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-   -   Blow That Dough! -2021 (https://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f29/blow-that-dough-2021-a-107327.html)

Koolau 01-26-2021 11:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Time2 (Post 2549236)
WOW, I thought sure you were off by 30 years! I went looking and yep,
1983 CJ8 Jeep Scramblers are going for over $19,000. Golly, those sure hold their prices.

EDIT: I just looked for the Original MSRP $6,765, Unless I have it wrong, it's worth more now then when they were new.
https://www.nadaguides.com/Cars/1983...eep-4X4/Values

Sounds like old airplanes and old Corvettes. Talk about Blowing That Dough!

Bigdawg 01-26-2021 12:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by f35phixer (Post 2549231)
You expecting big snow at PAX ;D 80 down here in FLA....

You need to retire AGAIN :facepalm:

Be safe.

Haha. Nope. With a 5 inch lift you have to have at least 33"'s on there. DW and I have three vehicles total. Her Mini Cooper has AWD, my chevy truck and Jeep are both 4wd. The Cub Cadet and the John Deere Gator are only 2wd. Looks like it might be 2 winter's consecutive with no snow. I'm not complaining. St Croix scuba diving in 2 weeks. Yippee!

Koolau 01-26-2021 03:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bigdawg (Post 2549934)
Haha. Nope. With a 5 inch lift you have to have at least 33"'s on there. DW and I have three vehicles total. Her Mini Cooper has AWD, my chevy truck and Jeep are both 4wd. The Cub Cadet and the John Deere Gator are only 2wd. Looks like it might be 2 winter's consecutive with no snow. I'm not complaining. St Croix scuba diving in 2 weeks. Yippee!

So, do you put the Mini in the back of the Chevy 4X4 as a "spare?":facepalm::laugh:

corn18 01-26-2021 03:15 PM

My wife snookered me into going area rug shopping and we bought a $4k rug from Afghanistan. I'm thankful, because it will end the constant stream of rugs that have been bought and returned requiring me to carry them in, move furniture and then carry them out.

38Chevy454 01-26-2021 03:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Time2 (Post 2549236)
WOW, I thought sure you were off by 30 years! I went looking and yep,
1983 CJ8 Jeep Scramblers are going for over $19,000. Golly, those sure hold their prices.

EDIT: I just looked for the Original MSRP $6,765, Unless I have it wrong, it's worth more now then when they were new.
https://www.nadaguides.com/Cars/1983...eep-4X4/Values


The CJ-8 Scrambler is a highly sought after model. Much more than the std CJ-7. CJ-8 is an extended wheelbase with more length behind the driver's seat.

audreyh1 01-27-2021 07:28 PM

OK! The Jamon Iberico Pata Negra finally arrived. Now we get to spend a month carving it!

Souschef 01-27-2021 07:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by audreyh1 (Post 2550869)
OK! The Jamon Iberico Pata Negra finally arrived. Now we get to spend a month carving it!


How do you store it so it does not go bad?

audreyh1 01-27-2021 08:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Souschef (Post 2550890)
How do you store it so it does not go bad?

It’s been hanging in room temperature conditions for 36 months!

It should be good for several weeks once cutting is started. We plan to be done in a month. We’ll be vacuum sealing and freezing a bunch of the slices.

NW-Bound 01-27-2021 08:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Souschef (Post 2550890)
How do you store it so it does not go bad?

It will keep for quite a while, if you cover the cut with fat to keep the meat from drying out.

Two Christmas' ago, at the party at my house, my brother brought a leg of jamon that he bought at Costco. We all tried our hand at carving it, and found out that it was not as easy as seen on Youtube to get nice thin and even shavings.

And we did not make much of a dent in that leg. Of course, we have tons of other dishes, but one can only eat so much jamon at a time. The leftover last my brother quite a while, I imagine.

audreyh1 01-27-2021 09:13 PM

Yes, we will be putting the exterior fat back on the cut part each time.

Even though we’ve watched several videos, I don’t expect the slicing to be easy, but we’ll try to be very patient, and we should be getting a lot of practice! So hopefully we’ll get good enough at it before too long. We’ve been advised by the manufacturer to start at the drier part of the ham if the carving is over an extended period of time.

davebarnes 01-27-2021 10:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NW-Bound (Post 2550910)
it was not as easy as seen on Youtube to get nice thin and even shavings.

Is easy.
You just need to be a Spanish restaurant employee with 2 decades of experience.
It is similar to plastering a wall. All in the wrist.

RobbieB 01-28-2021 12:41 AM

I would think a thin sharp blade would be good. Like a fillet (fish) knife.

NW-Bound 01-28-2021 12:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RobbieB (Post 2550972)
I would think a thin sharp blade would be good. Like a fillet (fish) knife.

Yes, that's a requirement without saying. I just did not have the right touch, or maybe not enough practice. It's my brother's ham, remember.

I don't want to buy my own ham, because my wife is not crazy about it, and a whole ham is too much for one to eat.

I posted this video before. The carving starts at 11:30.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0olmZzsF4Xo

audreyh1 01-28-2021 04:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RobbieB (Post 2550972)
I would think a thin sharp blade would be good. Like a fillet (fish) knife.

The Costco Jamon Iberico comes with a stand and jamon carving knife. So supposedly you have the right knife, just have to learn how to use it!

Koolau 01-28-2021 05:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by audreyh1 (Post 2550869)
OK! The Jamon Iberico Pata Negra finally arrived. Now we get to spend a month carving it!

Sorry, I just don't get it (no disrespect - I have NO taste when it comes to exotic or acquired tastes.:flowers:) Does it really taste that good?

I recall tasting caviar for the first time and finding it at best "mildly interesting" but not something I would pay several dollars an ounce for. THEN I found out MY problem was I wasn't eating the stuff that cost hundreds of dollars an ounce!

It's just that you've piqued my interest (not enough to try it, you understand.) I'm sure if I mentioned stuff (like my Corvette) most folks would wonder what's the big deal. It's just a car. A cramped, expensive, loud, uncomfortable, leaky (back in the day) car.

I guess that's why it's called Blow That Dough! YMMV

audreyh1 01-28-2021 07:48 AM

Travel to Spain. Be sure to order tapas that include 100% Iberian acorn-fed jamon thinly sliced. Then you’ll know!

NW-Bound 01-28-2021 08:27 AM

Amazon sells jamon iberico de bellota (the real acorn-fed ham) in small 2 oz packages for $15/oz. For grass-fed ham, the price is about $7/oz.

These small packages are good to refresh one's memory of the taste. A whole ham takes a serious commitment I am not prepared to make. :)

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon....L._SL1500_.jpg

GravitySucks 01-28-2021 10:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ShokWaveRider (Post 2549275)
We should have a "Nearly Blew That Dough" section. :) I almost purchased a 1973 MGB this past weekend. Unfortunately it did not pan out and I passed on it. I have been looking for a MGB for years to tinker with but I must have a rust free straight body. Not so easy to find.

