Let’s face it, we’ve all been making, or trying to make, a lot of bread. In San Francisco they are taping sourdough starter to street poles. No lie. This apocalypse looks different to us in so many ways but never did we think baking would be at the epicenter of a lockdown. Enter the Balmuda Toaster or oven or steamer. Yeah, we’re not sure either but it definitely makes you look amazing when toasting up a slice of that aforementioned sourdough. Brass tacks, this Japanese designed feat-of-engineering has possibly taken our most mundane cooking task and up-leveled it with some NASA grade innovation. A water port allows you to fill a steam reservoir inside the toaster’s Ferrari grade heater core. This steam cloud envelops your bread allowing a faster, crisp without drying out. Now that the moisture is sealed in your slice, the steam dissipates and the heat fires up a second time. This result is a pillowy soft inside with a crisp, golden, toasted bark of tasty. Need more. Gen Terao, the CEO, built in several other settings for bread baking and high heat if you want to go full oven. A simple knob with pictures of bread styles leaves little room for error, unlike your sourdough process. With a black or white option it will compliment any kitchen and frankly out shine anything else in it including you. Save up your shekels though, performance and beauty like this come at a cost. We hope you are getting great at baking because you might not be able to afford store bought bread for a while after Balmuda ownership. Don’t sweat it, we think we’re spending 2020 at home anyway.
More Gear Stuff
Ever since I can remember I have been staining myself. My mother has always been quick to point this out. Thanks Ma. From the grass stained knees on my school clothes to the red Italian gravy stain on my confirmation tie to the brown coffee stain on the cuff of my new, white dress shirt, she catches them all. Hello, Lid Bib. Technically a reshaped paper towel with a strategically placed hole in it. The Lid Bib is not the most low profile solution to a drippy coffee cup but, based on the number of used Starbuck’s napkins I find in my coat pocket, an effective one.
I’m less excited about the Koffie Straw for the purpose it was invented, to protect teeth from stains and enamel erosion. Although a great solution to a problem it simultaneously solves one of our biggest pet peeves. Splashy cups. Invevitably our morning cup of coffee jets jostled around on a our commute to a point of spillage from that little oval hole in the lid. The Koffie Straw has an oval design to fit snugly in the lid. Gravity will help sedate the splash as it attempts to travel up and out the spout but it’s denied every time. Small compact and reusable, we’ll have one of these in every jacket we own.
By name it has a contrast that unless it’s 1873 you want nothing to do with it. Field Company’s Field Skillet is aimed at the modern kitchen and the Portlandian, hipster, camping enthusiast. This is to say, carrying a cast iron anything into the “field” ended when horses turned into horsepower. The field skillet does have its place in our modern society and that’s looking cool and saving wrists in your urban kitchen OR looking like a grandfather of hipsters at your next car camping lake weekend. Built to replace the heavy, Lodge skillets of your grandparents hand-me-downs, this modern material replica streamlines the design discarding things like pour spouts and fully casted handles, In a smart, yet retro move, it comes pre-seasoned ready for that Sunday breakfast frittata or that elusive campfire charred hanger steak.
Right about now you might be thinking of fleeing the city and hunkering down in the wilderness to escape this pandemic or those who just don’t comprehend “social distancing” and in turn, are jeopardizing all humanity. We understand. The city, yours and ours, feels a bit eerie and tense these days albeit less dramatic than my previous statement evoked. Interestingly enough, before COVID-19 showed up we here at FTHQ started to research the overlanding trend. In short, overlanding is rigged AF car camping usually done with an aftermarket kitted out 4X4. Through this investigation, and frankly awe with some of the tweaks enthusiasts make, we discovered the Nomad Kitchen Company. This pop-in-pop-out kitchen is just what you need to gourmet yourself while waiting out the virus. Or, dare we say vacation in the wilderness. There will be a day this scare has subsided and “camping” will be a recreational activity, not an isolation tactic. We’ve been backcountry fans for decades and have our share of lightweight gourmet cooking kits. For years a quick setup, quick cleanup at camp has been a tricky maneuver. Even with three decades of innovations perfecting our pack kitchen, there’s room for improvement. That’s one reason Overlanding is so appealing. The Nomad Kitchen has all the specs of a quick set up, fully functioning, quick clean up kitchen. Best part, you can drop it in the back of your G-Wagon as easily as your Tacoma. A 10-second deployment sets you up with a sink, prep area, and stovetop so you can get to your mise en place tout suite. Complete with locking slides that can hold up to 200lbs you’ll not only have a solid extension kitchen but you can apply that extra force when carving your bone-in ribeye. At the time we wrote this they have 35 days left on their crowdfunding campaign. Shipping this summer. So, yeah, we hope that is post-pandemic but look at it this way, you’ll not only have a new gadget for vacation this year but be extra prepared for the new normal of our world. That isn’t meant to be doomsday talk. It is meant to be positive. We will leave our houses again soon and enjoy our lives as we used too just with some new precautions and a little more preparedness than before. This kitchen makes that all the more comfortable.