I just read this excellent piece from Oct. 29's New York Times,100 Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do. What no-nos would you add to the list?
This morning I made my first attempt at cooking quinoa. I followed a standard recipe, first soaking a cup of quinoa for about half an hour, then rinsing and draining a couple of times through a sieve. I returned the quinoa to my trusty old Revereware saucepan, added a cup and a half of cold water and a dash of salt, brought it to a boil, then lowered the heat and covered the pan. It simmered for 20 minutes, then, as the recipe dictated, I removed it from the heat and let it sit for five minutes with the lid on.
To my astonishment, the lid would not budge from the pan. It had come off easily when I checked it before the five-minute resting period, but now, no amount of tugging, banging, running water, or even attempts to pry the lid off with a screwdriver would move the thing.
I'm not an inexperienced cook (except, obviously, when it comes to quinoa), but I've never in my life seen anything like this. Can anyone explain why this happened, and advise me how to safely remove the &^*#!#@* lid from my pot?
A great kid I know is heading to the University of Chicago in the fall. I'd like to give him a gift he can use there...perhaps food-related gift cards, maybe around $50 worth. I've never been to Chicago. Any suggestions?
In light of the recent discussion on the appropriateness of requesting off-menu items at fine restaurants, I offer "Ordering off the menu at fast food restaurants," where you'll learn the secret to scoring your own special creations at McDonald's, Wendy's, Subway, and more!
I've tried more than a few restaurants, locally and globally, that bore little resemblance to the gushing reviews that led me to them. Now, the phony Wine Spectator awards revelation (see Adam's post) makes me even more cynical. What critics or publications do you trust (or not)?
What's the story with Kandy X-Change? http://www.kandyxchange.info/ Apparently through this site, members swap candy internationally. Do you know this site, or any others where members exchange edibles?
Just read a piece in Salon.com, "In Memory of Gordon Ramsay." [http://www.salon.com/mwt/food/eat_drink/2008/04/01/gordon_ramsay/]
Some insightful words on the chef's Fox-ification, no?
Today the local paper features an article about Amish Friendship Bread. If you compliment the baker after sampling this stuff, s/he is obliged to gift you with a bagful of starter that requires 10 days of labor-intensive cultivation, along with stern instructions to pass along three portions of starter after you've baked your bread. For me, that would put the end back in friendship...but maybe that's just me. Have any of you encountered this wacky ritual?
In my refrigerator are five very large ripe pears, part of a holiday gift I received. I probably won't eat them. I'm the only human in the household, and I won't be home much over the next few days. What I'd like to do is use them in a recipe I can bake and then freeze. Any ideas?
Here in the glorious Berkshires, a headline-grabbing lawsuit caught many by surprise. A group of servers have brought action against Canyon Ranch, the super-pricey holistic spa, claiming that management has been pocketing their gratuities. Canyon Ranch has long had great PR up here as a good, community-friendly neighbor. From what I understand, the servers' claims may well be justified.
Within a day or so the employees of the Cranwell Resort (neither as posh nor as large as Canyon Ranch, but they do a good business hosting conferences and weddings) following suit...so to speak.
Soon I'll be single again (yay!), and I'm so ready to do all those things I yearned to do but he didn't. However, I will be moving (with a couple of four-legged friends) into a small house, I don't have children, I live in a rural area, and I will have a limited budget. Does it make sense for me to join a food co-op?
Years ago we were strongly advised against eating packaged alfalfa sprouts because of the stratospheric numbers of bacteria found in them. At the time I lived in NYC; I remember the stuff disappearing from the shelves. Now I live in the mountains, about 200 miles north. I hesitated to buy a container recently, when I suddenly realized I've been eating alfalfa sprouts in local restaurants for almost a decade. Comments?
One great thing about watching Johnny Carson: The food collectors. I have such fond memories of the Potato Chip Lady and the Nut Lady.
I got to thinking of "Nut Lady" Elizabeth Tashjian after reading a comic strip (Zippy the Pinhead) this morning. Did a bit of research, and I'm sorry to report that the founder of the Nut Museum in Old Lyme, CT died just this past January.
I'd heard the Salton Santa Fe Quesadilla Maker was a snap to use, and I couldn't wait to play with my new toy. But after three soggy failures, each leaving a yucky mess in its wake, I banished it to the back of the counter.
Anybody have one of these? Any advice?
...you're a cookie full of arsenic." J.J. Hunsecker (Burt Lancaster) to Sidney Falco (Tony Curtis) in the 1957 film "Sweet Smell of Success." Killer line, in a movie full of them. Anybody have other food metaphors (or references) from the Silver Screen?
One of my most glorious meals ever, ever was the feast I had in Amsterdam in the '80s. I invited a woman from my hotel to join me. The fabulous rijstaffel turned out to be so much more than dinner. Even the acquaintance who joined me, this pleasant woman from my hotel with whom I'd nothing in common except gender (I was a 30ish arty NY type recovering from an affair; she, a 40ish blonde Southern CA babe recovering from an eye job), evolved into a boon companion. That long narrow table, the big bowls of rice surrounded by the myriad of little bowls bearing vegetables hot and sweet, beef satay, peanuts, and more....and gales of laughter, and lovely bottles of Heineken. (I'd never much cared for beer before.)
A friend found a little Indonesian place in the Turtle Bay area (on either 2nd or 3rd Ave. in the East 40s) shortly after I returned home, but the ambience was lousy, and the food just wasn't up to snuff. Does anybody know of an Indonesian restaurant in NY? In the US?
Has anybody made rijstaffel at home?
You've finally scored a seat at the counter of an unfamiliar coffee shop. You have maybe 20 minutes to grab lunch. The joint is jumping, and the frazzled server has neither the time nor the inclination to chat. What do you order?
(Sorry--I didn't understand I needed to add comments.) I love to create big pots of soup for winter meals. But I've yet to understand why some freeze beautifully, while the flavors, textures, and consistancies of others are pretty much destroyed by freezing.
Most of the soups I make in large quantities are vegetarian and uncomplicated. Ingredients can include lentils, beans, or peas; a variety of fresh or frozen vegetables; various herbs and spices...you get the picture. Any thoughts? Rules of thumb?
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