February 24, 2005

Michelin Man

Salon as an article about plans for Michelin to start rating restaurants in New York.

The end has this great "These Go To 11" quote: "Michelin will have to do a bit of explaining with only three stars at the top; Most of the newspaper reviewers here go up to four stars."

Posted by dowdy at 11:16 AM

February 23, 2005

Sticky Timer

Wow! Check out this engadget entry for a new magnetic analog-old school kitchen timer.

I think I need four. Now if I could just find out where to buy them, or even how much they cost.

Posted by dowdy at 07:34 AM

February 21, 2005

Ready when you are (and even when you're not)

This weekend I suddenly remembered that a had a bag of leftover Deep Fried Truffles sitting in the freezer. It's an excellent thing to realize that you can heat up a small pan of oil, pop half a dozen of them out, and 30 seconds later you have a real neat snack. Let us not talk of the hour of prep that goes into making the batch, shall we? Or of the monster from the black lagoon coating of egg, flour, and bread crumbs you end up with on your hands. Instead, let us all think of only the good things that come from molten deep fried chocolate!

This reminds me of a funny story. Melissa was over at a friends house. The friend suddenly says, "Oh! Let's make cookies!" The friend then proceeds to remove from the freezer home-made yet frozen rounds of cookie dough, all ready for the oven. All of those in attendance marvel at the idea. Cookies! Quickly! Ready when you are, right there in your own freezer. I can just see Melissa's little moue as she responds, "oh, we only have fish heads in our freezer."

Because, of course, Derrick is like all chefs. He hoards those remains of fish, meat, and even vegetables in order to make stock. One meal's fish isn't enough, so you need to freeze them until you have collected enough. And as wonderful as it can be to have fish soup prepared on a cold winter night; it's probably just not the same as ready made cookies. Even worse, if you thought about cookies and ran into the kitchen, there at eye level you would have a red snapper head confronting you.

In my mind I can just see Melissa standing before the open freezer. Sigh. Fish heads again? Darn.

Posted by dowdy at 08:24 AM

February 17, 2005

Not a bit of food

I guess there's a meme going around the food-blogging community. Folks for some perverse reason want to know the musical tastes of various online people.

If you think that's interesting, here ya go. I'm actually somewhat horrified by this list myself.

What is the total number of music files on your computer?
763 songs. 2.7 days worth of music. 6.76 GBs. This isn't even close to the number of CDs that I have at home. While I listen to "songs" at work, I usually am more "album oriented" at home.

What is the last CD you bought?
Evanescence. Fallen. Pre-ordered ahead of release due to the hit single. I think that about half of the tracks are up to that level.

What is the last song you last listened to before reading this message?
"Just Like a Pill", Pink. Just goes to show you that even a metalhead/progressive rocker like myself can be listening to pop.

Write down 5 songs you often listen to or that mean a lot to you.
In no particular order, and informed by what I've been listening to in the past year or so. This is a bit of a misleading list, because I work on music software. There are lots of songs that I start playing as part of my work, but never really finish. But I'm going to assume that I use these as test files at least in part because I enjoy them rather than that they happen to be handy.
- "Distant Early Warning", Rush. I don't really care for much else on this album (I'm more of an old school Rush person) but the content of the song makes it worthwhile for me.
- "One Simple Thing", Stabilizers. Good luck finding this anyplace. I only know about it all because KOME (long since failed radio station here in the Bay Area) had a penchant for playing it more often than really made sense.
- "Best I Can", Queensrÿche. I used to listen to this in the car on the way to work almost every morning. It wasn't the greatest period in my life, but the song helped.
- "…And Jusice For All", Metallica. I actually like the entire album, but if I had to pick one song from it, this would probably be the one.
- "Dark Side of the Moon", Pink Floyd. Not a song, but it's really ment to be listened to all of the way through.

Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons) and why?
Since I really don't know any other people, I'm thinking that I'm the "dead end" to this meme that Derrick speculated upon. Sorry meme, but you've finished with this part of the internet.

Posted by dowdy at 10:51 AM

February 08, 2005

Could this be the end?

I've written before about my concern over Cook's Illustrated. They seem to be spreading themselves thin, re-using basic concepts or whole entire recipes in various media/forms, and just plain running out of new ideas. Two current examples (and I realize that a sample size of two out of a span of more than ten years does not a trend make) drive the point home.

The most recent issue of Cook's itself has only a single contribution from writers I have respected in the past. It seems that the 'A' team is off filming their TV show -- America's Test Kitchen -- instead of working on new concepts. America's Test Kitchen's new season also shows them in some snazzy new digs, which suggests that they may be headed in the "form over function" direction.

I also received a sample issue of "Cook's Country" which is their attempt to spin their franchise into the "more casual cook" territory. An awful layout in a "Family Circle" style. Recycled recipes from original Cook's, written in an attempt at the scientific approach. Recipes from readers?!? Tear out recipe cards?!? A salad "featuring" iceburg lettuce?!? Worst of all, some of the articles come to different and directly opposing conclusions from the original articles! This suggests a lack of editorial control or consistency, or worse yet, maybe nobody is checking up on this team at all.

Posted by dowdy at 09:26 AM