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33limes's Profile

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Whole Foods butcher counter in Oakland, and why are they so confused?

I feel like I'm setting myself up on this one. I know Whole Foods can't possibly compete, in terms of expertise in specific topics, but what is the deal with the butcher counter?

Part of me expects some competence at a store where I have to specifically ask for what I want from a case, and then pay several hours wages for it.

I read in a magazine a few months ago about rendering fat to make lard - which I wanted for my pie crusts. So I went to the Whole Foods Oakland, which I live very close to and shop at regularly. The guy knew what I wanted - back fat, but refused to sell me any and told me that they throw it all in the garbage, and that was the policy. How Weird, I thought. I wanted to actually pay for it.

I wanted some oxtail last week, no go.

Finally, this evening, I asked if they could actually just special order me a pork belly. The guy seemed almost shocked by the question, and said they can't get "that stuff".

Can someone possibly a butcher for me to go to in Oakland? And really, what is the deal with Whole Foods.

better ice cream makers than Cuisinart automatic?

I can really vouch for the machines that cool themselves. I have an older italian made model, and within about 15 minutes of turning it on the bowl is beyond freezing, and makes a batch of light, perfectly textured ice cream in about 20 minutes. No Ice, No salt. No Cranking.

Aug 29, 2009
33limes in Cookware

The really retro kitchen: Who'd rather have a hearth than a fancy stainless range, etc.?

Everyone is too caught up on this wood-burning, open hearth idea. You know, it's much more practical to just buy an old range.. complete with the water heater in the back, and shovel coal into it. Then you can bake your bread, boil water, and make stew at the same time. There's really no need to go back 200 years, when 125 is fine.

Jul 12, 2009
33limes in Cookware

extruding pasta vs. rolling it

I was hoping some folks can weight the differences between extruding pasta and rolling it out. I'm specifically talking about an attachment I forgot I had stored away for my Cuisinart that allows for crumbly pasta dough to go in the top, and it squeezes out pasta from a die.

The other, of course, is the classic steel roller type pasta machine, where you crank it.

Obviously there are certain types of pasta that are impossible to make with the roller, but what are the other pros and cons?

Jul 09, 2009
33limes in Cookware

storage ideas for things like flour, sugar...

Can anyone give me some ideas for containers to store all of my staple items like different types of flour, sugar, rice, dried beans and grains, etc...

I'm very fond of those square, lexan? commercial stacking containers, with the volume noted on the sides, but they seem a bit pricey.

I'm moving, and starting from scratch, and just trying to drum up some ideas to put things in. I like to buy things in bulk at Rainbow Grocery, so they need to go in something besides just plastic bags. Mason jars are out of the question due to sour memories.

Jul 08, 2009
33limes in Cookware

seriously messed up Global knife

I was hoping someone might recommend somewhere to send my knife in the Bay Area. It's a Global 8" chef's knife. It got left in a sink full of water with le creuset dutch ovens on top of it for some time, and generally mistreated. Yes, some of it was my fault, but not all! roommates, gosh.

So here's the deal. The knife is impossibly dull. It won't slice a tomato without shredding it. In addition, the edge is chipped with quite a few, small, triangular type notches taken out of it. They're not huge, just prevalent. The tip is also chipped off, slightly.

Is there someone that can grind it down or something like that?

Jul 08, 2009
33limes in Cookware

very high quality powdered milk


very high quality powdered milk

Where can I get very high quality powdered milk. I want it to up the protein content in my homemade yogurt to make it thicker. I live in the SF Bay Area. I usually buy Strauss or Clover Organic, and I don't really feel like tainting it with the scary stuff that comes in a box at Safeway.


Looking for cuy in SF Bay Area

There are some videos of peruvian woman murdering the cuy in their kitchen on youtube. I've seen a few guinea pig pets in my day, and the ones they put the knife to look an awful lot like petsmart variety. Not that I have the desire to eviscerate a cuy personally.

Looking for cuy in SF Bay Area

I should add that I'm going to Peru in a few weeks, so I just wanted to try it before I go.

Two questions about Straus cream-top milk

I have two questions about Strauss cream top milk in the glass jar.

First, what exactly does one do with the cream on top? I wonder, is the milk underneath still considered whole milk, even though the cream isn't homogenized into it like other milks? Or is it more akin to skim?

Second, this stuff goes sour very quickly on me. I'm finding that it sours a few days prior to the expiration date, or about 4 days after I buy it. Is that normal?

