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Hot and Sour Soup



8 dried shiitake mushrooms
2 large pieces of wood ear (black fungus)
1 oz (¼ package) bean thread noodles, optional (mung bean threads, not rice noodles!)
8 oz firm tofu
8 oz boneless pork or chicken cooked and finely julienned (I prefer Chinese barbeque pork for this)
2 Tbsp cornstarch
6 cups chicken stock
½ cup bamboo shoots, julienned
½ cup small cooked shrimp
¼ cup vinegar
2 Tbsp dark soy sauce
1 Tbsp sugar
½ tsp white pepper
2 eggs, beaten
1-2 Tbsp sesame oil
1-2 Tbsp chilli-garlic paste
2 green onions, finely sliced, optional


In small bowl, cover mushrooms and wood ear with 2 cups hot water; let stand for 20 minutes or until softened. Drain, reserving liquid. Discard mushroom stems and finely slice caps.  Cut wood ear into fine julienne strips. Set aside.
In bowl of hot water, soak noodles for 5 minutes; drain, and place in pile on cutting board and chop into 1 inch lengths. Cut tofu into small cubes.
In large pot, bring chicken stock to gentle boil. Add pork (if using raw pork, cook for 30 minutes or until tender), mushrooms, wood ear, mushroom liquid, noodles, tofu, bamboo shoots, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, pepper; return to gentle boil then simmer for 5 minutes.
In small bowl, whisk cornstarch with 3 tablespoons cold water; add to soup slowly and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
In small bowl, whisk eggs with 1 tablespoon water, then slowly drizzle into soup, stirring slowly with spoon.
Stir in shrimp, sesame oil, chilli-garlic paste and onions, let stand for 2 minutes.
Serves 4 perhaps, if you want to share.
Note this is Hot and Sour so you can adjust the vinegar, chilli-garlic paste, soy sauce and sugar to your specific taste.  In the picture below I have added another a large dollop of chili garlic paste to make it hotter for me.

Snowy Palms Resort

The Great Purden Lake Incident

It went something like this...

Years ago (23+) we went camping at Purden Lake in north central  British Columbia, a lovely lake surrounded by mountains and trees, sitting at the base of Purden Mountain ski hill, only 45 minutes from Prince George, our home at the time.

We had purchased our first boat and had an old camper that we used to escape from the rain and wind and bears. Our boat was a wonderful Campion 19 foot closed bow thing of beauty. It had a hot 302 V8 engine driving an OMC leg and normally brought me nothing but pleasure, but on this particular day, a lot of pain.

With 2 people in the boat at full throttle, the speed propeller installed and planed up for speed it would race along the water at nearly 60 MPH (100 KPH). With a few more people inside it it was a little slower but still had enough speed to elicit screams of fear from those sitting on the hot dog shaped inflatable 75 feet behind the boat.

Lets talk about that hotdog. The hotdog was an inflatable "hotdog in a bun" shaped tube that you sat upon, legs astride, like riding a horse, the boat pulled you and the hotdog behind it at high speed evoking screams of joy and pleasure from the riders broadcasting over the water with the Doppler effect adding some acoustical interest to those in the boat and on shore. I drove the boat and others rode the hotdog. The hotdog belonged to Ron and Cheryl (you remember Cheryl from the Christmas letter of 1998 don't you?).

As we whipped along the lake the hotdog would eject the riders if the boat driver was diligent in his maneuvering of the boat.  Once ejected the riders shot into the water and after shaking the water from orifices and hair they would remount said hotdog and go for a scream inducing ride once again. It was such fun. There's nothing that gladdens my heart more than listening to my wife and children screaming in fear and pleading for me to exercise some common sense. Push the throttle harder Bart.

After spending hours towing friends and family my wife decided that it was time for me to ride the banana. While it wasn't what I wanted to do, She Who Must Be Obeyed said it would be fun and all the other soggy water-filled people in the boat agreed with her, that yes, Bart would really enjoy riding that inflated yellow manufacturer of screams and joy. They were wrong.

