MGZ's Profile

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Red Bank Redux

I'm glad you enjoyed your bagels, Heidi. I sometimes wonder if some of the old school places I cherish are still actually as good as I remember or if the taste of their wares simply benefit from romanticized reminiscence still seasoning my palate (sorta like why it's never a really good idea to recommend the food at a place you've only tried when incredibly hungry or terrifically stoned - "Dude, you gotta try the peanut butter, salt carmel brownie at the Krauzers off Ryders Lane. Oh, and make sure you get extra nacho cheese sauce on it . . . .")

Nevertheless, since you enjoyed BO,* I'm gonna leak a bit of doughy deliciousness closer to home: the baguette at Massuto's Market in Wall. Actually, all of their breads are excellent and have become pretty much the only ones I will bring home. I'm not sure about everyday, but I do know that the loaves seem to be put out at around 11 am on Sundays and thus are wonderfully warm when I go in at 11:05 (give or take). The tip that sticks out of the bag is a fine reward for being the one who goes to pick it up, and should never still be intact when you pull in the driveway. (I will confess that I actually hesitated to fully disclose the foregoing, out of fear that I might let the cat too far out of the bag, but, after all, what fun is there in being a 'hound if there aren't a bunch of cats to chase around.

* He He He. Sorry, I've still got a bit of an eleven year old boy in me.

about 11 hours ago
MGZ in New Jersey

Sweet Jesus: Whole Foods No Longer Getting Brillat-Savarin Due to FDA?!

"I don't really agree too much of the time but you're good to have around here."

You don't need to agree with the message, but you certainly have to a lot of respect the messenger and the manner in which his message is consistently presented.

about 12 hours ago
MGZ in Cheese

Wasabi: Why invest in 'the hardest plant to grow'?

Cool. Thanks for posting that link. I'd long wondered just how hard could it be to start raising the plant commercially in the US and couldn't imagine that there wasn't some decent amount of demand for it.

about 12 hours ago
MGZ in Food Media & News

Is it too soon to talk about Thanksgiving?

You're welcome. You can see the rum's evolution and instructions in this old thread:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/551635

1 day ago
MGZ in Home Cooking

Is it too soon to talk about Thanksgiving?

That's the spirit, my friend. Bless you!

Thanksgiving is the ultimate holiday. Four days of celebrating gluttony. An excuse to obsess over wonkish details of ingredients and preparations without anybody thinking it's all that weird. Cocktails at 11 am. 'Alice's Restaurant' on the radio at Noon. A table covered with desserts met with a sheepish chorus of, "I'm just gonna have a little slice of each." Come on, how can that not bring tears of joy to food geek nation?

OK. Sure, like all great things, there's a few potential downsides. Too many dishes to fit in the sink. A bitchy aunt who drinks too much of the boxed wine she brought and won't let up with the "clock is ticking" bit. Dad passed out, pants unbuttoned, in his Lay-Z-Boy, snoring and farting loudly enough to make it hard to hear the Lions game. But, come on, those are small prices to pay for an extra-long weekend, a plateful of stuffing and mashed potatoes doused with gravy, another chance to make the ultimate turkey sandwich, and the glee of that inevitable moment, near the end of the meal, when someone exclaims, "Oh dear, I forgot to bring out the cauliflower . . . ."

As for me, this year's prep is well underway. The rum infusion (fig, cinnamon, vanilla) is almost ready to strain. The Hatch peppers for the apple pie were roasted last month. Over the summer, I think I figured out just how cool grilled green beans can be.

Of course, there's more to do, and it's nice to have others' help. Mom's ordering the turkeys (one fried, one roasted). Brother's agreed to be in charge of the wine. Nevertheless, I still have an excuse to cure and smoke some bacon; maybe take a train to The City, goof around and pick up some cheeses. You know, just generally revel in being in love with all things eat and drink.

In the end, Thanksgiving, as the name makes no pretense of hiding, only asks one thing in return from a 'hound. So, give a little thanks. I, for one, am pretty grateful every year that we all get to bark, chase our tails, and play in this little yard.

1 day ago
MGZ in Home Cooking

Is it too soon to talk about Thanksgiving?

It's the holiest day of the year. I start thinking about it on Black Friday.

Sep 17, 2014
MGZ in Home Cooking

Olive Garden investor cries 'too many breadsticks and not enough wine'

All the knee-jerk, "Nannie state", "I love OG" responses from their viewers are priceless. As if the Starboard report came from HHS.

