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Large Bundt Pan with Enameled Interior?

Congrats! I love happy endings.

1 day ago
ellabee in Cookware
1

Relative merits of long handles vs dutch oven style pots?

Depends heavily on whether the applications for the pan include the need to "flip stir" the food, as monavano mentions, and whether that kind of manipulation is possible given the weight of the pot and contents.

For a big, 11" saute/braiser pan, the two-handled version is much more useful for me because I have a small oven (when I had a long-handled one, it would only fit into the oven in one spot, and was impossible to do anything else in the oven at the same time).

I have a 3 qt saucier with one long handle that I sometimes wish had two loop handles, but just this week I was frying a curry paste and finding the long handle convenient for once, as I "stir fried" the contents. I still wish it had a helper handle, for stability when moving it when filled with liquid.

Apr 07, 2014
ellabee in Cookware

Best sub $100.00 portable induction cooktop

Sorry about your experience with the Max Burton, because that's what I'd recommend. An 1800W one has been in daily use here for almost three years with no problems.

Apr 07, 2014
ellabee in Cookware

Help ID Original Use for old earthenware Jar (Robinson-Ransbottom)

Crocks this size make a good container for largish arrangements; if you're at all concerned about leaking through an undiscovered hairline crack, you can use a plastic container inside it.

Apr 06, 2014
ellabee in Cookware

Universal pan?

If you're looking for a fait-tout, 2 qts is too small. The 3-qt "stew pan" (two-handled saucier) is the pan to have if you can only have one, IMO. It's 9.5" diam at the top. http://www.falkusa.com/falk-copper-co...

Apr 06, 2014
ellabee in Cookware

Braising in the oven or on the stove top?

I prefer what comes out of the oven, and for seven months of the year I don't mind having the oven on for two or three hours. It also frees up the small stovetop for other cooking.

In summer, when the heat's too much to have the oven on for any length of time, if I really want a braise or stew I use either the induction unit (great for carnitas) or the pressure cooker. It's nice to have an already cooked dish that just needs warming up on days when I come in from the garden at dusk -- it's too late then to cook much from scratch, and I'm beat.

Apr 05, 2014
ellabee in Home Cooking

COTM (Cookbook of the Month) Recipes So Good You've Made Them at Least Three Times: Quick and Easy/Weeknight Edition

A million thanks, TDQ, for starting this thread and for compiling the list. Saving the link, and offering up a little prayer of gratitude for all the chowhounds.

Apr 04, 2014
ellabee in Home Cooking
2

COTM (Cookbook of the Month) Recipes So Good You've Made Them at Least Three Times: Quick and Easy/Weeknight Edition

Herby, I really feel for you. It was an experience just like that with pork chops that put me off factory-farmed meat for good. I'd been wanting to make the break for a while, and that pushed me over the edge.

Best wishes for success in sourcing; it's gotten a lot easier in my area, but is still a real struggle in many places. Every little bit helps, and provides real encouragement to the farmers who are raising animals right.

Apr 04, 2014
ellabee in Home Cooking

Menu Planning

It's true that planning's not worth the effort for everyone. But can't agree TDQ is in that group -- she had a fine fridge-contents system going, that will only need the right dry-erase pen to re-start. <g>

That's a pretty small effort for a big payoff in timely use of leftovers and perishable ingredients.

Throwing away food gone bad is not only boring, but unpleasant and expensive. Not the way most of us want to spend the precious time we have here on this earth, either.

Apr 04, 2014
ellabee in Home Cooking
1

Menu Planning

My life changed for the better when I started a whiteboard on the side of the fridge to inventory what's there (and put up shopping lists). At the same time I got zealous about labeling and dating every container. Both are now habits, and there's a LOT less waste.

Apr 02, 2014
ellabee in Home Cooking
1

how do you store your spices?

Oils and vinegars in the fridge (mostly in the door and along the wall of the lowest shelf), spices in square tins held onto the pantry cabinet doors with strips of magnetic tape.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8087...

Apr 02, 2014
ellabee in Cookware

Chinese cookbooks beyond Every Grain of Rice

Some older books that are highly recommended by chowhounds are The Key to Chinese Cooking by Irene Kuo and The Modern Art of Chinese Cooking by Barbara Tropp.

And I second the idea of getting one of Fuchsia Dunlop's other books -- Revolutionary Cooking (Hunan) or Land of Plenty (Sichuan).

Apr 02, 2014
ellabee in Home Cooking

What's new in your kitchen?

Having gotten through two days of high winds without the power going out, my yearning is stronger than ever. 7 cu. ft. is just exactly what we're going for, and an upright (despite being less energy efficient, only thing that fits the space and I think easier to stay on top of what's where).

