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Calling All Cooks!!!


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Guest Paracelsus

... Watching cooking shows??? Or just plain eating good food???If so... Then this is the thread for you!! :thumbsup:I figured I'd better start a thread here before NRD and I take this one any further off topic. Anyway...This is a general... take as many wild tangents as you like... thread about:

  • Cooking (do you enjoy? or no?)
  • Chefs (Fav or least Fav)
  • Cooking Shows (Good ones, Bad ones)
  • Cook Books (from the usual to unusual)
  • Restaurants (Chains vs Locals)
  • Gastronomy in General
  • Food Festivals (What's better than Garlic in Gilroy?)
  • etc.

We started off talking about JustinWilson, and his way with story telling while he cooks. I watched his shows almost religiously (when I could find them), since I was first turned onto him ~'76. I was really sad when I learned of his death in '01. :thumbsup: You might say that he was to the kitchen what Victor Borge was to the piano.Emeril is fun... but he's not really very good with jokes or storiesAlton Brown probably comes closest to being as funny as Justin... But he rarely does Cajun.Needless to say...I'm a cooking show addict :P ... and have been since I was a kid watching James Beard and Julia Child with my Father (who also loved to cook).

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littlebone

I, too, like Alton Brown. In that humor there is some good information about food preparation. I imagine that you (Paracelsus), as a chemist, appreciate some of his sidebars about why a process does what it does to food.I like Jacques Pepin; even with the addition of his daughter, Claudine. He satisfies my baser side of enjoying rich foods.I do not like Emeril. I just can't work up any enthusiasm over his food or his style. Guilty Pleasures:When I was working overseas one of the English language channels that I got on the cable was BBC Prime, which is sort of BBC-World Lite. One of the Saturday morning shows was Ready-Steady-Cook. This was a less pretentious clone of Iron Chef. Two contestent "chefs" are presented with $8.00 worth of ingredients from two studio audience members. The show supplies spices, milk, eggs, flour. I guess the premise is that every home would have such staples.The chefs then have 20minutes to turn these ingredients into something edible and tasty looking. They usually turn out three of four dishes. The host bounces between the two chefs and their helpers (the audience members who brought the ingredients). At the end of the time, the whole studio audience votes for the winner. They don't taste the food, so I guess they vote on what they think the food would taste like.I imagine the final results are to cooking what "Trading Spaces" (or the British original "Changing Rooms") is to real home renovation.

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cooking & eating.i live near new orleans, the food king and food capitol of the entire world.we eat better on monday's than most ppl eat on thanksgiving! (i've traveled the US extensively, believe what i'm saying...)fresh seafood abounds.the french quarter festival.other food festivals.a dozen restraunts that for under $20 provide glorious meals.what more can one say?

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I could not even begin to visit all the restaurants here. I have one at home that enjoys gourmet cooking and cruises the food networks and keeps the cooking sites bookmarked. Summers are great because I just sit back and enjoy what she prepares. :P

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:P :P If I lived down where Temmu is located, I would be in dire need of vast weight reduction plans on a constant basis... I like most of that creole/cajun type food. Gumbo, shrimp creole, etc... course I like Texican chili too... with cornbread done up right... beer batter shrimps are good too..... food ... I like it ...
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Cluttermagnet

This is a great thread- a perfect idea for something in the Water Cooler which may grow and take on a life of its own. It's certainly a very wide subject, once you get going.I'll just say for now that, thanks to an adventurous friend, I got to graze my way through a whole bunch of fabulous cuisines from the middle east to the far east and everything in between, during my twenties and thirties. From Sushi (I love it, but it's not for the faint-hearted) to Dim Sum to all the fabulous Indian dishes- where does one begin? I have a fairly educated palate at this point. As I see it, I'm one of the lucky ones, as there sure are a lot of Americans with fairly unsophisticated palates. All they seem to be able to imagine is 'barbecue' food or going out for 'chinese'. Hrumph! It does sound like cajun cookery might be a notable exception to that. I haven't sampled near enough of that. And let's hear it for Tex-Mex and all the delightful creations from Central and South America. I've been enjoying Salvadoran specialties a lot in recent years.I'm not that much of a cook. Passable at best. But at least competant enough to avoid being thrown out of the kitchen, I guess. It seems a lot like music to me, where I never had the dedication and patience to master any instrument, yet I get exceedingly deep pleasure from my favorite musical genres, and I have an adventurous approach to it. So too with food. Let the banquet begin (both literally and metaphorically). :P

