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Really Cool Xmas Gifts Received

Really Cool Xmas Gifts Received
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  • Really Cool Xmas Gifts Received

    Post #1 - December 27th, 2005, 2:31 pm
    Post #1 - December 27th, 2005, 2:31 pm Post #1 - December 27th, 2005, 2:31 pm
    Really Cool Xmas Gifts Received

    I can always count on my brother Kevin to gift me with some oddity for Xmas. This year, it was a Visible Cow (a scale model that I'm going to try to put together over the holiday) and this really cool Twinkie Container:

    Image

    I'd be interested in hearing about what other food-related items have been received those in LTHland.

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #2 - December 27th, 2005, 2:41 pm
    Post #2 - December 27th, 2005, 2:41 pm Post #2 - December 27th, 2005, 2:41 pm
    Moderately food related: a tin wind-up foot-tall homer simpson, replete with beer can, fishing hat, fishing pole, and three eyed fish on line. He walks and drinks beer at the same time, which I would not have thought homer could do.

    More food related: Two types of salt this year: a box of Maldon in my stocking and a lovely, really potent, jar of 95% salt/5% black truffle from my sister.

    Awesome: A kitchenaid stand mixer.

    And finally: Beth and I got ourselves a 2 quart cuisinart ice cream maker for christmas. And we're looking for recipes. Hook me up!
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #3 - December 27th, 2005, 2:43 pm
    Post #3 - December 27th, 2005, 2:43 pm Post #3 - December 27th, 2005, 2:43 pm
    I got a copy of Tony Bourdain's Les Halles cookbook, which I promptly used last night to make Duck a l' Orange.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #4 - December 27th, 2005, 2:49 pm
    Post #4 - December 27th, 2005, 2:49 pm Post #4 - December 27th, 2005, 2:49 pm
    gleam wrote:More food related: Two types of salt this year: a box of Maldon in my stocking and a lovely, really potent, jar of 95% salt/5% black truffle from my sister.


    I would think that 95% salt would smother the 5% black truffle, though I assume it looks pretty cool. Have you tried it yet?

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #5 - December 27th, 2005, 2:57 pm
    Post #5 - December 27th, 2005, 2:57 pm Post #5 - December 27th, 2005, 2:57 pm
    My sister sent a bag of pink Hawaiian salt and a cookbook called Aunty May's Amazing Healthy Cookbook. We got a lot of chocolate and some nice wine from people.

    I was extremely glad to get the Hawaiian salt. It's the one specialty salt I keep in the kitchen aside from Maldon. I suppose you can get it on the mainland but I have so far relied on trips to Hawaii to get it.
  • Post #6 - December 27th, 2005, 3:40 pm
    Post #6 - December 27th, 2005, 3:40 pm Post #6 - December 27th, 2005, 3:40 pm
    David Hammond wrote:
    gleam wrote:More food related: Two types of salt this year: a box of Maldon in my stocking and a lovely, really potent, jar of 95% salt/5% black truffle from my sister.


    I would think that 95% salt would smother the 5% black truffle, though I assume it looks pretty cool. Have you tried it yet?

    Hammond


    Not on food, but in terms of aroma it is very, very, very truffle-tastic. I'd think that since most tastes are really smells, it'd probably work pretty well. I'm trying to decide what to make to try it on..
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #7 - December 27th, 2005, 3:41 pm
    Post #7 - December 27th, 2005, 3:41 pm Post #7 - December 27th, 2005, 3:41 pm
    You can get hawaiian red alae sea salt at the spice house, penzey's (i think), and, of course, online. They've also got the black hawaiian salt.

    Do you notice any taste difference from the clay, or is it just a nice visual touch?
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #8 - December 27th, 2005, 3:46 pm
    Post #8 - December 27th, 2005, 3:46 pm Post #8 - December 27th, 2005, 3:46 pm
    gleam wrote:You can get hawaiian red alae sea salt at the spice house, penzey's (i think), and, of course, online. They've also got the black hawaiian salt.


    Penzey's selection is pretty much limited to Fleur de Sel, French Gray and some Pacific sea salt (they'd been avoiding even carrying salt for years because, after all, it's a mineral and not a spice).

