huckleberry kouign amann cold seafood platter peach fritters matsutake tempura


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archive for July 2005

mad loot

Thursday, July 28th, 2005

choosing carefully, choosing well
I made it out to Williams-Sonoma as I was ready to shop for a new addition to my cookware. I got to use the certificate that Michelle gave me – which makes it all the more special. I have been slowly acquiring The Array of Cookware that suits my needs. I hate cooksets. Here is why: No serious cook will ever find the ideal pan for every need in a cookset. It is impossible. Cooksets don’t come with a cast iron skillet for one thing. Secondly, none of the surfaces are all-purpose enough if your repertoire spans more than three styles of cooking. I have an excellent sauté pan for searing. I have an excellent double boiler for pastries and confections. I have a lovely non-stick griddle pan… What I wanted was a high quality non-stick pan for stir fry. I have plenty of workhorse non-sticks, but few can withstand the high heat without warping for more than two or three years.

getting technical about chinese cooking
Some people are intimidated when they walk into Williams-Sonoma because the staff are very knowledgable. I wish REI employees knew as much about the gear they sell as WS employees know about the equipment they sell. These people COOK. So I inquired about the 8.5 quart non-stick dutch oven. The lady didn’t understand why you would want one non-stick. I explained that I wanted it for chinese cooking – that woks are only useful under flames that few domestic ranges can produce and that the high sides of a dutch oven and the wide base allow for clean tossing and even heating for all ingredients. She was intrigued and we discussed the technique at length. She asked if I would invite her over for dinner sometime! In the end, the race between Calphalon and All Clad has been tied in my kitchen. I came away with this:




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rain on me

Monday, July 25th, 2005

It’s amazing how your entire day can whittle away as you tend to small chores. We managed to get a lot done. The gear room/area is at 25% completion. Pics to come when it’s done, Ro. You’ll dig it! In my efforts to conserve water, I collect warm up water (when you wait for shower or kitchen sink water to warm up) or produce rinse water and administer it to the various plants in the yard that need it. The fun part is, I can get to some of them from the deck:




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it’s done

Saturday, July 23rd, 2005

No, not the house, but for all intents and purposes, the kitchen – she is done. I had been toying with asking my neighbor for some aspen log cuttings so I could build some bookcases to go under the kitchen bar. But the more I looked into the various materials, the more I desired some pre-fab, particle board, DIY kit, cheap thing… my answer came today in the form of a $25 bookcase that ACTUALLY FIT the dimensions I needed, while looking for faux wood touch-up marker at McGuckin’s for my crappy busted particle board bookcases that got dinged yet again… Me and particle board – we go way back. These two bookcases fit to within 1/2 inch of the space needed (b/c there are drawers and cabinet doors to the right).




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