If yours is anything like my and a few friends experience, the purchase is the lowest cost part of owning an MG. Keeping it running is the expensive part.

corn18 01-28-2021 11:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GravitySucks (Post 2551132)
If yours is anything like my and a few friends experience, the purchase is the lowest cost part of owning an MG. Keeping it running is the expensive part.

Agree! As a kid, I would rebuild MGBs for my dad. I drove a 73 MGB GT. Loved that car, but it needed constant care. I owned a 1980 MGB LE in college. I sold it when I graduated but bought another one 3 years ago. Forgot how much work they were and sold it a year later. Our 2015 BMW Z4 scratches the roadster itch these days.

RobbieB 01-28-2021 12:59 PM

Jamon Iberico is amazing and worth every penny. Nothing tastes like it. Somewhat like it's Italian cousin Prosciutto but with a richer deeper flavor and a velvet feel.

Amazing stuff!

audreyh1 01-28-2021 01:29 PM

The nutty taste of the jamon de bellota is quite distinct, from the pigs eating a lot of acorns as they freely range under the oak (cork oak) trees. Lots of space to roam in smaller groups - each pig gets 1 hectare - 2.5 acres. The pig breed is also unique to Spain/Portugal. 100% Iberico means that it is a pure breed Iberian pig.

You can definitely taste the difference from acorn fed versus not.

NW-Bound 01-28-2021 01:35 PM

I want to be rich enough to demand jamon iberico from pigs fed with truffle. :angel:

RobbieB 01-28-2021 02:17 PM

Ordered up 3 oz of Jamon Iberica Bellota and 8 ounces of Texas raised Iberico Coppa and a 4 pack of the delicious anchovy stuffed olives from La Tienda.

All this talk of ham, just had to have some - :)

audreyh1 01-28-2021 02:36 PM

Cool!

Sometime try this Salchichón de Vic by Peregrino at La Tienda. It’s out of this world!
https://www.tienda.com/products/salc...ino-cz-19.html

It’s a big cured sausage with a bit of a unique sour taste that I really like.

MichaelB 01-28-2021 02:43 PM

I got some of these https://madefordrink.com/collections/all
Chorizo Thins, Salami Chips, and Duck Fritons. Not cheap and shipped from England, but this is the right thread for such a purchase. The duck fritons are amazing, like a “duck chicharrón”.

Koolau 01-29-2021 03:28 PM

Okay, I can't imagine what subtle flavor delights are involved in eating jamon de bellota but I just had a flash of insight if you will indulge me for a moment. As a kid, I used to enjoy hot chocolate. My mom used "the best" (the Hershey powder that you had to add your own sugar - NOT the Nestles "Quick.") When I went to Europe and drank hot chocolate in Holland, I knew I had been scammed all my life. There was zero comparison in flavor to anything you could buy in the USA. The "Dutch" (is that correct?) really DO know how to make chocolate!

My palate is so unrefined that cocoa is the only thing I could conger up to compare "good" to "out of this world excellent." I hope your experiences of eating jamon de bellota is comparable to or even better than my experience of discovering REAL cocoa. Perhaps some day I too will discover the delights of jamon de bellota. Enjoy!

RobbieB 01-29-2021 03:31 PM

Order some up!

It's expensive, but not that expensive. Not to mention you don't have to buy the whole leg either.

euro 01-29-2021 06:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Koolau (Post 2551597)
Okay, I can't imagine what subtle flavor delights are involved in eating jamon de bellota but I just had a flash of insight if you will indulge me for a moment. As a kid, I used to enjoy hot chocolate. My mom used "the best" (the Hershey powder that you had to add your own sugar - NOT the Nestles "Quick.") When I went to Europe and drank hot chocolate in Holland, I knew I had been scammed all my life. There was zero comparison in flavor to anything you could buy in the USA. The "Dutch" (is that correct?) really DO know how to make chocolate!

My palate is so unrefined that cocoa is the only thing I could conger up to compare "good" to "out of this world excellent." I hope your experiences of eating jamon de bellota is comparable to or even better than my experience of discovering REAL cocoa. Perhaps some day I too will discover the delights of jamon de bellota. Enjoy!

If Hershey's vs Dutch hot chocolate is your frame of reference, then I predict that you will be disappointed by even THE top of the line jambon

audreyh1 01-29-2021 07:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Koolau (Post 2551597)
Okay, I can't imagine what subtle flavor delights are involved in eating jamon de bellota but I just had a flash of insight if you will indulge me for a moment. As a kid, I used to enjoy hot chocolate. My mom used "the best" (the Hershey powder that you had to add your own sugar - NOT the Nestles "Quick.") When I went to Europe and drank hot chocolate in Holland, I knew I had been scammed all my life. There was zero comparison in flavor to anything you could buy in the USA. The "Dutch" (is that correct?) really DO know how to make chocolate!

My palate is so unrefined that cocoa is the only thing I could conger up to compare "good" to "out of this world excellent." I hope your experiences of eating jamon de bellota is comparable to or even better than my experience of discovering REAL cocoa. Perhaps some day I too will discover the delights of jamon de bellota. Enjoy!

The Italians - now that’s some unbelievably rich delicious hot chocolate, almost like pudding!

audreyh1 01-29-2021 07:17 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Not too bad for my first day of slicing, eh?

As instructed, we started with the leanest section first. I presume that’s because it will dry out faster if you take a while to carve the ham.

Now I’m chilling with some Fino Sherry, Spanish cheese and olives and our freshly sliced jamon.

ERD50 01-29-2021 08:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RobbieB (Post 2551316)
Ordered up 3 oz of Jamon Iberica Bellota and 8 ounces of Texas raised Iberico Coppa and a 4 pack of the delicious anchovy stuffed olives from La Tienda.

All this talk of ham, just had to have some - :)

So can anyone make a recommendation for any of those 2 or 3 oz samples of Jamon Iberica (Amazon or elsewhere)? I'd love to try some, but no way am I gonna buy several hundred $ worth just to test it out.


Quote:

Originally Posted by audreyh1 (Post 2551330)
Cool!

Sometime try this Salchichón de Vic by Peregrino at La Tienda. It’s out of this world!
https://www.tienda.com/products/salc...ino-cz-19.html

It’s a big cured sausage with a bit of a unique sour taste that I really like.


That sure looks good.

