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#150202 - Sun Jan 05 2003 12:15 PM Gadgets
jubjub Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Sat Jun 15 2002
Posts: 602
Loc: Southern Ontario, Canada
I saw a new "gadget" advertised on TV yesterday. It is a special pot designed to cook and strain pasta, with holes in the pot lid so you can drain the pasta without dumping all your pasta down the drain, apparently. Did these people never hear of a strainer or collander? The commercial belabours the point of how difficult it is to strain pasta or drain the water out of a potful of potatoes or corn or whatever unless you use their special pot! Anyway, the pot still looked like fun and if I was into buying gadgets this is one that I would definitely put out the money for! You get the large pot and, as an added bonus, a smaller pot as well! Also included is some kind of hand cranked cheese/chocolate grater. Another item I saw advertised last week is a board which makes it easy to fold your shirts, blouses, sweaters, pillowcases, etc. It is basically four hinged boards onto which you place your item and slap, slap, slap your item is perfectly folded! Looked like fun, also!

Has anyone ever bought a nifty gadget that actually worked as advertised and made life easier?
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#150203 - Sun Jan 05 2003 12:42 PM Re: Gadgets
sue943 Offline
Administrator

Registered: Sun Dec 19 1999
Posts: 37331
Loc: Jersey
Channel Islands    
Ooh la, this is the gadget queen talking!

Probably the best 'gadget' to date has to be the steamer, not a food steamer but a machine which resembles a vacuum cleaner (not the upright type), it has many uses. I use it mainly for steaming my floor, no more mops and buckets when my kitchen floor needs a wipe over, out comes the steamer and whoosh, the floor is cleaned without chemicals and as an added bonus, in fact the main benefit) the floor dries very quickly. The steamer has other uses, you can clean your carpets, get creases and smells out of clothes, clean the toilet (tried that once and went back to bleach as the steam filled the room!), de-static the television, clean and freshen up the leaves of potted plants... Have I convinced you yet that this in indeed a miracle gadget? About the only thing it won't do is clear up dandelion seeds.
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#150204 - Sun Jan 05 2003 02:40 PM Re: Gadgets
Copago Offline
Moderator

Registered: Tue May 15 2001
Posts: 14384
Loc: Australia
I recently bought a 'Thunder Stick', it's one of those hand held blenders but with 'more power' than others, from an infomercial on TV and was positive that it would all end in tears.

But no, it is great! I primarily got it to mush up small amounts of baby food but find myself using it for many more things every day.

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#150205 - Sun Jan 05 2003 02:44 PM Re: Gadgets
sue943 Offline
Administrator

Registered: Sun Dec 19 1999
Posts: 37331
Loc: Jersey
Channel Islands    
Never heard one called a thunder stick! I bought one of those, then had to buy a second one for my daughter as she was dropping hints about taking it for a plane ride. Have you attempted to whip water with coffee powder yet or skimmed milk?
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#150206 - Sun Jan 05 2003 02:59 PM Re: Gadgets
Copago Offline
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Registered: Tue May 15 2001
Posts: 14384
Loc: Australia
No coffee in the house but we've done the skimmed milk which went over well with strawberries and cherries. It can do meat as well but havven't tried that but it also came ith an attachment that grinds things like cheese/chocolate which has also come in handy. They really meant it when they said that it would get rid of hundreds of dollars worth of other kitchen appliances! Haven't used the foood processor or blender since I got my 'thunder stick'. (what a crap name!!! Woonder anyone bought it! lol )


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#150207 - Sun Jan 05 2003 03:41 PM Re: Gadgets
sue943 Offline
Administrator

Registered: Sun Dec 19 1999
Posts: 37331
Loc: Jersey
Channel Islands    
Mine is called the Magic Hand Held Blender, same animal, even has the same thing for chopping nuts. I bought it from QVC (where else?), they have stopped selling this one and now have an identical one with a different name. Mayonnaise looked fun to make, except I don't eat it.

