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Driving cross country to Berkeley CA in mid August

You may want to repost these on the various regional boards corresponding to your itinerary -- Great Lakes, Chicago, Great Plains, Mountain States, California. The Baltimore & DC board only covers the first 40 miles or so of your itinerary.

about 22 hours ago
masha in Washington DC & Baltimore

Pizza Stone ... Which one?

I only know because I received the 14.5" as a gift. (I still sometimes have trouble getting my pizza just-so on the stone but that's because I have zero aptitude when it comes to manual dexterity, so I'll a bit hanging off, while there is plenty of room on the other end of the stone.)

about 23 hours ago
masha in Cookware

Pizza Stone ... Which one?

Emil Henry also makes a 14.5" stone.

about 24 hours ago
masha in Cookware

I Wish I'd Kept…

I wish I'd kept my husband's paperback version of the Joy of Cooking that he acquired as a grad student in the 70s. I replaced it with a hard-bound version in 1990 that was much easier to use -- pages stayed flat, 2 ribbons for bookmarks. However, some of our favorite recipes from his original Joy were not included in the replacement.

about 24 hours ago
masha in Cookware

No reservations/single dining [San Francisco]

My experience with Tadich was I walked right in and got seated at the bar as a single during prime dinner hour, while larger parties were waiting.

Jul 18, 2014
masha in San Francisco Bay Area

HELP!! Extremely picky eaters, out of dinner options!!

Carmen, would you like this recipe or not?

Jul 18, 2014
masha in Home Cooking

Hot Dogs & Pizza in Chicago

You might want to mix it up a bit by trying to find the best Italian beef sandwich, using this recent article from the Tribune as an inspiration/ guide, http://my.chicagotribune.com/#section...

Jul 17, 2014
masha in Chicago Area

Any C'Hound Baby Boomers?

I am surprised that no one from Baltimore has weighed in yet (sorry if I missed it). In the 60s the dominant dairy delivery company was Cloverland. Their jingle was ubiquitous on radio & TV. Anyone who grew up in those years can still sing it:

"Milk and butter and eggs and cheese,
fresh from the farm to you.
If you don't own a cow,
call Cloverland now, NOrth 9-2222."

Jul 17, 2014
masha in Not About Food

Need Help in Provence foodie itinerary!

Robert, I am so glad to hear that Auberge du Pere Bise is still good. We stayed overnight & ate there in 1988 -- just a lovely memory -- but have not been able to get back since. For some reason I was under the impression that it was a shadow of its former self.

Jul 17, 2014
masha in France

Is a Pizza Stone necessary?

My point is that a beginner may want to try making pizza without a stone, but he/she is likely to be disappointed in the results. Before giving up, the beginner should invest in a stone (or quarry tiles, etc) and will be pleased by how much it elevates the quality of the crust.

Jul 17, 2014
masha in Home Cooking

Is a Pizza Stone necessary?

I started out making pizza about a year ago, and did not originally have or use a stone. I enjoyed the experience of making my own pizza (using homemade, not store-bought, dough) but was very disappointed in the quality of the crust of the finished product. Part of that was a question of technique in working with the dough but most of it was because my oven was not hot enough. I asked for and received a stone (Emil Henry ceramic) for Christmas and it has vastly improved the crust.

So, yes, a beginner (or anyone else) can make a pizza without a stone, but the quality of the crust will fall short of a good, professionally made pizza. Some beginners will probably get discouraged and give up; others like me may have the tenacity to keep working on improving their pizza, which definitely includes using a stone (and by that I am including quarry tiles, pizza steels, and any other equivalent).

My tenacity largely comes from wanting to replicate, as close as possible, the East-coast style of pizza that I grew up with, which is hard to find in my current home of Chicago. If I lived in New Haven or NYC, I'd probably would not have stuck with making home-made after my initial experiments.

Jul 17, 2014
masha in Home Cooking
1

Is a Pizza Stone necessary?