Now I must say right here that the rule then and now is when doing high speed boating and towing people behind my boat there is no alcohol involved period. None. Not a sip and not a drop in the boat. Fishing and trolling on the other hand have different rules and I will tell a tale about Takla Lake one day, however for this saga it was an alcohol free zone. However the booze came into play later that night. Medicinal therapy...

By this time someone (me! momma didn't raise no genius it turned out) had decided that we should tie two ropes together and tow the hotdog with that newly engineered contrivance, the thinking being that as the riders were being turned in the arc by the boat it would increase the speed attainable and heighten the excitement of the ride. It was a success!

While I did not know how fast the hotdog would travel when in the apex of the arc, I knew it was fast. Very fast. I did not use the new found speed to thrill the children, reserving the newly discovered law of acceleration and mass for the adults; the friends and family that I love so much.

With Susan suggesting (ordering) that a ride on the hotdog was required for me I asked, "Who pray tell was going to drive the boat?" Fearing it would be Ron who was as invincible and bat shit crazy as I was, but Susan said that she would do the driving.  I was heartened at the prospect of her driving it since I thought she loved me and also I knew she was not crazy about going fast on the water or anywhere for that matter. Ha ha, ha! Wrong again! 

I think the 150' tow rope speed formula might have looked like this: Input your own numbers here...

 

We came to a stop and once I took the place of the rider and having grabbed hold of the "holy shit" handles Susan inched the boat forward to take up the slack.  Once the rope was taught she applied a little throttle and got the boat up on plane. I thought, "This IS a lot of fun!". It was as I was thinking this that I saw Cheryl (you remember her don't you) and Ron talking with Susan and shortly after the pointing at me and the conversation between them ended the boat picked up speed.  Fear crept in and the sphincter puckered....

As the boat began to gather speed she began to move the wheel left to right and right to left causing the hotdog, of which I was now part of, to begin to sway back and forth. Gently at first, call it tubing foreplay if you will, then picking up speed and energy, the swath became wider. It was at this point that I heard the engine rpm top out, a sound that I knew well and the boat was now at full speed. I began to cry. My inner drama queen came alive at that moment...

I was never mean enough to tow someone at full speed (um, maybe that is a bit if a fib) when I drove the boat and if I was to venture to the top of the throttle position, I would never put the tube into a swing at that speed, fearing for the safety of the rider(s); Susan held no such reservation. Now remember the two tow ropes tied together? This is when they came into play.

Once we were at cruising altitude I began to regain my composure as I realized Susan was not intent on killing me, in fact while I was skipping along the top of the lake at 50 plus mph she was going in a straight line and then ever so gently she began a turn that brought us in closer to the shoreline and in front of the hundreds of people that were enjoying a hot July long weekend at the beach.

She headed out towards the middle of the lake and I was having a great time 150 feet behind the boat, a little tentative, but enjoying it. Just as I was beginning to settle in and somewhat relax I watched as the boat turned hard to starboard, nearly 90 degrees to me. All I was able to do was utter a girly scream and tighten my grip on the "holy shit" handles once again. Fools go where angels fear to tread and you know my momma didn't raise no angel...

My alarm grew in intensity when I watched the boat and the evil bastards contained therein pass me on my right hand side, heading AWAY from me, like two cars on a country road, one heading north the other heading south.. I did notice my speed was dropping as she raced away from me and then the laws of physics took over. My sphincter tried grabbing the seat in anticipation of the wreck that was about to occur.

Once the rope tightened up the hotdog was yanked hard and then took off like a gut shot cougar. As I watched in horror the arc I was now riding through caused a multiplier effect to speeds unknown and I could hear the guffaws of the boat driver, the evil cackle of Cheryl, and Ron screaming at me that he has lost control of the situation. The gasps I heard were from those beach goers onshore watching this spectacle and then it got worse.

