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  1. Weinoo, I'm sure you're absolutely right about plenty of wannabe chefs. But, for me, I have no imaginary life in a commercial kitchen. I'm just a geek who likes cooking with tools that fit me and who's at best a middling cook. It's true, but irrelevant to me, that a pro could get a great deal more than I out of the tools I use. That would be true of any set of tools, low end or high end, that one could assemble. A pro or highly accomplished amateur will get better results than I virtually every single time and I'm fine with that. Over time, I get to be a little better and a little better yet as a cook, but ultimately, for me the kitchen is for making food and having fun. I get to play with food and make some really good food (and lots less than good). But, more than anything else, I have fun, and that's the point. Most of my tools are middle of the road, but all are carefully chosen to fit me. I have everything from many utterly pedestrian (but absolutely useful) items rescued from yard sales and flea markets to a few good stainless aluminum laminate pots and pans. I have no Japanese knives, no vacuum sealer, no rotovap, no copper pans. There are vast numbers of fancy tools I don't have. I could buy many such things but I don't have the room, would make too little use of them, and really just don't want them. Perhaps we just think differently about whether residential cook-tops are a bit heat limited or not. For me, I'd just really love to be able to bring up the temperature in a heavy pan one heck of a lot faster. In terms of pure physics that just means I want access to a lot more heat. A couple of people offered ideas on induction cookers and outdoor gas heaters for which I'm very grateful, and which I will try out.
  2. I'm fascinated by what people do to modify their cooking tools. Example: I filed down the front edge of my aluminum pizza peel to sharpen it so it now slides under pies much more smoothly. But I'm hesitant of a much bigger hack that nonetheless tantalizes me... I read in a wonderful old New Yorker story that Kenny Shopsin, of "Shopsin's", drilled out the jets in his gas cooktop to get more heat in his old restaurant location. Probably a seriously bad idea for a home kitchen, but darn it, I'd like to get more heat, a lot more heat. I feel like too often I'm just kinda warming stuff when what I really want is immediate access to massive, volcanic, huge, heat. Has it been done? Does it even work? Am I an idiot for thinking such thoughts? I'm assuming this is a "don't try this at home" Darwin Award level stunt, that there are big big issues with safety and insurance - but - that's just assumptions. Does anyone have actual facts they could pass along?
  3. Beautiful veggies. Beautiful photographs.
  4. I bought a hand orange juicer at Penneys of all places, with the horrible name chef'n FreshForce. Despite the name, It's amazingly effective. It uses a simple gear mechanism to squeeze oranges very easily and very completely. It's so powerful that I have to deliberately use it very gently to avoid practically exploding the oranges. About my only complaint is that it is, for a hand tool, somewhat large and bulky, and a bit expensive. $35. But if I lost this one I buy another in a second.
  5. Another strategy; put in a really large single sink and use a plastic tub when you want a separate bath of, say, soapy water? I can't see the point of forever and irreversibly making a sink into two small ones when it is easy to have a forever large sink that it is easy to wash really large items in,that can also be home to a second volulme of liquid when wanted. Why ruin a sink for big stuff for no net gain?
  6. Very good idea there. I'd add a couple of notions. 1. Teach him to spiff up prepared items, like making a packaged soup a lot better. That's a good way for some people to learn their way round a kitchen with less stress than trying to make stuff from scratch. Lots of prepared foods can be made better by simple additions. Add canned broth rather than water to prepared soups, Make your own croutons. Add stuff like veggies and barley to soups. A couple of spices added... 2. Keep it drop dead simple until or unless he asks for more.
  7. In case folks don't know - the included credit card sized thingie is actually a USB flash drive with a pdf manual on it. And to answer jmasur - the firmware version is shown on the splash screen when powered on. And here I was, thinking it was just a clever promotional item, a freeby memory stick with the Anova logo on it.
  8. Life has been hectic and tonight is the first opportunity I've had to start up the Anova. I'm happy to say it's so easy to use that the fact that no instruction book etc were included made no difference at all. It would have taken longer to read the instructions than to simply poke at the screen and see what's happened. Child's play. Makes the process almost boring, which is exactly what I want. No difficulties, no surprises. As easy to use as the side kic and with greater height, better designed than the side kic with respect to not having to fill the cooking bath so full. VERY pleased. PS Edit Impressed with the cord. It's beefy and long enough without being in the way.
  9. Just ordered one a few days ago and it arrived today. I haven't yet powered it up but already impressed. It appears very well built. It dod not feel like I had to wait very long for delivery, so they get good marks from me for promptness. I can't wait to fire it up.
  10. I'm with andiesenji above. But I will go further. I can't see the point of Shun's oddball designs. They seem "show off" and useless. Designed to wow the easily wowed.
  11. MOV???? You electronics guys... I have to ask, what's a MOV?
  12. Well, just getting over a cold which took me out of the game for a while. Now firing up the SideKic once again. This time with a bagged piece of beef rather than a food-less trial run. Just a zip lock bag. Seems to be working fine. It will be a while till I could justify a chamber vac. Once again I'm impressed with how easy it is to use and find my earlier critique a bit too sharp. It seems to run a couple of degrees below my thermometer readings, but it's steady and I can adjust with no difficulty. The controller unit is easy to comprehend and dead simple. I like it. The whole thing is reassuringly undramatic to use. Temps seem very stable and consistent all over the cooking vessel. It's just plain easy to use. I can't wait to do a long slow tough tasty cut for the first time. Tonight is just a tender quick cooking steak and since it has the oddball title of "Sirloin Junior" at the bucher's I really don't know the proper time so I'm just winging it two hours 135F and then I will sear it. Off to do veggies...
  13. I'd be asking a restaurant supply place I trust whether induction hobs were any good for commercial kitchen use. That is if you have a supplier you can trust. Maybe I'm just lucky.
  14. I just waste a lot and slab sides off with a knife. Wasteful as heck, shame on me, but I decided I hate peeling them. And ten pounds??? Out comes the knife.
  15. It's far easier to select the few good shows, than to enumerate the many lousy and awful.
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