m

MacGuffin's Profile

Title Last Reply

Best website to buy tea?

I've never bought from Adagio but they sponsor a very nice forum: http://www.teachat.com/ . Chip, one of the moderators, is extremely knowledgeable, as well as being a very nice guy who's always open to learning something new. It's worth joining, especially for newbies looking to learn.

1 day ago
MacGuffin in General Topics

What discontinued products do you miss?

I just found a board that extols the virtues of Mickey Cakes: http://boomervilleusa.blogspot.com/20... . It appears that a company called "Nickels" might now own the rights to Banana Flips but I don't know about the other Mickey Cakes (including Jim Jams). There's actually a discussion on Chowhound about Banana Flips but everyone seems to think they were made by Dolly Madison; I don't think Mickey Cakes was affiliated with them.

Nov 25, 2014
MacGuffin in General Topics

Best website to buy tea?

I'm familiar with Mrs. Mueller's site (it's in upstate NY, I think?) but $60 for Imperial Silver Tips isn't in the budget right now. That's why I loved Ito En--you could buy small quantities.

I've fussy about my vendors so don't worry much about pesticides. I use Seven Cups and since they buy direct, they know their growers and processors very well. Assam Tea grows their own and one of their plantations is organic but I have no fear when ordering their conventional tea. As to meat, well, it doesn't surprise me. I haven't eaten meat since 1987 but if I were still eating it, I'd have to start thinking seriously about suppliers. And no, I don't think you're being irrational.

BTW, as I mentioned above, Assam Tea has sold me some very nice CTC. Caffeine doesn't affect me so I can't speak for getting a boost but it's nice and smooth and quite inexpensive. That's a nice vendor. Excellent blends if that's your thing and super-nice whole leaf offerings. The had their own version of Silver Needles that were out of this world; unfortunately, they didn't have any this year. :`(

Nov 25, 2014
MacGuffin in General Topics

Best website to buy tea?

"One-steep wonders"--I love it! (And kudos for hyphenating the modifier.) Yes, it's true but I haven't found it to be that common. However, I spend quite a lot for my tea and tend to favor heavier oxidation/roast and . . . who am I kidding here? I like everything, so forget that explanation. Still, I've been pretty lucky on the multiple-steep front. And someone on a site years back shared a tip to put the supposedly spent leaves in a covered cup or so of water in the fridge overnight. This yields yet ANOTHER brew, not robust but flavorful and refreshing, especially if you favor cold-brewed tea (which I love). Gotta love the value of good tea. :))

A quick edit: I wasn't crazy about any of the Japanese tea I tried at Ito En. I always did a lot better for less money buying online direct from Japan. Try, e.g., www.zencha.net and I guarantee you won't regret the loss of Ito En except for the convenience. I know lots of others, too--wonderful offerings that aren't cheap but are much better value than what's carried at brick-and-mortar stores here in town.

Nov 25, 2014
MacGuffin in General Topics

What discontinued products do you miss?

Mickey's Banana Flips were EXACTLY what occurred to me when Siafuyu's post hit my inbox! And if memory serves, wasn't Mickey's face on the Jim Jam label jam-smeared? And maybe winking?

Nov 25, 2014
MacGuffin in General Topics

Best website to buy tea?

I don't find the Chinese (or, for that matter, Japanese) "habit of re-steeping a cup several times, eking out the very last traces of fragrance and color" a matter of frugality. Rather, each brew is nuanced and different compared to its predecessor; I've not found this to be the case with, e.g., the very fine Assam tea I enjoy. It gives it all up in the first brew. It would be a waste to dispose of fine Chinese tea after one steep. Many short steeps makes much more sense on several levels.

As to Makaibari Silver Tips, I was privileged to be able to buy the imperial grade (you had to ask for them) at Ito En when they had a store on the Upper East Side. They were indeed sublime (they even looked beautiful) and I corresponded a few times with Rajah by e-mail--a very interesting guy! I've always thought it would be nice to vacation in the Stone House. I was very sad when Eto En closed because my source for small quantities of Silver Tips was gone. :`( Lovely, lovely stuff.

