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Thread: Matchbox's Kitchen - Ask The Pro

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    Do you know of a good recipe for egg-free angel food cake? Is it possible? Would a chickpea water substitute be worth pursuing?

    My mom used to love it as a kid before they figured out that an egg allergy was what was making her sick. Personally, I've never liked the cake. From the (admittedly limited) searching I've done online, the pictures I've seen associated with the allergy friendly recipes do not seem to resemble the Angel food cakes I've eaten/seen in stores.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitinboots View Post
    Do you know of a good recipe for egg-free angel food cake? Is it possible? Would a chickpea water substitute be worth pursuing?

    My mom used to love it as a kid before they figured out that an egg allergy was what was making her sick. Personally, I've never liked the cake. From the (admittedly limited) searching I've done online, the pictures I've seen associated with the allergy friendly recipes do not seem to resemble the Angel food cakes I've eaten/seen in stores.
    For future reference, the word you want for that chickpea water is “aquafaba”. If you search for recipes for your mother with that term, you might have better results?

    To answer your question, yes, I think it might be possible to get a passable angel food cake with no eggs. Very light sponge cakes don’t always respond well to substitutions, they’re a little temperamental and tend to collapse if you mess with them too much, but if we keep it as simple as possible...

    I’ll have a think about it and get back to you?
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    Other than the last 5 or 6 paragraphs, the restaurantours sound like entitled children:
    If I want to eat while surfing on my phone, that is my choice.
    "Influencers?" That's a hazard in every business.
    Stacking plates? Why aren't the plates being cleared timely? But if you are going to stack, learn to do it properly! Empty plates Largest to smallest. Silverware does not get stacked.

    Don't put napkins in the glasses.
    Part of the reason we stack is because we are actually trying to converse with each other, and there are loads of dirty plates in front of us.

    Kids can behave as they want, because they are kids. I expect 4 and 10 years olds and all ages in between to act their age...which means like kids! I blame the parents for allowing them to run around, etc.

    Taking photos of food? Eh, who cares. Just keep the plates on the table.

    You know what bothers me about restaurants? Chefs who believe that what they serve should be worshipped. Or who believe that every diner should behave a certain way towards the food, or feel a certain way about food.

    I want to hurt someone everytime a customer ordered a filet minion. Well done. But cool in the center. No pink. With heinz 57.
    But you know something? I sucked it up. Because they were paying for it. And that is the way they enjoyed it. And if they were stupid enough to over pay for the filet in the first place, they could order it however they wanted.
    If you want my opinion on your relationship or life issues, just ask Villanelle!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guynavywife View Post
    Other than the last 5 or 6 paragraphs, the restaurantours sound like entitled children:
    If I want to eat while surfing on my phone, that is my choice.
    "Influencers?" That's a hazard in every business.
    Stacking plates? Why aren't the plates being cleared timely? But if you are going to stack, learn to do it properly! Empty plates Largest to smallest. Silverware does not get stacked.

    Don't put napkins in the glasses.
    Part of the reason we stack is because we are actually trying to converse with each other, and there are loads of dirty plates in front of us.

    Kids can behave as they want, because they are kids. I expect 4 and 10 years olds and all ages in between to act their age...which means like kids! I blame the parents for allowing them to run around, etc.

    Taking photos of food? Eh, who cares. Just keep the plates on the table.

    You know what bothers me about restaurants? Chefs who believe that what they serve should be worshipped. Or who believe that every diner should behave a certain way towards the food, or feel a certain way about food.

    I want to hurt someone everytime a customer ordered a filet minion. Well done. But cool in the center. No pink. With heinz 57.
    But you know something? I sucked it up. Because they were paying for it. And that is the way they enjoyed it. And if they were stupid enough to over pay for the filet in the first place, they could order it however they wanted.
    I don’t think they sound quite as entitled as you think they do. It comes down to reasonable vs unreasonable expectations.



    Wanting a steak cooked the way they ordered it, even if the way they ordered it is a terrible decision, is a reasonable expectation from a patron. I’d go along with that. I’d think they were a moron, but I’d shut my mouth and do it.

