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Exiles of the New York Times
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Author Topic: Shopping  (Read 745 times)
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harrie
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« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2008, 10:52:46 AM »

Whew! You learn something every day.
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madupont
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« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2008, 01:41:28 AM »

Lhoffman, about that Iron "Dutch oven" from China. Lined or unlined?

Many years ago, as the thing is unlikely to ever wear out, I bought a Dansk Iron Pot which might fit that description to some extent, it has a very heavy lid that nearly makes a tight seal but not quite. I use it for potatoes in their jackets because it cooks them very rapidly. In fact sometimes I have to be  little more careful particularly if I'm planning on making potato salad or, heavens, removing the jackets and doing the German style of parsley boiled potatoes, sometimes sauteed whole in fact.

This is a long way of getting to the point, but not so long ago, just a few years, I took a pig in a poke on sale in the mid-winter of some floral-border bedding-fencing, that low-to-the-ground that you don't want to trip over and I had a heck of a time getting them into the ground when I eventually did -- for they were made in China, much to my dismay, exceedingly heavy iron and when I opened the box in which they arrived, I could see that they were rusted.  I immediately complained to the company from which I'd bought these( do not recall if they were just a gardening supply or a somewhat bigger outfit that includes garden articles as well as other household maintenance and furnishing outfitting) but this is when I learned something very interesting about the politics of merchanising.  The company said that rather than sending it back to them, since they were not willing to pay the shipping, I should just keep it and they would not bill me. That was the "China" deal.

Likewise, I washed according to instruction a large thick towel from Turkey that is actually a bath-mat and it immediately unraveled the edging. A warning to me, no, I do not need to buy more of this cute pattern in a full set or several.  In other words, what I'm saying is that "Turkish towels", which were the best quality when I was a child,are today just a deal made by a government to further good relations with another country so that they will not fall into the temptation  of joining the enemy when it would be nicer if we could get that "another country" to allow us room for military bases.

In the interim, Chinese towels had become noticeably better quality than anything we were making in the US, and friends brought home this discovery from the first delegated trips abroad in the 1970s, after that the markup from the American vendor went into the 50%. Americans wanted to travel there for the luxury goods, believing that meant "silk"; the Chinese have of course been wise to this for about 700 years. We got stuck in a big discussion of this in American History forum by accident about when this all started by shipping; ask weezo. In 1970s or for at least five or six years of it, it happened to be the towels that were precious; not the silk.  Of course, Americans in search of luxury goods kept on gravitating to what they wanted, dreams of Hong Kong and the British empire life-style, so they went in search of porcelains and cloisonne, etc. -- or, even the old tattered leather chairs that Churchill probably sat in when he went "to the Club" for a drink.  What people in the West were not yet fully aware of was that the Chinese are artists; artists who have made an art for thousands of years at creating "knock offs", they can make imitation anything you desire. They in fact refurbished any number of things that they destroyed during the Cultural Revolution, when they realized that Westerners were looking for those "Olds" which the Chinese had campaigned against as symptomatic of decadent parasitic living. 

I, myself, had a desire for a cast iron wok for emergencies such as we are coming into now. The Chinese cook over mud stoves, similar to the Russian or Korean styles that warm the house, that you can sit around on  in the flat versions or actually sleep on, just as the Europeans of the Continent used to make upright tiled stoves for heating in winter. The cook stove is basically like our cast-iron stoves of the past, but in China they are not iron. They have the right size holes in which the pots fit on top of the stove. So, it seemed to me if you had to have a cooking vessel in case of gas or electric failure in time of war, the thing to own would be that iron wok.

