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susanl143's Profile

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Would this rub you the wrong way? (House Guests selectively picking up the tab) and questions on house guest expectations

I've been disabled for a long time and money is very tight. That being said, I would never be a guest and not do something to hold up my end. If I am visiting people away from home, I pack a bag of goodies from my home state (NH) that are hard to find elsewhere. The cost isn't high but the time and thought can be. The cost compared to a hotel stay is minimal. If we are going out I love to treat everyone to breakfast as usually the bill isn't overly high and I can manage it better than dinner. I'd be mortified to act like a free loader knowing that my presence requires extra time, money, and trouble and also knowing that without the hospitality, my costs would be far higher. If my hosts don't go out a lot, I'll pick up a grocery bill if I can -- if it isn't supplies for their household for the next month but a trip out to pick up food for the next few days, for example. It just seems right to me.

Apr 07, 2014
susanl143 in Not About Food
6

Why would someone decide to avoid all food products made in the States?

Every time I think I understand what Agrobusiness is adding to the food they sell, I discover they are doing something not labeled and not anything I wish to eat. An example is the additive they give to pigs right before slaughter that causes them to have more lean meat and less fat. It also turns out to cause their bones to break if they aren't killed right away. That is just one chemical in a horror of chemicals that are used in our food supply. We aren't told about it and we aren't given the choice not to eat them unless we opt out of the commercial mainstream all together. I remember the days I could shop in a supermarket and all I worried about was how the food looked and the price. Now I worry that the food will slowly kill me. I barely shop anywhere but at local farms these days. I miss the convenience. I miss the sense of safety. I think the mother of that Canadian child is doing the right thing and I live right here in the USA.

Feb 18, 2014
susanl143 in General Topics

Help! I'm having a party for 40!

I, as well as many other people, try to stay gluten free. The broccoli salad recipe was sounding perfect until the dressing. White vinegar is not good for gluten free. A simple substitution of cider vinegar for the white and the recipe would still be yummy and now safe to eat.

Feb 15, 2014
susanl143 in Home Cooking

Costco Food Finds - 1st Quarter 2014 [OLD]

If you need a coupon for one of the few items that requires one, I was told -- at the Nashua Costco -- to stop by the membership desk and they'd give me the coupon.

Feb 12, 2014
susanl143 in Chains

Birthday Dinners... who pays? what is the etiquette?

I was the birthday girl at one of these. It was supposedly a surprise party for me in a reasonably priced pub. My meal was being paid for was my understanding. I bought a bottle of wine for the table. All was going well until a friend showed up with three friends, two of whom I didn't know and all were very drunk. One man dug his hand into the plate of a friend, practically bringing her to tears as she had been enjoying her food and rarely got to go out. My wine glass was picked up by another who finished my wine, which I had been enjoying. The special desert was demolished by these people, with me not even getting a taste of the birthday cake. They had all ordered drinks but disappeared when the bill came. Needless to say, the party organizer was frantic. I pulled out my wallet and paid the bill not covered by the others. I don't think the party organizer ever organized another party and my relationship with the gal who bought the drunks was never as friendly again.

Feb 11, 2014
susanl143 in Not About Food

Michelin restaurant for Saturday lunch?

La Belle de Jour would be a good restaurant name.

Feb 11, 2014
susanl143 in France

Are dinner parties passé?

There was a time, before massive inflation came in the early 1970s, when the usual marriage arrangement was the husband working outside the home and the wife staying home. Such living arrangements are mostly gone due to the economic necessity of two incomes being needed to maintain a middle class lifestyle. When both adults in the marriage work full time and return to care for the children and do all the many things required to keep a home from falling to pieces or prevent the need to tunnel through growing clutter, finding the time and energy to entertain with an old fashioned dinner party comes hard. Such entertainment can be expensive and worse, time consuming -- especially if the back log of house work needs doing before a comfortable place to dine can exist. I think that those who manage to entertain in any fashion at all under these circumstances are heroic.

Feb 09, 2014
susanl143 in General Topics
1

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay - February 2014! [OLD]

I haven't tried it yet but I like to use vinegar to tenderize beef. I marinate it in the vinegar for an hour or two. I bet pomegranate vinegar would be yummy.

Feb 03, 2014
susanl143 in Chains

Hoppin' John?

Proper New Year's hopping John needs to also have some greens cooked in. I use Kale. The symbolism is green for money in the new year and beans for coins. Just shred or cut some greens and toss them in towards the end of cooking time for the beans. Cook until the greens are tender -- maybe 15 to 20 minutes. Depending on the heat under the beans and the size of your shreds maybe a bit less or more time. Yummy -- and good for our health so even if the money doesn't arrive we get something even more valuable.

Dec 31, 2013
susanl143 in Home Cooking

1 20lb or 2 10lb turkeys?

