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Turkey Basics: Taking the mystery out of preparing your bird

A Reblog | from the Kitchn | Are you roasting a whole turkey for the first time this year? Or perhaps you’ve done this many times before, but you want a quick refresher to brush up on the basics? We’ll help you make your mama proud with these step-by-step instructions for roasting a delicious turkey. Here’s our super basic, super simple, super easy tutorial for roasting a super beautiful turkey this Thanksgiving.

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The Simplest Turkey Method

Now, we know that many people have strong opinions on the best way to cook a turkey. You may fry it, roast it overnight, or do it in a slow cooker. You may brine religiously, or have a secret family spice rub. But just to keep things simple and straightforward we are taking a completely no-frills approach in this tutorial. There are lots of places along the way where you can add some spice, flavor, or personal touches. Consider this a recipe template and feel free to play with it as much or as little as you like; our goal is simply to give you a foolproof way to get that turkey roasted and onto plates with as little stress as possible. This method will work with any turkey: big or small, brined or not, free-range or otherwise. Cooking times will vary, but the basic technique will be the same. For reference, the turkey in the photos was a pre-brined 16-pound turkey from Williams-Sonoma.

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Thawing the Turkey

Be sure to let your turkey completely thaw before cooking. If it was frozen through when you bought it, the turkey will thaw within a few days in the fridge, approximately 24 hours for every five pounds of turkey. For quicker thawing, place the turkey in a cold water bath and change the water every 30 minutes until it’s thawed. For more information on safe turkey thawing, check out the USDA website: • Turkey Basics: Safe Thawing from the USDA

Brining the Turkey

One thing we’re not talking about here is brining the turkey. This method has become popular over the last few years and involves immersing the turkey in a salt water solution for a day or so before cooking. The end result of this process is moist, perfectly seasoned turkey meat. We’ve had great results with brining and heartily endorse it. For a full explanation, check out this post: • Quick Tip: How to Brine Meat If you want to brine, great! If you don’t, this method will still work perfectly. Are you ready? Let’s cook some turkey. (And make sure you scroll all the way to the bottom to see a video showing how to carve it, too!)

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How to Roast a Turkey

What You Need

Ingredients 1 turkey, any size 2 cups broth or water Melted unsalted butter (optional, for basting) Equipment Roasting pan (or alternative) Roasting rack (or something to lift the turkey off the pan) Turkey baster or spoon