Nov 24, 2014
MacGuffin in General Topics

Best website to buy tea?

I have to agree. Cool store but rather mediocre tea, especially when you become more experienced.

Nov 22, 2014
MacGuffin in General Topics

What discontinued products do you miss?

It's getting to be the time of year when I start to cry. Chipwich Egg Nog. Hands down IMHO the best nog in the dairy case. And both Eskimo Pie mint ice cream patties--they had a "thin mint" type with green ice cream and a thicker one (my preference) with pink, peppermint stick ice cream. They had real chocolate coating, too. I think I read that Nestlé bought them out. If so, it was clearly to eliminate competition rather than maintain the brand in any meaningful way.

Nov 19, 2014
MacGuffin in General Topics

VitaMix Blender, is it worth it?

"Mousses?" I have yet to experience that. If you mean they have too many bubbles, you can either rest assured that they'll eventually burst, or you can take the initiative by removing the lid, running on the lowest speed, then slowly increasing until you observe a very tight vortex (this is blenderlady's tip). Running at that level will very quickly rid your liquid of bubbles.

Nov 19, 2014
MacGuffin in Cookware

brown rice tips?

Could be. :)

Nov 18, 2014
MacGuffin in Home Cooking

Do I need both a VitaMix and A Juicer?

The household models have BPA-free containers, the commercial models--including the Preps--don't.

Nov 17, 2014
MacGuffin in Cookware

brown rice tips?

I always use short-grain, sometimes mixed with a bit of brown sweet rice (which, of course, is also short-grain). Consistent restaurant quality, regardless of whether or not it was soaked first. Of course, regardless of whether or not I soak, I rinse the rice really well.

Nov 17, 2014
MacGuffin in Home Cooking

The Spice House vs. Penzeys

I guess it's no more. The link redirects to Penzeys.

Nov 17, 2014
MacGuffin in Chicago Area

The Spice House vs. Penzeys

There's no Penzeys near me, so it would necessitate buying jars online, then filling with TSH purchases, also online. An order of anal that I don't even approach.

Unfortunately, the link for the newsletter seems to be broken. Ah, well.

Nov 17, 2014
MacGuffin in Chicago Area

The Spice House vs. Penzeys

I guess I didn't make myself clear: I want the smaller glass jars, the ones that hold 2 fluid oz., which Penzeys offers (almost always) as their smallest size. Not only is there no point in putting herbs/spices in a jar that immediately exposes them to a lot of air but I'm extremely tight on space here. I can stack two small jars of different product to equal the height of a 4 oz. jar. Thanks for the tip, though, to subscribe to the newsletter. I'll do that and continue to hope for smaller things. :)

Nov 17, 2014
MacGuffin in Chicago Area

The Spice House vs. Penzeys

A little late to this board but as much as I'd like to give TSH a (mail-order) try, their smallest jars are the ½ cup size. I live alone, usually cook accordingly, and like to keep my spices and herbs fresh, hence my preference for ¼ cup jars. This, and the quality, are what keep my a loyal Penzeys customer but there are some items I'd like to try that TSH carries. I hope they start offering smaller jars.

BTW, does anyone know if they have catalogs?

Nov 17, 2014
MacGuffin in Chicago Area

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

"I also don't care for tea at all. I have tried all manner of tea, everyone always saying "You don't like tea because you haven't tried X, Y, Z tea...here try this!" And inevitably it's just another version of all other tea: it just tastes like mildly flavored dishwater."

That's unfortunate. While I never had the actual loathing for tea that I have for coffee (including as a flavoring), I didn't understand why anyone would like it. Now, while I still can't understand why anyone would drink the stuff brewed from supermarket tea bags, I've become obsessed with fine tea and have learned quite a bit about it over the years. I even made a tea friend here with whom I communicate offline and by phone! :) Tea now rocks my world!

Nov 17, 2014
MacGuffin in General Topics

brown rice tips?

