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Everything posted by bergerka

  1. The only time I consider myself lucky to have a bad hip is...anytime I even THINK about running. Can't. Doctor's orders. Pilates, the recumbant bike and the stairmaster are perfectly fine, though, as is the elliptical. If I ever get off my ass and start doing them again, that is. Hair of the dog on a workday could probably get me fired , but it might be worth it. I am going out tonight for MEAT, though. Aw, Dean, that's nice, thank you! Um...you do know Sam's a Packer fanatic, right? They're having a worse season than even Gang Green, poor cheeseheads. K
  2. Bleu: mixologists? I think? Not sure. all right. it's too early to see straight, let alone take in anything more than the elixir of life, right here. It's bagel & muffin day at work, so if I'm at all hungry by then I'll grab one of those, although last time the bagels were way too bready. Yes, I am just that much hung over. Oh, PBBPBPBPBPBPBPTH, Eric, the top half wasn't slutty at all. It was just the short skirt with the black boots - I broke a heel on the way out of the house and had to go back and change.
  3. OMG, that Alsatian tart sounds right up my alley, however did you guess? Chris & Wendy - slutty was the word for it, yes. And yes, yes, I'm afraid a large amount of that crispy skin mysteriously went missing while I was inexpertly (but effectively!) hacking up Mr. Chicken. I love crispy golden skin. Had beginner's luck too, as the breast came out nice and moist while the legs were cooked through but tender and juicy. Lancastermike: PBPBPBPBPTH to you. The Jets aren't um...necessarily...totally...done...more like medium rare... So I just got back from a cocktail party, at which Eric_Malson was my date. It was lovely! No pictures though - for one thing it was in someone's house and I didn't want to make them self-conscious, and for another I forgot the stupid camera. They fed me a Negroni, then a drink with gin, muddled cucumber, basil, lime and um...some simple syrup (refreshing and tasty), then something with applejack, pomegranate molasses, simple syrup, lemon juice and an egg white for foam, and finally some delicious pumpkin hot buttered rum (I am definitely making that this Xmas in Phoenix - it's a little rum infused with nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon and um...cloves(?), some dark spiced rum, a good one, not Captain Morgan's, some boiling water, some simple syrup, and pumpkin compound butter on top. Oh...my...). To eat, they had a variety of delicious cheeses (including a mind-blowingly good, buttery St. Andre), a pasta salad, a really good three-cheese fondue with nice bread, some hummus, some chili, and an apple crisp made by the hostess that was so good I immediately asked for the recipe. I love apple crisp in fall. I'm now hitting the sack. Have to be up in six hours to start the work week again, yuck! I'm already looking forward to that cappuccino.
  4. Well, Mr. Chicken is out of the oven and golden brown. Those slices you see in his thigh and hip are my somewhat clumsy efforts to determine if the juices were running clear. He's going to sit for a couple of minutes, after which I'll hack him up and maybe eat a piece or two, before racing into the shower (yes, I could've done that before, I've been too busy procrastinating, though) and getting the heck out to this party. K
  5. Gas oven. I also added some liquid to the bottom of the pan - water, as I've run through my reserves of broth, apparently, and a little vermouth. That's helping the situation with the smoke IMMENSELY.
  6. There was an awful lot of smoke coming out of there...I turned it down to 400, which is helping.
  7. Hi, Ruth! The stepladder is out of sight, against the wall to the right of the stove. I'm tall enough to reach all the pots and pans hanging up, and some of the things on the top shelf behind them, though. 31-26, Chargers. What a freakin' heartbreaker...most suspenseful last two minutes of a football game that I've seen maybe...ever. I'm drowning my pain by roasting a chicken. Not using any particular recipe, just read a whole bunch of 'em, talked to a lot of people and am in the mood for fresh herbs, so I cut off the extraneous weird dangly pieces of Mr. Chicken, removed the bags o'organs from the cavity, gave him an olive oil, salt and pepper massage both inside and out (making this the most intimate relationship I've ever had with poultry) and stuffed half a head of garlic, some sprigs of rosemary, and just for the heck of it, some sprigs of time into the cavity. Then I put him on an oiled rack in a roasting pan, breast up, and have just now shoved him into a 475 degree oven for an hour or so. Anything I need to watch out for? Do differently? The herbs sure smell good. Here's Mr. Chicken, ready to go into the oven. Not much of him will get eaten tonight - I'm going to a cocktail party that will have food AND booze (if they'll let me, I'll take pictures) and will give some to Eric_Malson (this is a huge chicken, 5 pounds). But I figure I can eat chicken for lunch tomorrow, anyway!