Instructions

1. Prepare the Turkey for Roasting – About an hour before roasting, take the turkey out of the fridge. Remove any packaging and the bag of giblets (check in the body cavity and in the neck cavity). Set the turkey breast-side up on the roasting rack and let it sit. This takes the chill off the meat, which helps the meat cook faster and more evenly, and it dries out the skin, which promotes browning and crisping. 2. Heat the Oven to 450°F – Position an oven rack in the bottom third of your oven. If you brined your turkey, as we did, no need to do anything now. If your turkey is straight out of the package, rub it with some salt and pepper before putting it in the oven. We recommend leaving your turkey un-stuffed and un-trussed, both because it’s easier and because the turkey will cook more evenly. Optional Extras – Rub your turkey with butter or oil for a richer flavor and browner skin, rub minced herbs or ground spices into (or beneath) the skin for more flavor, place a few halved lemons or garlic cloves inside the cavity of the turkey. 3. Roast the Turkey – Pour two cups of broth or water into the roasting pan. Place the turkey in the oven and turn down the heat to 350°F. We’re going for a breast-side up approach here. Some recipes advocate starting the turkey breast-side down to shield the breast meat, but the idea of flipping a hot, sputtering turkey is not our idea of a good time. Instead, we like to shield the breast meat with foil toward the end of cooking if it starts getting too browned. 4. Cooking Time – The rule of thumb for cooking a turkey is 13 minutes per pound. So our 16-pound turkey should have taken about 3 1/2 hours to cook. However, some factors like brining the bird, cooking with an empty (un-stuffed) cavity, and leaving the legs un-trussed will contribute to much faster cooking. Plan on the 13-minute-per-pound rule, but start checking the temperature of your turkey about halfway through the scheduled cooking time to gauge how fast it’s cooking. 5. Baste the Turkey – Every 45 minutes, remove the turkey from the oven, close the oven door (don’t let that heat out!), and baste the turkey all over. To baste, tilt the pan and use a turkey baster or spoon to scoop up the liquids and drizzle them on top of the turkey. Basting with pan juices cools the surface of the turkey and slows down cooking, which in turn keeps the breast meat cooking at close to the same rate as the legs and thighs. Optional Extra – In the last 45 minutes or so of cooking, baste the turkey with melted butter or oil. This helps crisp up the skin and turn it a beautiful deep golden brown. 5. Check the Temperature – To make sure that turkey is fully cooked through and through, we like to check its temperature in three places: the breast, the outer thigh, and the inside thigh (see photos above). In every case, the meat should be at least 165°F. If any place is under that temperature, put the turkey back in the oven for another 20 minutes. Shield the breast meat with foil if needed to keep it from overcooking. 6. Rest the Turkey – Grab one side of the roasting rack with an oven mitt and tilt the turkey so liquids inside the cavity run out into the pan. (These juices are used to make the gravy.) Then, lift the whole turkey (still on the rack) and transfer it to a cutting board. Tent the turkey with aluminum foil and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. This gives time for the meat to firm up and the juices to be re-absorbed into the muscle tissue, making the turkey easier to slice and taste juicier. 7. Carve the Turkey – Carve the turkey the same way you would carve a chicken (click that link to see a video of the entire process of carving a chicken): Remove the wings first, then the thighs, then the breast meat. Once you have the meat off, you can separate the thighs into thighs and drumsticks and carve the breast meat into individual slices. That’s all there is to it! Roasting a turkey is really just like roasting a large chicken. The same methods and ideas apply. Even if you don’t get fancy with spices or special basting liquids, your turkey will still turn out browned, moist, and flavorful. One final note! Once you’ve sat down at the table, don’t forget about the turkey back on the counter. The leftover meat needs to be refrigerated within two hours of cooking, after which the risk of something nasty taking up residence starts to increase exponentially. Be safe, kids!

Carving the Turkey

Now that your turkey is cooked, see how to carve it in this super quick video from Maxwell, our CEO and founder. What other tricks, tips, and bits of advice do you have for roasting a turkey?

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Article and photos belong to the orginal Blog.
Feature photo by: Ray Adrian Abarintos
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Fresh summer rolls with basil, avocado, kale + spicy garlic peanut sauce

A Reblog from: thisrawsomeveganlife.com | You can make these totally raw by leaving out the vermicelli and using collard greens or seaweed instead of rice paper. Otherwise, let’s get riced!

Okay apparently “riced” is a legitimate word because word check didn’t put a squiggly red line under it. Who knew.
Continue reading Fresh summer rolls with basil, avocado, kale + spicy garlic peanut sauce

Tips for Growing a Kitchen Herb Garden

Growing and Using Culinary Herbs

By: Marie Iannotti, Reblogged from: About.com Guide

herbs

Probably the most popular herbs to grow and use are the culinary herbs. Herbs used for cooking and seasoning can be incorporated into your existing flower or vegetable beds, grown separately near the kitchen door or kept handy on the kitchen counter. Growing culinary herbs is very similar to growing vegetables. The two most important considerations are to harvest at full flavor and to never use any fertilizer or pesticide on them that isn’t labeled for use on edible plants. Here are some more tips for growing flavorful culinary herbs.

Planting & Growing Kitchen Herbs

  • Annual herbs are inexpensive and easy to start from seed. Woody, perennial herbs establish better if you purchase seedlings or take cuttings.
  • Plant your herbs in a rich, well-draining soil and avoid heavy feeding with supplemental fertilizer. The scent and flavor of herbs tends to concentrate when they are grown in slightly lean conditions. (Going to the extreme and starving them or growing them in poor soil will have the opposite effect. The plants will be stressed and stunted.)
  • Limit pesticide use to an absolute minimum. If you must spray, use the least toxic solution.

