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What's safe to use to finish butcher block?

No. Vitamin E is a good preservative however. YMMV.

Mar 09, 2012
mobius981 in Cookware

What's safe to use to finish butcher block?

elmowarren, if the beeswax is solid, grate the beeswax and/or use a vegetable peeler on the beeswax like the one I have from oxo...makes it easier to measure and melt....you will be amazed!!! thanks for responding!!! tell me what you think!!!!

Mar 09, 2012
mobius981 in Cookware

Copper - a primer for a potential user

Seitan, how about just one nice copper pan for omelettes and crepes? To experiment with?

Feb 19, 2012
mobius981 in Cookware

Copper - a primer for a potential user

I am a little late to the party, so I will simply talk about my choices and experience....and I am happy with the outcome. When younger, I had the complete Farberware line of stainless steel cookware with aluminum bottoms (you know the kind) and used cast iron for a skillet. This approach worked well enough, until I purchased a glasstop electric stove, which I enjoy. I know, I know, alas, not gas.

I learned early on that I could not use my beloved cast iron skillet on the glass top stove. This awareness actually led to a complete cookware redo, and it was time to do that anyway. I kept the Farberware, it comes in handy on occasion.

After considerable research, I chose the two opposite ends of the spectrum: Le Creuset enameled cast iron and tin-lined copper. The LC heats slowly and holds heat (cools down slowly). I use it for long slow cooking and the fry pan for searing and I also have an inside grill pan in LC. So low and slow for LC, as well as searing, higher heat than copper/tin would tolerate, and as a replacement for the beloved cast iron. For all delicate and/or quick work, I have slowly learned to cook in the tin-lined copper: omelettes and eggs, sauces, a little braising (because I have a lovely rondele). The copper is exquisitely responsive to temperature changes and very fast. That means if the temp is a little high, I can just remove it from the heat and it cools down almost immediately. I generally use pretty low heat for both types of cookware....The LC is very slow and holds heat. The range of the two types of cookware provide me with the versatility in cooking that works very well for me.... and I wanted the challenge each type of cookware provided.

My approach involves making sure that something foodwise is in each type of cookware before heating, usually a cooking oil of some sort...or liquid. I hope this helps the OP some, and others with the same question. These two lines of cookware have made me a better cook....more patient, more aware, more alert, more focused.

Feb 19, 2012
mobius981 in Cookware

What's safe to use to finish butcher block?

A tiny update: Addition to the above recipe: Vitamin E for preservative purposes in case of rancidity. (Some folks have expressed concern about that, ergo the FGMO). And, How I am applying the finish.

So here is what I made: 1 oz beeswax, and 4 oz coconut oil. It actually all melted together in a little pot on my stovetop warming burner. I let the mix cool slightly, and added 400 IU Vitamin E (1 capsule squeezed out). I mixed, poured it in a little jar and let it solidify over night.

Application: New meaning to handrubbed finish!!! The hardened oil/beeswax will melt under pressure from my hand and fingertips. It actually feels good to spread this around on the board and feel the wood under my hand. Bonus: Good for my hands, too, I have a light film left on them when done with the board oiling and just rub it into my skin.

All in all, I am very pleased with the results. The wood is beginning to take on a very lovely sheen and feel. I think it will be good for my knifework also!!!

Feb 19, 2012
mobius981 in Cookware

What's safe to use to finish butcher block?

I know, ain't it great? A friend emailed this to me just recently. It is so right: Two uses in one! I also feed it to my dogs. Lol. I really do. Lately, they seem to be getting smarter and less forgetful.....hmmmm....not wandering around the neighborhood so much either....

Feb 17, 2012
mobius981 in Cookware

What's safe to use to finish butcher block?

Ah, thank you for providing my morning giggle!!!

Feb 17, 2012
mobius981 in Cookware

What's safe to use to finish butcher block?

