• Location: Canada
  • Last bite on earth: Cadbury's Creme Egg.

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The Best Skewers for Grilling

For all the Canucks, cheapest place for the bamboo skewers, both the diddly paddle-looking ones and the plain ones, is Dollarama or your local equivalent.

Toasted Sugar

For any other Aga owners, this is easy to make in the simmering oven! Been doing it myself for a couple of years, hadn't realized it was "a thing." I use it for baking, but mostly in my morning coffee. :)

The Food Lab: Building a Better Egg McMuffin

Oh, and it's too easy to make sausage patties. Ground pork, mace, dried sage, salt and pepper.

The Food Lab: Building a Better Egg McMuffin

Anyone wanting to make a McDonald's sausage and egg mcmuffin, buy good sausages - "President's Choice free-from English bangers" are pretty good - peel off the skin, and form into a patty in the frying pan.

Once the sausage is cooked through you can fry the egg in the sausage juices, thus deglazing the pan and adding a deeper flavour to the end product all at once. Use the toasted muffin to wipe out the pan. Which we had for breakfast just this morning, funnily enough!

The Comfort Food Diaries: Whiskey, Cards, and Shrimp Curry

A great, family, story, indeed. Thanks for sharing, Megan.

The Comfort Food Diaries: A Trick of the Tongue

Huh. I grew up in a Scottish farming community and boiled tongue was on the vile school menu every day. Gross. Each to their own!

I am thoroughly enjoying these Comfort Food stories, by the way. Beautifully written, gently thought-provoking, and just the right length (sorry, rainbow unicorn). Delightful!

Our Favorite Features of 2015

Another big fan here. Y'all have become household names for us, and we love and appreciate your articulate wits and wisdom beyond words.

Seriously best wishes for 2016 from sunny Canada, eh!

Hasselback Potato Gratin

@ krishandj - by that point, you're veering into tartiflette territory. Yum.

Vegetables Wellington (The Ultimate Vegan Plant-Based Holiday Roast)

I'm going to be the feeble one this time....anyone got a clever sub for mushrooms? I was thinking well-squeezed out spinach and celeriac, or...any ideas greatfully received!

Cookie Science: Why Cream Butter and Sugar?

Really good article, AND really good comments, thanks Braveteart!

So You Wanna Be a Private Chef?

@ chefmikebenninger - great suggestions! I took a look at your (excellent) website; too bad you're not up near Ottawa.

My sister and I were variously personal and private chefs, eons ago. She did mostly business lunches for upmarket urban businesses, and made a lot of money: the clients got quality meals served in total privacy and didn't pay restaurant prices for booze (a BIG saving), and she earned every penny. This was Glasgow, late 80s, and clients were investment bankers, distilleries (yum). She didn't have any business training, but she's a smart girl, and learned as she went. She was cordon-bleu trained. I took a different route, dinner parties, etc, and I loved it. You certainly learn everything you need to know about human nature! I'd do it again in a heartbeat if there was a demand in a small farming community.

One thing you do have to consider is that most clients want to do their entertaining during the weekend, so consider your social life on Fridays, Saturdays and even Sundays pretty much shot.

Traditional Provençal Tapenade With Capers, Anchovies, and Tuna about roughly chopping everything but the oil in the food processor, and then smooshing it to finish with a pestle and mortar? Off to try that right now, come to think of it!

Pack All Your Summer Tomatoes Into This Tomato and Smoked Feta Tart

One of my favourite food writers, who's rather fallen out of fashion these days, sadly, Josceline Dimbleby, makes her tomato tart with an olive oil crust, wee bit of garlic in it, and iirc mint on top of the tomatoes. Perfection.

In Praise of Cheap Knives

Agree with bdcbbq - love the cheap knives listed.

Had Henckels for years, and hated them - balance was all wrong for me, and they couldn't keep an edge.

Bought a couple of packs of those cheap n cheerful multi-coloured knives from Costco 18 months ago as a temporary fix, and they're still going strong - blades are only just beginning to blunt now! Not bad for $12 for 8 of them. I don't treat them well - they live in their colour-matched sleeves in an old pitcher on the counter. Sort of like these, only cheaper:

I'll try Max's non-cleaving cleaver, though, as I've always liked the look of them.

