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EMichels

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About EMichels

  1. Masher for Enameled Cast Iron

    I remember my mother and grandmother always using a prong style Tupperware masher (like this: https://www.fishpond.com.au/Kitchen/Vintage-Tupperware-Potato-Masher-Almond-off-white-Rare/9999131688942) to mash their potatoes - not because they were trying to protect the pot, that's just the only masher they had. It should work perfectly for this situation. I noticed that OXO is selling a very similar model if you don't care to hunt down the Tupperware on EBay or the thrift store.
  2. Keeping bottles stable

    This is a classic problem in off-site storage locations. Many, many people (including many professional offsite storage warehouses) store in cardboard boxes without issue. However, many small wine coolers have an issue with humidity control. I'm not familiar with Climadiff but one of my cabinets of a similar size has a persistent mold problem near the condensation collection area. That could quickly get out of hand with cardboard in the cooler. The best solution that I've heard of (short of sourcing additional shelves for your unit) is to cut to length sections of PVC pipe with a diameter large enough to fit a wine bottle inside the tube and stack them inside your cooler. They will be very stable and inert so won't smell, get moldy, etc. and it makes accessing any particular bottle very easy. It will, however, seriously reduce your total storage capacity (as you've noted with the cardboard dividers). The only other issue that I would point out is that with any similar solution you'll likely want to leave some space at the front or back of the cooler (don't cut the tubes to the exact depth of the cooler) to allow for air circulation. Without proper circulation, temps in the cooler can diverge significantly from top to bottom. Eric
  3. Chamber Vacuum Sealers, 2014–

    I have a VP112 and my machine will display a problem like you describe if I don't press down on the lid to make a good seal during the first few seconds of a cycle. Fortunately, mine has the pressure gauge so I can tell when a vacuum has been achieved and let go. You should still be able to tell by the machine sounding slightly different once the vacuum has been achieved.
  4. That's an amazing find. That book is highly sought after in the cocktail world. It sells for a minimum of $50 on EBay. A copy in good condition with dust jacket will sell for over $75. I just recently picked up a copy myself but haven't had a chance to make much from it yet.
  5. Shipping Charges

    I purchase almost everything on-line and am a satisfied customer of Webstaurant Store (despite the shipping charges). I think what you are seeing with Webstaurant Store is merely a difference in customer segmentation. They are quite clearly focused on a restaurant/institutional base who is likely to be ordering in bulk and for whom unit cost really makes a difference. Therefore, they charge something much more closely approximating actual shipping and handling fees on their orders. A consumer focused site, on the other hand, has found that consumers react negatively to that additional cost and will instead price the item to include much or all of the shipping cost so as to offer "free shipping". That would explain why Webstaurant Store typically has better unit prices on similar items than someone like Amazon. Where that model doesn't work, as you've noted, is if you want to order only one item. However, if you were in the market for 10 saucier pans (as a restaurant might be), it really works well that each unit is priced $5 lower and they charge you a consolidated shipping fee of $18. I still order from Webstaurant Store but I stock up when I do.
  6. Unfiltered wine

    I have a bit of a different view on both how common unfiltered wine is and on the ability of Beaujolais to improve with age. While I agree that only a rather small proportion of French wines are unfiltered, I wouldn't consider it a rarity. I have had a number of them - many of which were quite good. I find this more common from younger producers and growing areas outside the most typical, highest value vineyards - the Loire Valley comes to mind as having a number of producers applying a number of styles. While I don't think that the unfiltered nature of the wine had any bearing on your bad bottle, it could be indicative of a winemaker working with other less traditional methods - such as low or no sulfer - that could have caused what you describe. Perhaps more importantly, I would urge people not to be afraid to cellar well made Cru Beaujolais. I have been a part of tasting dinners including semi-aged bottles and verticals up to 8-10 years old and, in the case of the vertical, the oldest two examples were best. Beaujolais is a wonderful fresh wine to drink young but it can really add interest and character with age. For what it's worth, the producer of the vertical that we assembled was Marcel Lapierre. Lapierre produces a few different cuvee - all of which are good. Other producers to look for are Foillard, Thevenet, and Breton. Fortunately, even the best Beaujolais are still reasonably inexpensive so you can try many. I would, however, recommend staying away from virtually all of the Beaujolais Nouveau, which is more of a marketing exercise than an effort to make good wine. Here's to hoping that your next bottle is better.
  7. My best addition to my kit has been a Viski Professional Lewis Ice Bag and Mallet (available on Amazon though I don't know how to add the EGullet Amazon link). I've found using cracked ice makes a big difference in shaken cocktails and the ice bag and mallet are a night and day improvement in my prior method, which was to wrap the ice in a side towel and crack it with a meat tenderizer. I find it well worth the small investment.
  8. I saw that you tried Manolin. I hope that you enjoyed it. In fact, it looked like you ordered a number of the same things that we had our on our last visit. Regardless of what you thought of Manolin, keep How to Cook a Wolf in mind. Ethan Stowell is a local favorite for Seattleites and I think this is his best restaurant. In fact, we liked it so much that I proposed to my wife there. Another thought that occurred to me for a more 'of the place' feel is Matt's in the Market just above Pike's Place Market. The food is good and it is a nice space with large windows that look right out at the neon market sign.
  9. Our favorites in Seattle are How to Cook a Wolf (which is just blocks from where you are staying on Lynn St) and Manolin, which is less than 10 min away by Uber. The photos on Yelp will give you a better sense of the food than my description would.
  10. So my Anova One 'died'

