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Everything posted by Hest88

  1. Star Grocery can be pretty pricey, but for such a teeny store they sure have a great selection! They have less of an excuse, though. Anyone who lives on Broadway Terrace has a considerable hilly hike to a market, while Safeway, Ver Brugge, and that corner grocers is just a few easy blocks away from Star. Of course, anyone living both in Broadway Terrace and especially the Claremont area can probably afford to overpay a tad. ;)
  2. I tip after-tax because I find it easier. However, I tip like I'm down to my last dime when I get bad service and have no qualms about tipping over 20% with outstanding service. I read a study once that said men tend to tip more generously than women. I don't know if that's true or not, but it certainly is among my circle. The woman really tie the tip to service while the guys will tip 15-20% as a rule unless they got really awful service. My college roommate and I delighted in calculating a 10% tip to the exact penny if service were bad. I always wished that they had comment cards so that when I threw down a few bucks I could inform them that it was not because I'm inherently cheap but because the service was inexcusably bad. I also, at times, wished I had the courage to leave *no* tip for really egregious circumstances.
  3. Somewhat. I know that the fast food industry had engaged in subterfuge and I really don't blame previous generations for thinking they were just getting a basic beef patty and a bun with some mayo-type sauce, just as I don't blame a WWII vet for taking up smoking thinking there were no consequences. However, anyone who is, say, under 40 thereabouts, and possesses a high school diploma, really has no excuse suing a fast food company for their obesity.
  4. Thanks for reviving this thread. The things you learn on eGullet! I've used my carbon steel wok for 11 years now, practically every night, but I never thought about tracking down pans in carbon steel.
  5. Titus, I've adopted the rather wasteful practice of my mom's and basically cut off the long stems as close as possible to where the leaves start growing more densely. Then I hand-pluck the remainder so I have about a two inch stalk, making sure each section contains at least one leaf. My aunt, who worked in the Chinese restaurant, then told me to blanch them (the way you do) in boiling water with a spoonful of baking soda and drain. I heat up the wok with a good amount of oil, then put either the shrimp paste or fermented tofu in, and then throw the ong choy in. I stir fry it just long enough to incorporate the paste or tofu because the blanching seems to almost completely cook it anway. Oh, and I use the Chinese shrimp paste that's the lavenderish pasty stuff, so it's semi-liquid already.
  6. This is actually a very misleading statistic. The fashion industry re-jiggered their sizing some time ago so that a size 2 is larger than than the previous generation's size 2s. Anyone who has ordered a wedding dress knows about this phenomena---women find they have to order wedding dresses in sizes larger than their everyday clothes because many gown companies still use the older sizing.
  7. I'm afraid that what the NY Times article reveals is that Americans lack self-control and are completely oblivious on all but a philosophical basis of what they put in their mouths. I'm all for clear and proper labeling, and I do enjoy watching corporations juggle lawsuits, but portion size?!? I read and adored Fast Food Nation, but with all the info out there I can only blame consumers if they choose to remain ignorant. Personally, if we're keeping score, I eat as much butter as possible, drink full fat milk, when I drink milk, never turn down a good dessert, and would never steam a vegetable when I can stir-fry it in as much olive oil as my wok can hold. (Steamed veggies? Yuuuck!) I also rarely eat processed foods. After all, if I'm going to eat fat I want it to be deeply satisfying.
  8. Hest88

    Fantasy sandwich

    Personally, with just a handful of exceptions (such as banh mi), I can't abide cold sandwiches. So give me something like hot pastrami or croque monsieur.
  9. Masumoto is the guy who had that "Elegy for a Peach" bestseller some years ago right? I remember it being very well-written and evocative. Has he written anything else? Oh, just checked and his website says he *has* written additional books. I'll have to check them out.
  10. Well, we had a nice buffet after our wedding where I didn't eat a darned thing. However, that evening we had the Chinese banquet and by that time I was calm enough to eat. So I actually had lobster, suckling pig, shark's fin soup (or was it bird's nest?), smoked cod, etc.
  11. I'm not a gardener, but my parents grow chives (to saute with) and taro.
  12. LOL! My Caucasian husband, who will eat Chinese food that I wouldn't touch, hates Chinese sausage. Yeah, the Chinese like their meat somewhat sweeter. Just take a look at Chinese jerky.
  13. Well, I like adding waxed duck wings and dried Chinese vegetables to mine, but I don't think that's what you're looking for. That, was, though, the classic ingredients my mom used for her rustic weekend congees.
  14. Count me in as an ong choy fan. If I had to choose a last meal, this would be part of it. Ong Choy sauteed with spicy fermented tofu, garlic, and hot peppers. Yum! When I was younger I prefered it with shrimp paste, but now it's the tofu all the way! Watercress blanched or sauteed, drizzled with sesame oil and soy sauce. Sauteed pea sprouts with garlic. Uh, I know in English there's a difference between pea shoots and pea sprouts but I can never remember which is which. I'm talking about the large-leaf "tai" ones that look almost like spinach as opposed to the delicate ones. Sauteed amaranth. Until recently I had no idea that the veggie was amaranth in English! Of course, it also took me years to associate the herb "chives" with the bitter, cooked stuff that my mom and dad loved! Oh, and one of my comfort foods is sauteed napa cabbage. My college roommate (who was from HK) and I ate a lot of that in school. Loved the crunchy sweetness.
  15. Nope. It's a combo of good product plus a lot of hard work and savvy to market their product. It pays to be the first to build name recognition.
  16. They certainly have a consistent product, though, depending on the year, I've been disappointed. I don't think they're any better or worse than any other independent peach farmer, but they're certainly a whole lot better than supermarket peaches.
  17. Semantics. ;) Perhaps not, but they sure are a breeze to clean.
  18. I'm not an expert either, but when my mom and my aunt give me expensive ones, they always tout how large they are. So, I've just assumed that the larger ones are more precious.
  19. Well, as far as I'm concerned, nothing beats my trusty cast-iron. I think I got it at a flea market, already nicely seasoned by someone's grandma. Practically non-stick, easy to care for, virtually indestructible.
  20. Looking at dinner only, we eat in most of the week--not only due to costs but also because if I go more than a few days without a heaping of stir-fired Chinese veggies then I practically start salivating at any incidence of the color green. When we do go out (or have food delivered) it's to our cheap local hole-in-the-walls: Korean, Indian, the occasional Ethiopian, burritos, pizza. Okay, I'll admit that we also frequent Kirala once or twice or thrice a month when I get sushi cravings, Cafe Rouge many weekends for my fries and sparerib cravings, and Grasshopper for after-work pickles and ribs cravings. (Uh, and if you're wondering if I often make ribs at home, the answer to that would be "yes.") Oh, and Dona Tomas for upscale Mexican. We only go to upscale restaurants (Gary Danko, Fifth Floor, etc.) for special occasions and odd Chinese holidays, so that totals perhaps less than 10 times a year. Hm, now that I've laid this out, perhaps we actually eat out for dinner or buy prepared food closer to 30-40% of the time!
  21. When baking most old-fashioned cookies, I use dark brown sugar even when light brown is called for. It always tastes richer and more complex.
  22. If I were able to get it before work, jook would be an ideal breakfast. It's the closest thing to comfort food for me. I'm not too fond of anything sweet or too greasy early in the morning, but for weekend brunch sweet soy milk is wonderful.
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