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What's for dinner? ~ August, 2017

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251 Re: What's for dinner? ~ August, 2017 on Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:10 am

NormM

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PS I read that the Ruth's Chris Steak house started in NOLa as Chris steak house and after a while Chris rented it to a series of people who all failed until he rented it to Ruth who turned it into a success and as she was getting ready to open another place, the original caught fire and burned. Her contract said that she could not open a restaurant in another location and call it Chris Steak House so she named it Ruth's Chris and the name stuck.  She opened several other places around the country by the same name.

http://r2j1cp@gmail.com

252 Re: What's for dinner? ~ August, 2017 on Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:42 am

Bugster2

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We got to see the eclipse with those special glasses.

I am going to try a recipe for tuna cakes tonight. What sides go with tuna cakes?

Yesterday I made a chocolate cake. Not great and it made a hell of a mess. Every time I turned on my mixer, dry ingredients flew everywhere. I was too lazy to try and find my mixer's splatter shield. I have never used it before but I sure could have used it yesterday. I wish I could find a recipe for chocolate cake with a fine, delicate crumb. Like what you would get from a bakery.

Joe had to drive to L.A. yesterday. 107. Hot as hell.

253 Re: What's for dinner? ~ August, 2017 on Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:45 am

bethk

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Admin
Bugster2 wrote:

I am going to try a recipe for tuna cakes tonight. What sides go with tuna cakes?

Yesterday I made a chocolate cake. Not great and it made a hell of a mess. Every time I turned on my mixer, dry ingredients flew everywhere. I was too lazy to try and find my mixer's splatter shield. I have never used it before but I sure could have used it yesterday. I wish I could find a recipe for chocolate cake with a fine, delicate crumb. Like what you would get from a bakery.


Cole slaw goes with any fish, IMO.

BTW, when I was looking for stuff on allrecipes.com I came across this recipe.....in case you cannot decide upon tuna or salmon (LOL):

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/242201/moms-fish-cakes/?internalSource=hub%20recipe&referringContentType=search%20results&clickId=cardslot%2024


Debbie, there are a multitude of sites that go into detail about creating fine crumb cakes.....I especially like the ones that start with a boxed cake mix, but that's just me.  A number of them suggest using a combination of buttermilk and espresso or Turkish coffee to enhance the chocolate flavor.  But I do think the most important suggestion is to not beat the batter on anything other than a low speed and being very careful not to over mix or add additional air into the batter, baking at a lower temperature for a little longer time being preferable to higher heat, which makes the cake rise too quickly and creating more 'holes' in the cake.

I'd check out a site for someone like The Cake Boss or Duff Goldman to see if they offer any suggestions that you like.

254 Re: What's for dinner? ~ August, 2017 on Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:18 pm

bethk

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Admin
I'm making some peanut butter cookies this afternoon.  I feel like I have to make some sweets for Jeanie and Kermit to repay them for the 'sweet deal' they made me on the couch and recliner.  Jeanie probably will be swearing at me under her breath for tempting her with sweets but Kermit, at 81, is able to eat anything at all and not gain an ounce ~ but isn't that the way most of us seem to be?

I made up the dough and it's in the refrigerator chilling.  I'll probably bake them tomorrow.  I like to do the traditional cross-hatch marks with a fork because that's the way my Grandma made them.  I also sprinkle on some clear decorator sugar because I like the extra crunch it adds.  I even picked up a 'snack size' bag of Hershey's Kisses so I can make some into 'Peanut Blossom' cookies ~ a favorite of everyone I know.

255 Re: What's for dinner? ~ August, 2017 on Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:25 pm

Bugster2

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Have you ever made the "no flour" peanut butter cookies?

256 Re: What's for dinner? ~ August, 2017 on Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:47 pm

Crybaby

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bethk wrote:

What a pretty plate, Beth!

