Electronic whirligig machine!

London, United Kingdom

When I went to catering college at an early age, the nearest we got to an electronic machine was a Kenwood Chef, with a dough hook on it.
Everything chopping wise, was done with a knife, which you had to learn quickly or end up coming home in plasters all over your fingers.
Which I fully admit we all did, quite often in the early days!
I do all the cooking in the house now, so as the Veterans I look after come every fortnight, and my six nieces and two nephews any chance they can for a dinner, my wife thought she would treat me.
A big box arrived with an electronic whirligig machine in it, my wife calls them food processors!
So I unpacked it and then read the instructions, which amazed my wife, a man reading the instructions before he even had plugged it in!
Looking at the plethora of blades, slicers, graters and dough mixers, I wondered about this Electronic genius of a thing.
So I issued a challenge to my wife to see if this thing could in fact beat a Chefs knife, she readily accepted and did a list out on her computer of things to do by hand and in this marvel of technology! With a set of rules of course.
The first challenge was two large onions finely chopped, so she set the timer on her mobile phone; I topped and tailed them skinned them and chopped them, put them in a bowl, washed my chopping board and knife and put it back. She did write the time down but did not tell me.
Then she used my chopping board and my Titanium knife to top and tail and skin them (sacrilege), yes the machine did them very quickly but; the wife had to put the onions in a bowl, wash the bowl out from the machine and the blade, and my chopping board and knife.
Round one to me, easily by minutes.
This carried on over a week so we worked it out, so far!
Yes the machine is good at dough (pastry and bread), and pasta, undoubted.
It makes lovely tomato puree, or a Bolognese sauce.
Good at coleslaw and Hummus.
Grated cheese or potato's for rosti's.
Brilliant at mincing meat, this I will not deny.
Completely useless at herbs as it batters them and Garlic too much, especially basil which it turns black after awhile, my wife tried this not me.
So she tried Yorkshire pudding mix in it, completely useless, as I can beat it by hand.
Dumplings it cannot make at all, so the essential things it can't!
Then there is the question of how long do the plastic bowl and blades last, constantly being washed.
My knives take seconds to clean and are easily sharpened, I know for I do it religiously.
So although it is useful for a lot of things I do not think it is the be and end all of cooking devices.
Plus I do not trust electronic things in the kitchen.
I know I will get lots of flak about this but, even my wife who also went to catering college ten years after I did, was surprised at the outcome, so far!
Regards from England.
Neil.







Moss Point, MS(Zone 8b)

Neil I don't think you should ever apply for work in writing ads for the kitchen appliance industry. Lol.

I've owned 3 food processors. The first one was purchased in the late 70s and spent most of its' life in a cabinet, sometimes for years at a stretch. It was very loud, awkward to assemble and I hated it.

Now I'm afflicted with a neuro disorder that makes my hands uncooperative so I bought one of those mini choppers thinking I could almost dispense with my knife. It's too small and will work a person to death emptying and refilling. It's also a bit hateful to assemble. It's gathering dust.

I went on a buying spree last spring since I had determined that I would grow everything and have a marvelous garden. I got a hand cranked tomato squeezer and herb chopper from seedsofitaly.com. I'm happy with both of those although I don't often use the chopper. I got a nice big dehydrator that has really worked well. I also decided I needed a food processor to do the massive quantities of vegs for the dehydrator and that's the only time I use it.

For normal needs, my knife is still the best tool. I had some remodeling done and now have work surfaces at the proper height for a person in a wheelchair. That's the biggest help of all. I bought some of those chopping mats and find them an excellent alternative to using a board.

I'm still not satisfied. I want something that will DICE onions, peppers, zukes and tomatoes in a uniform size and not a restaurant model for $300. I'm thinking of trying the Progressive Veg Chopper for $25. I saw a video on youtube of people chopping bushels of onions with it and it looked effortless.

My best advice to a young person just starting out would be to learn how to use a good 8" chefs knife. I have a drawer full of knives but that and a bread knife are the ones used daily. Also people need to learn how to dress the edge every time they pick it up. It is unbelievable how many people complain of dull knives and don't know that simple trick. It only takes maybe 2 seconds to keep a knife sharp and I think that deficiency is the main reason everyone buys food processors.

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

Dorothy, what do you use to sharpen your knives? I have one of those Accusharp gadgets that also sharpen hoes and other garden implements and tools in a slightly different version. My husband uses a sharpening rod, but I'm not that confident about getting the proper edge with those.

