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Everything posted by ermintrude

  1. London has hard water. So for Sodium Algiate I make it up with distilled water esp when trying to do reverse SP. I've had occasions where things have got to jelly like - am I being paranoid? I'm only playing at home, but what do the pro's do ?
  2. I'd avoid as the comercial ones never deliver. I'd go for good quality Truffle oil instead. The same with Foie the cans/jars are normally not worth the money. If you really want to push the boat out go for a really old (50 year+) balsamic this will keep. As far as oils go they tend to degrade but if you want a blinding olive oil look for Manni is an exceptional oil
  3. What I like best about the new kitchen are:- Induction Hob Oven http://www.aeg-electrolux.co.uk/node146.asp?ProdID=3021 - The steam, low temp and meat probe let you do all sorts of fun things. Corian worksurface and splash back
  4. Top tip when buying a kitchen but your apliances over the internet (and if needed from many stores) doing this I managed to buty things for 1/2 to a 1/3rd of the price the kitchen people or high street retailers were charging. E.g. Bought my induction hob for £550 they wanted £1400, Fridge £800 they wanted £2400 etc. The only this was to order well in advance (and check anticipated delivery) to ensure it's all there for the fitters. And pay by credit card in case there are any problems you can get your £££ back.
  5. Well I was off work this Friday and in Camberwell and was walking past a Chinese supermarket and saw in the fruit and veg three odd looking fruit. I asked what it was and they couldn't tell me a language I know so I thought perhaps it's a Durian and thought WTF, picked the biggest one and bought one. Cost£20-90 and weighed about 3 Kilos. It was wrapped in several layers of newspaper, a carrier bag (tied up) and then another carrier bag to carry it with. I then got on the bus to Brixton, up until then I'd not really noticed a smell but then then started to get the odd waft of what I'd best describe a sweet rotting onions with a hint of sock. Not unpleasant as I like strong cheese etc. As luck would have it I had to drop in some forms to Lambeth council in Brixton, after the usual long wait things were getting a bit more fragrant, not really smelly just the odd strong waft. Did get a few people sniffing and looking around. Anyway got home and unwrapped it (outside just in case) and the smell was only really there if you got up close but you had to be careful of the spikes. Anyway got my biggest knife and went at the thing, took some opening as I couldn't find the seams but managed to get inside. Anyway grabbed one of the pod things, it's like a think membrane wrapped around custard with an orange seed inside and had a good niff, again sweet rotting onions with a hint of sock is the best description but a stronger now open but again not unpleasant and took a bit. Yum, tastes like a almond custard with a hint of banana and garlic. Tastes really good must have some more..... Anyway way to much in one for one so I put it scooped out the rest of the flesh and put it into a Tupperware container and closed it and then had a go at opening the other part of the Durian. Just then the neighbours came into the courtyard so decided to see what they thought. Opening the Tupperware you could really smell the rotting onions so one wouldn't touch it, one tried a little bit and said it's ok the other grabbed a whole seed and after the first bit declared it delicious and ate the whole thing. Now I'm waiting for my partnerto come in and see what he thing <evil grin>. Would I buy one again, yes definitely but would only eat it outside and if I was not going anywhere as my hands smell of onions, and there's an aftertaste off garlic that lasts a long time. No burps to report yet. Also the seed seems to atract flies beter that s*&t, had to bag them up and make sure they were away from the house.
  6. I’ve been lurking on this thread for sometime. I’ve the full set of things from http://www.texturaselbulli.com/ENG/index.html and have been having great fun playing with them. (so far my favourite things are Sucro + Glice (combining fat soluble and water soluble ingredients that don’t normally mix) and Xantana for texture and suspension). The recent info on frozen alginates to make raviolis has been very interesting but I’d not got around to trying it and also a lot of time to make a mess if it didn’t work (the amount of glue paste I’ve made while experimenting has been horrific) but some great things to compensate. I was on the cocktail thread and from that wondered is there away to reverse an alginate (or other) gel. E.g. sodium alginate does not gel in an acidic environment but will acid reverse the gel – idea - a Martini with an “olive” that shortly after presentation foams the drink. I.e. sodium bicarbonate base in the alginate (or other gel) in an acid drink that reverses the gel and once the gel is broken and the bicarbonate hit’s the acid fizz/foam city. If I hear nothing, next time I make some alginate spheres I’ll drop them in vinegar and let you know what happens (from searching I don't think this will work but you never know until you try.)