Design Considerations for a Kitchen Herb Garden

  • Keep them handy. You will use them more often if they are within easy reach. And their beauty and scent will probably inspire your cooking creativity.
  • Culinary herbs can do double duty as ornamental plants. Parsley, especially the curly variety, makes a wonderful edging plant, if you don’t have rabbits nearby. Tall herbs, like bay laurel, can be potted and used as focal points. Herbs with variegated leaves, like golden or tri-color sage, are great in mixed containers. Don’t let the notion that these are seasoning herbs limit your use of them.
  • Herbs that tend to spread, like mint and oregano, can be grown in containers. The containers can be sunk into the ground, in the garden, or used as accent pots. Just don’t let the tips of the plants hang over and touch the ground, or they will root and grow.

Tips for Using Culinary Herbs

  • Most annual herbs taste their best before they flower. Once the annual herbs flower, they older leaves begin to decline and new leaves are smaller and bitter.
  • Pinch and use often. Even young plants need to be pinched back to encourage them to branch out and become full. Annual herbs, like basil, can be pinched when they are 3-4 inches tall.
  • If your herb plants begin setting flowers in earnest, shear back the whole plant by 1/3 and try to start using them more frequently.

Growing Tips for Specific Herbs

Basil Garlic Lavender
Mint Oregano Parsley
Rosemary Sage Thyme

Fresh Pineapple & Prawn Ceviche

pineapple ceviche

This is really cool we are reblogging this to ours: makeeatsimple.com

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Fish Sauce: An Ancient Roman Condiment Rises Again

by Deena Prichep | A Reblog via http://www.npr.org    >   Ava Gene’s, a Roman-inspired restaurant in Portland, Ore., incorporates colatura, a modern descendant of ancient Roman fish sauce, into several of its dishes.

Fish sauce — that funky, flavor-enhancing fermented condiment — is part of what gives Southeast Asian cooking its distinctive taste. But it turns out, this cornerstone of Eastern cooking actually has a long history on another continent: Europe. And it goes all the way back to the Roman Empire.
Continue reading Fish Sauce: An Ancient Roman Condiment Rises Again

Carrots, Eggs, or Coffee; “Which are you?”

[This beautiful story has been circulating on Facebook. Unfortunately we cannot trace who wrote such a touching and insightful piece. Nevertheless, we are sharing it to those of who have not read it yet.]  Thanks to Reiza Panes for the FB share.

Grandmother Says… Carrots, Eggs, or Coffee; “Which are you?”

A young woman went to her grandmother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved a new one arose.

Her grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her granddaughter, she asked, “Tell me what do you see?”

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.

She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they got soft.She then asked her to take an egg and break it.

After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.

Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The granddaughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma. The granddaughter then asked. “What’s the point,grandmother?”

Her grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity–boiling water–but each reacted differently.

The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.

The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water they had changed the water.

“Which are you?” she asked her granddaughter.

“When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?”

Think of this: Which am I?

Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff?

Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.

When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate to another level?

— AUTHOR UNKNOWN

4 Questions You Should Never Ask at Farmers Market

Reblogged from: Smith Meadows | By on April 10, 2013

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Forrest Pritchard  Forrest has been farming professionally since 1996. His book Gaining Ground: A Story Of Farmers Markets, Local Food & Saving The Family Farm will be published by Lyons Press in Spring 2013. Click HERE to order.

I’ve spent over 1,000 Saturdays and Sundays selling at farmers markets, and even after all this time I still love to answer questions. Farmers markets are one of the few places where customers can directly connect with their food, meeting face-to-face with the people who grew it. Questions are expected at market, and even encouraged. From livestock breeds to production practices, organic certification to chemical usage, I’ve been asked just about every food-related question under the sun.

Though most farmers will happily answer all inquiries, there are a handful of questions that make even the friendliest farmers want to choke a carrot. If you don’t want your farmer to turn three shades of beet red, here’s the reasoning behind 4 questions every customer should avoid.

1) Was this picked fresh this morning?

So what’s wrong with this question… you just want to know if it’s fresh, right? That’s totally understandable. But let’s take a moment to think about how a farm really works.

