OT: Stuff you didn’t know you needed



Chin Diesel

Power of Love
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Really? I've avoided them thinking they may be a gimmick. I need another kitchen appliance thing like a hole in the head.

Ours gets used 2-3 a day.

Only thing I haven't cooked is steak. Man's got to have his limits.

The air fryers are great for chicken, especially boneless, skinless thighs. Those things are fatty and juicy enough it's almost impossible to over cook. For breasts, pound them out a bit to make them a bit thinner and more even. They come out great too. Left over cold pizza? Better than using a cast iron skillet to reheat. You can hard boil eggs in there. Frozen biscuits come out great. Hot dogs and sausages are perfect. Burgers are a bit iffy. You will not get the nice crust like a flat top will but they cook good and evenly. Fresh shrimp is a breeze.

There are baking dishes and stuff you can use for your food but I don't have any of them. They also don't do well with loose toppings on top. I mean there is really hot air blowing around. So, your sausage stuffed peppers? Better have parmesan somewhat mixed in with the sauce on top.
 
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I am going to the hardware store tomorrow to get some lumber to make an other shelf for my work desk at home. Went through my spare lumber and stuff and garage and shed and didn't have what I needed. I'm thinking some 4"x"4 blocks and a 1"x10" plank is enough to raise computer to slightly above eye level.
I'd build a nice one if I had the time and expertise but I should probably buy the real McCoy.

1610494578099.png
 

87Xfer

'cause...it's coming
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Ours gets used 2-3 a day.

Only thing I haven't cooked is steak. Man's got to have his limits.

The air fryers are great for chicken, especially boneless, skinless thighs. Those things are fatty and juicy enough it's almost impossible to over cook. For breasts, pound them out a bit to make them a bit thinner and more even. They come out great too. Left over cold pizza? Better than using a cast iron skillet to reheat. You can hard boil eggs in there. Frozen biscuits come out great. Hot dogs and sausages are perfect. Burgers are a bit iffy. You will not get the nice crust like a flat top will but they cook good and evenly. Fresh shrimp is a breeze.

There are baking dishes and stuff you can use for your food but I don't have any of them. They also don't do well with loose toppings on top. I mean there is really hot air blowing around. So, your sausage stuffed peppers? Better have parmesan somewhat mixed in with the sauce on top.
damn you. must....resist.

i do have to admit that the instant pot was a pretty great addition to the kitchen gadget colletion. soft boiled and hard boiled eggs in there are great. foolproof and super easy to get the shells off. and stick any mix of potatoes/cauliflower/celery root in there for 4 minutes with some shallots and garlic, then mash or puree in a food processor with some butter and/or milk, and you have a restaurant-worthy side that goes with anything, and makes a great shepherd's pie top layer.

i didn't realize i needed this book until it was gifted to me. the pervian spatchcocked chicken recipe is pretty great, and the jalapeno & aji amarillo sauce is possibly the best condiment / sauce i've ever eaten. i would put it on everything if it was on hand.
 

87Xfer

'cause...it's coming
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We need a toilet thread.
when we did a huge remodel of our place in easton, i got a toto toilet that was taller than a "normal" one. that was an eye opener. it didn't warm my buns or spray water on my butt, though.
 

storrsroars

Exiled in Pittsburgh
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The only significant purchase I made this year was a couch. I found a brand new DeCoro leather recliner sofa on Craigslist for $200. I did not realize I needed a recliner couch until then. I always thought they were gauche.
 
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Since Friday’s game is off, thought I’d see who else has made recent purchases that exceeded expectations or filled an unknown need. In part inspired by my neighbors who used the electric leaf blower I gave them constantly this fall. A used Toro leaf blower that is $75 new. Why the hell didn’t they buy one years ago? Also think this ties in to the Bonfire fire pit discussion.

1. Battery Keeper. Saw the always lovely Lisa Robertson on Local Steals pitching the battery buddy or whatever. Didn’t buy that but the idea was planted, so I bought a soft sided briefcase version on Amazon. Rounded up all our household batteries in drawers, ziplocks, open packaging etc. and stored them all. Including the little disc ones I always lose and rebuy. For $20 it has been great. Asked myself why I didn’t do that years ago.

2. Tiger Tail. This is a hand held massage roller device that competes with The Stick and the usual Chinese knockoffs on Amazon. Suffering from various pains of aging and finding foam rolling difficult and annoying this thing has been great. Really seems to help. It’s made in the USA so worth it to me over the knockoffs. Build quality is excellent. I’m understand the Stick is better for a more gentle usage for runners and is more flexible.

3. Concept 2 Rower. This thing is awesome. Only negative is it takes up space. I’ve used them at the gym, mostly as a warmup, since the early 2000s. Build quality is amazing and the full body workout is just light years beyond what I can get on a treadmill of my old stationary bike (gifted to the same folks who got the leaf blower). I was surprised by just how much it can take out of my legs if I push it (yes the Tiger Tail was partially in response to that). There is a big community of people using these so lots of good information and it’s easy to see just how bad you are compared to others.

Two of the above can be ordered via the Amazon link at the top of the page to help support the Boneyard.
Could have just stopped with Lisa Robertson.
 
