Sunday, August 19, 2012

The right tool for the job

Men get this.  The right tool makes all the difference in the world in getting the job done.

I remember reading something about how every home improvement project should budget at least 20% for acquiring the correct tools.  All the men near me nodded in agreement.

So why don't we get this concept when it comes to everyday household stuff?  Probably because these tools are used day in and day out, and either we just don't notice when their value starts to decline (the vacuum cleaner), we know we can't afford to replace them anyway, or we are just so used to "making do" that it seems frivolous.

Yesterday, I made a frivolous purchase.  You see, we got about two dozen limes in our Bountiful Basket oh, six weeks ago?  Eight weeks ago?  I'm not sure.  I made 8 or so into limeade by adapting a lemonade recipe.  It was a disaster.  (The lemonade is amazing though. And easy.)

I have used a couple in cooking.  I squeezed lime juice enough to make two cherry-limeade slushes.  And froze cherries to do more.  But that process took me at least two hours.  Two hours for two cherry limeades?  Uh, no.

So yesterday, while looking for something else, I saw this bright green gadget:

And bought it.  Totally on a whim.  Knowing I hate having gadgets that are this specialized as they just take up room.

This morning, I used it.  It did a beautiful job of juicing four limes in the time it took for my first cup of coffee to brew.

I juiced another (and took photos) while waiting for my second cup of coffee.  Here is a picture with a lime half after juicing.

The last three limes are waiting until my family is up.  I need to show them my new toy.

It cost just under $5.  Now, that may not have been worth it for just eight limes.  But the thing is, we get limes often enough with Bountiful Baskets -- and now instead of taking up space in my refrigerator for months while I slowly use one here or one there, I will be willing to go ahead and DO something with the juice.  Right away.  Which puts it into a form that:
  • takes up less refrigerator space
  • I'm more likely to actually use
And next time we end up with two dozen limes, we'll enjoy them when they are fresh, not after they have sat around until I finally am frustrated enough to deal with them.  And when there is a fantastic price on a bag of limes, I will go for it.  I've never been willing to do that before.

The right tool for the job?  You know, I might just need to start allocated a few dollars every month to this for me. 

Oh, and if you are wondering:

Limeade concentrate:

Juice your limes, measure the juice.  This is the base measurement for everything that follows.  Let's say it is 2/3 of a cup.

In a saucepan, combine one measurement (2/3 cup in this case) of sugar and one measurement (2/3 cup in this case) of water.  Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the sugar dissolves.  Let cool.  Add lime juice.  At this point, you can store in the refrigerator (or freezer).

To make limeade, combine one part of the concentrate with two-three parts cold water. I'd recommend starting with two parts, and tasting, and adjusting, until you figure out the ratio that works for YOU.

Cherry Limeade:

I took 2 cups of the finished limeade
a cup or so of ice, crushed works best
1 cup frozen cherries

Stick it all in a blender, blend until it is nice and slushy, add more ice if you need to.


Unknown said...

yum! thanks for sharing the recipe. I have a bag of limes in my fridge now, just waiting for me to do something with them!

where did you find the gadget?

Debra said...

Wal-Mart. I should have mentioned that in the post, huh?

The same row with things likes measuring cups. I was actually looking for a timer I could magnet to my fridge. Decided I'd rather have this, and keep using my iPod for a kitchen timer. :)

They had a pretty yellow one for lemons too, that is bigger and a buck more. Told the kids that next time we get more than 3-4 lemons, I AM buying that too.

Alane @RaH said...

Yummy! I love fresh lemon/ limeade. Cherry limeade sounds delish, too!

Sharon said...

Good to know! I bought lemons to make lemonade and then the girls reminded that we did not have an efficient tool for getting the juice out. Oops.