KitchenBarbarian's Profile

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Do you think I should exchange my Vitamix Professional Series 500 for a Vitamix Series Professional Series 750 blender?

"Whatever makes her happy; the 5200's a great machine and I can't imagine anyone's not being thrilled with it."

Actually she was thrilled enough with it to keep it over the 300, and made that pretty obvious in the actual video.

As for a simple mistake like mistaking speed 10 for equivalent to HIGH on the other machine, she DID have TWO of them at the same time - missing a minor detail like that doesn't make her careless or an idiot and is absolutely no indication whatsoever of whether or not she read the manual. It's a simple misunderstanding.

You know, kind of like the one you made when you misunderstood the point Canthespam was trying to make.

NBD, in either case.

Sep 20, 2012
KitchenBarbarian in Cookware

Do you think I should exchange my Vitamix Professional Series 500 for a Vitamix Series Professional Series 750 blender?

Not sure what your gripe is - she ended up KEEPING the 5200, and acknowledged her mistake. It's a simple one to make and she did correct herself, so why beat her up over such a trivial issue?

Sep 20, 2012
KitchenBarbarian in Cookware

Tried and True Recipes from David Thompson's "Thai Food"

Ah, so my ex, one of the top 2 or 3 guys in his engineering field in the world, is a "low class fool".

Sorry, but I've been around people who chew paan and it's a dirty habit. And they weren't "low class fools" either. The vast majority of them acknowledge it as a dirty habit, and I'm pretty sure about half of them did NOT use tobacco with it at all. Maybe a little more, maybe a little less. Around there.

BTW, why you would classify people who are poor and ill-educated in a country where grinding poverty is still the norm as "low class fools" I cannot imagine.

As for my familiarity or lack thereof with Indian culture, I've lived there. Have you?

I'm not going to debate with you the fact that these two substances, betel and the nut (which I can't remember the spelling of ATM so I'm not going to try) are mild narcotics. I don't debate facts, period paragraph.

However, the fact that they are mild narcotics isn't really an issue for me, other than that people should be aware of it. I put it about on a par with caffeine addiction, and I think our government is crazy on the issue of so-called "drugs" so I'm not about to draw anybody's official attention to one more thing they can get all huffy about and try to ban.

It's not a boutique, gentile habit as you seem to suggest. Personally I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pool, but YMMV and clearly it does.

Sep 20, 2012
KitchenBarbarian in Home Cooking

Do you think I should exchange my Vitamix Professional Series 500 for a Vitamix Series Professional Series 750 blender?

Here's a comparison of the 300 with the 5200 by a first time user - note that she didn't realize speed 10 wasn't the same as "HIGH" so it LOOKS like the 5200 takes a little longer to make snow out of ice cubes, but its not a good comparison since she had the 300 on HIGH but not the 5200.

FWIW.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rBvr1...

Because she wasn't really running them at the same speed, her spoken conclusion that the 300 was the more powerful/faster isn't necessarily supported by the test, something she acknowledges in the comments.

She kept the 5200, BTW.

Sep 19, 2012
KitchenBarbarian in Cookware

Tried and True Recipes from David Thompson's "Thai Food"

Oh don't! No offense, but when my ex came here from India in the 70's , you couldn't get paan or betel here. So he had to break the habit. Having broken it, to this day he refers to it as a nasty habit, which it is. Sorry, but it's no better than someone chewing tobacco and spitting that in public.

Betel makes you drool. It's spit or drown. That bright red stream of spit is hard to miss, and it marks wherever you spit. And it stains your teeth. It's a mild narcotic, you know, both the betel leaf and the nut. That's what makes it addictive. If you add tobacco to the mix it's even worse. I'm actually surprised it isn't a controlled substance, given how crazy our government is about the "war on drugs".

There's a very high incidence of oral cancer in areas where betel chewing is common. Wherever they tuck the quid, that's where the cancer starts.

Sep 19, 2012
KitchenBarbarian in Home Cooking

Do you eat fortune cookies? Does anyone?

I think you're right, they're not generally as good as they used to be. I finish them anyway, as if the next bite will somehow restore a not-so-good fortune cookie to it's former glory...

Sep 19, 2012
KitchenBarbarian in General Topics

Celery is Evil?

