Everybody wants to save the earth, nobody wants to help mom do the dishes.  --P.J. O'Rourke

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Yu-Be Lip Balm

I picked this stuff up at the local Whole Foods on a whim, it's without a doubt the best lip goo I have ever used. It's supposedly based on a 50 year old Japanese recipe, which, based on my sushi bar experience, probably means that I am better off not knowing exactly what's in it. So if you are a recovering Carmex 12 stepper, I suggest you give this a try.

Friday, September 25, 2009


Took this picture of the Chipmunk that live's under our patio keeping a watchful eye on me.
This scene from Lord of the Rings was all I could think of:

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Right Way To Hold a Chef's Knife

Yes, there is a "right" way to hold a chef's knife. Properly held, your knife will be much more stable, safe and comfortable - trust me, your fingertips will thank you. The photo below illustrates the proper way to hold a chef's knife as seen from the underside of the grip.

Notice that the knife handle rests in the nook between the meaty sides of your palm (touch your pinky and thumb together if your unsure of what I mean). This hold gives you much more strength when bearing down on the cutting surface while at the same time minimizing stress to the wrist. The other key part of the grip is to pinch the blade firmly between thumb and forefinger with the remaining fingers jammed up tight against the end of the handle or blade bolster (this one doesn't have a bolster). Holding the knife firmly in this manner gives your knife stability in all directions and will prevent it from slipping no matter how slick or greasy your hands might be, eliminating a major cause of cuts. Of course none of this does a damn bit of good if the fingers of your other hand are under the knife's business end, so always remember to grip the food in a birds claw grip leading with your knuckles as shown below. Though this is more awkward and difficult than proper knife grip, it really helps decrease wounds. This is so important that I once worked for a chef who would rap your hand with his knuckles HARD if he saw you holding the food fingertips first. The only thing the proper knife grip will do if you hold the food incorrectly is make sure you cut the finger neatly off, which also prevents it from getting in the way later, so you decide.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Best Garlic Press On The Planet - Hands Down

Who gives a thought to their garlic press ? I do, and now you don't have to. No really, you can thank me later. Garlic is in virtually every recipe in the contemporary culinary oeuvre. Over the years I have vacillated between the smash and chop crew and the garlic press gang, never feeling strong enough to commit fully to either method. Every single garlic press I have ever owned has sucked in one way or another, frequently in more ways than one. They corroded, broke, were messy or inconvenient to clean and many just plain didn't work very well. So, I would smash and chop until overcome by the urge to get a new garlic press. Don't get me wrong, smashing and chopping is perfectly fine, but let's face it, unless you are making a bucket load of minced garlic, using an 8 inch chefs knife to mince three cloves of garlic is a PITA. But I digress, I have put all that behind me with my purchase of the stupid-expensive Rosle garlic press. What can I say, this thing just straight up works, load in the three cloves, squeeze, slice, rinse, boom - done.

Bring The Noise ! - Chrysler-Bell Hemi Powered Air Raid Siren

At 138db @ 100 ft these Chrysler V8 powered sirens generate what is purportedly the loudest signal sound ever made. How loud is 138db? Well, in Stereo terms 30,000 watts of sound energy, that's nearly twice as loud as the noise you'd experience 50 ft. away from jet fighter taking off at full boil. For a video of one of these being run up at a car show hit "more"

Sunday, September 20, 2009

ICON FJ - Handcrafted Toyota Land Cruiser Built With Modern Technology

Believe it or not, the truck in the picture above is not an actual vintage Toyota Land Cruiser, but rather a meticulously hand crafted, new from the ground up, custom 4X4 with styling inspired by the immensely popular old school Land Cruiser. Even better, this is not a one off like a Foose creation, but is built by ICON in L.A. in small series production. The most impressive thing about the vehicle is it's mad attention to detail, nothing has been overlooked, even the knobs on the dash are made with a level of quality normally associated with a Rolls or Bentley (probably better). All this does not come cheap as you might have guessed, the 25 or so vehicles ICON cranks out per year go for $100K give or take. They are available with an International Turbo Diesel 4 cyl or a couple of different Chevy V8's.
Check out their site, the ICON FJ really needs to be seen to be believed.

Link : ICON 4X4