maria lorraine's Profile

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Wine country central location

I'd appreciate it if you would start a new thread on this, rather than piggybacking onto this one. That way, you'll get a lot more responses and ideas. Thanks.

about 1 hour ago
maria lorraine in San Francisco Bay Area

Thomas Keller at Stanford School of Business

No problem. Keller's insights are worthy of more attention.

But I don't think the Stanford interviews are obscure -- they're fairly widely promoted.

1 day ago
maria lorraine in Food Media & News

Thomas Keller at Stanford School of Business

I enjoyed the talk also, especially the part about setbacks.

It's from April, 2013:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8989...

Video:
http://eater.com/archives/2013/04/18/...

1 day ago
maria lorraine in Food Media & News

Appeals court deals blow to Drakes Bay Oyster Co.

<<It also appears you have a problem with folk making a living.>>

That's an odd attack, certainly untrue.

My problem is with Lunny's company littering the bottom of the estero with debris (pipes, plastic, detritus) and blaming it on the previous owner, yet saying his is a clean operation. Lunny has had 9 years to clean up any debris left by Johnson's, but that has never happened, in fact, the amount of debris has increased. Hence, my statement on the negative environmental impact from that alone.

I've seen the oyster growing conditions, and thought they were abusive to the oysters. My opinion, but I've researched oysters for nearly 20 years, and have spoken with marine biologists about the growing conditions at Drake's.

I've been inside the worker rooms at Drake's, and think OSHA should have shut Drake's down even before the DOI. I stand by my observations, what I've been told by the biologists, and by my statements here.

1 day ago
maria lorraine in San Francisco Bay Area
2

Appeals court deals blow to Drakes Bay Oyster Co.

IMO, Lunny's operation is anything buy low-impact. The amount of debris/pipes/plastic in the water is high; the use of motorboats and other harvesting/farming vehicles contributes to that considerable negative environmental impact. The quality of the aquaculture is also questionable at Drake's, in terms of the oysters' health. As well as the employee conditions. Should have been shut down long ago. I rarely take this strong a stand, but on-site visits had me reeling.

1 day ago
maria lorraine in San Francisco Bay Area
2

Wine country central location

I agree. It's a difficult city to navigate (I'm there weekly), and other cities are more centrally located, and also better for farmers markets, restaurants, kids' activities and so forth.

Jul 21, 2014
maria lorraine in San Francisco Bay Area

critique my food choices in wine country

Wonderful report. Thanks for sharing the details of your trip and your impressions. Glad it was a good trip.

Jul 20, 2014
maria lorraine in San Francisco Bay Area

Appeals court deals blow to Drakes Bay Oyster Co.

The huge amount of debris in the water (hopefully Lunny will remove all of it -- it's an enormous amount), as well as the employee working conditions, which I've seen first-hand, were justification enough in my mind to shut the place down.

Jul 19, 2014
maria lorraine in San Francisco Bay Area

Wine country central location

Really, Santa Rosa? Really?

Are you familiar with Santa Rosa, felice? I'd never recommend it in a million years with so many other better options with your requirements.

Jul 19, 2014
maria lorraine in San Francisco Bay Area

Heritiers P.de Marcilly

Found in Google Books online using P. de. Marcilly as a search term.

Jul 18, 2014
maria lorraine in Wine

Heritiers P.de Marcilly

Good job on that.

----

OP, Robert Parker has written about the winery -- easy to find. The winery both grows grapes and buys grapes.

Not sure this bottle is worth lots of thought, but I understand being curious about its provenance.

Jul 18, 2014
maria lorraine in Wine

Heritiers P.de Marcilly

Pierre-Antoine, the abbot of Marcilly?

Pere? As in "father," "priest" or "abbot."

Sometimes P. in front of a name just means older or respected.

Jul 17, 2014
maria lorraine in Wine

Wine country central location

Keep checking the Napa Rentals that are on Craigslist, airbnb, etc. Many people own homes they vacation in infrequently.

I find Carneros to be mainly highway, with little walking or a neighborhood-kind of feel.