  8. No eGullet support of the New York Marathon? Harrumph. ← Dude, you kidding? There's Jets football on. C'mon. Seriously. Actually Charlie the roommate went off to watch the marathon. I can think of almost nothing more obnoxious than pushing my way through a huge crowd to watch a bunch of people running...on purpose. Snack time! I cut up a leftover Jonagold from last night and ate it with the very last dregs of the peanut butter and some brie I found in the fridge. 31-20 Chargers in the 4th quarter and a hell of a runback by Justin Miller. Come on, Jets...let's turn this season around...
  9. I'm very glad you're enjoying it! I don't actually have the US Cafe cookbook, I don't think - would love to hear more about that recipe. I was amazed, everything but the meat was extremely inexpensive. The whole thing cost, if you don't mind my saying so, about $65 for 8 people, and about 80% of that was the meat. Worth it, though. Jeffrey Steingarten is one of my favorite food writers, ever. His chapter on the subsistence diet in "The Man Who Ate Everything" makes me laugh out loud every time I read it. I finally got to meet him last year and was incredibly tongue-tied, what a nice man!
  10. Extremely spicy food, either at Grand Sichuan International or Sripraphai. Does the trick every time - sandblasts the sinuses and wakes up the taste buds.
  11. Hi, Ludja! The wines were all brought by the guests. I had just said "something that goes with very rich red meat and potatoes." We had: Trapiche Oak Cask Malbec, 2003, from Mendoza, Argentina (I love malbecs), brought by Charlie the coolest roommate. Duas Quintas Douro, 2001, from Portugal, brought by Eric_Malson (Eric and I had this with the arroz de frango, and loved it) Chateau La Mourelle Bordeaux, 2003, brought by Juli Clos de Galevesses Lalande de Pomerol 2001, brought by Sarah Columbia Crest Grand Estates Syrah 2001, brought by, I believe, Sarah. And yes - dried figs in the goat cheese dip. Don't use fresh, they won't work. I got that recipe from my friend Carl, who made it for his birthday - all of us clustered around the table fighting to get to it. It's unexpectely delicious. Good morning/afternoon, all! I slept late, played with ferrets for two hours and am now yelling at the tv as the Jets drive down the field (ok, they missed the field goal, but it WAS from 50 yards out, and they didn't turn the ball over or fumble the snap this time - O-line starting to do what they're paid for and protect the QB. Two missed catches, though. Come on, McCareins, Coles, Vinny can't do any better than hit you in the HANDS). Because I am a compulsive, this is what my kitchen looked like both last night before I went to bed and this morning when I got up: I got up to cappuccino (I used about 1/8 tsp of nutmeg and 1/4 of cinnamon, Genny - perfect combo) and the Sports section of the NY Times: I then played with happy ferrets. I hope these are ok to post here - if not, mods, let me know and I'll set them up on a different website and provide a link. Asher likes to play tug-of-war with a ball with a bell in the middle (he also likes to shake the ball in the middle of the night and make it go "JINGLE!" (he won and ran under the bed, shaking it madly) Baby Issachar was very annoyed with me for moving his paper towel roll collection. He had to pick them all up and take them back into the closet, where they belong. In the meantime, behind my back, Zebulun jumped from the bed to the top of the ferret penthouse and headed for the bookshelf, the better to knock all the books onto the floor. I'm considering roasting a chicken later, but it'll have to wait till the game is over. Since San Diego scored while I was typing this, it doesn't look great. *sigh* Wake me in the postseason? It occurred to me that there hasn't been much singing to talk about this week. This blog actually fell at a very good time for me to focus on cooking - I just came off two solid weeks of performances and auditions, and more auditions start the week after I'm done, but for now I have a little break to focus on what I'm doing in the kitchen. K