Imagine market has just opened, and it’s 8 a.m. For the last hour and a half, the farmer has been setting up his booth. Before that, he drove two hours to get to market. Sometime earlier he brushed his teeth, make a pot of coffee, and—with any luck at all—put on his pants. At what point this morning would he have had time to pick 20 bushels of tomatoes, 100 pints of blueberries, or gather 50 dozen eggs?

Truckloads of fresh food don’t magically load themselves in fifteen minutes. It takes many hands many hours to pick basketfuls of green beans or apples. This doesn’t even count moving the harvest from the field to the packing shed, or loading it onto the truck itself.

So when should the harvesting happen… at 2 a.m.? I’m picturing a bleary-eyed farmer with a headlamp, picking corn with one hand and drinking coffee with the other. As Rachel Bynum of Waterpenny Vegetable Farm explained to me, most market produce is picked a day or so before (depending on the fruit or vegetable), then loaded onto the truck in the cool of the evening before market day.

If you want it any fresher than that, you’re probably going have to grow it yourself. In the meantime, let those farmers get a good night’s sleep! Which leads me to my next question…

2) What time do you get up?

This one’s a classic, something I’ve been asked hundreds of times. Farmers are famous for being early risers, so it’s understandable if people are curious about a specific hour. So why add this question to my list? Because—as I’ve learned from years of experience—there’s never a satisfactory answer.

For instance, if I say, “Oh, about 6 o’clock,” the questioner’s face turns thoughtful for a moment. “That seems kind of late, doesn’t it? I mean, I get up at 5:45 myself.” If I say “A little before 3,” their eyes go suddenly wide. “Why do you have to get up so early? To milk the cows or something?”

One day, I realized there’s only one correct answer for this question: 4:30 on the dot. Not too late, and not too early. Not too lazy, and not too crazy. 4:30 a.m. is the Goldilocks of responses.

So in case you were wondering, all farmers—everywhere—get up at precisely 4:30 (although I sometimes hit the snooze button on my rooster). Any more questions?

3) I know you’re not open yet, but I’m in a hurry… could you sell me something before the bell?

Hello, Starbucks? Sorry to call so early, but your door is locked and I really need a latte. Could you open up early just for me? I’m in such a rush, and it’ll only take a second!

Where else in the world could someone get away with this question? Despite how it might appear at first glance, it takes farmers a long time to set up their booth each morning. Trucks must be unloaded, tents erected and produce arranged. If farmers opened early for even one person (and I’m talking to you, Latte Lady), they’d never be ready for the opening bell of market. Which is a perfect segue to my last question…

Order Forrest’s Book now.

farmer book

4) Since it’s the end of market, can I get a special deal on what you’ve got left?

This one’s a little trickier. I once asked my friend John Hyde, a baker for 25 years, what he thought about discounting leftovers at the end of market. His face lost all expression as he gave me this advice: “Forrest, that path leads to madness.”

He elaborated. “If we gave discounts at the end, then people would simply wait till the last ten minutes of market to shop. And what about the loyal customers who paid the normal price? They’d be insulted to learn they got charged more for showing up on time. It’s always better to donate it to a food bank than to discount things at the closing bell.”

Markets must never become Priceline.com or GroupOn, where last-minute deals and discounts are the norm. In order to stay in business year after year, farmers must get the price they ask for. Discounting at the end of market might seem harmless and even logical, but it’s an unsustainable practice for the farmers themselves.

◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊

Farmers markets are a place where customers should expect to have all of their food questions answered. But just like anyone else, we farmers get a little grouchy from time to time (it’s probably because we get up at 4:30). So bring your shopping list, your cloth bag and your farming questions, but leave these four at home. You’ll be a ‘market insider,’ and your local producer will love you for it.

_________________________________

Bloglink:  http://smithmeadows.com/farm/4-questions-you-should-never-ask-at-farmers-market/

Coffee talk: 4 amazing iced coffee drinks

Iced coffee drinks: Thai Iced Coffee

With temperatures reaching 80 degrees in New York City in April, it’s officially time to make the switch from hot coffee to iced. I’ve got to be honest, though, in the legendary words of Coffee Talk” host Linda Richman, bidding farewell to my warm morning cup of joe makes me a little verklempt.

