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Discussion Starter #1
there's no studies on this but i wonder if there's a correlation between successful investing & good cooking.

what i propose is Recipe Monday. Here for starters is Brad's classic north African stew. It's too good to disappear in its original thread.

i've made variations of this dish for years, both in collective kitchens & in my own, but 2 ingredients - cinnamon & currants - were new to me. And they're both perfect additions. Inspired by Brad i made a version on saturday, using carrots, celery & zucchini since i had no cabbage on hand. I was amazed at how the cinnamon, which tasted so cinnamon-y at first, blended into the dish after half an hour or so. Being an outlaw cook i added nearly twice Brad's cinnamon amount, plus a good pinch of ground cardamom seed and a suspicion of ultra-hot curry powder. Also chopped dates w raisins since i had no currants on hand.

and i thought about whether richardson recently made an offer for gmp capital that was rejected because it was too low ... so now R is stalking gmp openly in the public markets ... and whether this means a higher offer may materialize ... and whether i'll buy more gmp in the expectation ...

Brad's Tunisian Vegetable Stew

1 1/2 cups thinly sliced onions
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups thinly sliced cabbage
dash of salt
1 large bell pepper cut into thin strips
2 teaspoons ground coriander (I use whole coriander seeds and grind them in a mortar and pestle as needed)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne (or more to taste)
3 cups undrained canned tomatoes, chopped (28-ounce can)
1 1/2 cups drained cooked chick peas (if using canned, this is a 16-ounce can)
1/3 cup currants or raisins
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
salt to taste

grated feta cheese
toasted slivered almonds

In a large skillet, sauté the onions in the olive oil for five minutes. Add the cabbage, sprinkle with salt, and continue to sauté at least five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the bell pepper and spices and sauté another minute. Stir in the tomatoes, chick peas, and currants or raisins, and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes until the veggies are just tender. Add the lemon juice and salt to taste. Top with feta and toasted almonds.

This is good over couscous (which takes 5 minutes to make) and makes enough food for four good-sized servings.
 

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there's no studies on this but i wonder if there's a correlation between successful investing & good cooking.
Hahah! Glad you liked it.

Actually I wonder if the investment correlation is stronger between "outlaw cooks" and risk tolerance, versus "recipe-followers" and risk aversion?

I'm probably the exception that proves the rule. I know a few cookbook authors, and am familiar with the lengthy process of testing and refining that can go into a final recipe (I was an informal tester for a cookbook author once, and I remember eating the same dish about 25 times before the author was happy enough with it to put it in her book). My approach is to always follow a recipe exactly the first time I try it, because the author has done all the experimentation already and come up with a combination that seems perfect to him or her. When I find an author whose recipes I like, most of the recipes need no improvement at all from me and I continue to follow the written recipe pretty precisely. I've developed a reputation among friends and acquaintances as a great cook, but it's only because I know a good recipe when I see one, and I follow it closely.

In contrast I have some friends who always do their own thing with recipes and produce food that I usually find mediocre; I also have a few friends who are true intuitive chefs and can make a fantastic meal out of whatever's at hand with no recipe necessary -- but those people are few and far between. I wish I could be one of them, but I don't have that intuitive gift with food.

My approach to cooking might make you think I'm a conservative investor or someone who follows the instructions of an advisor, but in fact my risk tolerance is high -- too high for my own good, in fact, and I go my own way without following anyone's advice.
 

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Iiiiiiiinteresting. I, too, always follow a recipe "to a T" the first time I make it (and, if it's good, every subsequent time, as well). I would say my main cooking skill is being able to make a meal out of whatever is in the 'fridge. Food does not spoil in my household.

I am a particular fan of "old-fashioned" cooking and baking. And broadly speaking, I like "peasant" food from around the world. I am also very proud that my kids like a really wide variety of foods (although they each have their own favourites!).

Here is a classic Tunisian chicken and olives tagine recipe to add to the mix.
 

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Speaking of recipes, here's my bread recipe, which I suppose is "my" recipe but I came up with it by combining the best elements of two popular "no knead" recipes: the Jim Lahey method (described in his excellent book "My Bread" and made popular by Mark Bittman), and the Hertzberg method (described in the "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" book).

The result is a very simple-to-make bread, requiring about 5 minutes to set up and another 5 minutes or so of attention before baking, and it makes enough for two loaves. It'll cost you maybe $1 or $2 per loaf, which includes the cost of the energy to heat your oven. You can make it in one evening and have great bread ready to eat the next day. It keeps well and in my experience doesn't start tasting stale until 3 or 4 days later (it's rare for one of these loaves to last that long; the bread is so tasty that it gets eaten long before that).

