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Old 10-23-2007, 12:25 AM   #31
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You nailed the Co! The travel is a double edged sword. Most of the time it hasn't been too onerous. But I did have one year when my kid was only 11, when I was gone over 100 days during the year. You don't recoup that. It hurt a lot.

But other than that, I have been some interesting places, and one of the most memorable features of these place has been the food.

I am grateful for that. Anyway, thanks.
You know what qmax.....I've got no other way to say this.........but I like you! Thanks for being here!! And keep the stories up.....I like them!
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Old 10-23-2007, 12:27 AM   #32
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Sounds like Boeing to me! Either way, you've impressed me, I bow to your travel visa! Very Impressive! I'll never travel that much, but I am impressed in your travels. Very good! Thanks for posting this, you have really impresed me!
Hey, I forgot to ask...you still in the Mobile area?

Did you see Ken Burns' "The War"? Mobile was a featured place. The series was as good as television gets.
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Old 10-23-2007, 12:34 AM   #33
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You know what qmax.....I've got no other way to say this.........but I like you! Thanks for being here!! And keep the stories up.....I like them!
I like you too, Keltin. You're a gentleman. Gotta respect that.
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Old 10-23-2007, 01:09 AM   #34
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Nothin’ personal, but I find paying $600 or $1200 for a meal incredibly asinine and foolish. It’s not impressive, but it does impress upon one that some have no concept of money or fair value. For the most part, all you do is pay for the name of the restaurant or resident “chef”. No different than buying cookware endorsed by a celebrity chef….but obviously more expensive.
Well, first of all, I didn't pay $1200 for anything. Can I help it if I have a BF who makes more money than he knows what to do with and seems to enjoy spending it on me?? (One of the perks of being an aging hottie: You now actually like and want to date gentlemen from that class of older, accomplished guys who wanted to be your sugar daddy when you were 19 and you had zero interest in guys who weren't hot young unemployed musicians, preferably slightly psychotic. )

That said, if I had his kind of money, I probably would be willing to spend $1200 on an extraordinary restaurant meal from time to time. (Though keep in mind that the wine was probably about $400, and I'm sure he tipped well over $200.)

Of couse...if you truly believe that there is no difference in the quality of food produced by a chef like Michel Richard or Thomas Keller vs. the chef who runs the kitchen at, say, your local Olive Garden, and that you are just paying for the "name" Citronelle or French Laundry....well,then, I don't really know what else to say. (You don't really believe that, do you?)

I'm not saying that there aren't restaurants that are overpriced, I'm just saying that truly talented chefs like Richard and Keller have earned their reputations by producing brilliant food, and truly brilliant food is worth a great deal more money than mediocre food.

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To each his own though, I suppose. Some don’t understand the desire to pay $1500 for an LCD TV when a regular CRT displays a good image. But at least with electronics you can objectively measure the difference. Still, I imagine a $400 Kobe steak grilled to medium rare would taste the same as the same cut bought from a vendor and grilled yourself for only $60 or less.


You make a good point. Personally, I have one 13" CRT TV in my home that I bought off an old roommate for 50 bucks, and I have absolutely no desire to upgrade. I prefer radio to TV anyway.

Everyone has different ideas about what, exactly, is valuable, and they spend money accordingly.

Personally, I tend to value experience over material goods. When I do spend a lot of money on material things, it's usually because they will enhance some highly-valued experience.

I have a few all-consuming obsessions, and most of my disposable income goes to items or experiences that feed those obsessions: For example, I'm an obsessive birder/hiker/naturalist. As such, I would be happy to spend $1500 on a pair of Leica or Zeiss binoculars. I imagine that, unless you are also a birder, you would never do such a thing.

OTOH, I am not an obsessive TV-watcher or technophile. Therefore I would never spend $1500 on a TV. But neither would I judge anyone else for doing so, nor tell them that they were "asinine and foolish" or had "no concept of money or fair value."

One of my obsessions is food & cooking: I am immensely curious about all kinds of food, from haute cuisine to the most humble home cooking and street foods. As a result, I spend a lot of my (rather meager) disposable income on food-related items and experiences. If there's a recipe I really want to try, I'll spend $100 on equipment and ingredients and feel it was well worth it for the experience of learning something new, even if it means that I have to skimp on other things til the next paycheck. Same with restaurant meals, whether it's $15 at a soul food place or $150 for ten pieces of ultra-fresh, impeccably good sushi.

I guess that's the difference between you and me: For me, a $1200 meal is a learning experience. A $12 meal can be a learning experience, as well--but it will teach me something different, as will an ambitious $200 meal I cook at home. For that matter, even a mediocre, outrageously overpriced meal at a pretentious restaurant teaches me something.

The point: One of my personal goals is to learn as much as I possibly can about food, wine and cooking before I die...And anything that brings me closer to achieving that goal seems to me a worthwhile way to spend money--whether it's an insanely expensive restaurant meal at a Michelin 3-star, a bowl of menudo at a venerable family-run place in East L.A., a long-anticipated trip to see the street vendors of Thailand or the vineyards of Bordeaux (both just fantasies at this point), or 50+K on a culinary degree from the CIA (another fantasy).

So. You and I have different interests and values. You might consider being a tad less judgmental about these things. This is, after all, a forum devoted to food and cooking.

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BUT….that’s just my opinion, say and do what you will.


Thanks for the permission. I sure will.

