While First Reader is, well, reading, I’m veering off to the side a bit. What I have for you today are two cool gadgets for the kitchen.
First up are the Joseph Joseph utensils. I found these up at the outlet mall, and picked up the angled spatula and the long spoon. (I got them in understated grey, but I like them so much that I’m thinking of getting the set, despite the eyesore color scheme).
Each of these items is heat-resistant up to 400°F, has a soft, rubberized grip, and—this is the exceptional bit—is weighted so that, when you put it down, the weight of the handle keeps the working end up in the air. We’ve used the two we bought constantly in the past three weeks, and find both to be excellent in both usability and clean-up. The spoon, especially, is just right for tending sauces or folding ingredients in a mixing bowl. The angled spatula (officially labeled a “flexible turner”) has been perfect for use on both our non-stick and our stainless-steel cookware. My only complaint is that these are hard to find in single items, but if I knew how good they were, I might have bought the set first off.
We first gave them a try well over a year ago. We had heard about them, along with “green” bags and such, and decided to experiment.
There are only two of us in the house, and we often don’t go through our purchased produce in a week’s time, which means we were wasting a lot of money on, essentially, compost fodder. You can get better at this with how many tomatoes you buy, but a head of lettuce or a cauliflower is about as small as you can get it, and those things tended to go off.
We bought four of these (ours are blue egg-shapes) and popped one into each section of our produce bins. The results were dramatic and remarkable. Food that usually went soggy or moldy in a week now lasts up to three weeks. Hardier items that would last a couple of weeks would last over a month. And hard-tubers like carrots and rutabagas; they last until they’re gone.
There are quite a number of these things on the market (I’ve linked to the one that seemed the best deal). Check around, find the least costly, and give them a shot. The average cost seems to be about $50 USD/year, and they will easily pay for themselves in less than half that time.