-ERD50

audreyh1 01-29-2021 09:27 PM

La Tienda is a good source for small packages of sliced Jamon Iberico or Serrano. The Iberico is usually 3oz and pricey. The Serrano 6 oz not quite so pricey. But really the best way to try it is to travel to Spain and have some sliced to order. ;D

Koolau 02-01-2021 03:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by euro (Post 2551803)
If Hershey's vs Dutch hot chocolate is your frame of reference, then I predict that you will be disappointed by even THE top of the line jambon

Have you had Dutch chocolate in Holland?:flowers:

euro 02-01-2021 08:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Koolau (Post 2553261)
Have you had Dutch chocolate in Holland?:flowers:

Yes, I sure have. It’s great. That was actually my point: the difference between Hershey and real Dutch (or Italian, or even French or Swiss) hot chocolate is so big that it is really quite obvious even to the casual observer.
On the other hand, while there definitely is a difference between good and top of the line Jamon, the differences are really pretty subtle, unless you have an exceptionally discerning taste.
That’s why I predicted that if you expect that big of a difference, then you will likely be disappointed.
Kind of like the difference between a very good and a top level bottle of wine.

NW-Bound 02-01-2021 10:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by audreyh1 (Post 2551877)
La Tienda is a good source for small packages of sliced Jamon Iberico or Serrano. The Iberico is usually 3oz and pricey. The Serrano 6 oz not quite so pricey. But really the best way to try it is to travel to Spain and have some sliced to order. ;D

Well, in one long trip to Europe, after a few weeks of having their wonderful charcuterie meats, I longed for a simple American ham-and-cheese sandwich.

It's the same with hamburgers. At the end of most trips, I started to look for McDonald's. Sadly, the hamburgers there often were not good. I am not a picky eater, but still remember a hamburger bought in Sète which tasted literally like a cardboard. The only redeeming thing was that for the meal deal, they allowed the choice of a mini Heineken instead of the usual Coke for the drink.

audreyh1 02-01-2021 11:02 AM

Haha - not me! Neither the hamburger nor ham and cheese sandwich. Tons of European styles of ham with cheese with much better bread. Not a hamburger fan.

Chuckanut 02-01-2021 11:33 AM

When I was in the Netherlands, I routinely bought a common brand of chocolate bar at the grocery stores. I got the impression it was their version of our Hershey bar. But, the chocolate taste was more pronounced and just better. Maybe it's the 'vacation effect' but it sure tasted better.

Europeans in general have a higher standard in food that we Americans do. They won't accept poor food as readily as we do. I have come to believe that while the best American foods are as good as the best European foods, the European bottom level is higher than our bottom level. Anybody care for another slice of pasteurized processed cheese food slices? Ugh.

To keep on topic, let me add that I am willing to Blow That Dough on good quality food. Occasionally I buy whiskey that is not Kirkland Signature. ;D

street 02-01-2021 11:41 AM

I haven't blown it yet but I hope I can. Lol

I'm hoping to buy an old homestead about 4 acres. It has a 100 plus year old 3 room home and a 24 by 16 work shop feed storage building. It isn't far from the ranch and would like to restore the building enough to stop from deteriorating any further. I also would plant some trees and seed alfalfa, clover and seed vegetation for wildlife. I think it would be a great and fun project for me.
I talked to the owner which doesn't live in the area to see if he would consider selling. I would take on all surveying and closing costs.
I haven't heard back from him but I do hope I can blow some dough.

davebarnes 02-01-2021 12:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NW-Bound (Post 2553407)
in one long trip to Europe, after a few weeks...I longed for a simple hamburger

Many European cities now have one or more places that serve excellent hamburgers.
For example:
Porto - Honorato Clérigos
Lisboa - A Cultura do Hambúrguer
Ljubljana - Pop's Place

I was very pleased.

oiseux 02-01-2021 01:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by audreyh1 (Post 2553416)
Haha - not me! Neither the hamburger nor ham and cheese sandwich. Tons of European styles of ham with cheese with much better bread. Not a hamburger fan.

I'm with you on that. I love the diversity of ham-based sandwiches all throughout Europe. It never makes me miss a

I eat hamburgers about twice a month but never McDonald's. I prefer home cooked or any number of restaurants, even fast casual. In France, the hamburger has replaced ham+butter baguette as the top sandwich consumed. The better versions appear on bistro and cafe meus, and they've even adopted fast casual style restaurants with decent quality. There are still some misses, although I rarely order it when in Europe.

BTW, not FIREd yet but am looking for ideas in this thread as we learn to loosen the purse strings.

I remember seeing the big Bellota at Costco over the holidays. I usually just get my charcuterie fresh sliced from my local specialty butcher, which is walkable, but Iberico is not always in stock there (but is at another a couple miles away).

audreyh1 02-01-2021 01:33 PM

If I had a source of Jamon Iberico de Bellota in town I’d be going over there to get my slices too!

European charcuterie is pretty limited here except I can usually find decent Spanish chorizo.

P.S. Knew oiseaux, didn’t know oiseux - had to look it up. Clever!

54andchange 02-01-2021 02:05 PM

Traded in a 2010 Ford Escape for $3,000 and replaced it with a BMW X5 plug-in hybrid, Used of course! First time ever I've had the highest trim level of any vehicle, still discovering every day many new automated systems and features one month in. Gadgets galore with so, so many things potentially to break in the future. It's project time: DIY install of a 240 volt outlet in the garage for a Level 2 charger. Time elapsed since I have purchased any gasoline...one month!

NW-Bound 02-01-2021 02:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chuckanut (Post 2553434)

Europeans in general have a higher standard in food that we Americans do. They won't accept poor food as readily as we do. I have come to believe that while the best American foods are as good as the best European foods, the European bottom level is higher than our bottom level...


I have to agree with this. And the food does not have to be so expensive. When I initially went to only restaurants, wondered how Europeans could feed themselves with food so expensive.

On longer trips recently when we had almost 2 months to fool around and stay in Airbnbs, I discovered the joy of just visiting their markets to see what was available. Not all food items are expensive, and their markets have sales like we do, although meats in general are quite more expensive.

And I was shocked at the price of potatoes in Florence. Why? Had to take some photos for a record of it. I will have to look for that photo.

Koolau 02-01-2021 03:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by euro (Post 2553327)
Yes, I sure have. It’s great. That was actually my point: the difference between Hershey and real Dutch (or Italian, or even French or Swiss) hot chocolate is so big that it is really quite obvious even to the casual observer.
On the other hand, while there definitely is a difference between good and top of the line Jamon, the differences are really pretty subtle, unless you have an exceptionally discerning taste.
That’s why I predicted that if you expect that big of a difference, then you will likely be disappointed.
Kind of like the difference between a very good and a top level bottle of wine.

Got it! :flowers:

I'm the one who never understood it when my big sis used to tell me "Your taste is all in your mouth." I would always answer "And your point is?" :laugh:

NW-Bound 02-01-2021 03:40 PM

You know, in the matter of expensive food, if I can taste the difference, great. It's worth my money then.

