Here at FTHQ we love “clever innovation”. Kicking off our run up to St. Patrick’s Day, we thought you should know about the Whiskey Wedge. Whether it’s 15 minute drink preparation at your local bar OR you just think you’d look good with a waxed mustache, the craft cocktailing craze will eventually push you to try your hand behind the bar at home. Just like the smoke machines, obscure herbs and fire coaxed citrus oils add some drama to the mixology show, this ice wedge will wow any house guest at your next cocktail party. Prepare a day ahead and spend the rest of your time perfecting that rollie fingers.
More Gear Stuff
When it comes to “the best thing since sliced bread” conversation, we feel that grilled cheese is, if not the top contender, then at least one of the leading contestants for that most honorable of culinary titles. After all, what’s more ubiquitous, versatile, and universally enjoyable than a piece of melted cheese sandwiched between two pieces of perfectly toasted (and perhaps pre-sliced) bread? We’ll leave it for you to decide, but one thing’s for sure, grilled cheese just got a whole lot better thanks to Boska, a Dutch company that has been specializing in the cheese tool industry for more than a century (or, in other words, for way longer than you’ve been dunking cheesy triangle wedges into bowls of tomato soup). As if creating a delicious grilled cheese sandwich wasn’t already simple enough, Boska has made it even easier with reusable “toastabags” that provide a no-mess way for you to make grilled cheese using only a toaster. All you have to do is choose your ingredients, put them in a toastabag, pop the whole thing into your toaster, and wait for cheesy toasted perfection to arrive. Who knows, one bite, and you may decide that the toastabag has edged its way in as your pick for the best thing since sliced bread.
When I first saw these I was mesmerized. The curves, the way they stack, the pure color, all of it transfixing my eyes even without food on the plates. Compostable, bamboo pulp and inexpensive are not the next words I expected to hear out of Michiyo Tanabe’s mouth when we chatted in her booth at the NY Gift Show. Aside from the unique aesthetics Wasara’s process is extremely refined and…well, good. Bamboo grows extremely fast, meaning it needs to be cut back often. That’s recycle #1. They also use bagasse, a by-product of making sugarcane juice. Most of the 100 million tons is discarded as waste. Michiyo and team uses some of this to soften the bamboo. That’s recycle #2. Finally, because it’s softer than wood pulp it uses less energy to produce the final product. So, use them to make you feel great about helping the planet or reduce waste or recycle materials. We use them because they are gorgeous.
It’s no surprise that we LOVE us some BBQ over at FTHQ. We’ve also had our bout with smokers. Wood fueled, electric, even gas powered and they all fell short. Part of the problem is that we’re impatient and good ‘que is a patient wo(man)’d game. The key, any pit master will tell you, is in the consistency. Sure, the wood, the meat and the rub all are critical BUT without consistency it all falls apart. Specifically we’re talking about temperature. The uber fail of most amateur pit masters is the fluctuation in heat as it relates to time. A 12 hour smoked pork butt fluctuating 100 degrees is better used to feed the dog than serve the family. That’s why the Char-Broil Digital Electric Smoker with SmartChef™ Technology got us so jazzed up. The electric smoker communicates with your phone letting you know the internal temperature of the meat and the chamber. This means you can do “other stuff” while smoking but never miss when you need to add more water, wood chips or heat. This will be in our backyard all summer. If you’re thinking about getting into (or back into) the bbq game, this is the move.
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.