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #9 - December 27th, 2005, 4:32 pm
    Post #9 - December 27th, 2005, 4:32 pm Post #9 - December 27th, 2005, 4:32 pm
    10 days in Toronto...
    Authorized time shifting let the genie out of the bottle....
  • Post #10 - December 27th, 2005, 6:19 pm
    Post #10 - December 27th, 2005, 6:19 pm Post #10 - December 27th, 2005, 6:19 pm
    gleam wrote:More food related: Two types of salt this year: a box of Maldon in my stocking and a lovely, really potent, jar of 95% salt/5% black truffle from my sister.

    Ed,

    Is the truffle salt from Zingerman's? I was at a friends in Michigan a few months ago and tasted Zingerman's version, I was very surprised at how the truffle flavor came through, really nice. I guess it's not on Zingerman's web site but can be ordered if you call.

    gleam wrote:And finally: Beth and I got ourselves a 2 quart cuisinart ice cream maker for christmas. And we're looking for recipes. Hook me up!

    I hear ice cream, I think of MAG, she is truly a master ice cream maker.

    Nice presents!

    Enjoy,
    Gary (who is going to post a pic of a cinnamon bark from his sister in-law in a minute)
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #11 - December 27th, 2005, 6:45 pm
    Post #11 - December 27th, 2005, 6:45 pm Post #11 - December 27th, 2005, 6:45 pm
    G Wiv wrote:
    Is the truffle salt from Zingerman's? I was at a friends in Michigan a few months ago and tasted Zingerman's version, I was very surprised at how the truffle flavor came through, really nice. I guess it's not on Zingerman's web site but can be ordered if you call.


    I don't think it was purchased at zingerman's. This is the salt.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #12 - December 27th, 2005, 8:23 pm
    Post #12 - December 27th, 2005, 8:23 pm Post #12 - December 27th, 2005, 8:23 pm
    We had a nice simple rice pilaf with dinner tonight, and I sprinkled some of the truffle salt on it. Phenomenal. Truffle-tastic.

    Seriously, really, really good. If you're willing to drop the dough, I think this is a great product.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #13 - December 27th, 2005, 8:38 pm
    Post #13 - December 27th, 2005, 8:38 pm Post #13 - December 27th, 2005, 8:38 pm
    Best food-related item: Shun "Alton's Angles" 6.5" knife. Slices onions and peppers like buttah.

    Let's see, what else? Flexible cutting mats, dark chocolate with cocoa nibs (mmm 72%), and Bourdain's "Kitchen Confidential" (about time I read that one, instead of just quoting it).
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #14 - December 27th, 2005, 9:06 pm
    Post #14 - December 27th, 2005, 9:06 pm Post #14 - December 27th, 2005, 9:06 pm
    gleam wrote:I don't think it was purchased at zingerman's. This is the salt.

    Ed,

    I phrased my last post poorly as it made it seem the truffle salt was made by Zingerman's. What I meant was my friend bought it there and, it may very well have been the Ritrovo.

    Either way, the truffle salt is damn good.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #15 - December 27th, 2005, 10:26 pm
    Post #15 - December 27th, 2005, 10:26 pm Post #15 - December 27th, 2005, 10:26 pm
    LTH,

    Cool culinary Christmas gift wise, my sister in-law brought me a length of cinnamon she purchased on 'spice street' in Korea.
    Image

    Not sure where the cinnamon originated, but it's intense, very pungent/flavorful. Interestingly, there is almost no scent until it's grated, then pow. She's a teacher and uses an emery board on the cinnamon bark for class.
    Image

    We had house guests so Monday breakfast I made a batch of baked french toast with leftover rolls, half & half and eggs. I use both fresh grated nutmeg and cinnamon in french toast and the 'Korean' bark was worlds more expressive than my usual thin 2-inch lengths.

    Baked french toast, which had deflated by the time I took the picture. :)
    Image

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #16 - December 27th, 2005, 11:45 pm
    Post #16 - December 27th, 2005, 11:45 pm Post #16 - December 27th, 2005, 11:45 pm
    HI,

    I got a number of interesting things this year.