257 Re: What's for dinner? ~ August, 2017 on Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:12 pm

Crybaby

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Niagara Visitor wrote:https://www.niagaraparks.com/events/event/sip-sizzle-savour/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=sizzle&utm_content=image-ad

Going to a local food extravaganza today!  Hosted by and in one of Niagara's great parks this afternoon.  We have had a really wet summer here, and our West is burning up................ but, there's no climate change, right????

There will be 7 food stations and various wineries for tasting their wines.  Yumm!

Boy, that made me hungry, Lore. Glad you have a "running buddy" from the condo to go with, too. She sounds like she has a great attitude, too -- and at least you knew she wasn't going to duck out 'cause of some rain!

We've had the wettest summer I can remember, and I'm born and raised here. June, July AND August -- and now we're getting rain bands from Hurricane Harvey. I cancelled two appointments today (beauty salon to get my hair washed and blown dry, something I treat myself to occasionally) and also a doctor's appointment due to possible flooded streets on the way to both. The salon isn't but about 4 miles from here but both of the two routes I could use to get there usually have flooding when it rains really hard. The ground is SO soaked here and last night we had steady rains all night so I canceled it (apologized but the owner, who took my cancellation, said not to worry).

The PH appointment was WAY across town, probably 12 miles or so. I could go Interstate the whole way but usually come home the "back way" through Uptown N.O. (prettier and I usually avoid drive time traffic on the way home) -- I KNOW the back way has some streets that flood, and though the Interstate might have been okay for the most part, once I got off of it to travel less than 2 miles to the hospital seems low and possibly prone to flooding streets, so I decided not to risk going all that way and getting trapped (sometimes when you run into a flooded area and stop, you're already boxed in by cars behind you so you can't back up or turn off). The doctor is hard to get an appointment with (only have to wait 30 days this time, which is a new record) but her office cancelled on me twice since I last saw her in January, so I didn't feel bad. Plus I know they just figure all the "old people" are going to cancel (kills me to say that at 63, but I KNOW the younger people are probably saying just that!).

258 Re: What's for dinner? ~ August, 2017 on Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:15 pm

Crybaby

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bethk wrote:No supper tonight.  I pulled a muscle in my back and I don't feel like eating anything.

Crap ~ if I'd have known it would ruin my appetite I would have injured myself years ago......

Hope you feel better soon, Beth. I know you had movers but sometimes you still end up pushing or pulling things around you shouldn't. The furniture sounds like it was a real bear to move. I'd have been a nervous wreck that they had to take the two patio doors down -- I'd be afraid they wouldn't put them back correctly. At least Dane is handy. We'd have to HIRE someone to fix 'em!

259 Re: What's for dinner? ~ August, 2017 on Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:25 pm

bethk

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Admin
Bugster2 wrote:Have you ever made the "no flour" peanut butter cookies?

Yes ~ but I'm going to make my old standard.

260 Re: What's for dinner? ~ August, 2017 on Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:42 pm

Crybaby

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cookingirl wrote:All I can say is:

If Michelle, aka Crybaby is still reading.. please stay safe.. Safe from Harvey.. Put that generator to good use...and stay high up in your house....((hugs))

You're a sweetheart, Cyn, but no power outages yet and it doesn't flood EVER on our street or any of the streets near our house.  And it has rained INCESSANTLY since the beginning of June and we've never had anything but just water in the gutter heading to the trap drain -- so this has been a true test.

I feel badly for the rest of N.O., though, as many have already had flooding from a couple of weeks ago (all of our pumps weren't working even though the people from that department swore they were; many still are not working and waiting for repair which was immediately put on the fast track once the mayor found out the department lied to him as well as the public). Lots of areas are already dealing with flooding and we're not out of the rainfall woods they say now until late Thursday,

Brian and I were just remarking this morning how blessed we are, what with the generator and the location of our home (my doing, as I not only insisted on buying a raised home but I wanted a neighborhood not prone to flooding so our cars - now just one car - wouldn't flood over and over). We not only don't have to worry about flooding but the generator keeps us cool and comfy with lights on. And, of course, we don't have to worry about losing the food in our fridge/freezer.  

