Dick Stein http://kplu.org en How To Be An Annoying Restaurant Patron http://kplu.org/post/how-be-annoying-restaurant-patron <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/143782934&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Back in February, Nancy and I devoted a Food for Thought to a</span><a href="http://www.kplu.org/post/annoying-question-waiter" style="line-height: 1.5;">nnoying things restaurants do</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. It seems only fair that we now open the forum to restaurant workers about the annoying things customers do.&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Nancy and I have both worked in restaurants, so we had a few little items with which to scratch the surface of Annoying Customer Behavior.</span></p><p> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 12:00:00 +0000 Dick Stein 15806 at http://kplu.org How To Be An Annoying Restaurant Patron How To Slice A Whole Bunch Of Olives All At The Same Time http://kplu.org/post/how-slice-whole-bunch-olives-all-same-time <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/142595447&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Hanging out at Capitol Hill's </span><a href="http://www.labeteseattle.com/" style="line-height: 1.5;" target="_blank">La Bete Bistro</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> enabled Nancy </span>Leson<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> to learn the closely-guarded secret of slicing multiple olives in one fell swipe using just two yogurt lids and a sharp knife. Continue on, dear reader, if you would like to know...</span></p><p> Wed, 02 Apr 2014 12:00:00 +0000 Dick Stein 15585 at http://kplu.org How To Slice A Whole Bunch Of Olives All At The Same Time Asparagus, Garlic and Scapes — Oh, My! 'Tis The Season Of Fresh Produce http://kplu.org/post/asparagus-garlic-and-scapes-oh-my-tis-season-fresh-produce <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/140768994&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">We just can't figure out how those tulips got into our garlic bed, but there they are, poking their broader&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">leaves up through the straw amongst the thinner but tastier garlic shoots.</span></p><p>Seeing them reminds me of the story in Charles MacKay's 19th century masterpiece, "<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Extraordinary-Popular-Delusions-Madness-Crowds/dp/1463740514" target="_blank">Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds</a>"&nbsp;about Holland's Tulipmania. It concerns a sailor&nbsp;who returns from years overseas, unaware of the astronomical prices tulips had reached during that insane bubble.&nbsp; Mistaking a bulb worth thousands for an onion, he eats it.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In this week's Food for Thought, Nancy </span>Leson<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> and I heave big sighs of anticipation over the fresh produce to come&nbsp;—&nbsp;for me, my 45 garlic plants and their </span>scapes<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, and for her, local fresh asparagus.&nbsp;</span></p><p> Wed, 26 Mar 2014 12:00:00 +0000 Dick Stein 15012 at http://kplu.org Asparagus, Garlic and Scapes — Oh, My! 'Tis The Season Of Fresh Produce Cast Iron Vs. Non-Stick — And The Winnah Is... http://kplu.org/post/cast-iron-vs-non-stick-and-winnah <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">I admit it. For a while I was seduced by the slippery attraction of non-stick cookware. But what I noticed was that supermarket-cheap or fancy cookware-expensive, they all betrayed me in the end. I also noticed that while cast iron just keeps getting better and better, my non-stick just got worse.&nbsp;</span></p><p> Wed, 19 Mar 2014 12:00:00 +0000 Dick Stein 15002 at http://kplu.org Cast Iron Vs. Non-Stick — And The Winnah Is... Making Homemade Crackers The 'Easiest Thing In The World' http://kplu.org/post/making-homemade-crackers-easiest-thing-world <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">I love homemade food stuffs — things I might otherwise have to buy at a restaurant or a grocery store.&nbsp;But it’s never occurred to me to make my own crackers. Until now.&nbsp;</span></p><p>The way my co-conspirator Nancy Leson tells it, "it's the easiest thing in the world.”</p><p>“For people like us who like to make homemade bread, pie crust, crackers are really, really easy,” she says.</p><p>Nancy asked Seattle chef Bruce Naftaly of the late Le Gourmand to share <a href="http://seattletimes.com/html/pacificnw/2022943424_0309tastexml.html" target="_blank">his recipe for his famous handmade crackers</a>, which he makes with homegrown poppy seeds. &nbsp;</p><p> Wed, 12 Mar 2014 12:00:00 +0000 Dick Stein 14717 at http://kplu.org Making Homemade Crackers The 'Easiest Thing In The World' How To Make Your Own Crème Fraîche — And Why You Should http://kplu.org/post/how-make-your-own-cr-me-fra-che-and-why-you-should <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">I freely admit that up to now, I hadn't really been sure what the stuff was or even how to say it. Let's get that out of the way right now: It's pronounced </span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“kremm</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> fresh.” So what is it? Think sour cream, only not so sour and, for my money, way better-tasting.&nbsp;</span></p><p>“Crème fraîche is really a cultured cream, just like sour cream,” says Nancy Leson. “And you can put it on anything, from sweets to savories. You can put it on fruit, you can put it on dumplings.”</p><p> Wed, 05 Mar 2014 13:01:00 +0000 Dick Stein 14415 at http://kplu.org How To Make Your Own Crème Fraîche — And Why You Should No Need To Presoak Beans For This Cheese Rind-Flavored Minestrone Recipe http://kplu.org/post/no-need-presoak-beans-cheese-rind-flavored-minestrone-recipe <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">My whole life&nbsp;I've been soaking dried beans overnight for use in the next day's soup or stew.