    Weedy, I share your frustration but, unfortunately, I don't think that shelling out for Polyscience is your answer. I am on my third circulator in four years (normal home use). The first was a Polyscience Creative Series that I bought as a refurbished unit. That one I kept only a month because there was something wrong with the rotor that caused the unit to be so loud as to be unbearable. I took it apart in an attempt to look for a balancing adjustment or a replaceable part but neither existed. I ended up selling that one with a disclosure for condition and bought a brand new Polyscience Creative Series. That one lasted a little more than two years before it developed the exact same problem. I replaced it with an Anova, which is my current unit. I make every effort to only purchase things that I am confident will last indefinitely, even if it will cost a bit more initially. My thought process being that, in the long run, I'll spend just as much on replacements and be frustrated about sub-par quality and waste while doing it. Unfortunately, the only circulator that gives me any confidence is the Polyscience Professional Classic series. I could justify that if it were two or three times the cost of an Anova but not when it is ten times the cost. For now, I am resigned to having to purchase a replacement every few years. Eric
  11. Best new product

    Thanks blue_dolphin. Many of America's Test Kitchen product reviews are available on YouTube. I wasn't able to find that March 2015 review (perhaps it was not filmed but merely included in the magazine) but I did find a 2015 Top 10 Holiday Gift Ideas clip from the Test Kitchen that included the GIR jar spatula (linked below). It appears that the reasons that they recommended it were the same reasons that I like my Core Kitchen spatulas better than some others. I can see how specific sizes and shapes could be preferable for certain tasks and the fact that GIR offers four sizes could help in finding the preferred size, though it would still have to be able to twist in some pretty incredible ways before I could get from $4 to $22! That said, ATK does note that they paid $12.95, which is not so far off of typical retail prices for such things in a full retail markup environment and, at that price, this does appear superior to many other offerings available in a similar environment.
  12. Best new product

    While I agree with the original poster's conclusions about the overall design (unibody construction, silicone based), I would be interested to know what makes these different from the many similar offerings on the market. These look remarkable similar to some Core Kitchen branded spatulas that are regularly available at TJ Maxx/Homegoods/Marshalls and Tuesday Morning for under $4. I have been very happy with both the spatula and spoon/spatula styles that I've purchased and can't imagine what the above spatulas could do to justify the price premium. That said, I grant that not all silicone based spatulas are equal. I have a handful from different manufacturers and find some stiffer than others. While good for some things, in general I prefer the more flexible style with a rigid internal structure.
  13. I've purchased some serving pieces from http://www.vitrifiedstudioshop.com/ in Portland and would highland recommend them. I believe that she is able to do in some quantity, if that's important, as she had a limited line in West Elm for awhile, if I recall correctly. The shop was an Etsy find for me several years ago.
  14. Beet greens are one of my favorites. My typical preparation is a simple stir fry with a bit of salt. Delicious. If you have a juicer, the root makes an excellent addition to raw juices of almost any kind. I almost don't want to make a juice without it.
  15. I also wanted to thank you for posting this (I think). I just spent the last 90 minutes scouring the site and ended up buying more than I should have. Some great deals to be had, though. I found a Volrath Redco dicer plus some accessory blades, some stainless steel cooling racks, and some nice ice buckets all at great prices. The stock appears to be getting thin so I'd recommend that anyone interested check it out soon.
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