Karl S's Profile

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Siljans knacke in Boston area (NOT IKEA)

Whole Foods at Alewife used to carry it; I've not been there in a few years, so call and check.

Btw, Karl's Sausage Kitchen carries the *really good* brands in November and December - the seasonal artisinal knackebrod brands.

about 1 hour ago
Karl S in Greater Boston Area

What is lower in fat/healthier?

FWIW, CalorieKing gives the fat content of a 4 oz portion of each as 8.8g fat for the roasted breast with skin and 12.3g fat for the roasted thigh without skin.

about 21 hours ago
Karl S in General Topics

Is dessert optional?

You may decline to eat, but do not explain your reason, as it's irrelevant to good manners. A host or other guest would be rude to press (if we're talking typical American dining culture; other cultures have very different norms in this regard), but you may say as much as "This dinner has been so wonderful that I am already sated." Not even a hint of criticism to be directed at the host for offering something you find transgresses your dietary desiderata; banish that thought process, else it come out another way (facial expressions, et cet.).

Feb 27, 2015
Karl S in Not About Food
2

Favorite brand of canned beans?

Of widely available US brands: Bush's and Goya. Depends on the bean, though many are equivalent (I prefer Bush's black beans to Goyas, fwiw). I've yet to find an organic or "natural" canner that yields good beans in general, so I don't think they are worth the bother.

The beans I tend to use most canned are: cannellini, pinto, black, dark red kidney (for kidney beans of any kind, I strongly preferred canned over dried) and garbanzo/chickpea (though I prefer starting with dried if I am going to fry them and season them with smoked parika and salt; since I never skin garbanzos and take a minimalist approach to making hummous, I never bother making hummous from dried, as the best hummous is made from skinned beans). Because I strongly prefer yellow-eye beans for baked beans, which I can never find canned, I use dried for those (they are a thin-skinned bean - and thin-skinned beans tend to be easier to use from dried form than thick-skinned beans). And I love the silky texture of dried baby lima beans after they are prepared properly; frozen is a different critter.

Always rinse canned beans well in a strainer/colander before using.

Feb 27, 2015
Karl S in General Topics

Dinner Tonight: Gourmet Hotdogs!

Yes, I do think of steamed buns as standard for a fairly minimalist/essentialist kind of frankfurter.

Feb 26, 2015
Karl S in Home Cooking

Dinner Tonight: Gourmet Hotdogs!

The first order of business is making sure you butter and toast your buns on the griddle, as it were. (Even better if you use New England style buns, which would be toasted on all sides. http://www.thefreshloaf.com//files/u2... ) You can lux-out on toppings, but if you mistreat the buns, it's a waste.

Feb 26, 2015
Karl S in Home Cooking
1

Are tank lobsters any good?

Yes. You want a place that prices them to move, and a discerning customer base who won't buy crap. An Asian grocery store may be better than a typical non-coastal Amurkan grocery store in that regard. (Ditto for fish and other seafood. It's why my local value chain, Market Basket, tends to have fresher seafood than, say, Whole Foods.)

Feb 26, 2015
Karl S in General Topics

Are tank lobsters any good?

Well, here's the deal: almost any lobster you eat will be from a tank. Unless you're on the lobsterman's boat. Otherwise, the lobsters he sells end up ... in tanks. For restaurants, stores, and people like you and me to buy. You never want to buy a dead lobster for later cooking, so the only way to buy them is if they are kept alive in a tank.

Feb 26, 2015
Karl S in General Topics

My Family Doesn't Eat My Cooking

Makers of processed foods *love* picky child eaters. That's their most important demographic for long-term success. Reduce food to optimized fat-sugar-salt-mouthfeel and you will win the tastebuds of picky eaters for life. This combined with widespread American parental reluctance to spend much effort in educating the palates and manners of their children (contrast, say, the French parenting style: children don't get choices, they are viewed as in desperate need of educating and civilizing...) makes for a potent marketing strategy.

Feb 26, 2015
Karl S in Not About Food
1

My Family Doesn't Eat My Cooking

I would try to wean your children off too much processed foods, and treat them at most as occasional treats or very small portion condiments: those foods are often designed to "optimize" fat-sugar-salt hits to the brain's pleasure centers, and we do no favors to our children in encouraging dependence on that.

You have no control over your parents; don't have any expectations of changing them. Likewise, your husband. Of the many ways a spouse can and will un-delight us, this is one of the more harmless. Be grateful. It could be much worse.

Brunch at Island Creek-Anyone Been?

Plenty of non-seafood items

http://islandcreekoysterbar.com/photo...

Feb 25, 2015
Karl S in Greater Boston Area

Brunch at Island Creek-Anyone Been?

Yes. Wonderful. Be sure to get the biscuit.

Feb 25, 2015
Karl S in Greater Boston Area

Help with recipe please!!! ASAP

That's because grading conventions were developed as a comparison to the neutrality of cane sugar. So lightest doesn't mean best, but most neutral.

Feb 24, 2015
Karl S in Home Cooking

does silence on an rsvp mean they aren't coming ?

I don't respect that kind of admission. It's an manipulative attempt to be excused. Not deserving of respect, either.

Feb 21, 2015
Karl S in Not About Food

does silence on an rsvp mean they aren't coming ?

