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blackpointyboots's Profile

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Supporting Local/Independent Kitchen Stores

We have two independent stores that sell kitchen goods. One is a small shop that seems to hand pick what they sell. It is a bit heavy on decor rather than utility. IE: you can get a lovely plum stoneware baking dish to match all the other plum items they sell but none of the items are of super high quality or a well known name. They are also the most expensive option in town.

The other started out as a hotel and restaurant supplier that opened to the public when the interest in cooking increased. They have everything from extremely high end brand name to institutional basics for commercial kitchens. Everything is organized by purpose so I don't have to wade through all the chicken cookie jars to find a pizza cutter. They are usually better on price than anywhere else in town.

I might let the purchase go as a lesson learned and do price comparisons next time to make sure they are not obscenely overpriced.

Aug 22, 2015
blackpointyboots in Cookware

Aldi Vs. Costco

Our downtown area is undergoing a massive development/gentrification. There are a number of things going in as part of it but they have been tight lipped about exactly "what" grocery store would be going in.

Aug 22, 2015
blackpointyboots in Chains

Experts: Health 'gurus' spread food fears

It may not be logical to paint anyone promoting healthy eating as automatically wrong. That said there is lots of woo out there.

Look for their source documentation to back up their claims. If there are none do a Google search to see if there is any actual research or something else factual to back up the idea.

A couple of supplements helped me be able to stop taking some prescription medication that was almost worse than the problem it was supposed to solve. But I did lots of research and did find a number of legitimate peer reviewed studies that backed it up.

"Farm to Table"

The South Dakota soybean association is currently running a propaganda campaign trying to make a claim that big ag soybean producers are the "real" farm to table as a gateway to peddle their industry narrative. There are billboards all over the place out here that they purchased. So my answer would be no, something like soybeans run through the big ag system and kicked out the other end as some unrecognizable food product at a chain grocery store is not farm to table.

If one of the produce farmers I buy from directly happened to grow organic soybeans for edamame that might be about the only one I could think of where soybeans would be actually farm to table.

KFC - The Colonel's Comeback !!

The creepy colonel was modeled after GW Bush. The commercials seem like more of a drunk GW and they creep me out. They have new commercials (saw one today) with a less creepy version of the colonel.

"It’s the singer not the song" The percieved advantage of luxury cookware.

Some pretty wonderful and memorable food has been made over a campfire with a cast iron pan. :-)

Cheap Dutch Oven Recommendations Sought

I second the Lodge suggestion. I have the non enameled ones (2 sizes). They have held up well including being toted camping and abused by newbie cooks.

Aug 13, 2015
blackpointyboots in Cookware

Aldi Vs. Costco

Thanks for all the input!
We currently buy groceries at a number of places.
Costco for things like meat, bulk of things we use lots of, some produce, yogurt and some of their gluten free offerings.
We round that out with produce and canned goods from the local Asian store, a few things at a local natural foods store and the local Hyvee store for whatever we couldn't find somewhere else.

There is a rumor we might be getting a Trader Joes at some point as part of a larger downtown redevelopment.

Aug 11, 2015
blackpointyboots in Chains

Gluten-free flours

We have been using Namaste brand GF flour mix. Costco carries it. Have had good results using it in certain things.

Muffins it was too gummy. Some other baked goods I needed to back off the amount of flour just slightly. Using it in specifically GF recipes it worked pretty well.

Aldi Vs. Costco

So we are finally getting an Aldi in a few months. Costco moved in about a year and a half ago.

So what items do you always get at Aldi due to price or quality or at Costco because of the same if those are your two options?

Aug 07, 2015
blackpointyboots in Chains

Does Your Lemonade Need Activated Charcoal?

Oh but it has "alkaline water". That is another useless fad going around. People are paying considerable amounts of money for bottled alkaline water. It is being peddled as everything from a cancer cure to a weight loss aid.

Our tap water is considerably alkaline. It causes havoc in our fish tank and hot tub. I would gladly bottle it and sell it for $12 a gallon if anyone really needs this magic water :-)

As others have mentioned, charcoal is frequently used to help deal with poisoning cases. I would be concerned ongoing consumption as part of your diet might cause some problems

Milk fractures and mortality

Of course. Whatever idea was being promoted in the early 1980's that milk was going to save you from horrible osteoporosis or breaking bones, my mother bought it completely. She would hound me to drink another glass of milk all the time as a teenager.

Organic agriculture is a colossal hoax

There are a few things obviously wrong with this:
1. You are citing Forbes, they are sort of like the National Enquirer for the conservative business fanboys. They have no fact checking standards so what they publish is a total crapshoot.
2. You are citing the Hoover Inst. others have pointed out why that is pretty much laughable.