For Christmas I had a George Foreman rotisserie, that is good, I was disappointed with my GF grill, very slow so I went back to using the one in the oven.

I STILL haven't unpacked the air compressor!
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#150208 - Sun Jan 05 2003 03:46 PM Re: Gadgets
DieHard Offline
Prolific

Registered: Wed Oct 10 2001
Posts: 1127
Loc: Louisiana USA
I'm still a big fan of the George Foreman grill though I hate trying to clean it. I saw those pasta pots and it seems like a good idea. Trash the collander and voila, more room in the cabinets. They'll probably be selling them in Wal-Mart soon so I'll wait a bit. The perfect pancake maker has also piqued my curiosity.
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#150209 - Sun Jan 05 2003 03:59 PM Re: Gadgets
Chippy Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Thu Jul 11 2002
Posts: 212
Loc: Oklahoma USA
I was chatting with someone just the other day that had bought a Perfect Pancake. She was really pleased with it.

Sue, why were you disappointed with your GF grill?

I bought the Gopher grabber. It's ok I guess. You have to squeeze it together hard (hard for me anyway, I have very little strength due to a neuro-muscular disease) to make it pick anything up, and when you push the button to make it lock in place, it releases just a tiny bit. It would probably work really good for someone stronger than me.
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#150210 - Sun Jan 05 2003 04:01 PM Re: Gadgets
Copago Offline
Moderator

Registered: Tue May 15 2001
Posts: 14384
Loc: Australia
That air compressor will save your life one day, I'm sure, so you're riight to keep it stashed safely away. i'm trying to think of a scenario where it will save you but I'm sure there is one.

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#150211 - Sun Jan 05 2003 04:18 PM Re: Gadgets
sue943 Offline
Administrator

Registered: Sun Dec 19 1999
Posts: 37331
Loc: Jersey
Channel Islands    
Why was I disappointed? It took forever to cook some bacon and when it ws finally finished I need a microscope to find it (the bacon), it had strank so much. On television they said the bacon was really crispy, mine wasn't. I didn't use it again.
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#150212 - Sun Jan 05 2003 04:51 PM Re: Gadgets
MsBatt Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Sun Dec 16 2001
Posts: 883
Loc: Alabama USA
There are two diferent companies selling the pasta pot, I just recently noticed. One is bigger---8 quart instead of 6, although both have a 2-quart small one---and it's the 6-quart one that comes with the cheese grater thingie. The 8-quart one comes with a chopper and a flexible cutting board, which I think I'd find more useful than the pots! (I use my collander so much that it never gets put away in the cabinets---it hangs on a hook over the stove!)

I've never been really big on kitchen gadgets, but I have a friend who buys every one that comes out. Most of them turn out to be a BIG disappointment, especially the ones that are for chopping or slicing stuff. I've found that a couple of good knives are really all I need, most of the time.

But there IS one gadget I'd really like to have, and I can't find one ANYWHERE. My mom has one that she's had for years, and I've made her promise to leave it to me in her will, lol! It's very simple---a (very) sharp ring of stainless steel about 4" in diameter, with a stainless steel handle. It's wonderful for chopping things, and also makes a good biscuit cutter, too.
It's easy to clean, dishwasher-safe, never needs sharpening, etc.---and they don't seem to sell them anywhere any more. (*SIGH*)
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#150213 - Sun Jan 05 2003 06:56 PM Re: Gadgets
jubjub Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Sat Jun 15 2002
Posts: 602
Loc: Southern Ontario, Canada
I'm glad to hear the Thunder Stick really works. They have an entire half hour infomercial devoted to it here and it does look handy. What exactly does whipped skim milk taste like?
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#150214 - Sun Jan 05 2003 07:19 PM Re: Gadgets
ren33 Offline
Moderator

Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 12406
Loc: Kowloon Tong  Hong Kong      
There is a company in UK called Lakeland Plastics (not only selling plastics now). If you have a memory of a gadget that maybe you had years ago, or your Mother or Gran had, you submit a description and/or a picture, and they consider making it for you, if they feel there would be a market
There are many things that you can get there that are unavailable elsewhere. That may be the place for your chopper/cutter MsBatt. They have a website, I know.
I have personally seen the carton with the compressor in it...must have been there years. I can never receive anything and not open it immediately! How can you resist it, Sue?!
P.S Here is the url for Lakeland:
www.lakeland.co.uk


Edited by ren33 (Sun Jan 05 2003 07:40 PM)
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#150215 - Sun Jan 05 2003 07:55 PM Re: Gadgets
lefois Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Fri Feb 01 2002
Posts: 6246
Loc: Kitimat BC 
Canada
Just weighing in, here! As the month progresses, I hope to "weigh" in a lot less! haha!
The George Foreman Grill...bought a "jumbo" for Mr. lefois for Christmas and HE loves it! We grilled shishkababs in 10 minutes, chicken breasts the same, and tried sausage patties yesterday (which I never eat but he thought was a good idea) and they also took about ten minutes to be cooked through. Have to agree with Diehard, though, the cleanup is laborious and messy! Haven't tried bacon, and I want to try grilled cheese. Yesterday I don't know if I committed a faux pas, but I sprayed it with a non-stick cooking spray first and the clean up was a BIT easier!

I don't have a Thunder Stick, but do have a B&D hand blender of sorts, which I don't use that often! Breadmakers are rather dandy, too!

I saw that flip-flop-fold plastic item my sister, blue, was referring to about the same time she did, but I don't think I'd buy one for ME! My daughter could certainly use one, though. Of course, one would still have to pick clothing items up off the floor in order to make use of it!

I personally bought a "change sorter" a few years back! Had to wait ages, but the company sent me two letters saying they had "refined" the item and it would be here soon. As an elementary school secretary, I have a heck of a time with "small change" some parents like to send for a $10 fee! Suffice to say, it did not work worth a gall darn. Useless! Didn't do "toonies" and "loonies" (YES! official Canadian currency-we're wonderful with the monikers, like our Status of Women Councils (SOW for short-geez) ).

I bought a "fuzz buster" once, and that worked like a charm. I have no need for perfect pancakes, so scratch that one!

I'm wondering about this infomercial I've seen late night. It's rather like a vacuum for your face. It sort of suctions on and SUCKS all the goo out of your pores! Looks very sanitary on TV...but just where does all the "goo" go?

Also the "mask" for the face, which makes you look like a robot or a hockey goalie? I think you place this plastic face on YOUR face and it vibrates or stimulates or something. Along with the other one that you place in strategic locations and it makes you twitch like you have a tic. If someone could send me a before and after shot, I might consider it!

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#150216 - Sun Jan 05 2003 10:00 PM Re: Gadgets
Moo Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Thu Mar 21 2002
Posts: 8275
Loc: at the computer
Mr. Moo bought me a George Foreman grill for Christmas (medium size, really pretty blue). I haven't used it yet. I have used my mom's in the past, and I loved the way it cooked, but I hated the cleanup. Maybe I will try spraying it with non stick cooking spray when I first try it. Thanks for the hint, Lefois

I also got a hand held sewing machine for Christmas. I haven't tried it yet either (If I would leave FT for a while, I might have time to play with my Christmas toys ). I had been wanting one like it, and we found it at Walmart, but it has the "As seen on TV" sticker on it, so it is an infomercial item. I only need it to save me from having to hand stitch cross stitch projects together, so it won't be put through any vigorous workouts, but it says it even works on denim.

