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Posts posted by Beanie

  1. Check out National Starch's web site: http://www.foodinnovation.com/FoodInnovation/en-US/

    They manufacture dozens of different types of thickeners for different types of applications (i.e., dairy, frozen foods, pie fillings, etc.) See the different industry links at the top of the site. I often use Instant Clearjel to thicken pie fillings, and this is a modified cornstarch. Customer service through the web site is excellent. Send an email with a question and they'll answer in a few hours. Free samples are also available.

  2. How about Heirloom Seeds

    Also, John Scheepers (famous for imported Dutch flower bulbs) now has a seed company called Kitchengardenseeds.

    I haven't ordered seeds from either of them, but I've been very happy with Scheepers' bulbs and customer service. I used to order from Scheepers at their old location on Wall Street before they moved to Ct. It's hard to imagine shopping on Wall St. for bulbs, but it was the hub of the maritime industry for many years and many importers had offices there. Fascinating history of the company here. Sorry to digress...

  3. I'd be happy to help - just let me know.

    For those saying anything is best, I'd be interested to hear why.  When I was looking around a couple of years ago, I looked first at overall taste (maltiness), then sugar content, then other fillers and that's what led me to CTL.  I just find it the best overall package.

    I think I turned you on to CTL a few years ago in an old post on this board. I still think it has the best malt flavor. I tasted them all before starting to make malt shakes at my shop; nothing else comes close. It is manufactured in Wisconsin, the original home of Horlicks. I remember reading that CTL acquired Horlick's recipe, but I can't locate the source of this information.

  4. The 20 qt. Hobart mixer at work finally quite working. It's at least 20 years old and probably more. I'll be the one selecting the replacement unit.

    While simply replacing a Hobart with another Hobart might be the most logical solution, new Hobarts are pretty pricey and considerably more than most other mixers.

    Has anyone had experience using 20 qt. mixers from Globe, Berkel, Blakeslee, or ????  I am interested in hearing how other mixer manufacturers stack up against Hobart. The mixer will be used primarily for muffins, brownies, quick breads and an occasional cake or two, up to 4 days/week for an average of 2-4 hrs. each time depending upon production that day.

    Whatever I end up buying will need to be durable, reliable and last at least another 20 years. 


    What's wrong with it? In my experience, Hobart appliances can always be repaired. Call Hobart and find the name of a repair shop in your area. Why buy a new one when Hobart is the best? The 20 qt. mixers are in such demand that it's difficult to find a used one (though this economy may have changed things.) I'm not sure that a 20 year old Hobart is even considered *old.* Maybe Andiesenji came chime in on this.

  5. I just got off the phone with a dealer who told me that EuroChef in New York City now distributes (and manufactures??) them.

    Any experience with EuroChef?

    No experience with EuroChef, but here's their contact info. There's not much information, but the Caldera link will bring you to a different website than the one I posted previously. I hadn't realized the company was no longer in Vermont. I have a feeling that the Vermont location couldn't handle the distribution and customer service end of the business and made a deal with Eurochef to distribute, sell parts, etc. As I mentioned before, I've never used the cooktop but was impressed with the excellent reviews and the price point. Let us know if you learn more about them.

  6. Check out Caldera. Small Vermont company. 5 burner comes in 30 and 36 inches. Under $900. More powerful than the others. See gardenweb forum for reviews. I have no connection to the manufacturer and no experience using this appliance but was impressed by the reviews when I researched this topic a few years ago. Unfortunately, my kitchen renovations plans changed and I never purchased it.

  7. This is similar to Costco business delivery. You order a bunch of items, get charged for delivery, and then don't find out until the order is delivered whether some items were out of stock. And they do NOT then deliver the out of stock items for free. Kind of annoying.

    I'm not sure if Costco inventories everything. I recall ordering an item and getting it directly from the manufacturer. But I may be mistaken. Not every company can afford a computerized inventory system that communicates between the incoming order department and the warehouse/shipping operation. I agree that the customer should be given a choice about whether to receive an incomplete shipment and no additional shipping should be charged.

  8. The engineering/design issue is borne out by the fact that some "high-end" gas cooktops have a lower BTU output from propane as compared to natural gas. It probably has something to do with the design of the propane conversion kit that is required.

    This table compares BTU output for a variety of cooktops from different manufacturers. The last column indicates whether the BTU output from LP is equal to or less than from natural gas. The table is from Caldera Corp.'s website. Their lower-end cooktop has received fantastic reviews in other forums.

    I cooked with propane for many years and found that if the gas/air mix is not calibrated properly, there's a sooty black residue left on the bottom of pans. But my stove was an antique (combination wood/gas) and difficult to adjust.

    If you need to use propane, shop around for competitive pricing. Prices have escalated dramatically in the last two years and some companies are now charging rental fees for the tank. Try to lock in a low price under a 1 or 2 year contract in exchange for opening a new account. In the current economy, with many businesses closing, propane companies are anxious to get new customers and will offer decent pricing.

  9. Thanks for the information.  I really appreciate it.  I would still like to know about the vanilla from those two countries: India & Papua/New Guinea.