  12. Pam R - please PM me, I'd love to have coffee/a cocktail if you have time next week. Genny - I was so frustrated I forgot the spices. I promise to do it tomorrow. In my case, an assload was 40 brussels sprouts. It varies by ass size. Ok! Here's what I did this afternoon & evening. First, I threw together about 10 oz of goat cheese, 2 tablespoons of rosemary, 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar, 1/4 cup of milk, 1/2 cup chopped figs and salt and pepper into the food processor. Goat cheese dip: then I took the short ribs out of the fridge, and following Abra's fantastic instructions, removed the meat (and the remaining solids) and reduced the liquids to make a sauce. Sauce, reducing. Here's what it looked like when it was done. Of everything I made tonight, I am most proud of this. I then cut the previously blanched sprouts in half and put them into some water with 1/2 lemon squeezed into it, and added two chopped Jonagold apples. Apples and sprouts in water: While those were soaking and the sauce from the ribs was reducing, I started the milk for the gratin dauphinois. I used the recipe from Jeffrey Steingarten's "It must have been something I ate," which is the closest thing I have found to the recipe used by Giselle Rey-Gagneux, the mother of my French family, who made the most amazing gratin dauphinois I have ever had. For 8 people, I doubled the recipe. The original recipe is as follows: Combine in a saucepan, then heat to boiling and remove from heat: 1 cup (scant) milk 1 large garlic clove, peeled, lightly crushed 3/4 teaspoons salt 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg While that is heating, use 1/2 stick of butter to butter the bottom of a shallow baking pan. Peel 1.5 pounds of potatoes, rinse them and pat them dry. Slice them 1/8 inches thick, discarding the smallest slices, and evenly arrange the slices in one layer in the pan (confession time: I made two layers, so sue me. My French mom did it too). Bring milk to boil again and then remove garlic and pour it over the potatoes. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes, till the milk has been absorbed. Gratin with milk, ready to go into the oven. While it is baking, bring 1.5 cups heavy cream to the boil and remove from heat. when the potatoes are done, remove the aluminum foil. Bring the cream back to a boiland pour it over the potatoes. Dot the mixture with 1/2 stick of butter (no, this recipe is not good for you). Bake, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes, till the potatoes have turned golden brown. Let the gratin settle for ten minutes, then serve. Finished gratin, with parsley sprinkled on top, ready to serve: While that was cooking, people started arriving, so I made some Aviation cocktails as per Sam's recipe - 2 oz gin, 0.5 oz maraschino liqueur, 0.5 oz lemon juice, garnished with homemade maraschino cherries: The wonderful Charlie set out crudites with the goat cheese/rosemary/fig dip, which unfortunately I did not get a picture of. In the meantime, the wonderful ewindels did, well, what I do when Sam's home, which was wash things, chop things and put things away. I sauteed the onions and bacon in a pan for about ten minutes, then added the brussels sprouts and apples and some salt and pepper. I was worried that there were too many in the pan and they would boil instead of saute, but they worked out fine. Finished sprouts: In the meantime, the short ribs had gone back into the pot and were reheating: Here's what they looked like when they were ready to go. That's not the flash, it's the ladle I put in. and here's what everything looked like on the plate! Fancy it wasn't. SarahD was kind and called it "rustic." However, either everything was good (I can attest that the short ribs really, really tasted good and I'm very glad I didn't mess with the sauce - my first impulse was wrong, wrong, wrong, it was perfect as it was), or there wasn't enough of it! Here's what the dishes looked like after dinner. Ok, see, I mean, this was a TON of short ribs. Because it was so hot outside, ewindels made his justifiably famous strawberry-rhubarb tart instead of tarte tatin. And here's the money shot - the bowl o' whipped cream with rum. Here's the tart with whipped cream, plated. And here are my happy and very patient guests! From left, ewindels, Juli, SarahD, Eric_Malson, Charlie the best roommate, Leanne and Matt. We finished the evening in the best possible way - watching a hilarious documentary about a singer we all know and loathe. So the answer is: I can cook. At least, short ribs and gratin dauphinois. This, by the way, is largely thanks to the help and encouragement I have gotten on this site, and the GREAT help of Charlie and ewindels, who just made it all work. I may never eat again!
