Although there were many intriguing pieces, quite a few made us think that sometimes people who know something well think that they therefore know everything. That is, there were some rather trivial observations passing as profound. The collection also included some very-bad-sounding recipes.
We all enjoyed several very interesting excerpts from the work of Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford, who invented a kind of percolator for making coffee long before others thought of such a thing. (In his time, coffee was made by boiling coffee and water in a pot and then straining out the chewy bits.) Count Rumford also invented a recipe for soup kitchens to make to nourish poor people, and several other very practical things. We discussed him a bit-- he's a fascinating character.
Before the meeting, Len and I ate dinner at a very new restaurant near Motte and Bailey bookstore where the culinary book club meets. The new place, called Miss Kim, serves Korean fusion food, which we quite enjoyed.
Miss Kim's real innovation is that it's a no-tipping restaurant -- maybe the first one around here. All prices on the menu, as they say in France, are net prices. The bill is the sum of these prices plus obligatory state tax. That makes a lot of sense, as the front-of-house staff and the kitchen staff are all supposed to be paid fairly, including benefits. Since it's a new restaurant, they don't have to change employees' expectations either, which has apparently been a problem in restaurants that switched from tipping to non-tipping, at least in New York.
From Miss Kim's website: "As a no-tip restaurant, we pay our staff a living wage that is not dependent on gratuity, with full benefits. Keeping with Korean culture, the price includes food and hospitality—there is no need to add anything extra. At Miss Kim, what you see is what you get."
|A steamed bun with pork belly was delicious!|
|Vietnamese meatballs, deliciously spiced, with crusty fresh bread.|
|Fried chicken with a rather hot sauce.|
|Rice and condiments for the chicken, including kim chee.|
|The restaurant was fairly crowded, and very noisy. Otherwise all was fine!|