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Nyleve's Profile

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Wild leeks are up!

Probably best to find some local naturalist who gives a course on wild edibles. You should never eat anything you find without knowing exactly what it is. You can get very sick (or worse). A good guidebook can be helpful, but sometimes it's hard to identify the real thing from photos. I've been picking wild edibles for well over 30 years and there are still some things I won't eat because I'm not absolutely sure.

about 3 hours ago
Nyleve in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Wild leeks are up!

Mantis eggs. Please tell me you don't eat them.

Actually we had a really nice dinner at Dandylion on Queen West the other night and the vegetable mixture that came with my cod included knotweed (which I have on my property and have never bothered to eat) and garlic mustard, which is a terrible invasive plant that I've been pulling out of the roadside ditches whenever I find it. Now I think I'll eat it! I know there are crayfish in the local creek but I've never tried to cook them. Did you ever do anything with them?

about 14 hours ago
Nyleve in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Wild leeks are up!

Oh nice! I just checked my fiddlehead spot this morning and they're not up yet. I'm giving them another few days - and if it rains...maybe even morels!

is salt really heated to 1200 degrees F?

If salt is the linchpin of your attempt to have a healthy diet, you already have a problem. If you're eating enough salt that the variety would make a nutritional difference to you, then you're eating too much salt. In reasonable quantities, the type of salt you consume will make absolutely no difference except for the iodine it may or may not contain. Use the prettiest salt you can afford and eat good food.

Free ravioli attachment!

I picked up a ravioli attachment for a manual pasta machine at Value Village for 99 cents. Unfortunately it doesn't fit my machine. I thought I had a Marcato and I actually have an Imperia, so I'd be happy to pass it along to anyone who wants it. Would appreciate the cost of postage but otherwise I don't want to sell it - just give it to someone who can use it. Looks to be all there.

I live near Peterborough, so someone nearby or passing through the area would be ideal. Otherwise we can work something out.

Apr 23, 2015
Nyleve in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Wild leeks are up!

You are right. The popularity of ramps in recent years has been bad news for the wild plant. Unfortunately there will always be someone willing to buy them, and so they're worth collecting. I actually meant to add to my previous post the fact that people who sell ramps commercially will most likely make up whatever story they think will make the buyer happy, so asking is probably pointless. But it's important to ask anyway, I think. I forage on my own property or a friend's, and only pick for my own use. So I have a vested interest in keeping the patch healthy.

Apr 17, 2015
Nyleve in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Wild leeks are up!

Just checked my secret spot yesterday and the wild leeks/ramps are up an inch or so. I'll give them a few days to get taller before digging them but in some areas they may be ready.

If you dig, please practice good leek etiquette: only take a few leeks from any area and leave lots behind. They take ages to spread and greedy digging can completely destroy a leek patch which may never recover. If you buy them at the market, ask the vendor where they came from. Not that it will prevent leek abuse entirely, but it's important to remind people to be responsible when foraging.

Apr 17, 2015
Nyleve in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Rude treatment at Khao San Road

Resolution has occurred. I received a personal note from the owner and also a public reply (see below). I responded. As far as I'm concerned the case is closed.

Apr 15, 2015
Nyleve in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Rude treatment at Khao San Road

I appreciate both your detailed explanation above and your personal email response to me. Your policy obviously is one that you have come to after some careful thought, and I understand that you've made these decisions to help your restaurant run smoothly. I wouldn't want to run a restaurant for a million dollars. That said, it was for us a poor choice as we had time constraints and were all coming from different directions to meet at the restaurant. With so many other choices in the city, I probably won't be giving Khao San Road another chance, but I'm sure many many others will.

Got a whole carton of double yolk eggs from Costco

At this time of year, older hens who have gone through their moulting season (during which they lay very few eggs) are now getting their production back up to speed. These hens may lay either gigantic eggs or very tiny ones. Commercial productions don't tend to allow an off- season, so you're getting the first eggs of young pullets, which can also be unpredictably big or small until they settle into a routine. Nothing creepy whatsoever. They're just doing what they do.

Bosch gas cooktop experience

I did pull the trigger on that cooktop. Just got a call that it has come into the dealer so I'll be picking it up soon. It won't be installed until June, though, so I won't be able to report until after that.

Apr 09, 2015
Nyleve in Cookware

Rude treatment at Khao San Road

I will contact the management directly, as has been suggested.

Rude treatment at Khao San Road

The many responses to my original post are really interesting. It's obvious that we all have different expectations for dining out, and that some things which I find unacceptable are clearly ok with other people. We definitely made a poor choice of restaurant for the evening in question and I'm not likely to return there. I have no reason to want the restaurant to fail and my one complaint here isn't going to make a bit of difference to their bottom line. Anyone who has scanned through my posting history can see that I am not a chronic complainer and most of my posts are about cooking, not restaurants. I am totally fine with the responses that defend the restaurant's policy and explanations of why it might be necessary for them to be firm about it. I don't, however, think my comments were inappropriate in the context of this board. It may just encourage the manager to suggest a little more courtesy in dealing with "difficult" customers like myself. Or maybe not. Luckily it's not my problem.