I do love Sebastopol and Healdsburg also. Sebastopol has loads of good restaurants and the food scene is really kicking up. (Check out the Barlow, the new pizza place coming in, and all sorts of other options on the Press-Democrat website -- don't see it covered on Chowhound much. It's such a sweet town also. Close to wineries, Russian River, and the Pacific Ocean (Bodega Bay, Jenner, Goat Rock, etc). Might be ideal.

I'd say the Healdsburg restaurant scene is thriving. My sense is that a great deal has changed since you were last there. Since it is so charming, perhaps re-consider it. It has so many dining options: Gourmet French, Californian, Cal-Ital, American, Mexican, and on and on.

Jul 17, 2014
maria lorraine in San Francisco Bay Area

Wine country central location

If you're thinking Napa Valley, then Yountville. Loads of restaurants and a very sweet walkable town. Close to wineries, museum, etc.

St. Helena also. Thriving restaurant scene, and a very charming town. Good grocery stores, walking, shopping, the cutest movie theatre, etc.

Jul 17, 2014
maria lorraine in San Francisco Bay Area

Anyone ever had garlic turn blue-green while cooking?

I don't have a definitive answer, nor do I think that the Food Network'c comment that the color change occurs most often with immature garlic is absolutely accurate.

The color change is due to thiosulfinates.
Those are formed when cysteine sulfoxides present in raw garlic combine with the enzyme allinase, which is released when garlic is cut, chopped or crushed.

Those thiosulfinates react with a variety of amino acids to form blue and green colors.

From my reading, I sense a color change is more likely to occur when both onion and garlic are used, perhaps because both onion and garlic supply the precursor sulfur compounds that form thiosulfinates.

The presence or concentration of those sulfur compounds may vary by individual variety of garlic or onion (some varieties have more) or with growing conditions (soil, amendments, etc.)

Or those sulfur compounds may increase with the age of the garlic or onion. I don't know.

Then again, amino acids react with the thiosulfinates to form the blue-green colors. Check out the difference in color that results depending on which amino acid is present.

So the blue-green color might be due more to
amino acids present (see the caption on the photo) than the thiosulfinates. In that case, what causes individual amino acids to be in the garlic or onion? I don't know.

Read more about Allium Chemistry and the blue-green color change here:
http://books.google.com/books?id=6AB8...

and here:
http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter...

Jul 16, 2014
maria lorraine in General Topics

Is there a way to rescue an aioli that's too thin?

I haven't. Sounds like it would work though. I don't often have white bread unless it's a baguette, and I don't often have that. Always have little Yukon Gold taters around, though. Probably even leftover rice would work, or a variety of other thickeners. I just use what I have handy -- but I must say, I saw a French chef use a potato once, and that's how I got the idea.

Easier than steaming the potato, as I mentioned earlier, is to cook the potato in the microwave, and then process it with the too-thin aioli.

Jul 15, 2014
maria lorraine in Home Cooking

Gallo family fortune close to $10bn

And to get an idea of just how big those tanks are, look at how tiny the semi-truck trailers are in comparison to them.

Jul 14, 2014
maria lorraine in Wine

Is there a way to rescue an aioli that's too thin?

I use olive oil. I believe grape seed oil is an unhealthy oil, with far too much Omega 6, so much so it throws off the critical Omega 3/Omega 6 ratio that must be maintained.

For a recipe, I use any standard aioli recipe. I have found that the metal blades of some processors are too violent and get in the way of the aioli thickening. Instead use the plastic dough blade. Or use, the wire whisk in your mixer. Or the whisk by hand.

I do whip the egg yolks quite a bit before adding any oil -- till they're light and frothy. I find this works the best.

Informative thread on aioli here, with tips and recipes:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5413...

and here:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8900...

Jul 14, 2014
maria lorraine in Home Cooking

SF/Napa Itinerary

I like Press. Love the interior also. Haven't been since Kunk arrived, but his Blue Hill background bodes well for Press. BTW, the restaurant is owned by very knowledgeable pro food people.