    Getting upset because the explicitly Japanese place they’d come to doesn’t do food like KFC across the road? That’s in the article as something a patron did, and it’s unreasonable. No one in their right mind would expect a Japanese kitchen to have chicken nuggets on hand. It’s not like they didn’t know what kind of place they were coming to. Would you go to a Italian place and leave a bad review because they wouldn’t serve you pad thai?

    The last I saw of Provenance’s menu, they didn’t even have any chicken on it. They wouldn’t have been able to make chicken nuggets anyway, because they haven’t been buying chicken at all. Going off the menu like that takes some advance planning, not just turning up and saying “I feel like nuggets”!



    Wanting to photograph your meal? Reasonable.

    Rearranging the entire space until it becomes unsafe for your server (again, in the article)? Unreasonable. The staff haven’t agreed to risk injury for that, and if they get hurt what then?



    Bringing your kids? Reasonable. Kids are part of the family, they go where the rest of the family goes, and of course they’re going to behave like kids. I have four kids, remember?

    Bringing your kids and then not policing them, so they vandalise the restaurant or get into places where no patron should be? Unreasonable. I’ve had this happen. If a kid comes into my kitchen, where the knives and the fire and everything else are, and gets badly hurt because no one was tracking them...that’s not okay. Patrons cannot expect me to do my job to a high standard (because God knows there will be complaints if it’s not up to standard) and mind their children at the same time.



    You want to spend your time in the restaurant on your phone? Go ahead. That’s reasonable.

    You want to interfere with someone else’s time in the restaurant with your phone? Fuck off. If it’s blaring at full volume, or the screen is so bright that it can be picked out from the other side of the room, then you might be happy but we’re getting complaints from all the other patrons you’re disturbing. You’re in public, in a communal space. Behave like it, and turn your phone settings down. The specific phone ban mentioned in the article wasn’t a snap decision - it came about because of hundreds of complaints from patrons, over months. What else can we do about that many complaints on a single issue?




    “The customer is always right” does have some limits, we can’t do magic and we are neither slaves nor machines. For what it’s worth, I’ve noticed it getting worse too.

    ...and I have to ask, when was the last time you got a random stranger telling you to work for free? I know lawyers do pro bono work at times, but it’s not usually “just because”!
    Last edited by Matchbox; 03-30-2019 at 10:28 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matchbox View Post
    I don’t think they sound quite as entitled as you think they do. It comes down to reasonable vs unreasonable expectations.



    Wanting a steak cooked the way they ordered it, even if the way they ordered it is a terrible decision, is a reasonable expectation from a patron. I’d go along with that. I’d think they were a moron, but I’d shut my mouth and do it.

    Getting upset because the explicitly Japanese place they’d come to doesn’t do food like KFC across the road? That’s in the article as something a patron did, and it’s unreasonable. No one in their right mind would expect a Japanese kitchen to have chicken nuggets on hand. It’s not like they didn’t know what kind of place they were coming to. Would you go to a Italian place and leave a bad review because they wouldn’t serve you pad thai?

    The last I saw of Provenance’s menu, they didn’t even have any chicken on it. They wouldn’t have been able to make chicken nuggets anyway, because they haven’t been buying chicken at all. Going off the menu like that takes some advance planning, not just turning up and saying “I feel like nuggets”!



    Wanting to photograph your meal? Reasonable.

    Rearranging the entire space until it becomes unsafe for your server (again, in the article)? Unreasonable. The staff haven’t agreed to risk injury for that, and if they get hurt what then?



    Bringing your kids? Reasonable. Kids are part of the family, they go where the rest of the family goes, and of course they’re going to behave like kids. I have four kids, remember?

    Bringing your kids and then not policing them, so they vandalise the restaurant or get into places where no patron should be? Unreasonable. I’ve had this happen. If a kid comes into my kitchen, where the knives and the fire and everything else are, and gets badly hurt because no one was tracking them...that’s not okay. Patrons cannot expect me to do my job to a high standard (because God knows there will be complaints if it’s not up to standard) and mind their children at the same time.



    You want to spend your time in the restaurant on your phone? Go ahead. That’s reasonable.