Susan now emboldened by her unerring command of my boat took the boat into another sharp turn and then proceeded to keep it going on a full 360 degree turn with me now screaming and pleading and gaining enormous speed 150 feet behind. I was still hanging on, trying to hold tight when to my dismay and utter horror I saw the boat wake a few hundred feet ahead and calculated that my current trajectory was going to have me crossing that turbulent swell of water in just a few seconds. I did not have time to ask for forgiveness from anyone. I was bawling uncontrollably by that point.

I have a very vague recollection of the next 30 seconds but what I do remember still causes me anxiety to this day. I managed to hang on through the first wave battle, but just as I was trying to get straight in the saddle I hit the second wave of the boat wake and got ejected like I was a passenger in James Bonds Aston Martin. From there the world slowed and the event played out in my reality like a John Woo directed fight scene, very slow motion. The light! I also saw the light!!!

I sailed across the water, then as the bullet-like trajectory surrendered to gravity I hit the water and began to skip like a well thrown flat ass rock. I skipped I am told at least 7 skips, and it wasn't a pleasant skip to my Lou my darlin' either. Each skip I took pushed parts of me further up into other parts of me that should not have been positioned so. It was jarring and the speed I was traveling did not allow for any sense of comfort or control.

Above my crying and the sounds of water being forced into me at a rate only seen when Hoover dam has its spill gates open I could hear the "Oh my God!", the "Holy shit!", the "Ohhh and Awwwws" from the witnesses onshore. Ron said it best with the "Holy fuck Susan I think you killed him!" Sounds travel well over water.

Just as I thought the worst was over, I remember putting my hand down, presumably to stop the nonsense. Nay, nay. It did not stop it. It just changed the mechanics of the motion and from a skipping stone I became Cartwheel Man. I began a cartwheel that is still talked about to this very day. I was told that people watching onshore screamed and gasped, babies began to cry and a couple of little old ladies fainted. It was like the intro to ABC's - Wide World of Sports years ago with ski jumper Vinko Bogataj's spectacular crash; The thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat! Agony? You have no idea!!!

Epic cartwheel. Awe inspiring even. Ah 1, anna 2, anna 3, anna 4, anna 5, so many in fact that no one can tell with any degree of accuracy how many cartwheels I did, but we know the lake is 2 miles across at that point and I covered 3/4ths of it.

After what seemed like hours I came to a stop, held up by my life jacket I floated there, unmoving, incoherent (less than normal) and I listened to the screams, the cries, the "Oh my gods", the "Hey did you see THATs?", "Someone call an ambulance!" and applause. Yes, there was fucking applause, from shore and from my boat. Heartless evil bastards! Then above the din I heard someone scream, "That was fucking awesome! Do you think he's still alive?" I  think it was Ron and he seemed to care.

The boat idled up to me and I had not moved. Not because I didn't want to. It was because I couldn't move, I was just coming back to consciousness I think. As I was coming back from the Light and just having said goodbye to God who appeared to me during the melee, I looked up with bleary water filled eyes and stared straight into the face of Cheryl. She was laughing to the point of hysterics. Kind hearted bitch...

My swim trunks were tangled up around my ankles. I knew this because as I was floating along side the rescue ship I was patting myself down checking to see what parts were missing and when I reached the central part of my being, I was mortified to find there was no longer any covering. Wonderful I thought. Just fucking wonderful. Broken limbs, concussion, manhood missing and I lost a $20 pair of swim trunks to boot. What a ride, what a day. What am I going to tell the boys back at the shop?

Feeling further down to confirm the compound fractures in both my legs that I was certain I would find, I found my swim trunks, and, no thanks to my wife, I did not feel any shards of bone either. So I wrestled the trunks back into place so's not to give proof of my shortcoming to my friends, then I gathered enough strength to whisper, "Help me!" "Please help me!"

