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Edward J

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Everything posted by Edward J

  1. I think Ms. Miller will soon have to come to a decision: A) To spend tiome and energy finding a market for her level of workmanship on knives meant to be used Or B) To adjust her level of workmanship to the same level as many other knife makers selling their wares at $800 a pop
  2. It's not often that I agree with Dcarch, but those close-ups reveal some pretty sloppy workmanship. It would be all right for your own use, but to sell something for $800 with the wood scales not even properly finished, with rough and unconsistent bevels on the edges, and with poor surface quality on the "polished" portion of the blade, this is not right. So, you can call it art and hang it on the wall, or if you want to use it for what it was intended for, send it back and ask for it to be properly finished, or your money back
  3. The technique of "repurposing" a worn out file into another tool goes back hundreds of years, (plane irons, chisels, axes, knives, carving tools, leather working tools, etc) and while I think this is a great idea, I don't care for the kitchen knife as depicted in Ms. Miller's website. A kitchen knife should be polished smooth. Certainly any knife selling for $800.00 should be polished smooth. If Ms. Miller is looking for a pure art form, leave the old marks on, if she is selling a tool to be used, it should be polished smooth. Rough surfaces collect food debris and bacteria, polished surfaces minimize this risk. I wouldn't want to wipe the depicted knife dry on a paper towel, or shred a cloth towel on it. The scales (wood handles) seem to be fitted on nicely, copper rivets are not a good idea with kitchen tools though.
  4. In the last two years I've don a lot of "investigating" into household hoods, and here's my observations Basically there are only three types of hoods available for the residential market, all of these require outside ducting. The first, and most common the the plain fan-in-a-box with two flimsy screens. And I mean flimsy, thin guage aluminum frames with a thin layer of furnace-filter type material sandwiched between two aluminum screens. When the filters become clogged, f.o.g. (FATS, OILS, GREASE) it drips down on your stove. To prevent this, you take the screens out and hose them down with hot water in your sink. This is where I take issue, you are washing down the equivalent of two or three tbspns of bacon grease down your sink. This is not smart. But I said the screens are flimsy, and the screen frames will fatigue and sag, and ultimately drop out of the hood--usually within two years. In other words you have to buy replacements. Again, I take issue with this, as G.E. wants to charge me $147.00 for the pair of screens for a $180.00 hood. The same system is used on hoods in the $80. to $500.00 range, with most of the money being spent on cosmetics like s/s skins, halogen lighting, and s/s shaft cladding. I have examined at least three units from each price range (Including Ikea's range in the +-$400 range) and the filters are almost identical in construction--flimsy. The second type is the Asian style that has two fans poking out the underside of the hood, and some kind of a grease entrapment system that allows the grease to drip into two removable cups. This is smart, you don't need to dump the grease into the sink.... However the "guts" if you will, of the internal workings of the hood are plastic, and the f.o.g.. will attack, fatigue and corrode the plastic tubes that drip into the cups, so that in about 7-9 years you need to replace the whole unit. The third type is extremely rare and fairly expensive. I've only seen two such units in the stores, both made in Europe, and both in the $5oo and up range in 30" widths It is just another fan-in-a-box, but with commercial style filters. Commercial style hood filters are nothing more than a robust s/s frame with a series of "C" shaped s/s baffles that nestle in each other. In other words, grease laden air is blown across a very large surface area, and it is the surface area that traps the grease. The filters need to be taken down, sprayed with grease remover, and popped back in again. However the filters are very robust and will never fatigue, sag, and pop out of the hoods.
  5. Actually with caramel, (Grewling's recipie) I scale the ingredients in a large pot, put it on the burner, and walk away. I do the recipie 2-5 times per week, and I confidently walk away--sometimes even going on 45min deliveries with no ill effects to my caramel. I have to add, my burner is a very old Commercial "WELLS" two burner electric solid cast iron style cooktop. (I picked it up at an auction a few years ago) The pot I'm using is a generic s/s pot with a s/s sandwich bottom. If I set the burner to "3 1/2" I can leave the caramel to cook--unattended, for up to 2 1/2 hours. No stirring is needed, the milk will foam up to the rim, but will not spill over, it will not scorch or burn either. That being said, the last 20 minutes are very crucial, and I need to hover over the pot at least once every 5 minutes. I can accelerate this by cranking up the heat to "10" and stir constantly for 5 minutes until I reach my temperature of 110 C.