  13. You need to get out of my head too - roasting a chicken is what I'm thinking of doing tomorrow afternoon while I watch football (I have a cocktail party to go to Sunday evening and figured it would be nice to have the chicken for leftovers and lunch next week, and besides, I've never done it before). Surely the Jets can beat the Chargers, right? If half the Chargers' starting lineup doesn't show up and the other half has food poisoning? Maybe? K
  14. Aw, you guys are way too nice to me. Seriously, my only experience is helping other people rather clumsily, and occasionally baking something or sauteeing some spinach. Those vegetables came out remarkably pretty last night, but chopping them that way took me almost half an hour. Ok, that is the LAST time I go to the Union Square greenmarket after noon but before coffee. I got a very late start this morning - was up too late websurfing and having ferret play and then got up to have MORE play this morning - the guys were rambunctions and wanted to be chased madly down the hall (I'd take a picture, but have you ever tried to photograph a running ferret??). It was crowded with people who wanted to move at the speed of...molasses... I still got everything I needed for tonight, though. Here's what I'm making: Aviation cocktails Crudités (a friend is bringing those) with goat cheese, rosemary and fig dip Short ribs braised in red wine gratin dauphinois (yes, the real thing, with NO CHEESE) brussels sprouts sauteed with apples, onions and bacon and ewindels is bringing a tarte tatin, to continue the apple theme. First I bought some Jonagold apples from my favorite Union Square guys, Terhune Orchards. Their apples are HUGE and delicious. Terhune Orchards makes everyone smile! (that's a completely random person, I just liked the smile underneath the banner) Next, a metric ton of brussels sprouts from Van Houten - they had the prettiest ones today. I bought potatoes for the gratin from them as well. Finally, I bought rosemary from my favorite herb people, but I'm having a total blank moment as to the name of the place. Anyone know who it is on the northeast side of the green market on Saturdays, one of the ones running north-south, they have freaking amazing heirloom tomatoes in the summer? Isn't this rosemary pretty?? Here's all the greenmarket stuff (I also bought a HUGE onion for the brussels sprouts and, not pictured, some creamline milk and heavy cream from Ronnybrook - their stand was so mobbed that trying to get a picture was an exercise in both futility and the limits of my patience) on my counter: FINALLY, I got to sit down with a badly-needed cappuccino (note to self: turn the machine on the minute you get up so that next time you can have your coffee before you go face the rest of the world), a slice of pumpkin cranberry bread and a cheese biscuit from last night (if my bag hadn't been so goddamned heavy, I'd have stopped at Dunkin Donuts and worked out my frustrations. Thank goodness it was that heavy). I am now going to lie on my big comfy chair and be braindead with computer for a while, then get moving. Your suggestions, by the way, have been MOST helpful so far. Tell me about cooking brussels sprouts? Based upon a conversation I had with Sam yesterday, I'm planning to blanch/shock them first, then sautee them later. My instinct is to start cooking the onion and bacon together first, then add the apples/shocked sprouts. Does that sound right? K P.S. Così fan tutte just happens to be one of my favorite things to sing - I've done it twice in the last year. Read into that what you will. HA!
