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spycygrl's Profile

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Is there a GREAT Bloody Mary Mix ???

We're finally trying Zing Zang this morning, after seeing it in the store. Pretty impressed, honestly. It tastes a lot like the mix I make from scratch (using equal parts tomato juice and V8, Worcestershire Sauce, Old Bay, celery salt, fresh lime juice, olive juice, a little cayenne and a ton of Tabasco and fresh black pepper). I would definitely buy this, again. Yum...

Dec 31, 2009
spycygrl in Spirits

A la Carte, a la Park, no more?

Ah...I guess I always went to both and just remembered them as a single event! Thanks so much!

I do remember that we always brought a picnic basket to Opera in the Park (and a couple bottles of wine). Do people still do that? Are there any food vendors associated with this event?

A la Carte, a la Park, no more?

I am bumping this because it is now 2 years later and I, too, was hoping this event was still going on. We were thinking of heading up to SF for Labor Day weekend and I remembered this from my 10 years of living in SF. I always loved spending the weekend sampling fine foods and wines and listening to the SF Opera.

Does anyone know if a different events company has taken this over? I've tried everything to find out if anything is going on over Labor Day, but to no avail.

Chowhounders and Vintage Stoves?

I actually just posted over in this topic:

I have a Gaffers & Sattler stove from the 1940's (we think it's from 1948 because I have a Sunset ad from 1949 in which the stove had "new" square burners -- ours are still round).

I love the stove and we are on the lookout for the original S&P shakers that went with it. I would also love the original manual, if anyone has one.

Some stove pix:

Apr 10, 2008
spycygrl in Cookware

Buying a new set of cookware... what are your favs?

I 100% agree with Chuck. When I worked in Product Information for Williams-Sonoma (and in the test kitchen), we always told people that the best "set" of cookware isn't a set at all. If you walk into any famous chef's kitchen, he's got a little of everything. Each type of pan has a purpose and each type of pan MATERIAL has a purpose.

If you MUST have a set, I always used to recommend All-Clad because it's anodized aluminum on the exterior (which is quick-heating) and 18/10 stainless on the interior (which is even-heating and an easy clean-up over anodized aluminum).

That said, I have and All-Clad saucepan, a Calphalon stock pot, a small copper saucepan for sauces (i.e. hollandaise or bechamel), a non-stick skillet, a cast iron skillet, a Le Creuset enameled iron dutch oven, an aluminum roasting pan...etc. You get the drill.

If you are willing to invest in "lifetime" cookware, I really think it should be the best for each job and not just a complete set that looks pretty hanging over your work island, but that underperforms in a clinch.

Apr 10, 2008
spycygrl in Cookware

BEST CUTTING BOARDS - Bamboo vs. Others

I've had my Boos for almost 18 years! Still amazing. It's the maple reversible block and with regular care (a little mineral oil goes a long way), it will last me another 18+! It has no cracks in the block and it's the perfect size to stow away or even bring camping!

I've used it with my Wusthof knives from the beginning and haven't regretted a day.

Apr 10, 2008
spycygrl in Cookware

What manual can opener do you like?

I third (or is it "fourth" at this point?).

The snap lock version is fab:

I have very very small hands and it's just about the only can opener I can actually use.

Apr 10, 2008
spycygrl in Cookware

Dinnerware safety--brand suggestions?

I used to work for Williams-Sonoma in product information. We tested ALL of our products for lead safety before they ever reached the shelves. We actually had production samples sent to our testing dept where it was tested by us. If it leached lead above a certain amount (which, by the way, was a MORE rigorous standard than the FDA's or Prop 65), we didn't carry it. To be honest with you, it wasn't China that was the worst offender, it was Mexico. The colors to look out for in Chinese patterns is RED.

There are other reasons to not buy from China right now (political, mostly), but I wouldn't discount the dinnerware coming from there in a store like Williams-Sonoma.

You may be interested in reading this article from the Chicago Tribune last year on lead safety in dinnerware:

Apr 10, 2008
spycygrl in Cookware

vintage stoves?

I just moved into a house with a gorgeous 1940's Gaffers & Sattler stove (I think it's probably circa 1948).
You can see a pic of it here:

So far, I'm really enjoying cooking on it, but had to be walked through how to turn on the oven! Apparently, it had a "Cook-O-Matic" clock on it that had to be set to "Manual" in order for the oven to work. Apparently, you could set the clock on "Automatic" and have it turn on and off automatically (like a "timed" cook). I found an old Sunset magazine ad on eBay (which I purchased) which says essentially that.
Here's a closeup of the clock, if you're so inclined:
And the ad:

Wish I could find the missing S&P shakers for this guy or even a reprint of the manual! I did make sure my fancy roasting pan would fit in the oven for Thanksgiving and it only fits if you remove the oven rack! Yeesh.

Round pizza pans and pizza stones do not fit and we had to give those to Goodwill.I did bake brownies the other nite and felt like the temperature was pretty "right on," honestly.

My only question is about the care of the porcelain finish. What should I be cleaning that with? My landlord said to use Windex, but since that has ammonia in it, is that too harsh? There is some very old staining in a few places that I imagine are there for good (unless we get it refinished), but would love to know just for daily stains, what to use.

Apr 10, 2008
spycygrl in Cookware