Friday, March 17, 2017

Old School Asparagus

Back in the day, clever home cooks steamed asparagus in a percolator. Standing the spears on end in an inch of water is an ideal way to make the most of a spring favorite. I added an enameled steel percolator to the batterie de cuisine after shifting most of the cooking to an induction hotplate.

The first thing I did after bringing the new coffee pot home was discard and recycle the aluminum perk mechanism. I make large batches of drip, er, pour-over in the thing. It's easy to reheat gently over the quick heat of the induction unit.

The inch of water under asparagus boils in seconds. The domed top accommodates extra long spears. Set the top in place after the water boils, and keep a close eye on the process. Seconds count. When the asparagus is just relaxing, pull it off the heat, drain the pot through the spout, and fill it with cold water to stop the cooking.

The process yields tender-crisp spears that are firm enough to eat with the fingers -30- More after the jump.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Toy

A buddy described her recent visit to friends who have two small children. She looked out the kitchen window and saw a pile of dirt dominating the back yard. "That's for the kids to play with", she was told.

Reminds me of my mother's prescription for a boring summer day, "Go dig a hole." The vestiges of my son's and his friends' excavation still mark a corner of the garden -30-
More after the jump.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Tote As Transport

Random experiences at the cash register have convinced me that I have a social obligation to surprise and amuse the check-out person. The following have been hits: the prototype lime-green nylon tote from The Great Big Hiking Co-op, a uniquely pleated self-folding blue and red-violet polyester gauze bag from SAM, and an action print from the comic store at the Market. The comic print has handles that spare fine motor skills when the tote is full.

Motorized bikers taught me that no one machine is ideal for all applications. The same seems to be true for totes. It no longer feels self-indulgent to survey the options hanging near the door. I scan the shopping list to see which bag to choose -30- More after the jump.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Spout Safety

Use two hands to carry a tea or coffee pot. Guard the spout with one -30-
More after the jump.

Monday, March 13, 2017

The Bargain

Four half-pint canning jars added a good third to the capacity of my small refrigerator. They allow me to use the usually empty door shelf that is designed for very small containers.

Mr. Peet of coffee fame advised storing his beans in "the smallest practicable container" to protect the contents from oxygen. Small, shallow oven-proof rectangular glass trays with snap-on plastic lids have been the go-to that has wrung the most utility out of my under-counter refrigerator. The new jars house the remains of the remains of deli staples that keep for a long time, like pickled peppers -30- More after the jump.