We've been praying for Houston and all of Texas. Everyone in LA remembers how the state of Texas, and Houston to a HUGE degree, stepped up and helped Louisianians LONG BEFORE the federal government came to our aid after Katrina. People here are mobilizing like you wouldn't believe with goods, water, clothes, cleaning equipment and supplies, cash cards (they can be used for anything, particularly gasoline), on truck after truck to get to Houston and Texas. Our food banks have not only prepared for local needs but people are donating like they've never donated in the past.  Many former New Orleanians who fled to Houston still live there; some stayed 'cause they liked it and many stayed because they were poor and still don't have the means to come back and set up housekeeping again.

Today's editorial cartoon:




People tend to criticize those who don't/didn't evacuate. But people forget how it feels to be poor and broke. Even if you get a ride to a shelter or out of town, you have to realize how it would be if you didn't have a nickel in your wallet when you end up away from your home.  It would be terrifying at the very least.  You have no car, no clothes, no food, no relatives to help you even if they're poor too. Thank God I don't have to walk in the shoes of those poor souls.

Please remember that you can donate to the Red Cross and the Salvation Army (never a scandal or a scandalous word ever by the latter org.) and specify your donation be used to help the people of Texas or Houston.  Both of these organizations are ones who immediately help people out and continue to help them!

261 Re: What's for dinner? ~ August, 2017 on Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:44 pm

Crybaby

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Niagara Visitor wrote:Making something new out of leftovers today.  I had some grilled veggies from a grocery store's takeout counter.  Some scallops defrosted that have to be used, so I added some more spices, some evoo, chopped a portobello mushroom that needed to be used up, mixed in some grated mozzarella and stuck it in the oven.  Fingers crossed that it's edible!

Sounds delicious!

262 Re: What's for dinner? ~ August, 2017 on Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:50 pm

Crybaby

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NormM wrote:It was salmon croquette.  It was so long ago, I was thinking croquette was a term in a lawn game played with mallets and balls.

I'm hooting over here, as I'm sure you purposely added croquet to the mix! Coquette, croquette and now croquet! Thanks for making me smile, Norm.

263 Re: What's for dinner? ~ August, 2017 on Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:43 pm

Crybaby

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NormM wrote:PS I read that the Ruth's Chris Steak house started in NOLa as Chris steak house and after a while Chris rented it to a series of people who all failed until he rented it to Ruth who turned it into a success and as she was getting ready to open another place, the original caught fire and burned. Her contract said that she could not open a restaurant in another location and call it Chris Steak House so she named it Ruth's Chris and the name stuck.  She opened several other places around the country by the same name.

Well, the man who last name was Chris SOLD it to Ruth; the deal was, as most sales of that type, he stay with her for a year and help her get up to snuff. She had no restaurant experience and had a masters in chemistry; was working for peanuts at Tulane and needed more $$ once she got divorced as she had two sons to raise. Well, Chris flew the coop and she taught herself and got help from the employees who stayed with the place.  She was a very tiny woman and told me she used to cut the meat herself (still used the original supplier) and would lay down on the floor in the office to rest as it was such a chore; then she would get up and continue on the big hunk of beef, as she couldn't do it in one setting.

She didn't have a restriction on opening another one but when the original had a fire, she needed income.  She was a remarkable woman (very opinionated, brooked no BS but was very kind at heart -- and a multi-multi millionaire when she sold it) and she opened another restaurant FOUR BLOCKS away within a week.  She was pretty sick of people calling her Chris but his steakhouse had a super reputation (quite an old dump but the meat was divine, as was the service, with all waitress service from a bunch of older, hard-working women who NEEDED their jobs so they were loyal as Labradors!). So she didn't want to give up the name Chris (trust me, it was YEARS until people called it Ruth's Chris; I didn't until RCSH became one of my clients; only people new to N.O. like Brian called it RC) so she named it Ruth's Chris Steak House. She eventually re-opened the other restaurant so for years, she had two places only four blocks apart.  