  7. Step 1 – Ignore the “Your Friend” bit. Well I'm in the UK and bought a Thermomix from www.ukthermomix.com but choose to have a home demo. However they will sell you one without a demo (It’s £750 here or around $1300) However to get the best out of a Thermomix the demo is worthwhile (it will cost you the same whatever) from my experience in the UK they will tailor the demo to you (I didn't want to make bread, wanted to make this, how do you do that etc). I bought one BUT there was no recipe book. However I was sent (several times) Thermomix recipes and if I hit a problem there was email support. I would say I used it (after 8 months) about 3 or 4 times a week but my partner zero. However after the recipe book I now use it about the same (but do more with it – and we cook 50/50) and my partner has now started using it. I've not seen the TM21 recipe book but from various forums and so on, it was c**p. While I thought the Thermomix was brilliant at doing many things I didn’t make full use of it. But a few weeks ago they sent me the new UK recipe book and the techniques in here made a whole new set of ways to use the thing. I'm the sort of person who generally takes a recipe as a launching point and takes it from their (based on what ingredients I have to hand) or sticks to it rigidly (e.g. don’t change the proportions of sodium alginate or gunk city). Why are you objecting to a demo – you might learn something - and it will cost you the same without one. If you know how to use a Thermomix then just tell them that and I’m sure they will sell you one. For home use if you have not encountered a Thermomix before and (even if you see the demo) make sure you will be sent the latest recipe book (the new UK one is excellent to show you what you can do). Step 2 - Your “friend” could try one of these options:- a) Have a demo at home and invite some friends. My partners reaction was “YOU ARE NOT SPENDING THAT ON A MIXER” But 2/3 way through the demo it had changed to 'you have to buy one'. If you’re buying it for home use it can save so much time. I did a 4 course meal the other day. The Thermomix was involved extensively in 3 of them (Truffle oil and maple syrup ice cream with Avruga caviar was the favourite) but even gravy - the thing can emulsify brilliantly - would make it worthy. b) Arrange the demo at a friends. This is preferred by Thermomix demonstrators, the more people who are there the more who may buy. Get a friend to have a Thermomix party and invite others (or just you) around and but. BUT if people ask “How did you make that” and you show them the Thermomix and they want one and ask “How much” you’re “friend” is going to have to digging a hole. c) Be really sneaky Has your friend got a Birthday/Christmas coming up. You could “Buy” him one – OK you may not want to spend $800 but if they gave you $750 towards it……….and you’d been round to the demo at their place before. Anyway, all I can say is my Thermomix is brilliant, it’s not changed my life but it has made me make much more varied food under time pressure and also things I could never make without it. E.g. to make a risotto for an evening meal after work perfect – for while truffle risotto never in a million years. Making parmesan sorbet at home – very difficult \with a Thermomix easy. Finally as I raved I must state the only connection I have with Thermomix or their UK division is as a customer.
  8. So long as it had ice crystals in it will be ok. But not the best texture so use it in something where texture does not matter. Or use to make home ready meals it will still beat the majority of the supermarket rubbish by miles. Best bet if it happens again it to let it defrost and have a big cook up and then refreeze the fruits of your labour to use when you’re in a hurry.
  9. At home I've used electric (slow, uneven heat, no flame), gas (great, versatile, even heat) but settled on induction (very fast, super control, perfectly even heat, buzz at high a high power, no flame). It took a while to get used to but now given the choice I would go for induction over gas, but my perfect stove would be 4 induction rings with a central gas wok burner for non magnetic pans, roasting peppers etc.
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