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Anniebird's Profile

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what's the best brand of marmelade (orange or other)?

Because of the use of corn syrup instead of sugar in the USA we find the only decent marmalades are foreign! There are many great brands selling in the $5+ range, but luckily the dollar stores (the real ones that only sell for a dollar) often carry Egyptian or Polish or other marmalades. We've tried them all, and the worst of them is better than any standard US brand. We've found the Egyptian brands the most consistently good...with lots of rind and a good mix of flavors. And since Europe doesn't spray their orchards as much as we do, I feel better about buying these. We try to stay away from ALL Chinese food products for that reason.

Mar 07, 2015
Anniebird in General Topics

How long can pancake batter keep?

Unfortunately, in the USA eggs come from factories and tend to have salmonella and other bad bacteria. So I always keep them in the frig. Nice fresh eggs from a local place you trust of course do not need this. Also our eggs aren't usually coated with wax, as they are in some places.

Jan 01, 2015
Anniebird in Home Cooking

Asheville area, where to get hot cross buns?

I know it's too late for this year, but new to Hendersonville NC and could not find Hot Cross Buns in the area, the kind with mixed fruit NOT raisins. If you know Freihofer in the old days you know what I mean. Anyway, is there any place in the Asheville/Greenville axis to buy these? I'm just not a baker. The Italian holiday bread called Pannettone is similar when it includes mixed candied fruit. But the added joy of the hard sauce on top plus a much less sweet breadlike bun is what I'm looking for.

Apr 27, 2014
Anniebird in Southeast

Best Sandwich in the World

Aw, I'd love one right now! We ate the best one in a shopping mall in Niagara Falls.....

Apr 20, 2014
Anniebird in General Topics

Kid friendly, local, in Columbia SC

Two choices come to mind that kids would enjoy. If you like barbeque, you are about 3 miles from Little Pigs Barbeque. It's buffet and terrific Columbia barbeque, our favorite. Always full of families. see to see what they offer. For a meat and three veg restaurant, there's a Lizard's Thicket right on Two Notch road, and tho it's a chain it is only in Columbia! Standard southern cooking, variety enough to suit the kids. see
Hope you had a good meal.....

Apr 18, 2014
Anniebird in Southeast

are there any complete selection traditional local chocolatiers in the Asheville/Greenville axis?

We moved to Hendersonville NC from upstate NY, and are surprised at what seems to be a total lack, in the Asheville area, of a handmade chocolate shop that carries a full selection of traditional chocolates made right there in the shop. By traditional I mean the style of chocolates you get in a commercial box (tho not the quality of course). Can anyone recommend a chocolate shop that has bonbons, barks, etc in full complete selection near here? We'll travel to Greenville, SC, Columbia, anywhere! I guess Kilwin's ruined it for the individual chocolate maker, but they are soooo expensive, about twice what I paid in Albany NY, which had at least 3 such local shops.

Apr 18, 2014
Anniebird in Southeast

poll- where do you get your recipes?

I google the name and some ingredients of the recipe and look at several results, I like best, then almost any. I also make a lot of old warhorses that I have from mother, several MIL, and similar. Finally I have three main cookbooks -- The Settlement cookbook (both 1913 and 1960 something), Joy of Cooking and the NY times ethnic cookbook. But truly, who uses cookbooks now? I look at web recipes!

Jul 17, 2013
Anniebird in Home Cooking

Anyone been to Hubba Hubba in Hendersonville, NC?

I had the same experience, got there at 2 and they were out of most stuff. We will try it once more, especially since you can go to the bakery too and get a pizza at the same time!

Jun 11, 2013
Anniebird in Southeast

Anyone been to Hubba Hubba in Hendersonville, NC?

Believe me, Flat Rock Bakery is ABOVE if you mean climbing! If you eat outside at Hubba Hubba and climb up you are at the back of the Flat Rock Bakery. Which has terrific pizzas.

Jun 11, 2013
Anniebird in Southeast

Better cheddar?

I love a NY sharp cheddar right off the wheel, don't like it crumbly but with a good assertive flavor, and was despairing in the south (Texas, North Carolina) of finding a decent sharp cheddar other than Cabot Hunters, which is too "Vermont" for my taste. Then I discovered that below the Mason-Dixon line you need to look for cheese that comes in large wedges with a red wax, usually found with local sourced sausages rather than the cheeses. They call it by different names like "wedge cheese" or "wheel cheese" or "store cheese" or such. Very often I find it without any name at all. These are the only cheddars I can find with any taste at all down here. Apparently there's a feeling that you are going to serve it with a nice venison sausage!

Oct 11, 2012
Anniebird in Cheese

Best pasta sauce in a jar?

We were lucky enough to live in Schenectady NY surrounded by wonderful Italian restaurants and local Italian cooks. You might try Casa Visco if you are in an area that you can get it. Made right in Rotterdam NY, it is authentic to our area. You'd probably most enjoy "Homestyle". And yes, even us non-Italian-Americans call it "gravy" there! But I should warn you, most of the traditional families I knew made sauce every's a family thing. You might try cheating and making the meatballs at another time and freezing affects the texture but not the flavor. Or better still, if they are school-age kids, put them to work making the meatballs and cooking the sausage!

Sep 29, 2012
Anniebird in General Topics

Most Reliable Restaurant Review Site Outside of Chowhound?