Staff Picks: Our Go-To Airplane Foods

There's not enough competition any more for airlines to compete with edible, never mind palatable, in-flight meals, sadly.

Back in the day, on the 1hr flight from Edinburgh or Glasgow to London (Gatwick or Heathrow) one would be served a HOT and DELICIOUS 3-course meal, with cocktails beforehand and aperitifs afterwards. I can't remember how many airlines were competing for one's business, but it was enough, obviously! Breakfastses were even better. Them were the days....

Slow-Roasted Beef Tenderloin

Great minds think alike! I'd love to see more food lab stuff on lamb, too.

Life at Sea: The Pleasures and Perils of Nautical Cooking

Well, with a nom dp like Ocean.....

Loved this story, Lauren! BTDT, but on Scottish seas (no peppers, no refrigeration worries, plenty of good coastal pubs, nothing is ever completely dry, including the crew), and my ds was a cordon bleu cook back in the day on a mega yacht, so your experiences brought back many memories, one way and another.

I hope your boys stay safe - the comment in Jon Krakaur's article about Chris McCandless is sobering. The tales you will all tell to your grandchildren some day!

5 Ice Cream Myths That Need to Disappear

KT-S - I'm Scottish, hence the porage suggestion, lol. Next, I'm going to try and make a version of cranachan ice-cream, using red currant jelly, red currant liqueur and golden syrup vs honey. Wish me luck!

5 Ice Cream Myths That Need to Disappear

KT-S I think Max is the expert, but I can tell you what I did, if that's any help.

I warmed a cup of half-and half, and a cup of whipping cream (both organic, so no thickeners etc) so they were warm but not hot, and poured them into the blender. I added approx 1/3 cup of shop-bought lemon curd, and I'd already warmed the golden syrup, and added approx 1/3 cup of that. Whizzed it until there were no lumps of lemon curd left that I could see, then drizzled in 3 tbsp ginger wine. Then chilled it, and once it was cold I churned it in the ice cream machine. Churned for 20 minutes, and froze for a few hours.

I warmed the cream and the syrup because I feared the syrup would stay in a clump. I have an old Aga, so I just put them in the warming oven for an hour.

My thinking was that the ginger wine is super sweet, and the golden syrup is pure sweet, so I didn't add any more sugar. No eggs, either, or vanilla. There wasn't any real egg in the lemon curd.

There was enough for maybe 10 oxo good grips ice cream scoops at a stretch. It's quite a small scoop, but the ice cream is pretty rich! It was perfect last night (made it yesterday) so it'll be interesting to see if it's changed by tonight.

I'd maybe add a bit more ginger wine, or some ginger syrup, next time.

Enjoy your golden syrup. It is the best thing ever to have on porage, or ice cream, or a spoon. :)

5 Ice Cream Myths That Need to Disappear

Max - a heartfelt thanks for all your informative ice-cream articles over the last year or two. I wanted to make a different ice cream for a dinner party, and I combined your various suggestions about booze, cream, sweeteners, and so on, and made a simple ice-cream from lemon curd, cream, Lyle's golden syrup and Stone's Ginger Wine. It turned out extraordinarily perfect - tasty, with just the right consistency: creamy, lemony and gingery, funnily enough!

Grilled Scallion Pancakes

Used this recipe the other evening, but baked them on the floor of the Aga hottest oven, and they were brilliant! Definitely a keeper, fun to make, and the yummy simple dipping sauce was magic.

More Than Just Peat and Smoke: The Best Islay Single Malts

Hm. And to think we can't buy any booze at all at Costco here in Ontario-the-good. yes, that would be Ontario, Canada: the province that has wet dreams about the good old days of prohibition.

More Than Just Peat and Smoke: The Best Islay Single Malts

Wait: what??? WHERE is there a Costco that sells Laphroig???

The Food Lab's Complete Guide to Sous Vide Steak

Thoroughly fascinating, as always, Kenji: thanks for such a detailed study!

More Than Just Peat and Smoke: The Best Islay Single Malts

I'll step foolishly into the pedantry fray. Whisky is only made in Scotland. Anything made anywhere else is called whiskEy. Same pronunciation, different spelling.

And for the record, it's pronounced gal-ick (rhymes with phal-lick) in Scotland, gaylick in Ireland, etc.