Thursday, July 4, 2013

Kitchen gadgets

June 25- July 8, 2013 River's End RV Park, Chinook,WA
What is it? Read on...
Cuissential Slick Drip
Our rating 5 out of 5 Excellent product!
I like to start my day with 2 cups of coffee and end my afternoon with 1 glass of wine. Both preferably outside if the weather cooperates and our neighbors (if any) cooperate.
I drink strong (if it's good), and I like a hearty deep red wine. Scott on the other hand likes his coffee with cream and sugar and prefers sweet wines, ports & fruit wines. 
Since having a great cup of coffee made with a cone filter over a mug at the Eugene Saturday Farmer's Market, we've decided to try that method. 

We purchased a Cuissential Slick Drip for $15.00 from Amazon. We are still experimenting, but my first two cups were very good. Here's a video on the proper method of the manual drip method of making coffee. The video uses a bleached filter. From what we've read, the Melitta filter is best and use the unbleached filter to avoid a chemical taste.
I tried the small Keurig, which convinced me to stop making 8 cups of coffee at once and reheating in the microwave. Now that I've been enjoying one cup at time for over two years, I'm ready to try this cone method. I experienced an excellent cup of coffee this way at the Eugene Sat. Farmer's Market. That convinced me to purchase my own cone dripper.  I'm thrilled to get rid of the electric coffee maker and have more counter space.
The SlickDrip not only does an excellent job of making a good cup of coffee, but it's light, compact and easy to handle.
There is more to a good cup of coffee than just the SlickDrip though. So if you're coffee doesn't turn out, please don't blame the SlickDrip. Bleached (white) filters can seep a chemical taste into your coffee, use the brown filters. Also, don't just pour the mug of water in at once, slowly pour it in and let the grounds foam slightly and drain. Then pour more, etc. I'm still learning. Also fresh oily coffee also helps to make a good cup.

I'll use this product for a few days to make sure I don't mind the small amount of extra work involved in this method. Then out with the Keurig and in with more counter space!

Our rating 5 out of 5
It took some convincing & a gift from my husband to change from making rice on the stove in a pot to making rice in an electric rice cooker. All these specific use appliances take  up space. When our Flat Coated Retriever, Chance developed kidney disease, I decided to home cook for him so he'd get the correct amount of protein without the high phosphorous level that causes further kidney damage. 
A main part of this diet was "sticky rice", meaning rice used for sushi. Every other day I would watch the pot of rice on the stove and make sure it didn't boil over. When I was presented with this rice cooker, I was really aggravated. What a waste. Well, I might as well try it. I've never made rice in a pot on the stove again. Perfect rice every time!
*I have an older model of the above rice maker. There is no steamer tray included. 
Our rating 4 out of 5, If this was made out of silicone and could collapse, then it would be 5 stars.
Mystery solved. That egg at the top of the page is this egg boiler. As with the rice cooker, what's the problem with boiling eggs in a pot on the stove top? Nothing, except I tend to forget it is there and have ended up with a completely dry pot and ruined eggs. This hasn't really happened since moving into the RV. Scott has been wanting soft boiled eggs and can never get them to the right cooked stage. He had given up. Enter this awkward looking device.
I ordered it because of the great reviews. I've finally gotten into the habit of making a nice salad nightly. Scott likes salad and he usually buys the pre made packaged salads. Basically, iceberg, romaine and grated carrots for a hefty price. Since I've been making salads, the salad could be a meal in itself. I've been adding chopped hard boiled eggs, so the need to boil eggs regularly.
I only hard boiled 2 eggs as directed. They turned out perfect. The next morning, Scott soft boiled 2 eggs as directed. They were also perfect and Scott was a very happy man. 
It is about 7" tall and 5" around, so it does not store conveniently. I did find a space in between my pots and pans.

I wasn't planning on posting all these reviews. One thing just leads to another...

Progressive CSS-2 Green Collapsible Salad Spinner - 3 Quart Capacity
The link above is to order via Amazon, but we purchased ours through Camping World.

