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June 28, 2008

Saturday morning musings on comments

Federal Hill Jim sent me an e-mail wondering why I hadn't published his comment under Keep Off the Grass when there were so many more inflammatory comments that I had published. I wrote back and told him I hadn't killed any comments in recent memory. That got me to wondering if anyone else's comments had disappeared.

Also as regular readers know, the Dining@Large specialty is not to stay on topic, and some of the most interesting discussions have nothing to do with the original post. For instance, ...

...this astounding assertion under The Bacon Flowchart:

Molasses improves any dessert.

ARE YOU PEOPLE OUT OF YOUR MINDS. Now if you had said chocolate, or ice cream, or almond extract or almost anything but molasses, I would have gone along with it for the sake of argument.

And please understand, I'm from the South. I love molasses, but this is unconscionable.

Finally, I've gotten several good tips in comments about openings and closings, including Mari Luna in Pikesville; but of course I didn't write them down because it's so easy to remember them and sift through 10,000 comments to find them again, so please feel free to repost them below.



Posted by Elizabeth Large at 8:22 AM | | Comments (40)


If Fed Hill Jim's email even remotely criticized the Big Yellow Sphere In The Sky, then it was probably zapped before it even reached EL's little laptop.

That is one of great things about this blog, they way the discussions meander this way and that, often far from the opening topic.

Always entertaining, for sure!

Molasses improves any dessert.


It's not Bucky's fault. He's from Colorado, and they eat differently there.

When Bucky posted Molasses improves any dessert, I assumed he was just testing us to see if anyone was reading. It's patently ridiculous!

I have sent a comment that never appeared. Since the lost one was critical of a review I just assumed Ms Large deposited it in the electronic trash can. Now it seems it is lost in the electronic cosmos. Sorry I thought bad things about you EL.

I don't always publish them in a timely fashion, but if it doesn't appear eventually, just repost it. EL

I don't know whether this is on or off topic, but molasses mixed with dijon mustard makes a terrific glaze for beef, pork and lamb when grilling. You can also add garlic, vinegar, rum, bourbon etc.

Yeah, I've had a couple of comments vaporize. I assumed that it was user error, but did send a query once to Lady Elizabeth about one in particular, and she assured me that she had not zapped it. Blog gremlins?

Quite a few of my comments have vaporized. It has a chilling effect. At least one had to with .... oh why bother it will just get censored. That's the problem with censorship, it inhibits free expression. And oh guess what NOBODY knows how it happened. Yeah, good job Stalin. And yet I'm guessing that not one of the ten thousand comments on potato chips got censored. This paper makes me sick. It's dying and it is killing its online version with silent censorship. I don't care about much but freedom of expression should be a god damned banner that this dying paper flies. Instead it is a secret force that is killing its last hope of existence. Shame! Shame on you corporate Overlords! You are killing your goose.

Funny, I don't feel like a corporate overlord. EL

We're not going back to the topic of foie gras, are we?

Uh...would you believe that I have just the opposite problem? Instead of my comments disappearing, comments that I never made seem to appear.

"Molasses improves any dessert?" That's just silly. How could anybody think I would say such a thing?

CHEESE improves any dessert. And BLUE CHEESE is dessert all by itself. Now, that's what I'M talkin' about...

As you have probably gathered, I have known EL personally and professionally for years. I have total confidence in her integrity. As for her employers ... (self censored)
The gist of my missing post was that if you think things at The Sun are bad now, just wait.

Why would anyone want to be a corporate overlord when they could be an evil overlord?

"I masure out my life with coffeespoons"
maybe those wraps they put around a carry out cup,
or maybe sugar packets,
or those little cream,
or those plastic stirrers,

Don't ask what is it lets just go and make our visit

oh no! the most hedonistic week in recent memory on D@L (cheeseburgers, bacon, bourbon, chevre, peaches, ice cream, chocolate sauce...) is now ending with prufrock?? don't kill the buzz yet!

Is Mari Luna closing? After the good comments on here I was looking forward to checking it out.
As for the Glowing Orb, I have to admit that it's a little disappointing that while trying to support my local paper through a subscription I have watched it progressively shrink its bureaus and content while dramatically expanding its ads and nifty color-coded sections. I can't wait to see the 100 jobs that are going to be cut, largely from the newsroom. Go Sam Zell. Here's hoping Ms. Large continues this blog, even if it's on her own someday.

Andale Bucky! Arriba! Arriba!

Czar EL, embrace your corporate lordship. But now I know for sure you are not Martin O'Malley.

The Czar comment was my post, but for some reason my info was deleted so it showed up as "Anonymous." I think it has to do with my earlier comment about censorship. If no one hears from me again, please contact the FBI.

By the way, all this talk about cheeseburgers inspired me -- ground chuck (over charcoal, Bucky) with extra sharp cheddar and grilled Vidalia onions. And not that I shop at Wal Mart Super Centers very often, but if there is one near you they do have a great selection of ground beef -- sirloin, ground round, chuck and regular beef if you so desire. I sometimes mix together the round or sirloin (for flavor) with the chuck (for juiciness -- ok, fat). Complimented by a Wild Goose IPA, a very underrated beer.

and each one there

has one thing shared

they have swayed beneath the same sun

looked up in wonder at the same moon

and wept when it was all done

for being done too soon

I've reflected on Ms. Large's musing from yesterday morning. I admit that I am responsible for a few of the diversions from the topic since I found this place.

To anyone whose train of thought was derailed when my stream of consciousness locomotive jumped the tracks, I apologize.

I'll try to improve. might want to try blue cheese on that burger, instead.