She was a very, very smart woman. Studies showed people who visited here usually wanted "familiar" food on their third day in N.O., probably getting burned out on the spices or the sheer richness of our food.  So what does everyone know remains the same (other than meat quality, of course) but steak?!  For years and years, she would give every single cab driver a dollar bill for every carload they taxied to her restaurants. She didn't even have a hostess for years, just a hostess stand. Whichever waitress was free at the time walked up to show you to a table, and to piece off the cabbie!  So the cab drivers started telling EVERYONE they picked up at the airport to make sure to try a Ruth's Chris steak before leaving town and would give them his card, too, of course.  A marvelous marketing gimmick that paid off for years!  

The places were not upscale at all. In fact, when I started with Duke, the agency who had her account, we were trying to get her to renovate the two restaurants here, one in N.O. (the second one) and one in Metairie. She never knew it but I was the person who was the "mystery shopper" our agency supposedly hired to critique the Metairie restaurant and do a report on it.  The food was fantastic but it was expensive; though Brian and I dined out a lot in those days, if we were going to spend that kind of money, we went to a nice place with nicer ambiance.  I'd just started working for Duke so no one recognized me and Brian.  Oooh, Ruth was FURIOUS when she read the report.  On the second floor, there were big old nasty credenzas in the huge room with dishwasher racks stacked about three feet high. Brian used the men's room and there was a leak in the floor that he had to straddle to use the urinal.  The female bartender and staff kibitzed with one another more than the bartender did with the people at the bar. I really trashed what needed trashing and she was LIVID! She demanded Lana Duke tell her who did the report and I was petrified Lana would give in. She just told her she hired a service who did it and the individual wasn't identified by name.  The part that made me nervous was that we used Lana Duke's credit card to pay for the meal. I knew the waitress saw that as all of a sudden, we got all kind of attention prior to leaving. You'd laugh, but it was YEARS before I set foot in the Metairie shop, and THAT one was upscale compared to the one on Broad Street in N.O.!  Renovations were begun within 6 months though, and now both places are quite elegant and steakhouse looking.  

She liked me a lot as I was the only one besides Lana she'd let accompany her to the studio to make radio commercials.  She hated it and was quite stiff in the beginning but she got better and better.  I'd pick her up in my car, we'd go to the studio and I'd drive her home.  If she offered me a steak and I wasn't due back really soon, I'd definitely accept. She liked Brian, too, once she met him.  One time we went without reservations and they were full. She cleared a table in her messier-than-messy office and insisted we stay and eat in the office; she sat with us while we did.  I always insisted on paying for the meal, though, unless I was with her and we were working.  

I lost touch with her once I left Duke Unlimited (Lana Duke OWNED me when I worked there and it was either be all alone in my personal life one day or quit my job at the agency -- I worked probably 60 hours a week AND traveled -- so I gave notice and quit; Lana was furious, Brian was THRILLED.

I cried my eyes out when she passed away.  Lung cancer.  Took her a couple of years to die.  She lent Lana the money ($1 million for a franchise at the time) to open a RCSH franchise in San Antonio; I think Lana has three or four franchises now, one in Toronto where she was from originally (she still has the ad agency as well).  When I gave notice, we were just beginning to get Ruth to operate the franchises in a more organized fashion than she did; I was scheduled to go to Reno the next day for the first ever RCSH franchise meeting. I planned the entire thing: all meals, events, meetings and what would be served, little gifts like they give players at the super bowl runup, even arranged for credit lines at Caesar's (where it was being held) for any attendee who wanted me to do so and).   Brian didn't want me to go and I told him I HAD to go, as it was all my baby.  Well, I gave notice the day before we left for Reno and Lana was furious.  I told her I would go, stay two weeks total in N.O. and would write the vital report on the meeting prior to leaving.  She kept at me and at me and at me all day long.  Finally, we got into it. She said, "I think it would be a good idea if you didn't go to Reno tomorrow," to which I replied, "I couldn't agree more." She then was STUNNED when I turned to leave her office, shouting where are you going? I said I was going to pack up my desk.  She said she didn't expect me to leave but just not go to Reno.  Told her it was too late and the cord had been cut.  She actually moved her chair to a place in her office to watch me pack up my things. My poor secretary was falling apart like a cheap suitcase, standing against an opposite wall while she asked me what happened so Lana couldn't see her.  I was very proud of myself, as I didn't burst into tears until I got halfway home.  Brian was ecstatic that I didn't go to Reno.  So ended my by then vice presidency at Duke Unlimited.  I hated the name and actually ADDED a line to my resume saying "Not affiliated with David Duke" (the racist/white supremacist) as I was asked that so often by agencies or potential employers over the years.  THEN it got laughs!

