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eGullet Society staff emeritus
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Posts posted by Hest88

  1. Like many here, I have been away from eGullet for many years. The news comes as quite a shock, and I'd like to send my heartfelt condolences to those of you who were lucky enough to have known him in person.

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  2. I actually do find dull knives less dangerous. I can't count the number of times I've, um, brushed myself with a dull knife that bounced off instead of cutting into my finger the way it would have with a sharp knife. I do handled sharp knives and dull knives differently, naturally. I'm slower with dull knives, since I have to "saw," but I'm probably a bit less careful. With sharp knives I definitely make sure my hands are dry, fingers are out of the way, etc.

  3. Heck, I don't know how I missed this topic! I re-read the entire series at least once a year. Yes, I drool over the smoked venison, the pig tail, the blackbird "chicken" pie, the syrup candy, the green tomato "apple" pie, the pancakes, etc. I also own the Little House cookbook, mainly because I was trying to find a recipe for the vanity cakes from "On the Banks of Plum Creek" years ago. Reading the stories of deprivation always make me appreciate food so much more too. Even the canned peaches in the surveyor's house in "On the Shores of Silver Lake" sound good when I get to that part, and the late Xmas feast at the end of "The Long Winter" just seems heavenly.

  4. I love caviar, but then I love everything ranging from big fish eggs to teeny specks of shrimp roe. With that said, I might suggest you try salmon roe first. It's much cheaper, but if you find you enjoy that briny taste you'll have a better idea of if you'd like the Caspian sea type.

  5. I've also always had relatively small kitchens, so cleaning as I go has always been a necessity. Plus, I'm rather klutzy and messy, so NOT cleaning as I go will invariably mean scraps and dribbles will get into the clean food, and various bowls and dishes will be in my way while trying to prepare other dishes. Plus, I also reuse certain cookware more than once, so some get cleaned more than once in the course of preparation.

  6. Yes, the only real way is to build up gradually. I've certainly found my tolerance has increased over the years, as I've gotten used to eating increasing levels of spice.

    Also, kinds of heat differ. Wasabi, for instance, doesn't linger. Same with Sichuan peppercorns. As a result, you don't get that increasingly painful buildup in the same way as when you're eating chilis. I found I was able to build up tolerance much faster with spicy Sichuan food than with Thai for that reason.

    I also agree that just adding condiments like Sriracha and Tabasco and the like can help. For one, you can control how much you put in, but also they're so darn tasty in and of themselves it won't feel nearly as much of a chore.

  7. Funny. So we've had our Miele Diamante for a few years now and what I posted earlier in the thread still holds. Everything gets completely dry except for plastics and dishes that end up "holding" water. The lack of a grinder isn't a problem; we scrape but never rinse and rarely find anything in the filter. There's only one caveat. In a house of two we can go nearly a week without running the dishwasher. Any stainless steel utensils in the utensil rack will not clean thoroughly as a result. (Everything else, including ceramic spoons in the utensil tray, do fine.) So, we've taken to rinsing stainless steel utensils if we know they're going to sit in the tray for days.

    Reiterating comments earlier in the thread; it is imperative you take a bunch of dishes to the store and see how they fit in the dishwashers. I was going to buy a higher end Miele, and also looked at a Bosch, but actually trying our dishware made us choose the Miele Diamante. We were also thinking of the higher end Kitchenaids, but my DH liked the fact that the Euro DWs had an automatic water shut-off in case of water leakage.

  8. I love pig's feet when they're braised enough so the meat practically falls off the bone and the skin melts in your mouth. My favorite is the Chinese ginger and black vinegar (traditionally made for new mothers), of course, but I also like the kind I see in Taiwanese joints--savory instead of sweet.

  9. I still enjoy his writing and his shows, to a certain extent. But I have to admit it takes more effort now than it used to. The whole foul-mouthed rebel chef thing was great back when he first burst onto the scene, but now that he's older and--dare I say it--a whole lot wealthier, that anti-establishment shtick of his feels rather forced.

  10. I've found this, too, and always just assumed that the wider sections, with the least marrow and the most bone, were from the section toward the ends of the femur. I always look for packages that have a bunch of the smaller-diameter (centre-cut?) bones.

    Me too. I look for ones that are as straight and wide as possible, since the ends are where the cancellous, spongy bone is--which doesn't work. Because of that, I usually go to butcher shops where I can actually choose my bones vs. a place where I have to just grab a bag of bones without being able to inspect them.

  11. no i know what sweet corn is, but on the michael laiskonis blog he makes corn sorbet, i just, plus few times i`ve seen Americans use corn in desserts, just wondered if it was sweet corn or what.

    Yes, it *is* sweet corn. I'm wondering if what's confusing you is the idea of using corn in something like sorbet. It's certainly a non-traditional ingredient, but it's like any of the current vogues of chefs using non-traditional ingredients. Like basil sorbet or savory ice cream or the like.

  12. I do think exposure on smaller levels and then building up is the way to go--like building up a tolerance for levels of spiciness. In my own example, I used to hate runny yolks. After years of making sunny-side up eggs for my husband though, I started getting used to the smell of the yolks and then, one day, I actually craved one myself. So I think the years of smelling them was akin to making myself taste them in small amounts.

  13. Help me understand: how can a 1/2" diameter stalk of choi sum lose its integrity if it's cut in 2" lengths instead of 4" lengths? What does "integrity" mean in that context?

    What HeidiH pretty much said. It's getting the ideal ratio of crunch (from the stalk) to the softer flavor (from the leaves). It's not really scientific on my part; it's more subjective from years of cooking and personal preference.

  14. Uh, gosh, I never thought about it much. Appearance, for banquets, is very important, of course, so some veggies are often left whole for that reason. However, even homey stir-fries aren't cut completely bite-sized if they're a leafy green unless it's at an inept restaurant.

    The vegetable just loses its integrity. Ong choy and choi sum, for instance--two of my favorite stir-fried vegetables--might be trimmed down so you can sorta get them all in your mouth but they shouldn't be truly bite-sized or they're liable to lose that leaf to stalk ratio that's so important texturally.

  15. The Mark Bittman book referenced earlier is a great start, I think.

    For a novice cook? I would never suggest a scale until they are truly comfortable with baking. Measuring cups, sure, but even then I think cooking and not baking is the way in for a single guy just trying to eat better. If he gets obsessed with precision then it's a good time to suggest a scale.

  16. In my clubbing days I hated the sore throat I woke up with the next day due to having to shout at people. Soooo, as you can imagine, I really dislike noisy restaurants. At a club, part of the purpose of the noise (and the darkness) is to minimize the ways people can look and sound unattractive. I don't see why that needs to be the case in a sit down restaurant. A pleasant background buzz is nice; not being able to talk to my companion(s) is not.

  17. We have a Miele, but my experience is the same as the Bosch owners. Everything gets totally dry except for plastics and areas where water can collect. We scrape our dishes, but not thoroughly. After dinner parties, where there's caked on food (like cheese baked onto Pyrex), the Miele has never had a problem thoroughly cleaning everything.

    As for the filter, the only thing that tends to get caught there are non water-soluble items, so shells, and seeds and really fibrous items. I've gone months without checking the filter, and usually all I find are cat hair and the stray peppercorn. Bits of veggies, that baked-on cheese from the dinner party, etc. always make it through.

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