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eG Foodblog: Chris Amirault (2010) - Holidays in Rhode Island


Chris Amirault
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Here's my current kitchen timer, purchased without much research due to sudden need post-move:

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This timer does the job that our old stove used to do, and it does it adequately. But as the Amazon reviews indicate, the OXO SoftWorks timer has some serious flaws, like a recessed display that's hard to read. Makes me think that someone out there has a really great timer suggestion....

You do, don't you?

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Good Morning!

The Polder 898 looks fairly decent. I'd planned on getting one, but the purchase was pre-empted by the acquisition of a stove and oven that were each equipped with elaborate multi-timers. Originally, I'd considered the Polder 893 unit, but read that it has an extremely quiet alarm (we have a rather loud exhaust fan) and an insecurely attached magnetic strip.

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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A friend got the ThermoWorks (same makers as the ThermaPen) timer and it is awesome. I see it is on sale this week for $15.

http://thermoworks.com/products/timers/extra_big_loud_timer.html

The digital timer I use cost $1 in a dollar store and is a piece of junk but does its job adequately. You can't actually see the numbers from more than an arm's length away, and if you want to set 29 minutes you have to push the button 29 times, but it does count down and beep as needed.

I used to use the timer on my Polder temperature thing but I wrecked it.

My favorite timer is the Lux Minute Minder, which is a mechanical dial timer. You twist it to your number and it goes. It's only good for longer times, though, since its precision at something like a three-minute setting can best be described as hilarious. It's good if you're in the 15-60 minute range.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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99 % of the time, I use the timer on my microwave. The other 1% I use a ktichenaid timer, which my husband seems to love, but like Fat Guy's, you have to push the button for each minute you want.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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A friend got the ThermoWorks (same makers as the ThermaPen) timer and it is awesome. I see it is on sale this week for $15.

http://thermoworks.com/products/timers/extra_big_loud_timer.html

I heartily concur with your opinion of this timer. I have two, as well as the combo thermometer timer(pictured in an earlier post in this thread) and sometimes have all three timing various things at the same time.

I also have a timer that is part of a wall clock that someone gave me a few years ago and that also comes into play and it has one of the longest and loudest ringers I have ever found on a mechanical timer (30 seconds).

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Thanks, everyone. Just got the ThemoWorks twofer deal of the timer and the oven thermometer/timer for $30.

Downloading some pix from yesterday. More in a sec. Meanwhile, start thinking about party food. Desires, requirements, constraints to come.

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Though non-traditional, I think that brown rice goes better with red beans and rice than white, adding a toothy, nutty edge to the dish:

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I lost the little cup for the Zojirushi rice maker, and, after some help, a bit of research, and some trial and error, I discovered that one "cup" of rice, fuzzy-logic-wise, weighs 6 oz, so I just fill the rice bowl on the scale:

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Some tea while I waited, a Taiwanese charcoal-roasted oolong from Norbu Tea:

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The bowl itself, with some Frank's on top:

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While I settled into the Patriots romp over the Buffalo Bills, the kitchen plants looked out the window and wondered what all that white stuff was....

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Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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When I got out of bed for the second time to shovel, I thought I smelled something really terrific:

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I love yeasted waffles, which we rarely have here. Being born and raised in New England, I put molasses on all pancakes and waffles:

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Bebe, on the other hand, made snow ice cream. I will transcribe:

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1. snow

2. maple syrup

3. cream

4. oreo

Now we sit back in anticipation....

DSC00013.JPG

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Makes me think that someone out there has a really great timer suggestion....

You do, don't you?

What I am looking for is a timer I can wear, since I am always going down to the laundry room or outside to the garden, or wherever, and cannot hear even the loudest timer when it goes off. Plus, timers usually only beep for a few seconds. I want something that will continue to beep until I turn it off, and that will count up once time runs so I can see just how long I've overbaked the cookies. I know Polder used to make on on a string/rope, but can't seem to find it. And I've about given up on one that counts up after time is done. Does anyone have a suggestion?

PS: This has been a great blog. I'm tired just reading it! And I have extreme small appliance envy.

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I believe what you're looking for is the Polder model 898. It's wearable and does count-up. The only thing I'm not sure of is how long it beeps. Most Polders do 30 seconds, I think.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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It's cheaper at Amazon: Polder 898-90

I've got the black one.

So far mine has beeped until I turn it off.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I just confirmed plans with Dave Viola -- Society member vice above. We're going to give you a little tour of southern RI tomorrow. More on that later.

Meanwhile, here's the party food skinny. We have an annual Night Before New Years Eve party, and we have about 30 people coming. Drinks are pretty straightforward -- I'll get some interesting beer and wine and make a punch, probably Regents -- but food is trickier.