  15. As someone who has been coaching opera singers for over 20 years now (um, yeah, ever since bergerka was in elementary school...that's right....), I can tell you just how completely unglamorous the lives of most opera singers are (but I probably shouldn't and ruin the mystique). They do tend to know how to have fun, though! And as the lurker behind the scenes for the latter part of the evening, I can attest to the deliciousness of the black bean soup. Kathleen is a good friend for (among many other reasons) feeding me after an extremely long day that began with a 10 a.m. Orchestra of St. Luke's rehearsal, wended its way through about a dozen opera auditions (which involved running between venues 3 times), and ended with performing an art song recital. I was exhausted and hungry, and she plied me with food and drink and the odd tidbit of gossip (although I think I gave better than I got--just this once--this evening!). Those simmering short ribs smelled truly wonderful. (Strange--the Carly Simon song "Anticipation" just popped into my head....) ← I AM tired. I forgot to a) MENTION THAT ERIC WAS THERE, hello, an extremely important part of my evening! and b) take a picture of the whiskey smashes (sort of - no mint) we had after dinner. MEA CULPA....I have to stagger across the room beating my breast and tearing my hair now. And um, yes, Eric had some awesome opera gossip tonight. ...Mickey just scooted across the living room right in front of me. This is getting very creepy. I'm being stalked by a fat little brown mouse. Good night, all!
  16. bergerka


    Daniel - oh, damn, I should have told you to order the Nerello wine - it's fabu. Pan - did they go on a Monday night, by chance? I ask because the ONE night I have been when the food was slightly off was a Monday. Otherwise um...I dunno...it's been very consistently good. K, who will absolutely admit to being an idiot about many, many, many things.
  17. Hey! The ferrets don't get any diamonds till I get some! I think our brains work alike - that's what I'm finding that I'm doing more and more. That way, if something is unclear in one recipe I can look at the other for a different explanation. I didn't see the documentary, but that sounds wonderful. I see where she's coming from with tortillas - my mom made Mexican food a lot when I was growing up, and we did find that the smell of corn tortillas changes just when they're done (the best explanation I can give is that they go from smelling "raw" to smelling "cooked"). I got into a good groove tonight with the short ribs - that went like clockwork, although I was thinking furiously the whole time about what came next. It was a great feeling - a cooking high! K
  18. So you want to be treated like ... a soprano, Kathleen?? Oh my gosh, Maria Callas ... in the kitchen with knives etc. ... singing the Queen of the Night aria ... ← BWAHAHAHAHA YES, EXACTLY. *jumps three feet in air as a car goes by* I am living proof that you can watch very good cooks - first my grandmother and mom, then my sisters, then Sam - cook every day (and even help - I've been chopping stuff for all of 'em since I was old enough to hold a knife) for a truly disgusting number of years, and still not pick up even the simplest bit of technique or instinct. In truth, I can hold music and phone numbers in my head indefinitely (I can still remember the family phone number that was changed when I was about five years old!), and recipes fly out as soon as they enter. I have to write EVERYTHING down when I cook. Oh my god, I almost forgot the totally surreal part of my day. I went into our room to get my shoes, just before leaving to shop, and as I walked in the door, I swear to you, I saw Mickey the annoying mouse come STROLLING OUT OF THE FERRET CAGE, with a piece of ferret food in his mouth!!!!!!!! He had to stand right next to two sleeping ferrets to get that food. :blink: I have never seen anything quite like that - wish to hell I'd had the digital camera in my hand. Mickey's either very brave, or the guys have adopted him.