I have a MagiMix processor which also has a juice extractor attachment. I've never used it but next time we have a bumper crop of grapes like we did last year I will. I mostly use the processor for making things like pesto. I also have one of those tomato machines; it belonged to my husband's family and I love it. Kids adore cranking the juice through it and seeing the dry seeds and skin come out the other end, and generations have used it by now!

Neil, it sounds as though you gave that whirligig machine a very fair trial. I hope your wife doesn't feel too bad about how useless her gift was, though!

Leslie

Moss Point, MS(Zone 8b)

Hey Leslie. I don't doubt that Neil will be along shortly to correct me because I'm self taught and not nearly knowledgeable.

Wait until you are alone so the family isn't horrified or amused. If you are right handed, take a knife in your left hand and turn the dull side so it faces right. In your right hand, hold the knife to be dressed so the blade faces left. Drag the blade its entire length, held at a SLIGHT angle, along the dull side of the one in your left hand. You alternate over and under and test it every dozen strokes or so. As you get the hang of it, you can safely speed up. Once you get a good edge, you do this every time you use it and it will only take a few strokes and a couple seconds. It looks like a mad person getting worked up to behead someone so be sure to perfect it in private. This is the only way I've done it for 30 years.

This is called dressing because it just barely removes any metal and smooths any little burrs. Sharpening is rougher process that takes off more metal. I've seen blades that were mis-shapen from sharpening but maybe they didn't know the correct way to do it. I've watched guys use a stone and it looks very laborious to me.

Lawn mower blades are best dressed as well IMHO and a good tool for it is a belt sander. On a push mower, you chock the blade with a block of wood and dress it while it's tilted a bit. It saves the nuisance of having to take it off. Sharpening removes too much metal. There's no way to keep that "sharp" edge and frequently resharpening results in needing to buy a new one every year or two.

You once asked me what I was going to do with all those tomatoes I planted. They came so fast that all I could do was crank that squeezer and freeze plain sauce. I dried and froze peppers til I was sick of both. I'm going to use my whirligig machine to experiment with some condiments since the gardening chores are slowing down. Otherwise my garden has been disappointing with abundant rain, heat and pestilence. I think practically everyone in the country has had some real weather complaints.

London, United Kingdom

Dear twiggybuds, I do think I should apply for a job in that industry, I could tell people to get a bit more cupboard space as it will be put away to rot, or repackaged and given as a Christmas present to someone.
For instance when I make apple crumble, I can core, peel and chop the apples faster than that thing could ever do!
Any true Englishman who cannot make an apple crumble, should have their passport taken away and put in the Tower of London to await execution. If they are lucky they might try to execute them with a food processor, for it would not work.
Even if it did (most doubtful), I would not like to clean it for hours afterwards, or indeed read through the manual trying to pick the right blade for the job!
Blunt knives are a nightmare, they are dangerous! That is a proven fact, for if cut yourself with a sharp knife apart from a few choice words the cut is clean. Once well washed and a blue plaster is put on it, then it heals itself quite quickly. A blunt knife which takes more pressure to even do anything, then rips and tears when it cuts you. That takes a lot longer to heal and does more damage.
My sister in law is a classic for this and she should know better as she is a sister in a Hospital. Her knives, the few she has got are totally blunt, you cannot even start to cut a cabbage with them. So she bought a very cheap food processor which has an off switch on it, no pulse like the new thing the wife got me.
Very nice for making cabbage puree, not much use for doing anything else.
I really don't like gadgets, and that is not me being old fashioned, it is just that you see these wonderful adverts on the Television for them and buy one. Then when it arrives it is not quite what it was made out to be, so again ends up in its box in a cupboard somewhere, to be found years later!
My mother has had a triple heart bypass and she cannot stand for long, so she has had her work surface lowered, so she can cut things up.
She manages quite well without any Electronic gadgets and she is 83 with Arthritis in her hands!
I saw my mother today and told her what I had written and that I expected a few people having a bit to say about it. She totally agrees with me; as this new thing we have has three bowls in it, so by the time you have to take the top of and select what bowl you want, then the blade for that bowl, put the lid on and then chopped/mixed whatever you want then dismantled it, cleaned it and put it back together, you may as well have chopped it by hand properly!
I enclose a picture I have just taken of a few of my most used knives, including my old and beloved boning and my filleting knife!
I wonder if a food processor can bone and fillet?
Regards from England.
Neil.










