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smartie's Profile

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How do you split the bill and tip evenly?

I'm so sick of being screwed by steak and eggs dude while his girlfriend has 4 Bloody Marys that it's an instant 'separate checks please' remark to the server, when I know I'm having 2 over easy eggs and a slice of tomato.

I don't the any problem asking for separate checks as soon as you sit down and the server takes the drinks order. A few weeks ago 7 of us went out and the same guy orders calamari for the table. I pointed out immediately that I don't eat shellfish and wasn't paying towards it. He then screwed the rest of the table for his bottle of wine and expensive entrees as well. Fool me once ......

Tips to cut grocery bill

People have made some good suggestions. I don't think vegetarian is always cheaper if you buy premade veggie burgers or sausage so I guess you've got to make your own. Stretch your meat when you do buy it with a lot more cheap vegetable and filler such as oatmeal. What can you grow yourself? You can also sprout beans and seeds for salads.

I think $250 a week is high for 3 people for groceries. But we don't know what you buy so it's hard to tell.

Apr 21, 2015
smartie in General Topics

How to invite friends for dinner, where everyone pays for their own food?

Would you like to meet us for dinner on Saturday night at Suchnsuch Resort? I think it's quite pricey but what do you think?

Apr 20, 2015
smartie in Not About Food

As a foodie, what do you do for lunch during the week?

We get a full lunch brought in by pharmaceutical reps, daily. All catered, usually chicken with sides, sandwiches rarely or wraps, today it was salads and soup and I heard that tomorrow we have Greek food.

Apr 20, 2015
smartie in General Topics

Lychee sightings - Miami

are you supposed to prune it annually?

Prune mature trees to help control the size and shape. The University of Florida Extension office recommends not cutting branches that are larger than 1 inch, or you risk having less fruit production.

"Bully Beef & Biscuits" - a new book about food during the Great War

I love the reference to Fly Fishing and Yellow Pages. I used to love those ads.

How's the book selling?

Apr 20, 2015
smartie in U.K./Ireland

Horrible Restaurant Names

I spotted a restaurant in West Palm Beach last night called Grease. It looked like a nice hamburger/sports bar place, in a fancy part of town, but the name is not enticing.

Apr 17, 2015
smartie in Not About Food

A month in MIA

Will you have a car? It's hard to go far without one although Miami does have public transportation.
Be careful at night, there are some areas you do not want to be alone in (tourist areas are fine).

Don't let your Debit/Credit Card out of your sight when dining. .

The chip and pin cards can be overridden. I was in London recently and although my new credit card has the chip, I haven't registered it for the pin so I still have to sign the slip. It didn't cause any problems at any merchant in London.

Apr 15, 2015
smartie in Not About Food

Don't let your Debit/Credit Card out of your sight when dining. .

I don't travel much but hotel key cards seem to find a way home with me and get discovered weeks later in a coat pocket or purse.

Apr 15, 2015
smartie in Not About Food

Don't let your Debit/Credit Card out of your sight when dining. .

The moment I get my debit card I cut it up and throw it out in tiny pieces.
I only use a credit card, I check my statement and if the charges are not mine nothing has left my checking account. I draw cash every couple weeks and use that more than my credit card. It's not possible to never use a credit card but I am using it less and less.

Apr 13, 2015
smartie in Not About Food

When is Loquat season?

In S Fl my tree was past its prime about 2-3 weeks ago.

Apr 13, 2015
smartie in General Topics

Vegetables that aren't necessary to grow at home?

We don't see grow bags in America, well I've certainly never seen them in Florida, I think I googled them a couple years ago and they were sort of available online but they were expensive. I always used growbags in England. I've tried planting tomatoes in Florida directly into the soil, but found they got leggy and full of leaf miners.

I use organic garden soil from Home Depot in bags, lay them flat, slit them across the top and plant my tomatoes and eggplant (aubergines) and then using canes, push the canes into the soil. I've been very successful this way, the soil stays moist and I don't have to use tomato food, nor do I get nematodes and other pests.

Apr 10, 2015
smartie in Gardening

Gendering of Food

Conversely if the man orders a salad and the woman orders a burger/steak/corned beef sandwich, she'll be automatically given the salad.

Apr 07, 2015
smartie in General Topics

Milk spoilage question

You can freeze milk. How about decanting half and freezing the other half?

Apr 07, 2015
smartie in General Topics

Market Shoppers: Get out of the quick check out line. You have too many items...