We bought a Deluxe AeroBed. It is an infomercial product, but we bought it at Bed,Bath and Beyond. I am amazed at how comfortable it is, and my nieces just love it when they spend the night. We figure there is no need for them to have to sleep on the floor when they are here.
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[color:"purple"]"Buy a jumbo jet
And then bury all your clothes
Paint your left knee green
Then extract your wisdom teeth." [/color]

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#150217 - Mon Jan 06 2003 02:46 AM Re: Gadgets
Copago Offline
Moderator

Registered: Tue May 15 2001
Posts: 14384
Loc: Australia
The whipped skimmed milk tastes like the stuff on the top of a cappachino (ugh .. spelling ... sorry) but after it's mixed you can add a little sugar. Sounds like it defeats the purpose of using skimmed but it's the fat content that won't let normal milk fluff up. It was the half hour infomercial that sold me on it, Blue ... sad really, but I blame having to get up in the middle of the night for Conor ... I didn't know what I was doing, I was tired! But it's great.

And how could I forget the bread machine??? We use ours all the time, actually we're on our second machine, and I can't remember the last time I bought a loaf of bread. The smell of fresh bread going through the house is fantastic. Also use it to make pizza bases and dough for rolls and so on.

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#150218 - Mon Jan 06 2003 03:25 AM Re: Gadgets
Bruyere Offline
Star Poster

Registered: Sat Feb 10 2001
Posts: 18792
Loc: California USA
We got a waffle iron croque monsieur maker this year, it still gets stuck in the hinges...but the croque monsieur thing is cool, you butter the outside of the bread slices, stick your stuff in it, and press that baby!

I cannot operate without a food processor...

WE did get this paint roller with an injection thing into the handle, it was marvellous.

I've got a mixer you can stick into a pot of soup, French people tend to prefer pureed soup, it's good but if you don't watch out, that thing splashes you all over the place.

We got a centrifuge juice maker, and it wasn't my idea...if I write Mr Bruyere, I'll die laughing...but it was his idea...what a mess!


Edited by bruyere (Mon Jan 06 2003 03:29 AM)
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#150219 - Mon Jan 06 2003 04:00 AM Re: Gadgets
MotherGoose Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Mon Apr 22 2002
Posts: 4815
Loc: Western Australia
I am not really into gadgets but I have to say we have rather a lot of them because if Hubby isn't buying them, his mother is. (By the way, since I seem to be mentioning my husband rather a lot lately, I'd better give him a name so from now on, he's Maynooth, which is his FunTrivia ID. He doesn't come to the forums but he plays quizzes under this name).

Anyway, I bought one of those pots with the strainer lid and I think it's fantastic. It is the most used of all my saucepans. It's just the right size for our family and it saves on the washing up (no colander to wash). In fact, I liked it so much I went out and bought another as I often need to use two at a time.

I also have one of the "thunder sticks" (although mine is not that brand). I mostly use it for pureeing food, especially when cooking soups. Again it saves washing up because you puree the food in the same pot you cook it in. With a food processor, you often have to transfer it from one pot to the other as you process in batches, thus dirtying up another pot as well as the blender. It's also easier to clean this type of blender than many other kinds.

Has anyone missed the fact that I hate washing up!

I use my breadmaker constantly too. As well as making bread, I also use it to make the dough for those soft German pretzels, which I love.

And I am a Tupperware addict. I have rather a lot of it but I do use it constantly. I never buy plastic bags or cling-wrap. I prefer to use Tupperware instead.
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#150220 - Mon Jan 06 2003 12:59 PM Re: Gadgets
Moo Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Thu Mar 21 2002
Posts: 8275
Loc: at the computer
Could I get the recipe for soft pretzels, MotherGoose? I have never used my bread machine for anything but bread. I love soft pretzels, but I don't have a recipe for the dough, or know how long to bake the pretzels....
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[color:"purple"]"Buy a jumbo jet
And then bury all your clothes
Paint your left knee green
Then extract your wisdom teeth." [/color]