(Talk amongst yourselves.)
Thankfully, I’ve found 4 delicious iced coffee recipes will help us make a yummy transition to spring.
Thai Iced Coffee (at top): sound fancy? Please. Our good friend Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen makes it no big whoop to make. Her exotic recipe calls for coffee, cream, sugar, cardamom and almond extract. Combine, drink, repeat.
Iced coffee drinks: Magical Coffee
The masterminds at Food52 selected this Magical Coffee recipe to be included in the first Food52 cookbook. They also say that you take a sip and “die of happiness.” All it takes is great coffee, cinnamon and brown sugar.
Iced coffee drinks: Coconut Cowboy Coffee
Combine coffee, coconut milk and chocolate syrup to make this Coconut Cowboy Coffee from lovely food blog Kumquat. Pour over ice and it’s (put on your best NY accent) to die for!
Iced coffee drinks: Mexican Iced Coffee
If you’ve got your own magic iced coffee recipe, by all means, take it away. Just do me one favor: start with cold brewed coffee. It’s less acidic than coffee prepared other ways and stays clear of the bitterness. Learn how with this cold brew coffee tutorial at Simple Bites. Thank me later.

So go ahead and make your own iced coffee goodness because, well, at that big coffee chain you get neither stars nor bucks. Discuss. -Stacie

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Reblog from: Coolmompicks

Bloglink: http://www.coolmompicks.com/2012/04/6_amazing_iced_coffee_drinks.php

Create radiant health with the medicinal advantages of Papaya


Named the “Fruit of the Angels” by Christopher Columbus, papaya is enjoyed around the world as a sweet tropical delight. Every part of the papaya tree and its fruit lend great therapeutic value in maintaining health and correcting bodily imbalances. Indigenous people have known of the health promoting benefits of papaya for centuries, and now the knowledge has entered into the spotlight of modern medicine.

Papaya is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. The ripe fruit provides a bounty of vitamin C, E, and A along with folate and potassium. The shining star of papaya nutrition is papain, a formidable enzyme that helps digest protein and reduce inflammation. Papain is 3 times more abundant in green papaya than fully ripened fruit.The Carica papaya, known as Pawpaw in Australia and New Zealand, is the most famous species for promoting excellent health and wellness. All parts of the plant and fruit have benefit. Fruit and seed extracts are found to be effective against the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus, Escherichia coli, and Shigella flexneri. The seeds are also rich in highly digestible protein and contain the alkaloid carpaine.

Carpaine has a calming effect on the heart, bronchus, and muscles, making it ideal for lung ailments such as bronchitis and asthma. Natives of the south sea islands have long used papaya seeds for birth control and as an effective anti-parasitic. Papaya tree bark helps with toothache while the root can be cooked as a tea for jaundice, intestinal parasites, and bleeding disorders.

The leaves are considered the most powerful element of the plant, yet the skin of both unripe and ripe fruit is also remarkably bioactive. The leaves contain 15 times the digestible protein of fully ripened fruit and include high levels of papain. The skin of mature green papaya is also an abundant source of this potent enzyme.

Papaya has been shown to prevent and heal many health issues. Conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, macular degeneration, and arthritis are alleviated by papaya consumption. Digestive health is enhanced by the enzymes and fiber present in papaya. The fiber binds to cancer causing toxins which are then removed from the system, safeguarding healthy colon cells in the process.

The enzymes found in papaya also remove the thick fibrin coating on tumors which allows the killer T-cells to recognize and attack cancer cells.

Of the many health virtues of papaya, the ability to dissolve cancerous tumors has caught the attention of modern science. Believed to have been discovered by the Aboriginal tribes of Australia, papaya leaf tea is an effective remedy for cancer. A study at the University of Florida found that papaya slowed the growth of a wide variety of tumors, including those of the breast, lung, pancreas, cervix, and liver. Researchers used a concentrated tea made from dried papaya leaf. It was found that the larger the dose of papaya leaf tea used the more it reduced the tumor.

The dramatic healing properties of the tea were attributed to increased production of Th1-type cytokines, which are regulators of the immune system. With an increase of cytokines, the immune system is able to dissolve cancer cells. As an added benefit, consumption of papaya leaf tea is void of the harmful side effects of traditional therapies. However, those with a known latex allergy should not consume any part of the papaya tree including the fruit.