Maybe you can make great pizza without a stone if you have a brick oven. But for those of us with conventional ovens that only get to about 500-550 degrees, a pizza stone really helps raising the temperature and concentrating the heat under the pizza.

Jul 17, 2014
masha in Home Cooking
1

Tourist Hate

I follow SF from time to time, as I get out there often. Sure there are regulars and there is a certain clique-ishness but there is rarely the undercurrent of hostility/ condescension that not infrequently creeps into posts here.

Jul 16, 2014
masha in France
4

Extreme Picky Eater/Selective Eating disorder

You are not going to change him. If you enjoy his company enough, find non-food-related things to do together. For the relationship to go forward, you would need to just accept that you will have to accommodate his limited food choices by a combination of (a) eating out so you can both select what you want, (b) preparing separate meals tailored to each of your tastes to consume at home (and I don't mean that all of the cooking should fall to you), and/or (c) by your willingness to at least occasionally eat the limited foods that he eats.

Jul 16, 2014
masha in Home Cooking
3

Tourist Hate

My home Board of Chicago is the same way. Probably 50% of the posts, at least, are from visitors asking largely repetitive questions relating to recommendations for restaurants and other food-related establishments in the areas of the City frequented most often by visitors, although we probably have more of a mix of business, as well as tourist, visitors posting such questions. The regular posters on Chicago sometimes get frustrated by the lack of homework by some posters, although there are a few Chicago regulars who are unfailingly patient and complete in their answers to these questions.

The difference, from my perspective, is that there is a kind of clubbiness to the regulars among the France Board (to use the vernacular from my days in High School and date myself, "the in crowd") that just is not apparent on the Chicago Board, or any of the other 5-10 regional boards, both State-side & International, that I regularly read.

Just to be clear, I've received terrific advice from the regulars on this Board. But there is definitely an intimidation factor on this Board that I don't see elsewhere on CH.

Jul 16, 2014
masha in France
4

Tourist Hate

John, I agree that you have generally used the phrase with irony. Not everyone who has participated in such threads, however, joins in that sentiment. There is definitely some undercurrent of antipathy and gross generalizations about national types in some of the posts.

Jul 16, 2014
masha in France

Home made salad dressing that lasts

My go-to house dressing is a mustard vinaigrette, made with a 1/2&1/2 mixture of balsamic & sherry vinegars; other than Dijon mustard, the only seasoning I use is kosher salt, fresh pepper, and herbes de provence. Easily keeps for a week or more in the refrigerator, probably because it does not include any "fresh" ingredients like garlic, cheese, etc.

Jul 16, 2014
masha in Home Cooking

Banned

Over the past year or so, it seems to me that Food & Media and Site Talk have also become more contentious, in part because it seems to me that posts that used to go on NAF are going on those boards instead. Makes me wonder whether the OP on such threads is banned from NAF.

Jul 16, 2014
masha in Site Talk

Why boil brats?

Also, by par-cooking the brats in beer before putting them on the grill, you cook off some of the fat, which reduces the flare-ups on the grill from fat dripping down -- another reason why this method results in nicely browned, rather than blackened, brats.

Jul 15, 2014
masha in Home Cooking
1

Canning/Pickling/Preserving/Smoking

I haven't added it to my Boards because it's my impression that the overwhelming majority of posts are simply not of interest and there are only so many boards that I want to regularly read. I do check out the general chowhound.com home page listing of active recent discussions and if there is a topic on that listing from BBQ, etc that is of interest, I'll open it. (Just as Site Talk is not one of "my boards," but I'll read and participate in a thread if I notice it on the general page of recent, active threads.)

Jul 14, 2014
masha in Site Talk

Best Seafood Dump on the table in Baltimore

Fair enough. Not clear whether the OP will have a car though so I was hoping there was a place downtown that could be recommended.