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I didn’t experience this myself, but one of the most amazing food stories I ever heard came from my now deceased FIL. He was in the military and stationed in Italy during WW2. He stayed near a small and impoverished village where the women washed clothes on a rock in a free running stream. He would often go to that village at night and socialize and have dinner. And his stories about open pit cooking, fire brick ovens, and kettle meals blow away anything I could ever hope to attain, no matter how much money I threw at it. You can’t buy stories or experiences like that. Sorry.


No need to apologize. As I noted, a list of my repasts that were memorable due to extraordinary circumstances, unbeatable atmosphere, amazing company, nostalgiac bliss and the like (rather than the quality of the food itself) would be different for me, and I omitted many meals that fell into that category. [They include pasta meals in Little Italy with connected guys... pork chops and collard greens cooked by my BF's mom when I was 14 and pregnant...improvised birthday meals cooked on propane stoves in remote canyons on military bases... Morton's in Vegas with my stripclub-owner/boss/lover... lobster and key lime pie at the Homeport in Menemsha once a year with my family when I was small ....rice & beans & a fried egg & fried platanos for every meal in Costa Rica....the best-ever Mongolian Beef, eaten half-naked in the dressing room of the Great Alaskan Bush Company in Anchorage....surprisingly delicious little bean burritos served at the home of a resident of Boquillas, Mexico (population about 20) that doubled as a sort of restaurant, after taking a rowboat across the Rio Grande from Big Bend N.P. in Texas...bits of chorizo, and fish soaked in olive oil and garlic, eaten in gypsy caves in Andalucia during juergas, while my father played guitar, and old men sang older songs, wailing and sweating, and fat women were transformed into pure beauty as the heels of their shoes moved over earthen floors and their faces changed into the faces of women who could never be possessed, even in love.....]

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But, that is just my opinion….carry on!


Yeah. Thanks again.
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Old 10-23-2007, 07:51 AM   #35
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In Lisbon we ate at a wonderful restaurant called Terreiro do Paco. The chef Vitor Sobral uses regional ingredients and the dishes are fantastic, but not cheap. The building was previously the Royal Palace until it was destroyed after the earthquake in 1755.

While camping in Maine we went to a small local restaurant on the bay known for their lobster. It was nothing fancy, but the atmosphere of sitting on the heated screened porch overlooking the ocean was very memorable for me.

Just recently we visited Zurich and had a great time eating traditional cheese fondue early in the afternoon before heading into old town for a few drinks. That was the same afternoon that the tram driver decided to stop in the middle of the street for a cigarette break leaving me locked on the tram. Of course I was the only one on there, since I didn't speak the language I must not have understood the announcement on the previous stop :) I ended up going into the conductors area in the front and started pounding on the window to get his attention. Needless to say that whole day was pretty memorable.

There is a little B&B in Norman, Oklahoma called Whispering Pines. My parents took me there on my last trip after some of their friends recommended it. Great food and even better service. My parents had been their only once before for my sisters birthday and when they took me the weighter remembered my father's drink and that my mother was allergic to garlic. I was very impressed all around. A few of the dishes that were outstanding were the corn and crab bisque, duck salad, and the filet.
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Old 10-23-2007, 10:00 AM   #36
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(One of the perks of being an aging hottie: You now actually like and want to date gentlemen from that class of older, accomplished guys who wanted to be your sugar daddy when you were 19 and you had zero interest in guys who weren't hot young unemployed musicians, preferably slightly psychotic. )
"Aging Hottie"?
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Old 10-23-2007, 10:11 AM   #37
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Most amazing food experiences:


*When I worked on San Clemente Island as a biologist: the predator-control boys would go out fishing and bring back fresh yellowtail. We'd slice it up and eat it raw, or roll it in sesame seeds and sear it lightly, or grill it over hot coals and make delicious fish tacos. Once they went over to Catalina and shot a wild boar, then came back and cooked it underground and served it with a kind of apple-raisin chutney. I dunno, there was just something kind of revelatory for me, originally a city kid, about eating freshly-killed food. The botanist on island once picked a whole bunch of ripe elderberries and made a fresh elderberry pie. I thought that was pretty amazing, too.
Those are great! Your stories spurred my own memories of freshly caught brook trout as a kid. We'd take them home, clean them, toss them in flour and pan fry them. Nothing quite like a freshly caught meal!

We also used to snare rabbits in the winter, which always tasted great as well (except the odd one that tasted like spruce needles because that's probably all it was eating all winter). A freshly shot partridge was always a special treat, too. My brother and I would go hunting for them in the fall and it was always exciting to know we'd be eating fresh bird for dinner that night!

And yes, there really is nothing quite like a fresh fruit/berry pie. We'd pick rhubarb from the garden in the morning and make a pie that afternoon.

I love those "natural" meals!
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Old 10-23-2007, 10:20 AM   #38
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I find it noteworthy and very cool that many of the experiences related here are founded in childhood and family.

Yes, I think it also very noteworthy. I think if you look upon ANY relevant and memorable moment, it will very likely involve family/childhood memories. Christmas just isn't the same anymore without those rituals/traditions we used to partake in with my family.

My solution is to incorporate similar traditions within my own little family and act like a kid as much as possible!
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Old 10-23-2007, 11:22 AM   #39
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Yes, I think it also very noteworthy. I think if you look upon ANY relevant and memorable moment, it will very likely involve family/childhood memories. Christmas just isn't the same anymore without those rituals/traditions we used to partake in with my family.

My solution is to incorporate similar traditions within my own little family and act like a kid as much as possible!
I noticed the same thing. I think it's because we have so much less on our minds as kids that we remember longer.
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