It took the three of them to get me in the boat, and once inside my fiberglass pride and joy I sat and shook uncontrollably, a symptom of post traumatic stress,  the rest of the evil bastards looked ashen and somewhat concerned, well, except for Cheryl, she just asked if it was happy hour yet?

I was greeted onshore by looks of pity - sincere and heartfelt, offers of medical aid and high fives. As I waded through the crowd. I was receiving the instant replay as seen from shore and it was with interest that someone told me that when I was launched off my ride the hotdog took off for the wild blue yonder and it hit the end of the rope 150 feet above the lake. Like a rocket he said! I was glad I brought so much joy to so many...

Back at the campsite I took to embarking upon an intimate relationship with Ron Bacardi, an accommodating sort, and Cheryls husband Ron feeling pain seizing his body from a hotdog ride or two of his own earlier that day, headed for royalty status with a bottle of Crown Royal. The boat was put away for the night, the campfire was lit, munchies and dinner were served, the kids settled in and so I threw the lid of the bottle into the fire.  I would not be needing it I was sure. I was right...

At some point I staggered to bed, assisted by the purveyor of pain, my wife, into our camper and fell fast asleep.  It was a few hours later I woke up to searing pain of indeterminate origin, once fully awake, I realized the pain was from all my muscles that had been torn apart and perhaps also the ill effect of the rum as it was being ushered from my body. At that time I noticed the sound of a monsoon like rain pelting the tin roof of our humble abode. The soothing sounds of the rain lulled me back to sleep, the furnace hummed and I was dry. And alive....

With bacon, eggs, toast, fried potatoes, left over steak, gallons of coffee, T3's and a few well mixed and medicinally correct Caesars we took on the next day, albeit rather more subdued than the day before and Ron and I reflected on the lessons learned. What the lessons were I can't remember, but I am sure there was something there to be learned, to be sure you, would have to ask our wives.

Beef and Beet Borscht



Borscht is a long-time favourite in our home, lifetime favourite in fact. Served with a fresh made bun or roll it is a meal fit for royalty and peasants alike. Give it a try. Today!

1 lb lean beef, chopped into bite size pieces

1 large sweet onion, chopped

6 cloves garlic, pressed
8 cups beef broth (I used Better than Bouillon for this batch)

5 cups chopped cabbage (red or green)

3 cups grated carrot


5 cups grated beets

4 or more bay leaf
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp dried dill seed, or 2 Tbsp fresh (fresh is best of you can find it)
Salt to taste

Brown beef in a large stock pot. Once beef is browned, add onions and garlic and cook for a few minutes, until the onions begin to sweat.


Add beef stock (you could use vegetable stock and eliminate the beef too, but why bother?)

Add carrots and cabbage.


Add bay leaf, dill and cayenne.


Add beets. Bring to a boil then turn down heat and simmer on low for 45 minutes, covered.

Taste as you go and add salt to finish.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream and enjoy!!!

Borscht is a vegetable soup and can be vegetarian or beef based, matters not really.  Also in some borscht recipes you see potatoes added along with other vegetables, however it is primarily a beet and cabbage soup, but tailor it to your liking.

Make a full batch! It freezes really well, unless you add potatoes, then it freezes not so good...

Perogies; Grandma Boos style...



Grandmas Boos Perogy Dough

5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon salt
6 large eggs
3 Tbsp canola oil
1 cup ice cold water (added a little at a time)

In large mixing bowl place flour and salt and mix well to ensure salt is well incorporated into flour (I use a whisk to do this).  


Using a dough hook turn on to medium-low speed setting and add 1 egg at a time until all 6 eggs are mixed in.  Add oil and continue to mix.

The mixture should start to take on a crumbled texture.  Add a couple of ounces of water at a time and mix well.  Add enough water to get the dough to form a firm ball, when it pulls away from the side of the bowl knead it for 4 minutes longer.

