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Posts by BrianShaw

Buy the cheapest electric coffee grinder you can and use that for hard spice grinding. Not just a timesaver over mortar/pestle but a better result in most cases. Garlic and soft herbs are a different topic. Maybe best if you start a new thread on them.
You could, like team fat showed you above.Or if it's a lot of eggs you could use a mixer.But many of us would use a fork, or chop Stix, or a spoon, or even a bubbler spatula. The egg doesn't really care what tool beats it up.In fact, a bowl isn't required either. A tea cup will do, or a small ramekin. S I said, the egg doesn't much care which is used.
That sounds like a very instructive class!
BTW, here's my strategy for learning a new recipe or flavor concept: find a classic recipe by a trusted author. Make exactly as directed the first time. Next time, maybe alter a little but not much. Etc. Sometimes at the same time: buy some at a restaurant, deli, or bakery. Taste other folks version and decide what tastes best. Unfortunately that requires time, money, and a bit of studying.
Studying is hard work. It requires dedication and other skills. You are not alone in not liking studying because it requires independent self-teaching. A lot of folks learn better from being told and shown, so they have an example to follow. If hat describes you then those books might be frustrating. They don't really give recipes but guidance like basil an tomatoes go well together. It won't tell you how to make them go together or when that combination might get out of...
Okay, here's a study plan: One book, either culinary artistry or flavor bible. That will cut your studying by 50% (in other words, half as much). Whichever book you get, thumb through it. Get to know the various tables. Whichever tables look interesting, read them. Whichever tables you read, cook a dish using that information If you desire, repeat as much as you want.
I only read 2 cooking magazines anymore: Saveur and Fine Cooking. Over the years I've been dissatisfied with Saveur. Fine Cooking is consistently good and oriented toward what I need and want. It strikes a good balance between basic educational, cutting edge techniques, home cooking , and fine dining cooking. I have no vested interest in them but I am their cheerleader. It's the best "bang for the buck" and in a very digestible format.   Flavor Bible or its predecessor,...
Also... Fine Cooking magazine has a format that us periodically used that features a base recipe and a table of flavor adaptations. A great way to learn creative cooking.
In terms of tangible performance, that is hotly debated. Some quest for the epitome of technical quality characteristics. Does it make a practical difference: it depends on who you ask. In addition to the incentives you already mentioned, add ego. Not necessarily in the negative implication of the word, but the quest to stand out as unique and an expert in the finer things in life and the finer details of knowledge. Some like to take knives beyond he practical and thats...
Consider calling Chef Walter Staib and his team at City Tavern in Philadelphia. I'm sure he can do historical American and German, possibly others too. Google his web site too!
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