KarenDW's Profile

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Would you have asked...? Food to be thrown out

<<re the whole *taking leftovers home in a box* as a cultural issue...

I can remember when it wasn't done. Sometime in my early teens came the doggie bag, then came large capacity refrigerators and microwaves in almost every home kitchen - and the doggie bag became the leftovers box.>>

Yes, I recognize that there are cultural influences. In the situation I referenced up-thread, we were in a casual Cantonese restaurant in a suburban Vancouver neighbourhood. In order to enjoy a variety of dishes, our family ordered several items, fully intending to take home any excess.

17 minutes ago
KarenDW in Not About Food

Would you have asked...? Food to be thrown out

"that is unusual" meaning, the act of bringing my own containers?
The dinner was held in a casual Cantonese-style neighbourhood family restaurant. Our family have dined there often. Taking food home, after a meal, is very common in that venue, and in our family's culture. At that particular venue, take-away food is packed in styrene foam clamshell containers, which tend to leak. For logistical and environmental reasons, I bring my own containers, and reusable bag.

20 minutes ago
KarenDW in Not About Food

Do You Use Refrigerator Drawer Liners? Worth it?

IDK, for $4, I'd just try them and see whether or not it's a good fit for me and my fridge. In my region, $4 doesn't even buy a beer or a good juice.

2 days ago
KarenDW in General Topics

Closed restaurants, cafes, etc.

wow. That (rebranding) was quick. I was at ABC on Boundary with my dad, not 3 months ago.

Jul 31, 2015
KarenDW in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

20 hour layover in Vancouver, recs?

Others may not agree, but I happen to like the poutine (with "extra crispy fries" at Fritz Belgian Fry house on Davie near Granville, downtown. 10 minute walk from the Yaletown Canadaline station. Conveniently located on my way home from... nearly everywhere.

Jul 31, 2015
KarenDW in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Would you have asked...? Food to be thrown out

#urbancultureshock = recognizing the differences between different urban environments. I love Melbourne!
I'm pretty sure that our new family were astonished that I would have thought to bring my own containers.

Jul 31, 2015
KarenDW in Not About Food

No kids allowed?

<I love children, but I don't always like their parents.>
I'm allergic to children, but it's the parents of ill-behaved ones who give me the twitches.
Honestly, as the single mom of two kids, I really appreciated that I had the means to take my kids out to dinner a couple of times a month. We all need to get out, now and then. But the girls did understand the need to moderate their behaviors to suit the environment.
I think that what helped to form my girls' love of eating out... was my (Cantonese) family's celebration of food-based gatherings.

Jul 31, 2015
KarenDW in Not About Food

Would you have asked...? Food to be thrown out

I'm in Vancouver, Canada. Not long ago, our family hosted some new in-laws from Melbourne, Australia to a multi-dish/course Cantonese dinner. There were many dishes, and so therefore, some excess food. Anticipating this, I had brought along reusable containers for taking home extra food. I really dislike using disposable styro boxes! Anyhow, the completely surprised look on our guests' faces was quite unexpected on my part. My hosting family explained the desire to avoid wasting food. Our guests understood. #urbancultureshock

Jul 29, 2015
KarenDW in Not About Food

Vancouver food trucks

As one who has need to rent commercial kitchens on occasion, I can attest that the high cost of kitchen rental, relative to gross income, is one significant barrier to success.

Jul 28, 2015
KarenDW in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

What to do with a bunch of sliced havarti cheese?

Slice into thin strips, freeze in heavy recloseable zip bags. Once frozen, "rustle up" the bag a bit, to loosen the cheese bits for later use, and remove excess air.
There are slight textural changes from freezing, usually towards being more crumbly.

Jul 28, 2015
KarenDW in Home Cooking

Canning Question (Peaches)

<<I did read that if the food is in contact with the underside of the lid, it will make a dull sound--how do I know if that's the case or if it isn't a good seal?>>
If you remove the ring, and take a look at the seal, you should be able to see whether or not the fruit it touching the lid. :)
If the jars pass the other seal tests, I'd say good to go! Check the jars for leakage, or damage, when you are ready to use.

Jul 28, 2015
KarenDW in Home Cooking

What do you keep stocked at home?

When space in the freezer permits, I do like to keep both raw and cooked sausage. Also cooked, seasoned ground meats, diced roast chicken or beef. Grated cheese.

Jul 27, 2015
KarenDW in General Topics

Does parking make a difference for you ?

+1
I drive an "older" Toyota Matrix. With scratched up paint.
Not a fancy hybrid or German engineered sport coupe, that my husband would want. (and he would park far away from the maddening crowds, to reduce the risk of door dings)

Jul 25, 2015
KarenDW in Not About Food

$15 Minimum Wage=No Tip

A cash tip, of $20+, depending upon the total bill and service requirements.

And for those who don't want to pay "too much" as a tip... consider that many FOH and BOH employees neither work full time, nor have any sort of benefits related thereto.
In Canada, if an employee works for more than one employer (i.e., like 75% of the ppl in my circle) our at-source deductions for such things a pension, employment insurance and income tax may not reflect our actual income. The result is a large bill at fiscal year-end, for an employee who is only being paid minimum wage, and barely/not able to save enough $$ to pay the tax(wo)man/IRS anyways. Really, it's all just be big hot mess.
Better to recognize that people need a guaranteed minimum income, and that some professions should earn more than others.

