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  1. DouginCMH

    2014 Gifts For The Kitchen

    Matfer chinois French Culinary Institute's Fundamental Techniques of Classic Cuisine textbook, though I really want David Lebovitz's My Paris Kitchen, as well. I have no idea where I can continue to stuff cookbooks. I really need to stop acquiringg them. And yet... Beyond the above, one can't really go wrong with food-related gifts over the holidays. A local cooking school sells honey from a nearby town; very cool glass containers, plugged with a big cork and capped in wax. One or two will fnd their way into Christmas stockings. I'm on the search for some classic/rustic French onion soup bowls, but haven't quite found the perfect set yet. I'd also love an Alsatian Baeckeoffe, but don't see that happeneing this Christmas.
  2. DouginCMH

    Bottle brush

    Exactly (types the former jhomebrewer). They also would have a bottle cleaning nozzle attachment that one can screw onto the end of a faucet that shoots a jet of hot water into a bottle (or 6 gallon carboy).
  3. I'm sure, a few years down the line, something more heavy duty will be in my future, but for the time being, I went with the fairly well-reviewed Breville. I can't say as though I'm particularly inspired by the experience of owning one thus far; if anything, it has more interior plastic pieces than did the KitchenAid. Despite marginal parts, aspects of its design look promising, though. Primarily, I wanted something that would puree soups, and it's supposed to do that well. It also has a no splash design and a non-stratching wand tip, should you use it on a non-stick surface. I do like not having to deal with hot soup splashing up onto my fingers when the wand tip slips up above the soup's surface. Still, it always seemed obvious to me that the suction action in these units was a primary reason why they pureed reasonably well. The Breville doesn't produce a suction effect because of its design. Anyway, I'll treat it somewhat gingerly and hope for the best (no immediate plans to use it to mash up garbanzo beans).
  4. My search for a new immersion blender is necessitated by the untimely death of my KitchenAid model. In general, I was satisfied with its performance. As we have a decent food processor and countertop blender, we relied on the immersion blender primarily to puree soups and make smoothies. However, when the unit expired while i was trying to mash some beans, I discovered a weakness in its design that seems to be shared by a great many immersion blenders with removable wands. In retrospect, using it for this purpose was a poor idea (a manual masher would have worked just fine), yet I had done so before without incident. Regardless, what occured is that the plastic coupling in the motor housing - the piece into which the wand's metal drive shaft end snaps into - stripped, effectively ruining the entire unit. Again, the end of the wand drive shaft that connects to the motor housing is metal; that's not the problem. But it seems as though nearly all commonly found immersion blenders with removable wands make the coupling in the motor housing out of plastic. I won't buy another blender with such a design defect, but it is virtually impossible to know whether a unit has this construction unless you can find one in a store to manually inspect before purchasing; I know of no online reviews that make mention of this issue (even though they all talk about durability). I do enjoy the convenience of a removable wand, but I suppose that's not an absolute requirement. Cost is an issue, but I'll certainly spend more money on a unit that will last. Can anyone in here confirm that units they own with removable wands are constructed such that both the drive shaft end of the wand and the motor housing coupling into which the drive shaft snaps are made of metal?