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.
More Gear Stuff
The Mellow sous vide machine is aiming to do what the microwave did for home kitchens in 1967. Although, in 2016, there’s a whole different science and aesthetic at play. As a big fan of temperature fixed circulated water machines Mellow is the Cadillac of the recent immersion circulators boom. The upgrade, Mellow keeps your vacuum sealed dinner chilled by enabling the machine to hold the water at both cold and hot temperatures. A couple hours before your dinner time, Mellow heats up and finishes your meal. The beauty of Mellow even makes this minimalistic, bare kitchen counter kid contemplate an artistic and functional residency in my apartment. Let’s not forget, anything sous vide tastes amazing.
It’s not news to anyone that the hospitality industry has been devastated by the COVID-19 threat. The shutdown mandate for the industry has been in effect for three weeks now and writing about food seems a bit insensitive and frankly less meaningful, although, a mindless escape from the morbid 24 hour news cycle we’re captured in is a welcome reprieve.
What’s incredible to us is how the hospitality industry is reacting. Down and out (for the time being) many have funds to help their employees while others are still cooking to help frontline workers stay nourished and healthy. It’s these selfless pivots that have us most impressed (humbled and optimistic). Hedley & Bennett, the apron makers, launched the Wake Up & Fight mask effort this week and besides impressing us gave us an amazing way to help our frontline workers be more protected. They have innovated by turning their apron factory into a protective mask operation to aid in the worldwide shortage in personal protection equipment (PPE).
Pulling from the get one give one model, each purchase allows a mask to be made for frontline essential workers. It’s a triple collab between HEPA filter maker Think Crucial, Dr. Robert Cho, Chief of Staff of Shriners for Children Medical Center in Pasadena, CA and them. Their apron material is used to sew a mask with an inside pocket for a replaceable HEPA filter. It’s important to note that this doesn’t replace an N95 respirator in effectiveness but the CDC says the point of a mask is not to protect you from inhaling the virus but to stop the spread of it, especially if you are asymptomatic. Frontline workers need PPE because they are face-to-face with live, confirmed, symptomatic patients all day long. Heros in other words. In such a critical moment in history this selfless, in it together humanity will be rewarded not just those who spearhead these efforts but all of us worldwide. You can purchase masks from their website or send a bulk order inquiry if you are so inclined to help at scale.
Grow some kale from fish waste. Some intrigue in that opener right? It never ceases to amaze us when we see something like this. Our first thought is, “Wait, why does this not exist yet?” It’s a process called aquaponics. The gist The Microfarm is this. Fish waste is extracted from giant aquariums and used to enrich seeded soil to grow plants. This Eco system feeds the plants while cleaning the fish habitat. Can you say win win? Damn, Mother Nature is awesome. The Springworks Team has been working with these systems for the last 7 years. In that time they have grown over 250,000 heads of lettuce each year. The genius is that they are bringing this technology to the home aquarium. The system fits on top of your home aquarium and the soil pulls the fish waste out of the water. The results are two fold. Grow herbs in your house and never have to change the water in your aquarium again.
There used to just be OREO’s and Hydrox. Now, you can find a new sandwich cookie or product extension every other week. Once you decide which cookie brand is your favorite cheat snack, take the doh! outta dipping (sorry, I used to be an advertising copywriter) and slide it on The Dipr. This is ridiculous but fun. If you have nieces and nephews this makes you super uncle.