Jul 14, 2014
masha in Washington DC & Baltimore

Best Seafood Dump on the table in Baltimore

The classic Maryland version of what you are looking for are steamed crabs -- dumped onto a table covered with brown butcher paper (or traditionally newspapers) -- sometimes also called a "crab feast."

I grew up in Baltimore many years ago but all of the well-known old-time restaurants that were known for their steamed crabs, from when I lived there, seem to be gone. There is a separate thread on this board about the best restaurants for crab cakes, http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/980516, and mentions steamed crabs as well but no specific restaurants for steamed crabs are mentioned.

Fellow Baltimoreans, where do people go for crabs now that Obryki's is closed?

Jul 14, 2014
masha in Washington DC & Baltimore

Canning/Pickling/Preserving/Smoking

I don't consider myself a "BBQ/Grilling/Smoking" geek so I do not regularly read that board, but I am generally interested in recipes and ideas for cooking on the grill (gas-powered so not even a "real" grill for the geeks). I feel that I am probably missing some good recipe ideas because I don't read it regularly. Yesterday my dilemma, if you will, was that I wanted a fast answer -- within about 2 hours -- to a question and was unsure which board was likely to get the most traffic that would see & respond to the question in that time period. Same thing with V&V -- I don't read I regularly so I am probably missing some interesting recipes. (As a practical matter, canning & preserving is of no interest to me -- skip those posts on HC now -- so if you moved those topics to another Board it would not directly affect me.)

Jul 14, 2014
masha in Site Talk

Canning/Pickling/Preserving/Smoking

I do find the split-off of BBQ/Smoking/Grilling from HC to be confusing. It is unclear to me exactly where the divide between the 2 boards is, as was illustrated by a post that I made yesterday: I was planning to bake pizza on the grill, using a pizza stone and had some questions regarding technique. Not exactly the subject of BBQ/Grilling/ Smoking, as I would be, from a technical standpoint, baking -- not grilling -- the pizza. Thought about cross-posting on both boards. Ultimately just posted on BBQ. Similarly, if it's a question of a recipe for food prepared on the grill, I am unclear where it belongs. To me, it's an artificial split.

Jul 14, 2014
masha in Site Talk

Question about pizza on the grill

Baked ours on the stone, not directly on the grill. (Made some on the grill last summer but, aside from issues with burning, I find it more difficult to get the pie onto the grill in a nice flat round without the stone -- just my limited manual dexterity I am sure).

Jul 14, 2014
masha in BBQ, Smoking, & Grilling

Question about pizza on the grill

Thanks. The first pie was rather charred on the bottom, as I thought I'd set a timer but had not, so did not check it as quickly as I needed to. 2nd pie was just about perfect in terms of crispness. The texture of the crust on both was the best I've made, although I think that is attributable to improvements that I've made in the dough, as well as the higher temp on the grill.

Jul 14, 2014
masha in BBQ, Smoking, & Grilling

Question about pizza on the grill

Thanks. It's heating now.

Jul 13, 2014
masha in BBQ, Smoking, & Grilling

Question about pizza on the grill

Baking the pizza on a stone on the grill. Sorry if I wasn't clear

Jul 13, 2014
masha in BBQ, Smoking, & Grilling

Question about pizza on the grill

When I bake pizza in the oven and preheat the stone for an hour, the temperature of the oven has reached 550 within 20 minutes or so. But the general advice on HC is that you need to leave the stone in the oven at that heat for much longer than it takes to get the oven to its maximum temperature. I assume the same on the grill.

Jul 13, 2014
masha in BBQ, Smoking, & Grilling

Question about pizza on the grill

I ordinarily make pizza in the oven but would like to try it on the grill tonight -- both because of the higher temperature that can be achieved on the grill and to keep the kitchen from overheating. When I make pizza in the oven, I preheat the pizza stone for 1 hour at 550. How long should I preheat on the grill? It's a propane-fueled Weber that typically reaches 600 degrees in under 10 minutes

Jul 13, 2014
masha in BBQ, Smoking, & Grilling