Thumbnail by NEILMUIR1
Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

What did you do with the dried peppers? I've never tried that; I just quarter them lengthwise and stick them in the freezer. But I never did get too many of the dratted things; I'll try again with Marconi next year. I think only one plant bore and I got maybe two or three is all.

What worries me is getting the right angle in dressing a knife. I'm always afraid I'll do it incorrectly and end up with a ruined implement! I'll have to try that, though. I read your directions to DH and he said he'd never heard of doing it that way but he could see that it would be an interesting method.

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

How do you sharpen your knives, though, Neil? And do I see a couple of Sabatiers in among your weapons? I really like those; I have two chef's knives and a paring knife from them.

London, United Kingdom

Dear Leslie, I do dress my knives as Twiggybuds says, and you do not have to worry too much about the angle as long as you do not put it to square on, as that will blunt the knife. It does take the very tiny burrs and bits out will sharpen it.
However I use mine constantly, so I set two brief periods on the mornings when things like bread (Mondays), or pasties, pies etc. (Fridays) are in the oven.
So I use an oilstone, which is basically a fine Carborundum stone with one side medium and the other incredibly fine.
You then put a little olive oil on the medium side and gently lay the knife on it, lifting it ever so slightly so the cutting edge is at a slight angle. Then going in slow circles for its entire length a couple of times on both sides of the knife. Then turn it over and on and the olive oiled, fine side (the sides are different colours), you do the same.
This gets the fine sharpness and does not take lots of the metal off the knife.
You can get it as sharp as you so wish on the fine side, then wash it and dry with a bit of kitchen paper.
These have been around for hundreds of years, but you can now buy posh ones that have a cradle which you put your knife in and then slide it up and down, and moving it till it does the entire blade. I tried one of these at a show I went to and found it cumbersome, and it was hard to get right to the edge of the knife.
Yes I do have a lot of Sabatiers, but you must be careful as their are in fact three types in France.
The things you buy from a hypermarket on a day trip are cheap and are really not the proper thing, medium grade are good, and the professional ones are excellent. So although more expensive they last longer, are easier to sharpen and hold their edge well.
Even my beloved meat clever is a professional one, just look for the P sign ion them.
Regards from England.
Neil.
p.s. still beat a food processor though!

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

Neil, my husband uses a carborundum rod to sharpen things, and since he's comfortable doing it I let him have the honors. My Sabatier knives are carbon steel and I think are well-made; they're quite old. The larger of the two chef's knives I found on a boat my parents bought when I was in college. My mother preferred stainless steel and wasn't really much of a chef, so I got to keep it. The small Sabatier paring knife has been through some adventures. My son preferred it for filleting fish out on our dock, and once dropped it in the water. When I told him how much it would cost to replace it (out of his allowance!) he waited until low tide and went down into the muck and managed to find it!

Leslie

London, United Kingdom

Dear Leslie, carborundum rods are great! I have a small one that I use for sharpening my Felco secateurs and my pruning knife.
Although my mother bought a Bosch electronic (rechargeable), set of secateurs for me, it is alright for thicker things but not for small fast pruning, and is a nightmare to sharpen.
My wife a gadget freak, bought a Bosch (rechargeable), Topiary/hedge trimmer, for me, or so she claimed. She uses it to trim the two ball box trees outside our front door.
It sounds like your Sabatiers are good ones, for it is only recently that they started making the cheap ones for the day trippers to buy.
Funny how youngsters can find things when there is money involved!
Thank you for your comments on my nephew (Alfie), I have written quite a long post back.
He is coming over tomorrow as it is his schools half term next week, yet another holiday.
As my sister in law has just been promoted to sister in her Hospital, which means longer hours, so I have a feeling he will stay here for some of the days in the week, if not all.
So it is Sunday dinner making, as he loves to sit in front of the oven and watch the Yorkshire Puddings rise up!
I did make an apple crumble today, but the wife got to it, so I will have to make another one now.
Regards to all from England.
Neil.

Thumbnail by NEILMUIR1
Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

Neil, I'm somewhat of a gadget freak myself, so I can empathize with your wife. We just bought a ceramic cooker called The Big Green Egg, which is an adaptation of a Japanese/Chinese Komado cooker. It's supposed to be great for grilling and even for cooking things in a dutch oven, and for baking breads.

