Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >

ellenmmartin's Profile

Title Last Reply

Overripe Fuyu Persimmon?

Not all of us agree--your mileage may vary.
I grew up in the Midwest and my Mom was fond of the native American species that needs to be mushy to be ripe.
I found them disgustingly slimy (I hate okra for similar texture reasons) and faintly rotten tasting.
When I moved to California and discovered fuyus, I was delighted--a persimmon that didn't taste funky-sweet and slimy!
But mine appears to be a minority position--many people prefer their fuyus soft-ripe--especially if they already like the ripe astringent varieties.
So if you are new to persimmons, let your palate decide if you prefer the sweet-funk mush or crispy apple with-beta carotenes type.

Oct 19, 2014
ellenmmartin in General Topics

St Germain's Elderflower Liquor: how to prolong life?

I go through a bottle a month (martinis with Blackwood's Gin highly recommended).
But I keep it in the freezer anyway, and put wine nitrogen in the bottle.

Jan 17, 2012
ellenmmartin in Spirits

Decent Rye Bread in the east bay?

But quite authentically at Framer's Market and keep in plastic bag in fridge.

St Germain's Elderflower Liquor: how to prolong life?

Use the Nitrogen spray sold for wine and just keep the pretty bottle in the fridge and not fuss with decanting (which adds oxygen as you decant).

Here's one source, but you can buy it at most fine wine stores.
I always have a container in play in my bar and kitchen--it's my go-to anti-oxidant for any liquid (1/2 bottles of vermouth, etc.) as well as guacamole and pesto (with the appropriate citrus juice). One warning--the bottle feels empty, so be careful not to throw it out too soon (and warn your help, who will mindlessly toss it!).

I always keep my St Germain in the refrigerator--it's cold and dark and since the flavor is so astonishing, I prefer it cold straight up. But it makes a great martini with gin (Hendrick's) and you can add elderflower presse and make it a summer cooler.

Oct 14, 2010
ellenmmartin in Spirits

Pomegranate Martini Recipe

I grow pomegranates at home in Oakland. It's a beautiful tree and produces several quarts of arils in October; due to climate, they are stronger and not as sweet as the commercially available varieties.

You can get good pomegranates this time of year in the farmer's markets.

Here's a purist recipe with gin and without the sour:

2-3 parts gin (Plymouth, Hendricks, Sapphire)
1 part Pama liqueur
shake over ice; garnish with pomegranate arils

If that's too dry, can add pomegranate syrup if you can find one made with real pomegranate (Monin is OK, not great). I make my own with The Perfect Puree's frozen pomegranate-thaw and stir in enough sugar to saturate fully (about 4 to 1).

If it's too strong, can add Pom juice (or squeeze your own in season).

I also have a daiquiri and punch if anyone is interested.

Nov 25, 2009
ellenmmartin in Spirits

Does Refrigerating Tomatoes Ruin Their Flavor?

I worked for a genetically engineered tomato company in the mid-90s and all the tomato experts in R&D (mostly ex-Campbell folks) agreed with the USDA. This received wisdom matches my own experiments; refrigerated tomatoes are less sweet and more mealy. Living in Oakland, a 55 degree F low is not unusual in my kitchen, but highs above 80 are--that seems to be a good range for keeping tomatoes for up to a couple of weeks, as long as I watch closely for fungus and rot and cull them daily. Likewise with citrus and bananas--I use one of those banana hangers with a tray underneath for tomatoes (if they are under-ripe, a dishtowel draped over will capture the ethylene and promote ripening). Citrus I keep in a ceramic bowl and inspect every day.

Aug 31, 2009
ellenmmartin in Features

Best Berkeley Rep Matinee Brunch or Lunch??

Wow! fast responses--thanks to all. Turkish Kitchen supposedly opens at 11am on Sunday, that would be a nice ethnic tie-in to Arabian Nights. Has anyone been there on a Sunday? Otherwise, Corso, LaNote and Venus take brunch reservations, which would be a big plus with the deadline of a performance. Cesar actually opens at noon on Sunday, which would work but may be a bit rushed. The Rep's own site is oriented towards dinner and driving, but includes several of the mentioned options. Too bad Zatar isn't open Sundays. Jupiter opens at 1, too late for beforfe, but may be good for after. I will report back on our final choice and let you all know.

Turkish Kitchen, Berkeley

thanks for the menu--has anyone been there on Sunday? they supposedly open at 11am and I'm thinking they might be a fun pre-matinee choice before Arabian Nights at the Berkeley Rep.

Best Berkeley Rep Matinee Brunch or Lunch??

I'm truly amazed no one has asked this one yet. Some of us are BARTing from SF, so I want a place within reasonable walking distance of the Berkeley Rep theater itself (Shattuck and Addison). The obvious choices (downtown, Chez Panisse) aren't open Sunday until dinner and we'd like to eat before the 2pm show. Any ideas?