July 9, 2014 Foolproof 2-ingredient cream biscuits.

This ONLY WORKS with a soft wheat flour.  All self-rising flours are made with soft wheat.   You can also find some “plain” soft wheat flours – White Lily is one but self-rising flour is marketed by Pillsbury, Gold Medal, King Arthur Flour (sold at Walmart too), and my favorite, Odlums, a product of Ireland sold online at Food Ireland.com.

This is a versatile recipe but the basic biscuits are virtually foolproof.  And there is no need to “cut butter or fat into the dry ingredients” as is called for in almost all biscuit recipes.  The heavy cream substitutes for the fat.

Self-Rising flour – - 2 cups      (also about 1/4 cup of regular flour for flouring the board)

Heavy cream – - 1 cup

Mix just till blended – turn out dough onto floured board

fold and knead 4 or 5 times.

Pat or roll out into half inch slab.   If you have a rolling pin, use it but not necessary.

Fold in half and press out or roll to 1/2 – 3/4 inch thick.

ALLOW TO REST FOR 5-10 MINUTES

Pre-heat oven to 400°F.

With a sharp biscuit cutter cut into rounds

OR with a sharp knife cut crossways into squares. (Can also use a pizza wheel)

Transfer to a baking pan with sides just barely touching.

BISCUITS 1

Bake for 12 minutes – turn pan back to front

Bake another 10 minutes or until biscuits are the color in

the second photo.

BISCUITS  2

They should split naturally – because of that “fold” before cutting.

BISCUITS  3

Serve hot or warm but these are also good cold.

Serve with plain butter and jam, compound butter with herbs or cream cheese with herbs, etc.

Option! Add a tablespoon or so of sugar to the dry ingredients, before adding the cream. This will give you a slightly sweet biscuit suitable for strawberry shortcake or other fruit applications.

Add the sugar plus raisins, currants, dried cranberries, etc., and cut with larger cutter  to make scones.

Scone photos:

scones currant 7:1:14

SCONES

scones currant 7:1:144

For a SAVORY biscuit you can add grated Parmesan cheese – you will need to add a bit more cream.  You can also add black pepper or cayenne to use the biscuits as a base for canapes, etc.

These are small “cocktail biscuits”  cut with a 1 1/2 inch cutter  (standard is 3 inches)

Cocktail biscuits1

Cocktail biscuits3

These also are rolled or patted out and folded and rolled before cutting so they split naturally.

Cocktail biscuits4

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Copper KA now on ebay

The copper mixer is now on ebay – item # 181461398018.
As the last one I saw sold for 836.00 I think I have priced this one competitively.

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July 8, 2014 Preparing for Ebay – 1955 Copper Kitchenaid 3C

The Model K 3 C was in production from 1950 to 1962 when the Model K-45 was introduced.

In 1955 Kitchenaid began producing the 3 C in colors and also in chrome finish and copper.  The latter was shipped with a lacquer coating to preserve the finish but industrious homemakers used abrasive cleaners a bit too vigorously and many of these machines, including this one, have had mild to moderate damage to the finish, especially on areas where the material being processed might be deposited.   I have seen three, besides this one, and all have evidence of damage to the finish.

Still, in spite of the less than perfect appearance of the finish, this is an attractive mixer and as it is fairly rare, should be interesting to serious collectors.

KitchenAid 3 C COPPER1

KitchenAid 3 C COPPER4

KitchenAid 3 C COPPER3

 

KitchenAid 3 C COPPER12

 

KitchenAid 3 C COPPER5

 

KitchenAid 3 C COPPER8

 

KitchenAid 3 C COPPER6

 

KitchenAid 3 C COPPER9

 

KitchenAid 3 C COPPER13

 

KitchenAid 3 C COPPER2

The following photos shows the area where there is most damage to the copper finish, virtually worn away, obviously from using abrasive cleaners.

Other areas on the body of the mixer exhibit fine scratches and some scuffing around areas of greatest exposure.