  6. That's a good suggestion. I'll have to go back to WF's site to see if inverted sugar is "allowable". Of course, honey is an acceptable substitute for inverted sugar, but price was it's almost as expensive, if I buy inverted sugar commercially Wybauw has a recipie for inverted sugar, calling for sugar, water, tartaric acid, and baking soda. If inverted sugar is not allowable in WF's eyes, I could just list those ingredients and hope to b.s my way through.......
  7. At one of the hotels I worked at, I made 2 liters of pastry cream every day... If I added sugar to the yolks and starch, boiled my milk to the point that it was just beginning to crawl up the sides of the pot, and added, I would have to return the mix back to the pot, and stir over heat for a few minutes. If I added the sugar to the milk, when I added the milk to the yolks and starch, it would thicken up almost immediately, and all I would do was stretch a piece of cling film over the filled bowl. After 5-7 minutes I could remove the film and the cream was perfectly set--no going back to the stove. We all know if we dump 300 gr of sugar into 2 liters of milk, the milk level in the pot doesn't rise much. My theory is that the sugar acts as a "heat sink" and gets/keeps the milk hotter than it would be without sugar. This would also explain pastry girls observation that anglaise would only curdle for her if she boiled the milk with sugar. But Harold Mcgee I ain't.....
  8. \Mmmmm,.... George Orwell once wrote "Four legs good, two legs baaaaad" I won't argue with you, as you make a very valid point. However I'm trying to break in to Whole foods and Capers now, and corn syrup, even a low fructose de 42 is baaad--no questions or verifications. If they want agave, I gots to give it 'em. What cracks me up is a lot of people's requests for "sugar free chocolate", of which the mainstream stuff is sweetened with malitol. (I won't use it, but who cares?) Any sugar ending in "-ol" is a mild laxative....... Maybe I can calculate the weight of the corn syrup as sugar, and sub 10% of the whole sugar amount with molasses.....
  9. Been doing a lot of thinking with my current caramel recipie, taste wise its pretty darn good. However it does have almost 30% corn syrup in it. Obviously the cornsyrup is there to prevent crystallization. Honey would work, but is very expensive, and besides, the flavor is destroyed with prolonged cooking. Would a straight out substitute for corn syrup to agave work? The recipie is straight out of Grewling: 1360 whole milk (homo,@3.5%) 280 whipping cream 680 sugar 570 corn syrup
  10. The foodservice wrap comes in 12" widths as well. Some places hang the roll from under a cabinet to szve the valuable counter space. Warning: Never drop a roll of film on the "corner" or edge, or the layers will jam together and you will never get a full width width of film. Ever... For some reason, any tomato product in a s/s container that is covered with foil, will have holes eaten into the foil, especially when placed in to the oven. A common tactic is to first put down a layer of film, then foil, and you won't have holes being eaten into the foil. If the film is not exposed to direct heat, it won't melt. Another common tactic is to poach mousses or gallantines wrapped in film.
  11. If the 20% is a one-time-deal on an ingredient that is used on a daily basis--say, x virg olive oil, then why on earth would you change the pricing on the menu? It's a one-time-deal, and prices after that will only go up. If a supplier gave me a one-time-deal of 20% on something I don't normally use in the menu, say, pork tenderloins, then I'd have pork tenderloins on the daily fresh sheet, price reflected. Fresh sheets are printed off on the office printer, and changed out daily.
  12. Regional differences..... Of course there are! You do realize that in your country there are States with "tipping wages" that are under three dollars, and then there are States like Wash. State where the min wage is ten dollars and no "tipping wages". Guess which State tips 10-15%, and which State tips 20%?
  13. Yeah, ten years have gone by with that post, and during that time about 99% of the businesses have installed wi-fi. My thoughts as a cafe owner? Wi-fi is a service that is provided to customers and it does cost a little. There are basically two types of customers that use it. The first is the "casual user", the smart phone junkie who can't/won't survive 15 minutes without using their device. The second is the "Camper" who will stay rooted to one spot for typically 70-90 minutes, or sometimes even longer with the purchase of a $3.00 beverage. The problem with the camper is that they have baggage. They like to occupy a whole table, with their belongings scattered all over two chairs. Ideally this table should have an electrical outlet close by. Failing that, they will sit at a bar counter and again, occupy a minimum of two seats (themselves plus their belongings). Ther is no tactful way for an Cafe owner to tell a camper to pack up and move on after an hour. On the other hand, a group of customers can tell the camper to go sit at the bar counter, because s/he is alone, and the group outnumbers the camper, without getting the camper angry at the Cafe owner.......
