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  1. dtremit

    Bastard condiments?

    My favorite mixed-from-bottles cocktail sauce is Heinz "Chili Sauce" (which is basically just fancy ketchup), horseradish, and a few drops of a strong hot sauce (the TJ's habanero sauce works pretty well). I've used ketchup when I've been out of chili sauce, though. Generally I find chili sauce adds a little complexity to most ketchup hacks. Other favorite cheater sauces: Sour cream + horseradish + salt & pepper: "horseradish cream" for steaks or roast beef Hoisin + barbecue sauce (as a sandwich topping) Honey + hot sauce (for fried chicken)
  2. dtremit

    Plastic wrap improvement

    Oddly, I noticed when watching a very old Julia Child episode the other night (French Bread, from her first color series) that she seemed to have an *electric* plastic wrap dispenser.My guess is one of these, though it was hard to see. Never imagined such a thing existed.
  3. dtremit

    The Bread Topic (2016-)

    Huh. I was thinking it might have been a lower protein flour causing the issue, as compared with UK "strong" flour, but KAF bread flour is about as "strong" as you can easily get in the US.
  4. dtremit

    The Bread Topic (2016-)

    What kind of flour did you use?
  5. This appears to be the same unit as the Koto Smart carried by H-Mart: https://www.hmart.com/84603400967 I'm almost certain I saw a video review of it under a third brand, but I can't place it right now.
  6. Thanks for the heads up! I'll look for them next year. Wouldn't have had room in the freezer this year anyway...sigh. It's...weirder than that -- they're both still under the same ownership, but have been handed off a few times. And after renaming all but a handful of Star Markets to Shaw's a while back, they reversed course and switched a bunch of Shaw's to Star. The one closest to me was built as a Shaw's, and is now a Star, but the receipts still say Shaw's several years after the name change. Puzzling. With regard to the sales -- one thing I've found is that they have (at least) two circulars some weeks, and different stores get different ones. The tall circular (in a newspaper format) tends to have better prices and is used at stores in more price sensitive areas; the tabloid format circular has higher prices and is at stores in more affluent areas. At least the last time I looked at it, the "tall" one was used at the Twin City Plaza (Camb/S'ville line) Star, the Porter Square Star, and the Waltham Shaw's; the "tabloid" one was used in the Belmont Shaw's and the Mt Auburn Star in Cambridge. Of course, this week there's only one, for Thanksgiving.
  7. dtremit

    The Bread Topic (2016-)

    Jumping back into bread baking after a long break -- I lost two sourdough starters (one I'd made myself using pineapple juice, and another borrowed from a friend) to overzealous house cleaners and took it as a sign. We happened to be up in Vermont in October and stopped at the KAF store on the way back, and I picked up some of their starter. So far it has been working well for me. I have kept it at 50% per their recommendations. I have made the KAF naturally leavened sourdough recipe twice now, with good results, baking on my Baking Steel griddle. I forgot to take pictures soon after baking; this is loaf #2 that's a few days old: I'm generally very happy with these, though I would love to get more height out of them. When I turn them out of the forms, they end up flattening out almost completely -- so even though they rise well in the oven, they're not very tall loaves. Thinking of reducing hydration a little and/or switching all the AP flour to bread flour, but not sure if these are really the correct responses. Also curious -- what do others use sourdough discard for? So far I've had great luck with waffles and pizza dough, but middling success with dinner rolls.
  8. Do you mind my asking who has them for that price? I can find good prices on whole turkeys but haven't seen that price on the frozen breasts. (Live in Somerville and work in Waltham, so I can hit up most of the chains pretty easily.)
  9. There do exist induction compatible donabes -- not shocking, I guess, given the huge popularity of induction in Japan. This attractive but pricey one is readily available in the US: Kinto Kakomi IH Donabe There are many more (at lower price points) on amazon.co.jp but I'm not sure how you'd get them here. Some of them appear to use some kind of special ceramic that reacts to induction (maybe with high iron content?). Others like this one seem to use a metal insert *inside* the pot, presumably with a thinner/flatter bottom than traditional donabe. My guess is the efficiency isn't amazing, but for the low/slow cooking style of a donabe it may not matter. No experience with any of these myself -- just was fascinated by your question!
  10. This is designed for commercial kitchens -- and this single-burner format is very common for restaurant use. They can be moved around and put where they're needed. Likewise, most commercial kitchens use 208v/240v for larger appliances. I wouldn't read too many limitations into the design. A typical breaker for a home range is 50A @ 240v, which theoretically gets you 12kW -- though in practice most cooktops are limited to a bit under 11kW. As an example, the center burner on this Samsung cooktop is 3.6kW, same as the Panasonic, but the total wattage is 10.8kW.
  11. I've learned recently that this is extremely common nowadays in Southeast Asia -- where cooking spaces are traditionally outdoors. The "open kitchen" trend has spread to new developments there, but anyone who has ever cooked with shrimp paste knows, doing it in the living room is unthinkable. Hence the closed, "wet" kitchen for serious cooking, behind the open, "dry" kitchen for finishing meals / serving breakfast / etc. In our next house, I'm hoping we'll have a small, kitchen-adjacent room that I can use sort of like this. I'd build a nice, standard-sized kitchen (with an eye towards resale, as I doubt our next house will be our last one). The "back room" would have lots of open, commercial shelving, an extra fridge/freezer, and stations for baking and batch prepwork. OP -- your kitchen looks like it's going to be magnificent -- I'm so jealous of your skylight!
  12. dtremit

