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andiesenji

Unusual & unknown kitchen gadgets

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Andie, if you please, how does the water measure doohickey on top work? It looks intriguing.

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Andie, if you please, how does the water measure doohickey on top work? It looks intriguing.

The red disc in the tube moves when you turn a wheel at the closed end of the tube, moving it up or down to hold more or less water for soft to hard eggs.

One fills the tube to the rim and dumps the measured amount into the cooker, adds the eggs either in shell or in the poaching cups, applies the cover and plug it in.

An earlier model came with a separate measuring cup which apparently was often misplaced - thus the upgrade to one that remains permanently attached.

(I have lost the measuring cups for newer poachers (West Bend and Oster) so it was probably a good idea.)

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I would like to report that I have used the Soyabella soymilk maker during the past couple of days (and today), and it works beautifully.

The first thing I made was almond milk from raw almonds - did not bother to skin them as I wanted to see how it worked on them. The almonds were soaked in cold water for four hours.

I discovered a couple of tricks for making it thicker and richer.

The second batch was a combination of blanched raw almonds and raw sunflower seeds. Again, an excellent result, far superior to anything I have ever been able to prepare with my Vita-Mix.

Don't get me wrong, I love the Vita-Mix, but the nut milks made in it are always too grainy and require straining. The Soyabella produces a smooth product with only minimal, extremely fine particles that settle out after it has been refrigerated for a couple of hours. Lovely stuff.

I have tried flavoring it with vanilla and agave syrup (I'm diabetic) and the result was excellent.

I had some on my cereal this morning and found it better than the two commercial brands I have tried.

I've ordered some raw soybeans and will prepare a batch of that when the package arrives. That process takes 15 minutes instead of the less than 5 minutes of the nut milk process.

Meanwhile, I have some barley soaking as I want to try preparing barley "milk" - not mentioned in the appliance brochure, but I sampled some at a health food store a couple of years ago and they wouldn't tell me how it was made............. Maybe this is the secret.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

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We've just received a fairly old carved wooden butter mold. There is a cylinder containing something that is a bit like a pestle with nicely carved depressions depicting acorns, leaves and such.

How do I use this thing?

Is it suppossed to be pressed into a pile of softened butter, as my wife suspects. Or do I just coax butter into the cavities? Then how do I get the butter out, leaving nice clean pieces?

Thanks!

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It could be a cake mold, but I doubt it. I would think there would be too many issues with sticking/tearing when you opened it, but then again, maybe that's why they're not on the market any longer.

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Does anyone know what

THIS eBay item is? Is it really a cake mold?

Looks to me more like a pan for bread. We buy bread shaped just like this here in Ontario - malt bread now -- but we also used to be able to get a cheese bread shaped just like this.

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Yup it's a bread pan. Makes lovely round loafs - National bakery made it as cheese loafs and onion loafs when I was a kid. Great toasted with honey.

I have one of those pans, and I've got to tell you it doesn't fit in a little Miele convection oven unless you take off the side rails - and if you fill the cavities with too much dough it oozes out between the cracks then when it bakes the sucker is nearly permanently closed!

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Thanks! I guess it makes sandwiches that sliced tomatoes fit nicely on....

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We've just received a fairly old carved wooden butter mold.  There is a cylinder containing something that is a bit like a pestle with nicely carved depressions depicting acorns, leaves and such.

How do I use this thing?

Is it suppossed to be pressed into a pile of softened butter, as my wife suspects. Or do I just coax butter into the cavities? Then how do I get the butter out, leaving nice clean pieces?

Thanks!

Would it be anything like this?

http://www.rubylane.com/shops/hannahshouseantiques/item/5818

This is almost the one we have, from my Mammaw's kitchen. There's no thick platform at the bottom of ours---it's just the two pieces, mold and stamp-handle.

This is a little remembrance of the times I was entrusted with the so-important molding chore:

I was allowed to pack the drained butter into the two-piece wooden butter mold. A little wooden handle like those on a darning egg had a flat round "stamp" on one end. The handle was inserted through a hole in the bottom of a wooden bowl about 5" across and 2" deep. The bowl was then packed with the soft butter and placed upside down on a saucer, then the requisite time for hardening in the icebox to set the pattern. Handle was pushed, butter emerged from bowl with the nice grooving from the bowl sides, plus a neat raised picture of a cow on top, courtesy of a carving in the "stamp" part.

You pack the butter in soft, straight from the straining of the churn. Chill the entire thing on a little plate in the "icebox" and when it's properly hardened, push the handle down to eject the butter. A little knife-work around the edges of the still-attached handle part is sometimes necessary, to give you that satisfying smock of a properly-ejected Jello mold. Smooth off any fingerprints caused by your labor.

And a little more cosmetic knife-smoothing around the little nicks you've made, and you're set to invite the Preacher to Sunday Dinner.


Edited by racheld (log)

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Yup it's a bread pan.  Makes lovely round loafs - National bakery made it as cheese loafs and onion loafs when I was a kid.  Great toasted with honey.

I have one of those pans, and I've got to tell you it doesn't fit in a little Miele convection oven unless you take off the side rails - and if you fill the cavities with too much dough it oozes out between the cracks then when it bakes the sucker is nearly permanently closed!

It is a very nice bread pan and was especially made for a type of bread that had a dense, fine crumb that was suitable for extra-thin slicing to make melba toast. (Note that I have a melba toast slicer! :biggrin: in case one is unable to slice thinly enough the first time, a regular slice can be sliced in half.)