    You want to interfere with someone else’s time in the restaurant with your phone? Fuck off. If it’s blaring at full volume, or the screen is so bright that it can be picked out from the other side of the room, then you might be happy but we’re getting complaints from all the other patrons you’re disturbing. You’re in public, in a communal space. Behave like it, and turn your phone settings down. The specific phone ban mentioned in the article wasn’t a snap decision - it came about because of hundreds of complaints from patrons, over months. What else can we do about that many complaints on a single issue?




    “The customer is always right” does have some limits, we can’t do magic and we are neither slaves nor machines. For what it’s worth, I’ve noticed it getting worse too.

    ...and I have to ask, when was the last time you got a random stranger telling you to work for free? I know lawyers do pro bono work at times, but it’s not usually “just because”!
    The customer is NEVER right. Sometimes they are less wrong then usual.
    But I did not respond to the complaints I thought were obvious. The chicken, for example.free meals, etc.
    But this is what I'm talking about '
    Now they are cutting the bread with a knife and fork."

    Many of the other complaints are legit. But if I want to cut my bread with a custard spoon, and butter it with the shrimp fork, so the hell what.

    I eat out because I'm hungry. Not for a special experience.

    This article is a little more to my thoughts.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/30/o...t-over-50.html
    If you want my opinion on your relationship or life issues, just ask Villanelle!
    Quote Originally Posted by LittleMsSunshine View Post
    I think it's really funny when people come on here, and automatically assume that everyone here is a gung-ho, hoo-rah, i-bleed-red-white-and-blue, kiss-my-military-ass, people-in-uniform-can-do-no-wrong, and i'm-entitled-to-everything bitch.
    "RIP Blackie, and Whitey, New Whitey. Goodbye Poopers and Momma Beige and Lady Grey. New Blackie and the Whitey Sisters rule the roost now!"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guynavywife View Post
    The customer is NEVER right. Sometimes they are less wrong then usual.
    But I did not respond to the complaints I thought were obvious. The chicken, for example.free meals, etc.
    But this is what I'm talking about '
    Now they are cutting the bread with a knife and fork."

    Many of the other complaints are legit. But if I want to cut my bread with a custard spoon, and butter it with the shrimp fork, so the hell what.

    I eat out because I'm hungry. Not for a special experience.

    This article is a little more to my thoughts.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/30/o...t-over-50.html
    Interesting article, my heart. It raises some good points about the way people’s tastes can change over time...but the people who say they’re only eating out because they’re hungry, and that they don’t want the experience?

    They’re still having an experience. They’ll still complain if the experience they had somehow wasn’t to their tastes. Even you would, if it was bad enough.

    The standby old favourite restaurant that you keep coming back to...they’re creating an experience too. You keep returning because the experience is one you enjoy, and one you trust can be created again and again each time you eat there.

    Whether you acknowledge it or not, the experience - even if it’s as simple as having someone else do the work for you, having pleasant surroundings to eat in, the staff being attentive enough to meet all your needs efficiently but not so attentive they annoy you, being able to eat something you really like but have no idea how to make (or that you can make, but not make well) on your own - is very much part of the appeal, and even a simple one is something that we consciously create. It doesn’t spontaneously happen. Let us do it.

    As I said, restaurants are communal spaces. Shared spaces. There are some things that you don’t do in communal space, even if you would do them on your own. I know your mother taught you that as a boy. Don’t be a savage.
    Last edited by Matchbox; 03-31-2019 at 10:57 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitinboots View Post
    Do you know of a good recipe for egg-free angel food cake? Is it possible? Would a chickpea water substitute be worth pursuing?

    My mom used to love it as a kid before they figured out that an egg allergy was what was making her sick. Personally, I've never liked the cake. From the (admittedly limited) searching I've done online, the pictures I've seen associated with the allergy friendly recipes do not seem to resemble the Angel food cakes I've eaten/seen in stores.

    So, I have had a few days to think about it and do a little experimentation. Here’s what I found out...

    It turns out that an egg free angel food cake is really, really complicated!

    When you make a normal one, you’d use egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar (technically optional, but it simplifies the process enormously) to whip into a simple meringue, add vanilla and/or almond extract to flavour it and flour to make the shift from meringue to cake, and then bake it. The foamed up protein in the eggs helps to leaven the cake and keep it light and airy and delicate through the baking process. Very pretty, you see?