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sandwiches.a good oyster po-boy. fresh oysters lightly breaded in a flour and corn flour breading, and fried for two minutes. slice open a 12" piece of zap's po-boy bread (crusty crust, soft inside) helman's mayo, letuce, tomato, onion and (yes) ketchup.lunch meat sammich.i had this yestarday - butter 4 white breads, grill in frying pan. in same pan, fry up some salami. on 2 slices, mayo, mustard; on other 2, zesty italian dressing (leave in pan) when it's all hot, stack meat on bread, remove from pan butter sides out. enjoy while hot.next up, crayfish boil!red-swamp-crayfish_sm.jpg

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I've always been a huge fan of Jacques Pepin, my favorite episodes being when he and Julia teamed up. I love his choice of dishes, rustic- hearty- peasant food, where practically nothing is thrown away. I'm still amazed at his skill with a knife. I've never seen anyone bone, butterfly or french a chicken with such speed and precision. Alton brown is probably my favorite Chef at Foodtv. Thanks to him, I learned that brining is the only way to prepare poultry. I not only know that it tastes good, I know WHY it tastes good -_- If you're a meatloaf lover, I highly recomend his good eats meatloaf. Its the best I've ever tasted and the only thing I will accept for my birthday dinner :url: What I really get a kick out of is how some foods are so regional. I was shocked when a relative in Ohio had no idea what Scrapple was, a breakfast staple as far as I'm concerned. For those who have no idea what I'm talking about, Scrapple is basically pork that has been boiled for hours with spices then combined with cornmeal. Its formed into a loaf then sliced down to be pan or deep fried. :w00t: :lol: Mmmmmmm Scrapple... ;)

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food is higly regional. i went to erie, pa and was taken to lunch. there, i dined on greek fries. kinda like meat, sauce, melted cheese, onions on top of fries. i'm pretty sure it wasn't greek! but for dinner, we had steak, a not-so-regional meal enjoyed by folks almost everywhere!

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Its not Greek that I'm aware of, but since a majority of the diners, at least in the PA, NJ, DE area are Greek owned, the fries are Greek by association :wacko: BTW how were they? I've never had em.

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up until then, neither had i! :wacko: they were pretty good; one has to adjust to the fact it's 'new' food. (i'll try anything edible once... i may like it!)

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Crayfish/Crawdads ......... have had them once or twice.. step mother did them up probably 3 4-5 gal. pots.... (had to feed 6) caught them fresh out of the lake, she let them soak overnight in salted water and the next day boiled them over an open fire ... sure was good.My dad was a cook in merchant marine for years.... on rare occassions when he would cook at home for the heck of it ... ox tail soup,,,, boiled tongue (beefer type) and sweetbreads (comes from cows but not sure where)also,, fried green tomatoes,,, sweet potatoe pie (home made) ... ahh the good old days ...and meat loaf .... I make one that I have been told is the best they have had ... (in the crock pot)