If I cannot taste the difference, or if the difference is not that great, it's fine too. I don't have to pay more with my pedestrian taste, and why is that a bad thing? I am not trying to impress anyone.

Either my palate is getting dull, or I don't care that much anymore (a sign of getting old?), but XO cognac does not wow me as it used to. I can drink moonshine now, and it does not bother me. :)

PS. I hasten to add that my palate is not getting dull because of Covid. :)

RetireeRobert 02-01-2021 04:03 PM

Contemplating blowing some dough on a round the country train trip---if I can ever get my covid shots. Will get a sleeper compartment. Do some layovers for 3 or 4 or 5 days at interesting looking cities I have never been to.

GravitySucks 02-01-2021 04:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RetireeRobert (Post 2553590)
Contemplating blowing some dough on a round the country train trip---if I can ever get my covid shots. Will get a sleeper compartment. Do some layovers for 3 or 4 or 5 days at interesting looking cities I have never been to.

Enjoy!
I did an USA Rail Pass trip after I retired and looped the West. It was a great trip.

RetireeRobert 02-01-2021 04:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GravitySucks (Post 2553594)
Enjoy!
I did an USA Rail Pass trip after I retired and looped the West. It was a great trip.

Do they still do the "USA Rail Pass"? When did you do your trip?

One thing I wonder about is how hard it might be to book "sleeper" compartments if I break up the trip into too many segments.

euro 02-01-2021 04:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NW-Bound (Post 2553581)
You know, in the matter of expensive food, if I can taste the difference, great. It's worth my money then.

If I cannot taste the difference, or if the difference is not that great, it's fine too. I don't have to pay more with my pedestrian taste, and why is that a bad thing? I am not trying to impress anyone.

Either my palate is getting dull, or I don't care that much anymore (a sign of getting old?), but XO cognac does not wow me as it used to. I can drink moonshine now, and it does not bother me. :)

I agree completely! I definitely do not need to ever buy a bottle of wine that costs more than $10-12 because I simply cannot tell the difference. Yes, I HAVE tried $500 bottles and no, I definitely could NOT tell it from a $12 bottle. So, as you say: I can drink much cheaper stuff and still be happy! I definitely CAN tell the difference of a $10 dollar bottle and a $1.50 bottle though...

corn18 02-01-2021 04:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by euro (Post 2553597)
I agree completely! I definitely do not need to ever buy a bottle of wine that costs more than $10-12 because I simply cannot tell the difference. Yes, I HAVE tried $500 bottles and no, I definitely could NOT tell it from a $12 bottle. So, as you say: I can drink much cheaper stuff and still be happy! I definitely CAN tell the difference of a $10 dollar bottle and a $1.50 bottle though...

I can tell you that a $12 bottle of wine properly paired with the right food is 1,000 times better than a $500 bottle of wine paired with the wrong food. And if you don't store expensive wine properly, it will turn into $1.50 wine.

Now a $400 bottle of Redbreast 21 Irish Whiskey is a treat. And so is a $3,000 bottle of Louise XIII. I got to try a lot of good stuff when I was an EA type guy for a billion dollar boss. He liked fine liquor and let me put it all on my expense report.

jollystomper 02-01-2021 05:12 PM

Our current top 5 non-travel related "blow that dough" plans for 2021 - lets see if I can actually achieve them:

1. Renovate our 1/2 bathroom. Good news is, it is a small job - bathroom is only 4' x 5', no changing of the plumbing which was redone last year. Just tear out and replace existing toilet, wall and floor tile (and redo drywall behind the 4' high wall tile), and vanity. We already have the tile, enough from what was left from renovating our other 2 bathrooms. The bad news, it is a small job; my contractor friend who redid the previous 2 bathrooms (and a GREAT job) is my preference but he is busy so may be a challenge to get on his schedule. I am willing to be his "demo" assistant and help tear out and haul away the existing stuff, so we'll see.

2. Get a fireplace insert. Our existing fireplace is nice, but burning wood is more decorative than efficient. As a result we have not used it much, and not at all for over 5 years and not since we last had it cleaned. So time to make use of it and getting an insert installed (as well as a new chimney liner) is on the table.

3. Better golf clubs. My current ones are a "beginners" set (Callaway Strata) and are 8 years old. Since retiring I have been playing a lot of rounds with them so they are getting a beating. Right now I am considering going the full lessons + fitting route at one of the nearby chains to at least identify the best type of clubs for me.

4. Replace one of our cars. There are no issues with our older cars other than they are 2011 Toyota models that we bought used in 2013. DW will be fully retired as of May, and her Corolla still has less than 60K miles on it; she loves the car so we will stick with this one, though I am seeing very good prices from Carmax on it. The Camry has $126K miles so it is a likely candidate.

5. Replace the carpet in our master bedroom closet area. I replaced the bedroom carpet with laminate flooring and we love it. We had bought enough to do this area but instead decided to do the 2nd floor hallway because it was easier. There is still some left but the area is L shaped with a walk-in closet and 2 other closet, so figuring out the laminate pattern and cutting will be a pain. I am looking at a easier method, maybe vinyl times is an option. The area is between our bedroom and the bathroom so something that is good in a damp environment and easy to install is desired.

Koolau 02-01-2021 05:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RetireeRobert (Post 2553596)
Do they still do the "USA Rail Pass"? When did you do your trip?

One thing I wonder about is how hard it might be to book "sleeper" compartments if I break up the trip into too many segments.

Went west on one of those $150 (or whatever) with 3 stops (or whatever.) ca. 1985? We did the seats at night - first night, couldn't sleep. Second night, couldn't wake me with, well, a train wreck.:laugh: BUT friends who went with us did the sleeper car and wanted to give it up after night one. Made them sick bouncing around all night. YMMV

RetireeRobert 02-01-2021 05:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Koolau (Post 2553649)
BUT friends who went with us did the sleeper car and wanted to give it up after night one. Made them sick bouncing around all night. YMMV

I and family did do the Empire Builder back to Chicago in 2001. Somewhere I had read to try to get a compartment in the middle of the car, and not at the end. Since we booked three compartments, we got two "middles, but one "end". One night my wife went to bed early and locked me out! So I went to take the upper bunk in my son's "end" of car compartment.

Well, the advice to get a middle of car compartment was right on. That room was smooth riding. It was away from jerking moves caused by joint to next car in the train. The "end" compartment on the other hand had lots of bouncing and jerking, I figured because being right next to the coupler to the next car, and also over the wheels rig on that end of car.

The middle of car compartments had the most "even" riding part of the car, isolated from bounces over wheels and isolated from jerks from car couplers.

One more thing, the upper bunk in the end of car was like trying to sleep in a tin can with someone drumming on it!