    Frontier sells vanilla from India & Papua/New Guinea. I haven't tried the Indian, but I have the Papua/New Guinea and love it. It is rich and fragrant, without the sharp smell of alcohol that some vanillas exhibit.

  10. After another half day of shopping at the showroom with the most dishwashers and the best floor help and very good prices (plus free hotdogs, popcorn, bottled water, and just-baked cookies if you can believe this) we have determined our kitchen remodel of 1992 will probably haunt us into the grave. The space in which our old KitchenAid just fit will not accomodate any new KitchenAid and almost nothing else. We're talking about a quarter inch of space here.

    Aside from some very short low-end American models that don't have stainless tubs (which I want), would require inventive carpentry to hide its low stature and which exist only to comply with the American Disabilities Act, there are only two models that are adjustable down by that critical quarter inch we need: a high-end Bosch for something like $1200 and a lower end Asko which we can get for $850.

    If anyone has anything nice to say about Asko, now's the time. I did read this full thread, and it sounds like A) not too many people have them, and B) they may need more repairs than KA and Bosch and may not last as long but C) if you're lucky you will get a good one and be happy with it. $850 (white ext. panel, not ss) seems like a good price for an Asko. More money than we were expecting to pay, but the racks are really nice and you can stick on a strip that's in French to explain the cute little icons on the front. And since we're not French that seems cool.

    There's a rebate being offered now. http://www.askousa.com/customer-care/rebate-programs/

  11. I've wondered about this myself. I'm a perfectionist, I want everything to look like it came out of a high end NYC patisserie or from the pastry place at the Bellagio.

    But perfect doesn't sell as fast as the rustic  I've noticed. The light went off in my head when I watched that Bobby Flay show where he took on a wedding cake baker. His cake was piped with rows of buttercream and had fruit or flowers on it; I don't remember. The pro had perfect fondant and perfectly level tiers - excellent work and beautifully presented. But people said Flay's cake looked more "approachable", and they "couldn't wait to dive in and take a bite". That's when it dawned on me that when something looks too perfect, it becomes art and not food in the eyes of the beholder!

    I'm not so sure that it's "art" as that the consumer associates rustic/imperfect with homemade and that triggers something almost subconcious in positive associations. Something too perfect can give off an image of artificiality/fakeness, therefore there's no way that could taste good.

    I totally agree with this statement. In my rural community, customers always expected grandma to be rolling pie dough in the back room of my store. Perfectly beautiful creations are intimidating, too "fancy" (translation: too NYC.) Rustic always sells better.

  12. I dug thru my recipes and found it!!  Yay.

    Anyway, I love these.  This is from an article in Glamour mag( 1993)

    Author: Jany Kirby RD

    2 cups flour

    2 tsp powder

    1/2tsp salt

    1/2 cup butter( softened)

    1 cup sugar

    2 eggs

    1/3 cup milk

    2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

    Oven to 450.

    combine dry ingredients in bowl, set aside.  cream butter, sugar till fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time. add flour and milk, mix until well blended.  stir in blueberries.  sprinkle tops with sugar.  bake 5 min, reduce heat to 375, make 30-35min.   makes 12 medium or 8 jumbo.

    I've also made these in mini loaf pans.  So good.  Rich and buttery.


    I'd like to make this, but only have access to frozen wild blueberries. Is there something I should do to the berries to help prevent bleeding when I add them? So far I've only used them in blueberry pancakes, and I always get bleeding, even when I add them at the very last minute and stir very lightly.

    Don't stir blueberries into pancake batter. Pour the batter without blueberries onto the griddle or pan, then sprinkle the frozen blueberries around the top of each pancake. Flip the pancakes to finish cooking; the blueberries will thaw. For muffins, etc., toss blueberries with flour as Pam noted.

  13. Bought 1.5-2lb lobsters today at Hannaford for $4.99/lb. I plan on making them with pasta, garlic, parsley, saffron, clams and Maine shrimp.

    Lucky you. I called six Hannaford stores on 12/31 and they were all sold out. Maybe I'll try again this weekend.

    Edited to add that I just saw your previous post on 12/31. Glad you were finally able to get them.

    They were going quickly again. I wasn't really planning on getting lobsters, but when I saw them at that price, I couldn't resist.

    see here for what I did with the lobsters.

    With expensive lobsters it is hard to justify doing anything but serving them simply. However, at this price I felt unconstrained. I was going to use the lobsters, the shrimp and the clams in a pasta dish. I already had everything else I would need at home. When using lobsters for anything other than srved in the shell, I like larger lobsters as they more efficiently provide their meat. It is conceivable to retrieve usable pieces from the carapace, the tail fins and even the individual legs. Indeed I was able to secure as much of the meat as possible from these lobsters.

    It looks delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe and technique. (The ingredient list should state 9 oz. of shrimp, not 0.9 oz. :wink:)

  14. Bought 1.5-2lb lobsters today at Hannaford for $4.99/lb. I plan on making them with pasta, garlic, parsley, saffron, clams and Maine shrimp.

    Lucky you. I called six Hannaford stores on 12/31 and they were all sold out. Maybe I'll try again this weekend.

    Edited to add that I just saw your previous post on 12/31. Glad you were finally able to get them.

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