Believe me, we were wandering off topic long before you ever found us. Go back into the archives to see what I mean. EL

For all Newbies: the REAL trick to subject change is 1) have just the smallest connection to the posting but which allows others to end up about 500 miles off topic; or b) have the shift be utterly and completely off topic, but something that can develop a life of its own.

An example of the first technique is asking whether Mr. Bucky was cooking his ideal burger over charcoal or propane. It didn't achieve a full shift, but the issue keeps re-surfacing. (Has anyone done a blind tasting to see if any normal person can tell the difference? I don't believe you can.)

Anyway, shift away.

Bucky, we actually give prizes for the best segues on this blog from time to time (I myself am the proud recipient of one).

But getting more or less back to food, I want all those grilling with charcoal to give up lighter fluid. We use one of those chimneys to start the fire and the food tastes much better as a result (probably healthier for us as well).

Dahlink wrote: "...I want all those grilling with charcoal to give up lighter fluid."

Amen! I saw a program on the History Channel a few nights ago about whiskey making, and they showed them making charcoal for filtering at the Jack Daniels Distillery. They set the wood afire using the high-proof distillation instead of lighter fluid to keep the charcoal from leaving a kerosene taste. If its good enough for them, its good enough for me.

But I love the smell of naphtha in the morning.

Hey Skin, no bacon?

(but wow, you almost left me speechless there)

MOF wrote: "They set the wood afire using the high-proof distillation instead of lighter fluid to keep the charcoal from leaving a kerosene taste."

I was going to keep that trick to myself but, yep, that's how you do it without lighter fluid.

Though in the end I'd still take lighter fluid preparation over propane. One can always throw on a few mesquite chips to mask the kerosene.

It is 5:00 p.m. yet?? I'm hot, a little restless, out of chocolate sauce, and the thunderstorm that just passed by was entirely unsatisfying.

While a fan of the chimney, Hal made me laugh out loud. Lighter fluid-infused charcoal has cooked many a meal for me.

I must hide, wicked thunderstorms are bearing down...

I must hide, wicked thunderstorms are bearing down...

Here the thunderstorm came through early and quick enough that I was able to fire up the grill and cook a flank steak after the storm passed. The flank steak was marinated (take that, ATK!) in red wine simmered with onions, garlic, thyme, parsley, and peppercorns. It was tasty!

And Dahlink, I did use a chimney starter even though it takes longer than starting a fire with lighter fluid and tends to send ash from the burnt newspaper floating around.

I wasn't kidding about liking the smell of lighter fluid, though.

Hal - wow, that flank steak sounds absolutely dreamy

So you cook all that stuff in the red wine, then chill? then use as marinade? For how long? And what did you have with the flank steak?

With all the grilling talk around here lately I just had to tonight (after that useless storm)...

But it was single working girl style - boneless ribeye (with seasoned pepper blend rubbed on), southern potato salad (from the deli), and sugar snap peas (frozen. yeah, i know! but i never wake up early enough for the farmers market; and would they have those anyway?).

Wasn't bad. But didn't quite do the trick - still craving a bacon cheeseburger, 80/20, charcoal grilled, with vermont cheddar and grilled vidallia onions, with a cool pale ale on the side (i prefer backfin, clipper city, or sierra nevada. someone mentioned IPA, but the only acceptable IPA is wild goose and just barely. the IPAs are not as good as straight pale ale).

Bourbon Girl asked: So you cook all that stuff in the red wine, then chill? then use as marinade? For how long? And what did you have with the flank steak?

I simmered the other ingredients in the red wine for just a couple or three minutes, then stuck it in the freezer for a bit to chill it (it was probably close to room temperature when I used it), and put it in a ziploc bag with the steak for a couple or three hours.

With the flank steak we had a big Caesar salad, with croutons made from homemade French bread. "high proof distillate" do you mean they use Jack to light the wood fires to produce the charcoal to filter Jack?

On one hand, it seems like such a waste. On the other, there's a circle-of-life aura about it.


Oh, Hal, when were you planning on inviting us all over? I'm drooling on my keyboard.

And Bourbon Girl, I'm with you on the Sierra Nevada and the grilled Vidalia onions. Maybe someone will throw a nice piece of fish on the grill for me while the rest of you eat your burgers.

Bucky asked: " "high proof distillate" do you mean they use Jack to light the wood fires to produce the charcoal to filter Jack?"

I believe what they use is the raw distillate before it is put up to age, possibly even before it is filtered. Its a higher proof than the bottled, aged whiskey. Burns better, too.

Amen to chimney starters -- best $12 I've ever spent. And now I have a use for the Sun . . .

I am a little concerned about what I'm going to do for old newspaper for the chimney starter and for eating crabs when the (your expletive here) Tribune Co. finishes turning the Sun into McPaper and I have to cancel my subscription in disgust.

Speaking of charcoal, have you noticed the 20 pound bag of charcoal now weighs 18 pounds?

See, EL? It's not just the ice cream.

Dahlink - Cheers! But curious, if no burgers, grilled Vidalia's on your fish?

Which reminds me: When I was in grad school in a very southern state, a prof took us to a secret place way back in the woods that was famous for its farm-raised catfish and fried pickles. the fried pickles were great.

the catfish was served with a tray of lemons, onions, and pickles and i don't know what else - except it was all strong enough to obliterate the fish taste. he acted like the catfish (yuck) was a delicacy, but if it is, if it really is, why do they smother it with anything that is strong enough to overpower that (nasty) taste??

if you need protein and that's all there is that is cheap, then why not. but who would actually seek out catfish? am i missing something?

I find the best use for the newspaper is to wad it up and use it to start a charcoal fire.

It sure beats reading it...

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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