I raise heritage breed Royal Palm turkeys. They dress out at about 9 pounds each. However, you get a lot more to eat from my turkeys than a similar weight of supermarket bird. The meat isn't puffed up with fluids that cook out. The meat is denser due to the fact that the turkey free ranges on pasture and is more filling as well as tastier. If you used two of my birds compared to an 18-20 pound Butterball, you could feed many more people. And -- the cooking time would be considerably less.

Dec 28, 2013
susanl143 in Home Cooking

Costco Food Finds - 3rd Quarter 2013 [OLD}

Another change in product I don't like is the new Artichoke/Jack Cheese mix (dip? spread?) I like neither the taste nor the texture. Before this came out, sold in the very same spot in the store was the parmesian/artichoke mix. That one was addictive. I miss it. Once was enough for the substitute.

Aug 24, 2013
susanl143 in Chains

Inexpensive Labor Day Party Ideas

Your families want to see your house and celebrate with you rather than cost you an arm and a leg. Mention you have no grill and ask everyone to bring something for pot luck. Someone is likely to bring a grill but even if not, you won't spend a ton of money and everyone will have a good time getting together and warming your new home.

Aug 11, 2013
susanl143 in Home Cooking

Long Island: good food along Rt 27

It was a long time ago but my parents would take me to Bigelows from when I was a very small child until I was grown and moved away. I always loved it. As it is informal, and sitting at the bar no problem, I would certainly call it child and family friendly.

May 24, 2013
susanl143 in New York State (exc. NYC)

Pastured Chickens?

Free range means the coop has an open door and the chicken can walk outside if it wants to, although even if it doesn't, it is still called free range. The outside yard can be gravel or cement. Pastured chickens live outside on the grass at least part of the day. They eat the grass, the bugs, and anything they can steal from the garden.

Apr 16, 2013
susanl143 in San Francisco Bay Area

Corned Beef

A slice rewarmed in a modern 1200 w microwave, unless a huge, thick slice would turn to shoe leather at 25 seconds. To avoid overcooking, try at half power and even at that, try 15 seconds. Good luck.

Mar 08, 2013
susanl143 in Home Cooking

A new wrinkle in discussion about tipping

I'd agree about avoiding such a place in a business group but rarely am I the one choosing the restaurant for the group.

Mar 06, 2013
susanl143 in Food Media & News

A new wrinkle in discussion about tipping

Funny, so far everyone is going out to eat to enjoy themselves. I guess no one here ever goes out to lunch to promote business or business relationships. I have often gone to a restaurant I don't particularly enjoy and wouldn't have chosen for myself just to be with the company of others at a conference or workshop. If I made a fuss about a server's shirt, I suspect my business relationships would suffer. In joining a large group for lunch, often the service suffers. I still tip my share or more. Funny, I think looking like a rude and thoughtless person isn't good for my image -- not to mention I've got better things to do than sweat the small stuff or save pennies by judging harshly those around me.

Mar 06, 2013
susanl143 in Food Media & News

A new wrinkle in discussion about tipping

It is sad to think that some people are so intolerant of others who are different from themselves that just a t shirt expressing a political belief different from their own would spoil their experience of going out to eat. In elections, usually each candidate gets lots of votes and supporters. The world is full of people who differ from us. Accept it and move on. If the server wears something that expresses their opinion and you are offended, are you going to be offended next if you see them wearing a religious symbol of a religion different from yours? What if they have different color skin than you do? Tip on the basis of service as you always do and lighten up about the servers beliefs. If you have so much time to stare at the server and worry about them, maybe you need to go out to eat with more interesting companions.

Mar 06, 2013
susanl143 in Food Media & News

Cape Cod Fish Share

Back in the days i was catching them myself and got sick of eating blue fish, despite how tasty it was fresh, I found that smoked blue fish was wonderful. You might try that and also smoking some of the other fish that comes in so you can enjoy it after your five week period is over. Wish I was closer to the shore to join the CCFS too.

Feb 14, 2013
susanl143 in Greater Boston Area

Which coffee do you buy from the supermarket?

+1 for French Market.

$5.99 for a full pound at Market Basket also makes it one of the least expensive these days.

Feb 13, 2013
susanl143 in General Topics

What do I do with 100 grapefruits?

Candied grapefruit peel, straight or dipped in chocolate. Sell or give as gifts if you can't eat that much. Yum.

Jan 30, 2013
susanl143 in Home Cooking

Meat from CSA - not vacc sealed. Is this "normal"?

As an organic meat producer who is friends with CSA farmers, one difference is the scale of meat packing. With perhaps one steer or at most two, the packing is done by hand. Vacuum packing or shrink wrap equipment costs more and isn't particularly necessary as long as the wrapping is good. The bacterial exposure is usually far, far less than commercial meat packing as well. I use freezer weight two gallon zipper plastic bags. There is a good seal and no freezer burn. I've also seen plenty of freezer paper used. They work. There's no problem. If your meat tastes great, stop worrying. If you insist upon vacuum sealing, I guess you can get a home sealer easily enough.