It's live for me.

and LOL! at Perilagu Khan, you punster, you!

Sep 19, 2012
KitchenBarbarian in General Topics

If you are invited over to friends' home for dinner...

There are no qualifications. No one is ever required to accept a gift from anyone else.

That said, there's no need to be rude about it (I mean ACTUALLY rude, where it is done in malice, as opposed to the faux kind of rude you believe in), and I'm not talking about instances where such refusal is being used selectively as a weapon in and of itself, such as refusing a gift from one child but not another in order to be manipulative. But simply refusing a gift, in the absence of ulterior motive or manipulative intent, is not rude.

Insisting that someone MUST accept a gift, however, is very rude. Pressing a gift on someone is what is very very out of line.

The bigger the power differential, the more rude and obnoxious the behavior is.

When a man presses gifts on a woman who doesn't want them, by your lights, she is required by the "rules of propriety" to accept, no matter how uncomfortable this makes her feel.

Yet, should a woman continue to accept such gifts even though she has no romantic feelings towards the man and continues to make that clear, that woman is seen as cheap and conniving. So she still loses.

Either she's rude and out of line for refusing the gift, or she's obnoxious and grasping for accepting it. I'll go with the former.

The whole "hostess gift" idea isn't about being generous. When a "gift" is REQUIRED, it ceases to be a gift at all and becomes something entirely different.

And no, I do not HAVE to accept your hostess gift. I probably will, the first time; while doing my best to make it clear to you that in the future no such gift is wanted or needed. Should you show up on my doorstep a SECOND time with an unwanted gift - I think it should be pretty obvious that, having been told once not to do that, if you do it again anyway, it isn't me who's being rude and inconsiderate, it's you.

I doubt we'd have such a problem though because it's pretty clear we live in totally separate worlds and are unlikely ever to cross paths to start with.

Sep 19, 2012
KitchenBarbarian in Not About Food

If you are invited over to friends' home for dinner...

So the way your world works is that people have to take what you give them, whether they want it or not, whether or not it makes them uncomfortable or causes them physical or emotional pain, so you can feel good about yourself?

Fortunately I don't have to live in your world.

Sep 19, 2012
KitchenBarbarian in Not About Food

If you are invited over to friends' home for dinner...

"Serve it to them and pour the rest out" is completely unrealistic for most alcoholics.

There is absolutely no need for either party to apologize "profusely" in such a circumstance. Simply saying "we don't allow alcohol in the house, I'm sorry" is enough and is not, and should not be seen as, rude. Just take it back and put it in the car. A gift that can make you ill or even kill you is no gift at all.

People are under absolutely NO compunction whatsoever to accept a gift from ANYONE. Ever. Under any circumstances. "Issues" have nothing to do with it. If you offer a gift and I refuse, accept it and move on. It isn't rude to refuse a gift; it's rude to try to press an unwanted gift on someone else, though. Rude, at the very least, probably more than slightly manipulative, if not something far worse.

Sep 19, 2012
KitchenBarbarian in Not About Food

penzeys question

As I said, if you're shopping online - thereby recognizing that "not *everyone* lives in or near a big city".

Penzey's still doesn't carry everything you would need to cook Thai, Hispanic, Indian, or other ethnic Asian cuisines, so you'd still need to hunt up sources for the missing spices; why not just get all of them from the same source? And the savings can be significant, if you do use a lot of a particular family of spices.

I've nothing against Penzey's per se but they are pretty durn expensive for some things, compared to other online sources.

Sep 19, 2012
KitchenBarbarian in General Topics

Brown rice. Better for you than white rice. But I don't like it. How do you cook it to make it palatable?

Why? I've been cooking and eating brown rice for over 30 years and I've never bothered to do such a thing.

Sep 19, 2012
KitchenBarbarian in Home Cooking

penzeys question

I can't imagine a city having a Penzey's, but not a single Asian market.

And if you're talking buying mail order, you can as easily (and more cheaply) buy such spices via the Internet from an online Indian grocery as you can from Penzey's.

I do buy the vast majority of my spices from Indian or other Asian markets. I've only ever placed one order with Penzeys, and I forgot to put the marjoram on it, daggumit!