264 Re: What's for dinner? ~ August, 2017 on Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:04 pm

bethk

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Admin
Gosh, but I love all these stories about Ruth's Chris Steak House and similar stuff.

No place I ever worked was worth remembering.....LOL

265 Re: What's for dinner? ~ August, 2017 on Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:05 pm

bethk

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Admin
I knew Dane was bringing tomatoes to me....a little over a half bushel to process.

The other day I thawed out a pound of bacon and made the woven bacon to use for BLT's....which is what we're having for supper, along with some sweet corn.

A real 'summer' supper!

266 Re: What's for dinner? ~ August, 2017 on Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:34 pm

Crybaby

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bethk wrote:Debbie, there are a multitude of sites that go into detail about creating fine crumb cakes.....I especially like the ones that start with a boxed cake mix, but that's just me.  A number of them suggest using a combination of buttermilk and espresso or Turkish coffee to enhance the chocolate flavor.  But I do think the most important suggestion is to not beat the batter on anything other than a low speed and being very careful not to over mix or add additional air into the batter, baking at a lower temperature for a little longer time being preferable to higher heat, which makes the cake rise too quickly and creating more 'holes' in the cake.

I'd check out a site for someone like The Cake Boss or Duff Goldman to see if they offer any suggestions that you like.

I'm no baker, as you all know, but I bought a book years ago called "The Cake Bible" by Rose Levy Berenbaum, who is a well respected cake baker. I think she has a background in chemistry and even did her thesis on the effects of sifting on cake, I think it was either chocolate cake or yellow cake.  From what I've read in that book and others, Beth, I think you sure do know what you're talking about.  

Debbie, here's a link to one of Rose's well-known chocolate cakes, called a Chocolate Butter Cake:

https://communityfoodcoop.wordpress.com/2010/05/15/rose-levy-beranbaums-chocolate-butter-cake/

And here's a link to Rose's website for you:

http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/recipes/cakes/#.WaXcdLpFxjo

I like weighing dry ingredients when I bake.  I know a lot of people recommend doing it and the reason I like doing it when making something fancy (a cake from scratch IS fancy for ME, folks!) is because there's no doubt about how they measured their flour, as often people disagree on how to measure (dip and scrape off top, spoon on and then scrape off top, etc.).  I don't have to worry about it and get a more exact measurement when I weigh the important dry ingredients. If you have a scale that tares, you can use any old bowl you want to in order to weigh the ingredients, too, which I find handy.

Debbie, I'm a novice baker so I sure would appreciate your passing along any info you might learn that you think might be helpful to someone like me who has little to no baking experience!

267 Re: What's for dinner? ~ August, 2017 on Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:44 pm

Crybaby

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Norm wrote:Calvin Trillion is a famous humor writer for the New Yorker...

LOVE the New Yorker! Never subscribed as I doubt I could keep up with that amount of reading but I often read articles I see from the New Yorker.

Plus I love satirist David Borowitz, whose humorous emails I get. He keeps me in stitches!