Jul 25, 2015
KarenDW in Not About Food
1

Beloved picky guests

The most challenging family guest I've hosted is allergic to pepper (black, chili); and somewhat garlic averse. We never host "a la minute", although most days I have a chicken breast or thigh in the freezer. Hardest part is ensuring that dressings or marinades are pepper-free.
Other than the pepper issue, she is easy going and a wonderful conversationalist. #greatguest
I am guilty of being a picky guest. Generally avoid fresh dairy (i.e., milk, cream) and milled grains (pasta, flour; even gluten free). But will take a very small sample if the dish otherwise looks appealing. And I can easily eat Asian rice noodles, but not really the brown rice pasta. Believe me, it's frustrating for me too, because I love food!
Usually, I can eat around whatever is being served, except for dessert. Then I take a small (i.e., 2 tbsp) portion, taste, and then leave alone, because I'm too full.
Dear friends, please don't hate me because I can't eat the whole wedge of pie. I asked for "just a bite".
Also, I don't expect someone to try and make a GF/DF version of their favourite dessert, just for me. I'd much rather have a BITE of the original, favourite, version.

How do you take your hard boiled eggs (when you eat them as-is)?

Cut in half, salt and pepper. Caesar cocktail or tomato "martini" on the side.

Jul 18, 2015
KarenDW in General Topics

The well equipped kitchen

When living abroad, my daughter laments the lack of baking supplies (i.e., baking powder, yeast, granulated sugar) and some spices.

Jul 16, 2015
KarenDW in Cookware

The well equipped kitchen

Important for me? A good paring knife. To the degree that when I am traveling, I purchase a new knife in each town we stay more than a few days. (carry-on baggage only, so no packing knives!)
I prefer heavy-based cookware. A wooden/bamboo stirring spoon.
A well-equipped kitchen would include:
square containers, calibrated sizes, for mise en place and storage;
more than one cutting board;
glass jars for storage;
parchment paper!
the spices I like to use;
reasonably powerful hand mixer; food processor a nice addition, especially with grater blades
box grater AND microplane grater
fine and coarse mesh sieves colanders
espresso or french press coffee maker :)
and LOTS of kitchen linens

Jul 16, 2015
KarenDW in Cookware

Does parking make a difference for you ?

As I sometimes buy over 100 lbs of product at the grocery store, YES, I do like to find parking within 100 yds. I will pay for parking if necessary. Bonus if undercover (I live in the PNW, and it rains sometimes). Some days, even pushing a loaded cart further than 50 ft seems "far".
WRT restaurants, 100 yards, or even 200 yds, to parking or transit is totally fine.

Jul 15, 2015
KarenDW in Not About Food

Dinner before a show at the Stanley Theatre?

Heirloom, on 12th Ave, west of Granville. Plant-based foods plus some dairy.
I'm an ominvore, and really enjoyed my recent hearty lunch at Heirloom.

Jul 14, 2015
KarenDW in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

How to turn this dip into a sauce?

The liquid which you use to thin to a sauce might depend upon the particular flavors that you love about the dip.
Options include: water, walnut oil, red wine vinegar, pomegranate juice, pomegranate molasses... or combinations thereof.

Jul 12, 2015
KarenDW in Home Cooking

Braised Short Rib is dry in the middle?

It would seem to me, that the marbling in the meat was insufficient. When purchasing the beef, look for pieces which have fat distributed throughout the muscle tissue.

Glad to hear that the beef is tender enough.
It's possible that, if left overnight in the fridge, the meat will re-absorb some of the cooking liquid. Whenever possible, I prepare a braised dish the day before I plan to serve. Chill, remove surface fat. Carve/slice/shred; reheat in (some of) cooking liquid. 95% of the time, this results in deliciousness.

Jul 12, 2015
KarenDW in Home Cooking
1

Can I freeze this borscht?

I'd freeze, in small portions, rather than bother to eat the same thing every day for a week.
Heat gently. Stir before eating. Expect some separation after freezing.
Will still taste good, and will still be safe to eat.

Jul 12, 2015
KarenDW in Home Cooking

Room temperature squash storage

Definitely refrigerate,if you are able to make the space.

Jul 11, 2015
KarenDW in General Topics

How long will homemade jam last if I don't can it?

take a look at Food in Jars,
http://foodinjars.com/2013/06/small-b...
combining figs and strawberries.

Jul 11, 2015
KarenDW in General Topics

visit to Vancouver

Yew at the Four Seasons is one of our favourite "for a group" brunch places. Especially on Sundays, when wine is 1/2 price :)
For your third night, would you consider taking public transit, or a taxi, out of the downtown core? If so, then you could visit Kirin for Chinese, or perhaps one of the (suburban) Richmond casual Chinese restaurants. For casual, our family likes Continental, but it's not very transit accessible.

4 elegant but simple dinner recipes / menus to master for dinner parties

In addition to the recipe ideas provided by other posters, might I recommend... hire someone to wash dishes/assist with clearing plates, moving food in and out of the oven, etc., so that you, as Host, can be more available to your guests.
Or, at the very least, have a large tote box to contain used dishes after each course, so that you're not juggling during the dinner party.
I second the recommendation above, to set out your serving dishes, with labels, the day before.

Jul 11, 2015
KarenDW in Home Cooking
1

canning roasted red peppers?

http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_04/peppe...
For pressure canning, no added liquid required.

Jul 11, 2015
KarenDW in Home Cooking

Is there any reason to NOT wash fruit before canning?

I rinse almost all fruit and veg before cooking or processing (unless I forget). Some purchased stuff, I wash with soap.
As much concerned about dirt and bacteria on the surface, as pesticides or production chemicals.

Freezing pie dough

With this method, we would freeze the pastry lined pans separately (IQF). Then stack with waxed paper between, before wrapping, to conserve space.

Jul 07, 2015
KarenDW in Home Cooking