Lucky Dip – Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Well, that’s enough to make you go vegetarian – burger war dick waving (aka. my burger is taller than your burger). [The Grid]

Speaking of stuff that might make you go veg – Maple Leaf Foods (you remember, with the listeria outbreak a few years back) will be restructuring operations, with a net loss of 1500 jobs. [Toronto Star]

Occu-pie. Pizzeria cashes in on the occupation of Wall Street. [New York Post]

Jon Bon Jovi opens a pay-what-you-can gourmet restaurant in New Jersey. Folks who can’t pay can volunteer, either at the restaurant or another food-oriented charity. Rock on. []

It’s been a very good year for mushroom foragers – the rain has made the spores go nuts and people are harvesting stuff all over the north east. (Those of us suffering from mold allergies would just like some damn frost already.) [Associated Press]

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Lemon Merengue

No, that’s spelled right.

For all of my griping about how much smaller my new place is going to be, including the kitchen, there are a few things that actually please me a great deal. First and foremost, having a kitchen where your work triangle isn’t fifteen feet across. Getting from fridge to sink and back to stove in the apartment where I am now requires an awful lot of hoofing, and makes simple things such as draining pasta a precarious hike. I know most people want huge enormous kitchens with many bells and whistles and huge expanses of marble countertops and sinks every five feet and big bright windows, but I’ve lived with some of that and it’s not as sweet as it’s cracked up to be.

People go ga-ga over the expanse of windows in my current kitchen (it’s converted from a smallish room and an old, unheated sunporch) because it’s so bright and sunny, but the ongoing condensation from cooking constantly is causing the hundred-year-old window frames to rot and breed a weird greenish mildew. The one radiator in the room is in the far corner and doesn’t throw out enough heat to keep the area by the windows warm.

And for all of my devotion to my gas stove, it’s really reserved for the stove top. I’ve never been a fan of gas ovens, and truly can’t wait to get my hands on that brand new electric oven waiting for me at the new apartment. Oh, the things we’ll bake! Most gas ovens, you see, are incredibly uneven, making for poorly cooked baked goods. They also need re-calibration almost annually, as they tend to run either hotter or colder than where they’re set, temperature-wise. Electric ovens also have their broiler element at the top of the oven, not underneath it, as gas ovens do. Which means that this is the very last lemon meringue pie that I’m going to have to balance and juggle and *dance* with, as I get down on my knees to put in under the floor-level broiler to brown the meringue.