All people have toys. It doesn't matter how old they are. As adults, we might call our toys gadgets, tools, or even thingamabobs. No matter what we call them, they are still toys.
This Christmas our family gift exchange was for gadgets. (I can't comment on my gift because I haven't gotten it yet. Illness with Arianna and then Seth along with bad weather have kept family apart for our first two attempts at our holiday celebration. Currently we're heading toward a third date.)
Bob did get his gift exchange package on Christmas and it is noteworthy.
My husband got a milk frother. I didn't think much of this gadget . . . at first. The wand didn't look strong enough to froth anything. Anyway what would Bob want with a frother? He doesn't drink much coffee and he sure doesn't drink fancy coffee.
After our limited Christmas gathering, Bob got out his frothing gadget and tried it out. It needed two AA batteries and a third of a cup of milk in an extra-large cup for the froth. Sure, I thought, I figured the little plastic end would make a few bubbles and that's all.
Buzz went the little machine and to my surprise the milk tripled in volume. I didn't even have coffee made, so I had to make instant. Even though the milk froth didn't change the taste of my coffee any more than usual, the froth sure made it special.
We have been bragging on this little gadget and making milk froth for company ever since. It works with chocolate milk, too. Bob and I give the Trudeau Milk Frother five stars.
Mostly, I drink tea, but with this new toy, I mean gadget, I wanted coffee, but I didn't want to make a whole pot for myself.
Our friend, another Bob, introduced me to a coffee maker just suited for me, a Kerig personal brewer. I just had to have a cup of coffee at his house using his machine to see how it worked.
The gizmo used K-cups. You put one K-cup in and in two minutes you have a perfect cup of coffee, or cocoa, or tea - earlier in the year I had accidentally bought a box of green tea at a sale, only to bring it home and find I had tea in K-cups. To use the tea then I had to break the containers open.
I needed a personal brewer for myself - well, not needed, but I did want one.
On Senior Discount Day Bob and I went to Shopko and bought our own Kerig personal brewer. Now I can put those green tea K-cups into our machine and soon I have a cup of hot tea.
For tea, I can make multiple cups as I do with a tea bag. It's good until the flavor is gone. I can make cocoa and coffee, so the frother comes in handy, too.
The only thing I didn't like about my new personal brewer was the cost of the one-use K-cups. I solved that problem by buying an insert where I can brew using my own coffee.
That saves a lot of money and I can still play with my toy - both the frother and the coffee personal brewer make a miserable winter day less miserable.
The third gadget I want to talk about didn't get high marks with me. Months ago on a whim I bought Eggies. Before this purchase I should have checked out reviews on the Internet. Big mistake.
Eggies are a hard-boiled egg system. I don't know for sure, but I must have just made difficult to peal hard-boiled eggs at home, and thought eggs made in Eggies would top mine. Boy, was I wrong.
The little plastic egg shells come in four pieces: bottom half, top half, lid, and collar. You have to oil the plastic bits and assemble for each use.
I followed the directions exactly and ended up with the whites coming out the part where the top and bottom come together.
When finished cooking I had half eggs, with a good portion of the whites floating in the hot water. (I did this again to make sure I hadn't messed up the instructions the first time. It never worked like advertised.)
The eggs did slide out of the plastic shell as advertised, that's about all I can say good about this thing. Cleanup was terrible. The cooked egg whites were in every nook and cranny of the Eggies. It took forever to wash. I give this half a star, if that.
So choose your gadgets carefully. (First person who wants my Eggies can have them. Just pay postage or pick them up here, but don't blame me if the gadget drives you crazy.)
Our family has fingers crossed that on Jan. 13, everyone will finally get together for Christmas and a special birthday celebration. Jan. 17 is Bob's 70th birthday. Let's hope nothing stops us this time. Not weather. Not illness.
Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165; Sunnybook@aol.com; www.susanmanzke.net; http://www.facebook.com/susan.manzke.