Thursday, June 27, 2013

My Favorite Kitchen Gadgets - The Salad Spinner

I have been feeling particularly frumpy and unfashionable the past couple of weeks. Hence, the lack of posts on this blog. My Little Old Lady Dog went to doggy heaven, followed soon after by her seeing-eye cat. I've been waiting for the third shoe to fall, because you know these things happen in threes, despite the fact shoes only come in twos. But, so far, so good, and no one else has gone to the Great Beyond.

And so it is time to return to blogging. My summer outfits are rarely worthy of posting (I'm still wearing my workout clothes as I write this...and I have yet to workout!). Therefore, I'll focus most of my posts on the Hausfrau part of this blog.

This Frumpy Hausfrau spends a lot of time in the kitchen, preparing meals and snacks for Some Postman and Hungry Bird. Yeah, and Frumpy, too. As I was preparing garden lettuce yesterday afternoon, it occurred to me that there are several tools, gadgets and appliances in my kitchen that I simply could not live without, and I thought I'd share them with you all.

First on my list of favorites, but only because it's the gadget I happened to be using (my REAL number one favorite will be featured later), is the Salad Spinner:

Some Postman plants several rows of leaf lettuce in our garden every spring, so we can enjoy fresh salads for several weeks until the hot Kansas sun scorches the delicate leaves into limp yellow puddles. (Goodness, that sounds terrible! But it's true...) Until a couple of years ago, preparing the lettuce was kind of a pain. First, you wash the lettuce in a sink full of cold water (kind of nice when we didn't have air conditioning!), then put the lettuce in the dish drainer to drip a while. Next, dry a few leaves at a time in a dish towel. This took forever! I forget exactly what prompted me to buy a salad spinner, but I found this one at Walmart for only $10. Sure, the Pampered Chef one is amazing, but it does essentially the same thing, and costs five times as much! Here's how it works....

Put a bunch of washed lettuce leaves in the green bowl thing.

You can actually put more leaves than this in the bowl; I didn't think to take pics until I was almost finished with the job, so this is all that was left to do.

Next, put the lid on and pull the handle a few times, gently, while holding the thing in place with your other hand.

If the leaves are still pretty wet, rearrange them and spin again. It's better to be fairly gentle with pulling, because vigorous pulling will break the mechanism inside. Yeah, I did that last summer. Thank goodness Some Postman is able to fix and repair just about anything! He took the spinner apart, made a new piece to replace the thingy that broke and put it back together again, good as new. Amazing!

Anyway, now your lettuce is dry enough and pushed against the sides of the green bowl thing from that amusement park ride it just took.

Be sure to drain the water from the bowl between spinnings so it doesn't accumulate too  much and just keep making the lettuce wet again. I like to keep my lettuce in those special produce bags from Hefty. It really does keep longer in them! Not that we keep lettuce around for too long...when we've got fresh garden lettuce handy, we eat salads every day!

*Note: I was not asked by Walmart or Hefty to endorse their products. I use them and like them without any compensation. Nor am I bashing Pampered Chef. I love their products, and will feature at least one of them as a favorite gadget soon, and they didn't ask for my opinion, either.

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