Many enjoyable dives in for great food!

Mar 31, 2014
ellabee in Cookware
1

What's new in your kitchen?

I don't need a thing, either, really, despite my freezer crush above.

[And today is one of those days (50mph winds, saturated soil, trees going over, neighbors losing power) that reminds me of the potential downside of an extra freezer.]

My newest kitchen item was $5 purchase that's made life much easier: a second set of measuring spoons that live in a jar on the worktable near the spice storage, for easy ingredient assembly. No more walking back and forth to the main prep area to get and put away measuring spoons, no missing the spoon I want because it's sitting in the mise en place filled with a spice...

Mar 30, 2014
ellabee in Cookware

What's new in your kitchen?

SO envious. Um, I mean, happy for you!

How many cubic feet?

Mar 30, 2014
ellabee in Cookware

Stainless-lined copper pans from the 1970s

Close reading of the company history at your link makes it seem likely that the copper is plated onto the pans. So maybe the cast iron is there because it will hold thicker plating than stainless will? Otherwise mystifying.

Mar 30, 2014
ellabee in Cookware

Stainless-lined copper pans from the 1970s

No, I'd have definitely reported if so. Your description makes it clear why the stuff is so heavy!

The Cook's Catalogue is actually a whopping book about cookware -- they did move into merchandising later for a while, if I recall correctly. Its design is very reminiscent of New York Magazine of the same era, because both were done by Milton Glaser. It's a New York-centric production generally, aimed at upper middle class consumers.

Mar 30, 2014
ellabee in Cookware

Stainless-lined copper pans from the 1970s

Another early stainless-lined copper was produced by Spring Bros., in Switzerland. The copper is thinner than the Legio pans, and the only piece depicted in the book is an oval gratin with soldered-on brass handles, available in sizes from 9 to 15 inches.

I was already aware of Spring -- there's a good bit of it on ebay -- but hadn't realized that these bimetal pans were made so early on.

Mar 30, 2014
ellabee in Cookware

Stainless-lined copper pans from the 1970s

On a raw, wintry, should-be-spring-but-isn't day, I'm procrastinating on cleaning chores by poring through The Cook's Catalogue. This book, acquired by my parents soon after publication in 1975, contributed heavily to my interest in cookware and influenced my early purchases.

It's also filled with surprises. Who knew that there were stainless-lined copper pots so early? The Legion company of Long Island, NY sold a Bi-Metal line, mainly to restaurants. It included a range of stockpots from 13 quarts up to 122 quarts, and saucepans (with very uncomfortable-looking stainless handles) from 1.5 to 61.5 quarts.

Were these manufactured by Legion, or imported, and if so from where? The description makes it sound as if the stainless layer was thicker in relation to the copper than today's Mauviel-Falk-Bourgeat offerings -- not really a good thing.

Has anyone ever seen one of these Bi-Metal pans? Or known anything about their manufacture?

Mar 30, 2014
ellabee in Cookware

Safe Use of Vintage Aluminum Cookware

I'm betting that the Gourmet company called your pan a "Crepe Chef" (mine being the Omelet Chef; mis-remembered in earlier post). Either pan would work for either food, but of course they wanted to sell two pans instead of one!

The company also made a cast aluminum casserole that was intended for cooking clams and mussels. ?!! Seems like an un-ideal material, given how often wine is used in that application, so there'd be lots of discoloration and leaching. It's attractive and indestructible-looking, 10 inches across and 7 deep (10 qt capacity). Would probably make an outstanding no-knead baker if the walnut knob (same material as the handles on our pans) were replaced with something more heat-proof. On page 402 of Cook's Catalogue <-- the book that intensified my cookware geekiness at a young age.

Mar 30, 2014
ellabee in Cookware

What cookbooks have you bought recently, or are you lusting after? March 2014 edition! [through March 31, 2014]

Oooh, nice find. The Mary Cech book is on my wishlist, along with about a hundred others. Am carefully avoiding thrift shops and library sales until I've cooked at least once from my unused cookbooks (now down to seven!)

Mar 30, 2014
ellabee in Home Cooking

The 3 Must-Have Vinegars

When I was young, cider vinegar was what we thought of as "vinegar". Maybe because we're in an apple-producing region, maybe because it was the vinegar of Appalachian foodways.

At some point in the 1970s, everyone seemed to switch to red wine vinegar as the default. I was startled to learn that in Eat Your Books indexing, red and white wine vinegars are "store cupboard ingredients", i.e. not listed unless a cup or more is used, while cider vinegar is special/specific enough that it's always listed when called for, even in amounts as small as a spoonful.

