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Gayle28607

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Everything posted by Gayle28607

  1. I'm not a subscriber to the SF Chronicle, and can't find a way to get to that article, which has a subscription logo pasted on it whether I approach it from their home page, or direct from the link. Any chance you could make a pdf and share it? I do think it's interesting and probably relevant to this thread. Or, can someone tell me how to get there without subscribing to the SF paper?
  2. Excellent point, @weinoo. Maybe I'll try buying their rice again? Or does the rancidness in the bin promote rancidness in the rice? I am pretty sure they never wash the bins out. And I've bought rancid rice from their bins, only to have to dump it.
  3. What kills me is when that is the smell the rice has when it first comes out of the bulk bin at my local, high traffic organic food store. It makes me wonder how long the big bag of rice for restocking has been hiding in a corner of their stockroom.
  4. Well, I truly hope this is the wonderful experience it should be. No bean nightmares! But I have to say, the choice, in your dream of the midnight black beans was a good one! I am finishing the last bits of my last pound of those very same beans, and they are delish. And all I did this time, because of lack of time, was sautée an onion, and then cook them. I'm hoping I might get some more when my own mystery box arrives. [I thought I had quoted JoNorvelleWalker. Don't know why my quoting fell away. Ah well. ]
  5. Yes, wow. You would think it might be good. And much like you, I don't like to pay full price retail. I don't remember what I paid for that, but given the time I know I bought it, I had to have gotten it for well under $100, still new, in box. No matter how long I preheat it on the two burners, the heat is still not even. I usually go for just below medium, with a (largely useless) 10 minute preheat period. I may try it with a more extended warm up period at a lower temp soon, and see if that helps. I'm really liking making homemade tortillas with masa from Masienda. But up to now, I use the Le Creuset griddle for the tortillas knowing there is a huge cool spot between the burners no matter how long it is on, and I just live with it because there is so much room on it. But anything else (the pancakes and french toast I wanted it for) gets cooked in many batches, and I make them less and less these days anyway, as the kid is nearly grown. It's probably time to change my profile picture on eGullet! But I thought the underlying issue for the uneven heating of the griddle, literally, might well be that I use a Kenmore Elite glass cooktop that came with the house, and those burners are a pain no matter how I'm cooking. One burner has a great simmer though, and another will heat a pot of water for pasta very nicely. So that's something! I'm glad to know @CentralMA, that your Lodge or Lodge-like griddle might be a better product. Why this one is not will remain a mystery for now.
  6. I have had this Le Creuset griddle for at least a couple decades, always thinking that if I had my much desired gas stove that it would heat evenly - which it never has on the two cooktops it’s been used with up to now. I wonder if this one is in your collection, @CentralMA, and if so, how it works on your Blue Star? I can’t bring myself to get rid of the darn thing, but I do get tired of how unevenly it cooks homemade tortillas. And, at this point I’ve don’t even think of it when cooking up a big pancake batch or french toast because those have never been anything but a mess on it - parts burned and parts underdone. I’ve always assumed it was my stove tops. But maybe it’s the griddle!
  7. Thanks! And for this go round with the pasta e fagioli I decided to toss in a few ounces of smoked pork shoulder I had in the freezer. As I have a couple remaining dry cured hocks I can try it sans smokey flavor going forward. Though @btbyrd may be suggesting I have an inferior product, period. As I have nothing to compare it with at the moment, I wouldn’t know. I only know it isn’t the ham hocks I was accustomed to.
  8. Where are you, if you don’t mind me asking, and who is your preferred purveyor of unsmoked country ham? Broadbents, Edwards - which apparently shared facilities at Goodnight Bros. here in Boone at one point following their fire - and several others in this thread are mixed up for me at the moment.