268 Re: What's for dinner? ~ August, 2017 on Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:29 pm

Bugster2

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Crybaby wrote:
bethk wrote:Debbie, there are a multitude of sites that go into detail about creating fine crumb cakes.....I especially like the ones that start with a boxed cake mix, but that's just me.  A number of them suggest using a combination of buttermilk and espresso or Turkish coffee to enhance the chocolate flavor.  But I do think the most important suggestion is to not beat the batter on anything other than a low speed and being very careful not to over mix or add additional air into the batter, baking at a lower temperature for a little longer time being preferable to higher heat, which makes the cake rise too quickly and creating more 'holes' in the cake.

I'd check out a site for someone like The Cake Boss or Duff Goldman to see if they offer any suggestions that you like.

I'm no baker, as you all know, but I bought a book years ago called "The Cake Bible" by Rose Levy Berenbaum, who is a well respected cake baker. I think she has a background in chemistry and even did her thesis on the effects of sifting on cake, I think it was either chocolate cake or yellow cake.  From what I've read in that book and others, Beth, I think you sure do know what you're talking about.  

Debbie, here's a link to one of Rose's well-known chocolate cakes, called a Chocolate Butter Cake:

https://communityfoodcoop.wordpress.com/2010/05/15/rose-levy-beranbaums-chocolate-butter-cake/

And here's a link to Rose's website for you:

http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/recipes/cakes/#.WaXcdLpFxjo

I like weighing dry ingredients when I bake.  I know a lot of people recommend doing it and the reason I like doing it when making something fancy (a cake from scratch IS fancy for ME, folks!) is because there's no doubt about how they measured their flour, as often people disagree on how to measure (dip and scrape off top, spoon on and then scrape off top, etc.).  I don't have to worry about it and get a more exact measurement when I weigh the important dry ingredients. If you have a scale that tares, you can use any old bowl you want to in order to weigh the ingredients, too, which I find handy.

Debbie, I'm a novice baker so I sure would appreciate your passing along any info you might learn that you think might be helpful to someone like me who has little to no baking experience!

Thanks for the recipe link. I am going to try it when I get back to the store. This last recipe used a whole can of cocoa.

I did learn a little.
1.It is all about baker's percentages
2.bakeries use a special flour and pre-made mixes that are not sold to the public
3.I think I read that shortening is used instead of butter

So, to actually get something like what you would get at a bakery or restaurant, at home, is just a dream.

269 Re: What's for dinner? ~ August, 2017 on Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:38 pm

Crybaby

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bethk wrote:Gosh, but I love all these stories about Ruth's Chris Steak House and similar stuff.

No place I ever worked was worth remembering.....LOL


Trust me, Beth. Most of the memories I have from working there are not good. Lana is an amazing woman as well but no one I have EVER known before or since could manipulate me like that woman could. I think that was what infuriated her so much when I gave notice -- I don't think she could actually BELIEVE I was "defying" her, as I'm sure that's how she looked at it. She said, "What are you going to do? You're being irresponsible by leaving one job without another!" I remember telling her I didn't know WHAT I was going to do or WHERE I was going to work but I knew I wouldn't be coming back THERE which was the whole point of giving notice. I told her I didn't have to worry about money (true then!) as I'd never had a minute's free time to spend any of the salary I earned while working for her. She manipulated everyone, of course, but she really did a number on me. She used to say, "You know, you wouldn't BELIEVE how many people have left my employ only to call me years later and tell me how much they learned here and how much they appreciated me!" I must've heard her say that, usually after I'd worked until midnight and was back at 8 a.m., at least a hundred times. Needless to say, I NEVER phoned her again and NEVER thanked her.

I ran into her a couple of times over the years and once, when she ran into us eating with friends at RCSH, she saw the ring on my finger and realized Brian and I were finally planning to get married. She said, "Invite me to your wedding and I'll send you a really nice gift!" I just smiled. We had a very small wedding (family only and one close friend -- who the hell would have a big wedding after shacking up for so many years?! Not me, that's for sure) but I wouldn't have invited her if we'd have had 500 people there.