Okay, I just got the most beautiful John Boos 20x15 x2.25 maple edge grain cutting board from irawoods.com, great price. Then I started thinking, and you know what happens when I start thinking! (Or maybe you don't but read what follows). Anyway the beee-yooo-tiful board was pretty dry when I got it,. so I started researching, how do we oil this masterpiece? So what I found was "food grade mineral oil". And I thought (always thinking) what in the H is "food grade mineral oil"?. More thinking. More researching. And what I found, I didn't like. Ick. Ick. Ick. I had a pretty good idea it wouldn't be a very good thing. More research. (!)

So long story short: Are you ready??????? Here we go: 5 parts coconut oil to one part grated beeswax. Heat until melted together, very low heat (patience is called for) in double boiler, or microwave. New cutting boards: Oil once a day for one week, once a week for a month after and once a month after that. It doesn't get any better I promise you. Put your lovely concoction in a special little jar, tie a ribbon on it, and go to town.

As far as cleaning the beautiful board, I am committed to 50-50 vinegar/water spray bottle/ cloth. There we go. Problem Solved. At least in my tiny corner of the woods.

Feb 16, 2012
mobius981 in Cookware

My wood cutting board smells. HELP!

Okay, I just got the most beautiful John Boos 20x15 x2.25 maple edge grain cutting board from irawoods.com, great price. Then I started thinking, and you know what happens when I start thinking! (Or maybe you don't but read what follows). Anyway the beee-yooo-tiful board was pretty dry when I got it,. so I started researching, how do we oil this masterpiece? So what I found was "food grade mineral oil". And I thought (always thinking) what in the H is "food grade mineral oil"?. More thinking. More researching. And what I found, I didn't like. Ick. Ick. Ick. I had a pretty good idea it wouldn't be a very good thing. More research. (!)

So long story short: Are you ready??????? Here we go: 5 parts coconut oil to one part grated beeswax. Heat until melted together, very low heat (patience is called for) in double boiler, or microwave. New cutting boards: Oil once a day for one week, once a week for a month after and once a month after that. It doesn't get any better I promise you. Put your lovely concoction in a special little jar, tie a ribbon on it, and go to town.

As far as cleaning the beautiful board, I am committed to 50-50 vinegar/water spray bottle/ cloth. There we go. Problem Solved. At least in my tiny corner of the woods.

Feb 16, 2012
mobius981 in Cookware

Your favorite Le Creuset color

Aubergine almost looks Navy to me, and although I haven't set eyes on the two colors except in magazines/internet, I would def go with the Cassis...very beautiful. I keep thinking about a modern-ish kitchen with black counters, stainless appliances, and purple accents/paint etc would be a lovely backdrop for the Cassis, or some of the other new colors which might be why LC has come out with them. Ikea is tres popular in Europe, so that type of kitchen comes to mind....;)

Nov 10, 2011
mobius981 in Cookware

Your favorite Le Creuset color

My favorite color would have to be the old Jade...several beautiful pieces in that color, varied with a beautiful 5 qt braiser in Flame and a large red (Cherry) frying pan. I am an addict!!

Most recent acquisition was a darling 3/4 qt saucepan in the same green with a black rubberish handle (I have never seen one before), and the oil and vinegar set in gradiated Dijon. I also decided to get a #32 terrine in white (a prized piece) and I have a fondue pot in an unknown color resembling a brown rust (purchased unused, from the seventies most likely) which I cherish as well. I do like the little server ware like salt and pepper, garlic pot and honey jar. I gave a set of those out to nmy family last Christmas!!!

I adore the Cassis and Caribbean but they just don't work in my color scheme. The new Fennel looks beautiful, I think!!

Nov 05, 2011
mobius981 in Cookware

New Le Creuset Stoneware "Keeper" Jars, SO cute!!!

Hi, the berry jar comes in red and cassis, taht is all I could find. The lids, don't fit tight, they just sit on top, and on the berry jar there is a little semi-circular hole/opening in the lid for the spatula to sit in the jar with the lid on. Hope this answers your questions: I think the jar is just meant to go from fridge to table...

