Saturday, July 9, 2011

Some of My Favorite Things (and a few useless facts)

I always mean to write about some of my favorite things. Then I start the list and it's really long. Then I realize I need to take pictures and it seems like such a daunting task, I forget about it.

So I've decided to write about just a few of my favorite things. No pictures, maybe just a few words about each of them.

And a few useless tidbits that I find entertaining.

Many of my favorite things have to do with cooking. In the motorhome, space is limited. That said, I don't think that means a thing to those of us that love to cook. We just have to get a bit more creative.

An absolute must is at least one good knife. My very favorite is a Shun Ultimate Utility Knife. Retailing for $150, it was too rich for my blood, so I entered it into a price watch program a couple of years ago. When the price dropped to $60 for one day, I jumped on it. This is by far the best knife I've ever used. It cuts hot bread, soft fruit, meat, veggies, you name it. In constant use for the three years I've had it, it will still slice a tomato so thin you can read a newspaper through it. And I've never had to sharpen it.

A good friend was kind enough to make me a knife sheath which we mounted over our cutting board, so it's always available.

A good peppermill is another must, but not always so easy to find. Many of them only work for a short period, then gum up. I finally found one I like that has been in constant use for several years and still works like the day I bought it. It's called a PepperMate. The grinding mechanism is made of ceramic and handles any size of peppercorn. The size of the grind is easy to adjust and the feed opening is quite large, so, unlike most mills, it's very easy to fill. And it holds a lot.

As to salt, I use a bamboo salt cellar that sits above he stove for my Kosher salt. I also have a couple of inexpensive pepper mills that I've picked up over the years for my "special" salts. I'm a big fan of lemon salt and dehydrated garlic mixed with sea salt.

A special favorite of mine is the ISI Whipped Cream Machine. While certainly not a necessity, this is one of those luxury items that turns your coffee, hot chocolate, or your favorite dessert into a special treat. We use ours for storing cream, since that way, we don't use up extra space in the fridge. Another tip: when the recipe calls for it, you can make flavored creams. Brandy flavored whipped cream will turn an every day pecan pie into something that you'll remember for years. While these can be kind of expensive, if you keep a sharp eye out, you may find one at a thrift store like I did.

As to the useless facts . . .

Did you know that Judy Garland was only 4 feet 11 inches tall?

I've always loved the Muppets, especially Bert and Ernie. I recently learned that Bert is named after the policeman in "It's a Wonderful Life". Ernie is named after the taxi driver in the same film.

Did you know that Kemo Sabe (the name Tonto calls The Lone Ranger) means soggy shrub in the Navajo language?

Or that a full 25% of your body's bones are in your feet?

That's it for all the pertinent facts for today.


Malone said...

that was fun, Kate, even without any photos, and it loaded fast, too! LOL

Judy and Emma said...

Soggy shrub? What a hoot! :)

Jonna said...

and Tonto means stupid in Spanish, not a nice thing to call someone.

Pleinguy said...

And I always thought it was quien sabe; Spanish for who knows?

Kate said...


It may very well be "quien sabe", I've just always thought it was Kemo Sabe and came across soggy shrub when I was looking up some info on the Lone Ranger. Like everything else in thee world, we have some old Lone Ranger pieces.


I LOVE the Tonto definition!

Ed said...

Tonto is Spanish for 'stupid' or 'fool.'

And Tonto, who was not so tonto, responded by calling the Lone Ranger 'qui no sabe' (with an Indian accent), which roughly translates from Spanish as 'he who knows nothing' or 'clueless.'

I think this is probably closer to the intent of the writers that Soggy Shrub but who knows.