KitchenAid 3 C COPPER19

 

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July 1, 2014 – Glass Teapots

Here are some glass teapots.
Glass teapots are perfect for brewing the “presentation” or blooming teas that are constructed so they open like a flower when hot water is poured into the teapot.

The ribbed teapot is “vintage” from the 1950s. It is unmarked but had a Pyrex handle. It has a built-in infuser that can be lowered and raised and a device on the lid that catches the chain to hold it out of the water. Very clever idea.

The others are all newer – I just broke the lid on one as I was taking it off the shelf – tipped it a bit too far and the lid popped out. I can’t find the infusers for two of them – they are somewhere but right now I have no idea where.

The one with the box, the Grosche is a cute shape but the design is iffy. The top of the lid gets extremely hot after the tea is steeped so that one has to use a hot pad to hold the lid while pouring the tea so it won’t fall out. The glass infuser also has to be handled carefully because it also stays very hot.
The bowl-type Bodum has a plastic bowl-shaped infuser (ideal for loose full leaf teas that need a lot of room to unfurl) and the “handle” of the infuser basket doesn’t get all that hot, probably because the plastic insulates it.
The large straight-sided teapot has a plastic infuser that hangs from the outer lid and can be lifted out by holding that lid.

There are many other designs available in glass teapots, both traditional shapes and sizes.
Adagio Tea has a couple of interesting shapes, one with a warmer stand which is quite pretty.
Republic of Tea also has several lovely glass teapots, including the “bowl” teapot which they have as Earl Grey Teapot and infuser.
They also carry the Assam teapots which work like a French press but only the medium and small sizes.

Teavana offers several shapes and sizes of glass teapots.

A wide selection of glass teapots is available at Teavivre!  And they have a glass teapot with 12 Blooming/Flowering teas  Description HERE.

Amazon of course offers several pages of glass teapots, all different shapes and sizes, some individual, most medium and a few quite large, including a 1 and 1/2 liter tea kettle/teapot with infuser “egg” by Menu.

One inexpensive French press coffee/tea maker – large “Basel” by Grosche should come with a caveat.  It should not be cleaned in the dishwasher.  The plastic “cage” that holds the glass carafe became brittle and cracked after three times in the dishwasher.  And I found it impossible to remove the glass from the cage.  It was only 12.99 (now 13.99) when I purchased it.  I tossed the cage and the lid/press and kept the beaker for awhile but it cracked so it too was tossed.

Amazon also has the Yama Glass “Sitka” teapot which I think is very attractive and is ideal for loose “full leaf” tea that requires room to unfurl.  The strainer is above the liquid and keeps the leaves from pouring into the cup or mug.   I’m considering adding this one to my collection because it is different.

I have two of the Assam teapots with glass handles, one large – 51 oz, available at Amazon, and one medium, 34 oz.

Vintage ribbed glass Vintage ribbed glass3 Vintage ribbed glass1 Vintage ribbed glass2

 

 

Grosche Grosche1 Grosche4 Grosche5 Grosche6 Grosche8 Grosche7

 

 

 

 

 

Bodum bowl Bodum bowl1 Bodum bowl2 Bodum bowl3

 

 

 

straight infuser straight infuser1 straight infuser2 straight infuser3

 

Large glass teapot Large glass teapot1

 

broken top broken top2

 

 

 

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June 18, 2014 Adding more teapots. Metal TEAPOTS

