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susan smitten

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Celebratory Pan Throwing [Jul. 17th, 2006|03:35 pm]
susan smitten

We had these crummy fake-nonstick pans.

Don especially found them distasteful.

So we ceremoniously threw them down the chute!

Meanwhile, Don has mounted our good pans this way! He wants me to mention that he ran out of copper polish, so that's why they don't look as pretty as they usually do.

This is new, too. Lids go here!

[User Picture]From: antivert
2006-07-17 12:46 pm (UTC)
Man I haven't found a cast iron skillet here yet!!@#@! It drives me nuts. I do, however, have a very heavy pan that acts very much like a cast iron one, so I'm not totally screwed. And there's just no room for it on those racks, I'm going to put another rack up for the stainless steel pans and the cast ironish one.

Brushed copper, shiny-finish copper, makes absolutely no difference. They both look the same when you polish them. (Polishing copper / stainless steel removes a very small layer of he material, therefore any brushing is made by you with your polish strokes!) :) These are brushed copper pans, and they look FANTASTIC when you polish them.

They kick ass, Calphalon pans with a copper exterior, aluminum core, and stainless steel inside. The polish from Calphalon does both stainless steel and copper. Absolutely marvelous. Not difficult to keep beautiful at *all*, I just ran out of the tiny amont of calphalon polish that came with the pans. It claims to be gentle enough to use every time you cook with them, which would keep them shiny and beautiful in an extremely easy way.
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[User Picture]From: dubaiwalla
2006-07-17 01:32 pm (UTC)
Dude, where do you even pick up so many different pieces of information? Also, have you ever given thought to working in a restaurant?
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[User Picture]From: antivert
2006-07-17 06:29 pm (UTC)
Well, I guess I could go cook some shawarma by the fire in a cool 5900 degree celsius kitchen at a falafel shop. Cooking is totally a hobby and a means to eat food that isn't disgusting! :D

I've collected the information I know about Dubai (and Japan) through observation. :)
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[User Picture]From: octal
2006-07-17 01:43 pm (UTC)
I assumed brushed finish wouldn't show fingerprints as fast, and thus wouldn't need quite as much cleaning/polishing as shiny-finish.

Lodge brand cast iron is pretty cheap: they're like $5-20 on Amazon.

If I had a kitchen here, I'd probably mail order, but even parcel post rates are expensive for a 9 pound skillet. Heh. (but probably not that expensive really). $17 for military parcel post. $5.15 if it were a book and sent mediamail rate :) $40 for airmail to uae, $30 for surface.



Someone should do the DXB-JFK-DXB run... I wonder if a cast iron skillet would be allowed airside.

I asked them if they have any middle east retailers.
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[User Picture]From: antivert
2006-07-17 06:22 pm (UTC)
Susan does that run often, but I think it's a bit hard to find a cast iron skillet in manhattan without losing your mind.

I think the new Ace Hardware in Festival City may have one. :)
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[User Picture]From: octal
2006-07-17 07:49 pm (UTC)
Order it from Amazon, delivered to your hotel.

Mmm, festival city. I must explore, and also get in with the W people. I guess that's another reason to go via Doha, since they're putting one there too.

Gah, I guess this means I need to wear a suit, or at least shirt/tie, and bring some non-combat boots. Sigh.
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[User Picture]From: octal
2006-07-17 01:47 pm (UTC)
The only "good pots" I've ever had were all-clad, which aren't even that good. Or cast-iron.

Do you have opinions on types of ranges? It looks like you have induction. My favorite to date was the big Vulcan 6-burner gas we had at university. Otherwise it's been crappy gas, or the coil resistance electric type.
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[User Picture]From: antivert
2006-07-17 06:16 pm (UTC)
Gas. Gas. Gas. I have to dick around with those electric ranges SO much while cooking. Everyone in Japan has gas. I'm not aware there are 'bad' gas burners, the ones we had were always good. But I mean, I can still cook on electric. It isn't so bad. But gas.

Not much difference between coil and solid induction if you've got a pan with a thick bottom. By the way, we have a couple pretty damned good stainless steel pans with very thick bottoms I found for a steal at Carrefour. The awesome pots were wedding presents, if we had to buy them all ourselves I'd just go for thick-bottomed stainless.

The 'finishing' on the copper of your pot doens't make a lick of difference. You need to use a polisher, which is actually an abrasive that removes a very thin layer of the pot. The same method is used for cleaning stainless steel. Fingerprints are NOT an issue, nor is the type of 'brushing' the pots came with. The use of the abrasive provides a new 'brushed' finish every time you 'polish' it. It's a little like soft scrub, only more abrasive. It's why stainless steel and copper rule so much, you can remove very small layers of them with a good polisher for years without harming the pan.

There are these camping gas burners that burn REALLY fucking hot. Alton Brown on Good Eats uses one of those for wok cooking. He rules. :)
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[User Picture]From: octal
2006-07-17 06:26 pm (UTC)
I lived in ghetto places where we needed to start the gas with a match/aimflame. (I bought myself an aimflame at the px recently just because they're fun to play with)

Also, where we ran on propane, and thus were not as hot as they should be; had to open up the jets, and recalibrate the oven, etc.
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[User Picture]From: antivert
2006-07-17 06:33 pm (UTC)
Weird. Japan has absolutely no naturally occurring natural gas, so they ship it in by boat and EVERY home has a connection. They have those little range things that are two gas burners and a fish broiler.I'm out of similies and metahpors, so we'll say they burned hot as fuck. The use the same connection as those awesome little gas room heaters, and both of those go 'tick tick tick' before they flame up. :) Nothing to calibrate, just hot goodness. Oh and the bathtub and kitchen water heaters were both small units with little columns of flamelets that flash heated the water.

And that is the most primitive technology japan owns. Ask me sometime about the bathtub I had in Sannomiya.
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[User Picture]From: octal
2006-07-17 07:49 pm (UTC)
I must go to Japan.
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[User Picture]From: chu_hi
2006-07-18 08:08 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: octal
2006-07-17 07:54 pm (UTC)
Japan presumably uses LNG, not LPG or Propane. LNG has the same energy content as "natural gas", it just has a crazy-huge minimum scale to be economic (i.e. the liquification processing plants are like chip fab money, $1b+)

I think this is the main export of Qatar now (and Bahrain, too)
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[User Picture]From: antivert
2006-07-18 07:51 am (UTC)
Hmm. I'm not so sure about the brushed vs smooth copper pans. Ours came brushed, and the first time I polished them it seemed to remove the old brushing. they still look 'brushed' though, but I think this is because I polish it in a motion that goes along with the strokes. If I polished it in a different direction, it'd change the direction of the brushing I think.

You may use a different polish with a 'smooth' copper pan, so my assumption that they all look the same after being polished may be wrong. I definitely like the brushed metal look.

If you want to plan a trip to Japan, you should plan it with us. We know many, many things about the place and there's a lot to discover, plus we have friends there which makes it all more fun. There's a huge difference in Japan with a guide as compared to without. Plus we're absolutely dying to visit.
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[User Picture]From: octal
2006-07-18 10:01 am (UTC)

What is a good time of year, other than cherry-blossom season?

I know some people in Japan, but mostly air force, or businesspeople.

I want to visit Osaka and Tokyo for sure, and I'd probably like to try "extreme rural japan", way up in the north of something, just for contrast. And I must see Ainu!

I am thinking I would enjoy a trip to Japan/China/Korea more than a trip to the US, at least for now, as I have artificially high expectations of the US. e.g. Hong Kong I had basically no expectations, and it was amazing, and continues to be amazing, and I've been there 4-5 times now.
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