Alan408's Profile

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Economics of High Fructose Corn Syrup vs. Cane Sugar in Soda

In the mid-70s, pre HFCS, I paid $6 for a case of Bud/Coors/Miller, $8 for a case of Coke. I remember something about a sugar shortage, maybe a hurricane in Hawaii. About 10 years later a case of beer is $12, a case of Coke is $6.

Jan 11, 2015
Alan408 in General Topics

Baby shower for 30 - food ideas

Inexpensive Asian party trays, King Egg Roll. Bahn Mi too.

kosher wild salmon?

Can you tell me more about the year-round, wild-caught at sea salmon fishery?

Which countries are participating?
Where are they fishing?
Where are they landing their catch?


Dec 29, 2014
Alan408 in Kosher

Checking Temps

If your water boils at 204, then 66 c equals 145.8f.

Nov 30, 2014
Alan408 in Cookware

Why use evaporated milk instead of cream in fish/clam chowder?

Cost and or availability

40 miles from Juneau AK, milk was $12 per gallon two years ago, and only available a few days a week. No cream, no half and half.

Oct 18, 2014
Alan408 in Home Cooking

cooking for your dog

If you have to pick up after the dog, be careful with fruit and fatty foods.

Oct 14, 2014
Alan408 in Not About Food

cooking for your dog

Every 2-3 weeks I make a batch of dog food, been doing this for ~17-18 years. First, unless you want to purchase a dog food cook book, use your cooked food as a supplement. Feed your dog a premimum dog food. I have two dog food cook books, and to make a complete food, I would have had to add bone meal (plus some other things I don't remember) to my mix.

I start with protein. Easy choice is a raw supermarket chicken, I recommend against purchasing a cooked chicken because of the salt content. Dogs don't need much salt. I also use pork, beef and veal, depends on cost.

1 raw chicken, fat trimmed. Too much fat can negatively affect a dog's pancreas.

1 pound each: all chopped into 1/4-1/2" dice. carrots, green beans, sweet potato, broccoli. I have used pumpkin too.

1 bunch kale, chopped, some stems removed.

3-5 dried mushrooms, soaked chopped.

4 eggs (optional)

3 cups uncooked rice.

Put the chicken in a stock pot, add ~3 qts water, bring to a simmer, cook for ~1-2 hours. Let cool, remove chicken (it will be falling apart), let stock cool, remove fat from stock. Remove meat and shred, I toss most of the skin. I add the "giblets" chopped while mixing.

Use some of the stock to cook the rice.

I microwave the vegetables, if the vegetables are not cooked, they dog will not be able to digest them. Microwave is faster then cooking in the stock. Combine everything in the stock pot with remaining stock, mix, heat to 160. If it is too loose or if you want more protein add eggs, mix. This yields ~20 cups. Costs around ~$25.

For beef/veal: I use 2-3 lbs of shanks and 1 lb of veal or beef stew meat. Roast the shanks and stew meat until browned, make stock.

For pork: I use a 3-4 lb pork shoulder, I have roasted them and cooked them in a crock pot. Crock pot eliminates the roasting step, nice during the hot summer.

I have also used turkey, tastes similar to stuffing/dressing.

I feel brown rice is "over rated". Brown rice has about twice as much nutrition as white rice, but two times 1 or 0.....does that really make a difference. If it was two times 5 or 10 them we have a difference. Not worth the two times price for me. Where I buy rice, brown rice costs twice as much as white rice.

The commercial food I feed my dogs is Wysong, if I had to find a replacement for Wysong, I would use Blue Buffalo.

Brush your dog's teeth, I start with a finger brush, then soon progress to baby sized tooth brushes.

There are many people foods that dogs shouldn't eat: onions/garlic, grapes/raisins. Google for a complete list.

Oct 14, 2014
Alan408 in Not About Food

What Does Sturgeon Taste Like?

If, some fish taste like fish, some taste like chicken, and some fish have no taste, sturgeon tastes like chicken

Other fish that taste like chicken are shark swordfish some halibut.

Oct 12, 2014
Alan408 in General Topics


Duarte's in Pescadero (fresh, sautéed, over your price range)
Ocean Delight in San Jose (canned, half can, in your price range)
Han Kook Market in Sunnyvale (live and frozen sold each or frozen 2 pk. $6 or $7 each IIRC) looks like about 3 oz ea

I think most Chinese style seafood restaurants sell abalone.

There are three ? local abalone farms, the farm on the Monterey Wharf has a website, maybe they list the restaurants they supply?

Where to get good bread in the south bay?

There are no large retail South Bay bakeries due to air quality laws

So, it is either baked on site or imported from out of the area

Roma is still around but wholesale only. I don't know of any South Bay equilivents of Acme. Santa Cruz and Watsonville have products at Lunardis.

Pouring rain hours after applying pest control, was it a waste?

Pyrethrum is a contact killer, i.e., kills bugs on contact.

So no, you do not have to reapply because of rain. You should reapply because of bugs. And, don't spray the "plants", spray the bugs.

Sep 18, 2014
Alan408 in Gardening

Is there much commercial crawfish fishing around or near the Bay Area?

