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John Francis's Profile

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Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - August 2014

Haven't tried anything new from it yet, but maybe these will be new to some of us:

Yea - Joe's O's compete with Cheerios and win. Simpler ingredients list, otherwise just about identical, lower price. I only wish they didn't come in an outsize box that doesn't fit into my cereal cupboard.

Yea - Uncured Sliced Black Forest Ham for sandwiches.

Yea - Cheddar Rocket Crackers. If you like Pepperidge Farm Goldfish you'll like these.

Aug 18, 2014
John Francis in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - August 2014

The yellow fin tuna is the best of their canned tunas, and better than the national brands I've tried. Blue and yellow can.

Aug 18, 2014
John Francis in Chains

Basic kitchen equipment and supplies?

Complicated? Surely not. His basic recipes couldn't be more simple. They are also more precise and complete than in most cookbooks; the novice cook isn't left guessing what to do.

Aug 10, 2014
John Francis in Cookware

Basic kitchen equipment and supplies?

For his basic cookbook, Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything," which is made to order for novice cooks. And he should watch some TV to learn basic knife skills.

Aug 08, 2014
John Francis in Cookware

I Cannot Believe I Used to Find Mo Rocca Annoying. What Happened?

He definitely annoys me, but then I haven't been watching that particular program.

Aug 08, 2014
John Francis in Food Media & News

Should I stop baking with pyrex?

My short answer is no - Pyrex is still good for baking in, it's dishwasher safe and doesn't warp or deform. I've never had a glass baking dish break, and I'm not specially careful. But if you've been having actual problems - not just reading about others' problems - that's different.

Aug 08, 2014
John Francis in Cookware

do you cook with hot tap water?

I never use water right out of the tap - always put it through a filter first (Brita). It's always cold water.

Here's a NY Times article on the topic:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/29/hea...

The key sentence: "Hot water dissolves contaminants more quickly than cold water, and many pipes in homes contain lead that can leach into water." Obviously this depends on the plumbing in each building. Your hot water may have an off taste while others' doesn't.

Aug 04, 2014
John Francis in Home Cooking
2

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - August 2014

I'm not exactly avoiding sugar but I often use Splenda instead of the real stuff, because it dissolves quickly in cold liquids. Real sugar for baking etc.

Aug 03, 2014
John Francis in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - July 2014 [OLD]

"Yeah" is actually closer to "Yea," which is how this series of threads began: Yeas and Nays, meaning Yesses and Nos. I like Yea better because all I want to do is OK something, not cheer for it. But Ttrockwood isn't bothering with all that; he's rating three different products in two sentences.

Aug 01, 2014
John Francis in Chains
1

Do you like or dislike the new format ?

Pointless. The format has been just fine for a long time. Every change slows users down for a while, i.e. makes it harder instead of easier. What's with this fussing around? Who's asking for it? Not I.

Jul 26, 2014
John Francis in Site Talk
3

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - July 2014 [OLD]

Never had that problem with the Chicken Sweet Apple Sausages and have been getting them off and on for several years. Maybe the packing is inconsistent, though how you'd tell this in the store I don't know.

Jul 26, 2014
John Francis in Chains

arguing here?

Who, me? None, never in my life, and I've been online since joining CompuServe in 1985.

Jul 19, 2014
John Francis in Site Talk

arguing here?

I don't consider it, I just do it. :-)

Jul 18, 2014
John Francis in Site Talk
1

Banned

Anyone who'd banned can simply register again under a different handle. That's happened in some forums I've belonged to; don't know about here.

Jul 18, 2014
John Francis in Site Talk
1

Do you wait for a thread to be locked before reading?

I think you must be alone in that. Certainly I'm not with you! If I don't read a thread, I don't read it, period.

Jul 18, 2014
John Francis in Site Talk

Why boil brats?

Bratwurst is for broiling or roasting - that's what "braten" means in German. I don't think I've ever had a boiled bratwurst, and it seems wrong somehow - you want to get that Maillard effect from direct heat.

Jul 14, 2014
John Francis in Home Cooking

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - July 2014 [OLD]

"I think that is fairly typical of many chicken "sausage" type products."