Jan 21, 2013
susanl143 in General Topics

Ate expired cottage cheese, will I get sick, what to do?

Usually those dates on a package are "sell by" rather than "use by" dates. Often a package will say "best if used by . . ." but that is referring to deteriorating flavor, not turning to poison. I simply can't imagine a properly stored container having gone toxic in one week past the use or sell date unless it had some other problem, like bad storage somewhere in transit or a broken seal. Yes, your nerves can make your stomach very uneasy. Just hearing someone else throw up causes many people to throw up themselves. I'd get rid of the rest of the cheese because you didn't like it but give up worrying unless you get symptoms considerably worse. As you feel well enough to eat dinner, I'm pretty sure nothing bad was eaten.

Jan 20, 2013
susanl143 in General Topics

The line cooks are abused

I'm learning some things here about some regulars on CH that I never wanted to know. If you think that paying a poverty level wage for hard work and adding rude and abusive behavior to that is an okay way to do business, you shouldn't be in business. I am reading some writers here saying that less than minimum wage is just necessary to do business. These are the same people who say if you can't afford to leave a decent tip, you can't afford to eat out. Well the same is true of the restaurant business. If you can't pay a decent wage for a decent days work, than you can't afford to be in business. Close. If you think you can get away with paying less than the law requires and far less than actual life requires because your workers aren't the best, then get rid of those incompetent workers (and what did you expect for the pittance you were paying anyhow?). pay more and get what you pay for. if the economics of your business won't support that, you are in the wrong business.

People stay in bad jobs for all kinds of reasons. You can always find some to exploit and some of those will find a way to even or get ahead of you by sneaky ways. All in all, it is a recipe for a bad restaurant, with angry employees who feel rightfully abused and at odds with their employer. As a taxpayer, I also feel abused because those underpaid employees qualify for public assistance despite working day and night. Work out a business model that allows your employees to make a living or get out of the business and let the restaurants that treat employees fairly get your customers.

Jan 10, 2013
susanl143 in Food Media & News

What do you cook your cornbread in?

I use a cast iron skillet. I leave shortening out of the cornbread batter and instead melt a couple of tablespoons of butter in the skillet on top of the stove. One could use bacon fat instead. I add the batter to the melted butter and allow it to stay on the hot stove for a few minutes and then put the skillet into the preheated oven. The corn bread cooks up in 15 to 20 minutes, crusty and buttery. Yum.

Jan 02, 2013
susanl143 in Cookware

Need winter soup recipe

I cooked up some curry powder in a dab of bacon fat and then added the ham hocks. I then degreased the pan with water and added enough water to cover the hocks and cooked them for a while. I cut up the onion from the soup greens package and then the thick carrot and added those. After simmering those for another half hour, I cut up the rest of the soup greens, including parsnip, turnip, parsley, dill, and potato and added them. Added some lemon juice and a bay leaf and two cups of the pink lentils. Simmered until all were tender, about another half hour. It made seriously delicious soup. Thank you for the ideas and recipes -- I borrowed from each.

Next time, I think I'll make squash and apple soup.

Dec 20, 2012
susanl143 in Home Cooking

Need winter soup recipe

I've got a bunch of ingredients but haven't figured out what to do with them. I have a package of soup greens, some ham hocks, and pink lentils. My tenant was soaking some dried chick peas and left them too long and now they have sprouted little roots. Can they be used? I've lots of spices. Oh, almost forgot. I've half a bushel of winter squash, mostly delicata. I don't need to use everything but I'd like something new and yummy.

Dec 17, 2012
susanl143 in Home Cooking

New Chowhound Design is Now Live!

Went to the mouthfulsfood site in hopes that it would be an improvement in design over this site. It looks to me as if this new design here is a copy of their site. Bad idea. The moderators here say they are working on answering our complaints. I'll keep checking for a design that doesn't give me a headache for a few days befoe I give up. I read Chowhound.com for pleasure. If the eyestrain causes me pain, I'll miss the site but I won't be back. Oh, besides the contrast issues, this type face is pretty but it is also hard reading.

Dec 11, 2012
susanl143 in Site Talk

New Chowhound Design is Now Live!

I hate it too. In fact, it is so bad that unless it soon changes, I will no longer visit this site -- and it has been one of my favorite sites for years. Reading this version gives me a head ache.

Dec 11, 2012
susanl143 in Site Talk

New Chowhound Design is Now Live!

I know you worked really, really hard on this new design. I wish I could say I liked it but I hate it. It is blurry and hard to read, both on the front page and after we open a section. I agree with other comments here about the gray on gray type. It makes my eyes hurt. I know you all need to be doing something to keep your jobs but fixing what wasn't broken isn't working well here. Please go back to the old design.
In fact, if you back to the design before the design you just got rid of, it would be even better.

Dec 10, 2012
susanl143 in Site Talk