Once the dough has finished kneading in the bowl turn it out onto a floured work surface and knead by hand for at least 5 minutes. The surface of the dough will become smooth when it is ready.

Once kneading is complete, coat dough with a little oil, wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge.  Refrigerate dough for at least 4 hours before using in your favourite recipe. This dough also makes great noodles for soups and other uses like stroganoff.  Yummy!
When using this dough it should be a soft and pliable dough that will shrink slightly as you roll it out between rolls until it has been worked well with the roller.  

Roll out the dough to about 1/8" thickness, then begin making some magic.


Cheddar Cheese and Potato Perogy Filling

3 lbs potatoes, peeled, cooked and mashed (russets are best)
1 ½ lbs shredded sharp or old cheddar cheese
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper

Mash potatoes and add cheese to the hot mashed potatoes, add salt and pepper. Mix well. Set aside to cool.

Divide dough into 4 pieces and roll one piece at a time. 

Roll to 1/8” thickness.  


Use thin rimmed glass or round cutter (we use a Perogy zipper!) to cut circles out of the dough.
Place 2 Tbsp filling on each round.

Lightly moisten edge of one half of dough with water; pinch edges together to seal and crimp. 

 

Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper; Repeat with remaining portion of dough.

In large pot of boiling salted water, cook perogies, in batches, for 4-5 minutes or until they float to top, stirring gently to prevent perogies from sticking together or to bottom of pot. With slotted spoon, remove to colander to drain.

To serve after boiling, fry a few strips of bacon that have been minced fine before cooking, once fat starts to render toss in 1 large onion that has been minced fine, cooking until bacon is crisp and the onions are caramelized.  Remove from pan and set aside.

Do not remove the bacon fat from the pan. Add the perogies and cook until all wonderful pockets of heaven are cooked slightly brown. Once browned you can either serve them straight up with the fried bacon and onions on the side or top the perogies with the bacon and onion mixture and toss gently. Your choice!

Serve with sour cream and enjoy!


Snowy Palms Resort

High Tech Samsung Appliances

I have been asked many times about the appliances we have in our new home here in Prince George, so since you asked for it, a long story follows...

I purchased a home for the family and was occupying it before they had even seen it, which can be fraught with peril as you would agree, however it turns out my choice was a good one and everyone settled in nicely. Then the renovations started - on day 2 of occupancy.

Because of the new layout of the kitchen we required a counter-depth fridge, and when you have a specific need like that, the manufacturers take great delight in giving it to you, financially speaking that is, with nary a kiss or a reach-around to be offered. I know as they sit in their boardrooms, deciding on what usurious pricing matrix they need to settle on when it comes to niche items driven by requirement over desire, the conversation goes like this;

Boss - "Okay, listen up. When someone needs to buy one of our counter-depth refrigerators we all know the customers situation demands it and they can't use a normal one so lets goose them hard!!!"

Everyone at the table - "Yes! Let's goose them. Make it hurt! You da man boss!!!"

Boss - "How much do we have to remove from the depth?"

Minion - "Four inches boss. Have I told you how wonderful it is working for you?"

Boss - "Four inches?"

Minion - "Yes four inches, but we could make it less. Or we could make it more. What do you think boss? Do you need a foot massage?"

Boss - "That's not much at all! Let's make it five."

Minion - "Five inches? That will reduce the capacity by a third! They may need to buy two then! Genius boss! I wish I was just like you! Really I do!"

Boss - "Hmmmm. Let's see. We reduce the capacity by a third? Sooooooo, let's double the price! What choice do they have? A Coleman cooler? A beer fridge? A block of ice and a fan?"

Minion - "Reduce by a third and double the price? You're a marketing genius boss!"

Boss - "I know, I know, I know Minion. That's why I'm sitting at the head of this table and you're on your knees under it!"

Toady - "Hey boss I think you might have another great idea like not having any of them in inventory either, like, we make them wait after they pay for it? Great idea boss!!!!