Jul 13, 2014
maria lorraine in San Francisco Bay Area

Wine matches for a 3-course dinner

I make curried sweet potato soup and have found Pinot Noir to be the best pairing with it. But a Riesling will do.

I'd like some sparking rose with the pork belly, roast potatoes and fennel course.

20-year (or older) tawny for the last course, or PX Sherry (a dessert sherry that's beautiful with the flavors you've listed).

Jul 12, 2014
maria lorraine in Wine
1

Need recs on wineries to visit in Napa Valley for 11 people in 2 weeks!!

Hmmm. I agree that you will absolutely have to make reservations for your winery visits, and that it may be difficult to do that for a large group on a weekend during the tourist season with such short notice.

I disagree with other things. I've lived here 25 years.

First, Sunshine Market is in St. Helena, not Calistoga.
But it IS a good place to get a picnic lunch if you want to. You will have to pre-order so that you can pick up the lunches on Saturday morning.

Dean & DeLuca do a good job on deli food and picnic lunches, though I still much prefer Sunshine Market and Oakville Grocery.

I agree that Castello di Amarosa is a giant ripoff, but disagree about Far Niente. It's possibly the most beautiful winery in the US, and the wines are top-flight. But it is $40 per person (or thereabouts) and that may be more than you want to spend, even if you can get in (doubtful).

Mumm, for sparkling wine, is a great idea. But its not near the city of Napa. It is in Rutherford.

Agree that Quintessa is good and that Shafer is excellent, but these are Cabernet-centric wineries and for Cabernet aficionados, which your group may not be. Reservations for your group may be difficult to come by at these wineries with such a short lead time.

Hess Collection is a stunning art museum and high, high up in the western hills. The drive may be too long for your group, if you can get a reservation.

Rombauer makes a particular type of wine that is good for those beginning to learn about wine.

Frog's Leap is beautiful and fun, and makes delicious wines.

I don't believe Highway 29 attracts the rubes of the Midwest. After all, even "rubes" seek out Napa Valley to learn about and enjoy wine, and everyone has to start somewhere. Not everyone is lucky to have the exposure to wine or Napa Valley or other wine country that some of us have had. Today's beginner is a future expert.

Jul 11, 2014
maria lorraine in San Francisco Bay Area

SF/Napa Itinerary

If you're in Yountville Friday and Saturday, I'd never backtrack to Napa. Explore Yountville, Rutherford and charming St. Helena. The valley doesn't even open up to its full agricultural lushness till Yountville. Explore Yountville or head north. Go to Oakville Grocery or Sunshine Market in St. Helena for picnic fixings or snacks, hit the restos in Yountville or St. Helena. I wouldn't go to Bouchon, Bottega or Mustards -- all are weak options, IMO -- instead Archetype, Ciccio, Redd, Bistro Jeanty, Redd Wood, etc. P.S.: I live in Yountville.

Jul 10, 2014
maria lorraine in San Francisco Bay Area

Homemade ice cream recipes that don't use heavy cream?

Just read this New York Times article about adjusting the amount of heavy cream vs. milk depending on the flavor of ice cream. Thought it was a useful article overall:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/02/din...

Jul 02, 2014
maria lorraine in Home Cooking

Same winery,varietal,and year ?

Oh, forgot to say...

A subtly corked wine -- one that doesn't obviously smell corked -- will often appear muted in flavor. It lacks fruit and life.

A marked difference between two bottles, though, usually indicates a flaw, from improper storage, a wine that is corked or other flaws. That's different from bottle variation, which is very subtle and can happen in perfectly fine wine. I don't consider storage errors, being corked (TCA/TCB) or other flaws, to be in the "bottle variation" category, though.

Jun 28, 2014
maria lorraine in Wine
2

Same winery,varietal,and year ?

I've encountered this, and heard about this, rather often when the wine is improperly stored at the store, or shipped in trucks without adequate refrigeration, or stored in warehouses that are insufficiently cooled.