Olive Garden investor cries 'too many breadsticks and not enough wine'

Personally, I get a slightly perverse joy following the stories of the mega-food industry and the "maximization of monetization" plot lines. The "just another widget wrapped in corporate speak" mesmerizes me and my "I'd rather spend $400 on fungus than a 401k" mind. It has the sad surrealness of watching a woman in a bikini sell $40 "Allah Rocks" tee shirts outside the gates of Mecca.

That being said, I stumbled across the following yesterday: http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2014/0... The comments are hysterical.

Sep 17, 2014
MGZ in Food Media & News

Table salt free diet and eating out

"I'm of the opinion a zero salt diet is optimal."

Based on what? I'm sometimes of the opinion that I'm still sober after a liter of tequila. Reality can be a bitch, huh?

"I have the sneaky suspicion that salt like gluten is haphazardly thrown into almost every processed food."

Gluten? Wow! By the way, how do you define processed food?

"How do I feel like I'm not some sort of social recluse yet, maintain my health?"

Learn more about health and nutrition.

In all seriousness, if you hadn't posted several times before, I would think this thread is a joke. Frankly, I'm still not sure. At least, you're sorta disproving the notion that "ignorance is bliss".

How The Coffee Shop Has Ruined Customer Service

"I hope you see the view I had hoped to convey."

We know. Problem is, it's not exactly groundbreaking stuff. I mean, did you think that Andy Rooney schtick was going to sew the seeds of a revolution or something?

How The Coffee Shop Has Ruined Customer Service

Grumble. Grumble.

That guy thinks he's got it bad? You have any idea how hard it's become for me to find a phone booth when I have to get changed?

Guiltiest Guilty Pleasures

It's not weird. Taking the idea of guilt literally is always one of the ways to play this game when somebody starts such a thread. Nearly as inevitable as Kraft Mac-n-Cheese and Rotel Dip. It's certainly more fun to embrace and enjoy everything.

Sep 14, 2014
MGZ in General Topics

The Tyranny of the Home-Cooked Family Dinner  

Wasn't that the implicit point of the article at issue?

Sep 13, 2014
MGZ in Food Media & News
1

The Tyranny of the Home-Cooked Family Dinner  

Tyranny of the masses?

Sep 13, 2014
MGZ in Food Media & News

The Tyranny of the Home-Cooked Family Dinner  

"You can't be an iconoclast and also be popular."

But, you CAN be comfortable when you look in the mirror.

Sep 13, 2014
MGZ in Food Media & News

Which would rather have? Great Food or Great Service in a Restaurant?

I'm with you, Steve. I've never had service that rose (or should I say "sank") to the level that it could trump good food. In fairness, we were lost in a crowd one night not too long ago and wound up leaving without ordering, over the mea culpas of the server and manager. We went back some time later, on the "Shit happens" theory, and had a pretty good meal.

I'm not much of a mystic, but I've got a half-baked idea that maybe recurring bad service issues are part of some kind of invisible, reciprocating energy thing. You know, you get back what you put out? Common sense suggests that in instances of repeated conflict, it's wise to examine the one constant in the interactions. This isn't to say that bad service doesn't happen to good people, but, maybe, in the big scheme of things, it's a little shard of evidence that Karma counts.

Then again, it could simply boil down to expectations. I'll stick with the 'hound's eye view from inside the Invisible Fence. Just give me the best kibbles you've got, I don't mind if I have to eat 'em on the porch. Bonus points for keeping the drink bowl filled and parting with the fattiest bones in the joint.

Sep 13, 2014
MGZ in Not About Food
1

The Tyranny of the Home-Cooked Family Dinner  

I'm still on the fence . . . .

Sep 13, 2014
MGZ in Food Media & News

Guiltiest Guilty Pleasures

Mashed potatoes are, in fact, known to be a Category 1 IBDV.*

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*Improvised Butter Delivery Vehicle

Guiltiest Guilty Pleasures

Well, curiosity and some extra time this morning (damned inclement weather) got the better of me. Technically, I believe it is the Icee company that provides the slurpee-type services as most theaters. They've tagged the flavor "Blue Raspberry" - apparently with a straight face. Given the ingredient list, I might have gone with "Gummy Quillalia Fruit" or, given the color, "Washer Fluid Fun".