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Guest Paracelsus
I imagine that you (Paracelsus), as a chemist, appreciate some of his sidebars about why a process does what it does to food.
You Bet! The only difference between cooking and a Chemistry experiment, is that with cooking, if it turns out right… You can eat it :hmm: .It’s difficult to be a mad scientist in a real lab these days. B) What with OSHA and EPA, it’s no fun anymore. So we do most of our experimenting in the kitchen.
i live near new orleans, the food king and food capitol of the entire world.  we eat better on monday's than most ppl eat on thanksgivinga dozen restraunts that for under $20 provide glorious meals.what more can one say?
Rub it in, Temmu… Rub it in!! :pirate:I’ll have to come visit you one of these days ;) , and go on a Restaurant tour of NawlinsKeep the recipes coming!! I love Po’Boys. We have a little place here in Denton called â€Frilly’sâ€. Nothing fancy… But they make a great Po’Boy, among other things. I’m partial to the â€Mud Bug†Po’Boys… with extra Rémoulade. (BTW – I thought there was a law in Luzzana that made it illegal to use the term â€Crayfish†:P )
I'm not that much of a cook. Passable at best. But at least competent enough to avoid being thrown out of the kitchen, I guess. It seems a lot like music to me, where I never had the dedication and patience to master any instrument, yet I get exceedingly deep pleasure from my favorite musical genres, and I have an adventurous approach to it. So too with food. Let the banquet begin (both literally and metaphorically).
Trial-n-Error, CM… Trial-n-Error. That’s basically how I learned to cook. I’ve always hated feeling tied to recipes. I basically just play around and take notes. Years ago… I might have one success for every five failures. Now… almost everything turns out well. It’s a success if I can take a bite and say… â€Dang! I’d pay for that in a Restaurant.â€:lol: I love cooking (especially 'cause I don't have to). I find it very relaxing... like gardening.
I was shocked when a relative in Ohio had no idea what Scrapple was, a breakfast staple as far as I'm concerned. For those who have no idea what I'm talking about, Scrapple is basically pork that has been boiled for hours with spices then combined with cornmeal.  Its formed into a loaf then sliced down to be pan or deep fried.
I love scrapple.  Lets not tell them exactly what part of the pig goes into scrapple though NRD.Temmu, I have never tried a po'boy but if you want a sandwich, try a Philly Cheese Steak.They were invented in the same place scrapple was by the way in PHILADELPHIA,Pa.
Scrapple and Cheese Steaks!! Yee-Haah!!! Two of my fav-o-rite foods!! Never had Scrapple deep fried, NRD. (Must be a Greek thing.) And if it’s not Home Made… it has to be Habbersett!!! My Father and I came up with a good recipe for Scrapple, years ago, when we lived in southern California… before some of the stores started carrying Habbersett. Haven’t made it years though. An old friend of mine in Center City sends me a Care Package twice a year.As an interesting anecdote…In ’96, I was visiting my sister and B-i-L in the Atlanta area at Easter, and we decided to stay in the mountains of N. Carolina for a few days. We stayed in Blowing Rock and had breakfast at a place called â€Knight’s Innâ€. They had something on the menu called â€Liver Mushâ€. Since I love liver anyway… I decided to try it. Imagine my surprise when they brought out the plate, and there were two rectangular pieces of something with a dark golden-brown crust. I took one look and almost shouted… â€It’s Scrapple!! Liver Mush is Scrapple!!â€. Two older couples at a table near ours burst out laughing and said… â€Y’all must be from Philadelphiaâ€.Now for the eternal debate :w00t:…Thick cut vs. Thin cut??We were raised on thick cut… Fried slow in Bacon drippings. Really crunchy on the outside, but still moist on the inside. With a fried egg on top so you can pierce the yolk and let it ooze into the Scrapple. These days… I like Scrapple with just a light brush of some good BBQ sauce on top. YUM!!!Cheese Steaks, I also have to make myself now. SoCal had a very few places that could do them right… But north Texas?? ‘Round these here parts… it’s all ‘bout â€Chicken Fried Steakâ€. Which are good… Don’t get me wrong! But there is something just so sensuously unctuous about a well construction genuine Philly Cheese Steak!!
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Guest Paracelsus
Crayfish/Crawdads ......... have had them once or twice..  step mother did them up probably 3 4-5 gal. pots.... (had to feed 6) caught them fresh out of the lake, she let them soak overnight in salted water and the next day boiled them over an open fire ... sure was good.My dad was a cook in merchant marine for years.... on rare occasions when he would cook at home for the heck of it ... ox tail soup,,,, boiled tongue (beefer type)also,, fried green tomatoes,,,  sweet potatoes pie (home made) ... ahh the good old days ...and meat loaf .... I make one that I have been told is the best they have had ... (in the crock pot)
