m

MacGuffin's Profile

Title Last Reply

What discontinued products do you miss?

You just reminded me of something. There's this Japanese mayo I buy (in fact, it's pretty much the only mayo I buy) and there were two flavored variations on it in smaller, but similar, squeeze bottles. One was wasabi, which I believe is still available, and the other was cheese. I LOVED the cheese variety but it disappeared. I'm still mourning it. :`(

Mar 25, 2015
MacGuffin in General Topics

What discontinued products do you miss?

I'm aware of this because I (I'd bold that if I could) wondered what the hell happened to barley sugar candy some years back. One of these days, I'm going to order some!

What discontinued products do you miss?

I remember barley sugar suckers although not in a box (in fact, I don't even think they were branded). They also came in a sort of inverted cone shape. If it helps, there are a number of more or less cottage industry manufacturers of barley sugar candy to be found online (at least one on Etsy). They're not cheap but their products are beautiful and they're very possibly of better quality than what we grew up with.

Yogurt Starter - Any pareve or chalav Yisroel out there?

Both cultures linked to above are dairy, albeit thermophilic. I imagine that vegan cultures are optimal for vegan "milks" that can't perpetuate a mainstream dairy culture for more than a generation or two. If that's not one's intended use, might as well go with a dairy culture.

Mar 20, 2015
MacGuffin in Kosher

Yogurt Starter - Any pareve or chalav Yisroel out there?

I think my friend will be more interested in a dairy culture. I'd like to give her some of my matsoni starter but I don't keep a kosher home.

Mar 20, 2015
MacGuffin in Kosher

Yogurt Starter - Any pareve or chalav Yisroel out there?

I'd have recommended them as well. They're very highly regarded.

Mar 20, 2015
MacGuffin in Kosher

Melkbus125 - anyone ever had?

149 is delicious, as is 58. I think WF still has 149 but it was cheaper at Fairway and 58 was a downright steal. Unfortunately, both seem to have gone the way of the dinosaur at Fairway. :( I've never seen 125 for sale.

Mar 14, 2015
MacGuffin in Cheese

What discontinued products do you miss?

Those were the days. It seems to me that fountains could still fulfill a need but given there aren't any, I guess I'm being naïve.

Mar 10, 2015
MacGuffin in General Topics

What discontinued products do you miss?

I just miss five-and-dimes in general. Stores don't sell notions anymore and fountain service, as noted, went the way of the dinosaur. A great pity. I used to love to go to the Kresge's at Eastland when I was a kid and I frequented the Woolworth's that was a stone's throw west of me here in Midtown Manhattan. :`(

Looking for Viili or Matsoni yogurt starter

I ordered my fjölmilk and first viili from GEM Cultures years ago and was extremely pleased with them and recommend them without reservation. I read that their viili is the oldest such culture in the country. However, their cultures are fresh so there's kind of a push to get them "happy" once they hit your mailbox. I'd have gone with their viili again (it's very ropy, which I love) but I specifically wanted a strain that also grows the velvety mold on top, which is why I ordered from the guy (Kristof) in Belgium whose link I posted. I'm pretty sure Cultures for Health's viili is "short" rather than "long," which is undoubtedly why I didn't order from them because they're very well thought of.

Looking for Viili or Matsoni yogurt starter

I used to keep both years ago, plus piima and fjölmilk; now I'm ready to start again, sans the latter two. I'm planning to activate my cultures with ½ whole milk and ½ half-and-half, then maintain on whole milk. I get my milk from a local organic dairy and their herd is all Jerseys, plus the milk is thermized. I think this will be ideal for cultures that ultimately lose out to the bacterial load in raw milk. And yes, I hear ya about having to maintain. It's probably best to keep back as little as possible that you can continue to feed. One of the reasons I want to try the matsoni culture that I posted is that it's freeze-dried and I can activate it at my convenience rather than knowing there's a time limit, so I feel your pain (such as it is).

Looking for Viili or Matsoni yogurt starter

How'd it work out for you? It looks like a nice site.

Matcha-Iri-Genmaicha vs. Genmaicha, and best one/place to get it? (Brown rice tea)

I'm going to update my recommendation to include Zencha (www.zencha.net/) since they now offer two grades of genmaicha, both from Shizuoka. I practically had to pull the aforementioned friend's teeth to get him to try their better grade and now he switches back and forth between it and Hibiki-an's. Zencha has been one of my favorite vendors for years--you can buy from them with confidence.

Mar 08, 2015
MacGuffin in General Topics

Xi'An Famous Foods

If I'm not mistaken, there are a number of menu items that simply cannot be made without spice.

Mar 07, 2015
MacGuffin in Manhattan

Lunch 34th& 5th

Update: I've been there twice. Fantastic and cheap, which is what I've come to expect of Xi'an over the last several years AND this location accepts plastic ($5 minimum). While I feel bad for them because they seem not to have caught on yet, I'm really enjoying not having to deal with lines out the door, which is usual for their other locations. Presumably, this will change once the students across the street at the Graduate Center discover it. I live very nearby and took my food home but there's seating.