Back to cookery for me.

Rude treatment at Khao San Road

No, sorry, I didn't know this. I had no intention of calling out the owner - I was just acknowledging the fact that I know he posts here. If that was inappropriate, I apologize. I have edited my original post to remove the reference.

Mar 31, 2015
Nyleve in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Rude treatment at Khao San Road

Wow. Really? In my opinion, name-calling is a pretty juvenile way of responding to my original post. This is not about revenge, entitlement or being special. It's about basic manners and customer service. In the end, if we had been spoken to politely, with any empathy or even just a smidgen of an apology about how sorry she was that we were inconvenienced, it would have played out completely differently. I don't care that the restaurant needs to turn over x tables or that they are insanely busy and want to keep things running smoothly - I want to be talked to with at least a bit of respect as a paying customer. It would most certainly have paid off. If that's considered "entitlement" then I am obviously living in a different universe than the rest of the world.

For what it's worth, we did ask to talk with the manager but were told he was not at the restaurant at the time.

No, I won't be back. I am not trying to "take business away" from the restaurant. Not that I possibly could. They will be full to the rafters every single night with people who are ok with this type of scene. I am obviously not.

Rude treatment at Khao San Road

I had a really nasty experience the other night at Khao San Road. We were going to an event at The Lightbox on Sunday night and needed a restaurant in walking distance because one of our party needed to eat and run to get to the venue early. 4 of us arrived at the restaurant exactly at 5:00, when the restaurant opened; the 5th member of the party was on his way - maybe 5 or 10 minutes away. We asked for a table for 5. One of the two hostesses asked if the entire party was there and I Told her that one was late but we would sit down and order for the table anyway. She refused to seat us saying that they only seat full parties. I explained that the latecomer was going to arrive in just a few minutes and that we were sharing dishes so would order everything. She said if she seated us, we would be put at a table for 4 and that the 5th wouldn't be allowed to join us. The 5th was my son, by the way. I said don't worry we wouldn't hold anything up and that there wouldn't be any late ordering. We were told to "go stand over by the wall and wait until our party was complete. When I objected, the second hostess looked me in the eye and said "What she is trying to tell you is that she wants you to go and stand over there until bla bla bla." It was a case of Bad Cop- Bad Cop.

Now, look. We are older folks. Maybe we just don't get the vibe of the place and maybe we should have just gone with the flow and quietly stood by the wall as we were told. But I'm sorry, it was brusque to the point of nastiness and if we had any extra time we would have simply left and gone elsewhere. But we had no extra time. So 3 minutes later my son arrived and we were seated.The food was delicious and our server was very sweet. So there's that. But one detail: we were seated at a table for 4 with an additional chair pulled up to the end. Not that that was a problem - but clearly we would have had that same table whether we were 4 or 5.

On leaving, I stopped to let the hostess know that I found her treatment of us unacceptable. Not only were we not offered any sort of apology, but she actually accused me of being rude and when I asked for her name she refused to give it to me and then turned and walked away. Just like that.

I can tell you one thing. In spite of the food, I will not be back. None of us will be back. A restaurant is supposed to be about hospitality and accommodation. I get that Khao San Road is a busy, thriving restaurant and that you are not lacking for customers. But still, there is never any excuse for treating any potential customer with anything less than friendliness and welcome. I understand you have rules, but sometimes - and in this case - they don't make enough sense that they cannot be bent. The two hostesses need a bit of sensitivity training.

Mar 31, 2015
Nyleve in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Near Lightbox tonight

Looking for someplace walking distance to TIFF Lightbox for tonight. Currently planning to go to KHao San Road, but if there's decent Italian (casual) nearby, maybe would prefer that. One of my friends says she's tired of Thai. Nothing high-end - we have to eat and run to attend an event.

Mar 29, 2015
Nyleve in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

What's your best yard sale or thrift store cookware find?

Ultra secret location requiring an iris scan to enter. Cannot reveal. Hint: Canada.

Mar 28, 2015
Nyleve in Cookware

What's your best yard sale or thrift store cookware find?

Our local dump has a building where you can leave stuff you don't want but might still be useful. You see something you want? Just take it! Over the years, I've found so many great things there that I can't list them all. But yesterday I found this! A beautiful Dansk paella pan - yellow enamel with just a few tiny chips around the rim. Free! It doesn't get much better than free.

'Farm Eggs'

What the hens eat has an effect on the colour of the yolks. In summer, when my hens are able to eat lots of grass and weeds the egg yolks are dark orange. In the winter their egg yolks are a paler yellow. What I understand is that the chlorophyll in plants causes the orange colour. I also know that if you feed chickens marigold flowers, their eggs are darker orange. I'm not absolutely sure the colour translates into flavour. But I do know that my own chicken eggs are much more flavourful than store bought eggs. And it's not about freshness either.

Mar 25, 2015
Nyleve in General Topics

Fresh rhubarb emergency!

