Category Archives: kitchen

Is it Still Ham Season?

April has brought the very first days of Spring weather to Tartu. I finally discarded my rather thick sweater and made for the back door to inspect the yard.

But …. it is still a bit nippy. Thank the Lord! That means I still might get in a bowl or two of the winter dish that I love – pea soup..  My mother used to make this, and it took all day. Now I see I might be able to reduce that time in a pressure cooker.

I may be giving this a try!


FoodPairing and the Never Ending Quest to Upgrade my Kitchen

For years, I have been looking for web tools that make my daily cooking routine easier and better. I have tired food blogs, food platforms, food videos, etc. They are nice, but the reality is that my daily routines have changed relatively little.

The weird thing is that I still get useful ideas from old Julia Child videos!

In  other words, there is room to grow here!

So I was pleased when my pal Eneko passed on a link to FoodPairing. I have no idea if this will be of value, but I will be giving it a try.

If you do too, or if you have prior experience with FoodPairing let us know in the comments.

Onward – and have a great weekend!

The Next Frontier? High Tech Composting?

The word “compost”may  evoke some negative thoughts of smelly and gross yucky stuff sitting in a bin in your back yard. If you have that negative idea, consider this about the “Zera”

The WiFi– and bluetooth-enabled electronic box, which looks like a sleek trash receptacle, is as useful for avid gardeners as it is for resourceful apartment-dwellers with garden boxes. It has the capacity to process eight pounds of scraps at a time and features a built-in sensor that moves material to the bottom of the device, where it’s heat-processed to kickstart the decomposition process. The result: two pounds of fresh fertilizer made with stuff you would have just thrown away — and much happier plants.

Hmmm … did you notice the word “fresh” at the end of the paragraph?

For years, folks have been trying to get consumers to waste less food. These efforts have been — for the most part — unsuccessful. It may be that to change our routines, we need to see a positive reward from the change.  Does the Zera do that for you? Will it “disrupt” the composting market?

The link that offered the above quote has a few more options for your consideration.  And here is a peek at the “Zera”, the high tech option

Image result for high tech compost

Want more? Here is the lead in from the “design engine” webpage

While most traditional food composts are made to be kept outside, the Zera designed by Whirlpool’s WLabs, is an attractive indoor food recycler. As part of an Indiegogo campaign, the company claims the Zera can convert a week’s worth of food waste into homemade ready-to-use fertilizer in just 24 hours.

The Zera aint cheap (the price tag is over one grand) but it gets the job done — a job that usually takes one month — in 24 hours. I know I could just put my scraps in a paper bag and bury them, but I can’t halp myself! I want a Zera! Then again, I confess, I am a self-confessed  kitchen gadget junkie.

Did they just say 24 hours?

Does Your Coffee Maker Encourage a Bloom Stage?

A what?

The bloom stage is something baristas like to see. It happens in the intitial pouring of water over the grounds – just enough – to allow that special “thing” to happen.

If you are into that sort of thing, Oxo has a coffee drinder(brewer for you! Wired gives a review.

Two main complaints – it is a big machine on your counter, and it makes relatively small cups (around half of a mug). That may be a deal breaker for power drinkers.