Mar 07, 2015
MacGuffin in Manhattan

Making yogurt without using commercial yogurt or starter

I think my use of "intended" was pretty clear.

Mar 07, 2015
MacGuffin in Home Cooking

Making yogurt without using commercial yogurt or starter

I suspect that the reason breast-fed human babies are healthier is due to the fact that they're ingesting milk that's intended specifically for human beings.

Mar 07, 2015
MacGuffin in Home Cooking

Making yogurt without using commercial yogurt or starter

This guy recently opened an Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/BeneficialC... . I found him yesterday and immediately ordered viili culture. Shipping to the U.S. was extremely reasonable so I doubt it's much, if any, more to Toronto.

Mar 07, 2015
MacGuffin in Home Cooking

Making yogurt without using commercial yogurt or starter

"Enzymes are not living creatures, they are chemicals manufactured by living organisms to catalyze other chemical reactions."

THANK YOU. I swore off the colloquial use of "killing" with regard to enzymes because of what I call "The Cult of the Living Enzyme." I guess the "lock and key" model is no longer taught in high school biology.

Mar 07, 2015
MacGuffin in Home Cooking

Making yogurt without using commercial yogurt or starter

"They told me that the yogurt-producing bacteria is actually found in the stomachs of cows. Which may also be correct."

So maybe the cows ingest ants (and the bacterium/bacteria) while grazing?

Mar 07, 2015
MacGuffin in Home Cooking

Looking for Viili or Matsoni yogurt starter

Are you willing to pay for it? This matsoni starter looked especially interesting to me and they ship to Canada: http://www.ebay.com/itm/REAL-ORGANIC-... . I can get starter from a friend but this one's intriguing and will be the one I go with. Also, there's a guy in Belgium who sells both "long" and "short" villi on Etsy (I just ordered from him yesterday): https://www.etsy.com/shop/BeneficialC... . His asking prices, even with shipping, are quite reasonable and I believe he has other cultures in addition to those listed, including two types of matsoni.

galangal powder EMERGENCY omg

It's a shame the Penzeys Grand Central Market location closed because they carry it. I think they have free shipping online with a $30 minimum.

Feb 28, 2015
MacGuffin in Manhattan

Lunch 34th& 5th

Xi'an Famous Foods just opened a branch on E. 34th, south side of the street between Fifth and Madison. I haven't been in there yet but it certainly meets both your criteria (I've eaten at other of their locations for years).

Feb 28, 2015
MacGuffin in Manhattan

Best pizza joint near Penn Station?

I've never had their plain cheese pie but I have had the mushroom, which I'm going to hazard a guess is the same sauce. I don't find it sweet. Sugar is there to cut the acidity, not make a sweet pie. It's entirely possible that we have different opinions as to what constitutes "sweet." I'm guessing your schedule didn't permit sampling a slice before committing to a pie.

As to your chagrin at not liking your pie, allow me to one-up you with the tale of woe that accompanied my $30 (I'd bold that if I could) pie from a pizzeria constantly cited as the best on the planet. SALT. I have never in my life had to deal with so much salt on a pizza. Worse, I made myself eat it in its entirety of the course of the next several days because I don't like to waste food.

Feb 27, 2015
MacGuffin in Manhattan

Best pizza joint near Penn Station?

38th St. is six blocks from Penn Station which, in this weather, is not exactly a hop, skip, and a jump. Does Lazzara's sell slices?

Feb 26, 2015
MacGuffin in Manhattan

Best pizza joint near Penn Station?

Sugar in any kind of tomato sauce is pretty common. Besides, they have at least three different sauces. It's possible that at least one of them doesn't have sugar.

Feb 26, 2015
MacGuffin in Manhattan

Best website to buy tea?

Oh, good! Not just for gyokuro?

Feb 25, 2015
MacGuffin in General Topics

Best website to buy tea?

That does look informative. I'm never averse to expanding my tea smarts.

Feb 25, 2015
MacGuffin in General Topics

Best website to buy tea?

Very pretty. That's not a scoop, though. You put your leaves in that and pass it around so that people can appreciate them; the lip makes it easy to then put the leaves in the brewing vessel. I have several of them; I use them to weigh my tea and put it in the pot/pitcher. It's coming back to me . . . I believe that's called a "cha-he."

This, e.g., is a tea scoop: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Unique-Netsuk... . The Japanese ones are much less "busy."

Feb 25, 2015
MacGuffin in General Topics

Un-impressed with Vitamix

To be fair, maybe it was the corner of the container proper rather than the base? Manufacturing flaw? I do agree, though, that liquid shooting out of the top sounds like user error, especially since no mention was made of the lid's flying off. Incidentally, there was a problem with the lid that shipped with my 7500. It never snapped on properly and liquid was seeping during processing (inner rim looked hinky). It also came off more than once. Vitamix replaced it and the new one is perfect. I had to send the unit, with the container, in for repair not long afterward and included the defective lid so that their quality control people could have a look at it.

Feb 25, 2015
MacGuffin in Cookware