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Everything posted by Country

  1. Use of a steel helps keep Wusthof's sharp, but after a while they need more. I've used oil stones (aluminum oxide, India, and black Arkansas) to sharpen for forty years and while they work well for carbon steel knives and some (softer) stainless knives, they don't work well with Wusthof's. A few months ago I purchased a set of DMT diamond stones and they work very well. Two double sided stones with four grits from 220 (extra coarse) to 1200 (extra fine) in a hardwood case with rubber grips so it doesn't slip on the table or bench. My Wusthof knives hadn't gotten dull, but they weren't sharp either and these stones brought the edges back fairly quickly. I'm completely satisfied. In addition, sharpening devices such as the Edge Pro have limited uses, while stones can be used to sharpen chisels, plane blades, scissors, etc.
  2. Same here. Last year when a local food coop expanded, they put in a peanut grinder. It works great! No added salt or oil. Just peanuts ground into peanut butter. Best peanut butter I've ever had - and that goes back to Skippy in the fifties.....
  3. Country

    Dinner! 2011

    Nicest looking plate on the (last) page. I bet it tasted good too.
  4. Country

    Warm Mayonnaise

    Never having heard of this "Ptomaine" bacterium, I just went to look it up, and after consulting several trustworthy sites, I feel like I can pretty much guarantee you your friend did not have Ptomaine poisoning. As to the OP, I agree with what everyone else has said: you're almost certainly fine in terms of food safety, but your peace of mind may be worth the expense of a new jar. That's just what he told me. He did have his stomach pumped and never again ate mayo. I know that much.
  5. Country

    Warm Mayonnaise

    Long ago a friend got Ptomaine poisoning and ended up getting his stomach pumped. A very unpleasant experience for him. He attributed the poisoning to a jar of mayonnaise that had been opened and left unrefrigerated. He never ate mayonnaise after that.
  6. Long ago my Danish grandmother (the best cook I've ever known) told me that if the enamel started coming off a pot to throw the pot away. This due to if a piece of enamel got in one's stomach, or intestine, it could do significant damage because of the sharp edges. I don't know if this is true, but I've always kept it in mind and never used again a pot that began losing its enamel. But, I haven't used enameled steel pots in many, many years.
  7. I bought a Cookshack "Smokette" (the smallest one) six or seven years ago, but a few years ago gave it to my son as I wasn't using it very much. It works very well for its intended use, which is "cook-smoking". It's very well made and uses small chunks of wood, rather than having to buy the "Bisquettes " that the Bradley requires, or chips that others need. Apple and cherry wood are common here, so just make small chunks of them and no need to buy anything. It's also very economical in its use of wood. It's very good for backyard cook-smoking if that's what you're after and very well made, including stainless steel construction. It's also insulated very well, which makes a difference during cold weather. But, it was almost useless for smoking fish, which is what I most use a smoker for. Its temperature control doesn't allow a low enough setting. It's also expensive. I paid less than $500 when I bought mine and see that it's now $625. If one wants to try smoking for less money check out the "Little Chief" smokers. I still have an old, small, top loader and it works better for fish.
  8. Country

    Fish Sticks

    Gorton's is still in Gloucester - though they're now owned by a conglomerate in Japan. Last year I was in Rockport (next town to Gloucester) repairing the winch on a fish dragger and, when we went to Gloucester to get some parts for the winch, we went by Gorton's. The owner of the boat I was working on said they still make fish sticks there, but now they're using pollock from Alaska instead of cod and haddock. East coast fish depletion. Earlier in the thread Sylvia wrote, "My mom used to prepare frozen boughten ones and I remembered them as being delicious, crispy and good. So I recently bought some frozen major brand ones (Gorton's, I think), followed the directions and ended up with dreadful fish sticks -- soggy and whiffy. Ugh." That's my experience too. Back in the 50's my mother bought fish sticks (probably Gorton's) and they were so much better than now. Delicious and crispy. My mate, Beedy, thinks the difference between then and now is because now the fish used in the fish sticks has been frozen. That could be true. I doubt fresh pollock is air freighted from Alaska to Gloucester.
  9. Thanks. I had not thought of that. That's an excellent idea. There's a typo in Legg's instructions for #10 seasoning. The fine grinding plate sizes. It should be 3/16 inch, 5/32 inch, or 1/8 inch. There are no 3/32 or 5/12 (almost 1/2") plates and instructions for Legg's other seasoning have the correct sizes.
  10. When I made my post above, with the link to AC Legg's, I hadn't noticed that for each of their seasonings the "Working Instructions" is a link to those. Working Instructions for the No. 10 seasoning, that I use, has the following: MANUFACTURING PROCEDURE: 1. Grind pork through a 1/2 inch plate. 2. Transfer to mixer, add seasoning and mix for 2 minutes. 3. Regrind through a 3/32 inch, 5/12 inch or 1/8 inch plate. 4. Package in bulk or stuff into casings. While Legg's instructions are for commercial processing; a coarse grind, followed by mixing in the seasoning, and then a second, finer, grind might also produce good results for those grinding their own at home.
  11. I use AC Legg #10 seasoning. From their description - "A true "Southern Style" seasoning. It has relatively high level of sage, red pepper and black pepper." I also get the pork ground at a local market which has a decent meat dept. If, like today, the ground pork in the case is a couple of days old I ask for some fresh ground and mention that it's for sausage so there's a little extra fat. The meat man cheerfully grinds it on the spot and today's 2# cost $6.38. I'm sure, after some experimentation, better sausage can be made at home but this works for me.
  12. This sounds like Two Fat Ladies: link Thanks for the link Anne. That's the show! I didn't see them on motorcycles, but I can tell by the text in your link - "The Two Fat Ladies are cooks, not chefs — they reject the pretensions and elaborations of haute cuisine and are aggressively unfashionable..." That's them. I only saw the one show and have never forgotten it. Thanks again!
  13. It wasn't really a cooking show, but the worst food related show I ever saw was The Restaurant series with Rocco DiSpirito. But it was like watching a wreck in slow motion and I couldn't help but tune in for the next episode. On the other hand, the most entertaining food show I ever watched was two women, from England I believe. In the one show I saw they were butchering a large piece of beef and drinking wine. As the show progressed they got tipsier and tipsier, and funnier and funnier. Does anyone remember these two?
  14. I've been using Amish roll butter from Minerva Dairy for years. Good butter, and fortunately available at the local coop for less than $8 for two pound roll.
  15. While I'm not an authoritative source when it comes to using torches for cooking, I have used torches for nearly forty years in my work. I've used the type being discussed here mainly for plumbing copper pipe and fittings - "sweating" joints. My main use of torches, though, is oxy-acetylene torches in my steel working business. Just to clear up some stuff.... The type of torches most likely to be used in the kitchen are fueled by propane, butane, or MAPP gas - with the detachable cylinders. They do not have separate pressure regulators and there is no way to alter the fuel to air ratio. They come preset for both. They don't have a clearly defined "tip" in the flame, but you do want to use the part of the flame that's nearly invisible beyond the definitely blue part. A good torch head for these types is the Surefire T655. I've used one of these (for plumbing) a lot and it's been the best torch of this type I've ever had. It's "trigger start" (no matches or separate igniter) and has worked flawlessly. It also works with MAPP gas, which I usually use as it's much hotter than propane. For those of you wanting to achieve the ultimate in kitchen torch cooking think about investing in a "rosebud" oxy-acetylene torch. There's nothing like a rosebud when you want lots of heat fast.
  16. Country