Dec 14, 2010
mobius981 in Cookware

New Le Creuset Stoneware "Keeper" Jars, SO cute!!!

Has anyone seen this apparently new line? Check it out: honey pot, barbecue sauce pot, syrup pitcher, garlic keeper, mustard jar, Jam (berry) jar, and possibly best of all :an olive jar!! Most come with a mini-utensil matched to purpose of the jar!! When did they come out with these? I got all for myself ;), and am giving them as Christmas presents!! Too adorable, and frankly, a better utility than the veggie/fruit pots (although I love them also). Your table will look fabulous....I came across them by accident.....they are not terribly expensive either...and a fairly good size, I have received the jam jar and garlic keeper; they are quite beautiful. Oh well, rave on!!

Dec 11, 2010
mobius981 in Cookware

Two-week vacation in Paris; self-catering apartment; meal/food/cooking tips invited.

Now THAT is an excellent list!! Thank you, I will take whatever will pass carryon and i like the idea of purchasing an Opinel and the corkscrew when I get there....

May 29, 2010
mobius981 in France

Mostarda Recipe

Prior thread is excellent BTW, thanks so much!! Steep learning curve re: the complexity/variance on this condiment.

May 29, 2010
mobius981 in Home Cooking

Mostarda Recipe

I am deep in contemplation...! I have not made it yet.

May 29, 2010
mobius981 in Home Cooking

Homemade Tahini?

And BTW, bushwick, I have been reading your posts, and am so impressed. I bow to your expertise!!

May 28, 2010
mobius981 in Home Cooking

Homemade Tahini?

good suggestions for oils, indeed!

May 28, 2010
mobius981 in Home Cooking

Foody's: fast, fresh, inexpensive lunch in Les Halles area

Of course that sounds great and close, close, close!!! as I plan the trip; great post, thanks!! Yum!!

May 28, 2010
mobius981 in France

Mostarda Recipe

I searched for a mostarda recipe on CH and did not find one. So here is an excellent link to this rather extensive labor of love:

http://italianfood.about.com/od/sauce...

4.5 pounds of fruit down to two pints!!!

May 28, 2010
mobius981 in Home Cooking

Homemade Tahini?

http://middleeasterncuisine.suite101....
Sounds like fun, and so easy. now what kind of oil? Canola would be a healthy choice...post how it turns out!!

May 28, 2010
mobius981 in Home Cooking

Two-week vacation in Paris; self-catering apartment; meal/food/cooking tips invited.

Ahh, quelle grande idees!!! Merci, merci...Please continue!! I will attempt to respond at least in part to some of the commentary.
I will be located approximately equidistant from the following metro stops: Chatelet Les Halles, Etienne Marcel , and Rambuteau.
The idea of shopping seasonally is quite entrancing, shop every day or two, be creative with simple dishes, few ingredients. I loved Laura Calder's recipes. Eek! I feel a possible blog coming on: Cook from French recipes all summer and then go practice the real thing in the real place. Tips are great, take a rollup cutting mat, as well as a couple le creuset spatuals and whisks. I am such a dyed-in-the-wool carryon person that the beautiful knives will have to remain at home. ;(. The bottled soup...who knew! Fantastic idea...And yes, I WILL dine out a time or two, d'accord. (My French is mysteriously reappearing)!

May 26, 2010
mobius981 in France

Two-week vacation in Paris; self-catering apartment; meal/food/cooking tips invited.

Indeed! I will toss the bar into outer space and stock up on portable boulangerie goodies "aux amandes":). Yes, and an excellent link as well, thank you, Montorgueil is quite close, as are others! While searching CH, I stumbled across this excellent thread, which is over a year ago so may not pop up on a search:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6076....
The idea of "les traiteurs" also sounds excellent; I am getting a French lesson here from the food terms!

May 24, 2010
mobius981 in France

Two-week vacation in Paris; self-catering apartment; meal/food/cooking tips invited.

