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ErnieD's Profile

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Sketchy Stuff We Resort To In Kitchens

It varies depending on who I'm cooking for. If just the two of us-we've both had the dog lick us on the mouth and woken up to a face full of cat booty, so a quick bounce off the floor before going in the oven is not even questioned. Furthermore, we have more dishes than silverware, and I will 100% give a fork from the dishwasher a quick soap-free rinse and then re-use it if we are alone. If cooking for others, the rules are much stricter, with variations based on relationship. For some reason, sharing a drink or spoon or retasting with a common spoon is a-aok with my brother (who I see 2-3x per year) but I would balk at doing the same thing with my co-workers that I see daily. There's just no logic involved.

Aug 27, 2015
ErnieD in Not About Food

Offering alternative meals to children - yay or nay

It definitely shouldn't be enforced, but I have fond memories of my brother and myself getting hot dogs when our parents had fish, which we both loathed growing up (now we have a standing sushi date whenever we're in the same state). We always felt like we were getting over, and my parents didn't have to skip fish for a decade or so. It all depends on the dynamic.

Jul 16, 2015
ErnieD in Not About Food

Unbelievable !!

I don't find fat to be an insult necessarily either, and I sort of am too. The question is why the descriptor was needed here, and why this specific one was chosen. There was no need to include any of his other attributes-he wasn't the brown-haired man or the tall man or the man with glasses. Only fat was included, and it was included twice. There was clearly a judgment being attached and I don't think it's wrong to question why it was needed.

Bringing Your Own Grocery Bags Makes You Buy More Junk Food

I actually agree that it's a fun idea to kick around. And I've been trying to think about whether it changes my habits. I use reusables 90-ish% of the time, and I think I do buy less if I don't have them.

I wish there was some data about how things change with bag bans. My parents' city has one and if we happen to stop at the store unprepared, my mom (who will happily pay $40 for a bottle of wine on a random Tuesday) ain't gonna pay a nickel for a bag so we do limit it to what we can carry in our hands.

Jul 15, 2015
ErnieD in Food Media & News

Bringing Your Own Grocery Bags Makes You Buy More Junk Food

This is an interesting thought, but the supporting data is pretty weak. First of all, while the study is recent the data is about a decade old ("mid-2000s" is listed in the article) and I suspect patterns of reusable bag use have changed during that time. It's a relatively small sample size at one grocery store (and only loyalty card holders within that store). Also, with observational data like this it's very difficult to determine causation as opposed to correlation because it's impossible to control other variables.

I can't read the full article because it's behind a pay wall, but based on the abstract it's a really big jump from the findings of the study to the headline "Bringing Your Own Grocery Bags Makes You Buy More Junk Food." This is pretty much par for the course, because no one is going to click on an article titled "Ten-Year-Old Data Suggests Correlation Between Bag Type And Food Purchases In A Small, Highly Specific, And Geographically Homogeneous Population Sample," but even though I understand the motivation click-bait headlines like these are not my favorite internet trend.

Eggs the way you like them

Over easy, cooked just until the whites have solidified. Eggs are one of the few things on which I don't care for pepper, just salt. I also like them softly scrambled. I don't much eat hardboiled eggs plain, but I love egg salad. It's actually an interesting question-my mom taught me to scramble eggs and hers and mine taste identical to me, but my husband just loves hers. I might be offended if I weren't so puzzled.

Christmas Dinner Highlights and Lowlifes

It's not really a matter of opinion. "I hope she gets a migraine and a nasty hangover" is not quizzical in any sense of the word.

Jan 01, 2015
ErnieD in Not About Food

Foods you don't like … redux?

Eggplant. Head cheese. That's it so far.

Note: yes I have had good eggplant parm, yes I have tried salting and draining. I don't like the texture or the taste. I can have tolerated certain iterations of baba ganoush; the ones that obliterate everything that makes an eggplant an eggplant.

Dec 31, 2014
ErnieD in General Topics

Christmas Dinner Highlights and Lowlifes

Maybe I would make a poor juror, because I feel like witness account is an incredibly poor resource. Based on both experience and research, two people can witness the exact same thing and come up with wildly differing stories. Especially in a non-trial setting, I've found that excessive sympathy, assuming the best, and not worrying about things that don't actively harm me is a much easier road for me personally.

Happy new year.

Dec 31, 2014
ErnieD in Not About Food

Christmas Dinner Highlights and Lowlifes

"She would never darken my door" and wishing physical pain are not quizzical statements, even when you allow for hyperbole.

Tip On Expensive Meal

There really is no rational tie between "working hard" and compensation. Attorneys don't work harder than ditch diggers, but they certainly get paid more for the most part. I'd be willing to bet that a lot of people work harder than Reese Witherspoon and get paid much less. The value of labor is almost entirely socially constructed, and in the area of American restaurant dining the social construct is 15-20% standard regardless of check size. I would vastly prefer a living wage, no/minimal tip construct, but I work within the constraints of the system as it exists.