    Aquafaba whips into gorgeous meringue. It’s a great substitute for that. Leavening a cake...not so much. A can of chickpeas has a huge amount of protein, but unfortunately it’s all in the chickpeas themselves! The leftover liquid has much, much less - not enough to leaven the cake properly, especially when combined with a fairly low protein cake flour.

    The trick, I think, would be to use aquafaba for the meringue stage (because we know that works) and then substitute in a much higher protein flour to make up the shortfall and provide what the aquafaba lacks. Try a recipe like this?

    1 can’s worth of aquafaba
    1 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar, to stabilise the meringue
    About a tablespoon of vanilla extract
    2 tablespoons chickpea flour, for the extra protein to make the whole thing work. You can buy this, or you can grind the chickpeas you otherwise weren’t using. You don’t need much, but it won’t work without at least some!
    1 cup icing sugar/powdered sugar
    1 cup pastry flour. Cake flour MIGHT work.

    Follow the instructions that you’d use for a standard angel food cake, with the exception that you’re adding the chickpea flour to the meringue (protein!) before you stop whipping it and switch to more gentle technique to fold the normal flour in.

    Also, I wouldn’t recommend flipping it upside down to get it out as you normally would. The changes made to the recipe make this a touch more temperamental than the egg ones, and it might not survive the flip.

    It won’t sit quite as high as a normal angel food cake - we made this cake rise with bullshit and magic, and that can only do so much. Nothing else is quite as good at “doing all the things eggs can do” as eggs are. However, it should taste passable, and the texture will still be quite light. I think that’s as close as you’re going to get.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matchbox View Post
    Interesting article, my heart. It raises some good points about the way people’s tastes can change over time...but the people who say they’re only eating out because they’re hungry, and that they don’t want the experience?

    They’re still having an experience. They’ll still complain if the experience they had somehow wasn’t to their tastes. Even you would, if it was bad enough.

    The standby old favourite restaurant that you keep coming back to...they’re creating an experience too. You keep returning because the experience is one you enjoy, and one you trust can be created again and again each time you eat there.

    Whether you acknowledge it or not, the experience - even if it’s as simple as having someone else do the work for you, having pleasant surroundings to eat in, the staff being attentive enough to meet all your needs efficiently but not so attentive they annoy you, being able to eat something you really like but have no idea how to make (or that you can make, but not make well) on your own - is very much part of the appeal, and even a simple one is something that we consciously create. It doesn’t spontaneously happen. Let us do it.

    As I said, restaurants are communal spaces. Shared spaces. There are some things that you don’t do in communal space, even if you would do them on your own. I know your mother taught you that as a boy. Don’t be a savage.
    Yes, mommy dearest.
    If you want my opinion on your relationship or life issues, just ask Villanelle!
    Quote Originally Posted by LittleMsSunshine View Post
    I think it's really funny when people come on here, and automatically assume that everyone here is a gung-ho, hoo-rah, i-bleed-red-white-and-blue, kiss-my-military-ass, people-in-uniform-can-do-no-wrong, and i'm-entitled-to-everything bitch.
    "RIP Blackie, and Whitey, New Whitey. Goodbye Poopers and Momma Beige and Lady Grey. New Blackie and the Whitey Sisters rule the roost now!"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guynavywife View Post
    Yes, mommy dearest.
    It could be worse. I’m still working on teaching my son that he has to wear trousers at the table, and that Captain America underwear probably doesn’t count. He has a...flexible relationship with clothing.
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    It’s Election Day here in Australia. Voting is mandatory here (if you don’t show up and do something with your piece of paper, they’ll fine you...ignoring all your options and drawing a huge anatomically correct dick on it instead counts as “doing something”) so, of course, I did.

    We have a fun little tradition on election days. Boys and girls and others as appropriate, it’s time to embrace the democracy sausage.


    The night before the Western Australian state election in 2013, a group of friends sat around discussing how they would vote.

    Amid the deep debate on politics and policies, a more pressing question emerged. Being millennials, they immediately posted it on Twitter.

    "Hey everyone, let us know where you find your sausage sizzle tomorrow #democracysausage," says Kimberley Seats, recalling the tweet which has since become part of Australian political folklore.