As a delicious food or potent medicine, the extraordinary papaya tree provides a wealth of healthy benefit.

Blog link:  http://www.naturalnews.com/031844_papaya_health_benefits.html#ixzz22oX5G75b

The Blue Car Lady

Posted by Drive Thru Guy

This is an open letter to the lady in the blue car that passed my window but it needs an introduction that contains a little background. Here it is: We have an employee on staff named Kenny. Kenny is Filipino. Kenny came here looking to make a better life for his family – which I assume is what my ancestors did at some point seeing as I’m not Native American Indian with my entire bloodline born and raised here. His English is fantastic, and he’s damn good in the drive thru. He should be, I trained him myself.

He often works in the drive thru when I’m not there, and sometimes with me when I am there. Today was one of the times when I was there working with him. We had a customer asking for a poutine with her combo, but she was also asking for the fry and drink to be upsized.

You cannot upsize a poutine. (Note: Poutine /pˈtn/; Quebec French pronunciation : [put͡sɪn] is a French Canadian dish of French fries, topped with brown gravy and cheese curds. Sometimes additional ingredients are added. Poutine is a fast food dish that originated in Quebec and can now be found across Canada, and is also found in some places in the northern United States. It is sold by national and international fast food chains, in small “greasy spoon” type diners (commonly known as “cantines” or “casse-croûtes” in Quebec) and pubs, as well as by roadside chip wagons (commonly known as “cabanes à patates”, literally meaning “potato shacks”). International chains like McDonald’s,A&W,KFC, and Burger King  also sell mass-produced poutine in Canada. Poutine may also contain other ingredients such as beef, pulled pork or lamb. Typically, the dish may also include additional ingredients such as lobster meat, shrimp, rabbit confit, caviar, and truffles. – Wikipedia)

Customer: I’ll get the number four combo with a poutine and cola.

Kenny: Alright, is there anything else?

Customer: Can you upsize the fry and drink?

Kenny: I thought you wanted a poutine?

Customer: Can you upsize the fry and drink?

Kenny: Do you want a fry AND a poutine?

Customer: NO I WANT YOU TO UPSIZE IT.

Kenny:  We cannot upsize a poutine ma’am.

Customer: UPSIZE THE DRINK.

Kenny: Ok, $8.50, first widow please.

The woman drives up, pays, and then advances to the second window. Kenny gives her the upsized cola. She asks him to talk to me. Please realize that she DID NOT ask for a manager, she asked for me, apparently because I’m Canadian.

I go over to the window, “Is there something I can help you with?”

She starts “Yeah, the last couple of times I came here, the employee, and it’s always that guy (pointing to Kenny) can’t understand me. We’re in Canada here; you guys need to get some Canadians in the drive thru that speak English.”

I was kind of shocked. I didn’t really know how to respond to (yes, I know I said once before that I don’t think cunt is ever an appropriate term to use, but) this racist cunt. I stammered a bit and said “Well ma’am, he works here full time and is always in the drive thru, he serves several hundred other people each day and everything seems to be fine. I’m an employee that works for this company, I don’t hire the other employees, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with him, or his English. Would you like to speak to the manager?”

“No, just, whatever, I’ve said my piece, let your manager know and hire some English people, I think I’m speaking pretty clear English.”

“Ok,” I said and handed her the food. “Did you need anything else?”

“No.” She took the food and drove off.

Kenny asked me, “What did she say?”

“Nothing, don’t worry about it,” I said.

“She hates me because I’m not Canadian, I heard her” he responded.

“Whatever, don’t worry about it, she was a f____ b_____” I replied.

This is an employee who wants nothing more than a better life for his family and he was just put down for no reason other than his different nationality by one of the stupidest bitches I have EVER dealt with. I assume she was born and raised here. That’s really too bad, she should have been an abortion.

I asked the guy who collected the money if she said anything to him and he told me that he has seen the same lady once before and she had the same attitude.

The more I thought about it after, the more it upset me. If I didn’t need this job, there are so many different things I could have said to her:

-“Oh do you hate everyone that isn’t white?” followed by a nice window slam.

