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MacGuffin's Profile

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Is there a Worthy Professional Blender That's Not the Vita-Mix?

I'm confused, too.

Jan 22, 2015
MacGuffin in Cookware

Is there a Worthy Professional Blender That's Not the Vita-Mix?

I don't think Jamba Juice is replacing their Blendtecs with more Blendtecs. Vitamix commercial machines consistently merit "Best in Class" industry awards, something that's not true of Blendtec. And I truly doubt that employees "jerking juice" at Jamba Juice give a flip one way or another about what they're using because unlike chefs and career bartenders, they tend to be young people en route to "real" jobs. The people who'd be concerned are higher-ups making buying decisions.

Jan 21, 2015
MacGuffin in Cookware

What is your biggest recipe pet peeve?

Ditto that on dry ingredients. "Sifted flour" and "flour, sifted" are two different animals. Be specific!

Jan 19, 2015
MacGuffin in Home Cooking

Do I really need a Vitamix or Blendtec?

"I also don't understand people's desire for a stainless steel or glass blender container."

I agree with you. My first Vita-Mix had a stainless steel container. It was cool; it even had a spigot, which was especially fun for ice cream. :) However, after upgrading, I came to appreciate the transparent containers (not to mention the elimination of the rubber gaskets that had to be replaced periodically). And glass, with a blender this powerful, would be a serious safety hazard.

Jan 17, 2015
MacGuffin in Cookware
1

Do I really need a Vitamix or Blendtec?

I think that everything made in the States is made by American workers. No need to convince me of what's self-evident. And incidentally, I have no aversion to buying appliances manufactured in Europe (which, incidentally, is where Vitamix's household motors are made).

Jan 17, 2015
MacGuffin in Cookware

Discontinued at Trader Joe's: January 2015 - June 2015

Frozen paratha and frozen baingan bharta, the latter of which was better than any I'd had in Indian restaurants. They also had some holiday tortilla chips at the end of 2012 that were better than any of their year-round choices that didn't make the cut for 2013. :(

Jan 16, 2015
MacGuffin in Chains

Do I really need a Vitamix or Blendtec?

No, but it implies a minimum. A factory in Cleveland where people, not robots, assemble machines (that include parts that, "disappointingly," probably aren't manufactured here anymore) is not a legal term, nor is a factory in Ningbo. Fact. And I'm very aware of how much stuff is made in China (my basis for thinking that an awful lot of it is crap wasn't pulled out of the ether); that doesn't mean that I have to like it or support their economy any more than necessary ("necessary" to me meaning high-end, not-pesticide-contaminated tea). And yes, I think cooking in a blender is magic. Does everyone need that capability? No. But I want it and I expect the appliance I bought to accomplish it to deliver, which is why I've had Vitamixes--only one of which ever crapped out on me (due to user error)--for 26+ years. You can't convince me that any appliance manufactured in China will ever approach a record like that.

Jan 16, 2015
MacGuffin in Cookware

Do I really need a Vitamix or Blendtec?

"For comparison, you have the ship the Vitamix away. The Oster can be taken to any local authorized Oster repair center. Every major city has one (it's an Oster!)."

What about people in the suburbs? Those repair centers might not be covenient, plus they necessitate round-trip travel. Granted, you have to pack up your Vitamix but repair and shipping are free, you can probably arrange for carrier pickup (or drop-off at a nearby Staples or similar vendor), and turnaround is likely the same, or possibly less, because the Oster authorized repair center just might be a drop-off point that sends stuff out to a central or regional facility.

Last I heard, Vitamix only has four repair people to service the millions of machines in use but turnaround time for repairs is <a week.

Jan 16, 2015
MacGuffin in Cookware

Do I really need a Vitamix or Blendtec?

"Since the Versa hasn't been on the market for that long, only time will tell re: longevity, but so far, users seem pretty happy with it. If the Versa 1400W holds up well, things could get quite competitive in the high-end blender segment--and that's a win for consumers!"

It's manufactured in China and the warranty only applies to the base. End of discussion for me; others might not be so fussy. I also doubt that it cooks. I cook a lot in my Vitamix.

Jan 16, 2015
MacGuffin in Cookware

Our de buyer Carbon Steel Cookware Experience

I wish I could say the same of my home fries. :(

Jan 15, 2015
MacGuffin in Cookware

Our de buyer Carbon Steel Cookware Experience

The potatoes! It's apparently not uncommon in cast iron. And at 60, I'm more than comfortable in the kitchen.

Jan 15, 2015
MacGuffin in Cookware

Our de buyer Carbon Steel Cookware Experience

I honestly don't know if this will happen in a dB pan. I'm kind of afraid to try it because of the cast iron experience.

Jan 14, 2015
MacGuffin in Cookware

Our de buyer Carbon Steel Cookware Experience

That's it. As I recall, I used a scrubbie with a bit of detergent both before and after the peels, then wiped the pan dry before the oil step shown in dB's video. Use enough peels to cover the bottom of the pan. I would never use an oil that's not for frying (hint: it rhymes with "axe"). Use something with a high smoke point, keep it below smoking, and spread the oil up the sides with a silicone spatula during the process. You really don't need a lot of oil--it's safer and more cost-effective to use only what's needed (a small amount mops up easily with a paper towel when you're finished). I like rice bran oil because it has a very high smoke point and isn't too expensive (in fact, it's my go-to oil). You'll have a good base for your seasoning which, like all good things, take time. Don't try to rush it--it'll develop with regular use.