Sounds interesting, LongGone.Fried Green Tomatoes and Sweet Potato Pie are Great! I make a decent SPP, but mine is more of a "savory" pie, (with Herbs, some mustard, and a fist full of chopped Pecans or Cashews) to be served along with dinner... instead of a dessert type pie.Have you written down your meatloaf recipe?? (Hint!, Hint!!)
and sweetbreads (comes from cows but not sure where)
Well...Sweetbreads is a generic term that can be used to describe just about any organ meat (excepting the usual Liver & Kidney). However...It is frequently used as a PC term for a certain set of organs that are generally only found on the male of the species. :lol: I've had them from both steer and and rams. Really quite tasty when done well.
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Now for the eternal debate :lol:…Thick cut vs. Thin cut??We were raised on thick cut… Fried slow in Bacon drippings.  Really crunchy on the outside, but still moist on the inside.  With a fried egg on top so you can pierce the yolk and let it ooze into the Scrapple.  These days… I like Scrapple with just a light brush of some good BBQ sauce on top.  YUM!!!
Thick cut all the way! Very important for those who are going to attempt making this food... DO NOT TOUCH THE SCRAPPLE!!!! while its cooking until an nice crust is formed, otherwise, you're doing to get a mound of grey mush! Still tasty, but not the same.
Cheese Steaks, I also have to make myself now.  SoCal had a very few places that could do them right… But north Texas??  ‘Round these here parts… it’s all ‘bout â€Chicken Fried Steakâ€.  Which are good… Don’t get me wrong!  But there is something just so sensuously unctuous about a well construction genuine Philly Cheese Steak!!
I'm a Pats fan! and if your going to order, you better know what you want, how to order and have money in hand...otherwise you're gonna get sent to the end of the line, yelled at or both! B) Remember the Seinfiled soup Nazi? hehe. Just order a "cheese wit" You'll get handed a cheese steak with fried onions and cheese whiz. :w00t:
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B) .... Hummmm ... sounds like "LR" has been around to much ether in the lab .... these sweetbreads looked more like a brain but were white ... and the special organs is known as "Rocky Mountain Oysters" .... the fried green tomatoes and sweet 'tater pie were made for me by (at the time) one of my co-workers .. here family was from way on down south... and both were surely good ....meat loaf receipe written down, no, but I know it well... is that a hint ... ????? :lol:
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:lol: .... Hummmm ... sounds like  "LR" has been around to much ether in the lab .... these sweetbreads looked more like a brain but were white ...
Was probably Pancreas then. I've found that in a majority of restaurants they use Pancreas as sweet breads, but as Paracelsus says, its a pretty generic term and is used to describe a bunch of the more "exotic" cuts B)
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Guest Paracelsus
... sounds like  "LR" has been around to much ether in the lab .... these sweetbreads looked more like a brain but were white ... and  the special organs is known as "Rocky Mountain Oysters" ....
"Rocky Mountain Oysters" is another euphemism ;)Brains can be called Sweetbreads as well. I think, like has been said about other things, terms are kind of regional. Regardless...I love organ meats of all kinds. I've not had brains...But just about everything else.Kidneys & Rice has been a favorite of mine since I was a kid.Question.Why are these things called "Sweetbreads" if they come from a mammal...And "Giblets" if they come from Poultry?? :w00t:
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Guest Paracelsus
i will attempt to answer it when you answer this one:why do we park in our driveways while we drive on our parkways
I'll have to pass on that one, George :">Now...Any Highlanders out there of Iberian descent??I saw on guy on a Bobby Flay show a few weeks ago, make the most incredible seafood Paella. Almost had me drooling by the time it was ready to serve. :drooling:I'm thinking of experimenting with the classic Spanish dish (although, I believe the Cubans and Brazilians do something similar), once the weather cools off a bit.But there is a special type of pan, that's made just for Paella. So I was hoping that someone might be able to point me to a good make... or steer me away from those that aren't.I know I could just Google... But that will only give me what's available... not necessarily what's good.
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Guest Paracelsus