Boss - "I just keep coming up with these great ideas, it surprises me even. Let's make them wait a couple of months, they will forget the goosing we gave them and they'll be so happy when it arrives! Call the other manufacturers on the secret hotline and let them know what we're doing so they can follow suit"

Toady - "I love working for you boss! I learn so much! But should we call our competitors too?"

Boss - "Of course we should! We don't want to look like were are taking advantage of a situation all alone!  I did the same thing when I worked for The Oil Company. No one ever says a thing, they just keep buying, our competitors will thank us too!"

Boss - "Tickle them too Minion, just like yesterday!"

The purchasing decision was made in keeping with needs and desires, delivery day was scheduled but then we were told the fridge will not be available for a month or so, neither was the dishwasher, so we waited, and waited. Finally delivery day arrived and we had the new toys in our home, delivered by a very nice team thank you very much, and we then set to learning how to use them.

The washer and dryer is Wi-Fi enabled, allowing my bride to communicate with it via her iPhone over the internet. I don't know what they talk about, nor do I know what a Samsung washer and dryer surf the internet for when we aren't at home and they are left alone with router access (I have my suspicions however) but as long as they are all happy, I really shouldn't care.

The wife's desired Bosch dishwasher is really cool, with bells and whistles galore, a third rack at the top for utensils and such and it casts a countdown on the floor in front of it with a funky green light that tells those that are interested how much longer until clean glasses can be had. Novel, high-tekkie and stroke-inducingly expensive, but she's happy, and really - that's all that matters isn't it? Oh! The dishwashing performance is great too!

The niche-priced fridge works like a fridge is supposed to. It makes ice for our drinks, keeps the food from spoiling and fit into the space available like we needed it to - and looks good doing it. The washer and dryer were angered that I didn't spring for the Wi-Fi enabled version of the fridge (they sent me a tersely worded, hostile email and have taken to shrinking all my undies and eating a lot of my socks), however I was already well past a financial pain threshold and it would not allow me to spend yet more on a fridge, so the washer and dryer have to find some other fridge to play Candy Crush with.


We also bought and I installed a combo microwave/convention oven/broiler/exhaust fan to go over the stove at the behest of the saleswoman as she continued leading me around by my wallet in Future Shop's appliance section. She was not yet finished with me...

Unlike other items I have purchased in the past, when I went to install this baby I read all the instructions from Samsung, I listened to the advice from the saleswoman and I also sought advice online.  What I did finally decide was this thing needed a dedicated 20 amp service and what I had was a shared 15 amp service, so more holes, more wiring, more moving cabinetry, more swearing, more bleeding fingers and more promises to myself that, "This is the last time I am ever doing this, so help me god!" I always say this to me when I'm installing complicated things or assembling IKEA furniture....

With the help of my lovely bride the thing was installed at last and fully operational, at that point we stood side by side in front of it, staring at it, then we turned to each other and simultaneously asked each other, "What the hell do we do now? Divorce? Separate vacations? Binding arbitration?" She then suggested I am hard to live with and work along side of and she may kill me while I sleep but for now she suggested we read the instructions - nay, nay, nay! "Instructions? For a microwave? Surely you jest!!!!" I did the time honoured guy-thing and began to press buttons - a lot of buttons.

After a few weeks we had mastered its use and it is a marvel to have in the kitchen. If it would clean up after itself I would really be in love, however it stops short of that, but in the cooking department it is a wall oven for use on smaller roasts and chickens - bakes and broils things pretty well, performs like a microwave should and as a vent hood it has such good sucking action it could be working at the Mustang Ranch - but I digress.

Then there is the stove. Oh yes, the stove.

I left a wonderful gas stove behind when we moved, a dual fuel thing of beauty to be specific. Previous to the gas stove we had a number of coil top electric stoves and lastly a Kenmore Elite ceramic top halogen piece of crap.

