It's so beautifully arranged on the plate — you know someone's fingers have been all over it.

— Julia Childs on nouvelle cuisine

By , on January 2, 2006

Consumer Affairs, wkw

I went on a post-Christmas kitchen buying spree tonight picking up a couple of items for my kitchen which I’ve had my eye on for several years. One, a heavy-duty stand mixer, the other a food vacuum packaging device.

KitchenAid KSM150PSAC Artisan Series 5-Quart Mixer

KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Quart Mixer

I Saw an advertisement on the food channel last week for the Kitchenaid Series 5-Quart Stand Mixer (see photo) and having never owned even a hand mixer decided to buy myself one. I ordered mine from and among the myriad colors offered for this product, the cobalt blue model was $199, while all the rest of the colors were between $249 and $269 (the one I ordered was supplied by amazon, the others were from an external dealer). So definitely check the various color options to see if you can find a cheaper one if the color isn’t worth an extra $50-70 to you.

KitchenAid FGA Food Grinder Attachment for Stand Mixers

I then ordered the meat grinder and sausage casing stuffer from since it was a bit cheaper than Amazon’s price, though amazon is fulfilling the same part through eTronics. Living in the catskills, people are constantly giving me game meat, and I expect to start grinding my own sausage and ground beef. (hoping it’s not too difficult to clean the grinder attachment…) Try for some recipes, procedures and links on sausage making.

FoodSaver V2840 Advanced Design Flip-Up Vacuum-Packaging System

FoodSaver V2840 Vacuum-Packaging System

Next up on the buying spree was a FoodSaver V2840 Advanced Design Flip-Up Vacuum-Packaging System. I’ve kind of wanted one of these for years now but lament the fact that you have to keep purchasing the vaccum bags and supplies. I make a big batch of homemade (and very spicy) beef jerky about three times a year, and just started the marinating process tonight for a mixed venison/beef batch of jerky tonight, and I like to marinate for 48 hours before beginning to dry the meat. According to all the marketing for food vacuum packaging systems, you can cut marinating time to a fraction since the marinade is pulled into the pours of the meat. I’ll write some future post about my experiences with using this device for jerky in the future, but I suspect I’ll still want to let it sit overnight or for 24 hours to allow the acid in my marinade to start breaking down the fibers of the meat a little bit.

Curious about other uses for a FoodSaver vaccum packing utensil? Check out the A la Cuisine blog for some info on cooking vaccum packed meals (sous vide). A quote taken from that site: “Sous vide (which means ‘under vacuum’ in French) is a cooking method that involves heating food in a vacuum bag at a low temperature. It’s usually done by seasoning the meat or produce, placing it into a bag, vacuum sealing it, and placing it into a large pot of water, whose temperature is strictly controlled.”

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