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thatgrrl

Win a Copy of 'Fried & True'

Thighs, tons of breading, mix of veg oil and lard.

Manner Matters: Can I Bring My Own Tonic Water?

I work at a small neighborhood bar that focuses on really good beer and whiskey, and we have no problem keeping a bottle of diet tonic in the cooler for a specific customer who prefers it and brings us the bottle herself. But this is also the kind of customer who tips generously, is a good friend of the owner, and recently held her wedding reception in our back yard. So if you are a good customer, absolutely ask about having a private tonic stash kept in the cooler for you. But I would never allow a customer I didn't know to bring in their own bottle from which to pour anything; the liability and tax issues are too complicated, and it creates the wrong impression when other customers see this kind of behavior.

Win a Copy of 'The Meat Hook Meat Book'

I'm a leg woman all the way.

Giveaway: Win a Super-Fast Thermapen Thermometer

Bread, definitely. And green, please.

Bake the Book: First Prize Pies

Banana cream is an abomination and must be destroyed.

Cook the Book: 'My Irish Table' by Cathal Armstrong

Since I usually tend bar on St Patrick's Day, anything I get to eat sitting down is pretty awesome.

Cook the Book: 'Daniel: My French Cuisine' by Daniel Boulud

Complicated sauces- the kind that start "get a million pounds of this really specific kind of beef bone" and end 3 days later with a half cup of insane deliciousness.

Super Bowl Party Giveaway: 17th Street BBQ Baby Back Ribs and Pulled Pork

I've eaten some seriously sketchy BBQ in the hopes that it would be good. Let's just say that the diversity of my gut ecosystem definitely increased as a result...

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Zingerman's Phantom of the Fridge Secret Stash

Waffle Crisp or grilled cheese

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: The Baking Steel

Really good anchovies

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: La Quercia's Secret Weapons Pork Kit

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Zingerman's Phantom of the Fridge Secret Stash

Pasta carbonara

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: La Quercia's Secret Weapons Pork Kit

Cook the Book: 'Maximum Flavor'

Pressure cooking

Cook the Book: 'Treme'

Minneapolis is all about the food brought in by immigrant groups: Nordic, Eastern Euro, Central America, SE Asia...

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Korin Chef Knife

Knead the Book: Southern Biscuits

I think the better question is what don't I serve with biscuits; they go with pretty much everything, though I do avoid using garlic biscuits for strawberry shortcake.

Memorial Day Grilling Giveaway: Win This Delicious Cap of Ribeye

All sorts of veg, along with meat from whichever cow my friend's parents most recently slaughtered (cause the only thing better than good beef is free good beef).

From Behind the Bar: On Drinking Alone

@akay1: Whether I'm behind the bar or serving, I try to keep a particular eye out for women (and men too) at the bar alone who are clearly there just to have a drink or two and not to pick up/get picked up by anyone (see eg the earlier From Behind the Bar post on creepers). But I think it's also necessary that women learn to say "Hey, just having a quiet drink here, bud, not interested in talking to you" without worrying that they'll seem rude and without prefacing this with "Sorry." After all, it's the stranger who presumes a woman alone is seeking male company who is really the rudely presumptuous one; you and I and any woman who wants to go out by herself do not need to apologize for being intruded upon by dudes and their dudely privilege.

Cook the Book: 'A Girl and Her Pig'

I guess if I had to pick one part it'd be the belly.

From Behind the Bar: On Gender

@nycpunk1: You succinctly hit the nail on the head. Because we live in a sexist world, women experience the world differently than men, so attempts to correlate their experiences will always fail. I have worked in bars since 1995, and I know a number of men and women who are career bartenders in that their only or primary source of income is tending bar. However, the oldest career bartenders I know are men in their 60s, which means they were born in the late 1940s and probably started working in bars in the mid to late 1960s. How many women do you think were allowed to tend bar in 1965? 1970? And therefore, how many women who took up bartending in the 1980s and 1990s had female career bartenders as role models/mentors? Even though female bartenders may be commonplace now, it's important to keep in mind that making a career, vs having a job, requires more than just showing up to work. It requires working for people who see you as capable of having a career, people who help you along the way. As we see in studies of other careers, it can take decades from the time when an industry first hires women for women to move up the ladder into positions of permanence and influence. Assumptions like "I should hire a man because women will just get knocked up and quit" color hiring decisions in all fields and become self-fulfilling prophecies when men who want babies refuse to allow the women who bear their children the support necessary to continue their careers. So, Mr. Neff: Wanna see more female career bartenders? Come up with staffing and staff education plans that acknowledges the need for mentoring and the possibility of breeding. Yeah, it's hard, but is it really any harder than the myriad other hard calls involved in operating a bar?

