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Mad Hatter's Profile

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Joe Pizza-Canton-Is it me?

Burgers? Why bother with burgers? We ate there last night after chasing our 4 1/2 year old around the bounce house in Canton. I sent a text to a friend who lives in the area (we are from Enfield) and asked for his recommdation for a pizza joint near by. He gave a enthusiastic "thumbs up" to Joe Pizza. We were not dissapointed. The eggplant fries (which he recommended) were wonderful. The pizza was great and our server was the best! Burger? I won't bother with a burger when the pizza is this good! I just wish we lived a tad closer. I can't take too many trips to the bounce house!

Why Is the Bottled Water Market Crashing?

As an avid hiker/backpacker, I have quite an assortment of water bottles. I have never bought a bottled water, nor would I. I fill my bottle with filtered tap water when I leave the house and keep a MT bottle in the car. The whole bottle water debacle has been harmful to the environment. Thank God it looks like it is finally coming to an end.

Sep 20, 2010
Mad Hatter in Features

Can you freeze chopped onions?

OK, I'm a tad late with this, but "freezing" at home won't do it. Try some dry ice in a cooler. Place the Ice on a cookie sheet on the bottom, then two bricks to support another sheet. Chop the onions and place them on the top cookie sheet that was placed on the bricks. The sheet needs to fit in the cooler. Close the cooler and in a few hours, they will be frozen, but not runny! When frozen slow, like in a home freezer, the h2o in the onion's cells crystallizes and punctures the cell wall, causing the loss of h2o. By freezing sub 0, with dry ice, the cells freeze before their walls can be punctured. Works great with fruit!

Aug 14, 2010
Mad Hatter in General Topics

Duck Sauce [split from east- and west- coast Chinese-American food thread]

Nothing was as weird as when I ordered Chineese take-out in the Fall River, MA. area, and I received a piece of Italian bread with my order!

Jun 20, 2009
Mad Hatter in General Topics

Duck Sauce [split from east- and west- coast Chinese-American food thread]

I remember "Dai-Day" sparerib sauce, in fact, my Mom has the recipe and makes the rib sauce quite often! Saucy Susan, and I can still remember the jar, was another favorite condement around our home in NY in the 1960's.

Jun 20, 2009
Mad Hatter in General Topics

Chili Cookoffs in CT?

I have been a ICS (International Chili Society) cook for the past three years. I can understand your reluctance to get involved in a sanctioned event. Here are some facts regarding cooking at a ICS Cook-off. Chili cooks are very helpful and will share recipes, techniques and ingredients with new cooks. There is also a catagory for "Rookie" cooks.
Competing with some of the best Chili cooks in the world is a great way to be the best! In my first year, I placed second (twice) for my Green Chili, once for my Red Chili, and 1st with my Salsa, which entered me in the World Cook-off in Omaha. There is some confusion with competition Chili. At these events, there are two different red Chiles cooked. The red competition Chili and "People's Choice" Chili, which is the standard chopped beef and bean Chili. That Chili is served to the public, who purchase tasting kits (monies raised go to local charities) and vote for the best Chili. Competition Chilies (Red and Green) are cooked for the judges. After the judging, your chili can be critiqued by the head judge, a former world champ. He will give you many tips to help in future events. There are two ICS cook-off held in CT. One, May 2nd 2009 in Somers and on in New Haven in the fall. I just returned from the first RI Chili Cook-off (the last state to hold an event) where I competed against 7 former world champs, as well as many who have competed there. One of the cooks recieved an award for cooking in all 50 states. I placed 2nd in Salsa, 5th with Green (Chili Verde.) My red still needs some work! Again, the events support many worth-while charities. Although these cook-offs can be a bit costly, the fun and friendships made are well worth it! Why not give it a shot?