    From Josephine, I got a small quantity of Mayor Daley's honey from the beehives kept on the roof of city hall. I haven't eaten a bit, I just keep showing off the jar.

    From my parents, I got something I never expected: a day in the kitchen at Carlos in Highland Park followed by dinner for 2.

    My favorite new Christmas ornament: a plate of jello with a serving spoon.

    I'll touch on more perhaps later ...

    I also gave some nice culinary gifts:

    At Christmas dinner, we suddenly realized nobody had set any salt. When I asked my sister to get some from the kitchen, she returned with a 1 pound bulk container. Not exactly what I wanted, so I asked her to find a red tube under the tree addressed to my niece Elizabeth. Since everyone knew presents was after dinner, they were surprised at my request. I gave the tube to Liz advising it was her present to share with everyone. Liz had a very big smile when she unwrapped a sea salt grinder ready for action. She is the salt lover in our family. Everyone had an opportunity to check out the salt grinder.

    For my niece Brittany, I started giving her cookbooks: From Julia's (Child's) Kitchen and American Gourmet by Jane and Michael Stern. Both are very readable books and might spark some ideas.

    For my friend Helen, I gave her something she doesn't need to arrange, dust or store. We took a sushi making class together, which I promise to post about soon!

    My Mom has most everything she wants. She enjoys a night out and about more than anything, we went to a Christmas Madrigal Dinner held at the Chicago Cultural Center.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #17 - December 28th, 2005, 12:27 am
    Post #17 - December 28th, 2005, 12:27 am Post #17 - December 28th, 2005, 12:27 am
    I received way more gifts than any human could deserve this year. Among the food-related were a number of cookbooks off of my Amazon wishlist, a beautiful 12" non-stick LTD AllClad skillet (I wanted a non-stick, dammit, so I don't want to hear it!), and a number of favorite foodstuffs as stocking stuffers including our perennial family favorite - smoked oysters. Still . . . I'm blown away by the sheer genius of one of the unexpected gifts - flipflop sandals with built-in bottle openers! That's right, there are beach shoes with the essential church-key built right in. Once I noted that there was a {patent pending} notation next to the church key I though, hmmmm, should I rush to the patent office and quickly enter in my design for a flip-flop with a built-in roach clip? :)

    For our annual family beach vacations it is invariable that somehow we will misplace the all-important bottle opener while on the beach. Somebody tosses it back into the cooler and the ice swallows it up, or it is on the lid of one of the coolers and falls into the sand or . . . anyway, you get the picture. Now, equipped with my mighty bottle-opening flip-flops no beer bottle will deny me access! I salute the designers for their build-a-better-mousetrap approach and look forward to a future of walking and beer drinking without ever again worrying about 'who has the damn churchkey?".
    Objects in mirror appear to be losing.
  • Post #18 - December 28th, 2005, 7:25 am
    Post #18 - December 28th, 2005, 7:25 am Post #18 - December 28th, 2005, 7:25 am
    Kman wrote:- flipflop sandals with built-in bottle openers! That's right, there are beach shoes with the essential church-key built right in.

    Genius, pure genius!
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #19 - December 28th, 2005, 9:33 am
    Post #19 - December 28th, 2005, 9:33 am Post #19 - December 28th, 2005, 9:33 am
    On the 3rd night of Hannukah, Hannukah Harry brought to me what I've been wanting for ages: an old school warm-up suit.

    Food related? Well, now I can fit in with the crowd at Caffe Italia and other places.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #20 - December 28th, 2005, 10:56 am
    Post #20 - December 28th, 2005, 10:56 am Post #20 - December 28th, 2005, 10:56 am
    gleam wrote:You can get hawaiian red alae sea salt at the spice house, penzey's (i think), and, of course, online. They've also got the black hawaiian salt.

    Do you notice any taste difference from the clay, or is it just a nice visual touch?


    I go to Spice House a lot and have never seen it. I may be missing it but I think not because it's all in one place.

    I do notice a taste difference.
  • Post #21 - December 28th, 2005, 10:58 am
    Post #21 - December 28th, 2005, 10:58 am Post #21 - December 28th, 2005, 10:58 am
    Vital Information wrote:On the 3rd night of Hannukah, Hannukah Harry brought to me what I've been wanting for ages: an old school warm-up suit.