RobbieB 02-01-2021 05:52 PM

I put my fireplace insert in 4 years ago. Did it all myself, including the insulated SS liner. About $2500 total. Don't use it much here in the central valley, but when I do it's easy and sweet! Not to mention the furnace doesn't run.

And that's why I did it. Got tired of the furnace running more with the fireplace burning as all the heat would go up the chimney!

RetireeRobert 02-01-2021 06:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RobbieB (Post 2553657)
I put my fireplace insert in 4 years ago. ...... Got tired of the furnace running more with the fireplace burning as all the heat would go up the chimney!

Smart thinking. When we built our house I wanted a wood burning fireplace.

After much study on the subject, and knowing we would be living at about 1000 feet elevation and cooler temps, I opted against just a run-of-the-mill masonry fireplace as was common. Opted instead for an EPA approved high efficiency "sealed" firebox with glass doors to seal shut. (Lennox Montecito Estate model). It has its own outside air supply for the firebox, and has grills at bottom and top of firebox so room air can circulate around the hot firebox and emerge back into the room and warm the room up. It puts a net "heat gain" into the room, as opposed to drawing the warm room air into the box and up the chimney, thus "net cooling" the house.

Out-to-Lunch 02-01-2021 07:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oiseux (Post 2553504)
BTW, not FIREd yet but am looking for ideas in this thread as we learn to loosen the purse strings.

Quote:

Originally Posted by audreyh1 (Post 2553511)
P.S. Knew oiseaux, didn’t know oiseux - had to look it up. Clever!


OMG! I totally read a non-existent "a" in there, i.e., I "saw" oiseaux, even though that wasn't what was written!

Yes, after Mr. Google informed me, that is indeed clever.

GravitySucks 02-01-2021 08:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RetireeRobert (Post 2553596)
Do they still do the "USA Rail Pass"? When did you do your trip?

One thing I wonder about is how hard it might be to book "sleeper" compartments if I break up the trip into too many segments.

They do. https://www.amtrak.com/rail-passes
I went in 2013.
Syracuse-Chicago-SantaFe-Flagstaff-LA-San Francisco-Denver-Chicago-Syracuse
I didnt get a sleeper just slept in my chair. All but one leg I had both seats to myself. Pretty comfortable. I did look like a hobo by the time I got to Denver though.

RetireeRobert 02-01-2021 08:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GravitySucks (Post 2553744)
I didnt get a sleeper just slept in my chair. All but one leg I had both seats to myself. Pretty comfortable. I did look like a hobo by the time I got to Denver though.

Having been retired for 20 years, I "already" look like a hobo. So that shouldn't be a problem.

Thanks for the other info.

NW-Bound 02-01-2021 08:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by corn18 (Post 2553601)
I can tell you that a $12 bottle of wine properly paired with the right food is 1,000 times better than a $500 bottle of wine paired with the wrong food. And if you don't store expensive wine properly, it will turn into $1.50 wine.

Now a $400 bottle of Redbreast 21 Irish Whiskey is a treat. And so is a $3,000 bottle of Louise XIII...


Talk about Louis XIII, this came up in a dinner with my kids. My son and my son-in-law said that for my next birthday, we would go to the Brazilian steakhouse Fogo de Chao, where they sold Louis XIII by the shot for $250 or something like that. Each of them would buy me a shot after dinner.

I told them that it would not be fun to drink by myself, and why would I not buy a whole bottle, have a dinner at home, then share the bottle with everybody. I have two brothers who are also cognac drinkers, and we have converted the husbands of my nieces to cognac drinkers too. We would have a hell of a party, with 7 drinkers to share the bottle after dinner.

Later, when we were by ourselves, my wife told me I should not announce something like on the spur-of-the-moment and to make a dare. She reminded me that I said I now did not even care about XO, which I still had about 1/2 dozen bottles of various brands in the liquor cabinet, so why waste money on a Louis XIII. I guess she did not want me to spend $3K on a bottle.

Hmmm... A Louis XIII does not break the bank, but then a frugal guy like me hates to throw money away on something that may turn out to be a disappointment. So what should I do?

By the way, it's Louis and not Louise. The first is a male name, while the second is female.


PS. In our visit to the town of Cognac a few years ago, I made an appointment to visit Remy Martin, the maker of Louis XIII. They showed us their most secretive cellar where all the Louis XIII came from. No photo taking allowed inside this cellar. Big deal, I thought, as it was just like their other cellars.

Helen 02-01-2021 09:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NW-Bound (Post 2553757)
Hmmm... A Louis XIII does not break the bank, but then a frugal guy like me hates to throw money away on something that may turn out to be a disappointment. So what should I do?

If you can afford it, I say go for it. It will be a once in a lifetime treat that you will share with family members. They will always remember it.

Or you could compromise and throw a clambake or something everyone can enjoy.

W2R 02-01-2021 09:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Helen (Post 2553775)
If you can afford it, I say go for it.

+1 You only live once! And time passes by so fast....

Retch The Grate 02-01-2021 09:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RobbieB (Post 2551316)
Ordered up 3 oz of Jamon Iberica Bellota and 8 ounces of Texas raised Iberico Coppa and a 4 pack of the delicious anchovy stuffed olives from La Tienda.

All this talk of ham, just had to have some - :)

Hah, good timing, our order of Jamon Iberica de Bellota from La Tienda arrived on friday, I had some on Saturday and a little bit with lunch today. :)

davebarnes 02-01-2021 09:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by corn18 (Post 2553601)
And so is a $3,000 bottle of Louis XIII.

I paid $35/shot at Masa’s in San Francisco.
Very tasty.

RobbieB 02-01-2021 09:48 PM

I can dig it. I was gifted a bottle of Dom Perignon, hundred bucks back then and thought "so what", better buy me 4 bottles of stuff I like better.

But I do like a $150 bottle of XO better than a $50 bottle of VSOP. Three grand a bottle can sit for a better man than me.

NW-Bound 02-01-2021 09:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by davebarnes (Post 2553782)
I paid $35/shot at Masa’s in San Francisco.
Very tasty.


Can't be Louis XIII if the shot is only $35! What you had was a shot of an XO.

You know the bitty 50ml sampler size of various liquors that you can buy at liquor stores for $1 or $2? They are good enough for almost 2 shots (1 shot is 30ml).

A little bottle like that for Louis XIII is $600.


PS. Here's a place where you can buy the miniature 50ml Louis XIII for $549.

https://vsliquor.com/products/remy-m...CABEgJ9ivD_BwE

NW-Bound 02-01-2021 09:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Helen (Post 2553775)
If you can afford it, I say go for it. It will be a once in a lifetime treat that you will share with family members. They will always remember it.

Or you could compromise and throw a clambake or something everyone can enjoy.