-“If you don’t like it, then don’t fucking eat here.” followed by spitting on her.

-“FIRE IN THE HOLE” as I over hand threw the food bag into her car like a grenade.

-“Hold on a minute while I get the manager” then unzip my pants and piss into her car. “Here’s the manager and I think he wants me to kick you the fuck out.”

I told my boss about this by asking “Would I get in trouble if I told someone to f____ off?”

I’ve been there for a long time, and I’ve worked side by side with this guy for years so he obviously realized that I didn’t say that. “Probably not,” he responds “but so I can cover for you, what did you do?”

That made me smile, and I explained what had happened. He pulled Kenny into the conversation at this point, told him to forget about it because some people are f____g a_____s and advised him that the next time she wanted to talk to someone to get him specifically and he would tell her to “Stick her nine dollars up her inappropriate-for-Canadian-society-a___.” I swear, I don’t get raises for making my boss look good in my blog, he’s just so awesome that his comments always come up. Seriously, he doesn’t even know I have a blog.

Unfortunately, I need to keep my job so I can’t speak freely to customers at work and my only forum for complaint is this blog. If I could get away with saying what I felt, I would.

Drive Thru Guy

Bloglink:  http://lifeinthedrivethru.wordpress.com/

The Intrigue of Thai Cuisine

I was enjoying a dish last night from my very favorite Thai restaurant anywhere in the country (Royal Thai here in Nashville) and was musing on what makes Thai food so irresistible. As a cuisine, there’s been an explosion in recent years of Thai restaurants and ready-to-eat Thai food in North America, as well as increased access to Thai ingredients. Let me offer a couple of ideas of why I think Thai food borders on addictive.

The most unique aspect of Thai cuisine would definitely be its distinctive flavors. Just walk into a Thai restaurant and you’ll be asking yourself, what is that wonderful aroma? I’d nominate Thai basil. Although several varieties of Thai basil are used in Thai cuisine, the most common in the US is “bai horapha” (Ocimum basilicum thyrsiflora). I find it has a slightly richer flavor and aroma than Italian or Genovese basil, with more pronounced flavor of anise. Not only can you find Thai basil seed fairly easily, but garden centers are increasingly apt to have Thai basil seedlings for your garden, so you can grow your own and enjoy that magic aroma any time.

Sherry’s Note:  If you are in Philadelphia, visit Chabaa with your friends and enjoy the wonderful Thai dishes on their menu. They are located in Manayunk, a Philly suburb and one of the best Thai resto me and my family really like.

Three other herbs and spices that make Thai food unique are lemongrass, kaffir lime, and galangal or kha. Lemongrass imparts a light citrus flavor to salads or soups. Knobby, wrinkled kaffir limes give a stronger sour citrus flavor to curry paste, salads, and soups. Galangal is in a class of its own, somewhat like ginger on steroids. The roots are usually larger than most ginger in US supermarkets and the flavor is more peppery. Fresh galangal is harder than ginger and requires more cooking time to soften; it can also be bought frozen or dried, but as with most spices, fresh is best.

The second draw of Thai cuisine is heat. Chilies are a New World ingredient, originating from Mexico to South America; they were brought to Thailand and other Asian countries by Spanish and Portuguese explorers. The type most often called “Thai” chile (also known as bird’s-eye chile) is about an inch long and really packs a punch, reminiscent of a habanero. If you’re a heat wimp, you can still enjoy the flavor impact of chile, used with a light hand and tempered perhaps with a cooling coconut sauce—but the endorphin rush of chile heat is what draws people to come back to Thai food time and time again.

The third unique aspect of Thai cuisine is variety. The food of Thailand has been influenced by neighboring countries in all directions, from the Chinese noodles that form the basis for the universal favorite pad thai to Indian curries. Sometimes these influences make a delicious collision, such as in Thai curried noodles. (Buddhism from China and India also imparted a vegetarian tradition into Thai cuisine.) Custards from Portugal were adapted by using coconut cream and crêpes, cakes, and other sweets came from the French who occupied neighboring Vietnam.