&nbsp;At this late date, I've learned I've been wasting my time.&nbsp;</span></p><p> Wed, 26 Feb 2014 13:00:00 +0000 Dick Stein 14085 at http://kplu.org No Need To Presoak Beans For This Cheese Rind-Flavored Minestrone Recipe Nancy Leson Couldn't Stand Meatloaf Until She Tried This Unusual Recipe http://kplu.org/post/nancy-leson-couldnt-stand-meatloaf-until-she-tried-unusual-recipe <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">I'm an open-minded, non-judgmental kind of guy (disregard that snickering from my wife), but I draw the line at fruit in meatloaf. Nancy </span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Leson</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> doesn't, as she made brazenly clear in her Seattle Times story last weekend.</span></p><p>Amazingly, Nancy sees nothing shameful about including raisins, apples and curry powder in meatloaf mix, and then topping the whole mess with chutney.&nbsp;</p><p>“Don’t knock if you haven't tried it, buddy,” she said. “The raisins and the apple are what make this meatloaf so delicious to me.”</p><p> Wed, 19 Feb 2014 13:00:00 +0000 Dick Stein 13792 at http://kplu.org Nancy Leson Couldn't Stand Meatloaf Until She Tried This Unusual Recipe An Annoying Question From The Waiter http://kplu.org/post/annoying-question-waiter <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">I am made wary when servers ask, "Have you dined with us before?" Why do they want to know?&nbsp;</span></p><p>My unindicted co-conspirator Nancy Leson says a lot of times, the question has to do with a cryptic menu the patron may not understand.&nbsp;</p><p> Wed, 12 Feb 2014 13:00:00 +0000 Dick Stein 7552 at http://kplu.org An Annoying Question From The Waiter Bread of the Ana-Damned? http://kplu.org/post/bread-ana-damned <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Given the blustery weather we're enjoying this week, why not some molasses-laden </span>Anadama<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> bread to provide the interior insulation we need? What's more, it turns out that I've been wrong, wrong, wrong all these years about the stuff.</span></p><p> Wed, 05 Feb 2014 13:00:00 +0000 Dick Stein 13246 at http://kplu.org Bread of the Ana-Damned? The Tossed-Off Magic Of Chinese Hand-Pulled Noodles http://kplu.org/post/tossed-magic-chinese-hand-pulled-noodles <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The first time I watched hand-pulled noodles being made, I could hardly believe what I was seeing. &nbsp;</span></p><p>The chef took a lump of dough, stretched, twisted, tossed and swung and lo — there were noodles.</p><p>Here. See for yourself.</p><p> Wed, 29 Jan 2014 13:00:00 +0000 Dick Stein 12979 at http://kplu.org The Tossed-Off Magic Of Chinese Hand-Pulled Noodles Where Nancy Went Wrong With Her Spanish Shrimp Recipe http://kplu.org/post/where-nancy-went-wrong-her-spanish-shrimp-recipe <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">My Food for Though pard Nancy Leson did a <a href="http://www.seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/pacificnw/2022561791_0119tastexml.html" target="_blank">great little piece</a> in last Sunday's Seattle Times about her take on Spanish shrimp with garlic. It was accompanied by </span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">a swell video of Nance </span>cookin<span style="line-height: 1.5;">' it up in her own kitchen</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. I loved it. Of course, my way is better.</span></p><p> Wed, 22 Jan 2014 13:00:00 +0000 Dick Stein 12739 at http://kplu.org Where Nancy Went Wrong With Her Spanish Shrimp Recipe Closure In The Form Of A Fish-Shaped Cod Cake With An Olive For An Eye http://kplu.org/post/closure-form-fish-shaped-cod-cake-olive-eye <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Back when </span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Caddys</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> had tail fins, my favorite dish was equally piscine: Gorton's Codfish Cakes. Mom mixed this whitish paste with mashed potatoes, shaped it into patties and fried them like little </span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">fishburgers</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">.&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">But I didn't want my codfish cakes in patties. I wanted what the photo on the side of the Gorton's can described&nbsp; as "serving suggestion," w</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">hich was the patty shaped into the form of a stylized fish. It even had a slice of pimento-stuffed olive for a fish eye.&nbsp;</span></p><p> Wed, 15 Jan 2014 13:00:00 +0000 Dick Stein 12589 at http://kplu.org Closure In The Form Of A Fish-Shaped Cod Cake With An Olive For An Eye Two Too-Easy Chicken Stock Recipes http://kplu.org/post/two-too-easy-chicken-stock-recipes <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">As the new year approached, both Nancy and I resolved to cook more homemade stocks. Now we’re putting our chicken bones where our mouths are – in more ways than one. Here are our two preferred methods.&nbsp;</span></p><p> Wed, 08 Jan 2014 13:00:00 +0000 Dick Stein 12312 at http://kplu.org Two Too-Easy Chicken Stock Recipes Nancy & Dick's Swell Christmas Cooking Scores http://kplu.org/post/nancy-dicks-swell-christmas-cooking-scores <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Every year my wife, the lovely and talented Cheryl </span>DeGroot<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, and I vow to skip the presents. This year was no different. We both broke the pledge.</span></p><p> Wed, 01 Jan 2014 13:00:00 +0000 Dick Stein 12177 at http://kplu.org Nancy & Dick's Swell Christmas Cooking Scores