Home Appliances – They Don’t Make Them Like They Used to Anymore

Since I love to preach about and pride myself in being able to put my nose for the bargain to good use, I wouldn’t say I’m a brand conscious person, particularly when it comes to household appliances. I mean it’s kind of counter-productive if you’re going to be spending the whole morning navigating the open-air markets for the best deals you can get in fresh ingredients and then go back home to prepare that food using appliances and tools which are only expensive as a result of the name brand they carry.

That said however, there are some brands which I tend to gravitate more towards than others, but that’s only because of the quality they offer. Still, the price factor comes into play because it is after all about how well they perform in doing their intended job and how long they last and perform well. I recently had to replace a blender that had died and in all honestly it had served me really well over the years, in which case I replaced it with a more modern juicer, but the jury is still out because modern day appliances just don’t seem to be built like those of the good old days.

Things don’t seem to last that long anymore and the new juicer is more than holding its own so far, but I don’t know — the materials used just doesn’t seem like something I’d use to knock an intruder over the head with. It’s not all the way flimsy, but in comparison to say the blender my parents had in our kitchen growing up and even the blender which I had that had reached the end of its life cycle, this new juicer and actually all the others I had a feel for in the store before buying just doesn’t feel like it’s made out of durable materials.

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On top of that it’s getting harder and harder to find a repairman who can actually fix appliances that break these days. The general consensus seems to be one of replacing over repairing, the worst of which case is when the entire appliance needs replacing and not just the problem area identified.

The struggle is real and in a sense always leads one back to some of the trusted brands which are emerging in modern times since some of the old-school names in home appliance production seem to be falling victim to the times as well. So with appliances such as kettles, if you spot what is something like a very distinctive Russell Hobbs kettle, go for that original one and spend those few extra pounds as opposed to going for a cheaper version bearing a different name which you barely recognise.

A few extra pounds spent now will spare you having to make the decision between feeling up the repairman to see if it’s at all possible to repair a faulty appliance and concluding that you have to replace the whole thing.

Generally though and going beyond just home appliances, it just seems like consumer goods producers aren’t building things to last anymore.

The Health Nut’s Guide to Healthy Eating-Out Choices

Health nuts almost never eat-out for fear of what the fast food industry is generally associated with, which is unhealthy junk food. For the most part they’re right because fast food has this way of luring you in and making you feel like you’re not doing something too bad by indulging in what are actually very unhealthy eating choices and so you find yourself making all sorts of “making up” promises to yourself, like perhaps resolving to put in a double shift next time you hit the gym.

How your body reacts to something like some bad food which you’ve eaten is the perfect indicator for how long the contents of the food you eat last in your body. I mean think about what is the rather unpleasant experience of diarrhoea — how long do you experience the discomfort of having to run to the toilet every few minutes or hours? The same applies to experiencing the effects of having had some food poisoning or in fact just a reaction to some food which you might have an intolerance for or which you’re allergic to. Symptoms such as blackheads developing in your ears or acne breaking out on your face are the real indicators of how long food remains in your system since the likes of experiencing diarrhoea or reacting by vomiting are ways for your body to get rid of toxic food constituents as soon as it can.

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So a moment on the lips is indeed very close to making for a lifetime on the hips, but even if you are a health nut, this doesn’t mean you can’t indulge every so often.

What being a health nut also means is that you don’t have to be afraid of perhaps eating out at a restaurant or other “fast food” joint where the food is prepared for you. More and more “fast food” outlets are taking this fast food thing quite literally and only really referring to the food they offer as “fast” because it’s prepared quickly.

So you can maintain a healthy diet while eating out, but be prepared to fight off the natural urges and the rather leading suggestions of the likes of serving waiters and the advertised special of the day.

You need to go with a set plan — there are certain foods you must be okay with eating when you leave the house and you should stick to your guns when you arrive at the restaurant or other food outlet at which you want to get your quick fill.

Unfortunately as far as restaurant menus go, the healthier options seem to be a bit more expensive, so you might want to listen to what the waiter is trying to up-sell you on, but often what is put up as the “manager’s special” or any other form of special of the day normally isn’t healthy. If you also demonstrate the intention to become a regular customer of a specific restaurant (or even if you aren’t) it doesn’t hurt to ask for the food to be prepared in a special way just for you, like perhaps replacing fries with a salad in a certain dish or something like replacing the fizzy drink with yoghurt.

A Million Ways to Prepare Rice

Rice is perhaps one of the easiest foods to cook and is probably something we all learned how to cook back when we were eager to learn how to cook like mum. I mean I can bet you that even if you’re trying out a new brand of rice or even a new variety, chances are you only read the cooking instructions to reaffirm what you already know.

It’s very difficult to mess things up with rice and you perhaps only have to overcook it once in your life to learn. Even for those who prefer not to de-starch their rice it’s really hard to mess things up.

If however you do overcook it or that and the “excess” starch makes it appear to be more like a samp or porridge, you can always roll it up into rice balls or press it into small cups as part of a refreshing “presentation,” much like how they do in restaurants when you order a rice dish like curry and rice or even grilled fish with rice.

Otherwise if your desire to prepare the rice in your rice dishes is strictly by design, there are many different ways of doing so.

Fry it

It took me quite a while to master what is otherwise the very simple dish of fried rice, which is served with a range of salads, meats and paste sauces. Fried rice is a popular dish in Indian Ocean islands such as Mauritius and is quite a healthy dish given what the rice is usually paired with. But yeah, I guess you can fry what most of us would refer to as “normal” rice — that rice with the medium sized grains which you find everywhere, but obviously you’d have to boil it first in the manner you usually cook rice and then fry (preferably in a tiny splash of olive oil) in little chunks in a shallow pan while stirring all the way through.

Otherwise use long grain fine rice if you don’t want to first boil the rice and then fry it as some extra cooking work, since long grain rice cooks much easier and quicker and so it can be cooked almost exclusively through frying.

Season it

This is something they particularly love doing in South America, which is adding seasoning to the rice. Seasoning gives rice a nice flavour to it if you’re not content with boiling it in salt water to give it some taste and the great thing is that you select any seasoning of which the flavour you’d love to dominate the taste of your dish.

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Butter it up

This particularly makes minced meat dishes taste that much more special, even in the case of the minced meat baked into a meatloaf or something like that. Simply add a spoonful of butter to your rice when it’s simmering and getting rid of the remaining moisture. The butter should turn the rice all the way yellow, but this yellow hue would be much deeper than that of seasoned rice.

These are just a few of the many ways you can prepare rice and don’t be afraid to experiment.