    Food related? Well, now I can fit in with the crowd at Caffe Italia and other places.


    Wish I had thought to ask for a warm-up suit. You know, a good look is the warm-up suit and a white cap with a short, snap-brim.

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #22 - December 28th, 2005, 11:38 am
    Post #22 - December 28th, 2005, 11:38 am Post #22 - December 28th, 2005, 11:38 am
    I have been on a Neapolitan fixation so a friend has given me the book Naples at Table: Cooking in Campania by Arthur Schwartz which is supposed to arrive next week. Can't wait.

    If I am very good in this life, perhaps I will come back as a Neapolitan (no- not the pastry). :lol:

    Bill/SFNM
  • Post #23 - December 28th, 2005, 11:48 am
    Post #23 - December 28th, 2005, 11:48 am Post #23 - December 28th, 2005, 11:48 am
    bibi rose wrote:
    gleam wrote:You can get hawaiian red alae sea salt at the spice house, penzey's (i think), and, of course, online. They've also got the black hawaiian salt.

    Do you notice any taste difference from the clay, or is it just a nice visual touch?


    I go to Spice House a lot and have never seen it. I may be missing it but I think not because it's all in one place.

    I do notice a taste difference.


    Thinking back, I haven't seen it on my past two trips. They've also been out of the coconut+lime smoked salt. Maybe they'll have a new stock now that christmas is over.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #24 - December 28th, 2005, 12:21 pm
    Post #24 - December 28th, 2005, 12:21 pm Post #24 - December 28th, 2005, 12:21 pm
    Bill/SFNM wrote:I have been on a Neapolitan fixation so a friend has given me the book Naples at Table: Cooking in Campania by Arthur Schwartz which is supposed to arrive next week. Can't wait


    Do you have other books by Arthur Schwarz? I will be interested in your comments on his book. He used to have a daily radio program in New York City doing food commentary, which I would sometimes listen to over the internet.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #25 - December 28th, 2005, 12:45 pm
    Post #25 - December 28th, 2005, 12:45 pm Post #25 - December 28th, 2005, 12:45 pm
    bibi rose wrote:
    gleam wrote:You can get hawaiian red alae sea salt at the spice house, penzey's (i think), and, of course, online. They've also got the black hawaiian salt.

    Do you notice any taste difference from the clay, or is it just a nice visual touch?


    I go to Spice House a lot and have never seen it. I may be missing it but I think not because it's all in one place.

    I do notice a taste difference.


    It's possible they're out, but they do carry Hawaiian salts.
    Being gauche rocks, stun the bourgeoisie
  • Post #26 - December 28th, 2005, 1:13 pm
    Post #26 - December 28th, 2005, 1:13 pm Post #26 - December 28th, 2005, 1:13 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:Do you have other books by Arthur Schwarz? I will be interested in your comments on his book. He used to have a daily radio program in New York City doing food commentary, which I would sometimes listen to over the internet.


    Cathy2,

    I had never heard of this author before and was dubious about a Neapolitan cookbook writer named Schwartz. But then my favorite Mexican cookbooks are written by Kennedy and Bayless. And of course there the French books by Child. So you can't judge a book by ....

    This book by Schwartz comes highly recommended, so I'll give it a try and report back.

    Best,
    Bill/SFNM
  • Post #27 - December 28th, 2005, 3:07 pm
    Post #27 - December 28th, 2005, 3:07 pm Post #27 - December 28th, 2005, 3:07 pm
    Cathy2-- So glad you get a kick out of the Mayor's honey. I thought you would. I have one jar left, so one day I'll pick up some White Lily flour and make some biscuits (my favorite food on earth) and we'll taste it. You can keep your jar intact as a novelty.

    As I posted on the Christmas Dinner thread, I received a wonderful gift from my brother, who has a grass-fed Angus business. It was a well-marbled rib roast, accompanied by a sampler of steaks and burgers. Wow! GWiv and I had discussed grass-fed beef at the Klas dinner, and I wasn't expecting the marbling, because I was thinking the beef might be very lean. But the fat was definitely there, causing me to envision my coronary artery in Woody Allen's histrionic terms: "congealing into a hockey puck." (I made cheesecake once, and realizing what's in it, have this image everytime it's offered. I certainly will never again bake it). In any case, this was quite a treat. I will post pics once I figure out how to do it.