    Congrats to Rancho Gordo!

    As another bean club member with a burst bag, I appreciate this response -- but as someone who's followed RG for years, I'm also so appreciative of the quality you provide at a reasonable price. And asking you to spend money to ship another bag of beans when I could just pour them off into a Ziploc just seemed silly. This did remind me to email your customer service about the recurring subscription notifications -- for us East Coast people, the subscription renewal reminder went out at about 9:30pm and the shipment was billed at 4:45am. So I woke up in the morning to both the "click here to modify your subscription" email and the confirmation that my order had shipped! I wasn't planning on cancelling, but...
  13. This about sums it up for me. I do like it for tabletop cooking (hot pot and the like) because it's way more attractive than my Duxtop. (Of course, the $50 one from IKEA is attractive, too.) I dragged it out a few days ago to cook up some vegetable fritters in a cast iron skillet -- wanted to cook sitting down after a knee sprain -- and it worked just fine. Cast iron seems to throw off the temperature control, but it does a great job of evening out the heat from the small induction element. I also think I could get back to using the temperature regulation at *low* temperatures; it seemed to work fine for that, but my poor experiences at high temps kind of soured me on the thing.
  14. dtremit

    Yogurt-making @ home

    Keep in mind that killing bacteria and deactivating enzymes via pasteurization is a function of temperature and time -- and that government recommendations to consumers typically only list the temperature required to pasteurize instantly. In many cases, the same results can be achieved by longer processing at lower temperatures. The process is slower at lower temperatures, but can still be reliably effective. For example, US FDA tests milk pasteurization by detecting "the phosphatase enzyme, a constituent that is inactivated by pasteurization at 63°C (145°F) for thirty (30) minutes or 72°C (161°F) for fifteen (15) seconds." I would imagine that instant deactivation would probably happen right around 180°F. (As an aside -- milk labeled as "ultra pasteurized" has been shocked to 280°F for extended shelf life. Unlike regular milk pasteurized at 145°F, the enzymes are already deactivated. I've had great luck making yogurt from ultra pasteurized milk without any preheating at all, though I always open a new container directly into the pot.)
  15. I think you've summed up my reaction pretty well. It's not useless, but I don't have much love for the device, and I have had enough frustrating experiences with it that I haven't been motivated to play with it much. I was aware of its design limitations when I got it, and was perfectly happy to live with a device with a limited feature set, but I haven't found the implementation to be particularly reliable. My completely unsupported theory is that it has inadequate cooling, and ends up running into thermal protection limits when trying to sustain temperatures above boiling. I've had no major issues with it when cooking with water (or for low temperature tasks), but things like frying and candy making have not turned out particularly well for me, nor has cooking with cast iron. The clip for the temperature probe also fits on absolutely nothing. It is an unusually attractive burner for tabletop cooking, though... The lights in manual mode correlate to wattages: Cooking power levels: 1- 100 Watt 2- 200 Watt 3- 300 Watt 4- 400 Watt 5- 600 Watt 6- 800 Watt 7- 1000 Watt 15 8- 1200 Watt 9- 1400 Watt 10- 1500 Watt So not quite linear, but you can roughly think of it as 10% - 100% of potential output.