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Easy Irish Brown Bread

Do a search for Udder Milk--everything is laid out. Weekly orders have to be submitted by Thursday for weekend delivery. I agree that Kate's tastes better than the cultured skim milk that's sold as buttermilk but I still prefer sweet buttermilk, plus, I'll make piima at home if I want drinkable cultured milk (I don't). And incidentally, diacetyl levels vary among different breeds of dairy cows; this affects the flavor of the resulting butter and buttermilk. Jerseys and Guernseys, e.g., produce cream with very high diacetyl levels but Holsteins don't. I have no idea what kinds of cows produce Kate's buttermilk but Grazin' Angus Acres has an all-Jersey herd.

Sorry! You can pick up Odlums at the Butcher Block in Sunnyside. It's a stone's throw from the 46th St. stop on the #7 IRT local. It's a very nice place with a terrific selection of Irish and British groceries. I understand that their sandwiches are out of this world (I'm vegetarian). Get the extra coarse Odlums and the Cream because brown bread is best with part white flour (plus, you can make plain soda if the urge overtakes you). I'm very partial to coarse rolled oats and they carry Flahavan's Jumbo Organic, which are excellent (that's a recommendation).

May 24, 2015
MacGuffin in Recipes

Easy Irish Brown Bread

Exactly. The fat content. It makes a difference.

Kate's is cultured because it's the by-product of butter made from cultured, rather than sweet, cream. Pasteurization has nothing to do with it. I buy sweet, pasteurized buttermilk at the Union Square Greenmarket in NYC from Grazin' Angus Acres (when they're making butter, that is). It's possible to get sweet, raw buttermilk from Udder Milk but they have a $15 minimum order and given that most of the milk I use at home is for making mesophilic yogurt, which requires pasteurized milk, it doesn't make much sense for me to buy raw (even though I used to, some of which I clabbered).

KA has had that flour for a few years now but I wouldn't bother with it because a quick trip to Queens gets me real Irish flour and I imagine it's a lot cheaper, too. In fact, at present, KA is on sale at $6.98 for 3 lbs. and Odlums is on sale for $5.49 for 4.4+ lbs. (2 k). I don't think most stores stock KA's specialty flours (I could be wrong) so if you're going to order it online, why not just order Odlums instead and throw in a bag of their Cream flour? Most of my other flours are KA, though--I like the company, its philosophy, and their flours. Too bad they discontinued their "real" cake flour, though. :`(

May 24, 2015
MacGuffin in Recipes

Easy Irish Brown Bread

As mentioned previously, I have an Irish friend who grew up on a farm. She told me that brown bread/soda was ALWAYS made with clabbered whole milk, never with buttermilk. In fact, some whole milk was clabbered specifically for use in baking. Buttermilk, on the other hand, was for drinking. Perhaps, given that life in general isn't as rural today, commercial buttermilk is used for soda but it's not traditional. And incidentally, Kate's buttermilk, although traditional, is cultured. I prefer sweet buttermilk, which thickens on its own if you can keep from drinking it all immediately.

May 24, 2015
MacGuffin in Recipes

How to Make the Ultimate Omelet, Plus 8 Great Omelet Recipes

Golly, and to think I was under the impression that "omelette" was a French noun. And for the record, what's shown (apart from the milk) is a country-style omelette which--quelle surprise!--is also French. It's the way I made omelettes for years (from childhood, in fact) before mastering the classic techniques and why anyone would think it's difficult is beyond me. The classic techniques, on the other hand, take practice.

May 14, 2015
MacGuffin in Features

How to Make the Ultimate Omelet, Plus 8 Great Omelet Recipes

+1. I usually add milk to scrambled eggs but in an omelette? Never. It doesn't belong there.

May 14, 2015
MacGuffin in Features
1

How to Make the Ultimate Omelet, Plus 8 Great Omelet Recipes

It's not really raw. Eggs cook quickly (which is why you should rinse "eggy" utensils after use with cold, not hot, water) and the interior is enveloped by the surrounding heat of the cooked eggs when the omelette is rolled. The result is creamy, not runny.

