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Catherine Iino

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Everything posted by Catherine Iino

  1. Yes, that's perfect. The disk will fall to the bottom and a new one will grow. You can take it out and add it to another batch of cider or wine. Congratulations, you are a grandparent!
  2. In the last few months, after a couple of years of vinegar failure, I've gotten up and cranking again. I used some Bragg's apple cider vinegar, which boasts that it contains a mother, and started both apple cider vinegar with cider from our trees, and wine vinegar. I'd try adding a cup or so of the Bragg's--or other unpasteurized vinegar--to your cider. I put in in a fairly wide-mouthed jar, cover it with a Mr. Coffee-style coffee filter held tight by a rubber band, and put it in a dark place. I'd say it took about a month to get a visible mother, but the speed seems to depend partly on temperature. If a lot of your liquid is evaporating, I would add a bit of water. One theory I have about my earlier failures is that the wine got too concentrated. Might not be a problem with your comparatively low level of alcohol, though.
  3. We finally got a new wall oven and range installed at the beginning of December, so I thought I would report back. We ended up replacing Dacor with Dacor, in large part because Dacor still seems to be the only brand--at least around Connecticut--that can come factory-fitted for propane. (Retrofitting for propane generally means a loss in BTUs, we are told.) The installation of the wall oven was relatively seamless, although the new one is a little shorter than our old one. It seems to run low, but I haven't had a chance to recalibrate it yet. There are instructions for doing so. Also, possibly the heat distribution in the ovens is less even than in my old oven? There are roll-out racks, which are helpful occasionally, but a bit of a pain to move from level to level. One little detail: there are two choices of handle styles--a normal brackets-and-bar handle and an inset handle. Because of the tight corner where the oven is, I chose the inset handle, but I now regret that choice. You can't open it with a hand in an oven mitt, which, of course, I would do all the time. We've got some big problems with the duel-fuel range, but that wasn't really on topic here. The oven in the range seems to be fine--same issues as the wall oven--but we have had an electrical fire under the cooktop. They replaced the innards today; we'll see if it's fixed.
  4. My sister-in-law and her spouse spend the winter in Hawaii each year, and I'd like to send them a gift certificate to a good restaurant in Honolulu. They are not foodies, but they both just had big birthdays worthy of a festive celebration. Any recommendations?
  5. Thanks for all the very helpful responses, and sorry for my delay in getting back to you--I was up for reelection today, and therefore away from my computer. So now: I will definitely look into a steam oven: great idea. I have room for only a single wall oven. It's actually under a counter (I also have a range with an oven, so this is my second oven). Other appliances in the kitchen are stainless, so we'll stick with that. Yes, full juice. I don't care about temperature probes, wireless access, or even proofing--although I make a lot of bread, I haven't had a problem with this. Reliability is very important to me. And although I was going to say that there was not "a price beyond which I would not venture"--when I see those steam oven prices, yikes! Yes, I do have access to Consumer Reports through my library--what a godsend!--and it's useful but not always complete. I will look into the Bosch and the GE. Alex--have you had experience with these yourself? I live in Connecticut and service is a consideration, but we have one nearby dealer who has a pretty good selection and service department. Have any of you had experience with steam-clean ovens? If the heat-only self-cleaning cycles of ovens are as destructive as my repairman said--and there seems to be some confirmation of this in consumer comments on various models--is the steam clean function a good option? Thanks again for all your help.
  6. I have a 15-year old Dacor electric convection wall oven, 27" wide. When it conked out in June--the week I was baking my daughter's wedding cake --the repairman said that the walls and floor of the oven had corroded through, and that it would be dangerous to repair and use it. So, I need to replace it now. The Dacor was a good oven, but there were regular issues with the electronics. Disappointed that the box actually wore through. The repair guy said it was because of the self-cleaning function, but, believe me, I didn't use it very often. (Maybe that was the problem?) Anyway, I'd love your recommendations on wall ovens. Thanks!
  7. I ended up getting the Ateco 613 revolving cake stand, and it was just fine. Heavy, steady. There were some complaints on Amazon about rough edges underneath, but I did not find that to be a problem. The wedding cake had three tiers--14", 10", and 6"--and the turntable was fine with all of them. Thanks again for your help.
  8. As usual, you egulleters came through with in-depth and creative advice. Thanks so much. I'll let you know what I get.
  9. Thank you both. Chelseabun--that's brilliant! Might just do the trick.
  10. Does anyone have a recommendation on a brand and make of turntable? I have been an amateur cake baker and decorator for years, but I have always made do with lazy susans of various kinds. Now my daughter is getting married and I'm finally going to get a true cake-decorating turntable. Thanks for any advice you can give.
  11. Thank you, Patrick! Sometimes I just don't want to order one more thing from Amazon. As to region, my daughter spent last year in Zhuhai, which is next to Macau, but I don't think her culinary skills are that specialized at the moment.
  12. Yeah, she's been using Amazon. I just wondered if there's anyplace else good. She's more interested in Chinese and Japanese than Indian. But thanks to both of you.
  13. My daughter is living in Eagle Butte, South Dakota--far, far away from any store carrying ingredients for asian cuisine. Can anyone recommend an on-line source?
  14. Thank you so much for all those recommendations, Steve. We arrived this afternoon and are staying in Fiesole. It's been really hard to track down advice like yours, so I'm very grateful.
  15. I will be leaving for Florence in a couple of days, for a couple of days. Restaurant and other foodie recommendations--anyone?
  16. I hardly ever get to go, because there isn't one convenient to me. But I wanted to add that I did go at the very end of the summer, and I bought a box of peaches. I was leery, because they were hard as rocks, but the color was good and the low price made them worth the risk. I brought them home and they sat on the counter for three weeks before they seemed soft enough to eat. I expected pasty mush. Imagine my surprise when they turned out to be some of the most delicious peaches I've ever had--juicy, sweet, and flavorful. And then they held that condition for another week. I don't know whether they were frankenpeaches or what, but man, were they good.
  17. Caramelized white chocolate--brilliant. I just looked up David Liebovitz's recipe, and now that I've stopped hyperventilating, I can reply. This sounds like the way to go--thanks!
  18. Thank you for that super speedy reply, Lisa. I should have said that she wants to use coconut oil. Are you suggesting adding the white chocolate and the butterscotch flavoring to the coconut oil? I mistakenly wrote "coconut milk" before but have corrected it.
  19. My daughter would like to make butterscotch-flavored magic shell (you know, the sauce that hardens on ice cream to form a crisp coating) without using butterscotch chips, which don't have a terrific flavor. Does anyone have a recipe, or an idea? Maybe caramelize sugar, add butter, then coconut oil? Thanks for any help . . .
  20. One other thing to consider: the water you are now using. Is it chlorinated? I've had experiences similar to yours and got things back to normal by switching to spring or well water.
  21. You know, 60-something isn't what it used to be. Much to my surprise, I seem to have reached 60-something, and I know many 60-something white southern women who wouldn't dream of using the n word. They would be appalled at the idea of a black-slave theme party, as would many African American men and women of the same age.
  22. Thanks, Tim! I'll see whether they would be able to get there. Do you know anything about the Mad Hatter? There are some good comments about it on the web.
  23. Big Bump-- My brother and sister-in-law are going to Bermuda for a few days for her 60th birthday. I'd like to get them a meal at an excellent restaurant. Any suggestions? I have never been there myself.
  24. Yes! It's great serendipity to have the trip scheduled while the bridge is lit. I'm looking forward to it. Thanks for posting about it.
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