Saturday, January 12, 2013

Hot water hits the spot

We don’t appreciate something until we don’t have it. Think hot water after Hurricane Rita. My latest “new” tool is the T-fal Balanced Living Electric Kettle that heats water in a flash with settings for white, green or black tea. The family pictured on the box isn’t even drinking anything. They’re making a salad. They’re to put you in the mood for “enjoying the healthy rewards of tea.” Yes, I’m buying that theory. I’ve had more tea in a week than I’ve had for months. It’s got a cool, swivel base and the hot water can also go toward oatmeal, coffee, soups, etc.
That healthy nudge will also encourage me to boil water to sanitize my contact lens case more often, and the water for my netti pot. This kettle will be used at least once a day.

Harvest a smart chip and salsa
Thanksgiving motifs of abundant wheat seem a harvest seasonal thing. I’m seeing a lot of whole grain/seed talk around New Year’s for marketers appealing to people who have pledged to eat better. Salba Chia Salsa’s label read’s “Hey Smarty Pants!” and says this product respects your brain and your body. Salba Chia Snacks’ bag reades that the yellow corn tortilla chips are “smarter than your average chip.” I love the little “bumps” of seed in both and they do have a great gourmet taste. Will they go over at your game party with extreme snackers? I think so. I also love how many times the word “organic” appears in the ingredient labels. The makers are actually the smarty pants.

Finally I unscrewed the power of R.W. Knudsen Family’s Sparking blueberry non-alcoholic juice for a special occasion. Pretty in a wine glass, it was a refreshing way to quench the fire from bacon-wrapped jalapenos I had refused to deseed. I’m not sure if that’s the pairing makers had in mind. I’m still measuring out servings of the company’s Santa Cruz organic fruit spread onto breakfast muffins.

If you have some cod, pick up some Rioja Bordon Reserva Tempranillo-Garnacha-Mazuelo  as it performs nicely against the cod’s fish fat and is a compliment to spicy red pepper and tomato sauce. Well, I read that. But I’m willing to try it. I had my Reserva with just pasta and I’m impressed that it was aged two years in American white oak and further aged for two more years in the bottle. My label read 2006. Now as I recall, we were still covered in blue tarp from Hurricane Rita that year. So this vintage is like a memory of survival and a toast of  good times to come.

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