Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Nonstick non-Teflon bakeware / Birthday desires run amok / where I've been / where I'm going

How is amok spelled? I could look it up but I will not! No! How I wish that someone would make some good bakeware without nonstick coatings like Teflon etc. I do long to make a good layer cake. A big, fluffy chocolate cake with billows of frosting--not one of the dense, almost fudgy chocolate cakes on the menus of most, whatever they're called--American eclectic/french/etc resturants--resturants today. Yes, good bakeware that will not kill Lester when I use it. Anything with nonstick coating--bakeware, spatulas, griddles--will kill a bird within minutes if it's even slightly heated. Birds are good indicators of environmental problems, so if something isn't good for a bird, it's probably not good for you, either. Mark lost a parakeet when a roomate cooked something in a nonstick pan. Cooks Illustrated says:

"The primary health concern for a person exposed to fumes released from nonstick cookware is called polymer fume fever. The symptoms are similar to those of a cold or flu, including coughing, difficulty breathing, and headaches, and they generally disappear after a couple of days. Cases of polymer fume fever have been well documented among people who work in plants that manufacture fluoropolymers--the name for the compounds, consisting largely of carbon and fluorine, used to make nonstick coatings. Polymer fume fever has been more difficult to document among home cooks."

So, on my birthday list (which is, as my father has told me, ridiculously long) is:

A cast iron dutch oven and muffin pan (seasoned cast-iron is almost as non-stick as nasty Teflon)

I also want a good hand/immersion blender. My food processor is small and beat up and can't even handle making pesto at this point. I tried yesterday.


Where I've been etc.

Where I've been

I've been to several small island nations in Australiasia.

Africa is a major gap for me. I was alive in Iran, but not born. And I'm going to Oman this winter, but haven't yet been. I've only been to the airport in Japan. Africa and South America are major, major gaps. Mark and I are going to retire in Tanzania.


Jessica Smith said...

i think amok IS spelled amok.
we need to go to russia. that would make much of the map red. too bad it isn't the USSR anymore. and brzil or argentina would help. or if it wasn't a mercator projection, that would help.

Jessica Smith said...

(re: all the perfume on your list) you have so many beauty products, lorraine!

now i have to go listen to samples of all this interesting unknown music... but i don't recommend the large 20 gig ipod. you can't listen to 20 gigs of music at once. more portable is better--2-6 gig will do you, while you can keep the larger collection of electronic files on your computer. the nano seems like a better option, i think, since you can run with it and since you do that.

K. Lorraine Graham said...

Brazil! Argentina! I really really want to go to Moscow. If only I hadn't been so practical and bent on achievement when I was in college. I wanted to go to at least Vladivostok when I was in Harbin, but I didn't.

And of course I wanted to take the train back to London, but I didn't.

Your ipod thoughts make sense to me.

Yeah. I do have a lot of beauty products. I love perfume! And solid perfume is making a quiet come back. I am so glad--it's pefect for travel, speaking of travel. I wear perfume everywhere. In the car. To yoga. To bed. On the airplane.

François said...

yeah, i was wondering how iran was red. and oh! how was moldavia? yes, yes, let's all go to brazil and argentina (i want to meet josely vianna baptista)

i agree on the ipod nano. a 20-gig one contains at least month worth of music.

and amok is indeed spelled amok.

François said...

and i forgot to say, i hear that algeria is a lot of fun too! (full disclosure: i am a big fan of rachid taha)

K. Lorraine Graham said...

I'd love to go to Algeria. And Tunisia. And Libya. Maybe that's where Mark and I should retire.

Did I accidentally select Moldavia? I haven't been there, only to Romania, which I loved loved. The Buchovina region of Romania is supposed to be kind of like Moldavia though. Have you been, Franciois?--it looked like all of Europe was red on your map.

My mom was pregnant with me when we lived in Iran, but we left because it was 1978. My Dad arrived back in the US from Iran shortly before my birth (like, within a few days). I knew several Persian families as a child/young adult (mostly Baha'is and their children who had managed to leave), grew up eating Persian food, and reading Persian poetry.

Obviously, I'm romantic, nostalgic, and perversely obsessed (in a healthy way) with a place I really don't know much about. But that's exactly why I'll have to go there one day.

Given the world being as it is, however, that won't be in the near future. Sigh.

Ian Keenan said...

The problem with Iran is that you can only get a visa for a week or two, which is a lot of trouble and expense. Once you get there it is dirt cheap and the people are as friendly as they come. I have internet pen pals there and have thought about doing an overland trip from Turkey, which is doable from a visa standpoint but not what they’re geared for. The other problem is that the Kurdish region near Turkey is a tad more dicey due to the Iraq war, but there are direct Ankara- Tehran buses.

Overall, though, Iran is not a dangerous destination now unless Bush drops a bomb there, in which case who knows what will transpire. I have read extensively about this possibility but only the shadow knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men… I’d bet against it just because of the current political situation.

I have an older book about North Africa that was written before Algeria became a no-go and it is packed with stuff they enthusiastically recommend.

I reiterate though that Tunisia is a very appealing and practical destination that I’d like to check out along with Rome, which, um, I’ve never seen. I’d also like to see the Fata Morgana which requires patiently staring at the sea in Scylla at the heel of the boot.

Although Oman is a great place to go, I’m curious why you chose it over Tunisia since it is more expensive to get to.

K. Lorraine Graham said...

And then there's the issue of funding and my time off-as you say, but I like the thought of a direct Ankara-Tehran bus.

I've never been to Rome, either! Actually, I've never been to most of Europe. I love love love love love Spain, though.

My Dad, Stepmom, and little triplet half sisters (they are 7) live in Muscat right now, so I'm doing my every 2 or 3 years family visit. I'll only have 3 weeks, which is better than 2 but not as good as 4 or 6, but enough time to do some visiting and some adventuring.

If I were just vacationing/ travelling, I'd probably head for South or Central America at this point, although Mark and I will certainly make it back to North Africa one winter, I think.

Ian Keenan said...

Tunisia is often teeming with European tourists while Oman should be much more undiscovered in that way. That’ll change soon I’m sure. Three weeks now with family that knows the ropes should be great.

I tried to drive to Nicaragua two years ago but I never got out of Mexico because I kept staying in certain towns for weeks on end.

I did three weeks in Madrid right before that and can’t get enough Spain. Tapas here are too expensive and thus have a different social dynamic and chance factor. It’s the best way to eat, especially the Basque places. I got five delicious small dishes, including lobster, three vermouths, and two beers for less than four dollars at a working class bar down the street from the Reina Sofia. Madrid’s not much to look at but it is one of the best art scenes in the world, including galleries. The only other place I got to was Salamanca.. The streets and the plaza during paseo on a warm night…

K. Lorraine Graham said...

I'm super excited about Oman.

Mexico always suprises me (not that I wouldn't go to Nicaragua)--it's this cliched american travel destination (even more so now that I live in San Diego), and yet I just love it whenever I'm there.

Spain...oh, longing. Mark and I were in Madrid, Southern Spain, and then Barcelona and environs. I'd love to go back and spend time in Salamanca and the Basque region. We'll have to ask you for the name of that resturant, Ian.

kevin.thurston said...

i emailed this to the yahoo email and it bounced back, but i figured i'd email it as this is now two days old

spain is a yes
italy is nice
greece is fantastic

but, the email::

bakeware made of silicone is good stuff

i have some and bake fairly frequently

its also come down in price


so you know what yer looking for

K. Lorraine Graham said...

Kevin--thanks! I'm looking into it.