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LawnGnome's Profile

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Brand new knife already dull?

Exactly. For most home users, it makes more sense to buy a hard japanese steel knife that will need sharpening every 6 months or so with home use, than it would to buy 3-4 $80 stones to sharpen it at home.

Though eventually learning to use whetstones will make sense depending on how much time you plan to devote to using them. They are not easy to use properly.

Also, it is misinformation when anyone says a honing steel sharpens a knife. It does just what it says in its name. Hone.

Also, german knives use very soft (comparatively) steel, a softer steel can't take the same edge harder steel can. And hard steel can't take the edge a ceramic blade can.

Once you have worked with, and sharpened german stainless steel, japanese stainless steel, japanese carbon steel, and ceramic bladed knives, you will know exactly what I am talking about.

Also, most henckels have a full bolster. Which means in about 4-5 years of use and sharpening, the blade will be ground to above the bolster. So that the blade will no longer have complete contact with the cutting surface, leaving accordion cuts.

Jan 18, 2012
LawnGnome in Cookware

Brand new knife already dull?

Well, Henckel choice is the first issue. They use very soft stainless steel. They sharpen easy, but don't hold an edge. Especially if you don't hone your knife with every use.

Which brings me to the misinformation that people have spread here so far. A honing steel does just that, hones a knife. Not sharpen it. Honing straightens out a bent edge, sharpening creates a new edge.

Now for a few tips to keep your blade sharp.

Wood or plastic boards only.
Handwash only.
Never let acidic juice sit on the knife. Cut a tomato? Rinse immediately.
Never let your knife touch a hard surface like a metal or marble countertop.
Never scrap your knife along your board to move food. Use the heel instead. A little practice and it becomes second nature.
Hone your knife with every use, at the correct angle. Look to the manufacturer for which angle the blade is ground to.

And next time.... Buy harder steel. Not necessarily carbon steel. But harder than Henckels.

Jan 15, 2012
LawnGnome in Cookware

Loft Organics. Anyone tried them?

So a few months back a company called Loft Organics approached my workplace to be a drop off point for their new organic delivery company. We didn't go through with it as having people in and out during dinner rush.

Anyways, I received a small flyer for their program in the mail yesterday and decided to try it out.

We had the option of either a 25$ bag, or a 37$ box, one for singles/couples, the other for families. Both with the option of only local organic produce, or local and non-local organic produce.

We went with the local 25$ bag option. Our order was confirmed today, and were instructed to bring 25$ cash in an envelope to MiraVena Yoga. The listed possible items in this weeks bag are.

NEXT WEEK'S EXPECTED LOCAL BAG CONTENTS:
apples, tomatoes, celery, sweet potatoes, kale, carrots, leek, canary honeydew, red or white potatoes, cooking onion, lettuce

EXPECTED COMBO BAG CONTENTS:
valencia oranges, kiwi, bartlett pears, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, leeks, carrots, red or white potatoes, cooking onion, lettuce

EXPECTED LOCAL BOX CONTENTS:
spinach, tomatillos, apples, tomatoes, celery, sweet potatoes, kale, carrots, leeks, canary honeydew, red or white potatoes, cooking onion, lettuce, parsley

EXPECTED COMBO BOX CONTENTS:
valencia oranges, kiwi, bartlett pears, canary honeydew, celery, spinach, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, leeks, carrots, red or white potatoes, cooking onion, lettuce, parsley

You also have the option to never receive 5 certain items in your bags. We chose apples and celery, So it will be interesting to see what they replace it with.

Has anyone else tried this program? I will post back once I pick up the order on Wednesdays,

Ontario Wild Blueberries

"Wild" Blueberries aren't actually picked wild. They just come from the lowbrush cultivars rather than the highbush ones.

The ones we get from BC at my work are good, But they aren't like the ones I've picked canoeing.

Making flavoured salts

Well, So far it seems to be working. I also tried a balsamic salt. The salt is taking on the colour of the liquids I've been using and the flavour. The resulting crystals are a bit cloudy, So I am assuming the particles are being trapped in the salt crystals when they reform as impurities (flavourful ones). I'll try to post pictures as my progress continues.

Jun 13, 2011
LawnGnome in Home Cooking

Making flavoured salts

Okay, So I would like to make a few different flavoured salts. However, all the how-to's I seen online aren't what I consider flavoured salts, but just salt mixtures. Spices/etc mixed with salt.

What I want however is the actual salt crystals to contain the flavouring. So I am currently trying to make a shiitake mushroom salt, but how I am doing it. I plan on making a mushroom stock, then adding kosher salt, then I plan on putting it in the oven on a glass tray on low heat to recrystallize the salt.

Has anyone tried something similar?

Jun 13, 2011
LawnGnome in Home Cooking

My Server Is Stoned!

I find it a bit funny how many people here seem outraged by stoned/high kitchen/wait staff. It is in tons of places. From a taco stand to high-end. You have probably been served by many stoned wait staff. And if you didn't notice, where is the harm. You must realize people are high around you all the time, for a lot of people out there who are daily smokers, you couldn't tell.

*Note I am an ex-smoker, don't smoke pot anymore.