Seems to happen most often at the retail store. The scenario goes something like this: The wine is delivered to the store's loading dock, and the cases of wine and stacked there and sit. It takes a while for the wine to make inside the store, where it's air-conditioned, and onto the shelves. Or, perhaps the boxes of wine are inopportunely stored in the back non-public part of the store near the exhaust vents of the large refrigerator units. Either way the way gets cooked. By the time the consumer gets the wine home and drinks it, the wine tastes nothing like it's supposed to -- it's been fully diminished and tastes bland, or worse, awful.

Moreover, another bottle of the same wine, same winery, same year -- tastes completely different, and full of life.

This difference, to me, is of a greater degree than that found with bottle variation. It's indicative of poor storage conditions.

Read this thread from 2008, on the same thing:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/562893

Off-thread, the cooked wines, from different wineries, but all purchased from the same store, were compared side-by-side to the same wines direct from the winery. That made it clear that the storage of the wine at the store was causing the wines to be cooked.

Wines get cooked often in the summer. To avoid that, many wineries and their reps look at every step of the delivery process from the winery to the consumer (truck, warehouse, truck, distributor warehouse, truck, retailer) to make sure each environment is adequately cooled.

Jun 27, 2014
maria lorraine in Wine

Coravin back in business! (That didn't last long)

If I'm understanding correctly, the Coravin still sometimes causes the bottle of wine to break; it's just that the required sleeve now catches the broken shards preventing bodily injury.

Any guess on what causes the bottle to break? Pressure?

Jun 27, 2014
maria lorraine in Wine

Coravins Causing Wine Bottles to Explode

The Coravin is now officially recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission:
http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/2014/C...

Read more here:
http://insidescoopsf.sfgate.com/blog/...

Jun 25, 2014
maria lorraine in Wine

Brands of sugar?

I realize this is your first post on Chowhound. I'm sorry, but I'm not understanding what you've written. Are you saying the difference between beet sugar and cane sugar is due to the difference in water between higher and lower elevations?

I'm not sure that passes muster. Sugar beets grow at all elevations (both very low and somewhat high), so water from rain or irrigation cannot be the reason beet sugar behaves differently from cane sugar when cooking.

What seems more likely for that difference in cooking between the two sugars is the difference in processing.

Sugar beets are turned into raw juice, and that is mixed with calcium hydroxide, a powerful base, which yields a number of precipitates. The pH is so high (basic rather than acidic) that the sugar -- the glucose and fructose -- is actually changed into carboxylic acids. The carboxylic acids are treated to carbon dioxide, which makes which makes the solution precipitate chalk. After all that, the sugar solution receives soda ash to modify the pH, and sulfur is added to keep the sugar white.

All that chemical manipulation, including changing the sugar to something other than sugar and then back again, is what I think may make the two sugars behave differently during cooking or baking.

Cane sugar's processing is far simpler. The canes are crushed to remove the sugary juice, then that is boiled down till it crystallizes.

In other words, not much processing at all, especially in comparison to huge amount of processing of beet sugar. In other words, I truly doubt it's the difference in the water between lower and higher elevations.

I'll continue to do more research in the chemical difference between beet sugar and cane sugar, but I wanted to respond to your post now, and say Welcome to Chowhound. Keep posting!

Jun 23, 2014
maria lorraine in General Topics
1

strawberry rhubarb pie

That's what I was thinking: Rosa Regale Brachetto d'Acqui.
Perfect for strawberries. $14-$17.

Just make sure the pie is tart-sweet, not sweet-sweet,
or the wine will taste sour.

http://www.vigneregali.com/rosaregale...

Read the tasting notes at the link.

Jun 23, 2014
maria lorraine in Wine

Success! Homemade “Fage” Yogurt! Easy! Cheap!

I've heard many success stories using a heating pad, so if that is working for you, then continue to do so. If you're especially curious, you can use an instant-read thermometer to check the temp of the incubating yogurt every coupla hours, to see if the temp is in the right range. I think you'll be fine. Thanks for your post.

Jun 16, 2014
maria lorraine in Home Cooking