This has 3 parts. 1. Lid with spinner, 2. Collander type inner bowl 3. Solid outer bowl. All collapse into themselves to about 3" high. I've been using this for about a year and am very happy with it. 
Our rating 5 out of 5
Yes, this is expensive for this little device ($20.00), BUT, it is worth the price for the ease of use and never having to hand peel garlic again!
The flexible silicone tube is the amazing peeler! You just put a clove of garlic in the tube. Roll the tube on the counter 5-10 times and dump the peeled garlic clove out! Check out this video of how it works. 
You then throw the peeled cloves in the slicer barrel (works like a pencil sharpener) and you have thinly sliced garlic. A must have item if you use a lot of fresh garlic.
In google searching for a video, I came across this video using a generic garlic peeler. It's the same thing only much cheaper! The second video reviewer bought his at Deal Extreme. I've never heard of this site. They sell just the silicone peeler for $1.50!!!!! Even if the shipping was ridiculous, it would still be a deal compared to the Pampered Chef price. But, Deal Extreme is free shipping to the USA!
Our rating 4.5 out of 5 Dogs allowed!
This is a smaller market than Eugene, but definitely a contender for one of the top markets. Vendors are very well laid out in rows, so easy to navigate and find again. Lots of beautiful crafters, some the same as the Ilwaco Sat. Market. Enough local fruits and vegetables to satifsy and not be overwhelmed. I bought a hanging basket of red petunias for $8.00, some romaine, home made dog biscuits, huge, delicious cookies, some canned tuna and did a lot of "window" shopping. Plenty of food truck vendors also. 
Parking can be somewhat tough. I ended up about 4 blocks away at a furniture store that is closed on Sundays.
I hope to go back during the week to stroll that quaint, but bustling town of Astoria.

While walking the 4 blocks to the market, I saw a sign that encouraged me to walk through an alley in between a couple of brick building. Astoria Fiber Arts Retail Store & Academy was calling me. Now wasn't I just at Black Sheep Gathering and bought yarn there? Oh the plague of knitters. We cannot resist "just looking" and "just petting" yarn. Oooooh, how beautifu! Ooooooh, how soft! SUCKER! Yep, I was led, I petted, I bought.
How could I possibly resist this hand spun, beautifully rich hand dyed SILK yarn???? This fiber shop only carries yarns made by local spinners and dyers. 
This beautiful ball of yarn hand dyed by Margaret Thierry.
                                               This store is really a meeting place for classes for all things fiber.   The local fiber guild I was a member of in NJ would be thrilled with this set up.                                                                      There must have been 15 looms set up for use and teaching weaving. 
The pastel ball below is also hand dyed and silk. Very soft and feminine.
They even wound the skein into balls for me, no extra charge.  Besides hand made yarns, there are also ready made pieces for purchase. There are knit and crocheted hats, scarves, shawls as well as woven pieces also.  Very nice women. It was very cool to actually meet the two women who dyed the yarn I purchased.

Earlier in our stay we stopped by the North Head lighthouse. 

From what little we've seen of Washington State Parks, my, my are they nice. Trails all over the place, well marked with difficulty rating and distance. There are day use fees for the parks, but I really don't mind since we can see proof of our fees used for the maintenance of these lovely parks. We purchased a yearly pass for $30., so we are covered to come and go as we please. There was an electronic kiosk right at the park to purchase your pass. I was impressed.
Unfortunately, I am no longer impressed by lighthouses. Again, it must be from growing up in NJ. There are plenty of lighthouses along the coast of NJ. Among the 11 lighthouses in NJ open to the public, I have been to 5.

Absecon Lighthouse
1. Barnegat Lighthouse
2. Cape May Lighthouse
East Point Lighthouse
Finns Point Rear Range Light
Herford Inlet Lighthouse
3. Sandy Hook Lighthouse
4. Sea Girt Lighthouse
Tinicum Rear Range Lighthouse
Tucker's Island Lighthouse
5. Twin Lights of Navesink

If you happen to be in NJ the weekend of  October 19-20, 2013, check out the Lighthouse Challenge of New Jersey.
Eminent Domain
An excerpt from the CBS Website written by Rebecca Leung "Just about everyone knows that under a process called eminent domain, the government can (and does) seize private property for public use - to build a road, a school or a courthouse. 
But did you know the government can also seize your land for private use if they can prove that doing it will serve what's called "the public good"? 
Cities across the country have been using eminent domain to force people off their land, so private developers can build more expensive homes and offices that will pay more in property taxes than the buildings they're replacing. 
Under eminent domain, the government buys your property, paying you what's determined to be fair market value." 
I wasn't planning on spouting off about this. But this beautiful photo started it all.
This is a part of the coast of Washington. Beautiful!
Condos at the Jersey shore
Condos & hotels at the Jersey shore
 This is why people are being kicked out of their homes. Tourism. I cannot fathom the idea of property I purchased being taken away, just so someone else can build more residents on the same piece of property. Ugh!!! 
I am in awe of the Washington coastline and how undeveloped it still is. I can practically have the whole beach to ourselves in the middle of summer!
July 9-17, 2013 Port. Hudson RV Park, Port Townsend, WA
July 18-20, 2013 Elwha Dam RV Park, Port Angeles, WA
Neah Bay, WA
La Push, WA
Coeur d'Alene, ID

ID, MT, ND, SD, WY, then south for the Winter of 2013/214


  1. Debbie, I really enjoy your posts. They are packed with useful information every time. We will be up that way in mid August. You will probably be gone. But I'm sure our paths will cross eventually.

    1. I hope we'll meet also. That is the reason I show where we're going at the bottom of each post. Hoping that readers may be able to meet up with us at some point.


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