>> By | Healthy Eating Catalog

  Buddha’s Table, written by Thai native Chat Mingkwan, is a wonderful cookbook and great resource for anyone wanting to recreate vegetarian dishes here in the west with authentic Thai flavors. For Centuries, Thai vegetarian chefs have modified their meals to include only plant-based ingredients. This collection represents the most successful Thai recipes in terms of taste and execution for the home cook, adjusted to please healthy Western vegetarian tastes. Enjoy salads, soups, stir-fries and curries, beautifully illustrated with full-color photographs throughout the book. The author regularly appears as a guest chef at major culinary schools, and his first book, The Best of Regional Thai Cuisine, was featured in Oprah Winfrey’s O Magazine

Bloglink:  http://blog.healthy-eating.com/2012/02/29/the-intrigue-of-thai-cuisine/

Pakistan’s First Female Architect

Editor’s Note: This blog celebrates the contribution of women. inspired by the men of the lives. This week we feature Pakistan’s first female architect, in a country where it is exceptional for women to advance academically. This is a good read from Dwell Magazine, and my husband is an avid reader. I encourage you to explore Dwell and visit often to get unique ideas on architecture and sustainability.

As profiled in our “Women of Influence” roundup in our July/August 2012 issue, Yasmeen Lari is the closest thing Pakistan has to a design superhero. After years working as an architect, designing buildings for a wide range of clients, from corporate campuses to low-income housing, she left private practice in order to focus on issues close to her heart, including developing sustainable and vernacular disaster relief housing and dedicating herself to writing, research, and her work with the Heritage Foundation of Pakistan, the ambitious nonprofit she developed with her husband. Here, we ask her  questions about her architectural work, her philanthropical passions, and the unique challenges of working in her homeland.

lari_portrait

Were you really “the first female architect in Pakistan”? What does this mean, and can you give us some context?

Yes. I believe it is so. It was not really planned. When I returned from England after my studies I found that I was the first one. There were very few qualified architects at the time in any case, so I was also one of the few qualified professionals in my field. At the time that I took up my architectural studies, only selected professions seemed to be open to women —for example, medicine or education. Today, of course, the situation has changed entirely; not only are women in diverse professions, some very tough ones even, such as pilots, but they excel in their studies and are doing well in almost all fields that they choose to be in.

Tell us a bit about your background. What drew you to design, what road did you take to get where you are today?

In early days I had taken up drawing and sketching but did not really know much about the requirements to become an architect. My father had been a bureaucrat (he started off in the Indian Civil Service, when Pakistan and India were ruled by Britain), and after the independence of Pakistan in 1947, he became known as one of the most dynamic in the field. When I was growing up, he was responsible for developing huge tracts of desert into urban centers as well as heading the planning and development organization of the historic city of Lahore, and he often discussed the limited number of professionals in architecture and planning disciplines. I guess that stayed with me and when I went to England for my studies at the age of 15, I opted to take up architecture.

How has the architecture and design scene evolved in Pakistan since you were a student?

Having been trained as an architect in the West, for me there was a period of unlearning as I tried to relate to the reality of the country, and roamed our amazing historic towns for inspiration.

During the early days of my career, most people were not aware of the role that an architect played in shaping the built environment. Today, the profession of architecture has become much stronger and there is now acceptance of the essential role of an architect. As president of Institute of Architects at the time, I had the privilege to lead the movement for creation of legislative measures to provide recognition to the professions of architecture and planning through formation of Pakistan Council of Architects and Town Planners in 1983.

Most of us who had begun their careers during the 20th century had been influenced by the modern architectural movement taking root in the West. More recently, there is a focus on regionalism and search for more appropriate local alternatives. However, most buildings, especially for the corporate sector continue to be international in character.

As a result of the research that I have carried out on vernacular methodologies through construction of almost 2,000 sustainable shelter units since 2005, a great deal of technical information for building sustainable green structures has now been developed. Because of the vast data that is now available through our work in the last six years, it is my hope that architects in Pakistan will begin to use our findings to design buildings that incorporate local materials and improved vernacular techniques.

Read more via this bloglink: Pakistan’s First Female Architect/Dwell Magazine

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