Bread made with all whole wheat won't develop a hard crust, but tastes great. I usually use a mix of flours, mostly whole-wheat with some regular bread flour mxed in; if I want a classic French boule I use regular red-wheat bread flour and no whole wheat. Whatever you do, don't make this with plain all-purpose flour, even if it's unbleached; it won't be anything like the result you get with bread flour. If you use whole-wheat flour, be sure to use whole-wheat bread flour.

We have excellent artisanal bakeries in my city, but we've stopped buying bread from them except when I need a break -- which is only rarely because this bread is so easy to make. I've made more than 300 of these loaves to date. It is as good as the best bread you've ever eaten; my girlfriend is from France and she says it's easily as good or better than anything she's had from the best bakeries in Paris.

Here's my recipe:

6.5 cups of flour (use bread flour -- DON'T use all-purpose white!)
1.5 tablespoons instant yeast
1.5 tablespoons salt
3 cups lukewarm water

Mix the flour, yeast, and salt together well in a big bowl or pot, then pour in the 3 cups of lukewarm water and stir until there aren't any more dry spots. The dough will be ragged and sticky. Cover the bowl or pot but not airtight (ie, don't cover it with plastic wrap) and let it sit for 2 hours or as long as 5 hours.

Divide the dough in half (just pull it apart with your hands, it'll be really wet and sticky), and keep half in the refrigerator for your next loaf of bread -- it'll keep for a week or so.

Put a cast-iron pot with a lid into the oven and turn the heat to 450 Fahrenheit. (Note: if you're using a Le Creuset pot or something similar with a bakelite handle on the lid, remove the handle as it will melt at that temperature. If you remove the handle, keep the screw in the hole so the cover is airtight).

Sprinkle some flour on the half of the dough you're using now and shape it roughly into a ball. Put it on a floured surface (I use cornmeal or wheat bran) and let it sit to rise while the oven warms. Don't let it rise more than 25-30 minutes, otherwise it will spread out and you'll end up with a fairly flat loaf of bread. Sprinkle some flour or wheat bran over the top of the dough.

When the oven reaches 450 degrees, take the pot and its lid out of the oven and put the dough into the pot. Put the lid on the pot and put the pot back in the oven for 30 minutes with the lid on, still at 450.

After 30 minutes, take off the lid and let it bake another 17-18 minutes with the lid off, this gives it a beautiful dark brown colour. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack. Don't eat it warm, the texture and flavor are best if you let the bread cool fully.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
hmmmn are you saying outlaw cooks manage risky portfolios w mediocre results in both ...
??
i was in a lather to prepare this mouthwatering recipe on saturday but had no cabbage; what we always include when we do this recipe in collective kitchens are carrots & most green vegs like celery, zucchini w the exception of broccoli.

cardamom is la passion du jour. Add it to something at least every other day. Coffee if nothing else.

re gmp my source tells me richardson is proceeding with well-planned, friendly & orderly merger w gmp that will go on for as long as the next 5 years, at the end of which all the various existing interests in resource extraction, commodities, grains & financial services will be incorporated into one strong publicly-traded company. I bought.

gosh this editing function is weird.
like who did that ...
 

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OK, new thoughts: I just sat at my desk and ate lunch: a mango and eggplant curry my mom made, topped with goat cheese, accompanied by a coleslaw I made with napa cabbage and a homemade mayo and buttermilk dressing.

You know what: I *like* cooking (and eating). It's an added bonus for me that cooking is a (relative to the alternatives) cheap way to feed myself and my family, but honestly it is one of my main hobbies. I'd do it even if my food costs were *more* than eating prepared food. Even if my job magically provided free cafeteria food!

I think I am just frugal by nature. It's great that I can backfill some behaviour with an "and it's frugal!" justification. But the reality is that it brings me pleasure. Other things will bring other people pleasure. Some people don't like to bring lunch from home, I am sure. But if it wasn't this, it'd be...Popeye chicken or Starbucks "artisanal" sandwiches (my closest options at work). No, thanks!

So. I am not going to chastise other people for not cooking or bringing a lunch (not that I ever really have, to be honest). As long as everyone is meeting their financial goals, who am I to say what the "right path" is?

(p.s. This is why the "latte factor" drives me nuts. Sincerely, coffee is one of my FEW indulgences in life. ;))
 

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Humble: I buy black cardamom, green cardamom, and just the seeds. It finds its way into many if not most of the things I eat and drink, too! Have you tried making apple pie with cardamom?
 

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hmmmn are you saying outlaw cooks manage risky portfolios w mediocre results in both ...
No, and I didn't mean to imply that your result with the recipe would have been mediocre, in fact it sounds perfectly delicious to me! I too love cinnamon and cardamom and have cardamom in my coffee (and green tea, too); it's also great in bread, and I often make cardamom cake. I got some black cardomom recently and have been using that in some Indian recipes that call for it; it's a completely different animal.