  9. Thank you, Kim. That means a lot.
  10. When I put this dish together I'll take photos. The progress today was slow, as I let the cooked country ham hock sit overnight to gel so I could easily remove the skin and bones. Once I did that, I realized I needed to add the stock today to the pot of Marcella cannellinis at the point I would have added salt to the pot of beans. The stock is sufficiently salty that I didn't want to risk having salted the beans and their broth early on only to add the country ham stock later and find I had made everything too salty. The stock itself is not too salty. Just very richly and dryly hammy, if that makes any sense. The flavor is so different than a smoked "city" ham hock. Tomorrow I may put the rest of it together. Either that, or the next day. It depends on whether tomorrow turns out to be the day I buy a used car with my 19 year old. She can't work without a car to drive in our semi-rural area, and she blew the head gasket on her intrepid, old, but increasing untrusty Honda CR-V. So, cooking the pasta e fagioli may have to take second place. But I am inspired, @weinoo, that apparently I'm not in entirely uncharted waters here.
  11. Oh wow. Thank you @weinoo! That looks delicious - both versions - and is inspiring!
  12. This is about country ham, just not necessarily mail order, as the place I've gotten it from is just down the road. This is Goodnight Brothers ham in Boone, NC. http://goodnightbrothers.com I'm in this thread because I'm learning about country ham. When I first moved here, I did not like it. People served it on terrible biscuits, and as I'm a biscuit snob, and generally prefer to eat only my own biscuits, it was easy for me to say no to what others seemed to think was a delicacy. During COVID I've had a hard time getting smoked ham hocks for beans and soups. That got me started thinking about the ham place in Boone. Wouldn't they be making ham hocks? Well, they do. But the ham hock is unsmoked. It took me awhile to figure that out though. Lot's of interesting hammy smells, but no smoke. And now, thanks to this thread, I know that the smoked bits from other companies have "Smoked" in their name on the package. This place doesn't smoke anything. They just dry cure it. I didn't know what that was, for sure, until I started investigating with the help of this thread. The ham hock they produce has skin, is generally sliced in half, with little meat, and what's there is quite dry. Lots of collagenous tissue though, and some nice bone. I have several in the freezer and one slowly cooking on the stove, the same way I'd cook a smoked ham hock the day before I'd make a pot of split pea soup. I'm going to make my own variation on pasta e fagioli tomorrow or Monday, using my remaining pound of Rancho Gordo Marcella cannellinis. But I'm realizing I'm making something rather different than I thought I was, as this is country ham, not the kind I grew up with, and not what I thought I was using when I started it on a slow boil on the stove. There is a lot of flavor already in the broth from the hock, which is still cooking. Should I think of this like cooking with a bit of prosciutto on the bone? Is that a thing?
  13. Okay - I'll soak them and then plan for plenty of time on the stop top. If it's 2-3 hours, that's more time with lovely cooking smells, as our temps haven't climbed here yet. Thanks, Weinoo!
  14. When you cooked them on the stovetop without pressure do you remember about how long it took to cook them? I've been shifting back to long simmered stove top beans after many years of largely using my Kuhn Rikon stovetop pressure cooker.
  15. 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 to leave the drawer open at times and then just bump it with a hip to close it. It just works in a way that the counter knife block never did for me. These posts made me think about my experiment, and the eventual exit of the countertop knife block. Though with a beauty like @AlaMoi created, who knows?
  16. 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 about.
  17. So sorry to hear you continue to have problems.
  18. @CentralMA How are you liking your Blue Star? I’d love an update when you have time. This has been a very informative thread.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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 Earth Fare building, plus one in Asheville and a couple others that had a history of being solvent. They are still dealing with suppliers angry at what happened in the bankruptcy. Or that is what the shelves look like the few times I've ventured in. So, there is plenty of Lundberg rice that could be here, but isn't due to this fascinating and hugely frustrating bit of recent grocery industry history.
  22. 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 with more water if I'm making sushi, and less if I'm going to use it to eat with a stir fry. I love ALL the other rices, but can't justify buying them as I'm increasingly cooking for only one person - me. And I like my rice to be fresh. I am already interested in the rice resources here. They may shift my rice habit. As for storage, @btbyrd's boxes are gorgeous! And I appreciate @weinoo's mismatched jars. I think they are excellent.
  23. 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!
  24. 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 also hold back on a bit of the flour. That may be my issue, ultimately, as the dough is super stiff. I've never refrigerated it, as the recipe recommends. I can't even imagine how you'd do this if the dough was cold!
  25. 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 seem it would need an insert with legs to allow me to press the dough out properly. Or I’m having a failure of imagination. That’s always possible!
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