Quote:

Originally Posted by W2R (Post 2553778)
+1 You only live once! And time passes by so fast....


But as is true with many objects of desire, if it is out of reach, it is always better in your imagination. Once it is in your possession, it is often a let down. :)

NW-Bound 02-01-2021 10:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RobbieB (Post 2553787)
I can dig it. I was gifted a bottle of Dom Perignon, hundred bucks back then and thought "so what", better buy me 4 bottles of stuff I like better.

But I do like a $150 bottle of XO better than a $50 bottle of VSOP. Three grand a bottle can sit for a better man than me.

WHAT!!! I was waiting for you to tell us if it is worth it. Come on, my man!

About $150-200 XO, I still have many unopened bottles, given as gifts. I don't drink much anymore.

Well, I am going out to get myself a shot now.

corn18 02-01-2021 10:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NW-Bound (Post 2553795)
WHAT!!! I was waiting for you to tell us if it is worth it. Come on, my man!

About $150-200 XO, I still have many unopened bottles, given as gifts. I don't drink much anymore.

Well, I am going out to get myself a shot now.

Let us know what you think. I had 2 fingers for $300 and it was fantastic. If I was willing to take another 2 fingers I would have finished the bottle. And they give you the bottle. Which is worth $400 in Ebay. Wish I had known that. I could have had another 2 fingers for free.

NW-Bound 02-01-2021 10:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by corn18 (Post 2553796)
Let us know what you think. I had 2 fingers for $300 and it was fantastic. If I was willing to take another 2 fingers I would have finished the bottle. And they give you the bottle. Which is worth $400 in Ebay. Wish I had known that. I could have had another 2 fingers for free.

Oops, I meant to get myself a shot of XO from my cabinet right now, not going out to a bar for a shot of Louis XIII.

And yes, the empty Louis XIII bottle fetches a lot of money on eBay. What the heck?

But I just went there and saw that the 750ml empty bottle is "only" $99, and it comes with the original fancy box.

Someone sold an empty magnum 1.75L Louis XIII bottle for $650. Holy molly! What does one do with that? Fill it up with XO to impress visitors? Or a bar to refill and sell counterfeit shots to customers?

PS. I did not know that they have the magnum size. Wow! If the 750ml bottle is already $3500, then the magnum should be $8200.

And then, there's Louis XIII Black Pearl, which is a higher class.

PPS. There's a Louis XIII Black Pearl Magnum of 1.75L. The price is $80,000. Just what RobbieB wants. :)

RobbieB 02-01-2021 10:35 PM

Never had any louie the eighth and don't think I will. But I do enjoy the $100 to $300 / fifth stuff regularly. Could be XO or tequlia or bourbon or scotch.

That "shelf" is a treat. Something special. Mostly I drink the $30 to $50 / fifth stuff. Good value there.

davebarnes 02-01-2021 11:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NW-Bound (Post 2553789)
Can't be Louis XIII if the shot is only $35! What you had was a shot of an XO.

Nope.
1995

NW-Bound 02-01-2021 11:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by davebarnes (Post 2553824)
Nope.
1995

$35 in 1995 is about only $60 now. Perhaps Remy Martin raised the price a lot since.

I guess it does not matter. I suspect that a lot of this stuff is hyped up. Because it costs so much, people say it has to be that good, and if you cannot appreciate it, it's because of your peasant taste. They have to find a way for rich people to rid themselves of some money. Trickle it down, trickle it down.

Years ago, after a holiday meal, my brothers and myself sat down to taste the VS, VSOP, and XO grades, all from the same maker. The concensus was that the difference between the VS and VSOP was huge, but the VSOP and XO could be differentiated only if we paid attention. And after the first shot or two, it did not matter anymore.

My palate is even worse now. I need to try this test again.

Sunset 02-01-2021 11:38 PM

You guys kill me, back in 2000 I drove a fellow contractor to the liquor store in KC Kansas so he could buy some booze as he came without a car.

I felt he was wasting his money buying $100 bottles of wine as he bought 5 bottles..

Obviously I need to read this thread more :D

NW-Bound 02-01-2021 11:55 PM

Well, it's not for us either. RobbieB himself has bowed out. :)

Now, the scary thing is that I just learned that Remy Martin sells Louis XIII cognac in the Mathusalem size: a whopping 6L bottle. Filled it up with Black Pearl cognac, and the bottle would be $270,000.

If you were a billionaire, how would you spend your 4% WR without the help of liquor like that for yourself, and Hermès handbags for your mistress ($2 million)?

And the scary thing is that luxury brands are growing way faster than the world economy. Somewhere, I saw that Louis Vuitton is growing at 14%/year, and Gucci at 23%/year.

I don't see how I would be happier with these things. Would you?

audreyh1 02-04-2021 09:27 PM

Ended up buying a wall mount UHD TV for the workout room. Pretty cheap really - it’s 4K but not OLED. It turns out the Apple Fitness+ works really well for multiple people/watches on the Apple TV box, but the iPad is really limited to 1 user. Just as well, workouts will be easier with a larger screen. Also ordered another Apple TV for it.

MRG 02-04-2021 10:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NW-Bound (Post 2553407)
Well, in one long trip to Europe, after a few weeks of having their wonderful charcuterie meats, I longed for a simple American ham-and-cheese sandwich.

It's the same with hamburgers. At the end of most trips, I started to look for McDonald's. Sadly, the hamburgers there often were not good. I am not a picky eater, but still remember a hamburger bought in Sète which tasted literally like a cardboard. The only redeeming thing was that for the meal deal, they allowed the choice of a mini Heineken instead of the usual Coke for the drink.

I got stuck in Europe for a while and totally agree. After a week or so I craved a Big Mac and kept going back every week. In Amsterdam they had American ketchup but it cost an extra 25 cents, I'd always blow the dough for two packs of ketchup.

RobbieB 02-04-2021 10:56 PM

I enjoyed the wonderful charcuterie meats of Switzerland and the fondue.

Never once did I crave a big mac. Mac me not por favor!

audreyh1 02-05-2021 06:53 AM

Yeah me neither! Besides, I haven’t eaten MacDonald’s food since my 20s!

We’ve been in Europe for up to two month long stays, and not missed US food at all. Our long stay in Amsterdam we had a variety of top notch ethnic eateries as well as European style restaurants. And I’m fine with eating my fries with mayo, or an excellent aioli as the Belgian restaurant down the street would serve. I even wish we had a herring stand or vishandel here. OMG the smoked mackerel was to die for! It’s still surprising to me to see US fast food chains overseas.

Time2 02-05-2021 07:05 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by sengsational (Post 2549879)
I like the sauna progress. If you start calling the local lumber yards, they can likely order the T&G for you. It will probably come from the Pacific Northwest anyway. I went the kit route, but did get a quote for T&G only from a lumber yard.