  19. Scientologist plot. Ok, here we go, folks - here's what I've been doing all day! I've decided to braise short ribs for tomorrow night, so my first stop was Oppenheimer Meats, on Broadway between 97th and 98th. Sam gets his meat here all the time, so I know they have amazing stuff. The guys and I talked football while they cut me some beautiful short ribs. Oppenheimer Cutting short ribs to order After stops at Garden of Eden for vegetables and Gristede's for some sundries, I headed home. Since we only have one big Le Creuset and I would need it for both the soup and the short ribs, I decided to make the soup first and then do the meat. The recipe is sort of an amalgam of several I found - it's remarkably difficult to find an interesting one either in cookbooks or on the 'net. 1 lb black beans, washed, picked over and soaked in cold water overnight 1/4 cup olive oil 2 large onions, diced 6 large garlic cloves, sliced or minced, however you like them 1 large jalapeno chile, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped 1/2 cup bacon, diced 2 teaspoons salt 6 cups chicken stock (or vegetable, I guess, if you must) 1 tablespoon ground cumin (the recipe I mostly took from called for 2 tablespoons, which I thought was WAY too much. I was right. One was plenty) First I chopped the onions, garlic, bacon and jalapenos Then...then the camera ran out of batteries. While it was charging, I cooked the onions and the bacon till lightly browned, which took about 10 minutes, then added the cumin, jalapeno, and garlic and sauteed for about five more minutes. Then I poured in the already soaked black beans - and by the way, this was one of the areas where I called my aunt for advice, and I'm glad I did, because the other three people who told me what to do were 100% wrong. The recipe didn't call for the beans to be soaked in advance; instead it had you put the beans and water in a saucepan, bring to a boil, then simmer for an hour. I wasn't sure if soaking them in advance meant I could skip that step or not. Yes, it did. I skipped that step on my aunt's advice, which was a very good thing. After putting in the beans, I added the chicken stock and turned the heat up to bring it all to a boil, then simmered it about 40 minutes, until the beans were soft. I then pureed about 1/2 of it in the blender, as I like a variety of textures in my bean soup, and set it all aside. Finished soup: I made a salsa fresca to go with the soup: 4 medium ripe tomatoes, cored, seeded and denuded of their icky, diced 1 red onion, minced 2 jalapeno chiles, stemmed, seeded and minced (oh, and while you're scraping the vein out with your thumbnail? Don't look up to answer the phone. Just at that moment, a seed will pop into your eye. OWWWWWIE). 1 bunch cilantro, leaves only, chopped juice of 1 lime 1 tsp. salt Combine all ingredients in a bowl, toss well and serve. Salsa fresca Then I made some jalapeno cheese biscuits, based on a recipe for cheddar cheese biscuits my brother gave me. Next time I'll up the salt and cheese amounts a little. 2 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/8 tsp. salt (I doubled this and it still wasn't enough - I think 1/2 to 1 tsp would be more like it) 1 stick butter 1 cup coarsely shredded jalapeno jack cheese (again, could have used more of this) Preheat oven to 450 degrees and lightly grease a baking sheet. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Cut the butter in with a pastry knife or two knives until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the cheese and milk, mix LIGHTLY with a fork until mixture clings toether and forms a ball of soft dough. Mixture clinging together in bowl turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead gently, turning five or six times. With a floured rolling pin, roll dough out to 1/2 inch thickness. Rolled out dough: Cut dough into rounds (I use a wine glass for this) and place biscuits 1 inch apart on greased baking sheet. Pierce each several times with a fork. Biscuits on baking sheet, ready for the oven Bake 12-15 minutes (in my oven, 12 was perfect) until light brown. These do not rise as much as biscuits without cheese. Finished biscuits in a bowl I'm actually rather proud of those good looking biscuits. Here's a picture of dinner, all ready to eat. Bean soup with salsa fresca and sour cream, cheese biscuits, yet another glass of Little Penguin Shiraz. Now on to the main event, the short ribs! I got this recipe from ewindels. The most important thing I have learned from watching first my mom and then Sam is to read ahead and do as much as you can before you ever start heating the pan, because it really sucks to realize you have to chop that onion if you've already got the olive oil hot (and you'd better believe I've done that before. When I typed up this recipe for myself, I put a big note next to the listing of veggies that said "CHOP THESE FIRST, BEFORE BROWNING RIBS." Yes, I do need things to have THAT much detail). So I chopped up 1 cup each of red onion, carrot and celery, plus about 