Thursday, October 12, 2006

I'm full of beans today!

(Bonus points for anyone that can get the reference in the post title!)

Friends, this morning saw service call #4 from the appliance store. And does the (brand new) oven work now, you may well ask? Oh, why would you continue to ask this pointless question? Of course, it still doesn't work! That would just be silly. However, my roommate figured out that if you turn it to 150 and prop the door open a certain amount, you can get somewhat close to 300 degrees. So, we're golden (brown and delicious)! Truly, it has become a comedy of errors, and I think we're at the point where we have to start from square one and order another oven and let the merriment begin again. [heavy sigh]

In lieu of the celebratory post about the repaired oven that may well never come, I will share a recent culinary coup that no one I know fully appreciates. But you, my foodie friends, will surely share my joy. I have been trying to find a decent source of vanilla beans for sometime now, but they are just SO expensive! Even my beloved Trader Joe's has a jar of four scrawny beans for about $4. A dollar a bean is a lot better than $2-3 a bean which is common, but I wanted to do better, and get a higher quality bean to boot. So I turned to the most obvious source for gourmet food acquisitions--EBAY! I found a vendor called greenerdog with an Ebay store so that you didn't even have to wait out an auction. He had a "buy it now" option for ten Madagascar bourbon vanilla beans for $1.99, and the shipping was $2.95 no matter how many lots you bought! I knew it was a bit of a gamble, but at $0.20 a bean, I figured it was worth the risk. So I bought five lots (50 vanilla beans!) for about $13 with shipping. WOW! Moreover, I had barely hit send on my order when the package seemed to materialize in my mailbox. Seriously, it was two days at the most from order placement to delivery. The beans vary in size a little bit, of course, but they are all of a decent size, very flexible and supple, and they smell fantastic! I haven't made use of them yet, but I will report back when I do. In the meantime, I just thought I'd share a great deal with all the bakers out there in cyberland!


Anonymous said...

i left you a damn note, and poof its gone.

Anonymous said...

ok, here goes again, you should have asked me about the beans. i bought a load of them on ebay and before the prices dropped from The quality isnt the same as penzey's, but still for the price, they are ok. I make extract out of it too.

JoyBugaloo said...

I appreciate the source, Randi, but I think the greenerdog guy on ebay has them beat! At, 30-36 beans (1/4 lb.) would be about $18 including shipping, and 64-72 beans (1/2 lb.) would be almost $27 with shipping! I paid $13 for 50 beans with shipping. Yeah for me! :-)

KathleenM said...

Wow. Thanks for the vanilla and saffron tips. Hope your oven woes are cured soon.

kitchenmage said...

Yeah baby, cheap ebay vanilla! Every time I open my pantry the aroma of my ~$35 pound of beans wafts over me. Mmmmmm!

I shouldn't say that very loud though, KathleenM lives about 2 miles from me and might come down to borrow some. ;-)