It sounds like Alfie has some lovely times coming up, staying with Uncle Neil. Our granddaughter spends a lot of time here and luckily we have all her dad's and aunt's old toys - at least the nicer ones like blocks and Legos - plus lots of games and kids' books here. She's getting too old for toys but as I said, does enjoy helping to drive the tractor and put up food and feed the chickens and bake with me.

London, United Kingdom

Dear Leslie, I bet your granddaughter has a most wonderful time with you and your husband. She is lucky to have grandparents that care and take the time with her. Driving tractors is always good fun, and as men are really big kids at heart, I loved them when I was young and I love them now.
So I can see why your Granddaughter likes driving the tractor, or helping at least, oh what fun!
Anyone who bakes is a friend of mine, as it seems to be a dying art as well. So that is brilliant that your granddaughter is into that, for that really is an essential lifeskill.
Alfie is not really into baking, he does not mind kneading dough, but prefers chopping things up and mashing things!
It is his Birthday on the 28Th of October a whole seven years old, so he is quite excited about being seven.
When asked what he wanted for his Birthday, he claims he wants a laptop to stop him having to fight with his sisters to use one.
So my mother who is going to get him one enquired if he wanted a Dell like his sisters, but a different colour.
He said"no grandma, I don't want any Microsoft rubbish, I want an Apple mac like Auntie Sarah's or a big Imac like Uncle Neil's!"
What can you say to that one/
Unfortunately I was informed he was not coming over today as his dad wanted to take him to some event at the Royal Air Force Museum at Hendon.
He likes looking at big military aircraft, and they have ones you can go in, and computers you can fly one etc, boys heaven.
Your new cooker sounds posh. Apart from the Agar up the cottage, we have a gas one here which I like, as they are easy to control!
My mother bought a new electric one and got rid of her lovely old gas one, she wishes she hadn't now.
For it takes ages to heat up then when it does you cannot control it, like a gas oven, you are constantly moving things off and on the heat and fiddling with switches.
I have two smokers (hot and cold), which I adore, so I am very popular near Christmas with people wanting smoked Salmon and smoked Hams etc.
Regards from a cold and damp England.
Neil.








Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

We used to smoke salmon using a cold smoking arrangement when we lived in Washington State, where salmon were cheap and plentiful. We actually had a jar of it in our pantry here thirty or so years later, and when we thought of mentioning it to friends who were over for dinner they wanted to try it. So we opened it up and ate it, and were none the worse for it. It was delicious!

I have an electric oven but a gas stove-top; I've never liked cooking on electric burners because they're too unresponsive.

And I admire Alfie's taste in computers; I'm a Mac person myself! Good for him for having his own opinion! What will his grandmother get for him?

London, United Kingdom

Dear Leslie, I know what he is got for I have it, but can I just tell you something, before I tell you.
When Mac brought out the Worlds first personal computer in 1976, they opened a shop in Victoria in London, which I used to go in and just look.
It had a lovely hanging black sign in the window with the apple one one side and "I THINK DIFFERENT" in wording on it.
On a night the apple and the wording used to light up green. Well the shop was closing down, so on the last day I walked in and asked how much for the sign, and the manager took it down and just gave it to me!
So I put it up in the spare room where Alfie stays, and he loved it, or did till I gave him it for his room at home, never to be seen again, my brother hates Mac's so sold it. All my six nieces and my other nephew use Microsoft, but at Alfie's school they have both. Mac's for children who are into being artistic and design mad, and Microsoft for other uses.
So I warned my mother about getting Alfie a Mac as for what my brother did to the sign, she already knew about it and has spoken to my sister in law, so he is on a death threat from his wife and the family if he touches it, or tries to sell it.
We have three Mac's and two Microsoft computers here, but Alfie does not go near Microsoft stuff at all.
Alfie does not like Sarah's 17" laptop Mac as it is too heavy for him, but he likes my 15" Macbook so that is what he wanted.
My friend owns a good Business near me and he uses Mac's, so as value added tax (VAT), is 17.5% on anything you buy, this adds a lot to the final price! A Business can claim the VAT back and my friend has a Mac Business account, which gives you even more money off it.
So my mother knew the price from Mac and I gave her the price from my friend, but it was still to high for my mother, so the whole family chipped in, to get him what he wanted, not what my brother was trying to force him to have.
So in my wardrobe I have got a 15" Macbook with 4 Gb of Ram, Snow Leopard, and a proper Mac case for him.
I somehow think he will be happy with that. For I would have been at seven!
Kindest Regards from a cold and wet England.
Neil.






Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

What a princely gift for a seven-year-old! He's a lucky kid. But I can't believe that your brother sold the sign; I'm sure it was worth rather a bit but it was up to you to get that money if you didn't want it anymore, not up to him. Why would he feel so strongly about a kind of computer that he would take away something that his little boy thought was very special? I'm sure there's a story there...

We started off with an Apple IIGS and then switched to Macs; I think my first was an LC. Right now I have a 20 or 24" iMac that I bought last year; huge screen! I've thought of getting a Macbook for my business (I do portraits in oils, and I take photos of the subjects out of doors and then load them on an old Mac notebook so the clients can choose what they like for the painting) but I use my desktop computer a lot more, so I went with that instead. I've been thinking about getting Snow Leopard but I'm having intermittent problems with the computer, which I think I've isolated to the external hard drive or Time Machine because once I unplugged it things were fine, and I don't want to introduce a new upgrade until everything's running properly.

London, United Kingdom

Dear Leslie, my brother hates Mac's because; he works for himself putting right all the things that go wrong with Windows for companies all over London on a daily basis. As you may know viruses are a mass problem and Windows is not secure, plus there are myriad of updates for different Windows that tend to crash things etc, and all the other problems they have as the operating system is flawed and is not stable.
There was one big company in London that my brother could charge a small fortune on a weekend to if he was called out to fix Windows problems, which was mostly every weekend. Then he had not heard from them for sometime, as he was in the City he popped in to see the Boss, only to be told they had got rid of all the Windows machines, and switched to Mac. He was horrified as on a Saturday he could charge $1600+ for a day plus expenses, and more on a Sunday! Plus they had taken on a full time I.T. manager who was American and Mac trained.
So upon trying to argue that they would lose Business as everyone used Windows, and it was not compatible with Mac's, he was in for a shock as they had Office for Mac! So he was taken in to the offices he used to work in to see rows of gleaming 21" G4 iMac's ( I had one).
Speaking to people he knew he was stunned that the Mac's could have Word and everything on them, and iPhotos amazed him, the music for presentations etc. Every explained to him it was safer, easier to use and did not go wrong!
So he rang me and came straight here, to see mine. He tried every which way to crash it like a Windows machine, to no avail, it go a bit slower as he kept opening more applications, but it did not stop it.
So he gave up most distressed! Now with the credit crunch and people switching to Mac's, he has to fight with other people for Business so cannot charge exorbitant prices, so he hates Mac's! That hopefully explains why he could not understand the thought of his son sleeping under a Mac sign! He still should have given it back to me, though it has not been forgotten by the family, or Alfie either.
My mother has always wanted to do a Degree in English and she had a Windows laptop, which kept going wrong, and then went out of warranty.
So my wife got the legal company she works for, to fight the computer company under a new law, they lost and had to pay my mother compensation and give her, all monies back. So I got her on an OU course at 79 years old, which like the one I am doing (I already have a Degree), you do from home. So I gave Alfie my 15" Macbook and asked him to show grandma how to use it. Within an hour she was using it with Alfie showing her.
So now she has a 17" pro book the same as Sarah's, and she loves it.
I have my 15" Macbook as if I am designing a garden or giving some advice, I can put the info into it, then if I so wish with airport I can transfer it to my 24" iMac which I got this July! Macbook's are stunning, fast and really just like a laptop iMac.
Due to Mac's offer on this one for Alfie, you got a free ink jet printer, or for another £49.99p or $100 you can have a small A4 colour laser printer, so we got Alfie the colour laser! He has also got a set of speakers, which are very cheap here and a new Nikon point and shoot camera from my greatest friend, who owns the London Camera Exchange. He really likes Alfie as his company uses Mac's, for photography!
Not bad for a seven year old!
Or as Alfie would say "I think Different."
I wonder what his face is going to be when he sees this lot! It certainly has also put my brothers nose out of joint.
Regards from England.
Neil.









Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

Omigosh, Alfie is one lucky kid, as I said. Don't you want to save some of that for Christmas???

I have a Canon IP4200 printer which does beautiful photos and other colored products; my only beef is that it doesn't have archival inks so I can't use it to make giclées of my paintings. I have someone who does that for me and actually it probably makes more sense because I'm sure the learning curve would be high if I wanted to print my own.