I love the European food markets and Paris may have the best; I could see myself happily going from market to market instead of museum-landmark-museum! Does the market on Rue Montorgueil have a name? I don't see it on the webpage (looking for hours it is open and general location) but I can keep an eye out for it! Also, I did look up Les Enfants Rouge and what a great budget travel tip for lunches in such an historical location....my imagination is stirred by your in season food tips as well...also much appreciate the pointers on more/less expensive markets, as well as the closing times....in town from 9/10 to 9/25, so mid-September is right on.

May 24, 2010
mobius981 in France

Two-week vacation in Paris; self-catering apartment; meal/food/cooking tips invited.

Okay, your responses are already great!!! I almost forgot the garlic on my short list. I may post the shopping list and let folks add if they want...Also, the energy snacks are, you know, dried fruit, granola, nuts, that I can mix myself and put in my day pack along with some fruit juice in those nice cardboard cartons, the quart size ones...just don't want to get cranky in the middle of the Louvre or waiting in line somewhere! The roasted chicken idea is great, then sandwiches the next day, then soup as mentioned, and so on!!! The take out/prepared food will be wonderful also, I hear Picarde is fabulous, and then I don't overbuy for one (often an issue)! And I promise to indulge in the restaurant scene, I will!!

May 23, 2010
mobius981 in France

Thanks for all the advice, hints and straight talk prior to our trip to Paris in May.

OMG, you JUST got back! Wow, talk about getting incredible current input about self-catering, and what a great set of stories and food input! I know I also will be "tres triste" upon my return....And! I also plan to go to Giverny! So your jaunt sounded lovely....yes eating on the train!!

May 23, 2010
mobius981 in France

Two-week vacation in Paris; self-catering apartment; meal/food/cooking tips invited.

You may scoff at this request, or you might have a lot of fun! Finally, I go to Paris in September 2010. One week is not enough so two it is. I will have a lovely apartment in the heart of Paris, so far so good, 1st Ar. In order to have more money to spend on this museum of a city, and because I am an independent little cuss, I plan to cook most of my meals, or at least prepare them. My first effort after getting to the apartment will be a quick grocery trip, to the Monoprix, because I arrive on a Saturday, and want to make it thrugh til Monday. I plan to walk, pack picnic lunches, and energy snacks, have petit dejeuner in the lovely apartment, and likely eat the evening meal there as well. Now, of course, if I provide my own meals, I could purchase nicer ingredients. I could go to all the fun markets, bakeries, boulangeries, and so on. So there is an argument to be made for the idea of immersing in the culture by cooking for yourself. I will, I am sure, enjoy a meal out here or there, but not as a rule, just for the experience of the fantastic location mostly (e.g. lunch at the Musee d"Orsay perhaps).

I have traveled extensively in Europe as a child and and adult, and I usually rent an apartment and spend a week in a chosen capitol (unpack once!), so I am not completly new to this idea, but I am new to Paris (which I have always thought a bit daunting for me, ergo the two weeks to get THAT worked out).

I am writing to get input: meal planning, picnic suggestions, grocery/market suggestions, grocery lists in particular. The apartment has a small fridge AND a similar sized (dare I say it) freezer. It also has an oven and four burner stove(!). I assume, of course, that they work. Yes, it does lack an automatic dishwasher, so there. ;)

I look forward to any and all suggestions. As you might imagine, I have nearly as much fun planning as I will going, and being there. Thank you in advance!

May 23, 2010
mobius981 in France

Do any of you use silicone whisks?

Absolutely have the silicone whisks which are silicone covered wire, work just as well as plain wire, and i use them for le creuset and tin-lined copper, my primary cookware. At this point, I wouldn't use wire or steel utensils for anything!!!! Cuisipro makes a nice kine that I like very well...lots of variety!! Pretty colors!!

May 01, 2010
mobius981 in Cookware

Spice Racks

hope that helps, they are held in place by magnetic strips. And because the cupboards are normally closed, they are kept in the dark.

Feb 10, 2010
mobius981 in Features

Spice Racks

how about this, spice fans? And it is only half!!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/47412400...

Feb 10, 2010
mobius981 in Features