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Posts posted by nduran

  1. I'm not sure if you're going to find anything that accurate in that price range--most are going to be +/- 1 degree.

    I use a Fluke 561 infrared model that accepts type-K thermocouples and am quite happy with it. I've tried the comparable Thermoworks versions, and while they certainly come packed with more features, I found the build quality to be pretty sub-par, and whatever method they use to adjust the emissivity setting is pretty much a joke--there is simply no setting that will ever bring the infrared and thermocouple readings into agreement in any situation that I threw at it. The buttons underneath the display panel also stick underneath the housing if you aren't extremely careful to push straight down, and the trigger button is so sensitive that simply holding the unit in your hand will set it off, making it difficult to keep a reading on the screen long enough for you to look at it.

    The Thermapens I have not tried, but if I were going to get one I'd go for the one that you can switch probes on.

  2. I finally broke down and picked up a Sani-Tuff board to try out, and I'm not that impressed by it. First off, it stinks. Horribly. I've been using it for over a month now and I can still smell it whenever I get anywhere near the thing. Secondly, if it doesn't "absorb liquids or odors" as the marketing claims, then why does it stain instantly and refuse to come clean, even when soaked in bleach? Lastly, I just don't like cutting on it. There's none of the curiously satisfying tactile feedback you get from hard wood when the knife hits the board and makes that little *tick*--just mush.

    It does stay where you put it and I imagine it will last a very long time, but I dislike it so much I'm not sure why I would want it to.

  3. I've been living in SF for seven years now and have never seen a pantry moth. Never been able to afford a place with a pantry, either, but still... Odd...

    I have a little contraption I bought at The Sharper Image many years ago that attracts flying insects with a UV light and sucks them into an inescapable trap with a small fan. It's always kept gnats and mosquitos in check when I didn't have window screens.

  4. I converted the Vietnamese Coffee recipe to a Thai Iced Tea recipe but I found the amount of sugar brought in by the 1.5 cups of condensed milk to make it a little too sweet and syrupy going down. It also didn't want to freeze and took over 24 hours to really harden. I think I'm going to try it again and swap out half of that condensed milk with regular cream and see how it goes.

    The Fresh Ginger recipe came out pretty well, though I let it steep for about five hours rather than one as it just didn't seem to get strong enough for my taste. Still not positive I like the combination of eggs and ginger, but a friend of mine who absolutely despises ginger liked it, so what do I know.

  5. haha...No I don't think that the FDA will hold me at gunpoint to buy a certain thing...what I am worried about are the people that want to buy fine chocolate but have no idea what to buy...they only have a few seconds or minutes to decide which brand they want(at the store) and this will make it harder for the average joe to find quality chocolate.  For me of course it makes no difference because I know fine from poor quality...but I deal with the average joe every single day in the businesses I do and in my opinion this will only confuse people trying to find fine chocolate....

    I'm not entirely happy with the prospect myself, but surely you can find something more productive to get yourself worked up about than whether or not every man woman and child in the world who buys a Snickers bar or a Russell Stover assortment box at the drug store appreciates fine chocolate on as many levels as you think you do. They've been replacing the peanut oil in peanut butter for years and most people don't know the difference, nor do they care to be preached at when purchasing and consuming such products which others might feel are inferior. The ones who do care can usually read well enough to make out the "100% Natural" designation in the "few seconds" they are apparently limited to by the supermarket Gestapo when deciding what to throw in their carts. They also get to buy cheaper peanut oil for their kitchens to boot.

    None of this is going to happen overnight, and I think it's more than a little bit ridiculous to presume that none of the chocolate companies will revise their labels to reflect the new dichotomy, particularly when so many of them are currently struggling to capture the gourmet demographic. Even if one of the big names does decide to pull the ol' switcheroo on us all, it still shouldn't pose a problem for someone who makes his money teaching people the difference between various kinds of chocolate.

  6. Either way, chocolate that would have vegetable fats instead of cocoa butter could then be called "chocolate"...and fine chocolate with only cocoa butter would be called "chocolate" as well...not difference in labeling...so no one knows what is fine and what isn't...I think it would be a step backwards for chocolate in the USA...

    Kind of like the way a bottle containing scads of corn syrup, water, preservatives and artificial colorings can still be labeled "apple juice?" Somehow I still manage to find the one I want at the store--usually because it's labeled differently and costs more. You act like the FDA is going to force you to buy the cheap crap at gunpoint.

  7. I can't recall ever seeing broccoli or green beans on the menu at any Japanese restaurant--maybe in a green salad or something.

    One thing that's really easy to make is baked kabocha and satsumaimo. You pretty much just wrap them in foil and shove them in the oven for an hour or so. For the potato I like to spritz on just a little bit of a sake and ponzu sauce mixture for seasoning. The pumpkin I usually just eat straight, but I've had good results including a shot of mirin in the foil while it baked.

  8. Trouble is if it isn't tempered it might be streaky and less attractive looking.  If you want that nice soft melty chocolate, add 2 to 4 % clarified butter to your chocolate before tempering.

    I've honestly never seen that happen. I did get some very curious little speckled patterns in melted white chocolate when I mixed in some fresh grated nutmeg and the oil leeched out of it as it cooled, but it was actually kind of neat and made it look like holiday snow (which was fine since it was around Christmas anyway).

  9. Plain old melted chocolate is perfectly fine for some things. Just because tempering is more difficult doesn't make your pieces automatically superior. If I were dipping biscotti or pretzels or something I'd prefer it if the coatings were soft so it didn't flake off or break my teeth.

  10. I haven't tried any of the various mechanics' soaps as they dry the hell out of my skin, but I'll give it a shot.

    Alcohol has no effect whatsoever.

    I know there are several different types of lecithin out there, so I'll add that I'm using some unbleached "all natural" stuff I got from the hippie store as they're the only people that stock it regularly.

  11. I have no clue in the world where this thread should go, but I figure the sweet tooths would be generally more familiar with lecithin as an ingredient than anyone else, so here goes.

    In its liquid form, lecithin sticks to everything. Soap and boiling water do absolutely nothing for my steel measuring spoons, and they are only marginally effective with Pyrex. If I get it on my hands, my only recourse is to wipe them on my jeans until they no longer appear nicotine stained or feel sticky. What (preferably non-toxic substance) gets this stuff off?

  12. I get dark muscovado for about $5/lb. The packages most stores around here carry come from a place called India Tree Gourmet Spices & Specialties out of Seattle. It makes for excellent gingerbread as well as an accompanying whipped cream if you're careful to dissolve it thoroughly.

    Forgot to add that I use palm sugar for tons of things, too. It's cheaper than dirt and it makes excellent Cream of Wheat, sweet saffron rice, chicken sa tay marinade, enchilada sauce, and a concoction I've dubbed "rooster beans" due to its high sriracha content.

  13. You sure do like to talk about your 30 years worth of experience a lot. What was your reason for rejecting jende's suggestion exactly? Is there some reason that the garlic cannot be added after the onions are cooked as you desire them to be, or are you saying that the reaction happens regardless of when it is added?

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