Mar 30, 2014
ellabee in General Topics

Menu Planning

with you there, TDQ. It's all I can do to put away the shopping haul. This is a strong reason to shop a couple of times a week rather than one big trip.

Further prep of any kind -- such as for that day's meal -- needs to wait until I've recovered, off my feet and ideally with a glass of something fortifying.

Advance prep sessions are very useful, and can even be enjoyable -- but only if they happen on a different day than any grocery/market shopping.

The only exception to this for me is the occasional "chicken day" at the local foods store; I usually order two or three whole chickens, and given our weeny freezer this means prepping one for roasting that evening, cutting up the others for parts to freeze, and making stock with the remains. I did that last week and was really beat by the time I got the cooled stock into the fridge. Serious uptick in yearning for stand-alone freezer...

Mar 30, 2014
ellabee in Home Cooking
1

Recommendation for Nesting SS Bowls?

Ah. So no need to get in the truck...

Mar 29, 2014
ellabee in Cookware

Recommendation for Nesting SS Bowls?

:: now I only see SS bowls that are deeper than they are wide ::

Will have to renew my visits to restaurant supply places.

I'm wondering if the increased use of immersion blenders has something to do with the deeper shape. I like the true-hemisphere shape best for holding and stirring, but for buzzing, those steep walls are a plus.

Mar 29, 2014
ellabee in Cookware

Recommendation for Nesting SS Bowls?

Your best bet might be to find a set of four that's also offered singly, so you could get extras of the smallest size for prep bowls.

Mar 29, 2014
ellabee in Cookware

Recommendation for Nesting SS Bowls?

My most frequent use of the two largest stainless bowls here is to cool down stock (one inside the other, with ice & water in the larger one), for which their deep dimensions and near-vertical walls are ideal. But I've not found any close to the shape of these; it's one of the things I always check in any catalog or cookware store.

This, along with the wide, flattish bases of the bowls I use, has made me think that they might have been bowls that went with my mother's first stand mixer (whose motor burned out while on loan to a friend; I can still remember how steamed she was at the culprit).

All the smaller stainless bowls have the more flared shape, so they nest nicely in a separate stack, despite their being a hodgepodge. The difference in weight of steel among them is startling.

Sorry, kaleo; none of this is the slightest help in your quest.

Mar 29, 2014
ellabee in Cookware

Menu Planning

A lot depends on where you do your food shopping, and how much of a savings in gas and time it is to do once a week versus twice.

The time you save with a once-a-week trip might be eaten up when you get home, in re-organizing and stuffing things into the fridge and cupboards. And there's more pressure on a weekly shop (must get *everything* we might need), so the added stress might cancel out the human-energy savings. There's also the reality that some of the most perishable items are a few days older by the end of the week than they'd be if you shopped twice.

A little more space in the fridge pays off in easier, less stressful cooking all week long.

Mar 29, 2014
ellabee in Home Cooking
1

Menu Planning

Should say right off that my meals involve a high proportion of existing favorites. In fact, one of the minor benefits of planning for me is the spur to actually cook a few of the new recipes or dishes that I've flagged somewhere, by scheduling them in. Otherwise they'd stay in the forever future of "sometime soon".

My major impetus for planning is to minimize waste while basing the cooking on locally grown foods as much as possible. But whatever your priorities, planning can help you achieve them.

A couple of tools that make it easier:
1 - A record of your meals, ideally in a format that makes it easy to see a month or so at once.
2 - An inventory of food on hand.
At a minimum, this means the most urgent perishables, prepped items, and leftovers. A freezer inventory with dates lets you can use up the older items while they're still good, free up space for a few new items, and get a rotation going. Sometimes you may want to look over the pantry & fridge for jars and tins that were used once or never, in order to make use of them before they age further.
3 - A compact list of favorites (compiled by reading over your meal history). Star particularly easy ones.

Sitting with these, you can plug in a few suitable favorites over the next week. The blanks can be filled with new things to try. If you're planning three or four days ahead, that means there'll only be one or two recipes you need to build a shopping list from (and plan out the prep for, especially anything well in advance like soaking beans or defrosting a big cut of meat).

Mar 28, 2014
ellabee in Home Cooking
1

Menu Planning

That is definitely the way to go, TDQ. Anything that's overwhelming risks causing you to ditch the whole process.

And the tips and techniques you'll develop from doing three or four days will be applicable if you decide, once comfortable, to extend your ambitions to a week.

The crucial stress-buster is avoiding the what-to-do-tonight decision with a blank slate, by having one or several pre-planned options already written down. As you noted in the COTM weeknight thread, the blank slate is paralyzing exactly because there are *too many* options.

Mar 28, 2014
ellabee in Home Cooking
2