I did send her a note one time which another employee told me she howled at, which was the purpose of my note. I was always a nail biter and she hated it. She would remark on it all the time even though no one EVER saw me bite my nails, as I only did it when I was at my home. One day she decided to say something about it while we were sitting with a bunch of employees in the kitchen having lunch. She said at the top of her lungs, "Just when are you going to stop biting your nails?" I was embarrassed and immediately lashed out at her, really overstepping as she was the president of the company and was also my boss. She was quite overweight -- I imagine she was approaching 300 lbs. -- so I immediately responded, "When you lose weight!" No one laughed for a second until she started laughing. It took me three days to work up my nerve but I finally went into her office and apologized, saying it was cruel, I was sorry and that I'd been totally out of line. She simply smiled and said, "No, I deserved it. I don't blame you at all. I shouldn't have said what I said."

Well about 2 or 3 years after I left that hellhole, I saw her slim photo in the paper in an advertisement for a weight loss clinic. She was a large woman (I'm 5'8 and Lana was probably one or two inches taller and was a big-boned woman) and she looked quite nice. She always wore what she called "fat lady shoes" while I wore spike heels, which she loved but said she could never balance on as big as she was. Well, she looked super and was wearing spike heels in the photo, as it showed her from head to toe. I sent her a personal card I had with my name embossed on the front (so she'd know who it was from prior to reading my note) and included a copy of the advertisement containing her svelte photo that I'd cut out of the paper. My note? I simply said, "Guess this means I have to stop biting my nails." I ran into the receptionist who'd worked for her for years (the woman was TERRIBLE at her job and took long lunches every single day but Lana kept her 'cause she was there so long) and she told me, "By the way, Lana got your note and howled laughing. She kept saying, 'What a clever bi*ch she is!" to everyone as she showed the card around the office after telling the story that preceded it to everyone."

BTW, in case you're curious, photos of her in later years showed she'd gained all the weight back (evil grin)...

270 Re: What's for dinner? ~ August, 2017 on Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:12 pm

Crybaby

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Debbie wrote:I did learn a little.
1.It is all about baker's percentages
2.bakeries use a special flour and pre-made mixes that are not sold to the public
3.I think I read that shortening is used instead of butter

So, to actually get something like what you would get at a bakery or restaurant, at home, is just a dream.

I've got to disagree with you here, Debbie. Pastry chefs are not only highly thought of in the fine restaurants and pastry shops in New Orleans and other large but are highly sought after and quite well paid; they also usually have other assistants, in large hotels they have several, who work solely for the pastry section under the pastry chef. They would D-I-E before they would use any type of pre-made mixes to create their pastries, desserts, breads, etc., nor would their creations taste so wonderful if they were made in such a fashion. These people are to baked goods as chefs are to the rest of the meal served, highly schooled individuals who often train for years under other highly trained, successful and sometimes revered pastry chefs in fine establishments all over the world, including patisseries, restaurants and fine hotels. Perhaps those types of mixes are sometimes used by franchise bakeries, 'in-house' bakeries in some supermarkets, food store chains or large industrial and/or wholesale suppliers of baked goods, but not in fine restaurants or even large hotel kitchens who employ pastry chefs. Many of the fine bakeries or patisseries here are owned or run by pastry chefs who also work for well known chefs such as John Besh, Emeril Lagasse, and Donald Link, and are sometimes the head pastry chef for more than one of those chefs' restaurants. Though I'm sure shortening is used when it's called for in a recipe, I really doubt the wonderful creations we've had at finer restaurants and hotels would've tasted so sublime if butter wasn't used along with rich heavy cream, wonderful whole milk and the freshest of eggs.

I just looked up some of the duties of most pastry chefs. Here are some of the things they are responsible for:

* Creating, testing and evaluating new pastry and dessert recipes;
* Keeping a budget for the pastry department;
* Buying fresh fruits and berries and ordering supplies from various vendors;
* Supervising chefs in training in the pastry kitchen;
* Discuss menu planning with the other chefs in the restaurant; and
* Keeping the kitchen organized.

