I use the lentils to make mid-Eastern style spicy lentil soup rather than for Indian cooking. Being married into a Chinese family also has it
  15. I recall an instance where we were dining at a friend's home and were served tabbouli. I have a very strong aversion to raw tomatoes (maybe doesn't meet Jaz's requirement of food that would take me to the hospital ...) so I did not take the tabbouli, although I enjoyed and complemented everything else on the table. Later my husband said that he thought that I should have eaten some since it was being served to us. So, my question is: if five or six items are on the table and it is being served family-style, is it necessary to have some of everything? I know that when I host and a guest take
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