Thursday, July 28, 2016
-- Quote of the Day --
" Learn to accept in silence the minor aggravations,
cultivate the gift of taciturnity,
and consume your own smoke with an extra draft of hard work,
so that those about you may not be annoyed
with the dust and soot of your complaints. "
~ William Osler
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
-- Product Review --
I have fond memories of a veggie slicer my late mother used to have. Mom and I used to do a lot of processing from our garden harvests, and those that were generously shared with us – and I remember well the cramped hands and tired fingers before we got the slicer she once had. I did receive that slicer as part of her legacy she left me but it was all rusty and useless. I kind of lamented that. So when I was invited by Tad Stephens (co-founder of Eldhus.com) to try out their special vegetable slicer I just had to jump at the chance.
You know, I was skeptical of this product for a few reasons, the first being that the 3.2 oz. ABS plastic material seemed too lightweight and that had me wondering about quality in regards to how fragile it might prove to be. Another concern I had upon opening the package was if the white plastic would stain easily.
I am grateful to share that I really enjoy using it. So far I have used it for salads, stir-fries and stews. It saves a lot of time in the kitchen in food prep and clean up. Best of all, it saves on cooking time because all the slices are thin and of even size so you save energy, money and nutrients. Of the 3 the blades I’ve tried so far they’ve performed, and cleaned, really well. I’ve not had any concern with the safety of these blades once I realized one only hast to leave the top end of the carrot, or the side with a sore spot on a potato (for instance) as your holding point and when you get close – that is the part that goes in the compost… your fingers don’t even get close to the blade that way.
The white and green colored safety-food-holder is built with 5 prongs and a studded plastic pad that is used to hold the food item and protect the hands. The design was well though out – all you need to do is press down on the small green plunger located at the top-center, and the food releases. I didn’t find the hand protective gizmo all that helpful for me with the few things I’ve tried using the tool for (eggs, cheese, carrots, celery, potatoes). It felt kind of clumsy for me but perhaps I was using it wrong, or perhaps I’ll find it useful for other food items in the future.
I like the feel, too, of the thick sturdy handle that has excellent grip and is actually ambidextrous. Cooks will appreciate that there are several half-moon shaped notches in the base allowing for the item to be securely rested across a variety of fairly small sized bowls ranging from roughly 8.5” to 6” in width.
The best kind of bowl to use, if you are going to take advantage of the little grooves on the underside of this tool… are the kind of bowls with either a silicone or rubber base – to prevent the bowl from slipping or tipping. An alternative I have found useful for preventing bowls (and cutting boards) from moving is to simply dampen a clean kitchen towel, spread it on the counter, and place the board or bowl on top of it.
Personally I’ve found that the little green rubber or silicone feet allow for the best momentum for things like celery and carrots - if the tool is held at a 45˚ angle over a cutting board instead. When slicing larger sticks of celery, I noticed the thick celery “strings” were separated and easily removed because they sat on the top of the tool, nicely curled up.
Without support legs, the user is no longer restricted by support legs (legs will trap food debris and are therefore difficult to clean) – so you can use the item on or over virtually any prep area. The size of this makes it very portable – at this fine price you can easily get a second one for the backpack, boat, picnic basket, RV cupboard or cabin… or a friend (as I did).
While the 5 blades (slicer, grater, julienne, shredder, zester, waffle) store in slots located on one side of the tool. I totally recommend that you take the few seconds necessary to remove the blades when using the tool so that the unused blades stay clean. Storing them inside the tool is a great way to reduce the chance of losing any of the blades. Each blade piece has a little hole in the top, which makes it easy to catch with the fingers and pull it out of the slot.
|Slicing blade: "Chantonay" carrots & celery|
|Large julienne blade: "Ruby" carrots (red skin, orange center)|
The item is definitely dishwasher-safe, however I would caution people to make sure they rinse the blades so food won’t stick and try to run the dishwasher cycle as soon as they can. This way the food won’t get stuck on and become difficult to remove.
When it comes to storing I was pleasantly surprised at how the narrow design sat perfectly in the slots that our kitchen cupboard has for storing baking dishes, trays, cooling racks, etc. This tool could also fit in a shallow drawer.
I’m looking forward to trying the many suggestions for this tool – from oven-fried potato chips, to finely julienned veggies for my famous salad rolls. As a gardener, I’m especially looking forward to dehydrating perfectly sized slices of veggies and fruits – making the process much more energy efficient.
I think consumers will also appreciate the 100%, 100-day, money back guarantee offered by the Eldhus (an Icelandic word that translates to: Kitchen) company. This guarantee includes return shipping – which is pretty cool. Check out their website eldhus.com for instructions, free downloadable PDF e-book, recipes and more.
Regularly priced at $24.95 (US) on Amazon.com, it is currently on 60% off: $9.95 (US). Unfortunately, I didn't find it on Amazon's Canadian site.
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
-- Quote of the Day --
Re: the opal
"There is in them a softer fire than the ruby, there is the brilliant purple of the amethyst,
and the sea green of the emerald - all shining together in incredible union.
Some by their splendor rival the colors of the painters,
others the flame of burning sulphur
or of fire quickened by oil."
Monday, July 25, 2016
I'm sure you've read my articles or posts here on this blog re: biofuels, in the form of manure, compost, and others. Today I'd like to mention sewage... yup sewage. Before you turn green and close the window, let me assure you it is possible to get a great deal of energy out of plain old sewage in a safe and sanitary way.
There are many exeprimental programs in place around the world, such as a large biomass power generation project in Japan that focuses on using sludge from sewage plants - this one in particular is so new it doesn't actually open for operation until 2019. However, this plant does expect to generate just about 13 million cubic meters of methane gas annually (enough to power 5,000 homes).
There are other projects out there that use sludge in a slightly different way - they collect hydrogen from the methane gas and that helps in the production energy to fuel cell vehicles, forklifts and other such machines.
The "waste" product is simply processed sludge that can then be sanitized and used as fertilizer etc.
Sunday, July 24, 2016
-- Quote of the Day --
" You are worried about seeing him spend his early years in doing nothing.
Is it nothing to be happy?
Nothing to skip, play, and run around all day long?
Never in his life will he be so busy again. "
~ Jean-Jacques Rousseau