Next weekend i(9/13-9/14) is the catfish and crawdad festival at the Yolo County Fairgrounds

San Fran Michelin

The criteria that SF locals who are frequent posters on Chowhound use in judging restaurants is: finding that special place before the masses find it. It is not really "judging" a place, but rather sharing experiences at places that have not been already covered.

In the olden days, Chowhound was about finding places that were undiscovered, leading the way vs following a "guide". In addition to the "finds", SF Chowhounds are a reliable source of what to eat at XXX BART, i.e., different locations.

Regarding the criteria that SF locals mostly use...based on the wide variety of restaurants, it is very diversified, but the food is probably one of them. For me, location and transportation often determine where I eat in the City.

Is there much commercial crawfish fishing around or near the Bay Area?

Your attached article mentioned the commercial fishery in the delta. I remember a commercial fishermen operating out of Rio Vista in the 70's-80's. They had a store on Highway 12, the building is currently an auto parts store. Contrary to the article, this fishermen did not use long lines, he used individually baited traps. We fished for crawdads in the same area, I saw him often.

There is a bait shop in Isleton; Bob's Masterbaiter. Bob is no longer with us, but his shop is still open and selling crawdads. They sell an assortment of local caught and imported crawdads. This time of year, the "reds" should be local and in big supply. The other local species is the "signal". The signals are larger than the reds. A year or two ago, an experimental commercial crawdad fishery was started in Lake Tahoe. I do not know if they are still around. It may have been the Nevada side.

The Isleton Crawdad Festival was cancelled a couple of years ago, this June (2014) Isleton had a festival, but was not called the Crawdad Festival. In the mid 80s, Isleton had a street fair, a local restaurant boiled up some local crawdad and some guy visiting from the south convinced Isleton to use Crawdads as the theme for their yearly fundraiser streetfair. Isleton hired a caterer from Louisana to set up the crawdad feed, Isleton became "sister cities" with the town the caterer was from. Isleton used the caterer for a couple of years, the caterer used the limited supply of local and imported the rest from the south. After a few years, the locals tried to cook the crawdad themselves, they couldn't get enough domestic crawdads and had to import them from China, maybe from otherplaces too.

Where to buy frozen crawfish tails in the San Jose area?

Luckys on Blossom Hill often has cooked whole crawdads

Japanese food question

I know it as Chinese, Hom yu(k). But it was a "secret menu item" in the old days. Steamed seasoned ground pork patty topped with fermented fish or fermented bean curd

Aug 20, 2014
Alan408 in Home Cooking

Japanese food question

It is a ground pork patty with fermented fish or bean curd

Skip, tell us where you want to eat this dish

Aug 20, 2014
Alan408 in Home Cooking

What is this? And where can I buy it / how can I make it?

Yes you can purchase it, yes you can purchase unseasoned, then prepare your own sauce

Japanese call the dried fish niboshi

Aug 07, 2014
Alan408 in General Topics

Oysters - Horseradish

Based on wasabi costing around $100 per pound and being scarce an amazing amount of wasabi is probably green died horseradish

Apr 12, 2014
Alan408 in General Topics

Paying it forward

Recently a gold star son was in the media for paying it forward, have your hostess google it, and maybe it would help her understand paying it forward

Apr 12, 2014
Alan408 in Not About Food

Paying it forward

Toll Bridges and Toll Roads too

Apr 12, 2014
Alan408 in Not About Food

Fresh masa items, made to order

San Jose

I don't know if they use masa or harina, but Tropicana on Story has an in house tortilla factory, one can watch them process

Chavez on Blossom Hill has the ability to make fresh corn tortillas to order: ball of dough run through a roller then cooked on the flat top

san jose recommendations

Hi, I am in a hospital, third time since Nov

Hit by a red light runner, every time they say I may not be able to walk, I try to prove them wrong and end up in the hospital

The meds they give me are mind altering

At least this visit my posts haven't been deleted, maybe tomorrow

Nice to remember with you

Is there a fix for my chicken soup - it tastes sour

My experience with sour chicken soup was left warm covered overnight, I wasn't the cook but I thought it was spoiled

Apr 10, 2014
Alan408 in Kosher

How to control garden pests and varmints?

Got a phone message today, I have 3 raccoon traps deployed, caught 1 racoon and the two other traps had been tripped.

Regarding pee and hair, I have dogs, they shed and pee, doesn't deter anything. And, there have been a couple of humans who peed in the area too.

I have a chicken coop at the cabin, I have (had) pheasant and partridges in them. Double fenced, the traps are inside the first fence.

Raccoons kill and eat my birds, weasels kill and drink the birds blood, I think the skunks eat the feed and any dead birds. I have learned by the remains, what killed them.

A neighbor occasionally raises chickens in the enclosure, sometimes he spends the night out there, I know this because I sometimes hear gunfire.

He burns the carcasses, he thinks that deters their relatives from visiting. Another neighbor used to hang coyote carcasses on his fence, said a coyote won't cross a fence with a carcass on it.

Sometimes I think I would rather deal with the live raccoons than deal with the smell of them in a burn barrel.

