Smithy

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  1. I think the idea of the glass floor allowing a view of the cellar with its various growth and processing areas is wonderful, but some guests may not. Will you have an alternative - an opaque walkway, for instance - for those who dislike heights or who might feel indecently exposed if a worker is below?
  2. Slight change of direction from a water miser here...are you generally able to reuse that water? In my current situation (no dishwasher) I'm using the SV water to wash dishes. When I get home again I plan to use it for those items that must be handwashed, except when I'm planning to use the SV setup for several nights running. This has little to do with how much water you need to shift and a lot to do with how much counter space you have, but I know you and I have both been looking for water-saving tricks.
  3. Did you use any sort of cover? I've been using (and reusing, and reusing...) plastic wrap for a cover with reasonable success, but perhaps not as long as you were doing. I'm also keeping an eye out for a large silicone cover that I can custom cut to allow space for the circulator. This one and the largest in this set are examples. I'm not willing to buy a new one for the purpose, but I think they're likely to start turning up in thrift stores any time now. Inveterate thrift-store shopper that you are, you're likely to find one before I do.
  4. Microwave Tips

    Oddly enough, the supports for the glass platter that allow it to rotate freely seem rarely to be interchangeable. Some are spindles, some are rings with plastic wheels; even the ring-and-wheel setups seem to be of a different diameter. If your microwave dies and you have room for those odds and ends, save the support as well as the glass platter in case you, er, overcook the support in your next oven. (It's possible in a combination convection/microwave oven *ahem*. I don't know whether it can happen in a microwave-only oven.)
  5. I have a bowl of that design; I think it's made from acacia. It's one of my favorites...doubly so because it was a gift from my parents. I happen to know that the price was quite a bit more than $3.59. Nice finds, @Porthos!
  6. I seem to be an outlier regarding the V-slicer design. I tried one (by OXO, I think) and found that the apex made a pinch point right at the thickest part of the vegetable in question. Things jammed there. I took it back. The single angled blade makes the most sense to me. Can't comment on the Bron or Benriner, either one.
  7. What a great story, @HungryChris - how nice to see the holiday spirit brought into the work place! @liuzhou, I've never seen peppercorns so fresh that they were still on the branch. Thanks especially for that photo, and for the happy story.
  8. eG Cook-Off 74: Holiday Roasts

    @Jon Savage and other respondents, the entire duck idea was rejected by this group, but I'm grateful for the information. I'll serve duck at another time, with another crowd, and be pleased to have these guidelines.
  9. I love the pull out pantry! It was massively useful - as in a wonderful use of a narrow space - back when I had one.
  10. Breakfast! 2016 (Part 3)

    I had to go back and re-find the original reference to catfish in this context, so I could get the "invisible leftover" reference. Glad I did.
  11. Hello, Skyclad, and welcome to eGullet! I can't answer your question, but if nobody comes along quickly to help, you may find the answer in this topic on Making Limoncello.
  12. Microwave Tips

    Not just from hard boiled eggs! Do not cook eggs in the microwave unless the yolk is thoroughly scrambled/whipped/beaten (choose your method) to eliminate air pockets. Some of our favorite family lore is about how Dad learned that the hard way. One egg exploded inside the microwave; the other waited until his guest began to eat it. :-D
  13. @Shelby, that might be almost the right era for those spoons. @IowaDee, you're very close. I took a break from the desert and drove to San Diego to visit my best friend and part of her family. She and her husband recently returned from a career overseas and I am delighted to have them back in the country. (I had hoped to arrive in time to scoop up my friend and her son, if he was interested, and get to @FrogPrincesse's daughter's Christmas market, but I didn't arrive with enough time or energy to make the drive to the other end of San Diego.) One of the weekend's festivities was the annual party for Returned Peace Corps Volunteers. It's a pot luck lunch, a fundraiser, and a chance for the Peace Corps folks to make plans for the next year. The lunch was an excellent feast, and I wish I'd taken photos. Many people brought foods from the countries where they had served. My friend's son, just back from Senegal, brought an excellent mafé and there was at least one more peanut stew; there were South American foods and Indian foods and foods from various parts of the South Pacific. The fundraiser was a silent auction. People could bid on trips, restaurant or zoo tickets, or various items: clothing, basketry, gift baskets, pottery, and so on...some new, some donated from people's households as they downsized. Those of you who have been reading along know that I'm a sucker for gadgetry and cookware. I perused the tables, saw some major bargains, thought "it's for a good cause!" and bid. Some items I bid on because they were appealing and I couldn't stand to see them orphaned with no bids. Some items I truly wanted, and watched to see if I was outbid. When the time came, I found that I'd won the bids on: A Christmas basket that included a bottle of wine, carefully wrapped (we drank it at my friends' house, and I left the basket with them); Some fun Egyptian mugs that I would never have bought in Egypt for myself; A small but heavy wooden spice grinder and spice box ("Oh, Nance," exclaimed my friend, "if we'd known you'd want that we'd have given it to you instead of donating it!") and A beautifully basketed collection titled "Let's Cook!" I left this basket behind too, and my friends will use it or give it away. Look at what-all was included! The colored stripey things at the upper left are place mats made of fine wooden sticks, the kind that roll up easily. I couldn't resist. All that stuff - and a Guatemalan handbag, not shown - set me back $38. As I was paying at the checkout table, a woman came up, spotted the "Let's Cook!" basket and said, "Oh, good! I was hoping somebody would give that a good home. I've had those salad servers since my Peace Corp stint in Romania, in the early '60's. I thought it was time to let somebody else enjoy them." My friend's husband is only semi-retired, and was away during most of my visit. I stayed an extra day in order to see him. Bless him, he brought a gift! I'm not sure what the binding agent is other than honey, but these are sweet, crunchy, nutty, delicious little bites of sesame seeds and nuts. Lovely stuff.
  14. There are other campsites nearby that have been in use over the years. This one isn't right for our rig, but is good for tent campers. We've never seen anyone in it, but there's a rotting lawn chair, some nice logs suitable for supports of some kind, an old fire ring with weeds growing up through it, and stones moved around to give a landscaping effect. I spotted a small shopping basket just at the edge of the clearing, went to investigate, and found this: Cool, huh? It's larger than any of my clay cookware; I think it would accommodate 2 chickens. I considered giving it a home. Would somebody be back for it? Then I realized that the base is cracked. It's still the right size to fit in our fire ring. I've been wishing I had something that needed a slow roast in the embers: eggplant, for instance. I don't. We'll be moving in a couple of days. I've left it in place for someone else to use, if they wish. If it's still here next time we come, I'll put more creative thought into using it.
  15. We've been out in the desert for a couple of weeks, finally in an area where we can have campfires when it isn't too windy. We've had a few wind storms (it's blowing again right now, but supposed to grow quieter this evening) but also some beautiful weather. There's an art to building a fire ring suitable for cooking something more than hot dogs on sticks, and my darling is pretty good at it. The main tricks are to build the ring with an opening so wood can be added after the grate is down, to have the grate support at the right height above the fire, and to have a level top so the grate can be level. I've seen manufactured rings that allow the grate height to be adjustable. We aren't quite that enterprising; we simply adjust the fuel instead. One of his favorites is hash: potatoes, onions, and some sort of sausage. I think this particular sausage was a leftover from Louisiana. (Yes, we still have some!) I prefer fireside salads, when possible. This one had potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, asparagus and seasoned chicken, all cooked in a grill wok then tossed over fresh spinach. A lemon and garlic vinaigrette completed the ensemble. There's a story behind the new salad servers. I'll tell it in another post.