Barcodes haven't entirely got rid of the need for price check. Those crumpled barcodes can't always be read, then the # has to be entered manually. Sometimes that doesn't work either, or the price is plain wrong.

Apr 07, 2015
smartie in Not About Food

Florida jelly, jam, honey

post on one of the Florida boards? I can't really think of anything but maybe somebody local makes chocolate covered orange peel or mangoes.

Florida jelly, jam, honey

Try one of the Green Markets - WPB, Delray and Boca all have them on the weekends.

How do you prefer your matzo balls?

dense sinkers. I am less keen on the light and airy floaters.

Apr 04, 2015
smartie in General Topics
1

Market Shoppers: Get out of the quick check out line. You have too many items...

The whole check out supermarket experience is one big sucky time. It's so inefficient, you wrestle with a cart that doesn't want to leave it's friends, of course it's the one with the wheel that pulls to one side, you pull out another cart that's full of bags and receipts, finally finding one that goes in a straight line and isn't sticky.

Off you go up and down the aisles, of course this isn't your normal go to supermarket today so you haven't a clue where anything is, or, they just decided to switch the layout around. Up and down and round and round, you bump into abandoned carts, wait in line for deli and the bakery, you find almost all you need but forget the one item you really needed for tonight's recipe so you abandon your cart and run off. You find item and cart and then head to the check out area and ugh.... you stop in your tracks as you figure out which ones are open and which has the shortest line. Of course you instinctively join the wrong one, in front of you is cigarette buying lady, change at the bottom of the purse lady, man that forgets milk but he's in line, item on conveyor belt that's got a wonky barcode, conveyor belt is wet and needs wiping, it's shift change for check out person, bagger is missing, bags are empty, bagger is back but slow.
You take everything out of your cart and load it, then you bag it and put it back in the cart. Of course you want it bagged your way and the bagger dude is doing it his way so you're emptying bags to fill them your way, back in the cart, out to the car, schlepp them into the trunk, drive home, hurt your fingers trying to manage 12 bags directly from the trunk into the house by way of garage door without putting one down. Hoisting them onto the counter and unbagging and putting all the stuff away.

I hate the whole experience.

Apr 04, 2015
smartie in Not About Food

The D.I.Y. Tomato

I think I paid $1.50 for 6 plants, I've already had about 3lbs of tomatoes, got pounds more growing and ripening. They taste amazing this year because we've had a really sunny winter and spring and my plants are usually good till June when South Fl gets too humid and hot. Oh and there are 4 Eggplant plants too which are also doing great.

Apr 03, 2015
smartie in Gardening

Buying local produce, other than at farmers markets...

that could be interesting

Starting Dinner Early

Why don't you say you can't make it that early, or decline to go because it's too much of a rush.

lasagne vs ziti

Yeh I'd check on the meat and use of the oven. OTOH maybe there's already a lasagne being made by somebody else, better check that too.

Apr 01, 2015
smartie in Not About Food
1

Best Burger Miami-Ft. Lauderdale

Tucker Dukes Lunchbox - hands down a great burger.http://www.tuckerdukeslunchbox.com/

Would you like to cook like Amy from Amy's Baking Co. of Kitchen Nightmares fame?

Ooh I didn't know that!
So what has she got to offer then?

Mar 30, 2015
smartie in Food Media & News

Would you like to cook like Amy from Amy's Baking Co. of Kitchen Nightmares fame?

As I recall Ramsay was impressed with her cakes and pastries. It was her yelling at customers and staff which was the problem. Her kitchen was super clean too.

Mar 30, 2015
smartie in Food Media & News

Savor the Ave

The Savor the Ave on Atlantic Ave in Delray is on again tonight. I think it was postponed from last week due to rain.

Italians, are cannoli pastries in Italy less sweet then the usa bakery ones?

Sorry but I've got to agree with Harters, Americans prefer sweeter foods, compared to Europe.

Ask any Brit that moves to America and you'll find we all say the same thing, the bread is too sweet. American donuts are so sugar laden I can't eat them, but so are many, many pies, pastries, croissants, hot dog rolls - there's a lot of added sugar/syrup.

Mar 30, 2015
smartie in General Topics

LATECOMERS FOR DINNER

Just a thought, but are these perpetual latecomers also not ready when you're invited to their house for a meal?

I'm thinking back to people I know who are/were always late for dinner and indeed they are ill prepared at their own dinner parties.

What are the experiences of you Chowhounds?