From Behind the Bar: In the Weeds

@GirlPrince: That $&^% ticket printer sound is THE MOST STRESSFUL SOUND IN THE WORLD! I've heard from mothers of newborns that the sound of any baby crying makes them start, er, leaking; the sound of that printer, whether at my bar or any bar/restaurant, starts a flood of adrenaline that can only be shut down by sheer force of will and liberal application of whiskey.
When I get in the weeds (like this Saturday, when a great fundraiser for a great cause brought hordes to the bar such that by 8PM we'd already hit average sales for an entire Saturday night), I just try to make eye contact with as many people as possible to let them know that I know they exist. Also, yes, that guy who tipped fifty cents on a top-shelf martini then orders three more while I'm going full tilt is going to have to wait a few %$#&^ing minutes while I serve people tipping $2 per bottle of beer.

What to make with mead?

My sister gave me some mead jelly that she was told would pair well with blue cheese and it did! Or, if you aren't into jelly-making, what happens if you reduce it to a syrup and pour it on stuff (ice cream, sharp strong cheese, whisk a little into a vinagrette for bitter greens...)? Or use it as a poaching liquid for fruit (fresh or frozen) and make a cobbler or pie or topping for french toast or waffles? (N.B. I've never had vanilla mead, so this is all just speculation on my part).

Win the Valentine's Day Collection from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams

I'd love to see an ice cream commemorating the St Valentine's day Massacre: Black and white ice cream with gummy dudes filled with some sort of oozing cherry goo and maybe some little black licorice sprinkles to represent bullets. That's what you were going for, right?

3 American Rye Whiskeys You Should Try

Both Redemption and Bulleit are lovely. I took a flask of Bulleit to a party and, as I was lacking pockets, the flask got tucked into my waistband, and I was very pleasantly surprised at how the flavors shifted as the whiskey warmed up over the course of the evening. I suspect that this is similar to the flavors that emerge as the spirit warms and opens up in your mouth (and now I'm gonna stop before this starts sounding dirty).

Reliable source for truffle flour?

I got SO excited when I saw the 15% off code for D'Artagnan because some years ago I got great truffle flour from them, but they don't carry it any more! Poking around the internets turned up various companies carrying the stuff for wide-ranging prices, so I'm wondering if anyone has gotten some lately that they would recommend.

Are my sauerkraut and kimchi fermenting yet?

I got a huge (10-12 lb) head of cabbage at the farmer's market and I'm on day 3 of my first attempt at making sauerkraut and kimchi. My kitchen is about 60-65 degrees, with a little more warmth for a couple hours when I've been cooking. Everything's been sitting for about 3 days. Both are doing some of the things that they are supposed to- the amount of liquid in the sauerkraut jars is steadily increasing, the cabbage in both is getting wiltier and a bit translucent- but I can't tell if actual fermentation is happening. There's no scum on top of the sauerkraut brine, no bubbling in the kimchi. So how do I tell if stuff is fermenting, and if it isn't, can I still get it to?

Need to make a cake incorporating 3 lbs of chocolate

In a moment of ridiculousness I promised my fella a birthday cake that involves 3 lbs of chocolate. Obviously decoration takes care of some of it- I'm thinking of rings of truffles on top, or hershey's kisses if I'm running short on time. And ganache is a no-brainer. But I'm having trouble figuring out how to incorporate a significant amount of chocolate into the cake itself, since most recipes use a fairly small amount. Suggestions?

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