    Another gift was the book, "Seasonal Southwest Cooking" signed by the author, Barbara Fenzl. Though it looks to be more of a coffee table book,
    the recipes seem right for those times when you just need a twist on the tried and true (like grits or cornbread, or gingerbread).

    My father loves anything with ginger, so I made him a ginger-pear fruitcake, and gave him a jar of candied ginger and ginger shortbread. His other obsession is amaretti di Sarronno, which I found in special holiday tin. My mother is more into familiar tastes from the past, so I made her a sour cream cinnamon walnut coffee cake to take home.

    My daughter received batterie de cuisine, to assist her in surviving on boarding-school food. There is a kitchen in the basement of her dorm, and she has already developed a reputation as "the girl who can cook." Of her many artistic accomplishments, this is the one that apparently gets her noticed on campus. Her (more modest) take on attracting notice for her cooking is that it is a sad commentary on the fact that "no one cooks anymore." Her survey of the other kids suggests that their families order take-out every night or eat pre-prepared frozen food. She is writing a cookbook for her fellow students designed to help them make palatable dishes out of salad bar standards combined with a few added ingredients. Some members of this board have jokingly referred to "emergency spice kits" but she is taking this idea very seriously, as industrial tater tots and mystery meat represent the level of cooking at the school she attends. She plans to put together mini bottles of condiments available at Cost Plus World Market to give to her friends at school. Santa's attempt to address the culinary crisis took the form of shelf-stable boxed Indian vegetarian dinners and condiments.
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #28 - December 28th, 2005, 3:09 pm
    Post #28 - December 28th, 2005, 3:09 pm Post #28 - December 28th, 2005, 3:09 pm
    yay santa:

    microplane
    squeezable mise en place cups
    Polcyn/Ruhlman's Charcuterie
    Alford/Duguid's Mangoes and Curry Leaves
    French Cooking in Ten Minutes-Edouard de Pomiane
    Blue Trout and Black Truffles: the peregrinations of an epicure-Joseph Wechsberg

    double yum:

    Larousse Gastronomique :)
    Being gauche rocks, stun the bourgeoisie
  • Post #29 - December 28th, 2005, 3:19 pm
    Post #29 - December 28th, 2005, 3:19 pm Post #29 - December 28th, 2005, 3:19 pm
    Bill/SFNM wrote:
    I had never heard of this author before and was dubious about a Neapolitan cookbook writer named Schwartz. But then my favorite Mexican cookbooks are written by Kennedy and Bayless. And of course there the French books by Child. So you can't judge a book by ....

    This book by Schwartz comes highly recommended, so I'll give it a try and report back.


    Bill:

    If there's something in the realm of things culinary I know very well, it's the traditional cooking of Campania. The Schwartz book is in my view very good, because he was respectful of the traditions and drew his recipes from people who grew up in the tradition. There are some mistakes and inaccuracies in the surrounding discussion, but the recipes are really solid, taken down from folks 'as is' with notes concerning Schwartz' personal takes on things; in other words, he generally doesn't present personal ideas as if they are tradition, unlike many cookbook authors.

    Antonius
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #30 - December 28th, 2005, 4:09 pm
    Post #30 - December 28th, 2005, 4:09 pm Post #30 - December 28th, 2005, 4:09 pm
    David Hammond wrote:
    Vital Information wrote:On the 3rd night of Hannukah, Hannukah Harry brought to me what I've been wanting for ages: an old school warm-up suit.

    Food related? Well, now I can fit in with the crowd at Caffe Italia and other places.


    Wish I had thought to ask for a warm-up suit. You know, a good look is the warm-up suit and a white cap with a short, snap-brim.

    Hammond


    Today, as I went off with the family to Millinium Park, to ice skate, I contempleted, which would be more euro-trashy, the tight gray gupalini or the black wool pull down "Edge" hat. I went with the Edge.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.

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