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Latest Bose wireless headset where I can listen to my Spotify music that I stream to the headset when I am exercising in my backyard or walking around a nearby track. It also has noise cancelling which I probably will appreciate in the Spring when the neighborhood lawn mowers and weedwhackers are starting up.

Cost me $250 refurbished by Bose. Saved me $70 over new ones.

Real good sound quality and comfortable. Had good cnet reviews so I bought them.

Juices up my exercises, while listening to the fast tracks on my Playlists.
 
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Not much, honestly, I tend to be a minimalist.

I guess just a nice winter jacket and solid snow boots. Growing up in New England you would think I have those things, but never purchased them and just wore a spring jacket and trainers all year. As for the boots and heavy jacket, my lady made me do it. I have to admit, she was right.
 

StllH8L8ner

Put good out in the world and good will come back.
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I had some minor back issues last year and was having trouble getting my shoes on each morning for work so I bought an extendable shoehorn. The back issues have subsided thankfully but I continue to use the shoehorn out of sheer laziness.

 
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CTMike

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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We’ve had the 550e for a couple of years now. Is it expensive? Yes. Is it AMAZING? Also yes! Pure butthole bliss. Always being shower clean is the best feeling. Adjustable water and seat temp, adjustable self sanitizing nozzle, blow drier, lights, motion sensor... it thoughtfully mists the bowl pre-poop to minimize chance that anything sticks...It’s 2021 folks time to stop pushing poop around like a heathen!!

While the Toto is a Rolls Royce of bidets, I’m sure the ones on Amazon from Brondell and others would do the trick too. Just get one at any price, it’s worth it.
 
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Bungee cords. When you need one, you'll be glad you have one or two in your trunk. I bought an item on Craigslist on the other side of the state. Of course, I get there and it wouldn't fit in my SUV. Glad I had bungee cards to hold down my trunk.
 

boba

Somewhere around Barstow
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We’ve had the 550e for a couple of years now. Is it expensive? Yes. Is it AMAZING? Also yes! Pure butthole bliss. Always being shower clean is the best feeling. Adjustable water and seat temp, adjustable self sanitizing nozzle, blow drier, lights, motion sensor... it thoughtfully mists the bowl pre-poop to minimize chance that anything sticks...It’s 2021 folks time to stop pushing poop around like a heathen!!

While the Toto is a Rolls Royce of bidets, I’m sure the ones on Amazon from Brondell and others would do the trick too. Just get one at any price, it’s worth it.
Had a Toto put in the frau's bathroom during the remodel a few years back. I have used it "once." I did not enjoy the experience.
Unfortunately I am the one who cleans everything and jeez, it's a pita to clean.
This is one of the things I learned I didn't need, don't want, and now have.
 

CL82

UConn Basketball: A Caldron of Intensity
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GM is planning on launching a 1 person personal quad copter drone:

1610554078552.png


It plans on business applications first with "Vertiports" on top of buildings.
 
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You say high quality cast iron skillet.

Just get the 12" Lodge cast iron skillet and move on in life. It will last a century (as will any cast iron) if you treat it right.

View attachment 63526
I am not the chef in the house but I spoke to her about her cast iron skillets.. She has 5 or 6.. ..2 of which are going on 75 years of age ( her Grandmother's favorites).. And continues to use on a weekly basis..

Her advice.. After usuage and after cleaning/drying..Use vegetable oil to season vs olive oil ..Olive oil has a high flash point and when used on subsequent meals could affect the quality of your results.. Since skillets tend to need a fair amount of heat.. Part of the calculus.

She never cleans the skillets with soap after a meal.. ..Always with hot water and a good scrubbing..

Some purists will lightly heat the skillet on the stove top.(to dry it) vs drying with a towel to retain quality..

Chin nailed it..Show them some respect and you'll enjoy them for a lifetime.. My son is a hobbyist chef.. Is looking forward to inheriting her portfolio of skillets in the future..

FWIW.. Cast iron works with induction stoves as well as with your other alternative stove choices..

Have been on the receiving end of a lot of great skillet recipes... Hope this helps a little bit.
 
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I am not the chef in the house but I spoke to her about her cast iron skillets.. She has 5 or 6.. ..2 of which are going on 75 years of age ( her Grandmother's favorites).. And continues to use on a weekly basis..

Her advice.. After usuage and after cleaning/drying..Use vegetable oil to season vs olive oil ..Olive oil has a high flash point and when used on subsequent meals could affect the quality of your results.. Since skillets tend to need a fair amount of heat.. Part of the calculus.

She never cleans the skillets with soap after a meal.. ..Always with hot water and a good scrubbing..

Some purists will lightly heat the skillet(to dry it) vs drying with a towel to retain quality..

Chin nailed it..Show them some respect and you'll enjoy them for a lifetime.. My son is a hobbyist chef.. Is looking forward to inheriting her portfolio of skillets in the future..

FWIW.. Cast iron works with induction stoves as well as with your other alternative stove choices..