Thanks for the idea, Dale.They have some really well made Paella pans, but they're a bit pricey for the size.13" for 165USD and up. :D I might be willing to pay that for a 24"+ pan, but not 13".Of course, they do have lids, so I image they could be used for other things as well.I found some good prices on traditional Paella pans hereI like the "black steel" ones. Looks like cast iron. (I always use cast iron skillets anyway).I think the first thing I need to do is check how wide my oven is. (I wish I had a real kitchen. One of the major drawbacks of apartment life is that the kitchens are tiny... and all electric! :thumbsup: :lol: Makes good cooking quite a challenge)

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I was trained as a chef... Graduated from the Culinary Academy in SF back in 1979. Cooked two years under Jeremy Towers in the back of the house... it all comes down to who has the biggest toque...

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Guest Paracelsus
I was trained as a chef... Graduated from the Culinary Academy in SF back in 1979. Cooked two years under Jeremy Towers in the back of the house... it all comes down to who has the biggest toque...
Torque Party!!!(Sorry... I couldn't resist)Interesting, Marsden11...But that's part of the problem with the "Apprentice" system that still exists within the culinary profession. (IMO) The main reason I enjoy cooking so much is that I don't have to. If I had to cook for a family... or make a living at it as a chef... I've no doubt that I would Loath the kitchen tout de suite!I'd like to take some cooking classes... But I couldn't give a flip if I'm doing anything "properly". I prepare what I like... to my own tastes (which can be odd, at times). If other people enjoy it... fine. If not?? Don't bother telling me, 'cause I don't care. Leaves more for me! :thumbsup:That's probably why I would never make a good chef. If someone told me they didn't like what I prepared... I'd probably call them Philistines, and run them out the door!! :lol:So...What turned you off to being a Chef, Marsden11??Do you no longer enjoy cooking?? Or just got frustrated with "The System??"
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when i head up to n carolina, i'll have to try scrapple. ;) i love philly cheese steaks. :thumbsup: i lived near philly for 2 years whilst on active duty. honest, i have never had a beef sandwich so good.mom used to feed us liver-n-onions every week (for the iron...) and it was de-licious. since leaving home, i have never ever even thought of having it again. why? who knows? maybe it is just the thought of what it is, but when i was growing up, whatever mom made surely must be good, right?i know i promised a thing on crayfish boils, but i've expended too many letters from my keyboard, and they need to be replenished so i can type again later... :D and marsden11, why o why did you quit chefing?

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I always liked cooking... still do. I cook on a Wolf, 6-burner with gas infa-red grill, double oven. Big and heavy, weighing in at over 800 lbs... It's a joy to cook on. I have a faucet over the stove for filling the large pots. I have a collection or various pots and pans but i'm most paticular about knives.. they have to be "sharp!" I have to warn folks who wander into my kitchen... don't play around with the knives... you could cut your hands off or worse...Being a line chef was very intense. It has to be when you serve 400 to 600 plates a night. It is more work than fun... I quit because I like the fun part of cooking. I cater now and then when the need arrises. Over the years I have built up a reputation locally for Tru-Duck-En (Usually Tru-Goos-En).A boned chicken stuffed into a boned and stuffed Goose which is then stuffed into a completely boned and stuffed 30lb. Tom turkey... All meat with 3 different stuffings and no bones! My daughter's school auctioned my services off last year for $3k for a complete Thanksgiving dinner party for 12. Did the whole thing my self in little under a day (had to cook all night to be ready in time for on-time delivery). I boned all the birds myself which were then brined for 2 days of total soak time.I guess you could say I know how to cook... Bon appetite!

