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mr drinkie

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Posts posted by mr drinkie

  1. This is a couple months late, but I'm hoping someone can still answer this question for me. I was just recently given a copy of Lucky Peach #3, and I like many of you, am very intrigued by the collection of knives on the back cover. I'm mostly interested in the Hankotsu style knife on the bottom right. Can anyone tell me what brand that is? I've looked at a few of similar style, but none seem to look quite as nice.



    Did you mean bottom left? The bottom right one in the OP photo is a Takeda and doesn't look to be hankotsu style. Anyhow, most of them that I have seen people have are the Misono but Kikuichi has it in their elite carbon line too. Masahiro also has one I think. IMO I'd probably go with the kikuichi.


  2. Thanks for the points everyone. The maker is actually going to ship me a couple to demo before making more and I am going to let some bartenders try them out.

    Just a few responses/comments to your input:

    * Regarding the twist being rough on the hands, two of the bartenders I spoke with about the stirrer requested the twist as they used the second stirring variation in slkinsey's post. They demonstrated to me how the twist made it easier. With that said, I see your point and the variation in the twist pattern on the spoon may not be as hand friendly.

    * I like the ice crushing concept. I hadn't thought about that.

    * The teardrop shape also appeals to me, and I might have him make the second demo with a teardrop.

    * As for the teaspoon measure idea, it sounds good, but I don't think that will be quite possible with hand forging. To try calibrate an exact teaspoon when hammering the spoon portion out would likely be a PITA. Also, I looked at my measuring spoons, and the teaspoon is actually quite big. Do the ones at Cocktail Kingdom hold a teaspoon of liquid? I could maybe see a half teaspoon working -- if it is even feasible in terms of being hand made.

    And since the topic of hand-forged spoons rarely comes up, I will use this opportunity to attach some pictures of my hand-forged damascus spoon :)




  3. I must admit that I am more into wine than cocktails, but recently I have fallen into a bad crowd of enabling bartenders and decided that it would be cool to have a hand-forged cocktail stirrer/spoon made. I know it sounds like a luxury (and it is), but they all seem to really like the idea.

    I got some input from my bartender buddies, and the metalsmith out of the UK has made me a test spoon. I would appreciate thoughts/concerns from this cocktail-centric crowd. I'm not trying to research anything, this is just for personal use and gifts for bartender friends.

    See the pictures below. I just want to say that I am not trying to make the perfectly functional spoon but something that is very functional and also unique. The length is 12 inches, but this is my time to make improvements to the design.

    And if you are tempted to suggest the fork at the end, that has already been ruled out.





  4. Rader's integral bolster western handle knives are amazing. He produces some of the most beautiful knives out there -- but it will cost you ;) Fowler is newer to kitchen knives. I have a couple of his, and he is playing around with profile and styles a bit, but his knives keep getting better IMO. The Gesshin Heiji from Japanese Knife Imports is an interesting line. Jon at JKI brings in some really exciting knives and his service is above top notch. His site is like a knife porn site.

    I give up on the idea of ever owning a custom Kramer. And I agree with the previous poster that the Devin Thomas ITK is amazing. I have a 270mm gyuto and it keeps its edge for a scary long time.


  5. If properly refrigerated, eggs can keep a very long time if they are kept in a closed carton and not exposed to the drying effect of the modern "frost-free" refrigerators.

    In the old days (not that old - back when I was a child) we had chickens that laid more eggs seasonally and when the egg production was highest, some were chilled, dipped quickly in melted beeswax and quickly chilled again. These were stored in wooden egg crates in the dairy spring house, which was always around 40 degrees, winter and summer. They would keep well for three or four months, with the yolks still full and round and if hard boiled, no big space at the round end.

    I am always confused by egg storage. In much of Europe and the rest of the world, eggs are not refrigerated. I thought I read somewhere that in the US our farms wash the bloom off the egg making the shell permeable so we have to refrigerate our eggs. I'm not sure if that is true or not.

    And if our egg distribution is good, you have to admire those countries that imprint a number on every single egg in the name of food safety. Bravo.

    With that said, I did have a miracle with my eggs recently. A couple of weeks ago, I bought a dozen eggs and every single egg had a double yolk. Either that is a miracle or I don't want to know what drugs that bird was on.


  6. For Japanese knives, I think we need to distinguish between Japanese-style Japanese knives and Western-style Japanese knives. I have one of the latter - a Togiharu Inox steel Santoku, and I hone it regularly on my Wusthof steel with absolutely zero negative effects. I checked that this was OK with the Japanese shop where I bought the knife - Korin in lower Manhattan - and they said it was absolutely OK.

    Is your Wusthof one of those grooved metal steels? Those can be pretty aggressive. The Togiharu isn't that hard of a steel -- I think they are 57-58 hrc. So using a rod of any sort is less of an issue. My Japanese-style knives are all 60+ hrc. The edges don't fold over as much and the thinner edge is prone to chipping, so aggressive steels aren't a good match.

    With that said, I think a fine grit ceramic rod would be an improvement over any grooved steel and they aren't that expensive. I do have one rod that I sometimes use with my harder steel Japanese knives, which is made out of borosilicate/glass. It is finer and less aggressive yet than the ceramic rod. I used to employ it more often, but I love my strops so much now that I don't use it as much.

  7. I probably wouldn't even worry about the seeds. Big seeds are too fibrous in my opinion. I have had some pumpkins (not giant ones) with very large seeds and they didn't roast up as well. Big pumpkins are just that: big.

    Btw, if you go to Hope, AK to the Bill Clinton museum in town you can see pictures of Bill Clinton right next to farmers with giant watermelons.

