WCchopper's Profile

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Fear of waste stymies creativity

OK, so I see the two points of view. Jeebs, I have embraced the creativity in not wasting what I already have, as in leftovers, radish tops etc, and that is where I've certainly felt most comfortable experimenting. And I usually wouldn't throw something away unless it is truly inedible as with the Great Szechuan Peppercorn Debacle of '05. But as Mattstolz said, there is a lot of hesitation in making the investment into something exotic that might be ruined.Some of my siblings and I joke about "living through the Depression". Maybe mentally budgeting a low risk, inexpensive meal to counter the potential lost meal.

Jan 05, 2012
WCchopper in General Topics

Fear of waste stymies creativity

It is often said that a component of creativity is not fearing failure. However, when ingrained in one's psyche is the fact that waste of food (failure) creates want or hunger, how does one overcome this sufficiently to reach more creative potential, particularly in food and cooking?

Jan 04, 2012
WCchopper in General Topics

Putting the squeeze on food trucks

http://gothamist.com/2011/12/22/now_f...
I've been following (and trying to support the cause of) this story about new regulations, not only in Manhattan, but now in Hoboken NJ as well, making it more difficult for food trucks to do business. Having moved from a place where food trucks and brick and mortar restaurants seemed to be able to coexist, I'd be very happy to see the entry fee for a larger variety of food businesses to come to town lowered rather than raised. Anyone have any thoughts on why food trucks are a good thing? I'll be writing another letter to the city council here soon.

Dec 23, 2011
WCchopper in Food Media & News

Dried hominy in NYC

Realize this is an old post, but Mi Bandera Supermarket in Union City NJ carries several varieties. It's the only place I've personally found that sells it.

Dec 21, 2011
WCchopper in Home Cooking

Slow Food's $5 challenge - Why exactly is this pissing people off?

It think that broke down to about $1.80 pp per meal, so somewhat less than your $3 challenge which I found very interesting. Although, in fairness, the blogger is doing this in New England during the winter.

Dec 20, 2011
WCchopper in Food Media & News

Slow Food's $5 challenge - Why exactly is this pissing people off?

We're facing some really terrible new regulations on food trucks in our area. I'd love to hear a little more of your position re: their value to a better food system to assist me in trying to formulate and support my position in their support.

Dec 18, 2011
WCchopper in Food Media & News

Slow Food's $5 challenge - Why exactly is this pissing people off?

Adding fuel to the fire, I found this blogger's January challenge to stick to the USDA budget and only shop at WF:
http://truefoodmovement.com/feeding-a...

Dec 16, 2011
WCchopper in Food Media & News

Slow Food's $5 challenge - Why exactly is this pissing people off?

But then, $5 per person per meal at home is not considered cheap to a lot of people.

Dec 15, 2011
WCchopper in Food Media & News

Suggestions For Uses of Campari

Biciletta is sort of a wine "spritzer" with Campari, very nice.
Hedonia explains it here: http://hedonia.seantimberlake.com/hed...

Oct 06, 2011
WCchopper in Spirits

Where can I buy Sadaf brand grilled eggplant in a can in or near Manhattan?

Yes, I have emailed them, but thought I'd try here as well. I'm not sure if they'll have that specific information about which stores carry particular items available to give me.

Oct 06, 2011
WCchopper in Manhattan

Where can I buy Sadaf brand grilled eggplant in a can in or near Manhattan?

I used to buy Sadaf brand eggplant at a Persian grocery store in the bay area, but haven't been able to find it since moving here. I've looked at Kalustyans and Sahadis with no luck. Can anyone recommend any other places I should try?

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Kalustyan's
123 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016

Oct 06, 2011
WCchopper in Manhattan

Persian Groceries in San Francisco

Not sure if you are still looking, but when I lived in the area (last year), there were two Persian markets in Concord just off of Monument at Oak Grove. Super Tehran and International Market are both in the same small strip. I used to love the fresh flatbread (with spices).

I found this post because I'm looking for something similar here in NYC, no luck so far.

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Super Tehran
1112 Meadow Ln, Concord, CA

substituting for lamb shanks?

Neck is a great and often less expensive alternative to shanks. My butcher cut one in half lengthwise and I cooked it the same way I would cook shanks.

Oct 03, 2011
WCchopper in General Topics

East -coast Trader Joe's that sell liquor?

Do you remember the name of the fig stuff? Would like to look for it here.

Sep 20, 2011
WCchopper in Chains

Is the water in my new town preventing my beans from softening?

I live in Hoboken. Anecdotally, friends I have asked here have confirmed that "their beans never get soft" or said that their cooking friends/relatives use pressure cookers for beans, so it seems to confirm my suspicion about hard water. I think I'll try the baking soda first, since distilled water would have to be carried up 3 flights of stairs.

Sep 16, 2011
WCchopper in Home Cooking

Is the water in my new town preventing my beans from softening?

Thanks- I have heard of using baking soda before but never in association with hard water. Do you know if there is any at home way to test or determine if the water is hard?