Since then, of course, we have in about a year or two learned to our horror that not everything that comes from China is good for us or anybody. But how can we tell or not which is fine to use and what is not? We seem to have deregulated those agencies that regularly looked out for us, since of course they are government agencies and we have now had a government that believes in cutting out excess agency.  Where it will end, I don't intend to imagine. But for the interim, I'm not going to any local Chinese restaurants as part of a class field-trip when I start brushing up what I left behind when this style of down-sized government took over in the US.
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Lhoffman
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« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2008, 01:03:09 PM »

Madupont....lined or unlined....do you know, I didn't notice because I wasn't buying.  Do you mean "enameled?"  These were the traditional black cast irons, and there were two there, one for $49 and the other for $29.  They were pre-seasoned, something I had not seen before.  When I bought my cast iron skilled, I had to season it in the standard way...oil the thing and stick it in a very hot oven until the smoke alarm went off   Smiley

But, lately my house has been rather cold all the time, and I have been looking at cast iron Dutch ovens.  I thought it might be nice to use it for stew....saute the root vegetables and aromatics in some oil, sear the beef, toss it all together and put it in the oven on a low heat for a few hours, or maybe make a nice roast pork with prunes and apricots....cozy up the house a bit.  My kitchen is centrally located and using the oven tends to boost the furnace.  I have an old Dutch oven that I bought on the cheap when I got married.  These days, the lid isn't fitting as snugly as I would wish...can't complain, the thing has lasted 30 years, but a cast iron pan with a heavy lid would be just the thing.  Of course, on the other hand, there is La Cruset enameled cast iron, the advantage being that one can use this to make roasts and stews, but also for baking yeast breads.  (And these come in the most beautiful colors.)  I do use my cast iron skillet to make corn bread, but I suspect that if I tried to cook yeast bread in cast iron that the bottom would get a littler browner than I prefer.

Chinese, Turkish, American....I don't mind buying internationally.  The world gets smaller every day and Americans don't have the market on the right to live the "good" life.  Perhaps as time goes by, goods will be regulated on an international level. 
« Last Edit: January 30, 2008, 01:30:34 PM by Lhoffman » Logged
Donotremove
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« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2008, 05:11:35 PM »

Hoffman, pre seasoned doesn't mean the iron stays that way.  Eventually, you will cook enough stuff with liquids that the seasoning will "wear" and you have to re season.  I usually just coat with olive oil and put in a 250° oven for several hours, preferably when I'm also slow cooking a brisket at that temperature.  Blasting hot ovens (or stove tops) will warp your iron vessels. You can use a solid paving brick, broken in half, on either side of the lid handle (the one in the middle of the lid) to keep the lid snug to the dutch oven bottom.  Shop thrift stores for pots and pans.  You find a real gem once in a while.
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Lhoffman
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« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2008, 06:34:34 PM »

Donotremove...my old Dutch oven was a cheap one when I bought it....not cast iron, some kind of non-stick.  The lid is loose, but what is more dangerous, the handles have to be tightened every time I use it.  I will be quite glad to replace it.

I think my cast iron skillet recommended 450 degrees for seasoning, and the fat I used got quite smokey.  On the good side, the thing stays seasoned for years.  No rust, no stick.  Usually, after I use it, I wash it in dishsoap, wipe it with a paper towel, rub a little oil into it with another paper towel, and set it on a warm burner until it's completely dry.

Thrift shops are a great idea.  Over the last couple of years, I have been buying pots and pans for my kids...since both are setting up their own households.  We've found a lot of good things in Big Lots and TJ Maxx.  Bought the daughter one of those Le Crusett smaller Dutch ovens for less than ten bucks, and a small cast iron skillet for around five.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2008, 06:39:54 PM by Lhoffman » Logged
weezo
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« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2008, 06:21:47 PM »

Laurie,

Thanks for mentioning this forum. I didn't know it was here!

I remembering buying things imported from China and the far east years ago, and they always smelled strongly of fish until the first washing. Was never sure if it was due to the dye use or the shipping.

We have a cast iron skillet with cast iron lid to make it a dutch oven, that had been Steve's grandmother's and was well seasoned. I've never successfully seasoned a cast iron skillet - they always rust in a short time, since I always put everything in the dishwasher. I've had to reseason the skillet twice in the 25 years we've had it.