Looking for cuy in SF Bay Area

Does anyone know where I can get Cuy in the Bay Area. I just want to try the dish.


need some ice cream advice

I've been struggling with home made ice cream. The other day I made a small batch of vanilla, much smaller than usual, and used 4 egg yolks. I was really happy with the texture that resulted, after chilling in the freezer overnight, it was still soft but somewhat firm.

So last night, I made chocolate, in basically the same way. Except after the night in the freezer, it's more like the consistency of a frozen mousse; it giggles in the bowl when you shake it.

The question I have is: how does the relationship between the egg yolks and volume of dairy effect the viscosity of finished ice cream? My target is firm, but soft enough to scoop. In the past, the problem has always been rock hard, and completely unable to scoop. Now it's just too soft. I should add, that my technique has been to cook it in a double boiler, until the liquid coats a wooden spoon.

I'm using a self-refrigerated machine, so no ice.

Thanks for the advice.

Apr 12, 2009
33limes in Home Cooking

How do I make clear, rock hard sheets of sugar

I'm trying to figure out a method for making sheets of rock hard, not sticky, melted sugar.

My first method last night was melting 4 parts sugar in one part water, with some lemon juice ( I don't know why, but that's what I read), and then cooked it very slowly for about 40 minutes until it got to 375*F. I then poured it out on a silpat and let run to form a thin sheet. The result is dark amber, rock hard, but sticky to the touch.

My goal is to have it be smooth and dry, and while amber is ok, a slightly lighter shade would be good.

It's going to coat a piece of flat art work and be hung in a gallery, so moderate permanence is a must.

Apr 08, 2009
33limes in Home Cooking

Cuisinart Grind & Brew 900 Series - no good?

Most of those big coffee machines take up quite a bit of counter space. I bet for your budget, and space constraint, you could get a Baratza Virtuoso grinder and a huge press pot or chemex.

Dec 20, 2008
33limes in Cookware

"coffee" urn to use for non-coffee items

I'd just go buy one at walmart and then if it doesn't work how you wanted, return it. They will literally take back anything.

Dec 11, 2008
33limes in Cookware

Gifts $40 & under for the cook who has everything?

How about vintage cookery books.

Dec 09, 2008
33limes in Cookware

Canning in LE PARFAIT jars?

I was wondering if anyone uses LE PARFAIT jars to can in - the way you might use ball jars?

For instance, can you simply sterilize them in boiling water and then can jam in them - and have it be shelf stable? Or are they more for refrigerator or dried things?

This is price aside, of course.

Dec 07, 2008
33limes in Cookware

How do you make coffee?


But really, buy yourself an excellent grinder. At minimum a Baratza meastro (rebranded at starbucks as well), or perhaps the Rancilio Rocky. And yes, the Technivorm is great too.

Dec 06, 2008
33limes in Cookware

Best camera for food photography?

I know this strays a bit - but I'd prefer to shoot food with a view camera. A good majority of stuff I see in food magazines has certain perspective control and whatnot that could only have been done with the movements inherent to that format.

Dec 06, 2008
33limes in Not About Food

Weapon Of Choice RE: Scrambled Eggs

I don't usually whisk the eggs at all. I crack them into a cold pot, add some butter and slowly bring them up to temperature, working them with a wooden spoon like porridge. They come out sort of silky and this seems to preserve the flavor of really nice eggs.

Nov 30, 2008
33limes in Home Cooking

Actually using an icebox?

Mike, I really like how you brought up the idea of shifting one's thinking. I've been reading a lot about the way the kitchen used to work, including preservation techniques. There is something really wonderful about buying that special piece of meat from the butcher for Sunday lunch, and really savoring it, thereby taking away that everyday need for some kind of filler meat in every meal.

Nov 29, 2008
33limes in Cookware

Actually using an icebox?

I'm fascinated by the idea of actually using an icebox as it would have been at the turn of the 20th century. Does anyone know the specifics of the blocks of ice people used to buy? The bigger question is, can you even purchase them anymore?

Nov 28, 2008
33limes in Cookware

Milk provenance in the Bay Area?

I'm new to this forum, but I think I have some answers you might find useful. I believe Trader Joe's sources their milk differently depending on what part of what state you shop in. For the San Francisco stores it's evidence enough, for me, that the milk is delivered in Clover Stornetta crates that are piled up behind the building. The Trader Joe's brand milk also matches the Clover product line perfectly, and the label is practically word for word what Clover say's, only they've changed the name to Trader Joe's. It's cheaper too.