Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Gadgets I Have Come to Rely On!

I am a person who enjoys cutting vegetables with a good sharp knife.  Tom, on the other hand, loves his gadgets and machines.  The Food Processor I received several Christmas' ago was more for him than me.  Don't get me wrong.  I used it, and I did grow to love using it.  Nothing makes pastry dough quite as nice as a processor.

Since moving here we have gathered a few more "gadgets" .. but no food processors.

This is our latest addition.  We had looked for one in Lusaka, and finally we discovered this one on our last shopping trip to the Kitwe Pick'n Pay.  It pops a very small batch, but Mary can now enjoy freshly popped corn.

Tom looked askance at me when I wanted to buy this on our Lusaka shopping trip back in December.  I persisted, and now I think he agrees ... completely worth the cost.  This crock cooker is the only way to tenderize meat ... right now I'm cooking a tenderloin with onions, garlic and tomatoes for dinner.

Nice pineapple .. but that white thing next to it is a bread machine.  If we want fresh bread, and not have to worry about finding ants in the rising dough ... you use a bread machine.  It works great, though with the extra humidity here we have had to cut way back on the amount of yeast!

This is a "sorta" food processor, but for grinding meat.  The local ground beef is called "mince meat."  Most stores sell their own version, but we are just a bit untrusting and squeamish.  We prefer to grind our own.  The additional plus is that we avoid the "additives" the store includes to extend the shelf life.  (double yuck)

I've written about our water filters in previous posts.  These are an ABSOLUTE NECESSITY.  I would give all the other gadgets up, but not these beauties!!!  See the ceramic?  This is 4 days after cleaning.  About a week ago I had to scrape bright orange clay off!!  The water is, ahem, just a "bit" turbid.  The town has been "improving" the water supply system.  I have serious doubts that there is any water treatment before the river water is pumped to the town.  And unfortunately the majority of the pipes going into and within this house are likely well over 70 years old.

Our routine is now to pour tap water into the filter on the right, then pour that filtered water into the blue British Berkfeld on the left.  The two tall candles in the BB are ceramic candles impregnated with silver.  The final water lacks that distinctive Chingola "taste."

Not really a gadget, but this is a great drying rack.  The two sides fold out for more space.  This is pictured in the smallest bedroom.  We converted it to the drying/ironing room.

And the tumble dryer.  For me, an absolute must.  I simply did not want to, or want to have Josephine iron all our clothes to avoid impregnation by the putsi fly larvae.  Plus, given that we live in a smelter town the air is not clean, the outside clothes lines are rusted metal wires, putsi flies love wet cloth for propagating, and WE HAVE MONKEYS!!!

In order to use the drying inside the exhaust is directed outside through a close-by window.  The hardest thing to remember is to close the window each night so mosquitos and migrating termites don't come in.  The window is screened, but not with a fine mesh.  It does manage to KEEP OUT THE MONKEYS though!

And finally for this tour of our African home gadgets the washing machine.  It is located outside the main house in the "laundry room."  This one has some interesting features.  One is that you can opt to have the load do a final spin for either 15 or 30 minutes.  That effectively removes most of the moisture, and lessens the time needed for machine or flat drying.  Another feather is "Fuzzy" load setting.  After placing a load in, the machine "measures" the load (supposedly detecting the level of dirty), then adjusts the amount of water accordingly.  Of course, what the machine doesn't determine is the level of dirty water being used to wash the clothes!!!  As for the other settings?  I do not enjoy doing laundry enough to even wonder about them.  I am simply grateful that we have a washing machine so Josephine does not need to hand wash everything in the outside laundry room sink.

The variety of brands is interesting:  Sunbeam, Bosch, Samsung, Phillips, Daliff, Salton ...  Our cooker (range to you all) is Defy, a South African brand and the new chest freezer we bought is a Midea, another South African brand.

1 comment:

  1. Kitwe has a Pick n Pay, yippee,some civilization.

    I can appreciate you don't like the ground beef. You must always buy 'Prime' beef in Africa. You must try the borewors and have a braai. Yes???? You would call it a barbecue and serve hot dogs and hamburgers. In Africa a 'braai' is a full blown meal. Steak, must have Roberstons Braai Spice and every time you turn them you put more on and borewors and if they have them in Pick n Pay, Sosaties, served with a selection of salads usually 3 or 4 and then bread rolls. Wonderful. Try this magazine for some great South African recipes and you should be able to get all the ingredients at Pick and Pay.