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oceanhillbk's Profile

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Do I really need a Vitamix or Blendtec?

There are so many Vitamix threads, I am not sure which is the best one to post on. I am considering purchasing a Vitamix or similar blender and the one question I keep coming back to is what is the difference between a Vitamix and another industrial quality blender that may only be half the cost? For instance, I found this Waring blender -- -- that is almost twice the horsepower of a Vitamix and a little more than half the cost. The only noticeable difference is the number of speeds. Does anyone have experience in this matter? Can you shed some light on what, if any, differences there may be in the functionality, lifespan, etc of these two machines?

Jan 16, 2015
oceanhillbk in Cookware

Buying My First Nakiri? :D

After a lot of research, I just bought this knife: . I have only used it a few times so far, but I love it! It is my first Nakiri. I was considering a couple of more expensive knives, but decided on this one because of the lower price. As recommended on the site, I spent a few minutes on a honing rod with it in order to remove the factory lacquer finish on the edge. Once I did that, it is incredibly sharp! It is lightweight and the balance point is right about where the pinch grip goes, so it handles well. It is beautifully made. It flies through food and is very comfortable to use.

Nov 19, 2014
oceanhillbk in Cookware

Looking for technical / academic cookbook recommendations

Hello! I am a very proficient home cook, but I am looking to take my skills to a higher level and to develop a deeper understanding of food and the cooking process. I do not have aspirations of working in a restaurant or as a caterer. If I had the time and money, I would go to culinary school, but I do not. I am looking to educate myself from books that are written from a more technical or academic standpoint. Know of any you can recommend? Some of the books I am considering are:

Jacques Pepin, La Technique or New Complete techniques
Le Repertoire de la Cuisine
Le Cordon Bleu Cuisine Foundations
The Flavor Bible

I have not purchased these books yet, so I would love additional suggestions or feedback on these choices. Thanks!


Oct 29, 2014
oceanhillbk in Home Cooking

Spectacular vegetarian Christmas entree?

This is such a great thread. I am feeling very inspired to make a fabulous veg entree for Thanksgiving this year. The last several holidays I have made the Martha Stewart Green Bean Casserole -- .

At first glance it seems a little bit pedestrian, but it is so delicious it always receives accolades from omnivores and vegetarians alike, and it is very substantial. The fried shallot rings on top are what really make it (I mix Old Bay into the coating flour instead of salt and pepper, which is nice).

For me it's time to mix it up a bit, but I highly recommend giving this one a try.

Nov 21, 2013
oceanhillbk in Home Cooking

Re-tinning copper pans

Hi Alarash

I used Oregon Re-Tinners very recently. Here are the answers to your questions in relation to this company.

How recent was your experience?
Very recent. Within the last month.

What did they re-tin for you?
A 7 quart stock pot and lid. Lid was only polished, at my request, because re-tinning was not necessary

How did the interior of the pot look after they fixed it?
The interior of the pot was decent. Not great or terrible. It was vastly improved from the condition in which it was sent to them. It seemed like the old tin had not thoroughly been removed before the new tin was applied.

How did the exterior look after they returned it?
Very good.

How was the turnaround time?
They shipped the pot back to me about 2 1/2 weeks after they received it, which is what they had estimated.

Were they responsive by email/phone to your concerns?
They did not respond to emails at all. However, they were easy to reach by phone during business hours.

Overall I would say that they may be worth trying if you are local or have a minimal shipping distance. I am located on the east coast, so shipping a heavy pot back and forth across the country ate up most of the savings. The final pricing did not exactly work out to what their website says. It was a fair bit higher than what I had calculated from their stated specs. The work was decent, but not amazing. Taking all factors into account, I would say that Oregon Re-Tinners are just OK. If you can get your pans to them for little or nothing, they may be worth trying. I have two more pieces I need to have re-tinned and, after my experience I am going to try Rocky Mountain Re-Tinners. The consensus seems to be that their work is exceptional and their prices are not that much higher.

Hope this helps!!


Mar 18, 2013
oceanhillbk in Cookware

ISO Julia Child's "mashing fork", for lack of a better term

Since this conversation is over two years old, perhaps no one cares anymore, but.... perhaps they do! I saw Julia's mixing fork on her episode of the French Chef about Terrines and Patés. I was very excited because it was something I have never seen before and it looks to be very basic but multifunctional. Perhaps it is the same one she used for the mashed potatoes.

I went back through and looked at it frame by frame, googled again and again, with all the possible name variations, and looked at several local kitchen stores. What I came up with is that she is using this: or something virtually identical to it. The tines on this fork have uniform length and curve, so it is not a Foley, Pastry, or Granny Fork. It has a black plastic handle that is the same size and shape as the one in the episode. The tines have a pretty severe curve (although a little difficult to see in the product photo) like the one she had, but it is posible that she bent them even further (this would be easy to do). It is entirely possible that she had different similar tools -- the one in the Letterman clip is totally different -- but this is definitely the one she used in the paté episode. I was able to find one at a local shop. It only cost a few dollars and I am anxious to try it out.

Good luck finding the tool you are looking for. Hope this helps!

Feb 04, 2013
oceanhillbk in Cookware

Re-tinning copper pans

He emailed me, too. He said that retinning is just a side business for them, that they charge $6 per inch (side+diameter+side), and that it takes 2-3 months to complete.

Despite the high shipping cost, I think I am going to try Oregon Retinners. Will report back.

Jan 10, 2013
oceanhillbk in Cookware

Re-tinning copper pans

Hi Mandymoo

No luck getting through to Hammersmith, yet. Two calls and two emails so far. Let me know if you have any success!

Jan 09, 2013
oceanhillbk in Cookware

Re-tinning copper pans

Has anyone dealt with Oregon Retinners? Their prices are substantially cheaper than everywhere else, but after some of the horror stories about other places, I am nervous. Or is it really just Atlantic tinning that is the problem? I am located in Brooklyn, so the shipping would be expensive, but Hammersmith and others have not returned phone calls -- which does nothing to instill confidence. The pot I am having redone is a medium size stew pan that is old and very heavy, possibly even 3mm thick. Any input would be greatly appreciated!!

Jan 08, 2013
oceanhillbk in Cookware