Thanks for that! How funny. Well the truth is that I won't be looking for rhubarb again before our own is up in the garden. I still have some frozen left from last year.

Mar 25, 2015
Nyleve in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

'Farm Eggs'

They're my chickens. I sell excess eggs for $3.50 a dozen to friends. The photo is of the eggs I took from my hens today. Sorry for the confusion. I always feel like I'm harvesting when I collect eggs.

Mar 24, 2015
Nyleve in General Topics
1

'Farm Eggs'

This afternoon's harvest. $3.50 dozen. I love my girls.

Pinenuts and weevils. Why has this happened 2 January's in a row? A bad infestation each time. They immediatelly go for the plastic container of pinenuts and find a way in. What is the best solution as pinenuts are so expensive.

Oho. Right. OP said weevils. My mistake. But the freezer method will still work. And if the nuts or whatever are then stored in a very tightly sealed jar (glass, not plastic) afterward, it will prevent anything that might be lurking in the cupboard crevices from moving into the new jar.

Mar 24, 2015
Nyleve in Not About Food

Pinenuts and weevils. Why has this happened 2 January's in a row? A bad infestation each time. They immediatelly go for the plastic container of pinenuts and find a way in. What is the best solution as pinenuts are so expensive.

Whenever I buy anything that is prone to get weevils, I immediate put the unopened package into the freezer and leave it there for a couple of weeks. This will kill any eggs that might be in the product. When I open the package eventually, I make sure it's in a completely tight container - like a glass canning jar with the rubber canning to screwed down tight. When they're already in your house, you have a to do a full clean-out and get one of those sticky pantry moth traps to catch any of the escapees.

It's a pain in the neck when they get out of hand. Once I had an infestation of those monsters that started with a bag of dog biscuits. When I finally clued into what was going on I found the damn things crawling on the ceiling! That was a mess.

Mar 24, 2015
Nyleve in Not About Food
1

Dinner menu feedback, please

I would have thought the same but I wanted a light touch to the scallops so I took the chance. The grapefruit turned out to be very sweet and mild - it was a pink grapefruit - and went together beautifully. if the grapefruit had been really tart it might not have worked as well.

Mar 22, 2015
Nyleve in Home Cooking

Dinner menu feedback, please

That term was invented to describe him.

Mar 22, 2015
Nyleve in Home Cooking

Dinner menu feedback, please

So dinner went really well. Thanks for your feedback. I LOVED the scallop starter - it turned out perfectly. It was easy to prepare ahead to the point of cooking the scallops, which doesn't take any time at all. The short ribs were delicious and I made oven baked polenta so i didn't have to stand around stirring. The asparagus went into the oven just before I served the starter. Not local - alas - we still have snow on the ground here, local asparagus won't be up for probably a month and a half, at least.

That said, I think I won't be inviting that particular couple over anytime soon again. He is a pompous "mansplainer" and she is just weird. Luckily we also had another couple over to balance out the ones I don't like. On the other hand, the mansplainer brings very good wine, so it wasn't all bad.

Passover

Here's my potato kugel recipe. I don't usually freeze it. I bake it a day or two ahead of time and refrigerate. I think it would probably be ok frozen, but I don't bother.

Potato Kugel

2 tbsp. vegetable oil
4 large potatoes, peeled
1 onion, finely minced or grated
3 eggs
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup flour or potato starch
Additional oil for top of kugel

Preheat the oven to 375o F. Pour oil into an 8 or 9-inch square baking dish and place in the oven while it reheats.

Meanwhile, grate the potatoes on the large holes of a grater (or in a food processor with the shredding disk). Dump into a strainer and run cold water over it to keep it from turning black. Squeeze out as much water as possible and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the onion, eggs, salt, pepper and flour or potato starch. Mix well.

Remove hot baking dish from the oven. Pour the potato mixture into the baking dish, drizzle another 1 to 2 tbsp. of vegetable oil over the top and return to the oven. Let bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the top is nicely browned and crisp.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Mar 21, 2015
Nyleve in Home Cooking
2

Passover

Here's the recipe for the veggie patties. I started making them to accommodate a family member who's a vegetarian, but everyone likes them. They freeze and reheat well.

Passover Vegetable Patties
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 medium red pepper, chopped
3 raw carrots, shredded (about 1-1/2 cups)
3 medium potatoes, boiled and mashed (about 2 cups)
2 cups cleaned and chopped raw spinach, tightly packed
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup matzoh meal
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
additional vegetable oil for frying

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the green and red peppers and cook, stirring, until soft – about 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the carrots, potatoes, spinach and onion and mix well. Stir in the beaten eggs, matzoh meal, salt and pepper, mixing until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Cover the bowl and let the mixture stand, refrigerated, for at least one hour or overnight.

Wet your hand slightly and form the mixture into patties – no more than 1/2-inch thick. (You can make the patties larger for main course portions, or smaller as a side dish.)

Heat a small amount of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, cook the vegetable patties in the oil until golden brown on both sides and cooked through, turning once.

Makes about 12 vegetable patties

Mar 21, 2015
Nyleve in Home Cooking