Once a friend from NYC was down to visit at my school, and we made steaks in the cast iron skillet. Before I had time to load the dishwasher, he took that skillet, which he had admired when he saw it, and wiped it out with a paper towel, some oil and salt. It didn't need to go in the dishwasher! Hubby is a stickler for cleanliness, and insists that everything through the dishwasher to "kill germs", so I still put the iron skillet and lid in the dishwasher, and when they begin to show a touch of rust, it's time to put some crisco or oil in them in a slow oven for a few hours. Then they go again in the dishwasher for years.

Wonder if Obertray and Utley will follow us over here. My mom had a rather strick rule about washing everything new before it was used. That would have done the woman who got the flip-flops that had acid on them rather well. I'm sure that all stores, from time to time, have a product that gets them in touble with the naysayers. Smart shopping, keeping your mind activie instead of grabbing without thinking, goes a long way to avoiding much of the problems with shopping at store that import goods.

Maddie, I remember when Turkish Towels, were the big, thirsty, luxury towels that you really wanted!






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madupont
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« Reply #21 on: February 20, 2008, 03:09:59 PM »

I think that just filtered into our subliminal consciousness before we were adults, we were growing up  with traditions learned by "grups" who learned about Turkish towels from old ladies back in the 1920s.
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madupont
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« Reply #22 on: February 20, 2008, 03:15:17 PM »

I grabbed this from a forum conversation on the net servers today when they decided to discuss whether Mia Farrow should have not pressured Steven Spielberg into relinquishing his Olympic commitment to design an opening program or what? if he figured he wasn't obligated by contract because of their laissez faire about such things as copyrights anyway, what the hell. But there is a lot more to it than that.


Using the Olympics to put pressure on China  (from the British point of view)

It is hypocritical to call for pressure to be put on China when our stores are full of Chinese goods, and it is imports from China which have kept inflation at a low level in Britain.

China is an integral and increasingly important player in the global economy. We can't afford to apply the sort of sanctions and economic boycott that helped to bring down the apartheid regime in South Africa. But we can, and should, apply moral pressure.
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weezo
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« Reply #23 on: February 20, 2008, 03:27:26 PM »

Maddie,

Considering the actions of our "leaders" in the past decade, we have no moral ground to stand on. If anything, other countries should be lecturing us about out lack of morals!
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NoneoftheAbove
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« Reply #24 on: March 05, 2008, 11:54:55 AM »

Sheesh - why does "shopping" automatically translate to "China"?

FWIW there are some US - based businesses that offer exceptional value on good stuff that isn't made in slave labor camps and might even not contain lead paint!

I'm a refugee from NYT, mostly interested in the Science and the Science/Religion topic, but also am part of an e-store that I want to invite you to visit, especially if you have an interest in Emergency, Tactical or Wilderness Medicine.

Rescue Essentials was originally designed as SAM Medical's online direct distributorship, mainly for the SAM Splint line to address the outdoor industry's needs, but it has morphed into more of a combat and tac-med supply company (I can't help it if the Bush administration has impoverished those into recreation while fattening the wallets of security companies and military contractors!).

Not here to solicit orders so much as to get your impressions of the site and suggestions about how to improve it.

Hope this sort of "site pimping" isn't too heavily frowned upon by the local administrators - thanks in advance for your thoughts!
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FlyingVProd
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« Reply #25 on: November 18, 2017, 10:45:08 PM »

My Mother gave me a gift card for my Birthday, which was on the 9th, and I used the card at ROSS to buy two new pairs of jeans, and a new belt, and a new wallet, they have great prices on designer items.

Here is a link for their website...

https://www.rossstores.com/

So, now I have new jeans to wear to Church tomorrow. The Church that I am going to is a very casual Church, so new jeans would be fine to wear. At another Church that I go to you have to wear a suit and tie, but for this one jeans are okay.

Salute,

Tony V.
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FlyingVProd
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« Reply #26 on: November 18, 2017, 10:46:21 PM »

How to Know Whether or Not to Tuck in Your Shirt

Link...

https://www.gq.com/story/when-to-tuck-in-your-shirt

For Church, and for upscale restaurants, I think it is customary to tuck in your shirt. In the South of France, people get cleaned up, and dress well, and they tuck in their shirts, for dinner.

Salute,

Tony V.
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