BTW they are having free shipping on orders of $30 or more through Oct 14, 2012

Sep 19, 2012
KitchenBarbarian in General Topics

Brown rice. Better for you than white rice. But I don't like it. How do you cook it to make it palatable?

I've lived all over the US and I've always been able to find it - Sam's has carried it for years, though Costco only carries it off and on. If I didn't find it in an Indian grocery, I probably found it at Sam's or Costco.

The packaging company is based in CA, so it may be more readily available on the West Coast; but I live on the East Coast now and both the closest Indian markets carry it.

The last time we shopped at Costco, they had the Royal basmati in the new packaging and I didn't recognize it, so I ended up buying a 25 lb bag of Blue Ribbon long grain rice instead. OMG, I was never so glad to work my way through something in my life! The only way it was edible (as far as I was concerned) was in dosa or fried rice. I'll never touch a bag of the stuff again!

I brought home some Royal Basmati a few weeks again and it was like I'd died and gone to heaven. I'd forgotten how good rice can be. I will need to go out and buy some idli rice now, though, since basmati makes for lousy dosa.

Sep 19, 2012
KitchenBarbarian in Home Cooking

guests not offering to do dishes, is it rude?

Common sense, at last!

Sep 19, 2012
KitchenBarbarian in Not About Food

If you are invited over to friends' home for dinner...

I don't give dinner parties any more, but when I did, "hostess gifts" were never a part of the scenario.

All those statements starting stiffly with "It is customary..." - well, what is "customary" varies widely.

If someone brings flowers and there is someone allergic in the house, the flowers are not coming in. Even if they're "in the back bedroom", the pollen is going to be throughout the house. Out they go, no apologies necessary on either side. Surely, with all this display of "civility", one can manage to actually BE civil and take into consideration the MEDICAL needs of others without using it as an excuse to get miffed and huffy.

As for expecting an alcoholic to graciously accept a gift of alcohol, don't be a git. It's not your fault if you didn't know, but if you show up at someones house with an unsolicited gift of alcohol, be gracious if the person asks you not to bring it in. Assume they have a good reason and let it drop. Why are so many people's egos tied up in this sort of thing?

The whole "hostess gift" thing is definitely NOT part of my culture, nor has it ever been "customary". If I ask someone if I can bring something and I'm told "no", then I don't bring anything. And I'd rather people coming to my home not bring anything, either. If I want olive oil, I'll already have it in my cupboard. Ditto jam, jelly, vinegar, etc etc etc. Chocolates? Thanks but no thanks. I invite people to my home because I want to socialize with them, not because I want to sweep up some "hostess gifts".

Thankfully I've never had an issue with anyone I know over such trivial things. If someone did bring a "gift", I would accept it graciously, but at a future time I would also let them know that an invitation is simply that, no hostess gift is necessary, and that the best gift they can give me is simply their presence.

As far as bringing a gift of wine, if you have 6,000 bottles of wine in your private cellar, I guarantee there is no wine I could or would bring to you that wouldn't be coldly accepted and regifted at the earliest opportunity to the gardener or something, LOL! Anything I would consider a mid-priced wine is definitely going to be "plonk" in that world! My idea of a really good wine is Beringer's Beaujolais, and half the time my wine is either Two Buck Chuck, or it comes in a box, LOL!

The problem is, with all the comments of "it's the gesture that counts", it's pretty clear that making the gesture is NOT sufficient for an awful lot of people - or maybe that's a lot of awful people. The number of people who have complained about crappy hostess gifts in this thread makes THAT abundantly clear, LOL!

Declining health means I am no longer up to having people over for dinner. Moving all over the country means most of my friends are long gone, and being virtually a shut-in means I don't meet people. So my dinner party days are past me. But when I was giving them and going to them, no one *I* ever knew made such a fuss about hostess gifts, the lack thereof, or what would be "acceptable" should someone chance to show up with one.

And if I ever knew anyone who would kick up a fuss about being asked to leave an allergen outside the house for the safety and comfort of another guest (or of the host), I surely didn't know them for long.

THAT is what is "customary" for me!

Sep 19, 2012
KitchenBarbarian in Not About Food

i have 5 spice powder. what can i make?

Sep 19, 2012
KitchenBarbarian in Home Cooking

penzeys question

Nah, I don't care even $5 worth, LOL! I'm just as happy actually cooking from scratch when I'm cooking from scratch, LOL!

