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PollyG

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  1. I also ordered my turkey from Mom's. Too many incidents where the staff at Whole Foods assured me that my pricey turkey is only "air chilled on the surface" when I said it seems awfully solid, only to find that it is frozen all the way to the fricking center when I got it home! We have been smoking our turkeys of late; has anyone tried a combo of smoking and then finishing in an oven to crisp the skin? I realize I might have to oil the skin post-smoking to make that happen. Two contrasts in recipes are on my list this year: A cornbread souffle which relies on Jiffy mix and canned corn. It's been on the table the past few years and is much loved. It does not reheat well. This stunning tart True to my nature, I'm planning on using just the cranberry gelee and leaving the non-seasonal, likely both tasteless and expensive, raspberries off the topping. I'll put the gelee over something more to the family tastes, like cheesecake.
  2. Would you be so kind as to tell Nancy we enjoyed our first pawpaw harvest this Fall?  She did a nativescaping recommendation for us in 2013 which included a pair of the trees.

  3. My son is installed in his new college apartment with a far better stocked kitchen than I had throughout college. He has a microwave, oven, electric stove, blender, stand mixer, crockpot, rice cooker and electric griddle. He is part of the generation who believes that he doesn't need any lessons from Mom because everything is available on the internet. (You'd think all those Pinterest fail photos might have clued him in, but not yet.) I've offered, he's passed. He has a copy of my much loved Chinese Menu Cookbook, which teaches classic techniques bit by bit. He also has Carol Field's Italian Baker; loves to make bread but usually goes with recipes he finds on the internet, with mixed results. I'm looking for another cookbook for him with simple recipes and meticulously edited technique descriptions. I'm thinking Maida Heatter level detail, but for savory dishes. Does anyone have suggestions?
  4. Wow, 2+ years since anyone last mentioned this stalwart of the Eden Center! Today we picked up my son's college apartment mate at Union Station and brought them to Huong Viet en route to our home in Herndon. Our son has been vocal in his displeasure with the quality of food at Rochester Institute of Technology (on-campus and delivery) and after a meal at Huong Viet, his apartment mate now "gets" why Isaac has been so critical. One bite of their cha gio is pretty much all it took. We ordered cha gio, the chopped baby clam appetizer, and split the big mixed grill platter (grilled shrimp, chicken, beef, pork, noodles, and greens for wrapping) two ways while my husband had the yellow noodle duck soup. My only complaint is that I think someone forgot to add the sugar syrup to my salty lemon drink so it was a bit too salty for me. This is a restaurant that doesn't coast on its reputation. It cranks out good to stellar Vietnamese food from a huge menu. It's also the reason I was so unimpressed by the Slanted Door in San Francisco back when Slanted Door was one of the top rated restaurants in that city. Every traditional Vietnamese dish I had at Slanted Door was better and cheaper at Huong Viet.
  5. On the wall oven, based on my recent experience, do not go for the Wolf double electric. Ours is about to have its SECOND control panel replacement after installation in March. Each time has involved a week's wait for a service call and at least another week's wait for the part. The folks at Wolf are very pleasant, but one more failure and I will be asking for a refund plus costs to install a replacement for this very expensive oven.
  6. I'm sorry to see Ray's go. The team was always gracious to my kid and I'm going to seriously miss my occasional perfect hanger. Thanks for a wonderful run, Michael.
  7. 1. Strawberries dipped in chocolate, decorated with with either sprinkles or a drizzle of contrasting chocolate. 2. Bamboo appetizer skewers of baby fresh mozzarella, a basil leaf slice, and a cherry or grape tomato, drizzled with balsamic and olive oil 3. 69 shrimp. Marinate shrimp in your favorite marinade (I use half an onion, a quarter cup of olive oil, lemon juice, black pepper, and a green herb (basil, shiso, cilantro, etc.) whirled with a stick blender. Put two shelled shrimp on a skewer together in a ying-yang pattern (head to head in the center, tails going out), grill, and serve with more of the same sauce.
  8. There's a Lidl in Ashburn. The bizarre assortment of clothing and housewares in the midst of cheap food is pretty confusing. Produce can be a bargain. I've been unimpressed with the few bakery items I've tried.
  9. We went with Silestone on our first countertop replacement about 15 years ago. The sealing issue was the selling point for us then. Fast forward to this year, when we're almost done with a complete renovation of the kitchen which precluded use of the existing countertops (still in pristine condition), and we went with Silestone again. I'm impressed with how far they've come in creating options that look more like natural stone. This time we went with Pietra.
  10. I believe a lot of their business is from the lunchtime work crowd, which is typical for that area. It may not make sense for them to be open on weekends, though feedback from people who'd visit could change their minds.
  11. We spotted FRESH, not frozen durian at the tiny new Lotte Market in Herndon (former K-mart plaza on Eldon St.) April 25. They were $7.99 a pound and miraculously smelled of custard and not of overripe summer sewer gas. Our kitchen is still under reconstruction or we would probably have sprung for one. These were extremely small durian, about the size of a football, so one would likely be in the 3lb range. Adding: At the Lotte on Metrotech Drive in Chantilly on April 26, the fresh durian display (down to just a single durian) had this sign. I suspect there is an excellent story behind it.
  12. I enjoyed the dry fried cauliflower, the lotus root pork "sandwich" (which we received instead of the HK pork belly and lotus root dish we'd ordered), and the suanla rice noodles. The scallion bubble pancake is the same as at Chang's other restaurants, and my spouse said that his black bone chicken soup was too much of a challenge to eat to be an item he'd order again, though it was tasty. The chicken was on the bone and in a pretty small bowl. He happily eats other soups that have meat on the bone.
  13. Check the Indian frozen vegetable section at your local pan-Asian food store to find fairly small slices. We've added them to soups.
  14. While they obviously had to do something to avoid having all the RTC spaces become defacto free Metro spaces, BP blew this. First 2 hours free on weekdays in addition to the current free evenings and weekends seems like a pretty obvious fix--and don't require people to use the app if they won't be in the space for more than 2 hours. Or make it 3 hours and cover matinees at Bow-Tie. No one is going to be able to use Metro for commuting in only 3 hours.
  15. Alas, the Herndon operation is closed with a realtor's "for rent" sign in front.
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