Besides the onion and cheese breads, a favorite was a nut bread often served for tea.

P.S. In fact, it looks so much better than the old ones I have that I went back and bought one.

It fits nicely in my Cadco convection oven, without the rack - it hangs on the side rails the same as a half sheet pan. (In case anyone is interested.)


Edited by andiesenji (log)

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(Note that I have a melba toast slicer! :biggrin:  in case one is unable to slice thinly enough the first time, a regular slice can be sliced in half.)

Andie---I learned to make the thinnest Melba toast from a nice man who worked for Chris' Dad down South. His greatest conversation gambit was to mention that his Mother had been a cook in the Royal Household of Sweden.

And since for such a big gruff guy he knew how to prepare odd little dainty food, I believed him.

He would make a slice of toast, cut off the crusts with a serrated knife, then run the knife through the still-soft center bread to make two slices of the one. Then he'd lightly toast it again. But he didn't know what I meant when I said "Melba Toast." It was "Tea Toast."

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(Note that I have a melba toast slicer! :biggrin:  in case one is unable to slice thinly enough the first time, a regular slice can be sliced in half.)

Andie---I learned to make the thinnest Melba toast from a nice man who worked for Chris' Dad down South. His greatest conversation gambit was to mention that his Mother had been a cook in the Royal Household of Sweden.

And since for such a big gruff guy he knew how to prepare odd little dainty food, I believed him.

He would make a slice of toast, cut off the crusts with a serrated knife, then run the knife through the still-soft center bread to make two slices of the one. Then he'd lightly toast it again. But he didn't know what I meant when I said "Melba Toast." It was "Tea Toast."

My post #17 in this thread has a photo of a slice of bread, sliced in half with the odd utensil I pictured in the first post.

When I was a child, my grandpa's cook would bake long round loaves in an ancient pan that was held together with baling wire. It was made of copper but was almost completely black and she never allowed the kitchen help to touch it. She also used it to bake a type of sponge cake that I wish I could duplicate. It was delicious, sliced thin and made into sandwiches, filled with lemon curd.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

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Sponge cake (I'm mentally substituting pound cake) and lemon curd sandwiches...now that sounds decadent and wonderful.

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Sponge cake (I'm mentally substituting pound cake) and lemon curd sandwiches...now that sounds decadent and wonderful.

My grandmother called it a "Victoria" sponge and hers was different from other sponge cakes.

I remember she used a pound of butter and a dozen egg whites PLUS 1 1/2 dozen YOLKS!

The flour was sifted several times - although after cake flour appeared at the end of the '40s, she used that.

She also made the sugar finer by running small amounts in a blender - so I guess that superfine sugar today would be the thing to use, creaming the butter and sugar together before incorporating the egg yolks.

It was denser than most sponge cakes but wonderfully buttery. I remember that she beat the egg whites until she could turn the bowl upside-down without them falling out, then folded them into the batter and did not use baking powder.

I have tried numerous times to duplicate it but have never quite succeeded. She did not use a recipe and did not always use the exact amount of flour. She added it until the batter looked "right" (it would look like a ribbon when she would pull the spoon out of the bowl) - only then would she fold in the egg whites.

I think the amount of flour varied with the amount of humidity in the air, but I am not sure. It has been sixty years and while I have a pretty good memory, some details slip by.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

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Here's one that a customer brought in for ID:

gallery_41282_4708_5461.jpg

gallery_41282_4708_2400.jpg

I'll note that where the edges come together, they are honed suggesting that it should cut into something. Most of my staff is guessing a melon baller, but the number of holes suggests something else to me. One employee said a lamb castrater - I hope not!

I thought maybe a butter baller - my thinking is that the holes aren't to allow juice to flow, but to not create suction. Anybody know?

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BTW, when I searched the patent office with that date I came up with 809 entries. When I refined with ball*, nothing came up. When I refined with cut I came up with 6 entries HERE, but none would allow me to see the image of the specs.

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I don't think it could be for corn because you can see when the hole is big enough for corn to zip through the handles would be in the way.

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According to C I April 2006 p.3, it's a melon baller. Push into melon with handles together, then spread handles to cut and remove melon ball.

Here's one that a customer brought in for ID:

gallery_41282_4708_5461.jpg

gallery_41282_4708_2400.jpg

I'll note that where the edges come together, they are honed suggesting that it should cut into something.  Most of my staff is guessing a melon baller, but the number of holes suggests something else to me.  One employee said a lamb castrater - I hope not!

I thought maybe a butter baller - my thinking is that the holes aren't to allow juice to flow, but to not create suction. Anybody know?


Edited by Quiltguy (log)

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That's unfortunate - not exotic at all. Thanks though.

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That's unfortunate - not exotic at all.  Thanks though.

Not exotic, but, still better than a lamb castrater... :wacko::wacko::laugh:

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How about this:

gallery_17399_60_92506.jpg

gallery_17399_60_186691.jpg

gallery_17399_60_200471.jpg

And this is an odd "critter" -

gallery_17399_60_233377.jpg

And this?

gallery_17399_60_36384.jpg

This is quite old:

gallery_17399_60_157784.jpg

but still very sharp, hence the blade guards.

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am i the only one thinking i probably wouldn't sleep very well at your house?

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