Sep 15, 2011
WCchopper in Home Cooking

Is the water in my new town preventing my beans from softening?

Dried beans are one of my comfort foods. I've cooked them all my life, all different kinds, all levels of freshness and in different regions of the country. I would have said I'm as much a bean expert as anyone. I've always had consistent results until I moved from California to New Jersey and now i can't get my beans to soften! I know all of the issues and tricks with salt, acid, age so I'm wondering if the water has a different mineral component here that is affecting the cooking process. Anyone else have this problem? Any ideas?

Sep 15, 2011
WCchopper in Home Cooking

In praise of the kitchen scale. Do you find it so useful?

Btw, I think that the "grandmother's non-measuring" way of baking was less about not measuring and more about their using a mental scale calibrated by years of experience.

Sep 15, 2011
WCchopper in Cookware

In praise of the kitchen scale. Do you find it so useful?

Big fan of the scale; baked goods were generally far less reliably successful before I got a Salter digital.

Sep 15, 2011
WCchopper in Cookware

Is Five Guys Really the Best Fast-Food Chain?

There is no way 5 Guys is the best. I'm not saying it's not good, but it's not the best. I don't like their meat to bun to everything else proportions for one thing.

Sep 15, 2011
WCchopper in Features

What to Do When a Friend's Home-Brew Sucks

"It sucks" isn't a critique. If someone asks your opinion, it's probably because they want feedback, not thumbs up or down. Not that you can't include your reaction, but "I don't care for it and this is why..." or "it's a little hoppier than I like" or "it seems a little flat" or whatever specific issues you have with the beer are helpful and give the brewer something concrete to go on as they head back to the drawing board.

I think this is where the "discipline" of food or beverage criticism is valuable. A thoughtful, detailed critique isn't a slam and anyone seriously trying to improve will be unlikely to take it as such. But a sort of blanket, uninformative "I hate it" is just criticism and is not nearly as helpful.

Sep 15, 2011
WCchopper in Features

5 Quarts of Shrimp Stock - How to Use?

I third the gumbo suggestion.

Sep 14, 2011
WCchopper in Home Cooking

Gridiron Punch

I want to hear a review of this before I make it.

Sep 12, 2011
WCchopper in Recipes

Best Homemade Food Gift

I would enthusiastically recommend http://www.foodinjars.com/ as a very approachable resource for information about home canning. It covers the gamut from newbie to expert needing inspiration.

Sep 11, 2011
WCchopper in Home Cooking

Persons in my household sometimes have sentimental cravings for casseroles (like tuna noodle)

Yeah, I'm not dealing with a holiday craving. No one has expressed a longing for "old fashioned" green bean casserole. I know where not to pick my battle lines ;-)

I'm just going to toss out there that as families grow, new members marry in, families blend, etc, a dogmatic adherence to a particular recipe can be just as excluding and patronizing to newcomers who haven't "always done it that way" as the "do you really eat THAT- let's make it better" crowd can be.

Sep 01, 2011
WCchopper in Home Cooking

Is this true about Waffle House?

I was in a WH in Atlanta in January the morning after the big ice storm. The two employees were on their 3rd shift and were running out of food because delivery trucks couldn't get there. They were gracious to everyone that came in. DOT guys were in there eating, it was a pretty full house. It was the only place open in the area near the airport.

Sep 01, 2011
WCchopper in Chains

Food preparations for Burning Man

I love watermelon. I remain a stalwart.

Aug 31, 2011
WCchopper in Home Cooking

Persons in my household sometimes have sentimental cravings for casseroles (like tuna noodle)

Sounds like a good ski weekend meal.

Aug 31, 2011
WCchopper in Home Cooking

Persons in my household sometimes have sentimental cravings for casseroles (like tuna noodle)

Thanks all- I appreciate the input. Cooks Country is a good idea KSyrah- I've had that green bean casserole you mentioned.
I also think that Grey and Sunshine make a good point; one sometimes just wants un-messed- about-with comfort food. I understand that. I'm not trying to dramatically alter the recipe or the flavor. But there are a couple of factors- one, we don't typically keep those cans of soup in the pantry, so when the craving strikes, a special trip is necessitated for that one ingredient. And second, the palate has changed and matured over the years to appreciate a little "cleaner" more specific flavor than the cream of - soups have. I feel like the appeal has as much to do with the texture as the specific flavor.

I'll be re-reading this thread and considering your ideas. The ATK idea of using evaporated milk for mac and cheese has sprung to mind, and I bought a knob of celeriac with the though of cooking it in the sauce and then pureeing it. I don't know that I necessarily object to the mayo but was wondering what purpose it served. I'll post back with my results and the household's reaction.

Aug 31, 2011
WCchopper in Home Cooking

10 days on St. Marks Place

I like Veselka too, at 2nd Ave and 9th. They have good pierogi.

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Veselka
144 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

Aug 30, 2011
WCchopper in Manhattan