  8. Good point about the sizes.

    Just FYI, I was too tempted at the Farmers' Market today and bought a few different squashes (all about the size of an acorn squash). I roasted them up and they took way too long and all of them obviously cooked at different speeds. I was a pain, but at least one of the varieties turned out very tasty.

  9. I personally wouldn't cook them up. Back in the day, we used to roll the giant fair pumpkins down a big hill and watch them self-disintigrate. That was cool.

    But in the end, I am an economist at heart. I think about the opportunity cost of cooking such a large beast. My mind staggers at the cost of just spicing one of those things up and adding cream and other flavors. You might spend $30+ just in spices and the time will also be significant in prepping and cooking multiple batches. Why not just hand pick some really good and flavorful pumpkins and make something reasonable (in size)? If you have a giant pumpkin (even a 10 pounder) you may spend twice as much time and expense and only use a fraction of it in the end.

    Full disclosure: i have never attempted cooking a giant pumpkin: too many people have warded me off. But wouldn't that be horrible to cook up a huge pumpkin, spend a whole lot of time, and spend a lot on seasoning just to have it come out crap? You could set it on the lawn, paint a face on it, and kids would get more enjoyment and it wouldn't cost you anything.

  10. I'm going to go against the grain a bit on this one. A lot of people have ideas of what a set is: a big wood knife block sold at Macy's for instance. but I think the Forschner set of 4 basic knives is a wonderful set for only $70. Link below (but for some reason today it isn't working properly).


    I would also add that getting the ceramic Idahone steel to keep these knives 'in shape' is a fine combo and that the whole mess will only run you about $100.

    I'm not pushing these knives, but I have just found them to be good work horses if maintained well. Personally, I would go with the poster above and get a Tojiro DP. I gave this knife to a friend (chef) of mine and he loves it -- though it now needs sharpening.

    There are a lot of chefs that use step-up Japanese knives in the professional kitchen, but probably more do not. It all depends upon a person's dedication to maintenance.

  11. Now that it is root vegetable season, I was wondering if someone had a good resource for root vegetable cooking times. I made a curry the other day with New Zealand Blue Pumpkin and red potatoes. The pumpkin softened up pretty quickly but the potatoes were too firm, and I hate overcooking pumpkin and squash so I accepted the al dente potatoes. (My wife picked them out though.)

    Does anyone have a general 'rule of thumb' guide on which root vegies should be cooked longer? I have a parsnip, some beats, and pumpkin waiting to be cooked, but I have been guessing for too long.

  12. Anna N and I were at the Toronto Gift Show today and ran across some notable new gadgets that piqued our interest.

    The first was a silicone lid made by Danesco that when placed on a bowl forms a seal. You can actually pick up the bowl with the lid. Here is a link. Look at bottom row, bowl cover, item number 1312011.

    The company that makes the silicone food loops now makes a silicone loop with a needle on the end that can be used to lace up your poultry etc. It's called the Food Lace. The same company also is making stainless steel food loops that can be used on the grill - a shortcoming of the silicone food loops. No pictures available for those yet.

    I know the first post on this subject was in 2008 and the link no longer is accurate, but last March I think I saw that silicone lid thing at the Chicago Housewares Show. I was (and wasn't) impressed with it. I'm not sure if I am talking about the same product as the link info no longer applies, but if I am thinking of the same product where a flat circular silicone device is placed over any bowl/vessel and it forms a strong seal for storage, the I am on the same page.

    When I saw this item, my immediate impression was that it was not that useful. You had to push it down to make a seal which meant that it depressed into the bowl and you couldn't use the whole bowl volume. Also the edges of the circular thing hung over the bowl to ensure that it maximized space in the fridge. Sure, they had small medium and large sizes, but I still didn't find it efficient in terms of storage space. And I really couldn't see how this would be better than regular storage containers that are made to be stackable. Also, I can take 'press and seal' film and put it over anything -- even more than the silicone thing, but as soon as the leftovers are used up enough, I quickly transfer the food t to another (smaller).

  13. Email today from Cooking Enthusiast (one of the many kitchen utensil and gadget catalogs that sends emails to subscribers) with a "new" style knife names "Half Time Knife" - a twin-bladed knife that reminds me of something similar I saw some ten or so years ago on one of those late-night sell-a-thons. Never bought anything from them.

    CE says this is a Must-have kitchen workhorse that comes with a lifetime warranty.

    I'm not so sure of the "must-have" identity. I have several twin-bladed mezalunas and choppers - one similar to an ulu but with two blades and its own bowl.

    The blades appear to be stamped and I am always suspicious of stamped blades on a regular knife. The discounted price isn't too outrageous but the regular price is. (IMHO)

    Anyone seen or tried this item?

    My father had a similar item by Caplhalon. I don't think they would be that practical. In the end they would be hard to resharpen, difficult to store (safely) and actually a bit dangerous. A twin bladed mezaluna is one thing, but this style of knife begs to be used like a real knife and I actually think food slippage and knife mishaps will be more common. Just my opinion.

  14. How big is the shoulder (in weight)? And are you talking about a shoulder roast?

    I just cooked a fabulous shoulder roast of lamb, and I can't wait to make my next one.

    In the past, I have eaten a ton of goat, but it was when I lived in Yemen and I don't think I would recommend how they prepared it (boiled and with a lot of organ meat).

  15. I haven't had freezer space for half of anything in a long long time. Now I buy lamb from a CSA in bulk instead (much smaller).

    Anyhow, I do remember having too much ground meat with a side of beef, but the one thing that was kind of nice is having to deal with all the meat. It forced my parents (and now me with lamb) to cook different things. Since getting my lamb, I have found a fabulous recipe for lamb shoulder roasts. There is something kind of cool about having too much meat and being forced to cook with it. It is a learning experience as much as anything. BUT...that is only if you have enough freezer space.

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