We have a friend who has celiac disease, and we want to be sure to have a nice array of gluten-free foods. Here are the other, rather random, thoughts I've had:

  • No theme necessary.
  • Must. Have. Gougeres.
  • Use up a few items in the pantry/freezer, including homemade bacon, mustard, pancetta, preserved lemon, sausage, hot sauce, smoked salmon.
  • Other seafood also possible (shrimp? oysters?).
  • Must. Have. Deviled. Eggs.
  • Finger food.
  • I think I want to try making crackers for the first time this year. Thoughts?
  • Do-ahead, as always, is preferred.
  • No fryer or grill.
  • Excellent broiler.
  • A few Middle Eastern dips with raw vegetables -- baba ganoush & hummous, say -- are always good.
  • Some reliably edible kid food is essential.

Your thoughts are requested!

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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As far as finger foods that use preserved lemons, last year at Christmas, I did baked wonton cups (brush wonton skins with butter or oil, press into a mini muffin tin and bake until crispy) filled with a mix of preserved lemon, those wrinkly-looking black olives you see on olive bars, and lots of parsley. They were a hit, especially the ones garnished with a drop of harissa paste.

I've finally had some time to read Dave Wondrich's punch book, so I'm looking forward to seeing your Regent's punch! What kind of punch bowl do you have?

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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Thanks for that idea, Matt. Sounds intriguing. What else did you serve at that meal?

On 1293482705' post='1777040, mkayahara said:

I've finally had some time to read Dave Wondrich's punch book, so I'm looking forward to seeing your Regent's punch! What kind of punch bowl do you have?



It's a basic vintage bowl with basic vintage cups -- though for the party we may break out the melamine cups. I'll be sure to snap a picture of both a bit later.

On 1293483778' post='1777044, Chris Hennes said:

What recipe do you use? I had some fantastic yeasted waffles yesterday morning that I posted about in the Waffle topic.



Not sure -- I didn't make 'em. I'll have to ask the pastry chef.

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Thanks for that idea, Matt. Sounds intriguing. What else did you serve at that meal?

It wasn't really a meal; it was one of the passed apps at our Christmas party. I also did pate a choux puffs halved and filled with shrimp salad, salmon mousse (from the Alinea book) on bagel chips, Turkish lamb meatballs, and... something else, involving puff pastry and bacon. I don't remember the details of that last one.

As far as "Middle Eastern dips" go, I can heartily recommend the recipe for Muhammara in RecipeGullet.

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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Here are some favorites from cocktail party classes we've taught:

  • Sweet and spicy walnuts
  • Tuna tapenade on crostini
  • "Twice-baked" baby potatoes
  • Corn (masa) cups with chicken in red sauce or chile verde
  • Phyllo triangles filled with just about anything -- mushroom/roasted garlic/brie and ham and Gruyere were the most recent
  • Beef roll-ups with mango filling
  • Andouille puffs
  • Toasted pita rounds with cucumbers and herbed yogurt cheese (kind of a deconstructed Tzatziki and pita)

The nuts, potatoes and beef would be gluten free, I'm pretty sure, and you can do the yogurt filling in cucumber boats without the pita. I'm not sure about the gluten content of corn.

For deviled egg variations, we've done a crab remoulade filling and Creole style.

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The Kilpatrick the Brave has been this year's holiday cocktail project, and I've settled on the following:

2 oz Redbreast Irish whiskey

3/4 oz orange rosemary simple syrup

1/2 oz McCarthy's Oregon Single Malt Whiskey

1/4 oz Fernet Branca

dash Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas Own Decanter bitters

Stir; strain; garnish with a pinched rosemary sprig poked through an orange peel that you've twisted over the drink.

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It's a rich, haunting drink, along the lines of a Widow's Kiss, something that I hoped my mother-in-law especially would appreciate. (She's my most family's eager cocktail recipient, by far, and she does.)

A few notes. I am head over heels in love with McCarthy's Oregon Single Malt Whiskey, which are an attempt by the superstar distillers at Clear Creek to make a US whiskey using scotch principles. It's creamy, smoky, and downright luscious. I bought the only two bottles of the stuff I've been able to find in RI -- different labels, and thus different bottlings/expressions, I believe. If anyone has more information, I'm all ears.

The orange rosemary syrup is a 2:1 (sugar to water) syrup that's steeped in the peel of a couple of oranges and a good handful of fresh rosemary. I've done a klutzy candy job on the peels that were leftover; not sure what I'll do with those.

DSC00081.JPG

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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A few notes. I am head over heels in love with McCarthy's Oregon Single Malt Whiskey, which are an attempt by the superstar distillers at Clear Creek to make a US whiskey using scotch principles. It's creamy, smoky, and downright luscious. I bought the only two bottles of the stuff I've been able to find in RI -- different labels, and thus different bottlings/expressions, I believe. If anyone has more information, I'm all ears.

It's listed as in stock at Joyal's, though their website doesn't strike me as the real-time inventory sort. I was there yesterday and meant to look for the McCarthy, but of course forgot.

 

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This picture interests me.

We are waiting for a Sears repairman (due on Thursday) to fix the drain line on our dishwasher. It would be a simple repair if I could access the darn thing. Unfortunately, the installer did not put a loop in the electric wiring long enough to pull out the dishwasher (and I’m a lousy electrician).

You might ask your installer to add a loop in the electric wiring long enough for your dishwasher to be easily accessed for service.

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