Have been on the receiving end of a lot of great skillet recipes... Hope this helps a little bit.
What about seasoning with coconut oil, with an apparently even higher flash point? That’s what my girl is considering to season the skillet I just got her
 
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I got a massage gun for xmas (went with the knockoff brand - Taotronic ~$130) and it's amazing. I hit my calves, achilles and hamstrings every night for 5-10 min and I'm actually able to run again...had pretty much given up on it due to recurring injuries

It's easy to use, and quite enough that I can watch tv while using it
 
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I just used my 3 favorite things together the other day.

I made bone-in short ribs from Whole Foods sous vide. 136 degrees for 48 hours. When done, I poured out the juices and then resealed the bags and put in fridge for next day. I boiled the juices to skim the gunk and then put the remainder in the fridge to make the jus later.

The next day, I cooked the polenta and broccoli sides, and then pre-heated my cast iron skillet. Added the short ribs to sear. I checked their temperature with my thermapop thermometer. Since these came from the fridge and were bone in, they seared much quicker than they re-heated. So I popped them into the oven that had already been used to roast my broccoli. Meanwhile, I simmered the short ribs juices, deglazed the skillet with wine, added it to the juices, and added butter, garlic, and seasoning when off the heat. Used the thermometer a couple more times to take out the ribs when they were between 120 and 130.

All in all, took an hour (most of the time waiting for the polenta to cook) plus 15 minutes combined the day before and 2 days before that. The ingredients were dead simple: corn grits, short ribs, salt, pepper, chicken stock, canola oil, butter, olive oil, garlic, broccoli, and red wine. 9 pantry staples plus a protein and broccoli. It's an exceedingly common menu item at restaurants. It was a weeknight, my wife was putting the kid to bed, and I was watching the Depaul game and in the chat room while cooking.

It was maybe the best thing I've ever eaten. I've traveled the globe and eaten at more Michelin restaurants than I have fingers and toes. Pre-pandemic and kid my wife and I used to travel and hit all the Eater Essential restaurants in New England. I made a prime grade prime rib that cost $150 and caused my father in-law to go silent at the dinner table on Christmas Day. And this $20 multi-tasked weeknight meal was magnitudes better. The combined power of an immersion circualator, cast iron skillet, and thermometer.
 
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I just used my 3 favorite things together the other day.

I made bone-in short ribs from Whole Foods sous vide. 136 degrees for 48 hours. When done, I poured out the juices and then resealed the bags and put in fridge for next day. I boiled the juices to skim the gunk and then put the remainder in the fridge to make the jus later.

The next day, I cooked the polenta and broccoli sides, and then pre-heated my cast iron skillet. Added the short ribs to sear. I checked their temperature with my thermapop thermometer. Since these came from the fridge and were bone in, they seared much quicker than they re-heated. So I popped them into the oven that had already been used to roast my broccoli. Meanwhile, I simmered the short ribs juices, deglazed the skillet with wine, added it to the juices, and added butter and seasoning when off the heat. Used the thermometer a couple more times to take out the ribs when they were between 120 and 130.

All in all, took an hour (most of the time waiting for the polenta to cook) plus 15 minutes combined the day before and 2 days before that. The ingredients were dead simple: corn grits, short ribs, salt, pepper, chicken stock, canola oil, butter, olive oil, broccoli, and red wine. 8 pantry staples plus a protein and broccoli. It's an exceedingly common menu item at restaurants. It was a weeknight, my wife was putting the kid to bed, and I was watching the Depaul game and in the chat room while cooking.

It was maybe the best thing I've ever eaten. I've traveled the globe and eaten at more Michelin restaurants than I have fingers and toes. Pre-pandemic and kid my wife and I used to travel and hit all the Eater Essential restaurants in New England. I made a prime grade prime rib that cost $150 and caused my father in-law to go silent at the dinner table on Christmas Day. And this $20 multi-tasked weeknight meal was magnitudes better. The combined power of an immersion circualator, cast iron skillet, and thermometer.
Curiosity question.. Do you use the same wine you'll be drinking with the meal for your au jus?? Or are you using a basic wine for the au jus and a different wine for the table??

Wife and I do wine pairing and champagne pairing meals (pre-COVID).. And we frequently debate this particular point.. Curious if you have a strong opinion based on your advanced palette.
 
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Curiosity question.. Do you use the same wine you'll be drinking with the meal for your au jus?? Or are you using a basic wine for the au jus and a different wine for the table??

Wife and I do wine pairing and champagne pairing meals (pre-COVID).. And we frequently debate this particular point.. Curious if you have a strong opinion based on your advanced palette.
The general consensus is you use a wine good enough to drink, but not necessarily the one you will be drinking. I did use the same this time, mostly because it's what I had on hand. But sometimes I use vermouth, especially dry vermouth in a scampi-esque recipe. A trick I picked up from Serious Eats at some point.

I've done a lot of blind tasting of various drinks for my job, and basically no one is good enough to taste the difference blind when mixed with concentrated beef stock. Unless it's really that crappy a wine. Although you might be psychologically biased if you DO know what's in there. So it might taste better if you KNOW there is better wine in there, regardless if you can actually physiologically taste the difference.
 
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