More Cool Gadgets That Take Up Space You Don’t Have

The best obscure one-use gadgets come from Europe. My friend from Austria gave me a spaetzle maker. How often to YOU make spaetzle?? Probably less often than I, which is a couple times a year — often once around Oktoberfest. The spaetzle maker takes up almost one whole drawer all by itself. But when I make spaetzle, I sure am happy to have it.

The spaetzle maker

The spaetzle maker

I also have a raclette stove, which takes up the better part of a whole cupboard shelf. Raclette is an Alpine French cheese that you melt on tiny skillets, and then mash together with boiled potatoes and cornichons. The last time we used it, George W. Bush was president. But boy, is it cool. More

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The Autumn of Our Content

I woke this morning to the first day of autumn. Not the official first day — technically, it’s been fall for a month now. But the first real first day of autumn, where I could feel it in my bones and soul. It’s one of my favorite feelings.

Silvery Autumn morning through the oaks

We in Southern California are less fortunate than our friends in other parts of the country who enjoy spectacular displays of changing foliage. Our poison oak turns kinda pink, which I guess is nice. And typically, when October arrives and those same friends are raking leaves and building fires, we’re out on the deck in shorts and t-shirts, grilling ribs and drinking beer. They envy us, we envy them.

But not today. Today was different. I awakened to a chill, reluctant to emerge from under my pile of covers. Out the window wisps of gossamer fog weaved through the muscular arms of the scrub oaks, softening them. Our silky rooster crowed plaintively, and I could smell coffee that was not yet even brewing. My favorite season had come. More

Pizza 101

Lately I’ve been contemplating getting a wood-burning pizza oven. Our friends have a beautiful built-in outside and they invite me over to cook in it sometimes, and I get oven envy and mope for days. I found a very nifty pre-made one from Italy online (fornobravo.com), and my wife and I are currently in negotiations… Anyway… More