I can understand now why your brother hates Macs, but still, it's carrying it a bit to an extreme. If he learned Macs, a lot of people use someone to help them upgrade or switch over to a new machine. I used to do all that myself but decided that I no longer had the patience to learn all the new bells and whistles, so I have a Mac guy who does it for me and also does occasional maintenance or troubleshooting. One problem I did have with my G4 iMac, I think it was - when I was doing something very RAM intensive the fan would get louder and then the computer would crash. I could get it up and running again with Applejack, but I couldn't do graphics. I called Apple and they finally told me to bring it in to an Apple store for a checkup. When I took it out of its closet and cleaned it up a bit, I noticed that the air intake on the fan was totally clogged with fine dust. I brought it in to Apple anyway just in case and they did an upgrade and could still find nothing wrong. I'll bet that was the problem. Something to keep an eye on.

Leslie

London, United Kingdom

Dear Leslie, that was the problem! For G4's and especially pudding bowl iMacs were prone to it, I know as I was warned. So I used to put the vacuum nozzle on the air intake when it was turned off.
I have a G3 limited edition "snow" imac in the cupboard, as far I know it would still work and is in its box, and is sealed.
Doubt it would like Leopard though. Everyone keeps asking me about Snow Leopard as we have it in all the Macs, and as our ones are new, it was only £7.99 or £15.99 for a five user licence. It is not a new operating system as everybody says, it is just Mac fine tuning leopard.
It makes everything seamless and very quick! Plus it does have a few more bells and whistles on it than were in leopard. You simply put it on and it goes straight over the top, you do not even notice it, until you open iPhoto (for instance), and instead of it saying loading photos it doesn't.
They come straight up, very clever. It changes nothing, not even your e-mail addresses, or the archive system on iPhoto, my music on iTunes etc.
My mother is strict with the girls and Alfie gets a bit of leeway, whereas I am strict with Alfie and go easy on the girls!
As my other sister in law was left with four children by her partner, when he went absent without leave, I have them to consider as well; Charlie I am strict on, but the girls i am not too bad with.
Easy way out; give Charlie to me as he likes fishing and cooking, give the girls to my mother who treats them strictly, but the same as her own, and yes they do call her grandma, plus my mother will tolerate no nonsense off them at all, and they know it.
All this was caused because Sarah and Mandy's dad (my father in law), hung himself from the loft with a bit of piano wire, and I found him as his work kept ringing me. It was not nice, as I already had PTSD from the Falklands war, this did not help matters at all.
He had left some money and once my sister in laws partner found out, he quickly withdrew it and has never been seen since!
Changing the subject before I get Alfie up to help out. I have a A4 Epson ink jet which I use for draft things, an Epson Laser A2/A3 for designs, and a little Samsung A4 laser for printing quality letters etc.
My wife has an A3 laser Konica that in fact prints any size of paper up to A3, a small Epson ink jet, and a tiny Epson photo printer.
These are all networked to my iMac, no cables, so we can use whatever we want.
As for saving something for Christmas, he wants to go go up the cottage in the New year for a week, which will cost enough, and if he has his camera now, then he can have his fishing rod I have promised him.
I have a new Cannon 450D SLR camera my great friend gave me, so with Alfie's new Nikon we can try them together.
My mother says I would rather feed him for a week than a fortnight! As he eats anything and lots of it, and I have seen more fat on a Butchers pencil! He is an expensive young man!
Regards.
Neil.




Auburn, AL(Zone 8a)

Tr;y ganache in the food processor, makes a wonderful smooth texture..very little air so stays as smooth as glass.

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

Funny, I just posted a question about food processors... but I am not as proficient with knives as some. Though I am learning a lot... I never seem to be very good at sharpening them. A friend of ours grabbed my Chef's knife and a file from the workshop and viola', it has never been sharper! DH has a fish fillet knife that needs sharpening... any advice is appreciated!

OT, Neil, as I mentioned in another thread, my DH is British. He was a fighter pilot for RAF for nearly 30 years. Did the Falklands... as I understand it that is not a big place... any chance you two might have known each other? His name is Tony Down (Antony Down). He became a Squadron Leader and then taught pilots in Saudi Arabia. Also did air shows.

Brenda

London, United Kingdom

Dear bsavage, I doubt that very much indeed! The Harrier pilots were ship borne on H.M.S. Hermes or H.M.S Invincible, I am not sure which as we were nothing to do with them.
We were simply yomping in the wet and cold, and it is a thing I mention I was there, but has since made me ill, so I don't often talk about it that much.
Regards to you both from England.
p.s. we did see the Harrier G3s, but they travelled a bit too fast for us, and are noisy.