Apr 10, 2014
Alan408 in Gardening

How to control garden pests and varmints?

Earwigs do that to my seedlings.

Apr 10, 2014
Alan408 in Gardening

Veal Stock

Not an Austin rec, but I often use Knorr's Homestyle Stock.

I think it is better than BtB or Minors. Not as salty, and has some body. One container with water equal 3.5 cups of stock. I don't dilute, just add a 1/4 t per serving. If I making 4 servings of steak tips with mushroom sauce, I add ~1t, container might be 3-4T. 4 containers in a pack, I don't contaminate the container, and it lasts for months in the fridge.

In my grocery stores, they sell frozen demi glac, might cost ~$10 for 8 oz.

Apr 10, 2014
Alan408 in Austin

Substitute for whitefish in gefilte fish recipe

Regarding the whitefish shortage. Many parts of the Great Lakes froze over this winter, very difficult to harvest commercial quanties of fish through ice. Chicago is a border city to a great lake. The Great Lakes are a major supplier of White Fish. There are no whitefish living in NYC that I know of....they live in the Great Lakes, other places too, but not in NYC. I have fished for them in Canada, but those areas were cold too this winter.

White fish are a mild tasting fish, I think striped bass has more texture than white fish, but can understand it is a recommendation. Wild Striped bass are larger than whitefish, if the striped bass are farm raised, they maybe very similar to whitefish. Talapia could be used as a substitute to white fish. I am not "kosher", but I can't see how commercially available talapia could be kosher, and I am on the border re farm raised striped bass.

My "kosher" thoughts are based on what farm raised talapia eat, and what farm raised striped bass may eat.

Apr 10, 2014
Alan408 in Home Cooking

san jose recommendations

I lived in downtown SJ in the 70s. When called a state of decline, well that is what happens to all cities, it is a business decision...costs a lot of money to tear down existing buildings and replace them, vs building on previously farm land. In the 80s, a new mayor was elected, his family owned a lot of downtown, his family may have not wanted to spend money to tear down their buildings just because they were old. The mayor started a downtown redevelopment (vs other mayors who promoted out of downtown development.....the previous mayors had investments in land outside of downtown, e.g., Hayes). McHenry was able to get state money to redevelop downtown, the money lasted for ~30 years.

I went to college in San Jose and Santa Clara. I had classmates whose families owned downtown and also property in the Santa Clara County area. There are a lot of streets with my classmates/friends last names.

When I knew people who owned propery downtown, they had plans to redevelop, just took some time. Thinking was: do they put money into buildings that were going to be raised, or do they stay patient and "hit the lottery". Well, after McHenry was elected, they hit the lottery.

You mentioned 1990, by 1980 Washington Square/El Pasao was in redevelopment. I occasionally see Super Taqueria mentioned on this site, in the 70s it was on 3rd or 4th street, across from BofA, by 79 or 80 both had moved, soon several square blocks had been leveled. I was a customer of San Jose Camera in the 70s, they moved because the building they were in was demolished. Pac Bell's building, close to the bus station was completed in the early 80s. Pac Bell moved from SF to SJ to San Ramon, following building costs, I was involved with Chevron's move from SF in the late 70s (one of Rockefellers businesses from the 1800's) to Concord, many of their employees lived "there" and building costs in Concord were "free" compared to downtown SF.

A key to downtown development was the Arena (formally a Datsun dealership) and the Convention Center, their planning started in the 80s. Your friend may have not been aware of those significant downtown developments. If you want to discuss the area north of SJSU (Santa Clara Street) between Japantown, I can, it is a case of the existing owners contents with their investments vs "selling out" and "hitting the lottery" vs taxes. A thought might be, my grandparents lived here, if I sell, after taxes, it doesn't pencil out. It may not pencil out to redevelop one house, but if the developer can get enough property to build mutiple units, it does. SJ recently had an arsonist, among other places, he torched an old Victorian, house was in need of repairs costing more than the owners could afford with out financing, but the land is very valuable. The property can hold 3 new units, but it isn't penciling out. I am familar with a property owner in the area, they own a condemmed Victorian and several commercial buildings on contingous property, their costs of owning the property are affordable, they own "half the block", all of the other properties are under lease, it doesn't pencil out to evict the commercial tentants to be able to sell to a developer, but in ~6 years, the leases will have expired, maybe they planned this with their lease terms (50 yrs), expect high density housing to replace the two restaurants and ~5 homes.

My name is Alan, I am not trying to argue with you, but I have experiences that don't support yours.

Big Green Egg? Is it worth it?

I have used many "water smokers", they all perform. Spend $200 or $1,000, I don't think there is a food difference. The "cook" has more impact on the food than the cooker.

I had a great dual fuel water smoker branded Coleman. Either Brinkmann copied Coleman or the reverse. The Coleman metal was much thicker than the Brinkmann, and the Coleman costs ~3x vs the Brinkmann.

Initially, I couldn't cook steaks on the egg, I didn't know how to cook steaks at 800 degrees. I used to joke, I could turn iron into steel in the egg (takes a high temp to make steel) but I couldn't cook steaks. But, as long as I didn't make happy hour a priority, I learned to cook steaks.