    Mise en place

    Same here. Small kitchen (which I like), and it's too crazy trying to do things on the fly trying to keep up with what's on the stove without mise.
  17. That's MAPP gas and it does burn quite a lot hotter than propane. Don't know about butane as I've never used it.
  18. I clearly haven't paid close enough attention to what you wrote earlier. Reading comprehension slipping away as I dodder into old age. If it's the lip on the nut that gives way to the die then it's a design fault, and you should contact the manufacturer to see if a more robust replacement is available. And, again, have others experienced this same problem? Trying to solve this might be better than buying one of the huge commercial machines. Is this the only problem with this pasta maker?
  19. After I sent that I realized it was the nut for the die. Sorry to have made the mistake. If that nut is stripping the threads, and you're using soft dough, something's wrong. Have you contacted the maker? Have others experienced this same failure? It would take quite a bit of pressure to strip the threads on that nut - if the threads of the nut and on the machine are in good shape. When you screw on the nut, does it "feel right"? Is it hard to screw on, or is it too loose and sloppy? If others haven't had a similar problem it could be the the threads on the machine are at fault. I checked out the La Parmigiana machines and that's moving into whole new territory. The smallest one appears to weigh around eighty pounds and occupy, as you say, a large footprint for a home kitchen. Now we're back to the main consideration of the thread, which seems to be finding decent home kitchen appliances without having to go to large commercial machines.
  20. I haven't seen one of these, but the plastic nut is probably there as a fail-safe component in order to prevent greater (more expensive) damage to some other part of the machine. Now I just took a look at one of these here and it looks like a pretty good machine. The nut you're referring to is the one at the top of the shaft that holds the blade and kneading foot? If that's the case, then maybe this part of the link is something to look at: "For other types of flour, the right consistency of the dough is crucial for proper extrusion and to avoid damaging the machine." Hope that helps. (I've been working with various types of machinery for more than fifty years.)
  21. Country

    Dinner! 2011

    Hardshell lobsters in Maine are going for around $6.50 pound retail. Oops. This is in reference to lobster prices on last page.
  22. I've had no problems with lack of power with the Viking. Also, I've found that it grinds better cutting meat into strips rather than chunks (like stew meat) before feeding. Very smooth and doesn't slow down.
  23. You mean like this? Or something lower on the price/performance scale? ← I'm a big fan of Northern Tool also. I've had my meat grinder for several years and never had a single problem with it. I have used it to stuff a lot of sausage and it's a lot easier to use than others I used in the past. ← That's the one I'm looking to buy, yes, but I feel like there ought to be something that doesn't plow through 300+ pounds per hour for less than $300+ bucks. I just came across this thread... Viking makes a meat grinding attachment for their mixers. I have one and it works well for small batches. KitchenAid also has one but it looks a lot lighter and made of plastic. The Viking is all metal except for the top feed tray.
  24. Dougal - In case you're referring to my post about the "Pro Chef", this is the book - from the CIA. Professional Chef As someone who is only an amateur home cook I've found it quite helpful, and probably the most referenced among all my cookbooks.
  25. Eight or nine years ago I bought a copy of the Pro Chef (7th edition) and the recipes are very easy to scale down, especially since most of the ingredients are measured by weight - ounces and grams. Between my HP calculator and Salter digital scale (that measures in oz. and grams) scaling is easy.
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