I'd like to hire an engineer to draw up plans for a screened porch. The drop-in simple types don't integrate well into my situation, so want a set of drawings, ready to go to the county permit office. But my calls have gone unanswered, so must not be calling the right people. Any ideas to help me blow the dough would be appreciated.


I have more progress. I'm picking up my wood today, I ordered Poplar. They had to cut, mill, sand and T&G it, from a local lumber yard. It comes apart in 7 pieces in case I move or if I decide I don't make use of it and want to sell it.

NW-Bound 02-05-2021 09:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MRG (Post 2555473)
I got stuck in Europe for a while and totally agree. After a week or so I craved a Big Mac and kept going back every week. In Amsterdam they had American ketchup but it cost an extra 25 cents, I'd always blow the dough for two packs of ketchup.

Yes, I have to say that I also prefer ketchup to mayo for French fries (or Belgian fries). :)

I have had Big Mac only twice in the dozen of European trips through the years. In recent trips when we stayed at Airbnb and were able to do a lot of meal preparation and not having to eat at restaurants all the time, I did not have a craving for American food.

But, but, but you will want something different after a while and want a change from the local food. On a highway going from Southern France to Northern Spain, I was taken aback to see this "New York style" hot dog stand at a highway gas station. It was in April, outside of tourist season, so it was not operated else I would buy to see how good it was.

And then, in Annemasse (a French town not too far from Geneva), we went to a Chinese buffet in a commercial/industrial quarter. There was a long line of local French diners waiting to get in. No tourists there but ourselves. The food selection was similar to Chinese buffet in the US, as I recall. And it did hit the spot. :)

https://www.early-retirement.org/for...icture2352.jpg

Souschef 02-05-2021 09:34 AM

Speaking of Chinese restaurants, I was in St. Petersburg Russia, and noticed a restaurant across the street from our hotel. I can read Cyrillic, but like Greek, I can read it but do not know the meanings.
The restaurant's name was Nihau, which I remembered from a China trip that means "hello". We checked it out, and their menu complete with pictures, was in Cyrillic, Chinese and fortunately, English. The food was excellent.

Out-to-Lunch 02-05-2021 10:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Time2 (Post 2555541)
I have more progress. I'm picking up my wood today, I ordered Poplar. They had to cut, mill, sand and T&G it, from a local lumber yard. It comes apart in 7 pieces in case I move or if I decide I don't make use of it and want to sell it.

That is great. I am glad you found a solution. I was tempted to suggest cypress, since you are in FLA, but that would probably be outrageously expensive. Poplar should serve your needs.

23isme 02-05-2021 11:52 AM

Decided to drop the dough on a partial (10 game) season ticket package for our local NBA team next season. They added 3 extra games and free parking as an incentive, but when I think about the cost per seat per game ($225) it makes me a little faint. All depending on Covid allowing a normal season of course...

HawkeyeNFO 02-05-2021 12:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chuckanut (Post 2553434)
Europeans in general have a higher standard in food that we Americans do. They won't accept poor food as readily as we do. I have come to believe that while the best American foods are as good as the best European foods, the European bottom level is higher than our bottom level. Anybody care for another slice of pasteurized processed cheese food slices? Ugh.

I agree unless we are talking steak. Lived in Europe and food is far better quality, and usually less expensive. Unless we are talking steak.

When I worked at NATO, the French/Spanish/Italian guy could bring the wine, the Belgian/Czech/German guy brought the beer, but there was no question that an American would bring the filet from the US commissary.

audreyh1 02-05-2021 01:30 PM

I do like the French steak. But that’s because it’s so dang rare. And the Basque beef was outstanding - also extremely rare.

Out-to-Lunch 02-05-2021 01:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HawkeyeNFO (Post 2555737)
I agree unless we are talking steak. Lived in Europe and food is far better quality, and usually less expensive. Unless we are talking steak.

When I worked at NATO, the French/Spanish/Italian guy could bring the wine, the Belgian/Czech/German guy brought the beer, but there was no question that an American would bring the filet from the US commissary.

My French teacher in HS told that this is why the French developed all those wonderful sauces and slow braising! ;D

MBAustin 02-05-2021 01:50 PM

I signed up for a virtual knitting retreat in March - several classes and talks on ZOOM and a box of expensive yarn and goodies. Normally I knit basic stuff for prayer shawls or other simple items, but I've started on my first pair of socks and it's quite fun to do something more challenging, so I thought this would be a good splurge to learn some more techniques and support some small businesses.

Koolau 02-05-2021 02:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chuckanut (Post 2553434)
Europeans in general have a higher standard in food that we Americans do. They won't accept poor food as readily as we do. I have come to believe that while the best American foods are as good as the best European foods, the European bottom level is higher than our bottom level. Anybody care for another slice of pasteurized processed cheese food slices? Ugh.

;D

You mean Velveeta? I must have been 10 before I realized there was another kind of "cheese." I was at my "rich" uncle's house (the ones who actually served Coke with lunch!). They had longhorn cheese slices and I felt reborn. My parents thought they had arrived when they could afford to buy CheezeWhiz occasionally instead of Velveeta (it was easier to make sammiches with 'cause you could spread it with a knife instead of cutting slices of "cheese" that balled up if the Velveeta block was too warm.)

But, hey, I still prefer Velveeta on my steamed broccoli (a veggie I had never heard of until it was served at JrHigh cafe.) YMMV

tmm99 02-05-2021 02:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Koolau (Post 2555821)

But, hey, I still prefer Velveeta on my steamed broccoli (a veggie I had never heard of until it was served at JrHigh cafe.) YMMV

I prefer Velveeta in my warm bean dip as well. (Refried beans, diced onion, diced bell pepper, hot salsa and Velveeta in a bowl, nuked for a few minutes.)

Things like Velveeta (or process cheese) and instant ramen have survived for a long time for a reason IMO. (Not sure why Spam is still around though...)

braumeister 02-05-2021 02:56 PM

In the craft beer world, the saying is "Bud Light is to beer as Velveeta is to cheese."

Koolau 02-05-2021 03:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tmm99 (Post 2555850)
I prefer Velveeta in my warm bean dip as well. (Refried beans, diced onion, diced bell pepper, hot salsa and Velveeta in a bowl, nuked for a few minutes.)

Things like Velveeta (or process cheese) and instant ramen have survived for a long time for a reason IMO. (Not sure why Spam is still around though...)

Oh yeah! Bean dip w/Velveeta! Doesn't get much better than that. Where are my Taco Chips?

I agree about Spam. Here in the Islands, Spam is considered a delicacy - and I guess that's appropriate because it costs so darn much! Talk about Blow That Dough! We even have Spam sushi here.