Sep 18, 2012
KitchenBarbarian in General Topics

penzeys question

Sunny Paris Seasoning 2.6 oz. 2 Cup $36.35

I have friends who love the stuff, but at that price, there's no way it will ever be found in my cupboard. Freeze dried shallots? Ummm, I'd rather have fresh any day.

Hand-mixed from: shallots, chives, green peppercorns, dill weed, basil, tarragon, chervil and bay leaf.

I'm not sure why the mix is so expensive - to my knowledge, other than freeze-dried shallots, tarragon is the most expensive herb in there, and even it doesn't approach $14 an ounce! I guess the green peppercorns are pretty expensive as well, but still.... It's mostly either much cheaper herbs, or herbs that really ought to be used fresh anyway (like shallots and basil).

Sep 18, 2012
KitchenBarbarian in General Topics

What are you baking these days? September 2012 [old]

Perhaps. But there are days - many many days - when I am just as glad that that branch of my family emigrated... LOL!

Sep 18, 2012
KitchenBarbarian in Home Cooking

uses for food processor

That's probably the same one I have. DLC-7? DLC-8? DLC-10? Something like that. I've had it for 30 years.

Can't get a whole potato or a whole onion down the feed tube, it's too narrow. It's the 2.75" width that screws it all up.

Mechanically it's fine. It's this insistence on protecting ourselves from ourselves with the narrow feed tubes that ruins it for me. Even the new ones that are supposed to have wider feed tubes don't really have MUCH wider feed tubes.

Sep 18, 2012
KitchenBarbarian in Cookware

uses for food processor

Which food processor do you have? Maybe they're making one with a giant feed tube now, but I have never seen one that would take a whole potato or a whole onion - at least not the size of the ones *I* buy. They're a good 4" across, usually.

I do have to cut a cabbage into quarters for the V-slicer, but there's no way 1/4 cabbage would fit in my Cuisinart.

Sep 18, 2012
KitchenBarbarian in Cookware

uses for food processor

A mixer's all you need for pizza dough, but I have to admit I let my Zo do that for me. I even have all the dry ingredients pre-measured in old sour cream containers so all I have to do is weigh out the water, dump in the yeast and oil, and empty a container into the machine, set it on the dough cycle, and let 'er rip.

For slicing, unless you are very very picky about having infinite settings for widths/thicknesses, my Borner V-1001 slicer does it all. You can get slices a bit more than 1/8" thick (3.5mm) and a bit over 1/4" (7mm). It comes with 2 julienne inserts that give you juliennes in the same sizes, plus there are 2 extra julienne inserts you can get for it which give you both a smaller (1.6mm = 1/16") and a larger 10mm (0.4 inches) julienne. That larger is like a steak-fry type of shape - you're limited in how deep you can go because of the design of the V1001 - the rails you slide the insert in will only let you go so low.

The only problem I see with the extra blades is they don't make a storage caddy for them. Which is weird, but whatever. They are imported directly from the factory by only one place in the US that I know of, which is http://www.simplygoodstuff.com

Apparently they CAN sell you an extra V-1001 holder to store the extra blades in, but you can only order it over the phone, they don't have it on their website.

I'm not an employee of Swissmar, Borner, or that simplygoodstuff website (I actually bought all the Borner stuff I have up to now from Amazon), but I waited for literally decades before getting a mandoline, partly because I was afraid of them and partly because the really good ones were (I thought) all REALLY expensive. Plus, I had the Cuisinart, with all the blades, even though I ended up hardly ever using it because of the problems mentioned above.

Then I had to move in with my son due to health problems and my Cuisinart got left behind. I ended up buying the Borner in a desperate attempt to come up with a way to get around some fatigue and dexterity issues, and I regret only that I waited 30 years to get one of these, LOL!

I also have the Thin Julienne slicer which makes super thin shreds, perfect for stir fry, asian salads, and hash browns. I can shred enough potatoes for hash browns for 2 in less time than it takes to peel the potatoes. I don't even have to do the old Julia Child Squeeze-the-water-out-of-the-shredded-potatoes trick, the shreds are so fine, they make perfect hash browns without bothering with that (better, in fact).