6 cloves of garlic. Then I got the ribs out of the fridge and set them up on a cutting board, ready to go. Look at all that pretty meat! I browned the short ribs on all sides in one layer in our big blue Le Creuset, in about 1/4 cup of olive oil (I need to go buy more olive oil). Short ribs browning happily. Browned meat. Then I set the short ribs aside and added 1 heaping tablespoon of tomato paste to the pan, stirring and watching like crazy so it didn't burn, and then added the chopped veggies. After they had cooked about eight to ten minutes, I added the short ribs back into the pot and covered them with two cups of red wine and an assload (that is too a measurement) of beef stock, enough to cover them. Then I tossed a couple of sprigs of thyme and parsley and one bay leaf on top, covered the pot and put them into a 300 degree oven for 4 hours. Ribs ready to go into the oven. Two cups of wine for the meat, one glass for the cook! (yes, I know this pic came out blurry, it's cute, so I'm putting it in). Then I ate dinner and watched Foul Play - haven't seen that movie in years. Chevy Chase was so adorable in 1977...too bad I was *ahem* not in elementary school yet. Here they are, just out of the oven. Now I'm just waiting for them to cool down enough to go into the fridge overnight, and I'll be heading toward warm ferrets and bed. Anyone who wants to talk me through reducing the liquid tomorrow is more than welcome. Thanks for all the encouragement, by the way. The open letter was MOSTLY tongue-in-cheek, and I hope it came off that way - I was laughing hysterically after the third person in a row said "just cook them till they're done" (that was my MOM!). I'm having a really good time figuring this out. My aunt knew just what to say, because her boys are even more rank beginners than I.
  20. I don't think this was me. ← No, it wasn't you. It was a certain sister-in-law of mine
  21. Just peeping in. I'm having a glass of Little Penguin Shiraz (I bought it to put in the braising liquid for short ribs for tomorrow night...it's not bad at all!) and relaxing while I recharge the camera batteries. Dinner pix and preliminary braising pix coming soon! This is fun! But first, if I may, a short stream-of-consciousness open letter to any of you who may have the opportunity to teach someone very inexperienced how to cook. Dear friends, If you are teaching someone with very little experience how to cook a fairly simple recipe - let us say, for argument's sake, black bean soup - and the person asks you how long it should be cooked, please do not say "until it is done" (which I heard today from not one, not two, but THREE different people until I finally got my aunt on the phone, who gave me exactly the information I needed in less than ten seconds ). For all the sense that makes to the inexperienced cook, you might as well be speaking Latvian. The reason we are asking is simple: we do not know how to tell when the dish is done, and we need a sample time frame with which to work. In addition, may I just ask that you at least try to provide guideline measurements? "put in some of this, if you want," is not a measurement. "Around a tablespoon, maybe two, taste it after the first tablespoon and see if it needs more," is a measurement. Finally, laughing at the person who is asking for your advice is a very good way to get hit over the head with a heavy object (no, Sam was absolutely not the one who laughed. She knows who she is and she's getting hit over the head as soon as we're in the same city again. ). In simple terms, please deal with us as if you are dealing with a slightly slow and very high-strung poodle, who happens to be in a kitchen filled with heavy and sharp objects. It will be much safer for all concerned. That is all.
  22. Excellent, thank you, when we decide which day to go I'll buy & print out the tickets via Ticketmaster then. I was more worried about it selling out, but on second thought, um, it wouldn't, right?
  23. The Regional thread is here. It's on Broadway between 98th and 99th - I've been there with people and just by myself, either way it's a great place to go, although a little noisy. :wub: make sure you try the bigoli with duck ragu. I agree with you about Ollie's, but um...I just got a gorgeous wine-colored velvet blazer from the Gap. Is that wrong? Genny - the dumplings had pork and chives in them. They supposedly have other kinds, but I've never been permitted to order them! Jsolomon - the beer dumplings actually sound really good. how would one go about steaming them WITH the mussels? Surely not in the same pot?? Help, details here! Ok I really am getting off my ass and going shopping now.
  24. Stupid question - anyone know if you can get tickets at the door? I found the website here: Chocolate Show, but it um...crashed my browser... I ask because best friend and I aren't sure which day we'll be going.
  25. Oh HELL yes. HELL yes. My best friend is in town that weekend...we'll both go wreak havoc.
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