The Kenmore in and of itself wasn't a piece of crap (their service was), it is just the ceramic top never fit with my style of cooking - messy and high heat. I fought that stove for years before finally going with gas and it was good riddance to it when I did, Susan bid it a fond farewell also since cleaning that damn ceramic top was a royal pain in the ass for all concerned.

Like most of the other high techie thingies I bought that day the stove is a Samsung - a Samsung Induction Range, model NE599N1PBSR to be exact. It has an induction cooktop with a dual section convection oven beneath it.

The oven works well and it has a slide out tray that converts the oven to the dual compartment workhorse giving me 2 active ovens to work with that can be set to different temperatures and when the tray is removed it is one very large oven that works well. The qualitative measure was making Yorkshire puddings and fine cakes along with a spatchcocked turkey, it excelled at all of them with a few idiosyncrasies to learn to deal with.

The convection oven baking is not as even as my last oven was with some hot spots to learn to deal with, but I have learned how to deal with them and it works okay now that I am educated to those shortcomings.  Using the Duo Oven has taken some getting used to however and the learning curve has entailed what types of food to bake or roast in either of the compartments simultaneously and that took some time to learn, but I have it figured out for the most part, or at least as much as I need to know to get the results I am after.

It is the cooktop that has me flummoxed from time to time and while some of the flummoxing is part of the learning curve, some of it is with the design of the cooktop. It is induction cooking - cooking with magnetic energy. Now that's high tech!  For more on induction cooking go to the Wikipedia site via this link Wikipedia Induction Cooking Information 

I won't try to deceive you by claiming to know how it works (I am not a bullshitter as I know you would agree) but it does work. I have had a few issues with it but from what I can find out about it on the internet the issues I have with it are common to the model and as such I have simply learned to work with them, I don't like it, but I will try to ignore them, if that is at all possible.

On a couple of occasions when the stove and oven(s) were going full force the whole unit went tilt on me - hobs and ovens.  There I was with a dozen or two people waiting on dinner and my range decided to go on vacation. Error messages and my yelling, "Get back to work you assholes!!!" did not hasten their return to their former hot selves. I was less than thrilled.

Once they all cooled off a bit they went back to work,  allowing me to finish the meal to everyone's satisfaction, I was perturbed and a little tipsy on red wine, however dinner was a success none the less - but I was full of self doubt, "Was it the wine or the stove?"  Then during another large-meal preparation event it went tilt again, and with no wine in me it had to be the stove I was convinced.

I did some research and found out that the error message I witness when it goes to sleep while in full-on cooking mode is caused by over heating. Imagine! A stove that goes to sleep when it gets hot! Now that's an option that not all stoves have! So I had to learn a workaround and after some sipping of red wine I came upon a plan that I put to the test at Christmas dinner and with some strategic planning of what items go into the belly of the beast and at what time and temperature, I was able to serve two dozen people dinner without having it go tilt on me again.

Turns out there are fans beneath each hob (burner) and if put to the test and with a raging oven beneath them the fans can't cool the hobs sufficiently and at that point they all go nite-nite. Now that's a bitch!  After 6 or 7 minutes the display clears off all by itself and I was able to reset oven temperatures and burner levels, but I was nervous none the less.

It looks like Samsung is almost there, but not quite at the finish line; a little more engineering is in order before they can claim to have the perfect range, they are close, but not close enough for my liking, especially with what it cost to purchase. The kind of crews that associates with the likes of me are not be be teased with an "almost cooked" dinner. Nope. They could resort to violence directed at the cook or worse, like order in pizza and force me to pay! Horrors!!!

If the oven is going and only 3 of the 4 hobs are in use it will not go tilt, it just cuts back on the power and the previously boiling pots slow to a hot soak at which time I have to turn the hobs off then back on to get things cooking once again.  Then from time to time the hobs refuse my maneuver and stay at the hot soak, then something comes over them and they return to the desired setting and work like they were never absent. Go figure.