  14. I used to use cloth baby diapers (new ones, of course...) to strain stocks and jellies
  15. I peel my celery stalks. It used to get a lot of laughs and smirks, but when I grab the stringy peels encourage the smirk-ers to floss thier teeth or climb a mountain with those strings, they start to appreciate it......
  16. What are the State laws concerning pay for stat. Holidays? Here in B.C. It,s one and a half times the normal pay. Sometimes its just a calculated decision to open on stat holidays~increased salaries vs. expected income for that day. If you cant make a buck with the increase in labour, why open?
  17. I've got a photo tutorial on another site if you're interested in the process, feel free to pm me.
  18. I've "modified" several molds--Callebaut molds in particular such as two piece poly carbonate Santa molds. I never quite understood the logic (or lack thereof...) of such molds, they are completely bordered, so you can't clip them together and fill them from the bottoms, they have no aligning pins leaving me to scratch my head as to how to "glue" the two finished halves together. So I took the molds to my bandsaw and installed a finer blade. I cut the cavity out from the edges, then I cut a bottom out in the cavity. Then I temporarily clamped the two halves together and drilled a 1/8" hole about a 1/4" away from the edges in each corner. Then I sanded the bottom of the mold level and smooth. I did this with two Calle. Santa molds and one squirrel mold. I was cursing the eejit who thunk up this style of mold and Callebaut for selling such a p.o.s. all the time I was doing this. To use I decorate the mold as usual, brush on a thin layer of couvertute (with a silicone brush, best thing I've ever used) then put the two halves together. I place a length of bamboo skewer/satay stick in each hole to keep the halves aligned, clip together, and fill as usual. I've been using this mold for 5 or 6 years now. The subject of the mold is great, but the intelligence--or lack of- in mold design is unspeakable. I've got serious issues posting pics on this site, but I'd be happy to p.m. you with pics of the molds
  19. You don't need to temper the choc./cocoa butter for airbrushing, it should be slightly warmer--say around 35-ish. As the cocoa butter particles fly through the air, they undergo temperature change, motion, and time--all the things needed to temper chocolate.
  20. You're not the first one on this thread to make that observation, and I hope you won't be the last.....
  21. It is prudent to keep hazardous materials out of the kitchen, away from food, and from surfaces that come into contact with food ( like the sink, faucett, etc.) Disposing of batteries, electronics, or lightbulbs usually means no contact with food or even being in the kitchen.
  22. Exactly my point. Every time you scrub down aluminum with a detergent or mild abrasive, fresh aluminum (shiny aluminum) is exposed and, as you describe, you can't prevent the aluminum from oxidizing. You can however, treat the aluminum with sealers, laquers, paint, or chemically (anodizing) to stop this from happening. Burnt on oil is particularily stubborn to remove, yet is an edible treatment, and is an effective barrier to slow down the oxidization process. The technique of treating carbon steel pans, aluminum pans and cast iron pans with oil and heat is a very old and common process. Even blacksmiths used this technique as a rust preventative surface treatment for steel and cast iron, albeit with linseed (a.k.a. flax seed) oil.
  23. Take a white piece of paper towel or even of cloth and rub an untreated aluminum utensil. It (cloth or paper) is now black/grey. Cooks and bakers deal with this mess on a daily basis, and it is not very pleasant As others on this thread have said, the burnt on oil is very similar to seasoning a pan, and for the same reasons: -To prevent rust (or oxidization in the case of aluminum) -To prevent foods from sticking to the surface and -To make cleanup easier. And in my first post I didn't say that steel wool makes "micro grooves". I said that steel fibres break off and lodge in crevices (particularily the rolled over edges) and rust. I have several examples of this in my kitchen.
  24. Dddddd I dont get it... Its a fairly cheap baking pan, it has no "finish". Its straight guage aluminum off the roll, no treatments, no polishes, no finishes. Plain, untreated aluminum oxidizes. It leaves a sticky grey/black residue on your hands, on your countetops and cupboard shelves, and if scrubbed down to bare metal, food residue like spills and baking juices will adhere to it much more easier. Larger bakeries usually get their aluminum baking pans coated with a fod safe non stick glaze to prevent all of the above. Pans like these are the norm in every commercial kitchen and bakery in N.A., and no one bothers with baked on oil. Food debris, yes. For eveything else theres parchment or sil pat. So if you spend a lot of time and effort to "season" your cast iron cookware, why should you treat aluminum bakeware any differently?
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