Dec 31, 2014
ErnieD in Not About Food
1

Christmas Dinner Highlights and Lowlifes

I don't understand why you're conflating saying that the tone of the original and follow-up posts is judgmental with saying the OP is responsible for the guest's behavior. They're two separate issues. Participating in a gift exchange you haven't contributed to and swiping chocolate are socially inappropriate behaviors (but comparing them to stealing a car is literal-minded to the point of absurdity). Watching a fellow guest like a hawk so that you can pick apart every aspect of her behavior and appearance is unkind.

Honestly, if I saw her pick up the chocolate I would assume that the host had said "hey, xxx said you like yyy chocolate. Someone gave me a box and I don't like it/can't eat it. Do you want it?" Unless I had my attention on the other guest to the exclusion of all else.

Dec 30, 2014
ErnieD in Not About Food
1

Christmas Dinner Highlights and Lowlifes

The OP is not the only post by the original poster in this thread. I found the overall tone to be quite snide, which was sort of confirmed by follow-up posts stating that they laughed at the woman all evening, that she would never darken the OP's door, and that the OP hopes she "gets a migraine and a nasty hangover." Add these to calling her a lowlife as well as multiple non-complimentary comments on her clothing, and I think you would be hard-pressed to say that the OP was simply presenting facts with no value judgment attached.

One way or another, this woman's actions indicate that she was having a very rough holiday, and from the whispered conversation she pretty clearly had her arm twisted to get her there. I would never do any of the things attributed to her and they are unquestionably inconsiderate, but I would like to think I would cut her some slack.

Separate Veggies in Roast Pan

Can you roll/crumple up some longish strips of foil to create barriers between the different veggie zones?

Dec 21, 2014
ErnieD in Home Cooking
1

User profile: would you like to see more/different questions and/or mandatory info?

None of this really seems like it would add much. A question and response aren't just a two-way interaction here, so even if an OP is in the wrong hemisphere to make use of a response, someone reading will probably be able too.

It kind of sounds like you're looking for a system to decide who's worth your time. You can agree or disagree with me regardless of my age. To be honest plenty of other factors like race, socioeconomic status, culture of origin, etc would be just as likely to correlate to any given opinion, which is to say somewhat more than average but no where near 100%. I have no idea how knowing the frequency of the OP's fast food consumption would help with the vast majority of the threads on this site.

Aug 27, 2014
ErnieD in Site Talk

Inviting Professional Voices to the Community

Nah, least worst just means the best of a bad lot. It's slangy and definitely not grammatically correct :).

Aug 25, 2014
ErnieD in Site Talk

Inviting Professional Voices to the Community

I'm no particular fan of the shilling posts, but the cookbook ones are easily the least worst. I liked the tomato one-he answered questions and shared one of the recipes from the cookbook, which wouldn't really make sense if he were just here to wring a few bucks out of people. To me, that thread was a conversation, not an ad.

Chowhound now allowing advertising posts?

What on earth is that about? Allowing this to stay up is really ill-conceived. Are the mods just not being allowed to use any judgment at all? You can let productive conversations with professionals stay up without keeping this nonsense.

Aug 24, 2014
ErnieD in Site Talk
1

What I Learned After Taking a Homeless Mother Grocery Shopping

There really isn't a one-stop-shopping solution that is at all possible, though, because food-insecurity has a huge variety of causes. Disabled people are at a higher risk for poverty, so we would have to improve services to them. Some kind of incentive would need to be created to move real grocery stores into food deserts. An awful lot of people have been bankrupted by medical debt, so now we have to take on reforming the healthcare industry. The economy needs to improve-8% unemployment creates a lot of at-risk people. The housing market needs to improve so that fewer people are upside down in mortgages they can't afford. Minimum wage needs to raise so that we aren't spending finite resources because a full-time job is inadequate to feed a family. None of this is free, and people are already outraged at paying for the scarce services we do provide, so we would have to find a way to convince them not to fight against every cent that gets spent. That's where articles and conversations like this come into play. An awful lot of people would look at that woman's basket and EBT card and judge. I might have at one point in my life. But when you hear her story, you see that her choices are perfectly rational and she's not just using tax dollars to load her kids up on junk food. Maybe someone will think twice about emailing a senator that they will never vote for her again if she supports SNAP. No systemic solutions are possible without a strong perspective and some degree of politics.

If you are looking for something concrete to do, your local food bank can tell you a lot about the needs of your community. They get tons of donations around the holidays, but many are really struggling at this time of year. I had a diabetic patient get sent on his way last month with five bags of hot dog buns, a container of fruit punch, and a couple of zucchini. They just really need money more than anything else to avoid these types of situations like these, so if you're willing to donate cash instead of three-year-old cans of veggies from the back of your pantry, you can make a huge difference.