I usually make brown rice without soaking because it's rarely premeditated. Soaking takes 20 minutes off the cooking time (Ohsawa pot in pressure cooker) but in the 26-odd years I've been preparing brown rice this way, it hasn't made a dime's worth of difference to the quality of the finished result.

Nov 15, 2014
MacGuffin in Home Cooking

Who knew that Log Cabin, Mrs Butterworth, etc, syrups do not contain actual maple syrup?

Not only that, real agave syrup contains a high percentage of fructose and hence tastes fruity. I don't think fruity and maple are an optimal blend for pancake syrup. :O~

Nov 13, 2014
MacGuffin in General Topics

Pepsi Throwback replaced by "Pepsi made with Real Sugar"

There's no period in "Dr". :)

Nov 11, 2014
MacGuffin in General Topics

Pepsi Throwback replaced by "Pepsi made with Real Sugar"

What Dr Pepper Snapple did to the Dublin bottling facility is the reason why I try to avoid buying any of their other products. I think they're loathsome. And to add insult to injury, they also ruined Vernors.

Nov 11, 2014
MacGuffin in General Topics

Pepsi Throwback replaced by "Pepsi made with Real Sugar"

Well, I got back from Motown yesterday and remembered to check. I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings but no Throwback. :( The Kroger on Jefferson and Marter had Real Sugar in cans and the Kmart on Harper had Real Sugar and cherry-flavored Real Sugar, also in cans. No bottles at either place. I didn't buy any (although I was tempted to grab the cherry) because I've always preferred Coke and it's easy to get Mexican Coke.

Sorry. :`(

Nov 10, 2014
MacGuffin in General Topics

Un-impressed with Vitamix

Funny you should ask . . . YES.
I learned the hard way in 1988. :((

Nov 10, 2014
MacGuffin in Cookware

Un-impressed with Vitamix

NO RAW ONIONS!!!! (Not sure about garlic but I don't think I'd go there either.) Sauté them a bit and you'll be fine. :)

Nov 10, 2014
MacGuffin in Cookware

Best Cast Iron Skillet?

I don't oil any of mine and they do fine. No rust. Not on my parents' CI either.

Nov 08, 2014
MacGuffin in Cookware

Vitamix or the Ninja?

The nutrients are in the food, not the equipment. That said, if you check out Henry PJ's comparison video on YouTube (ibid.), he points out that there's a warning about contained lead on the Ninja's box. I suspect that's a nutritional value you might want to consider avoiding.

Nov 05, 2014
MacGuffin in Cookware

Un-impressed with Vitamix

True. Ya gotta tamp some stuff. :)

Nov 03, 2014
MacGuffin in Cookware

Un-impressed with Vitamix

LOL I hear ya!

Blenderlady.com hosts an Enthusiasts Yahoo group (with recipes in the archives) but I think most of the activity is now on her Facebook page (I'm not a Facebook member so am not sure); I think everything links from her homepage. Also, check YouTube for Chef AJ's and Henry PJ's videos. Chef AJ is an honest-to-goodness chef who went healthful so her stuff is especially interesting; more recipes here: http://chefajonline.com/. And don't forget that you can start adapting lots of your own recipes once you're comfortable. :)

Nov 03, 2014
MacGuffin in Cookware

Un-impressed with Vitamix

Could be; neither of my machines have pre-sets, so I couldn't say. "Frozen dessert" would make sense, though, because it for sure utilizes the highest speed. I'm really surprised that the recipe book would call for a variable speed for anything longer that "walk-up" time. I have a bunch of different Vitamix cookbooks, both for the C and G series, and they all call for walking up to 10 then to High, or staying at 10, respectively.

Nov 03, 2014
MacGuffin in Cookware

Which soft flour is best for southern cooking? [split from Traditional Southern Cooking: Cookbooks thread]

Frankenmuth! We used to migrate there occasionally when I was a kid for fried chicken dinners (which, if memory serves, weren't all that).

Nov 03, 2014
MacGuffin in General Topics