Given the right skill and a similar recipe, along with necessary equipment and a good oven, I think anything you get at a bakery or a restaurant could be duplicated at home. It's no secret ingredients or mixes we don't have access to but rather finely crafted recipes along with a lot of talent, skill and experience.

271 Re: What's for dinner? ~ August, 2017 on Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:01 pm

UNCLE JIMMY

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A horse of a different color! The pizza places; ( 90 % of them ) use commercial specific pizza flour to make their dough. We call it...."Run Of the Mill" pizza crust / dough.
It is rare ( here in our area ) that someone makes their dough from scratch; without flour with bromine or other additives.
There was one, that made a great crust for their pizza, but the owner and the wait staff were a t t i t u d e .... snots, and so, they only lasted for a year.

272 Re: What's for dinner? ~ August, 2017 on Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:24 pm

UNCLE JIMMY

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Dinner, was chili plopped on top of spaghetti.
I only ate a cup of it. In gut pain for three days, and with a diverticulitis flare up.

273 Re: What's for dinner? ~ August, 2017 on Wed Aug 30, 2017 12:02 am

Bugster2

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Crybaby, I am just quoting what I read. I have no idea if it is true. Sounds like they were wrong from what you say.

274 Re: What's for dinner? ~ August, 2017 on Wed Aug 30, 2017 12:28 pm

Crybaby

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Bugster2 wrote:Crybaby, I am just quoting what I read. I have no idea if it is true. Sounds like they were wrong from what you say.

No offense was intended, Bugster. and if I sounded harsh, it sure wasn't my intent. Just disagreed about not being able to replicate those creations at home.

I hired a woman whose cake someone saw and photographed at a school affair that was a work of art, as it had the very detailed logo of the school on top of the cake and this was long before the graphic assistance available now. The cake was gorgeous and our client (again RCSH though trust me, folks, I DID have other clients!) was entering a contest put on by the downtown Hilton (the one decimated and in all the photos after Katrina) for businesses to enter decorated cakes. I hired this woman to make a cake for RCSH's entry -- and Ruth wanted a freaking cow! A 3D standing up cow! I was stunned when I went to her home (she baked out of her home kitchen no less) to speak to her, and see her books with photos of cakes she'd made. Not only did she have fantastic photos to show me, but it was like I see on TV now for those shopping for wedding cakes -- she had several samples of various cake recipes she could use so I could see what they would taste like, something I hadn't even THOUGHT of as I was so worried about getting the cow cake made!

The cakes were like NOTHING I'd ever tasted before -- fine, fine crumb and so moist they would melt in your mouth. And flavors that sounded and tasted divine, like white velvet with a slight lavender flavor, subtle but delicious flavors that weren't overpowering yet you could still discern the flavor. The closest thing I'd ever had to cakes like that were the finest petits fours I'd had at French pastry shops, and they didn't even measure up. That's when I realized what a home baker with good training, experience, equipment and talent could do!

The cake was amazing; she even headed down to the Hilton when a leg was damaged in the moving (moving this thing nearly gave me a heart attack). The back of the cow was about three feet high and it sat on legs that were of the stumpy look, attached to the cow sort of like tree trunks. It was a brown and white type cow, I forget which type, but of course Ruth (who wouldn't allow us to shoot a steak for an ad with parsley on top if she didn't serve the damn thing with parsley!) had to have the kind of cow her meat came from. Sheesh!!! Ruth wanted to put the darn thing under glass after the show and I told her I'd arranged for it to be edible and it wouldn't hold up! So we moved the damn thing again to the Broad Street restaurant so her staff could share in the eating!

We didn't win first place -- a freaking cake made like a huge airplane won, entered by Eastern Airlines, I think. Amazing. But I think we got most photographed or something like that. It was a big success and I slept well FINALLY when the whole thing was behind me. Still remember the delicious cake, though, that composed that cow!

275 Re: What's for dinner? ~ August, 2017 on Wed Aug 30, 2017 1:39 pm

bethk

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Admin
I would have wanted the tail to cut into 'Ox Tail' pieces for serving.....LOL

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