I too love Chowhound and read it deeply for my favored towns, but to decide to eat at a restaurant for the first time, I usually hit ALL the review sites, esp. Tripadvisor, but also Yelp and others. Google maps really helps in this regard, not for their own reviews(mostly lame) but because it takes you to the right spot in Tripadvisor and Yelp and combines the reviews. Reading reviews is an art! I read the worst ones first, then the best. I like that Tripadvisor has a helpfulness indicator. That said, you've got to admit that if you take reviews to heart you'd probably skip your favorite restaurants. We try to give anything halfway appetising a try!

May 28, 2012
Anniebird in Food Media & News

Scrapple vs. Liver Pudding?

Careful, once again wiki is wrong! Livermush and liver pudding are NOT the same. Quite different, actually. Both do contain pork liver, but then they differ quite a lot. Livermush as its name implies is bound with cornmeal, and is spiced in a breakfast sausage sort of way with hot pepper and sage. Liver pudding is pork liver and other organ meats mixed with rice, at least in South Carolina. To experience proper liver pudding, I'd suggest the Lizard's Thicket chain in Columbia SC for breakfast. The flavoring is primarily black pepper, lots and lots of black pepper and the format is closest to a moist hash, and fried on a grill like corned beef hash would be. The closest thing to liver pudding I've tasted is Haggis. Livermush is like scrapple turned over....much more liver used in it.
Many of the NC companies that make livermush also make a product they call liver pudding. Can't vouch for that tho.

Nov 25, 2011
Anniebird in General Topics

Kitchen Nightmares vs. Kitchen Impossible

Will anyone defend owners who keep a restaurant stable for its regular clientele? I love my old "diner", which has had one design upgrade in at least 40 years, and that one required an explanation to notice the changes -- dark green booths for light green booths and so forth. The food is ok and consistent, but that's not why the place is packed all the time. People go there because it's a home away from home. The tacky seasonal decoration is a conversation starter, and if the tree didn't have seasonal trimmings we'd worry about the owner's wife! It's comfortable -- everyone prefers booths guys, I hate to tell you! The waitresses know all about you, and the boss is always there schmoozing. There's a small counter area for the single guys to chew the fat. Workers come in in teams off the job or before, kids are enjoyed. Remember Cheers? Remember the diner in the movie Empire Falls? It's NOT about the food.

Nov 11, 2011
Anniebird in Food Media & News

The best diner in the South

Re the "sweet tea" question, I can tell you that you'd better not ask for it north of the Mason-Dixon line, they will look at you blankly! and even in DC I grew up in the 50's never hearing the term! You get iced tea and put some sugar in it if you want, just like coffee.
Only the bottled tea craze is changing that.

What kind of kitchen knives do you use?

Oh goody, someone else who lives with their Lamson Chinese Chefs knife. I admired it in a friend's kitchen and he gave one to me as a gift. No better gift, ever! With a paring knife and a serrated knife, it completes my knife needs. Does EVERYTHING. And it's what, about $40 right now?

Aug 23, 2011
Anniebird in Cookware

Top Pizza in Capital Region?

Metroland's list featuring Fireside and Smitty's tells me that the capitalland taste is still with a nice thick crust, lots of grease, and a hearty northern Italian sauce. The usual toppings are pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, sausage. and cheese, LOTS of cheese. If it doesn't ooze and the toppings don't tend to slide off the crust, it ain't Schenectady! My personal favorites are just like metroland, Fireside and Smitty's. My local choices are more limited, Joe's (in Rotterdam) -- can't be beat for pure slide -- and Highbridge Pizza. Of course you thin crispy lovers aren't happy up here, go back to Long Island where you came from (just kidding, I'm from Brooklyn originally). May I repeat tho, DO NOT BUY SLICES in the capital district. It's just not our way....and you'll always be disappointed.

Gelato in the Albany area?

You might try the Altamont restaurant The Homefront Cafe, we love the chocolate hazelnut. And you can take it across to the park.

I'm looking for good NY Style Knishes here in Boston

Hate to argue with anyone's grandmother, but gribbenes is actually chicken skin that has been crisped into crackling. The onions were always used as flavoring for the gribbenes, true, but the skin is what is the gribbenes. And wonder of wonders, you can make great tasting gribbenes in the microwave. Just another way to burn the kitchen down making them. Oh...and I can remember burning my hands on those flat square thick smaltz knishes in the 1940's at Coney THAT's authentic. But we also ate the round lightly enclosed kasha and meat ones from the don't fight, eat both!

Jul 13, 2010
Anniebird in Greater Boston Area

Top Pizza in Capital Region?

General opinion of my Guilderland/Schenectady/Glenville friends is Smitty's (aka Smith's Tavern in Voorheesville). Hope you got there! Also why are all these people eating slices??? It is NOT the upstate NY way...maybe in the city, but not here. You gotta order a pie.

Smith's Tavern
112 Maple Ave, Voorheesville, NY 12186

Any good deli in San Diego?

Josh, when you say their pickles aren't sour, I would say that half-sours are the standard in NYC and I tend to rate a deli for the halfness of them. If you meant they are sweet, then it's time to move back east!

Apr 30, 2010
Anniebird in San Diego

Local Sodas?

Have you heard about Sparkling Loganberry soda from Crystal Beach in Saratoga, NY? It has nothing to do with Saratoga sodas...tho it is called Sarasoda (get it?) and comes from PJ's BarBQ in Saratoga NY. As far as I know it is unique in flavor, very good. And as local as you can get...PJ's has had a non-carbonated loganberry drink for years for their customers, and now added the sparkle.

Mar 20, 2007
Anniebird in General Topics