The various type of materials that have been used to produce teapots is staggering.  Ceramics of all types from crude, heavy pottery to stoneware,  porcelain both hard paste and soft paste, faience and bone china and the extremely tough vitrified china, glass, even wood and bamboo, and now we come to metals.
These include:
Stainless steel, including one that is cute to look at but POORLY designed. The last two photos. The teapot is heavy and the handle is totally inadequate, is difficult to hold level with the teapot EMPTY, impossible to hold with one hand with it full. Must have been designed by someone who never before held a full teapot. That particular style of squatty teapot requires a taller handle and best would be one over the top. The pewter teapot had a top handle and is easy to use and it too is quite heavy.
Enameled steel – early “graniteware” and late the more sophisticated “modern” designs.
Cast iron, a small Japanese Tetsubin – I have three or four more but have yet to find where I “hid” them.  Also enameled cast iron from various countries – popular in Scandinavia.
Aluminum – popular in the UK and less so in the US. Interesting designs often based on silver and silverplate designs from the 19th century.
Pewter – the one pictured was made in Italy – I believe in the 1980s.
Silver plate – I have one that is not in great condition but still looks pretty good for its age (1880s).
There are others, brass, bronze, various alloys
HPIM6645
And FIRST, the jewel of my collection, the Gorham Copper teapot with rosewood burl handle. 1881.
Dinged up with allover evidence of use but still attractive. It survived the ’94 earthquake but got at least one tiny dent. The stand which supported it above a little copper “spirit lamp” that burnt alcohol was totally crushed and mangled as it fell out of the bookcase and landed right under the vertical support. The teapot bounced away from the crash site on the carpet.
For years after I inherited the teapot, I did not know it was by Gorham nor that it was so old. The bottom was covered in black, burnt-on crud, from being placed over a flame for many, many decades. Only after I cleaned some of the black stuff off, did I find the Gorham mark, name and the “N” date mark for 1881. I would love to show it on Antiques Roadshow. Gorham produced a lot of silver and silver plate teapots but not many copper.
Gorham #1
Gorham 3
Gorham15
Gorham14
copper bottom closeup
Pewter, Made in Italy.  This teapot has the perforations between the body of the teapot and the spout – another with built-in strainer.
HPIM6656

HPIM6657

HPIM6658

 

 

Aluminum – English made.  Sona Ware  2 Cup with perforations between the body of the pot and the spout – a built-in strainer.

HPIM6666

HPIM6665

HPIM6667

Another aluminum teapot, also Made in England.  SWAN Empire teapot with perforations between body and spout – another with built-in strainer.

HPIM6662HPIM6663

HPIM6664

This little cast iron teapot is a Japanese Tetsubin.  It holds just 1 cup (8 ounces) and is designed for Japanese green teas.  It has a stainless steel mesh infuser basket.

HPIM6659

 

Very modern stainless steel – an “Aladdin” type design.  I originally had two of these but sold one on ebay a few months ago.  It is well designed and easy to hold and pour with one hand.

HPIM6668

 

And this is the one that is so poorly designed that it is virtually impossible to use.  Even empty it requires two hands to hold it level because the handle is placed wrong.  Obviously not designed by a tea drinker…

HPIM6661HPIM6660

 

 

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June 9, 2014 – Adding some more photos to the “Teapots” page.

Some of these teapots have been packed away for nearly fifteen years and a few even longer.  Most are “vintage” and a few are newer.

A Sadler teapot with typical Art Deco design popular in the 1930s.

Sadler Art Deco

 

A Sadler  “Chintz” decorated teapot from England.Sadler Chintz 1

Sadler Chintz 2

 

TUSCAN – Fine Bone China, Made in England

TUSCAN:England

 

Two Japanese “Redware” teapots, different shapes and styles.  These were very popular in the late 1940s and throughout the 1950s. Sold at Woolworth’s and other “Five and Dime” stores.

Japan redware::

Japan redware::2

Japan teapot:red

Japan teapot:red1

Old Country Roses by Royal Albert – this 1998 teapot made in Indonesia.

Old Country Roses

 

A teapot with the “Cattail” pattern made by Universal Potteries

Cattail

 

A Hall China teapot made for the Lipton Tea company – often given as “premiums” for purchase of several boxes of tea.

Hall Lipton

Elgreave

HPIM6569

 

A Chinese red  Hall China Sani-Grid teapot.

Hall red sani-grid

HPIM6571

HPIM6573

A Forman Family teapot with metal “cozy” teapot made by Hall China.  The ceramic finial indicates an early piece, the later ones had metal finials.  This one purchased new in 1940.

