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John Francis's Profile

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Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - August 2015 [Old]

I've never had that problem with TJ's skim milk, the kind I usually get. Indeed, I've never had any brand of skim milk go sour, unless I leave it out on the counter too long. Is your refrigerator keeping at below 40 degrees? It should.

Aug 28, 2015
John Francis in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - August 2015 [Old]

I go to the Brooklyn TJ's about once a week and most of the time I'm there, it's no more crowded than the other stores in the neighborhood. But then, I don't go there during the weekend.

Aug 26, 2015
John Francis in Chains

Chowhound Beta Site Part V

I hate the Beta site - really hate it. Makes it harder to find what I want to read and wastes my time scrolling through topics. Take it away!

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - August 2015 [Old]

Nay - Uncured Sliced Corned Beef. Tastes OK, nothing special. But it isn't so much sliced as hacked into bits which are then vacuum packed so tightly that they are squeezed back together and have to be picked out with the fingers. A rethink is needed.

Aug 24, 2015
John Francis in Chains

Prague

For a nice dinner, I really like the Blue Duckling (U Modré Kachničky) on the Hradcany side of the river. Traditional Czech cuisine with an emphasis on game and of course duck, in a one-of-a-kind setting.

http://www.umodrekachnicky.cz/en/nebo...

Aug 24, 2015
John Francis in Europe

"Farm to Table"

Depends on whether the food takes the direct route. :-) If the Hormel or Chef Boyardee factory comes between the farm and the table, I'd say the answer to madeliner's question is "no." And if the farm is in Guatemala and the table is in Brooklyn, I'd be curious about how the food is kept from spoiling in the long journey.

Aug 17, 2015
John Francis in General Topics

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - August 2015 [Old]

In my area (New York City), all TJ products are priced lower than the national brands in the food store down the street. The prices have crept up in the last few years, but not as much as the competition's.

Aug 17, 2015
John Francis in Chains
1

1950s Atrocities

I lived through the '50s and we never had any of that stuff, I never even heard of it. Except of course for pineapple upside-down cake, which is almost as good as the author says.

What dish is this called that I vaguely remember from a movie?

If it wasn't pork it could be Peking duck.

Aug 14, 2015
John Francis in General Topics

How can I thicken a Lentil Soup Without Flour

You can use the back of a large spoon or slotted spatula if you can't score an immersion blender. Or you can add potato starch as Jacques Pepin sometimes does; others have suggested instant mashed potatoes.

Aug 14, 2015
John Francis in General Topics

Horse meat

I do condone the eating of horse meat - why not? - though I never have. I suppose the American and British aversion is sentimental more than anything else; people romanticize horses, form relationships with them, even anthropomorphize them, as with dogs and cats. (Don't ask! :-) )

Aug 14, 2015
John Francis in General Topics

Where do you buy your nuts from?

I agree. I've bought their cashews, peanuts, and almonds, and recommend them. Also sunflower seeds. (I get the roasted salted versions; unsalted are available too.)

Aug 14, 2015
John Francis in General Topics

Decisions decisions

The saute/frying pan I use, from Calphalon, has a rolled edge too.

Aug 07, 2015
John Francis in Cookware

Organic agriculture is a colossal hoax

Organic agriculture as I personally define it is not a hoax, and there are vendors in my area (New York City) that I trust to sell me the genuine article at a price I choose to afford.

No doubt there are flaws in the USDA's definition of "organic." No doubt some producers, maybe many, maybe most don't measure up even to the FDA's definition. But I'm not concerned with agricultural policy, just with what I put on my table and in my mouth. And I know very well what I'm doing.

Decisions decisions

I agree. A saute pan provides more cooking surface if you're doing a lot; the skillet's curving-up sides are better for making a sauce, so the whisk can reach everything, and also if you want to slide what you've cooked such as an omelet or frittata to a serving bowl or platter instead of scooping it out.

I have both but I almost never use the saute pan - the skillet or frying pan for me almost every time.

Aug 03, 2015
John Francis in Cookware

U.S. House Passes a Bill Banning GMO Labeling

It figures.

Jet.com, a new shopping experience

Never heard of it, and I don't do $50 annual memberships anyway.

Do you drink tea?

Iced tea and sometimes iced coffee.

Jul 17, 2015
John Francis in General Topics

Man Finds Food

This series on the Travel Channel is a lot of fun. Adam Richman and his crew, who also are on camera a lot, hunt for off-the-menu dishes in eateries that themselves can be way off the beaten path. It's a funny show and just watching Richman's mighty mouth surround a ridiculously stuffed sandwich is amazing.

(Last year there was an irrelevant controversy, not about the show itself but how Richman responded to some personal comments on Instagram. He later apologized. I mention this because somebody is sure to, so why not me? Any who care can Google it themselves.)

All that said, very few of Richman's finds look all that appetizing to me. But I enjoy watching this motley crew's antics.

Bringing Your Own Grocery Bags Makes You Buy More Junk Food

Not me it doesn't.

Favorite U.S. cities (other than Chicago) for a 3 day weekend? Food is #1 priority.... [moved from Chicago board]

Whatever the temp, New Orleans is in my top 3. The others are New York City and San Francisco. All are places I'd go regardless of the food and regardless of the travel time.

Jul 13, 2015
John Francis in General Topics

QUIZ: Which of These Cookbooks Are Actually Real?

I got the first four wrong and gave up. They all look fake to me!

bad manners to accept preferred treatment

If you've been offered special treatment without asking for it, that means the restaurant considers you to have earned it. I'd say it would be bad manners toward the restaurant to refuse.

A Chef's Life

After watching all the episodes so far, I've come to wonder about Vivian's attitude. She keeps accepting invitations to cook for groups and affairs, and then whining about the difficulties and stress, wishing it was over. She decides to open a second restaurant, but all she has to say about it is how stressed she is and how doubtful that she can manage it. This is easy to understand, but she seldom talks about these things as positive opportunities, as what she personally wants to do.

Come on, Vivian, nobody's imposing these challenges on you. Nobody's holding your kids hostage or pointing a gun at your head. Now that you've overcome some very steep odds to build a loyal staff and clientele for your restaurant, achieve national recognition, and even have a national TV series, you can do pretty much as you please, including saying no. So complain all you like, but how about accentuating the positive too? Just a little bit?

Jul 13, 2015
John Francis in Food Media & News
1

Solo in London in September

If you'll allow for one fancy eatery, I recommend Rules. The place is full of remarkable things to look at, the food is traditional English of the best kind, and the service is perfect. You pay for it, but you'll remember it.

Jul 12, 2015
John Francis in U.K./Ireland

what is the trick to not have rice boil over?

Maybe you aren't reducing the heat enough. I never ever have that problem and I cook rice in a covered saucepan, not a very big one, about twice a week.

Jul 10, 2015
John Francis in Home Cooking

What are some ingredients you don't like to use?

Mustard.

Jul 10, 2015
John Francis in General Topics

Canned stock vs. bouillon cubes

I buy stock in tetrapaks, a quart at a time, equals 16 large Knorr chicken bouillon cubes. Trader Joe's organic free range chicken broth costs $2. It's very good, it's ready to use right out of the container, and though bouillon may be cheaper, I'm not inclined to experiment.

Jul 06, 2015
John Francis in General Topics

Picky eater

Fish fingers, fish nuggets.

Jun 29, 2015
John Francis in Home Cooking

How Long Will Store-Bought Eggs Stay Fresh In Fridge??

I've never had eggs go bad in the fridge. Of course, they seldom last more than a week. (Hens keep eggs warm for about three weeks before they hatch.)

Jun 26, 2015
John Francis in General Topics