Chowhound now allowing advertising posts?

This is the kind of post that I really don't like being included on the site. It is just straight-up spam and contributes nothing. You might as well allow posters to advertise penis pumps and dead Nigerian princes and be done with it.

Picky eaters are the bane of my existence...and now I live with them

If can go either way, though. We ate very little processed food and were allowed to choose dinner exactly once a year, on our birthdays. My brother was hugely picky as a teenager. My stepson ate basically nothing but processed food until he was ten, and he'll eat anything. He's dying to get his grandma to try pho but she won't because she thinks it will have dog in it; this is the environment he spent his early childhood in. Kids have their own personalities.

Aug 24, 2014
ErnieD in Home Cooking

Picky eaters are the bane of my existence...and now I live with them

Couldn't agree more-there's no requirement to short-order cook, but refusing to keep food she will eat in the house has absolutely no upside. And someone who literally cannot stand to purchase chicken nuggets is either a really unpleasant person or in need of medical help.

Aug 24, 2014
ErnieD in Home Cooking

Service Dogs Get Couple Kicked Out of Restaurant

It does not document either of these harms. I watched it, and it doesn't.

Aug 23, 2014
ErnieD in Food Media & News

Service Dogs Get Couple Kicked Out of Restaurant

The CBS link had no one who had ever been harmed by a service dog. They referenced some people who were harmed because we feel ourselves free to appoint ourselves hall monitors of the world.

Aug 23, 2014
ErnieD in Food Media & News

Looking for ideas for a Sunday Supper for 30

The taco bar is a totally workable idea, but if it's not something that floats your boat, one of the best large-group meals I've had was a tarted up salad bar. I'm in AZ too and I'm not always in the mood for something like tacos when it's 114. The salad bar had chicken (cooked ahead), bacon which I believe she recrisped right before serving, tons of veggies, olives, peoperoncinis, homemade croutons, etc, and she put out a variety of both homemade and purchased dressings. I was thinking some garbanzo beans marinated in lemon, OO, and oregano and some salami might be nice additions. This might be in line with your salad buffet? You could certainly do a pasta salad option and watermelon/feta/kalamata or anything else that sounds appealing too.

Aug 23, 2014
ErnieD in Home Cooking
1

DIrty Family Secrets

Where did I say say it was wrong for him to eat it? I said I don't want to eat it again. Also, in the fifteen years since I've been doing the bulk of the cooking he's never asked for it or sought it out, and we could certainly buy chili and potato salad if the lack of Chilato was leaving some kind of void in his life. So saying he likes it is probably a stretch. It was just something you make to keep your stomach from rumbling when you're young, broke, and don't especially like to cook.

Aug 23, 2014
ErnieD in General Topics

DIrty Family Secrets

My husband's signature dish when he met me was Chilato Salad. Canned chili mixed with deli potato salad.

I really try not to get all huffy or moralizing about food, but you know how bad that sounds? It tastes worse. Firstly, you might as well eat salt by the spoonful, and secondly it had this gluey, gummy texture that was just utterly unpleasant. I'm not above Kraft Mac and Cheez or Maruchan ramen, but the Chilato is something I would really prefer not to eat ever again.

Aug 22, 2014
ErnieD in General Topics

Service Dogs Get Couple Kicked Out of Restaurant

Aug 22, 2014
ErnieD in Food Media & News

Service Dogs Get Couple Kicked Out of Restaurant

It may be focused on its person. It may be under the table out of the way because it's only needed when the person is moving around. It may be waiting for the right time to remind its person to take her meds. It may be focused elsewhere because it is watching for particular things that trigger its person's PTSD. I agree that it will typically not be licking its butt or begging, but we have one that comes into our therapy gym and immediately knows he is supposed to go under a table. He may sleep there for a while, but he will notice right away when she moves. He's not exactly off the clock, but it's better for him to be out of the way while she is stretching or doing exercises with a therapist.

It's just really hard to tell sometimes.

Aug 22, 2014
ErnieD in Food Media & News

Service Dogs Get Couple Kicked Out of Restaurant

Bows on dogs are fifteen kinds of ridiculous, but if people choose to make judgments about a dog's fitness as a companion animal because of them that's their own problem. The issue is pretty easily resolved by the general public minding our own business. As far as them not currently performing any duties, if you need them for any portion of the day, they're pretty much along for the duration. It's not like you can leave them in a car trunk in August.

I don't really object to an ID card but that kind of administration has to be paid for somehow. I'm not really sure why we need to bother in the absence of any evidence that significant harm is taking place due to service dog fraud. Everyone has a story about having seen someone who is totally cheating the system, but explanations of how you can tell whether someone has seizures and who is legitimately being harmed are few and far between.

Aug 22, 2014
ErnieD in Food Media & News