    The group does not lay claim to coining the phrase, which formally entered the Australian lexicon in 2016, when the Australian National Dictionary Center declared "democracy sausage" the word (or phrase) of the year.

    But it has staked a claim to the term on social media, with Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts, as well as a website which maps where Australians can buy a sausage -- or sweeter options -- when they fulfill their civic duty to vote.

    This year, the Aussie democracy sausage obsession has gone global with sizzles at consulates -- including London, New York, Tokyo, Berlin, Kuala Lumpur and Vanuatu -- where expats have already cast their votes.

    Twitter is even getting in on the act with a sausage emoji that's automatically added to one of six hashtags, including #ausvotes #auspol and #sausagesizzle. So far this election season, the sausage emoji has been added to more than two million tweets.

    The social media site has also teamed up with Democracy Sausage to allow Australian users to find a sausage via a Twitter chatbot on the day of polling, Saturday. Google is also using the data in an interactive map.

    Buying snacks at polling booths is not a new phenomenon, says political historian Judith Brett, author of "From secret ballot to democracy sausage: How Australia got compulsory voting."

    "Certainly, there's a photo in the 1930s of a polling booth with a cake stall outside, so I think community organizations saw it was an opportunity to fund-raise," Brett says.

    Fund-raising was an unintended consequence of compulsory voting, a policy introduced in 1924 after World War I. All Australians aged over 18 are still required to vote, and can be fined $20 Australian ($14) or taken to court if they don't comply.

    The introduction of compulsory voting meant polling booths attracted enough people willing to spend their money on cake or jam, with proceeds used to help stock the school library or buy new equipment.

    Sausages started appearing at community events with the advent of portable barbecues in the 1980s, Brett says.

    The sausage, slapped on a piece a bread with optional onion and a squirt of ketchup, is now something of a local culinary icon.

    However, Brett says it is not compulsory voting that has led to today's sausage sizzles, but a law introduced in 1911 which decrees that polling day must be a Saturday.

    With children off school, voting became a family affair and something of a social function as well as a civic duty.

    "The other crucial thing is that Australians are not tied to vote at a particular polling booth," Brett says, so unlike many other countries, friends can opt to vote together.

    This year, a record 16,424,248 Australians have registered to vote, meaning turnout will be close to 96%, compared to 61% in the US in 2016 and almost 69% in the UK in 2017. Voting is optional in both those countries.

    The Australian Electoral Commission says 1.4 million people failed to vote in the last election in 2016, but only a "relatively small number" are typically taken to court.

    Brett can't see an end to compulsory voting -- surveys suggest it is popular with voters -- and in some respects she says it acts as a stabilizing force.

    "It means that people who are slightly less agitated and aggrieved also vote. We've had people saying things like because of compulsory voting it's the sensible center that decides elections rather than the fringes," she says.

    When polls opened on Saturday, the team at Democracy Sausage had plotted more than 1,800 locations where voters could expect a sausage with their voting cards.

    The group has noticed a rise in vegan, vegetarian and halal options in inner-city locales, and are keen to hear about local twists.

    In a nod to the final of this Sunday's Eurovision Song Contest -- which, confusingly, Australia is a participant -- one primary school in the state of New South Wales is offering a variety of condiments from participating countries, including tzatziki, hummus, hot English mustard and remoulade.

    For the data enthusiasts at Democracy Sausage, this weekend's election will leave behind a lot more than dirty barbecues and empty sauce bottles.

    "We have an interest in data so we do a bit of analytics on the information that's come through, in terms of which electorates have the highest number of booths with sausage sizzles," Seats says. "This time around, we're also looking into voter figures at those booths as well -- if booths with sausage sizzles have the highest number of voter turnout."

    Mostly, she says, they just do it for fun.

    "I guess what we really enjoy is hearing back from the polling booths and the community groups after the elections," Seats says.

    "We had a lovely lady contact us last time around and say thank you because she'd managed to raise $2,000 ($1,400) for their school library through her sausage sizzle stall -- she just wanted to say thank you for putting her stall on the map."
    For the record, the democracy sausage stall at my kids’ school was on point this year. Sausage, cake AND coffee!
    If I cannot move heaven, I will raise hell
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