Jun 08, 2011
LawnGnome in Features

My Server Is Stoned!

I've always told the people I've worked with, that I don't care if they are high. As long as I can't tell they are high, and they are doing their job properly.

If they manage that, why should I care if someone is high? Doesn't seem much different from someone wired on energy drinks.

Jun 07, 2011
LawnGnome in Features

Reform School for Tightwad Tippers

The reason why we have this system isn't to save the restaurant money. As if they paid servers more, they would simply raise the price of the meal to compensate.

The reason for tipping is so servers don't get lazy. Their income is based on their performance as a server, for the most part. It also gives the patron to show their dissatisfaction with poor service by leaving a poor tip to reflect that.

How many stories have their been on here about how once there is automatic gratuity for large parties, the servers then pay little attention to the customers. Because their income is then going to be the same whether they provide excellent service, or poor service.

I personally don't agree with tipping on tax, as here in Ontario the tax rates are pretty high, however I do it anyways purely for convenience.

Jun 01, 2011
LawnGnome in Features

Is Jamie Oliver Right or Wrong About Sugary Milk in Schools?

Since when should he have the right to dictate what other people are allowed to consume. Banning things does not work, it hasn't worked for so many things before this, and it won't work now. You want to change someone's behaviors? Educate them on the benefits of changing. Trying to outlaw things because you disagree with them seems akin to facism.

Also, not sure about in your regions, but in Ontario, the most common 250ml carton of chocolate milk only has 10 more calories per 250ml, and half of the fat of the most available white milk. Anyone know the nutritional information for milk available at american schools?

May 03, 2011
LawnGnome in Features

Grinding chicken, Use skin?

Well, I am thinking of buying a whole chicken to make some ground chicken, mostly for burgers. I was wondering though what your thoughts were on using the skin, or if I should only just the meat. There is a lot of flavour in the skin, but I am concerned it may alter the texture in an undesirable way.

So any advice?

Apr 25, 2011
LawnGnome in Home Cooking

Pop Some Nut Butter into Your Bag

Oddly named product...

Apr 25, 2011
LawnGnome in Features

The Etiquette of Dumpster Diving

Also, just another thought I had. The dumpster divers are putting the business at risk of liability if the diver gets injured. Most dumpsters aren't very accessible, and normally have heavy lids. What if someone got injured and doesn't get discovered for days? I'm sure they'd be lawsuits, at the least the companies insurance premiums going up, because the insurance company would probably claim it wasn't properly secured.

Point is, dumpsters are private property, on private property. If you want to use someones property, do so with permission

Apr 20, 2011
LawnGnome in Features

The Etiquette of Dumpster Diving

I knew a dumpster diver. Thought he was sticking it to the man. Also thought he was sticking it to the man when he got evicted for not paying his landlord. To a some more perspective to it.

Also, I understand damaged fruit and the like. But do these people consider maybe there is a reason they are throwing out a case of olive oil, bacon, or a whole wheel of cheese? Companies dont just throw stuff like that out without reason. Maybe that bacon was left outside at room temp for a day or so before someone noticed and tossed it?

Apr 19, 2011
LawnGnome in Features

Please Pass the Scavenged-Bone Soup

I really am surprised by how many people here would think it ok to serve something made from these to guests?

Would it also be fine if I scraped someones plate of uneaten rice to make fried rice the next day for guests?

Apr 14, 2011
LawnGnome in Features

Please Pass the Scavenged-Bone Soup

I think if you save them for a stock only you will be consuming, then there really isn't a problem.

But I don't think you should use it to cook anything for someone else.

Apr 13, 2011
LawnGnome in Features

Mexican recipes

Traditional as in something that would be served by someone's grandmother in Mexico, or grew up with.

There is lots of things I grew up with in Canada, I'd like to experience what that would be if I had lived in Mexico.

I find it more interesting than re-interpreted western European cooking.

Apr 09, 2011
LawnGnome in General Topics

Mexican recipes

Does anyone know any good sites for traditional Mexican dishes? No tex mex or the like, traditional mexican only.
It's so hard to wade through the watered down version of Mexican food, and I am sure someone here has a good site.

Cheers.

Apr 09, 2011
LawnGnome in General Topics

Family Sues Chinese Restaurant For Death Due To Allergy....

I believe the parents should be shouldering the blame for this for several reasons. If their child's allergies were severe enough to cause death, they should be preparing as much of his food as possible. My uncle has severe food allergies and realized he cannot put it upon restaurants to make sure his food isnt contaminated, at most restaurants there is far to many variables to properly prepare food for people with deathly allergies. Why take the risk?

Also, why would they let their child eat food that normally has large amounts of peanuts in it? I wouldn't let my child eat mexican if they had a chilli allergy, I would also think it negligent to just ask the restaurant to not use chillies and expect that was enough.

Lastly, and most important I think, why would they send their child to school without their epi-pen, and make sure the school knew how to properly administer it?

If a child had a heart condition, I'd expect the parents to make sure the child/school kept the medication available at all time, as well as make sure they are properly trained how to provide it. And if that was beyond what the school was capable of, then find another school, or homeschool.

