Archive | Tools RSS feed for this section

Drosselmeyer Nutcracker

2 Mar

After my mom-in-law broke her second cheap seafood cracker on her daily walnuts, we were charged with a mission to find a better cracker. She sent us back to return two other locally purchased options. I finally turned to Amazon and found myself falling in love with the Drosselmeyer Nutcracker.

I’ve never had a fascination with cracking nuts – I would buy them pre-shelled like most people would. I’ve found pre-cracked walnuts to be bitter. The mess and risk and crimping my own hands was not worth the effort. After watching Dr Oz say a walnut a day helps keep cancer away I decided to be more open minded. And the price? A whopping $40!

So why would I pick up my jaw and buy one not only for her, but also for myself? Mainly due to the comments and feedback. I LOVE MY CRACKER. I was also pleasantly surprised to find I now enjoy freshly cracked walnuts because it doesn’t have the bitter taste I’ve avoided.

It contains the exploding shrapnel of shells – I do cup the opening to be safe. My 10 year old nephew can crack nuts with it. It requires much less force than other crackers. There’s no danger of crimping my own fingers. It handles all nut sizes from unopened pistachios, hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, and my last ultimate test – brazil nuts with ease.

Seriously had no idea I’d enjoy cracking a nut a day, but it’s sheer pleasure with this heavy duty, cast iron piece of bludgeoning self defense cool tool.

Gas Oven Trial #1

14 Jul

We’ve moved into a house that has a gas stove/oven, which I’ve never used before. The first thing I tried to bake in the convection gas oven were 10 minute partially boiled new potatoes. Imagine my shock when it told me to “Put food in” after the preheating was done. Then my amazement continued as I saw this texture develop on our taters. A whole other skin had roasted itself into being. And yes, it tasted as good as it looks.

Chopsticks in Training

12 Jan

Thees are like training wheels for chopsticks, found at Ming Wo for just $1.49 – perfect stocking stuffers for little ones just learning this tricky coordination.

Menya’s Spoon

25 Nov

A friend visited Menya and shot this spoon, thinking of me and my fascination with cool tools – I love being loved! It was a perfect scooper of bits and pieces at the bottom of her soup bowl. If anyone knows where to find one, I know she’d love to know – thanks 🙂

Self Cleaning Oven & Rattling Fridge

21 Jun

This was weekend warrior time! I realize for those who have had a self-cleaning oven it’s no big deal, but it’s still a fascination to me, so posting photos of before and after 3 hours of the blasting heat.

Our fridge has a fan in the freezer section that has been humming increasingly louder and more irritating over the last several months. After removing the back panel and staring hopelessly inside, we wondered what the dangling orange cord was for and just tucked it behind the brackets, out of the way of the frozen bristly things and wow – quiet!

Guess I could have taken a photo of the back panel of our washing machine which had still been complaining of drainage problems. We’ve always heard a loud rattling sound since moving in and thought it was just a loud machine. After it first complained about drainage issues, we found a dime in the outtake hose area. That solved the rattling noise but it still would complain about drainage. After taking it apart again, we found 3 loonies, 2 more dimes, and a badly chipped up penny. We look forward to our next wash cycle now.

Last but not least is our leaking dish washer…

Italian Chestnut Cutter

6 Jan

Saw this last February on the far back wall amongst the gazillion gadgets sold at Gourmet Warehouse. I was told by an employee that they are sold out by xmas and hard to re-stock because it comes from Italy. Finally unveiled and promplty used at xmas, my giftee pronounced the invention amazing and opens the chestnuts extremely well. I’m looking forward to taking photos of it in action.

Cherries 2009

20 Jul

This cherry pitter was purchased in Rome in a kitchen supply store, after hunting and testing numerous ones. The handle is secure, not wobbly, and the spring felt very smooth. It can also be used to pit olives. It makes eating a mouthful of cherry true joy because you don’t need to fuss with the pit. Also found a twin cherry, which my cat enjoying smelling.

cherry_pitter_1 cherry_pitter_2

cherry_twins cherry_lexi