Lunch here today was an incredibly simple and delicious thing that I saw in Martha Rose Shulman's NY Times column last week: a piece of toast rubbed with garlic and topped with a sautéd portobello mushroom and a fried egg, sprinkled with salt, pepper, and fresh tarragon. Out of this world, and it took about 15 minutes. Finished off with a slice of good cheddar and some grapes.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
wow there are more great ideas here than i've seen in a year.
cardamom in apple pie cardamom in bread i think i'll die.

i just bought another bunch of ... parsley ?? no, shares of cpg. Am trying to sell oct calls on them. The montreal option specialist in crescent point is anal-retentive, won't bite.

also trying to sell puts in X. Maybe it's the same specialist. Not even a nibble.

montreal options are so hopeless. I guess they had vinegar for lunch.
 

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Brad! Do you work at home? I can't imagine making that in an office. ;)
Yes, I do work at home...I guess some of the stuff I do for cooking is impractical for many folks because of that. I've been working at home since about 1992 and I've plumb forgotten what it's like to work in a regular office!

That said, I did work in an office once where we had a full and functional kitchen, so I could have easily cooked this meal there. From start to finish (including the eating part) it took 30 minutes.

On the subject of cardamom and other spices: here's one of the simplest recipes I know, for flavoured water:

Drop one star anise into a glass of water and let it sit there. It adds a nice exotic touch and makes the water very refreshing, esp. in summer. I learned that trick from a friend of mine who lived in India and said it was a common practice among his neighbours there.
 

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Here's my recipe:

1 cup water
1 cup homo milk
2 tbsp black tea (Darjeeling or Ceylon or Assam)
1 tsp dried ginger (fresh ginger works too)
1 cardamon pod
1 clove (optional)
Sugar (to taste)
Cinnamon (optional)

Boil water and milk.
Add tea leaves.
Crush the ginger, cardamon and clove and add it to the mix.
Stir and bring to a boil.
Strain and pour into a cup.

That's about it. Feel free to change the recipe to your taste. I leave out cinnamon, some folks like to add black pepper, which explains the million chai recipes out there. I'd start with the basic ingredients -- ginger and cardamon -- and then experiment by adding others.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
is that a great recipe or what.
i think i will drink nothing else until easter.

now perhaps some rules of the game ??

recipes only on mondays.
people can post back how their version turned out.

and everybody has to contribute a financial pippin.

speaking of cardamom & chai tea, BMO etfs have a brand-new India etf, i looked at its holdings.
about 12 blockbuster india companies, all in the form of nyse-traded ADRs.
to best of my knowledge indian stock markets are closed to foreigners, so bmo could not go to mumbai stock exchange directly.

meanwhile i hear that the new blackrock (formerly barclays) ishares India etf actually holds real indian shares, but i haven't yet gone to their website to see how & what.
i hear that ishares got around the restriction by establishing this etf in Mauritius.
 

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I showed the recipe for Brad's Tunisian Vegetable Stew to my wife and she made it yesterday. Very good - the best recipe for cabbage that I've ever come across. A nice subtle mix of spices and flavors.
 

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I showed the recipe for Brad's Tunisian Vegetable Stew to my wife and she made it yesterday. Very good - the best recipe for cabbage that I've ever come across. A nice subtle mix of spices and flavors.
Cool! But please bear in mind that it's not "my" recipe -- it's directly from The Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home. If you liked that recipe you'll probably like most of the others in that book -- I've cooked almost all of them over the past 12-13 years, and I've only found one or two I didn't like. The seven-minute chocolate cake is to die for...one of the best chocolate cakes I've ever had (not too rich or too sweet, just right).
 

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and everybody has to contribute a financial pippin.
Oops forgot to add my 2 cents. I have some familiarity with Indian markets but IMO, it's more a recipe for Bubble tea than Chai tea. One reason for the bubblishness is all the foreign money pouring into the equity markets. It's not just stocks: everything seems massively overvalued, even professional cricket teams. $370 million for a new franchise in a 3 year-old league that makes no money... I just don't get it.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/investing-at-fever-pitch-in-indias-cricket-bonanza/article1508831/
 

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Discussion Starter #20
thank you, CC. I had been wondering about that very point but am not well enough informed to have an opinion.

when you think about it, shares like potash & agrium are india-related, as they are also china-related, due to long histories of selling product to Asia.

i did look at the blackrock india ishares pages, even whizzed thru the prospectus. As far as i can make out this fund does not seem to be buying shares directly on the national or the mumbai exchanges, although they say they are, so someday i may learn how to reconcile these 2 opposing statements. What the fund holds is INDY, and this in turn appears to hold futures for the nifty 50 index of the indian NSE. Hmmmn. Obviously i still haven't gotten the picture straight ...

the new bmo india etf is a much simpler structure to understand.
 
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