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Marsen11...... Hummmm..... do you ever watch MNF (Monday Night Football) ... John Madden has had Tur-Duc-en at Thanksgiving for the last 3 years (he usually does a game around that time of year too).. I am not sure where he learned of it at ... but if I recall correctly .. he did make mention of the deep south area....... your comment about the knives brings back some childhood memories ... before my father became a cook in the merchant marine he retired from the butchering after many years.. at least 20 if not more... his knives were always sharp, his primary job was to de-bone the meat. The knives would start out about 12" in length and by the time he tossed them they would be done to about 4" ... lots of sharpening .... he also got lots of meat at ..... real cheap prices...... .. real cheap...

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cooking & eating.i live near new orleans, the food king and food capitol of the entire world.we eat better on monday's than most ppl eat on thanksgiving!  (i've traveled the US extensively, believe what i'm saying...)fresh seafood abounds.the french quarter festival.other food festivals.a dozen restraunts that for under $20 provide glorious meals.what more can one say?
Yeah. Monday is "Redbeans and Rice" day! I live (and grew up) in Metairie. Nothing beats a 'Natchly 'Nawlins po-boy!
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Paracelsus..... you might also want to check out this web site for that special pan ...www.overstock. com .... they have lots of different items.. not mention some really good prices....Ummm... ummm. liver and onions.... the best that I have ever had (including my own) is/was at the Union 76 truckstop at the Aurora ORE. exit. ... it was fork cutting tender.... no knife required ... smothered (really smothered) in onions, gravy was on the side. If I was there at dinner time, that was the meal I had.... They also had a killer chicken fried steak for breakfast too..... When I had that round trip run, San Diego, CA .. to ORE/WA every week, I made a point of finding the best meals along the route ...

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Guest Paracelsus
when i head up to n Carolina, it'll have to try scrapple.
You may have to go a ways further north, Temmu. The one place we ate in Blowing Rock, NC, called it "Liver Mush"... and they may have been an exception. If you're serious, though... Mail order some from the Habbersett Website I linked earlier.
I cook on a Wolf, 6-burner with gas infra-red grill, double oven. Big and heavy, weighing in at over 800 lbs... It's a joy to cook on. I have a faucet over the stove for filling the large pots.
SWEET!! :happyroll: I have to visit relatives and friends to cook in a well equipped kitchen :clap2: Cooking in a small apt. is a challenge... but I do alright.
Being a line chef was very intense. It has to be when you serve 400 to 600 plates a night. It is more work than fun... I quit because I like the fun part of cooking. I cater now and then when the need arises.
Sounds like the way to go :harhar:
My daughter's school auctioned my services off last year for $3k for a complete Thanksgiving dinner party for 12. Did the whole thing my self in little under a day (had to cook all night to be ready in time for on-time delivery). I boned all the birds myself which were then brined for 2 days of total soak time.
COOL! (I wonder if the people who won asked their guests to cough up the $250/head) :fish: :P
i think you would be wasting your time taking lessons Paracelsus. with your attitude and without the pleasure of trying any of your creations i honestly believe if you would take lessons from anyone then you would be cooking like them and not yourself .i like to cook as well and i would not take a lesson from anyone a , hint maybe , but that is as far as it would go.
ATTITUDE!!! What, ATTITUDE!!! :clap2: ;)Actually, I was exaggerating a bit. I do enjoy if people like my cooking... But I'm not hurt or offended if they don't. Like I say... I cook to my tastes.But you're probably right about classes. I think I picked up most of the essential techniques from 30+ years of watching cooking shows. (And good timing... like in Lab Experiments... comes in handy too. Adding the right stuff, at the right time).If I did take a class... it would probably be for baking. I'm good with breads, pies and cookies... but would enjoy being better at cakes and pastries :harhar:
..... you might also want to check out this web site for that special pan ...www.overstock. com .... they have lots of different items.. not mention some really good prices....
GREAT site, Dale! Thanks. They don't have Paella pans, but the prices for other kitchen equipment are pretty sweet.My cookware and cutlery are kind of a hodge-podge of things I've purchased or been given over the years. Anytime I look a getting a complete set of cutlery or cookware... I get sticker shock :o
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