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  1. I don't have much drawer space, but devoted one to the knives on a somewhat similar block that fits in the drawer - I can't find it now on Amazon, which is where I thought I got it. No steak knives here, either. I thought I might not keep the knives in there - you know, opening and closing a drawer to get a knife while cooking and with somewhat messy hands - so I thought the countertop knife block might be much better. But I'm a convert now, and have happily given up the drawer to the knives. It's been almost 10 years now! Something about my height, the drawer glides, being able t
  2. I'm glad to know about your positive experience with the oven, too. I've been thinking about getting one of these - also 30 inch because of existing cabinetry. I think hearing both the good AND the bad is useful, at least for me. I'm in no rush as I have a Kenmore Elite glass cooktop that is serviceable. But when the electricity goes out, which happens often enough, I find myself longing for the days when I had a gas stove. I'll have to get the gas line routed to the kitchen and so on, much like you, so I've book marked this as it has been illuminating regarding the various things to think abo
  3. So sorry to hear you continue to have problems.
  4. @CentralMA How are you liking your Blue Star? I’d love an update when you have time. This has been a very informative thread.
  5. Yes, this pandemic has made me hugely grateful for the bean club! As others, apparently, were sweeping bags of less-than-optimal bags of beans into their carts in March, I was thinking, "Oh! More time to be home to cook those bean club beans." Cooking things like the Rancho Gordo beans, and then having lovely beans reappear like magic, has been one of the positive pandemic experiences.
  6. That's the technique I use with the Mirro. I've found this type of screw mechanism to be very forgiving. And, I share your frustration with the "fixed amount" ratcheting devices. I still own one, but have disposed of two to the local second hand shop.
  7. The bin my Earth Fare had of this isn't always available due to the pandemic. The bags on the shelf tend to be rancid - often enough that I've stopped buying them. I also am not going into grocery stores much these days, so that has added another barrier here in the Blue Ridge Mountains of NC. Earth Fare, which was my only local grocery that sold Lundberg short grain brown rice at all, or in enough quantity that the rice was fresh, also went through a huge, ill-planned expansion followed by bankruptcy. About mid-summer the founder and a few other investors bought back the name and my local Ear
  8. Since a cancer episode some years ago scared me into being macrobiotic (briefly) I've been in love with short grain brown rice, with the only issue being a huge one. Is it fresh? I can, or could before the pandemic, get Lundberg organic short grain brown rice from a bin at my local market, and that was usually fresh. Buying a small plastic bag of it is generally a regrettable experience as I'd say 50% of the time it doesn't smell fresh. That's my other option as that is what Earth Fare, the local Whole Foods substitute, carries. Now to reveal myself as a rice barbarian, I cook it w
  9. Perfect, blue_dolphin! That's where I will start this season. My mom's Betty Crocker cookbook didn't make it from her passing and house being sold to its new home in my house, as I had hoped. And I was in charge of all this, so I dropped the ball somewhere. That's the recipe I used, too, but I just have the basic ingredients now on a note card, which was how I took it to college and into my earlier life in states far from mom and the cookbook. Those notes ring such a bell. Thanks for sharing them. I suspect my obsession with making these cookies every holiday season will now be less onerous!
  10. Okay. Thanks a lot, @chromedome, for that insight. I'm feeling a little less stupid. And feeling the lure of eBay for another old Mirro. The tube holds a lot more dough than the newer ones, and if I could just get the darn top to stay on, which might be more doable now that I'm considering options like duct tape, I might get another holiday season out of this one. I grew up in a family where we tripled our recipe always of these cookies, so that's a fair amount of butter, flour, eggs and sugar I want to move through the press and into shapes. It's a tradition! But, I think I will
  11. Have you made any of the classic spritz shapes - camels, trees and so on? If so, how? I can’t envision how the bag would work. Could one of those plates that make the shapes just be dropped into the narrow bottom of the bag? In this case, a canvas one? Sorry I’m being so slow on the uptake. I can imagine how you could extrude shapes that don’t require the press to be flush with the baking sheet. But most of the shapes need to be pressed through the decorative shape in the plate, and then be in contact with the baking sheet. Maybe I need to just get a canvas bag and try it. It would s
  12. Oh my goodness. There are 11,000 people on the @rancho_gordo bean club waitlist! (According to the CBS story). Thank goodness I’m already in it. I do love it, and rave about the beans to anyone who will listen, so I get it. Well deserved publicity for a great product and a really thoughtful food grower. I had the mayocoba’s the other day, cooking them for a soup I love. They almost didn’t make it to the soup! Great meaty texture and a subtle smokey flavor that got lost in the soup. They were so good on their own that if they come in the bean club box again I’m eating them on their
  13. I think I might go in the direction of the duct tape. Duct tape and screws! Brilliant ideas. I also found some speculation elsewhere that holding back a bit of the flour might be enough to let the press stay in one piece. But @andiesenji and @Toliver, does this mean that you don’t think a pastry bag could work for all these traditional spritz cookie shapes? I can’t imagine it, but I am a pastry bag innocent. All I’ve ever done is pipe some icing.
  14. @blue_dolphin, I continued a bit with a web search, and am still in the dark. As you say, a star shape or a wreath made by tucking the ends of a star "log" together all make sense with a pastry bag. Not that it would be easy for me, as this is a very stiff dough, and well-suited to the press. But I did see a number of people selling the metal plates to make the shapes, so those are still out there. I'm wondering if I need to spring for another old Mirro, and hope that the top will stay on!
  15. I know this isn't an active thread, but it has good info in it, so I decided not to start a new thread. I hope some of you will check in! I have the old Mirro "Cooky" press, but the screw-on metal lid has started to pop off. I might be able to get another old Mirro, but I noted in this thread that some of you use pastry bags for your spritz cookies. I am not a skilled pastry bag user, and I'm having a hard time imagining how to use a pastry bag with my metal shapes for cookies that I use with the now pretty much defunct Mirro press. So, those of you who use a pastry bag as a cooki
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