whiskeyhead's Profile

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Terre d'umbria lead content

I checked a few other TJ Maxx stores (in CT)--all of which carried at least a few pieces of Terre D'Umbria. Lots of covered casseroles--all red, including the interior/cooking surface, whereas the orange and brown pieces have a terra cotta-colored interior (glazed, not natural). I'm still dumbfounded by the white powder. If it's imported to the US it *should* not contain lead, but that doesn't mean it can't happen.

Just to play devil's advocate, could the white residue be from the dishwasher? Apparently there's a salt additive in some cleaning tabs that can do this.

Jun 15, 2010
whiskeyhead in Cookware

Terre d'umbria lead content

I'd be interested to know if the issue is with glaze color and not all De Silva products. After reading Paula Wolfert's "Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking" cover to cover, I was tempted by a bright orange cazuela. She suggested that modern earthenware/stoneware is carefully regulated and should be safe (and here I thought being made in Italy was practically a letter of recommendation); but I'm not cooking with it until I buy a lead testing kit.

Jun 13, 2010
whiskeyhead in Cookware

Charcoal grilling with a cast iron wok?

Thanks for all the suggestions--although now I'm going to have a difficult time choosing between flat and round bottom :) I assumed flat would balance better on a grate, but I suppose a wok ring would make that a non-issue. I'm planing to buy one from my Asian grocer; $25 for what looked like a 16".

Yeah, I've read (on Chow and in books) that cast iron retains heat best, but I also thought it would be sturdier and able to withstand the grill. That said....do you think my carbon steel wok would fare okay on the grill?

May 25, 2010
whiskeyhead in Cookware

Anyone willing to share their favorite Asian grocery/market in CT?

I love going to A Dong--I know I'll be back there before the end of the month--and maybe some day I'll be brave enough to bring home a duck, but for now I can't get the Christmas Story/ "It's smiling at me" scene out of my head!

Thanks for recommending J Mart--stopped in there today. And yes, the Indian market on the Post Rd is great, I wouldn't get my spices anywhere else.

May 25, 2010
whiskeyhead in Southern New England

What is the deal with Stella?

Holy smoke! We get some of our best (and strongest) beer recipes from Belgian monks of centuries past! Try a Belgian Trippel and you'll change your mind.

May 24, 2010
whiskeyhead in Beer

What is the deal with Stella?

Exactly! Ever seen that episode where George is wondering why salsa is now kept on the table in their favorite diner? Jerry's response: "Because people like to say 'salsa'!"

May 24, 2010
whiskeyhead in Beer

What's Your Favorite Domestic Beer and Why?

Long Trail Hefeweizen. I had it on tap at LT before they started bottling it and almost fell off the barstool :) Lovely, frothy head and a banana cream pie nose. Malty but refreshing--a good beer to have after doing yardwork.....craving it now!

May 24, 2010
whiskeyhead in Beer

Best Cheap Beer

Modelo Especial...only canned beer I drink!

May 24, 2010
whiskeyhead in Beer

Beginning Homebrew Advice

Follow LStaff's checklist to a T and you'll be fine. On brew days I'm the "partner" and my husband's the mad scientist doing all the measuring and gravity checks. We keep a giant bucket of StarSan solution in the kitchen with us and anything from spoons, wort chiller tubing to our hands gets dunked in it constantly. It's good that you're going into homebrewing knowing how important sanitation is and that you can never be too careful. I had a bottle of maple oatmeal stout explode in my face upon opening, and we've been extra careful since that batch!

But do try dry yeast first. The activators can drive you nuts by worrying if they've "puffed" enough until you've brewed with them a few times.

On a side note, if this is something you think you'd like to make a regular hobby, there's nothing quite like keg fermentation and having cold beer on tap in your house/garage, or in our case, on the back porch. We bought a chest freezer off craig's list and my husband rigged it to a refrigerator rather than freezer temp. Now two weeks after brew day we have perfect, ice cold beer every time :)

Palmer's book is excellent, as is Papazian's. And I particularly like the recipe ideas in Mosher's "Radical Brewing." Good luck and have fun with it :)

May 24, 2010
whiskeyhead in Beer

Worst Beer Ever?

Anything in a green bottle is skunked beer no matter how fancy the label (i.e. Rolling Rock). But the most undrinkable beer I've ever had is New England Brewing Co.'s Elm City Lager in a can. That stuff is nastier than my first attempt at homebrewing years ago.

May 24, 2010
whiskeyhead in Beer

Look at these Le Creuset colors!

Beautiful! Those belong in my 50's kitchen. I'd probably be too afraid to use them, though. Just stare at 'em and drool :)

May 24, 2010
whiskeyhead in Cookware

Charcoal grilling with a cast iron wok?