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#150221 - Mon Jan 06 2003 02:43 PM Re: Gadgets
MsBatt Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Sun Dec 16 2001
Posts: 883
Loc: Alabama USA
I'm just the opposite, MotherGoose! I'm probably the world's largest purchaser of zip-lock bags, because I HATE Tupperware! (Actually, it's washing it that I hate.) I store all my leftovers in baggies, and reheat 'em on the plate I'm going to eat them off of. Thank goodness for microwave ovens!
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#150222 - Mon Jan 06 2003 03:06 PM Re: Gadgets
Linda1 Offline
Star Poster

Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 11250
Loc: Munchkinland
Love my bread machine, too! Although, I need to find a replacement thingamajig for mine (the part that the bread bakes in - I can't think of the term for it! It's the metal thing that you put everything into and then take out with the bread). I love the smell of fresh bread baking.

A really cheap thing I have that I love is the lint collector that I have. It's about 6" long, red and has a velvet-type thing on it that picks up lint. You can press a little button, and the "velvet" thing flips around so you can brush the opposite direction. I love this thing for getting cat hair off my furniture. The other day, I got home from a trip and found that someone had slept in my bed the whole time I was away. A few swipes of this little gadget, and all the hair was gone, and I could sleep in peace! This was the best $1.99 I've spent in a long time!

Have y'all seen the Revo Stylers? I'd love to try one, but I think the brush would be too big for my hair to go around. It's a great concept - mechanically does what a round brush and a lot of time and patience does. Anyone had any luck with them? Anyone find a smaller version of it? I've found the Revo in my local drugstore for about half of what the infomercial sells it for.

I have a GF Grill, and I like it. Forget to use it, but I do like it when I get it out. You shouldn't have to put non-stick stuff on it, though. It's already non-stick.

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#150223 - Mon Jan 06 2003 05:44 PM Re: Gadgets
jubjub Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Sat Jun 15 2002
Posts: 602
Loc: Southern Ontario, Canada
Well, I totally forgot the Revo styler! I would LOVE to try one. Maybe they'll go on sale at Zellers or Wal Mart soon. The televised items usually end up there after a while, or some other company will knock one off just like it.The little lighted magnifier that fits in your purse or pocket looks interesting. I think lefois bought one for her husband for Christmas. I would also love to get one of Ron Popeil's rotisseries! All the roasted meat looks so great!
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#150224 - Mon Jan 06 2003 06:57 PM Re: Gadgets
MsBatt Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Sun Dec 16 2001
Posts: 883
Loc: Alabama USA
I didn't like my GF grill, either. I just got the little one, and it doesn't have any way to vary the heat, it won't cook but two burgers at once, it's hard to clean, etc. So I bought myself one at Target that has an temp control, and much bigger surface, and an unplugable cord so that all the other parts can go into the dishwasher. It has a seperate drip-pan underneath, so just as much of the fat cooks out of your food as with the GF kind (but stuff only cooks one side at a time). In may be a little slower, but I LOVE being able to put it in the D/W. I also like having the full-sized drip pan beneath the cooking surface---with the GF one, I kept spilling that dinky little tray thing that sat under the front lip.
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Some days are easy, like licking frosting off a spoon: today was like stapling Jell-o to a brick.

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#150225 - Tue Jan 07 2003 02:48 AM Re: Gadgets
MotherGoose Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Mon Apr 22 2002
Posts: 4815
Loc: Western Australia
Dear Babymoo,

I've PM'ed the recipe to you. Hope you enjoy it.
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#150226 - Tue Jan 07 2003 03:05 AM Re: Gadgets
Moo Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Thu Mar 21 2002
Posts: 8275
Loc: at the computer
I just got it, and I will be heading to the store sometime in the morning for the couple ingredients I need, and some cheese dip. I plan on making them tomorrow afternoon!

Thank you so very much! And I know I will be making them again the next time my nieces spend the night. They love soft pretzels and they love making things in the kitchen, so this would be a great project for them too.
_________________________
[color:"purple"]"Buy a jumbo jet
And then bury all your clothes
Paint your left knee green
Then extract your wisdom teeth." [/color]

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