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

Regards to you in England!

townsville, Australia

Good morning Neil, well it is morning here anyway lol.
May I please have the recipe for your apple crumble, it looks wonderful. I would like to make it for my grandkids, and yours looks much better than the one I make.
I would really appreciate it, if not thats ok as well.
Thanks
Shell

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

me too, please! I make a good one, but am ready to try yours, Neil!

London, United Kingdom

Dear Shell, it is no trouble at all, believe me!
Here is a good simple way to make it.
I do not know what apples you can get in Australia, but we use Bramley cooking apples as they are sharp in taste, but with sugar are wonderful.
You can use eating apples, but then you must cut down on the sugar as it will make them too sweet.
You will need:
1-1 and a half pounds of peeled and cored apples cut into large cubes. Either cooking 2 -3 tbsp caster sugar or eating apples 1 tbsp of caster sugar or to taste.
Place the apples in a pan with about 4-5 tablespoons of water and the sugar.
This is optional but you can add some cinnamon about 3/4-1 tsp.
Cook covered for about 10 minutes, but stir now and again to make sure it does not stick. don't overcook it, just till it is soft.
For the crumble topping you will need:
8oz of plain flour, white or wholemeal.
4oz of unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes.
3oz of brown sugar or to taste, 2oz for the mix 1oz for the top.
Add the flour, butter and 2oz of sugar if you want it, into a bowl.
Then with your fingers, simple crumble the flour into the butter and sugar, don't use an Electronic whirligig machine, it is a fingers only job.
Don't do it to much, just enough to make a crumble mix. Some people add 1 oz oats, it is up to you, but if you do that add the sugar and oats last and just combine.
Then put the cooked apples in a 1and 3/4 pint pie dish and cover with the topping. Sprinkle the last of the brown sugar evenly over the top.
Bake in a preheated oven at 180℃-350℉-Gas mark 4 for 30-45 minutes until golden brown.
Regards from England.
Neil.







townsville, Australia

Thankyou very very much, I will make it on the weekend as I will have my grandbabies then, Beau is 7 and Mia is 5, so not really babies lol. I will let you know how it turns out.
I do have an electronic whirligig, my kids bought if for me on my 30th, I am now 47 and it is still in its box, I am not real big on electonic gadgets lol. I do not have many, but I must admit I do like the juicer, and I have a waffle iron which is wonderful. I love home made waffles.

Thanks heaps again.
Shell

London, United Kingdom

Dear Brenda, ask your Husband if he likes this classic English dish, Toad in the Hole.
Regards.
Neil.

Thumbnail by NEILMUIR1
Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

He says yes, it is very good, but regrettably we cannot get english sausages here. Something he has often complained about... he misses the english sausages.

London, United Kingdom

Dear Brenda, make your own sausages!
Regards.
Neil.

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

Got a recipe for that, Dear Neil???

London, United Kingdom

Dear Brenda can you get sausage skins or not?
I have a recipe for skinless sausages.
That is a pork recipe, which is normal here!
Regards.
Neil.

London, United Kingdom

Dear Brenda I knew somewhere they would sell these.
Have a look at site as there is a special offer on these!
Regards.
Neil.
http://www.sausagemaker.com/51200sausagestuffercastiron3lb.aspx

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

I can check for sausage skins, and my kitchen aid mixer has an option to add a meat grinder attachment, which is only about $10. I'd love any recipes that you have for them!

London, United Kingdom

Dear Brenda, here is a recipe for the famous Cumberland sausage;
1 pound of boned pork shoulder, diced
1 pound of belly pork, rind removed and diced
2 oz white breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Few gratings of fresh nutmeg and mace.
Pince each of marjoram, sage and cayenne pepper.

Ensure that the meat is cold and mince using a course disk. You are aiming for the texture of beef mince. Although you can buy it like this
Mix in the breadcrumbs and the seasonings.
Make into sausages. Although Butchers sell this in coils over here, a lot of people prefer it as a traditional sausage. A normal sausage is about Four and a half to five inches long and quite thick and juicy
Rest the sausage/sausage meat for at least a few hours before cooking.
Fry gentle so that the inside gets cooked and the outside is a nice brown on all sides.
I will send you some more shortly when I have cooked dinner etc.
The Cumberland sausage was first made up North, but is much loved everywhere now. I prefer mine in coils as you can cook the whole coil in a frying pan at once, but I am a bit of a purist! By a coil I mean; as you start to fill the sausage skin you don't twist them into sized sausages, you are making a straight one, then you start in the middle and keep going round to the outside to make a coil.
Regards for now.
Neil.



Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

Nice! DH Tony will be happy...

Huffman, TX(Zone 9a)

Hello Neil I hope you and all of your friends and family are all well. I have been busy lately and hav'nt been over here. I thought I would tell you what happened today that reminded me of you. My wife was cutting up some jalapeno peppers for the dehydrater we dry all our surplus peppers and use them in sauces. She tried to cut into a pepper and due to a dull knife the pepper rolled and she cut 2 fingers not seriously but it could have been worse. So after I spent the next 30 minutes wrapping up her fingers and kicking myself in the butt. I thought of you and got out my oil stones and spent the rest of the afternoon sharpening knives. When I finished with the kitchen knives I started on my hunting knives.Being an ol' butcher I know the value of a sharp knife and the dangers of a dull one I still have one left that I was working on and decided to take a break and tell the world what a bonehead I am. Just wanted to pass that on. Heading out to my deer lease tomorrow to check and make sure everything is ready and drop off my old hunting buggy. I start hunting Nov. 7th. I have a big ol' pot of Texas chili on the stove right now useing up the last of the Venison from last year. As I said I hope this finds you well take care .....Ron

London, United Kingdom

Dear Brenda, here is a standard recipe that you do not need skins or a machine for!
Skins are really only to make them easier to cook and handle, and for aesthetic reasons. They do not make it taste any different inside at all.
1 pound of good pork mince.
2 oz of fine breadcrumbs.
1 egg.
1 tsp of cornflour.
Salt and ground black pepper.
1 tsp of dried sage or rosemary not both. 2tsp of oregano, i/2 tsp of nutmeg (optional).

Then you simply put the mince into a bowl add the whisked egg, the breadcrumbs, and the cornflour and herbs, then season.
Mix all the ingredients together, into a well mixed ball.
In a frying pan heat a touch of oil and put a tsp of it in, and fry both sides, then taste it. The reason you do this is to see if it it needs any more herbs or seasoning, as you can't put it in later. If it does add it, and mix.
Then get some cling film or plastic wrap, I am not sure what you call it!
Get the some of the mixture out of the bowl and roll it in your hands to a sausage shape and put on the cling film edge, leaving a gap either end.
Then simply roll it evenly until you get to the far end, then twist the side ends up!
You can to make it look perfect roll it evenly as the cling film is pliable so you can get it even, and if you want them looking really good you can using your thumbs and forefingers, twist them to the right size perfect sausages.
Place in the fridge for 2-3 hours unroll and cook them gently.
You have to be more careful as they have no skin, totally delicious!
My nephew likes to make these and he is seven.
The mixture makes eight good size sausages.
Serve with creamed mashed potato and onion gravy.
Or save the mixture on make scotch eggs.
Good luck.
Regards to all.
Neil.




London, United Kingdom

Dear ron, you can use the skinless sausage recipe for Venison as well.
Hope your dear wife is Ok!
I will shake my finger at you as a butcher and a cook, you should know better!
Regards to all.
Neil.
p.s it is below your message!

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

Thank you, Neil! I will try that soon!

Huffman, TX(Zone 9a)

Thats a great sausage sight and the store is right up there where I was born. I used to make a lot of sausage years ago as a butcher we made Italian (hot and sweet), polish and breakfast sausage. I have allways wondered about making other types. I used to process my deer myself it allways made such a mess so I payed to have it done I will do it myself now that I am retired and have more time. I have tried smoking sausage in a smokehouse that I built myself but I let my fire get to hot and messed it up I have a small smoker and it works fine. But I would love one of those smokehouses they have on that websight but maybe next year, money gets a little tight around the end of the year what with hunting and Christmas (yes I said Christmas). Thank you for asking about my wife she is fine. The cuts wern't that bad. I have scars all over my hands from my 10 years as a butcher even missing a couple of finger tips. So I know how to tend to her wounds. So I guess you know why I quit butchering I was running out of fingers. I am glad I quit when I did, I have ostio arthritus now from those years working in those cold rooms and mixing all that wet cold meat. But I still enjoy doing it on occasion....Ron

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