We had spam a lot when I was a little kid. I can eat it now, but would never pay the inflated price when I can buy actual ham for less money. YMMV

Greddy 02-05-2021 03:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Souschef (Post 2555621)
Speaking of Chinese restaurants, I was in St. Petersburg Russia, and noticed a restaurant across the street from our hotel. I can read Cyrillic, but like Greek, I can read it but do not know the meanings.
The restaurant's name was Nihau, which I remembered from a China trip that means "hello". We checked it out, and their menu complete with pictures, was in Cyrillic, Chinese and fortunately, English. The food was excellent.

Good it worked in your case. I was in Sweden once and longed for food I know. I ran across a Mexican restaurant, and thought this may solve my problem. While waiting for the food, they served what they thought is chips and salsa - it was potato chips and tomato ketchup. Yuck.

Koolau 02-05-2021 03:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Greddy (Post 2555868)
Good it worked in your case. I was in Sweden once and longed for food I know. I ran across a Mexican restaurant, and thought this may solve my problem. While waiting for the food, they served what they thought is chips and salsa - it was potato chips and tomato ketchup. Yuck.

Reminds me of ordering pizza in Italy. Maybe it was "authentic" but what I got was something like baked pizza dough (so far so good) "painted" with tomato sauce and sprinkled with what appeared to be parmesan but may have been mozzarella. What do I know? I like Velveeta "cheese.":laugh:

NW-Bound 02-05-2021 03:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HawkeyeNFO (Post 2555737)
I agree unless we are talking steak. Lived in Europe and food is far better quality, and usually less expensive. Unless we are talking steak.

When I worked at NATO, the French/Spanish/Italian guy could bring the wine, the Belgian/Czech/German guy brought the beer, but there was no question that an American would bring the filet from the US commissary.


Only Americans have the tradition of fattening cow with corn in feed lots before turning them into steaks. The Japanese don't do corn with their Kobe cows, but that's a special breed I think.


Quote:

Originally Posted by audreyh1 (Post 2555800)
I do like the French steak. But that’s because it’s so dang rare. And the Basque beef was outstanding - also extremely rare.


Italians have the famous Florentine steaks, which are also barely singed on super hot fire before serving.

When we were in Florence a few years ago, thought about going to a famous steak house, but gave up because of we did not have a reservation. So, we went to a supermarket, bought the most expensive cut they had, and took it back to the Airbnb to make our own steak. Cooked to medium rare as I usually do, it made a great dinner. Couldn't tell the difference from a good American steak, and the price I paid was not too bad at about US$10-15/lb, if memory serves. That's a lot cheaper than at restaurants.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Out-to-Lunch (Post 2555806)
My French teacher in HS told that this is why the French developed all those wonderful sauces and slow braising! ;D

True.

Anthony Bourdain said that steak houses are simply heat-and-serve places. On the other hand, it takes real culinary skills to turn lesser cuts and even offals into tasty morsels. I agree.

braumeister 02-05-2021 03:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NW-Bound (Post 2555886)
Only Americans have the tradition of fattening cow with corn in feed lots before turning them into steaks.

Apart from the rare occasions when I was able to get genuine Wagyu, the best steaks I've ever eaten were in South America. Having lived in both Brazil and Argentina, the beef is IMHO just incredible. Of course that's why folks there eat many times as much beef per capita as Americans.

ls99 02-05-2021 03:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by braumeister (Post 2555856)
In the craft beer world, the saying is "Bud Light is to beer as Velveeta is to cheese."


In the mid seventies, in Alaska, the popular beer was Olympia. On the can a slogan was "its the water". I caled it water.

For a time spent in Germany, I liked dark beer, in whatever town I passed through, most had their local brew, often in flip top bottles. Which were re-used.
One, in a small town Bamberg, was called Rauchbier, the mug of brew I had in a basement beer joint, was served with a small tube containing hot water, which we used to stir the beer with to warm it up.
Try that with the usual 'merkin beer.

oiseux 02-05-2021 03:38 PM

)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Greddy (Post 2555868)
Good it worked in your case. I was in Sweden once and longed for food I know. I ran across a Mexican restaurant, and thought this may solve my problem. While waiting for the food, they served what they thought is chips and salsa - it was potato chips and tomato ketchup. Yuck.

Whenever I am in Europe for an extended time, I usually crave Mexican first. We've lived as expats, so this is not just a few week vacation. So I have no qualms about searching it out when we are there, as a change up. But never a McDonalds (but a hamburger in a bistro, OK, but not a first choice). It is often done badly in Europe, but it is improving. In the French city where we "blew the dough" (back on topic) and bought a place, there are actual taquerias owned by Mexican immigrants, with no adaptions for local tastes.

Because of the colonial ties, you can get very good Vietnamese in France. When in the UK, we greatly appreciate the ethnic cuisines on offer, even more so than much of the local traditional favorites.

I remember going on work trips with guys (for some reason, always the guys) that would only want to eat hamburgers or other basics. So instead of sushi or kaiseki dinners in Tokyo, they would search out a Big Mac. Dim sum in Hong Kong? Nope, spaghetti.

braumeister 02-05-2021 03:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ls99 (Post 2555898)
One, in a small town Bamberg, was called Rauchbier, the mug of brew I had in a basement beer joint, was served with a small tube containing hot water, which we used to stir the beer with to warm it up.
Try that with the usual 'merkin beer.

That's not done any more, but there are still two well known breweries in Bamberg making Rauchbier. (Rauch means smoked, because the the malt is dried over open wood fires).

Wonderful stuff, but probably an acquired taste since it has never spread much beyond the city of Bamberg.

braumeister 02-05-2021 03:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oiseux (Post 2555900)
I remember going on work trips with guys (for some reason, always the guys) that would only want to eat hamburgers or other basics. So instead of sushi or kaiseki dinners in Tokyo, they would search out a Big Mac.

I will never forget my first time in Munich, 1976 when I was walking down a street and saw a line of Germans out on the sidewalk waiting to get into some store. As I got closer I saw that it was a McDonalds, and they were having a big promotion of the brand new ViertelPfunder (Quarter Pounder) that week. The locals were entranced by it and couldn't wait to try this new exotic treat.

Me? I couldn't wait to get to the next block and find a decent place to eat.

Greddy 02-05-2021 03:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by braumeister (Post 2555896)
Apart from the rare occasions when I was able to get genuine Wagyu, the best steaks I've ever eaten were in South America. Having lived in both Brazil and Argentina, the beef is IMHO just incredible. Of course that's why folks there eat many times as much beef per capita as Americans.

That is precisely my experience too. Brazilian steak houses in Brazil are just phenomenal. And in Argentina, beef is so delicious and so cheap, the standard practice of folks I visited there is to buy 2 pounds in the morning, eat what you like during the day, and then give the rest to the dog in the evening. Repeat the next day.


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