(My sincerest wishes that the foregoing is the most useless piece of information with which you are confronted today.)

The Tyranny of the Home-Cooked Family Dinner  

At times, it seems like it might actually be easier to reason with Assad than a brood of clucking hens at a PTA meeting or soccer game. If nothing else, it's probably easier to get a word in edgewise.

Sep 12, 2014
MGZ in Food Media & News

Chipotle Workers Quit, Shut Down Store, Because That Job Sucks

It's more respectable to quit than ask for more money? It seems to me, those are really the only two tools in labor's belt. Try the flathead, if it don't work, try the phillips - you're probably getting screwed either way, but maybe you can minimize the stripping. The hammer is still locked up in the shed, after all.

This isn't to say that I am not a big fan of the righteous "fuck you" to the boss, but how is it not worth respecting someone who has the balls to say, "I think my compensation doesn't reflect the value I provide"? As an employer, I actually think I respect those who articulate wage increases more than those who simply quit, because the former actually show reciprocal respect by implicitly stating, "We can work together to solve this." At bottom, there exists such a massive disparity of power, that I fail to see how anybody who risks something to say, "I deserve better", doesn't deserve respect.

Chipotle Workers Quit, Shut Down Store, Because That Job Sucks

So. If I understand . . . .

Employees grow disgruntled with employment.
Employees quit employment.

Shit, folks, that's how this whole thing is supposed to work.

Do you think wheat is "the root of all evil" or staff of life?

Funny. I woud've thought they'd be bitter and stringy.

Sep 11, 2014
MGZ in General Topics

The Tyranny of the Home-Cooked Family Dinner  

Life of the party.

Sep 11, 2014
MGZ in Food Media & News
1

The Tyranny of the Home-Cooked Family Dinner  

'Blue Eggs and Spam' was actually the least appreciated of Dr. Suess's books (or the name of a band I was in freshman year).

Sep 11, 2014
MGZ in Food Media & News
1

Do you think wheat is "the root of all evil" or staff of life?

Well, in fairness, I think I might actually prefer eating a vegan to spending the next forty years avoiding animal products and cooked food.

Guiltiest Guilty Pleasures

I'll add two new ones to those I've put up in similar threads in the past (At least, I don't think I've admitted to these yet??):

A large movie theater slurpee (preferably blue - whatever flavor that actually is supposed to be) to which I add a half pint of Cuervo (those flask-like bottles fit perfectly in a front pocket). Caution: This treat may result in your wearing the 3D glasses all the way back to the car.

A plate of good cheese (you know, like that $20 chunk of Emmental left over from the cocktail party or a well aged Provolone) microwaved on medium-low until fully melted and the edges start to bubble and crisp. Eat with a fork.

Sep 11, 2014
MGZ in General Topics
1

Do you think wheat is "the root of all evil" or staff of life?

"The rest of the time I rely on magic."

Yeah, I think I'd rather eat a vegan, raw food diet for the rest of my life, than completely give up magic.

Sep 11, 2014
MGZ in General Topics

Do you think wheat is "the root of all evil" or staff of life?

"[A] symptom of a larger issue with people being unable to make distinctions for themselves."

Exactly. The present state of political discourse comes immediately to mind. Sound bites and talking points in place of reading comprehension, analysis, and critical thinking.

* * *

"To now believe that it's "poison" defies, among other things, natural selection."

One could plausibly argue that the proliferation of the population with celiac and allergies are actually a triumph of modern medicine over natural selection. Individuals with such maladies are now permitted to survive and procreate, even though they fail to adapt.

Sep 10, 2014
MGZ in General Topics

Do you think wheat is "the root of all evil" or staff of life?

Not really. At least, not in the way civilization is commonly defined. You could make a plausible argument that there were civilizations that developed around the same time without the cultivation of wheat, in China and Peru,* for example, but there really is very little evidence of anything resembling a "civilization" anywhere on Earth before agricultural practices were developed and population concentrations could exist (I'll pass on the semantic and etymological points, but one could say that agriculture is actually an indicia of civilization). It took carbs to make humans "human".

The fact is, the civilization that the cultivation of wheat permitted is the mother of ours (Western). The fundamentals of our legal system, notions of property, morality concepts, creation myths, etc. all trace back to what happened because man figured out how to domesticate the grain.

*Climate and indigenous plants made the cultivation of other starches more beneficial in such places.

Sep 10, 2014
MGZ in General Topics
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