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Home canning debate

We were canning: plum preserves, sweet pickles, peach preserves, and orange-current preserves.

Home canning debate

I recently learned how to can and made some great jams, pickles, and preserves from excess fresh summer produce. But the first batch I made, I didn't boil or bake the mason jars before adding the preserves and sealing them. I washed them, added the contents, and then sealed in boiling water for at least 20 minutes.

Obviously there's the huge risk of botulism here, but knowing that I have been keeping these jars in the fridge (away from my properly canned and trustworthy deliciousness). Because they are refrigerated, I say that the preserves are fine. No different than, say, cooking something and leaving it in the fridge. But my sister says that the sealing process (20 minutes under boiling water), could make botulism grow and that, even though they've been in the fridge, I shouldn't touch them.

Which of us is right?

(Of course, now that they've been in the fridge for two months, I'm not even sure I want to go in there anymore, but that was a lot of delicious produce I'd hate to see go to waste, so advice requested).

Best coffee shop in Astoria (to read and study in)

As a coffee-loving graduate student, I'm always interested in knowing/finding the best coffee shop to study in. I just moved to Astoria and I've been perched in a chain store, for their free WiFi and plentiful seating, but I can't stand the atmosphere. I was wondering if there is any other coffee shop that you would recommend. I've poked around but most places don't seem to offer free WiFi.

Factors (in order of importance):
Good espresso
Free WiFi
Late hours
Good seating
Atmosphere/type (I'd prefer something local, dingy, and small, you know?)
Proximity to Broadway/Steinway train stop

Any help appreciated.

What is the best pizza in Staten Island?

According to the 5-boro pizza tour, Salvatore of Soho. Haven't been, but I'm going to check it out in a few days.

Sweet Afton

At 30-09 34th Street, in Astoria. My sister and I went there. I ordered the house beer, which was by Kelso, but not the one on the menu. This beer was something light and wheaty, definitely lacking the maltiness I love about Belgian-style beer. My sister doesn't like the taste of booze, and she ordered the sweet tea, which she loved (the ginger lightly hid the booziness without being overwhelming). We also got the fried pickles to start. I'm not normally a fried pickle fan, but these were quite good, with just the right amount of pickle flavor and crunch and not too much or too little breading. She ordered the grilled cheese with NY aged cheddar and bacon, and I got the Mac & Cheese. The grilled cheese I thought was slightly above average, nothing to sing about, but the macaroni was delicious. Served bubbling hot in a cast iron skillet, every bite was delectable. The cheese combination they selected was the perfect blend of textures and tastes, from the soft, gooey gruyere to the chewy melted cheddar.

To top it off, the decor was fabulous. the odd booths and dim lighting juxtaposed with the renovated wood and exposed brick and ceilings, combined with minimalist candle displays and an open kitchen. There was also a patio which was closed when we came. Go early to avoid the crowd.

What do you think of the Bourgeios Pig?

On east 7th street? I went there once with a friend before I moved to town. I enjoyed the atmosphere and had a pleasant pinot noir, probably the Pascal Jolivet, but it's been a while and my memory is not what it was. I also remember having an above-average cheese plate, but mostly I remember a lot of wine and a lot of red.

But the census seems quite divided about whether or not it is a Stuy town/NYU ripoff or a brilliant little place with great wine. The wine list seems good to me, but I'm not an expert. As I mentioned I'm a transplant so I can't get a good story of the history of the place.

So, I thought I'd ask the experts on chowhound. Hit me. Do you frequent the bourgeios pig or avoid it like the plague?

Sep 03, 2009
hungryhungryjones in Manhattan

San Jose and Santa Cruz...cruising for good food

Hey all,

A friend recommended this site highly for my short trip to the bay area. I am in San Jose, and will also be in Santa Cruz and Davis throughout the weekend. I'd love recommendations for good places for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I am hoping for up to only moderate prices, but am willing to splurge on dinner at someplace fantastic if it's worth it. I also love all kinds of food, wine, and beer, but sushi recommendations are especially welcome.

Finally, although this might be out of line for this site, any suggestions for fun in any of these places most welcome as well (I like museums and parks, dislike shops).

Thanks so much for your help,

A Wisconsinite in need of sun and sustenance.