Ruth Lafler's Profile

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American Blue Cheeses -- Cheese(s) of the Month, April 2014

I picked up a couple of blues yesterday.

Big Rock Blue from Central Coast Creamery (CA) -- I liked this a lot. Dry enough to crumble, soft enough to spread, and a good balance of nutty aged milk and blue character, with just a hint of salt. It was a little gritty, but not unpleasantly so.

Red Rock Cheddar Blue -- made by Roelli Family Cheese Haus, this is a traditional Wisconsin orange cheddar with natural (i.e. not injected) blue veining. This it didn't care for -- the cheddar make the bluing bitter while still managing not to have much character itself.

about 14 hours ago
Ruth Lafler in Cheese

Cheese for a Flight

Yes, a hard sheep's milk cheese like Istara or P'tit Basque or a manchego would be a good choice, as would be a good cheddar. So:

Aged gouda
Hard sheep
Cheddar
Blue
If you want a fifth, something flavored

I've never heard of anyone having trouble with soft cheeses and the TSA, although they've always told me I can't bring through yogurt.

about 14 hours ago
Ruth Lafler in Cheese

Grocery Outlet -- April 2014

I'm guessing the Pacific is from Canada, where the package is a liter, not a quart. I've bought Canadian Pacific products at GO before (the bilingual packaging is a giveaway).

Apr 18, 2014
Ruth Lafler in San Francisco Bay Area

50 Birthday Near Fisherman's Wharf

In the chowdown report you said that Peking duck was not that good. I assume it's improved under the new(er) chef?

Apr 16, 2014
Ruth Lafler in San Francisco Bay Area

Best uses for rendered beef fat

And maybe an excuse to break out my new sous vide gadget.

Apr 16, 2014
Ruth Lafler in Home Cooking

Best uses for rendered beef fat

Oooh, sounds delicious!

Apr 16, 2014
Ruth Lafler in Home Cooking

Release Notes Feb 13, 2014: New Food Quests Board

Thanks for the clarification. I don't know how I missed the workshop format!

My points about the explanatory sticky still stand -- as you know, I'm a long-time user of this site. If it's not clear to me, then I doubt it's going to be clear to other people.

Apr 16, 2014
Ruth Lafler in Site Talk
1

Release Notes Feb 13, 2014: New Food Quests Board

Possible, except I'm pretty sure that I would have noticed the up and down thingies.

Apr 15, 2014
Ruth Lafler in Site Talk

Your "evil food" (super unhealthy) recipe?? :)

Someone once noted that in 21st century America, food has become one of the few things considered "sinful."

Apr 15, 2014
Ruth Lafler in Home Cooking
1

Release Notes Feb 13, 2014: New Food Quests Board

Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. I didn't even know there was a Food Quests board until this thread popped up with a new reply on my "followed discussions."

As I noticed when the Cheese board was started, they will populate a new board with existing threads they feel fit the topic.

Apr 15, 2014
Ruth Lafler in Site Talk

Release Notes Feb 13, 2014: New Food Quests Board

How about a sticky to describe what the board is supposed to be for (with examples, maybe) and how it works, since it's different from all the other boards?

One of the threads I had posted on got moved to Food Quests (wrongly, as far as I can tell) and when I pulled it up I had no idea what was going on! The Food Quest page itself was no help; I had to come here to Site Talk and do a search to find this topic.

Very user unfriendly!!!!!!

Apr 15, 2014
Ruth Lafler in Site Talk

Best uses for rendered beef fat

I don't do a lot of frying, so it would be nice to have some other ways to use it. I was thinking about making Yorkshire pudding .... anyone got a good recipe?

Apr 15, 2014
Ruth Lafler in Home Cooking

Best uses for rendered beef fat

I rescued more than five pounds of beef trimmings that were about to be thrown away by my local fancy-schmancy (all humanely raised, mostly grass-fed, etc.) butcher. I'm in the process of rendering it, but I don't have any good ideas what to do with beef fat (as opposed to pork fat).

Apr 15, 2014
Ruth Lafler in Home Cooking

pet peeves for other 'foodies'

I can consider them misguided and uninformed from my perspective without suggesting that there's something "wrong" with them. Maybe it's just a semantic quibble, but I don't like labeling people as defective, which is what is suggested in the original post: "saying that you have an issue with your palate just because you dont care for a certain dish."

Apr 15, 2014
Ruth Lafler in Not About Food

pet peeves for other 'foodies'

I would consider it judgmental to declare that there's something wrong with someone just because they approach food differently than I do.

Apr 13, 2014
Ruth Lafler in Not About Food

pet peeves for other 'foodies'

Same here. All those people who rave about something that "tastes like the sea" and I just think "yuck!" I'm never going to enjoy that flavor.