Jan 14, 2015
MacGuffin in Cookware

Our de buyer Carbon Steel Cookware Experience

It really would be a waste to use the whole potato (it was already painful enough given that I really LIKE the skins). Maybe the peels take up less space in the pan? Maybe the peels have some property that's good for this sort of thing? Damned if I know. I just figured that a company that has been around that long probably knows what they're talking about; the confusion, as you pointed out, was due to the video with the peels, and, as I recall, several different versions of printed instruction which included no peels, boiling the peels, and sautéing the peels in oil. It seemed that peels were cited more often than ignored, which prompted my e-mail. If you get a new pan, be sure to try the peels. You'll be impressed (once your stomach stops churning).

BTW, I gave up trying to fry potatoes in my cast iron skillets. They seem to be reactive and turn gray. :O

Jan 14, 2015
MacGuffin in Cookware

Our de buyer Carbon Steel Cookware Experience

I realize it's something of a PITA but trust me, those peels are beyond DISGUSTING; I didn't even compost them. In fact, they were so horrible that I did it twice (dB even advised me to do it with my Mineral B pan). It's worth the extra effort and I felt I was starting with a cleaner base than if I'd gone straight to oil. Of course, I left the undersides of the pan alone--that bluing/beeswax is good for preventing rust. :)

Jan 14, 2015
MacGuffin in Cookware
1

Our de buyer Carbon Steel Cookware Experience

The potato skins not only work great but when I got my first pan, I e-mailed the manufacturer to get their input since they had conflicting instructions. It took a LONG time for them to respond but when the reply came, it recommended the peels. Considering the amount of sludge they took off, I think it was worth the effort.

Jan 14, 2015
MacGuffin in Cookware

rice vinegar vs. rice wine vinegar

http://mitoku.com/products/mirin/qual...

It doesn't read like "sake and sugar." (I recommend reading the whole article.)

Jan 13, 2015
MacGuffin in General Topics
1

USA heavy cream vs UK double cream

I appreciate your efforts but they're kinda off-topic; I only made an off-the-cuff remark. If you were, on the other hand, to start a butter tea thread, I'd be happy to migrate! Fine tea is an obsession and I'm always happy to expand my knowledge. :))

Jan 13, 2015
MacGuffin in General Topics

Any Peeler Experts?

Apparently, the current "classic example of Germany's way with kitchen utensils" is to manufacture them in China. I'll stick with my Swiss-made Zena.

Jan 10, 2015
MacGuffin in Cookware

Any Peeler Experts?

You got the technique!

Yes, he was awesome. I used to see him for YEARS in Union Square but never bought one because I didn't need a peeler. By the time I needed one, his daughter was selling them. I think the City, in its infinite wisdom, forced her out. A shame, because she was really good. Did you know that her husband owns La Ripaille in the Village?

Jan 10, 2015
MacGuffin in Cookware

Any Peeler Experts?

You need to develop a lighter touch. I picked it up fast because I saw it demo-ed live before I bought it. Once you get the feel for it, you'll be amazed at how little it removes, which is why I like it (5 or so lbs. of organic, i.e. not cheap, carrots at a time, so I'm loath to dispose of more than is absolutely necessary). My peelings are paper-thin.

Jan 08, 2015
MacGuffin in Cookware

Am I the only adult in America who doesn't like coffee?

"Thanks Jadec- but when I say I hate coffee, I mean I really hate it."

+1

Jan 08, 2015
MacGuffin in General Topics
1

Any Peeler Experts?

Yup. Perfect for small jobs when all you need are a few shreds. Glad you're happy with the Star.

Jan 08, 2015
MacGuffin in Cookware

Any Peeler Experts?

Tareo, I was going to direct you there. I bought my Zena Star from the late great Joe Ades's daughter Ruth in Union Square years ago and bought a bunch for friends and family who, in turn, put in more requests for them. If you ordered, I hope you got the one with the Tungsten blade. I peel a LOT of carrots and other root veggies for juicing and the Star is the best, hands down. It removes the minimum and (I'm a bit embarrassed to admit this) is actually kind of fun. Zena's other gadgets are good, too, just don't order "The Trilogy." It doesn't include the tungsten blade Star and the savings is only a few cents over buying the peelers separately.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUE8g...
Hard to believe it's almost six years that he's gone. He was such a fixture.

Jan 08, 2015
MacGuffin in Cookware

HELP... fingers are burning from cutting jalapenos. Remedies?

Be careful in the sun. Lime can render your skin EXTREMELY photosensitive. You don't need to burn your jalapeño burn. :O

Jan 08, 2015
MacGuffin in Not About Food

What Is America's Worst Restaurant Chain?

Edit: I found out that "sfinguini" is a Bommarito typo--it should be "sfingiuni," which makes a lot more sense. They have it spelled both ways (which is how I eventually picked up on the error) in the store but only the latter is correct. The pies they sell by the slice don't contain the traditional anchovies (yay!) but you can order whole pies with them.

Jan 03, 2015
MacGuffin in Features

Vitamix pro series 750 vs. Vitamix Vita-Prep 3 - Opinions Needed

I don't need a 32 oz. container; I already have the old 64 oz. container. I do agree, though, that it's a workaround for those who don't have it.

Dec 31, 2014
MacGuffin in Cookware

What discontinued products do you miss?

I don't even think the new Disney graphics are as cute as they used to be. Everything's so in-your-face these days. Yecch.

Dec 29, 2014
MacGuffin in General Topics

What discontinued products do you miss?

I don't think I want to bother making a blackout cake (especially with my ridiculously cheap and hinky oven) but regardless, I feel I really missed something by missing out on Ebinger's. :`(

Dec 29, 2014
MacGuffin in General Topics

What discontinued products do you miss?

You don't. They invite you.

Dec 29, 2014
MacGuffin in General Topics