When I purchased the stove I was told the pots and pans required to work on such a space age appliance have to have be made with ferrous metal (have iron content) such that a magnet would stick to them and having purchased a dreamy set of Paderno Fusion Five pots and pans I had assumed that they were just the ticket. Assume - ha!!! Wrong there shit-for-brains! Paderno Fusion Five cookware has a high nickle content making them great, high quality, long lasting pots to use, but a magnet will not stick to them and in turn, they would not cook my porridge, fry my bacon, pull my pudding or burn water on my new stove. Off to Costco...

Looking at labels we found a set of Kirkland brand cookware that promised us it would work on induction stoves and they do, admirably so and they were a bargain at that. There is a good selection of different sized pots to use but on this stove there is only one hob that can heat a small pot, the rest of the hobs require a sizable pot to get them turned on (yup, fat bottomed pots could also be a Queen song). A small bottom is not suitable on or for a big hob ---- Hmmmm, that statement could be a line from a porn movie...

The cooktop does not like to deep fry, I guess it has a built in commitment to health and the design lets you get the pot and oil all ready and ALMOST up to temperature, then leaves you wanting, like a rub and tug from a one armed masseuse. I think it is because of the amount of heat that is developed when heating a large amount of oil to 375F and the hob gets heat stroke and says goodnight and hot soaking potatoes in warm oil does not deliver desired edible results. "No deep frying for you!"

Unfortunately for me I had a number of aluminum pans and large stock pots that would not work with the new stove either (they would never get along without a counselor) so off to the garage they went, but then to my horror I figured out my Starfrit crepe pan wouldn't work either and that was upsetting for everyone in the house, eliciting comments from the boarders ranging from annoyance to outright hostility when told no more homemade crepes - I barely escaped the kitchen with my life!

A search of the internet and an exchange of an usuriously large amount of money now has me waiting for a new induction friendly crepe pan via Bed Bath and Beyond's web store to be delivered to our humble abode, from there onto the induction stove it goes to satiate the ravaging hordes incessant demand for crepes and the sooner the better as I can't hold them off much longer with crème brûlée alone. Someone call 911 please!!!!

As I was learning how to use the induction hobs I stumbled on to something that keeps the cooktop humming; I simply aligned the handles on the pots to point to the magnetic north pole and once all of them are thus aligned the stove performs flawlessly, well I also need to stand on one leg with my tongue pointing to the left as I hum In a Gadda Da Vida, but one does what one needs to do to get ones desired results, doesn't one?

Okay maybe the cooktop doesn't require the handles to be aligned north to get it to work reliably, but it looks nice when they are and it's quite a conversation starter. Oh my! My OCD therapy seems to have failed me now that I think about it.

Frying things is a breeze with the stove. When frying splattery stuff I place a tea towel over the pan or a paper towel between the pan and the hob to catch the greasy splatter - now that's cool!  Clean up is a breeze since nothing burns to the cooktop and for some reason scorched pots from my inattentiveness borne by wine doesn't weld the burnt material to the bottom of the pot like I faced cooking with a gas stove. All huge pluses...

We purchased Samsung for the quality we perceived them to have and for the most part we have not been greatly disappointed, but they are still infants really, so time will tell if that reluctant supportive declaration remains accurate, however the stove is still a concern.

For now, I will ensure I have my camp stove on the back deck to assist with large meal preparation in the likely event my cooktop tells me to "go away little man!" If and when I get hobbed past my own boiling point I will take the stove out from the house and place it on a field. From there I will borrow a large bulldozer and place it also on the same field.  I will then sell tickets via the internet whereby the winner gets a 5 minute instruction on said bulldozer's operation and then the winner will be set loose to walk over the defiant stove until it is no more than a shiny, crumpled mass of metal and broken glass. With the money earned from the ticket sales hopefully I will be able to afford a new stove and perhaps a bottle of Apothic Red or two.