Apr 12, 2014
Ruth Lafler in Not About Food

pet peeves for other 'foodies'

I have a problem with anyone who says there's something wrong with someone because they don't like something (or, conversely, because they do like something the other person thinks they shouldn't). I do encourage (but not insist) people to periodically try something they don't like, because tastes do change. I didn't like blue cheese until I was 30. I've slowly been acquiring a taste for seafood, although I still only like the milder types. Etc. But there are some things I won't eat just because of what they are, no matter what they might taste like.

There are sometimes people who post on chowhound about fooling people into eating something that the poster thinks they should eat. I think that's reprehensible.

Apr 12, 2014
Ruth Lafler in Not About Food

What would you consider are your 6 essential spices?

From discussions I've read on this board, it seems that cardamom is one of those flavors you either love or you hate. I wonder if it's genetic, like loving/hating cilantro.

Apr 12, 2014
Ruth Lafler in General Topics

Have you ever lost your cooking Mojo?

Oh yeah. I think it happens when I get too blase or overconfident and thus don't leave myself enough time or don't pay close enough attention.

Apr 12, 2014
Ruth Lafler in Home Cooking

What would you consider are your 6 essential spices?

I'm glad you clarified that "spices" didn't include herbs and salt.

Hmmm...

Pepper
Cinnamon
Cumin
Paprika
Cardamom (not essential except for the fact that I love it)
And one good curry blend

I was going to say cayenne, except then I realized I could get along without cayenne or red pepper flakes if I had hot sauce.

Apr 12, 2014
Ruth Lafler in General Topics

Croissants - SF Dish of the Month February 2014

Feel Good croissant -- note the shards of crust from cutting it!

Apr 11, 2014
Ruth Lafler in San Francisco Bay Area

High-end and about average restaurants in Union Square, SF

I'd add, prix fixe/tasting menu (or tasting-menu focused) or a la carte.

Apr 11, 2014
Ruth Lafler in San Francisco Bay Area
1

How often do you drink alcoholic drinks?

The OP herself brought up the idea that she might be an alcoholic and stated that she "craves" alcohol. I think that suggesting she talk about her concerns with a professional is a better approach than comparing her alcohol consumption with that of a bunch of anonymous strangers on the internet. YMCV.

Apr 10, 2014
Ruth Lafler in General Topics
1

Microwaves Are Essential for Things We Don't Need Them For

Oh, that fewer pots/pans/dishes point is good. I'll add, doesn't heat up the kitchen on hot days.

Apr 09, 2014
Ruth Lafler in Features

How often do you drink alcoholic drinks?

Had the police at my house twice in a little more than 48 hours because of people who chronically drink too much. One doesn't think he's an alcoholic because he doesn't drink every day (just most days). On this occasion, he was just drinking with his buds all day and into the wee hours of the morning, having a good time, then broke into my house to see his ex-girlfriend (my roommate), attacked another guest, vomited all the way from my front porch to the back door and was eventually arrested for drunk and disorderly on my front stairs. Of course he was so drunk he doesn't actually remember any of it. But hey, he doesn't have a problem, nope, not at all.

The other also came by to see an ex. She attacked him and screamed obscenities in the backyard that were heard two doors down. She's pickled her brain for so long there's no "normal" behavior left: she's either drunk and surly or drunk and combative. Or passed out, as she was on my front steps one morning.

So while I enjoy a glass or two of wine now and then and the occasional cocktail, I don't find it particularly amusing when people make light about how much they drink.

Apr 09, 2014
Ruth Lafler in General Topics

RIP, Steven Shaw (eGullet founder)

Steven Shaw's blog was what led me to Chowhound (before there was an egullet).

Apr 09, 2014
Ruth Lafler in Food Media & News
3

Lime shortage, who knew?

Not at all. As I said, it's amazing that something so simple can be so good!

Apr 09, 2014
Ruth Lafler in General Topics

Grocery Outlet -- April 2014

Oakland also had the Fiscalini Chipotle cheddar.

Apr 09, 2014
Ruth Lafler in San Francisco Bay Area

Lime shortage, who knew?

Possibly Opinionatedchef is not familiar with Mexican fruit carts, which sell baggies of sliced up fruits (and sometimes veggies like jicama or cucumber) over which they then squeeze a lime and sprinkle some chili powder. It's pretty amazing: cool, wet, tart, sweet and hot!

Apr 08, 2014
Ruth Lafler in General Topics
2

the ethiopian on telegraph debate...

Enssaro has the best timatim fitfit of the ones I've tried (I'm a chips and salsa addict, so not surprising I'm enamored of the Ethiopian equivalent). Any other standout versions?

Apr 08, 2014
Ruth Lafler in San Francisco Bay Area