At TJ's, only of the chicken and turkey hot dogs. The other chicken sausages I've tried, a half dozen varieties or so, are firm in the package and firm after 10 minutes of broiling in the toaster oven.

Jul 09, 2014
John Francis in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - July 2014 [OLD]

Yes, I like them. From the freezer to the toaster oven for a few minutes and you've a nice appetizer or side dish.

Jul 05, 2014
John Francis in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - July 2014 [OLD]

No such thread here, and it really doesn't belong. Home Cooking is the Chowhound board for recipes, whatever ingredients they call for.

Jul 03, 2014
John Francis in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - July 2014 [OLD]

Yea - Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate. It's iced coffee season and this is the quickest and easiest way to make it. (I've tried a couple of cold brew methods and the results were too weak.) "100% Arabica coffee beans." The label says to refrigerate when opened, so iced coffee shouldn't melt too much ice, and to dilute by 2-1 water to concentrate. That's OK by me, but those who like their coffee stronger can add less water. Whether I'd like it hot, I don't know.

Yea - bananas. A commodity, same as you find in every other food store (Chiquita), still only 19¢ each. A real bargain even for TJ.

Jul 02, 2014
John Francis in Chains
1

Oil vs. Water-packed Tuna

Julia Child insists that tuna packed in oil is not just better, water-packed tuna is an "abomination." She said it on an episode of "Julia and Jacques." After years of water-packed, I switched to oil-packed because she said so, and for me the flavor and texture are better. Don't know why; perhaps oil prevents oxidation better than water, which after all is H2O. Whatever.

See also http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/864406.

Jul 01, 2014
John Francis in General Topics

Ever Heard of a Restuarant that Does Not Use Salt in their Recipes? - Try PF Changs

I've never seen salt on the table in a Chinese or Japanese restaurant, just soy sauce. (No pepper either.) And I assume the kitchen uses soy sauce too, though I'm no expert on Chinese recipes; if I'm wrong someone here will correct me. However, salt is used in the preparation of soy sauce, so oriental cuisine is by no means salt-free.

Jul 01, 2014
John Francis in Chains

Salting melon to increase sweetness

When growing up, my family had canteloupd pretty often, both parents put salt on their slices at the table so I did it too, and I like it.

Jun 29, 2014
John Francis in Home Cooking

Foodie or Gourmet?

I don't like either word. "Gourmet" is more pretentious than "foodie," but neither is necessary and I never use them.

Jun 29, 2014
John Francis in General Topics
1

Non-Stick Pan experiences

How long have you been using the T-Fal pan? I have one and after more than a year the non-stick surface is still as good as new. When eventually I need a new one, it'll most likely be T-Fal again.

Jun 29, 2014
John Francis in Cookware

Does TJ's Go TOO Far To Please Customers?

A macron is "a written or printed mark (¯) used to indicate a long vowel in some languages and phonetic transcription systems, or a stressed vowel in verse." Not very tasty.

Jun 29, 2014
John Francis in Chains
1

Does TJ's Go TOO Far To Please Customers?

What is this, complaining about good customer service? Sheesh!

It's impossible for a store to go too far in pleasing customers. (A) it's good for the customers and we are customers. (B) it's good for business as it allows customers to try new products risk-free, and as long as the products are good, they've made a sale which may lead to more - and a YEA in this thread.

The case you mention cost that branch of TJ's $4, as you say. How much is that customer's business worth to them? Also, the customer had her carelessness, stupidity, or whatever revealed to her publicly and she may learn from it, while giving her the lower price took some of the sting out of the lesson.

Jun 29, 2014
John Francis in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - June 2014 [OLD]

Lots of it at my local, and I'm getting a bottle next time. Just what I want for iced coffee.

Jun 29, 2014
John Francis in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - June 2014 [OLD]

Even after opening the package and using one or two, the rest keep in my fridge for more than a week. The Italian sweet sausage and other kinds too. Maybe you got a package that wasn't wholly sealed? That's happened to me once and the wrapping ballooned, so out it went unopened.

Jun 20, 2014
John Francis in Chains

Bread Baking book?

I rely on two cookbooks: James Beard's "Beard on Bread" and Bernard Clayton's "Complete Book of Breads."

Jun 18, 2014
John Francis in Home Cooking
1