I don’t like single use tools in general. Sometimes I make exceptions.
~ The other day I went out to a local place where you can get various kitchen appliances, intending to get one thing, walking out with three things. Fist, the one thing I intended to get.
I’ve seen advertised the Sodastream, where you make your own carbonated beverage. Of course, they hype all the sugar laden flavors, in which I have no interest — I just want to make my own club soda…and I don’t want an appliance sitting on my counter. Luckily, they had a single box of the iSi Twist and Sparkle. It’s basically just a bottle with a big twist top that takes up an 8 gram CO2 cartridge. When you’re done, you toss it a drawer with your spatulas.
They give you three cartridges and of course, all the info to purchase more cartridges, and flavors, et cetera, the Mr. Coffee business plan: give away or deeply discount the appliance and then sell consumables, like paper fitters. I just want to make club soda at a steep discount from the average $2-3 I usually pay.
Problem was, while it carbonated water just fine, it didn’t really taste like club soda and so I Googled around. Turns out you need to add a bit of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). So, a half level teaspoon per liter and voila, I have perfect club soda. I just love the tingle. Yesterday, I did an experiment by charging the bottle the first time, then doing a second and that delivers a very nice sting, at double the cost.
I got some refill cartridges at a local restaurant supply (they’re used for whip cream canisters in bars) and then found Gas Depot on the web. I ordered 24 to make sure they work and assuming they do, I’ll order 300 which will bring my cost down to about 30-35 cents per liter of club soda, and I can have it anytime I want. I fill my bottle with chilled tap water from a Britta filter.
~ The eggs, the eggs. I saw this little deal and was intrigued. Perhaps it’s my favorite of the lot.
Eggs should always be done right and I like O/E, sunny, and so on…and the way to do good sunny is to baste the eggs with your hot fat. …Ohhh…yea.
This little device does soft, medium, hard boiled and poached eggs to a precision that I have never seen, and flawlessly and in a “fire and forget” way of operation.
The Cuisinart Egg Cooker does a most amazing job. It’s worth the small price for a single thing. For 1-7 soft, medium or hard boiled eggs, just fill the beaker up to the appropriate line for hardness and number of eggs, pour in the water, and then the eggs, and turn it on. It beeps and shuts off when the water has evaporated (it steams them); then put the eggs in the sink or submerged in a pot of cold water to stop the cooking.
The yolks for the medium boiled eggs are like pudding, every time, flawlessly, with no guesswork as to how long it takes a pot to boil, how long to keep them in, etc. Poached eggs are just as easy. There’s a tray to do as many as three at a time, so really only suitable for one person.
~ Last was a thing I found a bit interesting and kept coming back to it, then decided to go ahead and get it.
Turns out it performs exactly as advertised. It does come with a silly name, however: Yonanas. Anyway, here’s the website that includes a video of what it does.
Very simple and quick, and it’s frozen fruit only. First time, I just used a frozen berry medley and it was great. Makes them highly edible immediately, without thawing or pouring cream over them.
Second time, I peeled a banana and put it in the freezer a couple of hours before, then ran that through along with a couple of cups of berries and when it was done, I added two heaping tablespoons of coconut milk from the fridge and stirred it in for a nice berry, banana coconut ice creamy concoction that got split amongst four people. I don’t recommend this as a means of eating more fruit at once than is prudent, just as a means to enjoy it in a different way.
In a couple of days when I begin using moderate dairy again, I’ll try it with heavy cream.
So there you go. While I really don’t like a lot of clutter in the kitchen, and I don’t like gimmicky products, these three have really proven themselves to be worthwhile.