May 14, 2015
MacGuffin in Features

How to Make the Ultimate Omelet, Plus 8 Great Omelet Recipes

Get aluminum with sloping sides. I like it a lot better for omelettes than carbon steel or cast iron.

May 14, 2015
MacGuffin in Features

VitaMix Blender, is it worth it?

I've been an owner since 1988 and on the rare occasions that I've contacted them, including recently, I've not had a problem with their "recognizing me as a customer willing to spend [my] money on a high-end blender." It took longer than usual to reach them recently but I was certainly treated respectfully.

May 13, 2015
MacGuffin in Cookware

rice vinegar vs. rice wine vinegar

Because vinegar and wine vinegar aren't the same thing?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rice_wine

May 02, 2015
MacGuffin in General Topics

Vitamix or the Ninja?

There is not blender, including the Vitamix, that juices. Unless, of course, you're straining what you blended.

May 02, 2015
MacGuffin in Cookware

Do you remember Hagen Dazs ice cream when they first started making it??

LOL I hope you enjoyed the stroll. :)

Apr 20, 2015
MacGuffin in Manhattan

Do you remember Hagen Dazs ice cream when they first started making it??

You figured wrong. My point was that the nuts aren't coated with real chocolate.

Apr 20, 2015
MacGuffin in Manhattan

Do you remember Hagen Dazs ice cream when they first started making it??

Despite not liking a lot of "stuff" in my ice cream, some of those look interesting. However, "chocolatY spiced pecans" doesn't bode well for a supposedly premium product.

Apr 20, 2015
MacGuffin in Manhattan

Do you remember Hagen Dazs ice cream when they first started making it??

It was quite wonderful. The yucky Carob was also honey-sweetened.

Apr 20, 2015
MacGuffin in Manhattan

Tea Discussions

Seven Cups just added a Darjeeling to their inventory: https://sevencups.com/shop/giddapahar... (mixed feelings about this because I've always liked that they carried only Chinese--and occasionally Taiwanese--teas). I prefer later flushes so I probably won't be sampling this one but I have no doubt, given my long and happy association with SC, that it's exceptional.

Apr 19, 2015
MacGuffin in General Topics
1

Do you remember Hagen Dazs ice cream when they first started making it??

I preferred the packaging, that's for sure. Other than that, I found it pretty much a six/half-dozen situation. FG had a vanilla with chocolate-coated almonds that I liked a lot.

Apr 18, 2015
MacGuffin in Manhattan

Do you remember Hagen Dazs ice cream when they first started making it??

That's why I like it--it's a more subtle "almost burned sugar" thing than caramel. :)

I should add that the "Five" formulation works well with lemon. Lemon with a lot of butterfat probably wouldn't work as well.

Apr 18, 2015
MacGuffin in Manhattan

Do you remember Hagen Dazs ice cream when they first started making it??

Hey, remember Louis Sherry's premium ice cream that only came in pints?

Apr 17, 2015
MacGuffin in Manhattan

Do you remember Hagen Dazs ice cream when they first started making it??

I think they periodically revive some of those special flavors. I prefer the Crème Brûlée to Dulce de Leche (although I didn't catch the one with cinnamon. I also like the Five Lemon because I'm a sucker for lemon ice cream.

Apr 17, 2015
MacGuffin in Manhattan

Do you remember Hagen Dazs ice cream when they first started making it??

I migrated to NYC (Queens) at the very end of 1974 and Häagen-Dazs was very much available. They had some different flavors back then--I really liked (and miss) the Honey Vanilla but the Ginger (which tasted like Chinese food) and the Carob (which tasted like dirt) were awful. I also remember a Cassis Sorbet that was really good. HD spawned an imitator with a similarly pretentious name, Frusen Glädjé, that--unlike HD--contained whole rather than skim milk. I never quite figured out why they disappeared; I remember that they had a store on (I think East) 23rd St.

Apr 17, 2015
MacGuffin in Manhattan

Looking for Viili or Matsoni yogurt starter

Just an update. Despite having followed instructions precisely through MANY iterations involving expensive milk, the cultures I got from the guy in Belgium have been a bust (in fact, my cats turn up their noses), so it's back to GEM Cultures for viili and I'll look elsewhere for långfil. The matsoni I ordered, on the other hand, has been very successful but the only problem is that it's "long" (not mentioned in the product description), which isn't what I wanted. However, at least it tastes good and as long as I give it a good 18 hours on top of the fridge, the texture is firmer.