We have a good sized organic garden in our back yard. We put a considerable amount of work into it. Our neighbors are wankers who hire out one of those low rent chain lawn spraying companies. These clowns have oversprayed our yard multiple times. So I am pretty sure even our carefully tended organic veggie garden might fail a screening test. That doesn't mean I am going to run out and buy Burpee seeds and an armload of chemical garden products. I did contact the lawn service and told them if this happens a third year they will be seeing me in court next summer.

I have noticed a significant uptick in these kinds of posts on Chowhound in the last month. People positing these ideas how we should all toss out the idea of organic foods, or that the swill big ag/processed food companies are selling is just spiffy and we should all rush back to buying it right now. Much of it has sounded like a wish list of the Grocery Manufacturers Assn. I am pretty sure this isn't coincidence. It comes in two forms. People who actually have a stake in the industry or those who read the industry talking points distributed as "news" and repeat it assuming it must be right because they read it in some magazine or saw it on the news.

This is textbook industry PR efforts and I see it on a regular basis in the realm of other industries. On the food front right now the mid sized Midwest city I live in is plaster will big ag billboards claiming to be the "truth" about farm to table. The imagery looks very foodie and green. The regional grocery chain that is wall to wall big ag unhealthy food options is doing a massive remodel. The store in question is the largest grocery store in the state. I was in there over the weekend and saw some of the remodel they finished. What was the deli counter selling low quality lunch meat is now "chaucuterie". They added a wall of white tile and a glass fronted fridge case of $25 a pound prosciutto. The rest was the previous offerings. Grocery stores, processed foods and big ag have been losing money quarter after quarter. This is their hail mary pass to try to regain their lost market share and blindly obedient masses. On one hand trash anything remotely foodie, sustainable or local food. On the other do anything they can to greenwash or foodie-wash industrial food offerings. The same store has a "local harvest" veggie display in the front of the produce dept. None of it is local or even regional produce.

This sudden influx of industry propaganda is an act of total desperation.

Things you might not know about Walmart and/or Kewpie Mayonnaise!

There is actually a notable percentage of radiation in the US food supply. Most of it is strontium 90 in things like grains, beans, milk and meat. The amounts are small but they are fairly across the board in those foods. It IS a problem but the FDA doesn't want to deal with it since it is a difficult problem to resolve. So instead they tell people the "intervention level" where they will pull food off the market is a level of "safety" when it isn't. There are some imported foods that are way worse than others. Certain food products are still banned if they come from certain parts of Europe. Wild berries, wild boar and mushrooms are still consistently found to be significantly contaminated from Chernobyl. Food products from Japan that have been found on export to be contaminated included wild mushrooms, Japanese teas and some fish species.

The truth is that there have been no real cohort studies done on the total health risk from ongoing consumption of foods with lower levels of contamination.

Aug 01, 2015
blackpointyboots in Chains

An Inconvenient Truth and environmentally friendly food choices

Or start a garden in your yard....

Biggest, most expensive bullshit at a fine dining restaurant.

Chicken wings, flank steak, brisket and short ribs all used to be super cheap. Once they become fad food the price skyrockets.

No kids allowed?

Where I live it is the opposite. It is the lower middle class or just low class but with a moderate amount of money who do this. We also now purposely avoid a long list of restaurants because the amount of misbehaving kids is almost assured your meal will include someone's child showing up at your table, running around the servers, staring at you from their booth or making a riot while the parents don't even try to control them.

That said, I was in a local restaurant this morning that is mostly a coffee, breakfast, lunch type place. There were a few children but they were well behaved.

Now if the powers that be would get all the unruly kids in the grocery store to behave...

An Inconvenient Truth and environmentally friendly food choices

GMO and organic issues are a different scope that climate change. Part of the push against GMO is due to Monsanto's domination of food and see markets. Less diversity raises risks to the food supply. It also puts the food supply in the hands of a less than reputable company. The currently marketed GMO crops take significant amounts of herbicides in order to grow them. This is something many take issue with because those herbicides end up in the food supply and the environment. Roundup was declared a carcinogen by the WHO recently, though the problem has been known for decades. So there is a legitimate problem that is outside of climate change and larger than just the GMO designation of the seeds being used.

Organic and the lack of these same pesticides/herbicides has been a large reason for many to opt for them. Again, climate change is not the primary motivator. Organic foods can still have problems like radioactive contamination or heavy metals contamination due to where they are grown.

Eating less beef as others have mentioned is an approachable step. As does eating less meat in general.

Martin Yan new show on PBS. Vietnamese cooking

Yes, it is quite similar to how Ming Tsai did the Japanese cooking series.

Martin Yan new show on PBS. Vietnamese cooking

His bio as a chef and culinary scholar is pretty impressive. I have watched the show and his handling of the material is engaging and does a great job showcasing a variety of places and things. It is a better travel meets food meets culture show than the others on cable.