Hall:Forman

A small single serve teapot by Hall China for their “institutional” line – restaurant ware.

Hall Tea instutional:restaurant

A Hall China  Philadelphia teapot.

Hall Philadelphia

A Shenango teapot in the “Castle” pattern unusual teal color.

Shenango castle

A silverplate teapot made by E. G. Webster & Bro., late 19th century – a true antique. Needs polishing.  Has a couple of dents.

silplate tpot E.G.Webster&bro1

A Sadler English teapot decorated with teapots!Teapot with teapots

A very small Redware teapot, no marks.Little redware unmarked

A Sadler English Teapot, teal and gold.Sadler Teal:gold

A Hall China “Murphy” teapot, in light blue, the most common color.Hall MURPHY

A fake “blue flo” – Blue Willow style teapot, rather crudely made and with fake “Victoria Ironstone” marks.

Fake blue ironstone1

 

Shawnee Teapot.  Made in USA.

Shawnee teapot 1

 

And lastly, another Sadler, this one the “Sad Sadler” with it’s handle broken.  A lovely teapot that survived for decades only to suffer a major injury now.  Pretty Blue Willow decoration.

Sad Sadler1

 

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June 5, 2014 Added today: my recipe for MUSTARD – Home made, Easier than you might believe.

Here is the link to the page with my Master Mustard recipe.

I have been meaning to add this to the list of recipes for some time but I had managed to “lose” some of the photos.

This might look complicated to begin with but since it is done in several steps that can be spread out over a few days, it is really not that difficult.  And people are always impressed when they learn you have made your own mustard from scratch.

Next post will be about home made mayonnaise both plain and the garlic version so popular in France.

 

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ENORMOUS Staub cast iron French Oven (Oval)

This is a WEIGHTY and very LARGE  oval “French” oven or “Cocotte” (a “Dutch” oven is round)  that I bought quite a few years ago when I was still preparing game for some hunters I knew (their wives wanted nothing to do with learning to cook game.)   And I would prepare the roast or haunch or “saddle” of venison or elk or a “leg” of boar (like an extra-large ham) because this would hold it and smaller roasting pans would not.  (I also had a couple of large Magnalite roasters but they have high domed covers and some of the ovens these folks had were not tall enough inside to hold the taller roaster.)

Apparently this 12.5 quart oval vessel is no longer being marketed by Staub in the U.S. because it does not appear on the official Staub web site.  I found French sites that I think offer it, but as I do not read French and did not want to go through the translation process, I am guessing.   It was costly when I got it but I certainly enjoyed using it.

It weighs almost 30 pounds EMPTY (with the lid) and I have difficulty lifting it as it is and certainly would be unable to pick it up and move it with anything in it.

It does an amazing job on BRAISING tough meats that have to be cooked long and low to achieve the tenderness that only this cooking process can achieve (and is essential with most large game animals).  There are “drip spikes” on the underside of the lid so that condensed liquids will be distributed evenly over the entire interior and the lid fits snugly into the oven so there is little loss of moisture over the extended cooking time.   It can also be used on the stove top – over two burners – for an extra large soup or chili pot.

The material of which it is made is practically indestructible.  It will crack or break if dropped on a cement floor or struck with a sledge hammer, but otherwise, it is a tough piece of iron and it is coated so it will not rust and DOES NOT REQUIRE SEASONING.  It’s not truly enameled – except on the outer bottom – it has a tough ceramic coating that is similar to interior surfaces in glass kilns where it is important to avoid any flaking of the kiln material onto the glass being fired.  And, it can go into the freezer, with a prepared roast to keep it chilled for transport and then into the oven – I advise a cold oven to start, then set the heat and time.   This is far superior to the LeCreuset and other enameled cast iron that does stain when cooking certain foods and may craze and chip over time with resulting rust spots.  The lid handle is safe to 500°F. in the oven but can be removed if it is to be used in a hotter oven – a friend who has a smaller one uses it in his wood-fired pizza oven for baking huge loaves of artisan bread.

