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Sunday, June 23, 2019

Broken nipples? No Problemo!

Let me begin by saying that I am a fairly self sufficient woman. Most minor home repairs,computer technicalities, or appliance mishaps are events I can handle on a regular basis. So when the hot tub repairman was booked out three weeks to a month I thought I might be able to address the issue myself.

Fortunately the repair manual was online and I was able to locate the FLC error code being associated with a pressure switch failure. Of course none of the local spa stores carried the part. The guy on the YouTube video made the replacement of it look simple so I ordered the universal switch online and it arrived promptly in two days.

Taking off the service panel I located the water heater and then the faulty pressure switch that was screwed into it's top. I knew to turn off both pressure valves to stop any excessive flow of water before I started unscrewing the old switch. Water slowly dripped as I turned it ever so gently, trying to let the pressurized water release. I obviously gave the second turn too much gusto because the whole switch just popped right off. Instantaneously a magnificent geyser of water erupted all over the circuit board... not good.

I did know enough about how water and electronics should NOT mix to put put my finger over the hole to slow down whatever permanent damage I was causing. Looking at the size of the heater, which was no larger than one liter, I estimated all the water should be released in a few minutes. There I stood, in the muck underneath the sticky hot tub deck maneuvering my finger every few seconds so the squirt of water was aimed at me instead of at the electronics.

Minutes passed and the pressure was not slowing so I thought I'd just try to screw in the new switch. After several unsuccessful attempts, water was spewing into the circuit as I cussed, my frustrated voice echoing into the peaceful wilderness just as our guests arrived. Natalie and her boyfriend Jeff, who happens to be an electrical engineer, walked down the steps bringing gifts of frozen watermelon margaritas.

Keeping my left finger over the darn overflowing hole I gladly accepted some liquid relief and asked Jeff if he could take a look at what was going on. As I licked the frozen goodness off my upper lip he said, "You can't get this new one screwed in because the threads of the old switch broke off in the hole." Instant relief flooded me knowing it wasn't only my lack of skill.

"How can that come out?"

"Well you're going to need to go to the Home Depot and get a broken nipple extractor..." I nearly peed myself I laughed so hard. Isn't that just what every woman needs? A broken nipple extractor? It was the perfect phrase to break my terrible mood. Thank you, Jeff.

So off I'm heading to the Home Depot where every other female employee is somewhat similar to me. I will then proceed to ask them if they can help me locate a broken nipple extractor.

To be continued...

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Instantly Loving My Insta Pot

This past holiday season seems like it went by in a blur, in fact I don't think I landed in one spot for more than thirty minutes from Thanksgiving until New Years Day. During these times of what I call "constant chaos" my family doesn't get the home-cooked meals that I normally pride myself on and are left to fend for themselves in the freezer. I must admit as a wife and mother I feel a mountain of guilt over this. These feelings are not placed on me, the issue is purely my own.

Oddly enough, under the Christmas Tree sat a enormously wrapped gift with my name on it. I knew I heard something whispering sweet nothings to me from inside the wrapping paper. I opened up my gift and met my new Insta Pot!

I had heard of these but had not given them a single thought. My eyes darted over the box as I took in just how many functions this one piece of cook-ware had. A few days after Christmas I perused some online Insta Pot recipes and decided on a Beef Strogonoff soup. In a little over an hour I had delicately moist and fork-tender beef over egg noodles. Not only was it delicious, but it seemed almost effortless... toss some ingredients in there and voila you have an entire meal.

One of my favorite features is the pre-set timer. I can prepare the ingredients in the Insta Pot at lunch and schedule it to start cooking at 5:30. After it finishes it will keep the meal warm so when i get home from a crazy day at work dinner is hot and ready! Goodbye mom guilt! I've already used it five or six times in a two week period. Although I've never been personally interested in yogurt making (I'm happy to just buy it) the Insta Pot has a yogurt making feature, so of course I had to try it and now I am a full on domestic goddess who even makes her own Greek yogurt.


After my two weeks of walking in Betty Crocker's footsteps I thought my hard work deserved some sort of prize or trophy. In my mind good cooks had to earn the right to have expensive kitchenware, and I felt like I had earned my token especially since my favorite extra wide, extra high ceramic lasagna pan didn't make it through this year's holiday rush (it got dropped in the sink.)

I saw Williams Sonoma was having sale on Le Creuset covered casserole dishes and figured my recent Insta Pot success earned me the the honor of having the finest of French cookware proudly displayed in my own kitchen.
After waiting 3-5 days for my online order to arrive the UPS man happily left my box in the driveway. You could imagine my dismay when I read the print on the side of the box that said my fine new "French" Le Creuset dish was actually MADE IN CHINA... just like everything else! Oh well, hopefully it cooks the same as the French one!