Costco short grain rice?

Don't feel bad. I still occasionally have head hunters from San Diego send me emails about jobs they are trying to fill. I have to admit those jobs are really tempting in January

Jul 28, 2015
blackpointyboots in Chains

Things you might not know about Walmart and/or Kewpie Mayonnaise!

Groceries online can be found reasonably from lots of sources that do not include Walmart. Usually the cheapest place to get something like Kewpie for me is one of the Asian stores in town. It is a real mom and pop operation (as is the one down the street from them). Prices are almost always a bit cheaper than chain grocery stores if both carry said product. They are usually equal or slightly cheaper than Amazon.

Are you seriously suggesting people knowingly eat foods that are contaminated from Fukushima or Chernobyl?

Jul 28, 2015
blackpointyboots in Chains

Costco short grain rice?

Sorry, South Dakota. Not San Diego. :-) I sooo wish we had an H Mart

Jul 26, 2015
blackpointyboots in Chains

Johnsonville Brats--what's the big deal?

Johnsonville brats are not "good" brats. I would hate to have someone base their opinion of bratwurst on them. Usinger brats are pretty good and available through places like Costco and Sams Club. I have also made brats from scratch, those turned out incredible thanks to someone giving me a decent recipe. They were a ton of work. I ground all the pork and stuffed them using my kitchen aid mixer.

The local Costco was sampling Johnsonville brats around the 4th. The daughter asked me what smelled like patchouli. It was the brats they were cooking.

Soybean Oil Causes More Obesity Than Coconut Oil and Fructose

The problem may be that these processed oil and soybean derivative products are not healthy. Since they are in much of the processed and convenience food that takes up 75% of the typical grocery store shelf space that could be a real problem.

The amount of omega 6 you consume also probably varies by person as far as how problematic it is. I have a number of auto immune disorders and arthritis. One of the suggestions is to lower omega 6 consumption as it can contribute to inflammation. I cut down on foods with high omega 6 in them and it did make a noticeable change over a few weeks. Both corn and soybean are high in omega 6. Those two food commodities are used as filler in lots of the cheap prepared and convenience foods.

Costco short grain rice?

Ours doesn't have Lundberg or hasn't had it on the rotation where I have seen it. They seem to have two or three types of basmati that they rotate. Usually a brand of jasmine and this "blue ribbon" long grain white rice. They will usually have a couple of either rice mix or more obscure types in smaller bags.

Our store in SD doesn't seem to get all the Asian products other regions have but still has many things you wouldn't see in the chain groceries.

Jul 25, 2015
blackpointyboots in Chains

Costco short grain rice?

Is there a brand of rice that Costco sells that is short grain and something more along the lines of Nishiki short/medium grain rice? I stopped buying the typical US rice varieties after I tried this brand. There really is a massive flavor difference between breeds or strains of rice. Most generic white rice you get in the US tastes like cardboard by comparison.

I picked up a bag of Basmati at Costco a few months ago and it is quite good but the long grain type and flavor isn't exactly what you need for some dishes that really need a short or medium grain rice more like Japanese rice.

Nishiki went from $1.79 a bag to $5 a bag in the last year so I am trying to determine if any variety Costco sells might be of the right type or quality and a bit cheaper per pound.

Jul 24, 2015
blackpointyboots in Chains

What is worth making from scratch to save money?

Some condiments, it really depends on what it is. We can get a gigantic jar of Costco mayo for $5. That is worth just buying it. The price at the grocery store for mayo is obscene. We make our own ketchup. Heinz organic is extremely expensive. Sometimes $3.60 for a tiny squeeze bottle. I used to buy that because the current corn syrup varieties taste like vinegar and sugar. Corn syrup also seems to give me issues if I consume any significant amount. If it is a condiment we like, it is expensive and we use quite a bit I try to make it.

We also make most salad dressings. I keep small jars in the fridge for convenience.

I don't bake bread since Costco has a reasonable priced gluten free bread that is better than one I could make at home. I do bake most everything else.

The only pre-made foods we keep on hand are some chicken nuggets and GF pizzas since Costco has them about half the price of a grocery store. Those are in the freezer for food emergencies. IE: someone needs to eat NOW or is under the weather and not willing to cook.

Jul 24, 2015
blackpointyboots in Home Cooking

Costco Food Finds - 3rd Quarter 2015

Joeseph's Gourmet Pasta. Made half of the bag with a garlic butter sauce, the other half with a marinara. The garlic butter sauce was a superior option.

Jul 12, 2015
blackpointyboots in Chains

Do you bake your own cakes or cookies ?

I bake most things since we have a number of dietary restrictions. So buying them is either impossible or expensive.