The parents are responsible for their children, and there was several steps they could have done that could have made this avoidable.

Apr 08, 2011
LawnGnome in Food Media & News

Classic BLT Sandwich

Like a video on here showed, toasting the bread in the bacon grease makes a BLT next level, for flavour as well as heart attacks.

But come on, recipes like this make me think chow might become like food networks recipes.

See: Late Night Bacon.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ra...

Apr 06, 2011
LawnGnome in Recipes

LCBO Already Discontinued Maudite and now La Fin Du Monde is getting harder to find!!

anyone know how the winerack operates and who owns it? Is it private?

Apr 05, 2011
LawnGnome in Beer

Curry: red, green, yellow. What's the difference?

Curry paste is far superior to jar, both in quality and in price. A small size of Aroy-D curry paste sells here for 2.50-3.00. And is enough for 10 or so batches.

Also, after much testing, I've found never skimp on the coconut milk quality, and that coconut cream is ideal.

http://www.ettason.com/products_detai...

And adding a tablespoon of fish sauce and palm sugar near the end is vital to get the right flavour. Or brown sugar if you cant find palm sugar.

Tastes exactly or better than restaurant curries, since a lot of thai places use this exact product.

LCBO Already Discontinued Maudite and now La Fin Du Monde is getting harder to find!!

So I stopped by the local LCBO tonight. I inquired about my order for a case of LFDM. I was told I was out of luck, it has been discontinued. I talked with him for a while about LCBO policies, and he informed me that if a store cant move 500 units of a SKU, it will be dropped.

While discussing it with my SO, I came to the conclusion the LCBO puts far too much emphasis on Ontario products, while for the most part, neglecting other Canadian brands. I've found Ontario products to be largely lacking in the quality/cost ratio, and believe we should support all Canadian products fairly.

One of the recommendations I received from the staff at the LCBO when asking about LFDM, was for a Muskoka Weiss beer, for 7.95 per 750ml bottle. Not even in the same category. Either way though not nearly as well regarded as unibroue products, and almost twice the price.

Agh, Now I'm reminded how they only carry plymouth gin for a limited time.

Apr 01, 2011
LawnGnome in Beer

LCBO Already Discontinued Maudite and now La Fin Du Monde is getting harder to find!!

Good point actually.

There is a local microbrew (Old Credit Brewing) that sells an unpasteurized beer. Great beer, but normally when I buy it through the LCBO, it has noticeably gone sour.

I've tried bringing it to the attention of the staff that it must be constantly refrigerated, even says so on the instructions, but they reassure me they keep it cold. However I constantly find it out on the unrefrigerated shelves, as well as the coolers. I do know they also dont cool it before it is stocked on the shelves, as they dont have a fridge in the back.

I plan on phoning the brewer to inform them, as their great product is being tarnished by the LCBO's improper handling of their beer.

Mar 31, 2011
LawnGnome in Beer

LCBO Already Discontinued Maudite and now La Fin Du Monde is getting harder to find!!

Just seen this thread, earlier tonight I posted about LFDM. CHOW's lousy search engine didn't show me this thread.

Anyways, LFDM is hands down my favorite beer, and yes it is getting harder to find. It is a shame the LCBO nixes all of the real quality products, especially a Canadian one.

What I have done is ordered to my local LCBO. However, they took 5 weeks to get my order in, and only got me 6 instead of the case of 12 I asked for. Good thing it was just for at home, and I wasn't planning on bringing it to a party or anything.

I would suggest if your local LCBO doesn't carry it, then order it through them. It will hopefully show the LCBO that there is demand for these beers.

Mar 31, 2011
LawnGnome in Beer

La Fin Du Monde

French Canadian beer from Quebec's Unibroue. Any one else here enjoy it as much as I? It isn't carried at all LCBO's (Ontario's only liquor source, government run), and when I try ordering it at my local one, they always seem to mess up the order. Took them 5 weeks for them to get me six, ordered twelve.

Hopefully this next order will go smoother.

So for those who have tried it, thoughts? Recommendations on similar style beers to try?

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia...

Mar 30, 2011
LawnGnome in Beer

Curry: red, green, yellow. What's the difference?

Red curry with bbq duck, bamboo shoots, lychee, and sweet bell peppers, garnished with extra dash of coconut milk and thai basil. So good.

Mar 30, 2011
LawnGnome in General Topics

The Grocery List Rorschach Test

While I don't think there is wrong with anyone posting this, and ridiculing it. As I'm sure many people ridiculing the list writer are any better educated, otherwise they would see how this is a product of a damaged social system.

However, I do find it a bit distasteful for CHOW to be posting this. As the person who wrote the CHOW article seems rather apathetic about the whole thing.

Mar 24, 2011
LawnGnome in Features

4 Great Infomercial Gadgets (and 2 Sucky Ones)

best things with onions is just keep at it, and eventually they won't even bring a single tear.

Mar 24, 2011
LawnGnome in Features

Hoisin Explosion Chicken

I make this a little different. I don't bother with cooking the chicken in the water, i stir fry it. Remove. Then add veg like shitake mushrooms, bell peppers, onion. then combine everything.

Feb 28, 2011
LawnGnome in Recipes