I’m going to put it in an ebay auction, as soon as I can figure out how to package it securely (needs a heavy duty box) and the shipping is going to be expensive.  Meanwhile, I’m admiring it because it is a handsome piece of cookware.

It’s 19 3/8″ overall length, including the handles. The body is 16″ x 11 5/8″ and height with the lid is 7 1/2″.

STAUB oval oven5

STAUB oval oven6

STAUB oval oven4

STAUB oval oven

STAUB oval oven3

STAUB oval oven2

STAUB oval oven1

 

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May 20, 2014 More “Heavy Metal” Cast iron, that is…

I have more cast iron but am posting photos of this one PLATED skillet because it is an illustration of how the manufacturer wished to appeal to people who wanted something more esthetically appealing on a visual basis.

This one is fairly early, I am not quite sure of the exact date but the slant Griswold trademark and the rim on the bottom indicate the range of years.

GR.Erie Plated 8 SLANT1 GR.Erie Plated 8 SLANT

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May 18, 2014 — An Update to “Other Small Appliances”

When I first wrote about “other small appliances”  on this page,  I mentioned that some of the early appliances had “screw-in” plugs that were intended to be used in a light socket.

If you were born after 1950, you probably have no idea, unless you have seen some of the old movies that show a SINGLE cord hanging from the ceiling with a bare light bulb – which was the way old homes were “electrified” on the cheap, with the electric wires fastened to walls and ceilings and with a “drop” line for lights or for electric appliances.

I have three Hankscraft egg cookers, ceramic bodies with electric elements to boil water so the eggs cook in steam.   The earliest came with one of those screw-type plugs.  Unless one had a “duplex” or “Y” socket, there was either light or appliance and using both was tricky because if the circuit was overloaded it would burn out the fuse and early fuses were expensive.  If one was renting a room, often the owner installed coin-oprated electric “boxes” so one had to use a coin to connect to the electricity.

This photo shows all three of the Hankscraft cookers along with some egg cups that were manufactured to match.

HPIM6389

The one in the center is the earliest.  Model # 599.  It also has a cup on top in which the water was placed – so it dripped down onto the heating element.

Hankscraft #599 early

Hankscraft 599 top cup

Hankscraft 599 interior

 

 

Hankscraft 599 egg plate

Hankscraft No 599

and the infamous “plug” which is rarely seen.

Hankscraft 599 plug

 

Next is the model 815, in which the water was added directly to the cooking bowl AFTER the appliance was plugged in.  Then the cover was placed over the eggs.  It states that after the water has steamed away, the current will shut off.  I’ve tried this and the current did not turn off until well after the element was completely dry.  I would advise using a timer and turning it off manually, if anyone wants to try using one of these.  I don’t have the metal egg plate for boiled eggs in the shell for this one, only the poaching cup.  And there is a chip on one of the little “lugs” that holds the poaching cup in the chamber.

Hankscraft 815-2

Hankscraft 815-3

Hankscraft 815-4

Hankscraft 815-1

In this one you can see the slot that has been cut into the dome so the handle for the poaching cup will be outside the chamber (and is supposed to stay cool) and the handle of course makes it easier to pick up and carry.

 

Hankscraft 815

 

Lastly, there is the Model 874, which has the metal egg plate but no poaching cup and there is no slot in the dome so I assume the poaching cup did not have a handle – and might have been awkward to retrieve when hot…

This one says to put the water in BEFORE plugging in, which I think is wise.  It also states that when cooking is done the current will shut off and in this one it did.  Apparently the sensor still works.

This one is a yellow that was popular in the 1930s and in fact matches the Fiesta yellow and has the same ribbed design that appeared on some Fiesta pieces.  I can only find one matching egg cup but I am sure I have a set of 4… somewhere.

Hankscraft No 874-2 Hankscraft No 874

 

 

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