If you want super super thin slices they have a separate standalone Disc Slicer that makes slices thin enough to make American-style potato chips.

I've only had the Borner for about a year and a half, and I've already used it for slicing veggies more often than the Cuisinart I've had for 30 years.

Part of what makes this slicer so useful to me is the safety holder for the veggies. It is easy to use and there is no way I could possibly hurt myself while using it. There's been a lot of complaint on Amazon about no seller providing that separately for a reasonable price (it runs about $15 with shipping from the only Amazon source) but it's only $5 or $6 from the simplygoodstuff site and their shipping is only $3 - I think that's their shipping cost, period paragraph, even if you buy a bunch of stuff.

Anyway. I do like my Cuisinart but its limited in how useful it actually is mostly because of the feeding tube issues. If it weren't for that, I WOULD use it more for slicing, but as it is - my Borner gets all those jobs. By the time I haul out the Cuisinart, cut the veggies up in sizes that will fit into the feeding tube, get everything processed, break it down, clean it, and get it put away, by using the Borner instead, I'd have the dish entirely cooked and be lounging with my feet up and a plate of stir fry, watching Netflix, LOL!

EDIT: BTW, whatever you do, DO NOT get either of the two all-plastic Borner graters. These are the Twin Grater and the Hash Brown Grater (definitely NOT the best option for hash browns anyway). I've been told by a Borner rep that they had so many complaints about the Twin Grater that they no longer manufacture it at all. I'm guessing, but have not asked, that the same is probably true of the Hash Brown Grater, because I have it too and it only works marginally better than the Twin Grater. They are still available for sale, probably because there is outstanding inventory on them. DO NOT BUY! Get the thin Julienne slicer for hash browns. And the safety grip, if you don't already have one. Always use the safety grip.

Only Borner products with actual metal blades work well. And they work REALLY well, LOL!

Sep 18, 2012
KitchenBarbarian in Cookware

uses for food processor

That hasn't been my experience. They're big, clunky, hard to clean, and I haven't met one yet that doesn't require you to chop most veggies up smaller to fit down the feed tube.

Whereas with my Borner V-slicer, I can slice or julienne (even cube with minimal prep) just about anything without doing any more than peeling it. It takes up about 2x6 on the counter behind my dishrack. It washes off with soap and a scrub brush in a minute or two. And it weighs well under a pound, even when it's in its holder with the two blades and the slicer deck.

There are things my food processor does that a mandoline will never do, but I rarely do those things. Making buckeyes and gyro meat is about the only use I have for a food processor anymore.

Sep 18, 2012
KitchenBarbarian in Cookware

Do you eat fortune cookies? Does anyone?

That IS the burning question of the hour...

Sep 18, 2012
KitchenBarbarian in General Topics

If you could eat any food/meal and it have no effect on your health, what would it be.

That's just the way I roll...

*tries to look super-cool*

Sep 17, 2012
KitchenBarbarian in General Topics

What are you baking these days? September 2012, part deux! [old]

Not exactly baking, but it'll be used FOR baking - today I made crystallized ginger, ginger syrup, and ginger sugar.

Tomorrow - rhubarb crisp with bits of crystallized ginger in the streusel. As soon as I remember what it is you're supposed to do to old, tough, fall rhubarb to make it edible in something besides preserves.

Sep 17, 2012
KitchenBarbarian in Home Cooking

Alternative to Vitamix blender

Except the carafes are warranted too, because of the integral blade assembly.

A friend just picked up the 32 oz wet container at a demo at her local Costco for $89

Sep 17, 2012
KitchenBarbarian in Cookware

Do you eat fortune cookies? Does anyone?

Yes - I like it with my tea as well. I always make sure I have a cup or two of tea left so I can savor tea and cookies!

Sep 17, 2012
KitchenBarbarian in General Topics

What are you baking these days? September 2012 [old]

Cinnamon overpowers the cardamom, I've found. A tiny amount of ginger can compliment it sometimes though. (sometimes not, it just depends)

And cardamom is one of the few spices I won't ever grind for myself. The ground stuff is just fine, and I HATE cracking those pods out and cleaning all those tiny little bits of internal membrane out so I can get enough seeds to make a tiny pinch of the powder! LOL!

Sep 17, 2012
KitchenBarbarian in Home Cooking