Except that owning is *not* a pass and should not be praised. The idea that owning one's flaws is an excuse or justification is whack. It's essentially anti-social behavior, and, over time, such a person is gradually weeded out of social activities. Typically happens sometime between young adulthood and midlife. The tension years tend to be in the 30s.

can you identify this plant?

Horsetail grass (Equisetum Arvense) more likely. It's a strong diuretic.

Feb 21, 2015
Karl S in General Topics

How to Use Dehydrated Onions

Actually, they are a wonderful, underappreciated product - because they are not as bitter as fresh diced onions that have not been rinsed properly (as is commonly the case). The best thing to make onion dip with, for example, or in salad dressings. They are mainly meant to be rehydrated with use - the principal exception being as a bread/bagel topping where they are sprinkled on a dampened crust for the last 2 minutes or so of baking.

Feb 17, 2015
Karl S in Home Cooking
1

Lent Starts One Week From Today

That indeed has been an approach adopted by many people as keeping with the spirit of the time.

Feb 14, 2015
Karl S in General Topics

Lent Starts One Week From Today

That was 40 YEARS of wandering. Jesus fasted in the desert for 40 days after his baptism by John the Baptist. That's the Lenten referent.

Feb 13, 2015
Karl S in General Topics

Lent Starts One Week From Today

Until the past couple of generations, the Catholic practice was that Mondays through Thursdays of the six weeks of Lent were days of fast (one full but not fancy meal taken after noon, and up to two snacks ("collations") IF necessary for physical strength) and partial abstinence (you could have meat at the main meal after noon), while Fridays and Saturdays were days of fast and full abstinence.

Feb 13, 2015
Karl S in General Topics

Lent Starts One Week From Today

Interestingly, the tradition of securities markets being closed on Good Friday still obtains. Most people don't know the source of the custom: it was for centuries considered bad luck to engage in speculation or games of chance on Good Friday - the day on which Roman soldiers cast lots for Jesus' robe.

As for food, there used to be a special "black fast" of bread, salt, herbs, and water only for Good Friday that lasted for two days from the preceding major service for Holy Thursday until the vigil of Easter on Holy Saturday.

Feb 13, 2015
Karl S in General Topics
1

Lent Starts One Week From Today

For Catholics, that is actually true *IF* St Patrick is the patron of the local diocese (eg, Boston and New York) or nation (eg, Ireland), because it's a solemnity on the local liturgical calendar and therefore a non-penitential day for that locality (St Joseph's Day on 3/19 and the feast of the Annunication on 3/25 are solemnities in the universal Roman liturgical calendar, not just local diocesan calendar). Zeppole on San Giuseppe's day.

Feb 13, 2015
Karl S in General Topics
1

Lent Starts One Week From Today

Well, there are several reasons. The initial letters of fish in Greek are the same for an anagram of Jesus Christ. Fish have a tie to bread because of the miracle of the loaves and fishes. And historic monastic ascetic practice was a minimum to abstain flesh of warm-blooded animals (mammals and birds) on penitential days; in the eastern Christian tradition, there is also abstinence from even cold-blooded vertebrate flesh, dairy, eggs, wine and oil (that used to be the case in the West, but it got lenient centuries ago) - there are monastic orders (east and west) that maintain that practice year-round or nearly year-round. In addition, you'd only eat one meal a day on penitential days.

Feb 13, 2015
Karl S in General Topics

Lent Starts One Week From Today

The famous Catholic joke about asking the right question goes:

A Franciscan and a Jesuit were friends. They were both smokers who found it difficult to pray for a long period of time without having a cigarette. They decided to go to their superiors and ask permission to smoke.

When they met again, the Franciscan was downcast. “I asked my superior if I could smoke while I pray and he said ‘no,’” he said.
The Jesuit smiled. “I asked I could pray while I smoke. He said ‘of course.’”

***

A Franciscan, a Dominican, and a Jesuit were together in a room when the lights went out. The Franciscan said, “Brothers, let us take this opportunity to consider the debt we owe to our sister, the light.” The Dominican said, “Yes, but let us also take this opportunity to contemplate the difference between the light and the darkness.” Meanwhile, the Jesuit went to the basement, found the fuse box, and reset the breaker.

Lent Starts One Week From Today

The idea about Lent and food is ascetic: simplicity, to decrease the amount of time, effort and treasure devoted to food, and to encourage physical hunger that would remind us of deeper and more important hungers. Gluttony in the Christian tradition wasn't just about quantity, but more importantly about particularity.

Stone crabs in Boston restaurants?

That said, in-shell crab legs and lobster are hard to screw-up.

Feb 10, 2015
Karl S in Greater Boston Area

Fats Used in Italian Bakery Cookies?

Feb 09, 2015
Karl S in General Topics

Health care surcharge...what do you think?

This.

Feb 09, 2015
Karl S in Not About Food

want meat substitution, but no beans or lentils please

That's quite cryptic. You'll probably get more lucid response if you explain more. You also then may have more like on the vegetarian board.

Feb 07, 2015
Karl S in General Topics

Will my puff pastry turn out okay if I just use bread flour?

You asked for opinions. Don't counter-cite them. Just receive them and make your own decision and live with results. You are welcome to survey cooking authors and websites with a good reputation for pastry, and come up with a metasurvey of their approaches.

Feb 06, 2015
Karl S in Home Cooking
1