Best butter available? Raw milk butter?

+1. I switch back and forth between those two (I never buy salted butter). I remember some years back that French raw butter was sometimes available but clearly it's now impossible to import it. About the only place I can find Pamplie now at what I consider a fair price is Sahadi's, which necessitates leaving Manhattan but I don't mind.

Apr 14, 2015
MacGuffin in Manhattan

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

You're quite right--30% from WS's previous price and that's with a stronger dollar. There was an eBay vendor with prices similar to E-Wok's who was charging $70 shipped for a 14" one. WS's current price, with tax, is double that and I suspect they don't even stock them (but I could be wrong).

Apr 06, 2015
MacGuffin in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

Oh, he won't be sending me anything. He's living the semi-impoverished life of a first teaching post after finishing his Ph.D. here. I was trying suggest that he tote one back for me while he was still a student. Plus, I don't think he's anywhere near Shanghai, otherwise I'd ask him to broker a purchase for me (shipping be damned). :(

BTW, I was in Philadelphia on business quite a few years ago and really liked it.

Apr 06, 2015
MacGuffin in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

I can, and very often do, get exceptional Chinese lunches (and dinners) here in NYC for <$10 and have leftovers for later. :) Despite our high cost of living, this is truly a Mecca for those looking to eat well for cheap. And the lunch analogy misses because much of what's involved in the production of those lunches, e.g. the venue, the food, tableware, is bought here, unlike the Chinese lunches in China. You have a point, though, about the woks. My friend (who recently returned to China for good . . . taking with him the possibility of bringing me a wok) told me that woks in China were just a few bucks so he thought that paying more than that (and that would be the wok proper, sans shipping--how much was yours?) was lunacy. Unfortunately, he remained unmoved by my impassioned defense of "hand-hammered," so he'd have thought that anyone Chinese paying $20 - $40 was similarly deluded.

Apr 06, 2015
MacGuffin in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

Are we sure they actually went belly-up? I suspect that WS wanted an exclusive and they meant it. For all we know, E-Wok might have been started by Cen family members for the sole purpose of selling those woks.

Apr 06, 2015
MacGuffin in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

It's not 30%. If you figure the sales tax (I'm assuming I'd get free shipping?), it's 100%. So yeah, poor me (I know everyone's heart is bleeding purple Kool-Aid).

Apr 06, 2015
MacGuffin in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

"I think MacGuffin just feels bad that much of that money actually goes to WS."

More or less--I appreciate that businesses are there to make money. Other than being annoyed with myself for not ordering one from E-Woks sooner (procrastination encouraged by a Chinese colleague who told me that anyone who paid $70 for a wok in China would be laughed out of the country), what annoys me is that WS is the ONLY source now. F'rinstance, they also carry some Weck jars (also only online) but one can, if one is so inclined, order them direct from Weck (Glashaus) in Chicago, which I do because the price works out to less (no sales tax) and the selection is vastly superior. IOW, I have a choice. I dislike not having choices, especially when it results in my having to shell out a LOT more money, in this case double if you include sales tax. I truly want to kick myself. (Incidentally, I'm a "she.")

Apr 06, 2015
MacGuffin in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

"Williams-Sonoma is in business to make money."

No kidding? Thanks for clearing that up.

"They're the only available US distributor of a great product that is in relatively high demand."

And therein lies my complaint. I have no problem with "US distributor." My complaint is that I can no longer buy it online direct from China (for much less money).

"Your alternative is to fly to China and try to find a similar wok for a more-competitive price or to use a different wok."

I NEVER would have considered any of those options either! Thank you!

I think that came off as snarky rather than humorous (a limitation of e-communication). Truly, it wasn't meant to be.

Apr 05, 2015
MacGuffin in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

I BELIEVE all that. I just resent paying almost $50 when I should've bought it sooner.

Apr 05, 2015
MacGuffin in Cookware