I've said I wanted to try this for a few years, but this summer I'm investing in a cast iron wok to use on the grill because my husband is already having too much fun being the burger and chops master--now it's my turn!

I'm just curious if anyone has tried and enjoyed cooking this way, and if you have any tips to share in regards to safety, seasoning/oils, cleaning, etc. Not looking for a discourse on how cast iron stinks and carbon steel is the only way to go.....I have a cs wok and am purchasing this one in addition to try something different ;)

Also, and this may be a dumb question, should I go with a flat or round bottomed wok?

Thanks for the input.

May 24, 2010
whiskeyhead in Cookware

what do you want me to do about it?

Well said, jfood. While I do agree the employee's reaction was quite smarmy, the thing that baffles me is the manager's response. Then again, they've probably had some ridiculous complaints in the past and just assumed from the beginning that this was going to be another one to add to the pile. As someone who's worked retail through college and grad school, I can say with assurance that for every crabby employee there are five nasty customers. Do I think it was taboo for pinstripe to ask for 3 samples? No. Would I have done the same, probably not because I'm far too oriented with being on the other side of the counter and because I do know what banana tastes like ;)

But to answer pinstripe's question, "what do I say?" I'd let it be. If you really like their gelato, then wait a while and go back for more. Who knows, maybe something was said to the employee(s) and you might find the shop has a more customer-friendly environment. One can dream. But don't take it personally. I once had a manager call my house to schedule a job interview with someone I don't know and when I took the time to return his call (since I thought maybe the intended receiver really needed the job) I got an aggravated "Well, this is the number he gave me" and a hangup when a simple "Thanks for letting me know" would have sufficed. I can count on one hand the number of business (especially service industry) owners I've known who are also happy people--so consider yourself the lucky one.

May 24, 2010
whiskeyhead in Not About Food

Breakfast in Hamden CT

Whitney Donut and Sandwich Shop on Whitney Ave. They have great breakfast and lunch specials and you can order to go, sit at a table, or be served at the counter. It's not a dive, but it's not the Ritz, either.

May 23, 2010
whiskeyhead in Southern New England

Best Indian Food Restaurants in CT?

Oh, no, more Indian restaurants to fall in love with....just what I needed :)

I've been to the grocery part to stock up on spices. Will have to stop in next time I have a hankering for samosas.

And it's clear that I should try Coromandel. I'm surprised no one mentioned Zaroka (or Royal India, where the food is pretty good although the ambiance is less than perfect...unless you enjoy watching your reflection eat) which is one of my favorite restaurants in the city...not greasy, unlike India Palace, which is the McDonald's of Indian food, but nothing beats the nap that follows dining there :)

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Coromandel
25 Old Kings Hwy N Ste 11, Darien, CT 06820

Zaroka Bar and Restaurant
148 York St, New Haven, CT 06511

Royal India Restaurant
42 Merrimack St, Haverhill, MA 01830

May 23, 2010
whiskeyhead in Southern New England

Apple-Brined Grilled Pork Chops

May 23, 2010
whiskeyhead in Recipes

Zucchini Boats with Ricotta and Basil

May 23, 2010
whiskeyhead in Recipes

Anyone willing to share their favorite Asian grocery/market in CT?

I haven't seen this topic posted elsewhere, but if I missed it--my apologies.

I'm curious to know fellow Nutmeggers' Asian market of choice in terms of variety and price. I've only been to Food Star in Hamden, Asian Supermarket in Milford and A Dong in West Hartford (my favorite). A Dong was recommended to me by my Japanese aunt who goes there periodically to stock up. Compared to the other stores I've visited, their selection and price is impressive, but I'm looking to try other locations around CT.

I'm particularly interested to know if anyone's been to Oriental Pantry on Orange St in New Haven. I've heard they're very expensive, but am willing to try it out if they stock any Japanese or Korean items the other markets are lacking.

Thanks in advance!

May 23, 2010
whiskeyhead in Southern New England

WHERE to eat for my first visit to San Francisco

Snow Garden on Grant (in Chinatown) is the absolute best Chinese food. Inexpensive and never crowded (i.e. not a tourist trap). My husband and I went there several times on our recent trip to SF. The wontons are so fresh and unlike what you'd get with take-out and sweet and sour chicken is chicken stir-fried with veggies in sauce, not chicken tenders with dipping sauce. Their fried rice is excellent as well, and not overly greasy. If you order a dinner for two, you'll leave with leftovers. Highly recommended !

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Snow Garden
712 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94108

May 22, 2010
whiskeyhead in San Francisco Bay Area