April 02, 2007
Helpful Hints from joeeze: 'What's the best way to store leftover fruit pie?'
This is a question that has vexed me since last century.
Will the pie go stale and/or get funky if I leave it out once opened and sliced into?
See, the thing is, that's not really my issue: rather, it's the fact that I much prefer my pie cold.
So as soon as I buy one I place it in the fridge to chill out for a day before making the first — and deepest — cut.
But admittedly, the crust doesn't taste nearly as good when cold.
Anyway, in the latest (May/June) issue of Cook's Illustrated, the following exchange shed some light on the dilemma.
- Q. What's the best way to store leftover... fruit pie: on the counter or in the refrigerator?
A. Double-crust and lattice-topped fruit pies such as apple, peach, blueberry or cherry can be safely stored at room temperature because of their high sugar content and acidity, which retard the growth of bacteria. To find out if fruit pies fare better when refrigerated or stored at room temperature, we held a baking marathon, then stored pies both ways. In all cases, refrigeration turned the crisp crusts of the fruit pies gummy. This is a result of retrogradation, or the process by which the structure of the starch changes and becomes stale. So when it comes to fruit pies, storing at room temperature is the way to go. Wrapped well in foil, pies made with cooked fruit will last up to two days.
Note that pies made with fresh, uncooked fruit, such as strawberry pies, are a different story. These delicate pies often contain gelatin and should be stored in the refrigerator for no more than one day.
That's all well and good but I'll swallow the suboptimal crust in favor of the chilled filling.
And that's all I have to say about that.
Sephora Mini Heated Lash Curler
From the website:
- Professional Mini Heated Lash Curler
This can't-live-without lash innovation is perfect for curling stubborn straight lashes anytime, anywhere.
Simply turn on, wait 15 seconds, place comb directly onto lash line above lashes, gently lift and comb lashes into the desired shape (as you would with a mascara brush), hold for one or two seconds, then release.
Repeat across lashline until the desired effect is achieved.
Holly E. Thomas featured it her "Test Drive" feature in the April 1, 2007 Washington Post Style section, as follows.
- Sephora Mini Heated Lash Curler
I like to think of myself as low-maintenance when it comes to beauty. But when it comes to curling my eyelashes, I push such illusions aside. I love the way long, upward-swooping lashes make my peepers look pretty. Someday, someone's going to have to pry my eyelash curler out of my cold, dead hands.
So I was particularly excited about Sephora's gadget, which heats up to produce a gentle curl without clamping (which can cause crimping and breakage). Using it was simple: I placed the wand at the base of my lashhes, lifted them up, waited a few seconds and — voila! — I had a lengthy, curvy look in 10 seconds flat. It took a bit of practice before I was flashing look-at-me fringe, though. Holding something that emits heat near my eye was unnerving at first, and getting a decent curl took a few tries.
My classic Shu Uemura will always have a place in my heart (and my makeup bag): A few minutes with the old-fashioned curler and I'm set for a night out. But when I'm pressed for time or just want a natural look? Hand over this gizmo, please.
Mr. Sidetable goes to Lagos
And he writes, "I just came back from a business trip to Lagos a couple weeks ago. I'd read [George] Packer's article when it came out, and was transfixed by it. After having been there, my only reaction is that Lagos [above] is just as he says, only more so."
You can email Mr. Sidetable if you like: email@example.com.
Anyone who happens to be in Lagos right now reading this, don't hesitate to give us a shout-out.
What is it?
Answer here this time tomorrow.
"I'm looking for 'the one'. Is he out there?"
- Q. I’m looking for ”the one”. Is he out there?
A. Dear Ruth,
It might help if we understand which elements of marriage are common to many potential husbands, and which are unique to ”the one”.
First, marriage offers economies of scale in production, particularly production of children. Husband and wife can each specialise in different skills, according to their comparative advantage. I fail to see why you cannot realise these economies of scale with almost anyone. Second, there are economies of scale in consumption. One garden will do, so will one kitchen.
The real question, then, is whether you can stand the person you marry enough to enjoy these efficiencies. Here, economics had little to say until a recent breakthrough by the economists Michele Belot and Marco Francesconi. They examined data from a speed-dating company, and discovered, unsurprisingly, that women like tall, rich, well-educated men. Men like slim, educated women who do not smoke.
The more intriguing finding emerged when pickings were scarce. Women ”ticked” about 10 per cent of men as worthy of further investigation, regardless of the quality of a particular crop. If the men were short and poor, then the women lowered their standards, and still picked 10 per cent. The men, too, abandoned unrealistic ambitions. They ”ticked” about a quarter of the women, regardless of quality. This happened even though each could have a complimentary speed date another time if he or she found no one they liked.
My conclusion: even when there is little to be lost from maintaining standards, people are very quick to lower them. My advice: do likewise.
Full disclosure: I do not know Tim Harford. I have never met nor spoken with Tim Harford. I have, however, emailed him and received a response from a person purporting to be Tim Harford.
Invented by Vicki Southard, a Florida entrepreneur, the Face Wrap Face Bra (above) is said to help firm up jowls and reduce puffiness.
- Bringing the Double Chin to Heel
Afraid of surgery? Want lift without the lipo? How about a bra — for your face?
The Face Wrap is an elastic cotton contraption to be worn an hour or less several times a week — presumably in the privacy of the home, unless frightening the neighbors’ children is not a concern.
The wrap combines a mineral concoction with a swath of cloth meant to be pulled around the neck, face and head. Its maker says that wearing it for 30 to 60 minutes 2 to 3 times a week will reduce water retention and inflammation beneath the surface, improve a double chin, take puffiness out of the eyes and lift sagging jowls.
The product comes in a clear plastic package, with instructions, and is available at www.thefacewrap.com. The price: $79.
“We’ve been out for about a year,” said Vicki Southard, 50, the Florida entrepreneur who created the face bra. “We’ve sold 7,000 already, mostly to women ages 30 through 70. Many people see visible changes within two to six at-home treatments.”
The key, she said, is the mineral powder (refills, $54). “You mix it with water and then let it soak into the wrap.” The mixture then penetrates the epidermis, she said, flushing away toxic waste and tightening the skin.
But it is not just youth-obsessed Americans who are willing to spend for facial gadgetry. The British have access to a dental device that is said to retrain the facial muscles to help postpone the old nip and tuck. Retainerlike, it’s called the Oralift Brace and it costs about £2,500 (almost $5,000).
As regards the Face Bra, apparently one size fits all.
How to make your own shirt folder
[via Paul Goossens]
Butter + Bling — 'Come talk to me' rings
"You've heard of the Tiffany Setting."
"You've heard of the the Asscher Cut."
"Butter + Bling introduces the Master of the Universe Mounting."
By Barry Wine.
From his website:
Original One-of-a-Kind Creations Made From Vintage Costume Jewelry
Believe me you will get noticed.
They say something about you
and probably about me as well.
I show them to my shrink
and he says they are a better view
into my head than my dreams.
If you need a topic of conversation,
you'll be wearing one.