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Things lots of people buy and I don't understand


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#91 Hassouni

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 08:39 AM

Canned Soup: Once again, scratch tastes better and is cheaper.


But it's not quicker, and sometimes that makes a huge difference.

#92 sparrowgrass

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 08:41 AM

Glass cutting boards. Even the thought of using a knife on glass makes my teeth hurt.
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#93 Charcuterer

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 09:15 AM

Pre-minced garlic. But not because it's easy to do on your own, since for some it's not. But rather because the product tastes really bad. Same for Lemon juice in the little yellow squeeze bottles. Convenience is great but not at that much of a sacrifice.

#94 Andrew Fenton

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 09:46 AM

Single serve coffee makers.

Cons...Makes an expensive cup of coffee. Lots of waste in used containers. Have to wait for each cup to brew.

Pros...you can get some disgusting sweet hazelnut maple-raspberry flavors that don't taste anything like coffee.


I'm a teacher, and have a Keurig in my classroom. I agree with all your cons, but will add a big pro: it doesn't require any cleanup. That's huge if you don't have access to a kitchen.

#95 KaffeeKlatsch

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 08:54 AM

I'm a teacher, and have a Keurig in my classroom. I agree with all your cons, but will add a big pro: it doesn't require any cleanup. That's huge if you don't have access to a kitchen.


I was going to make the exact same comment. My husband gave me one last summer for my birthday for my classroom. It sat unopened at home, but I brought it to school and use it every day. I buy a big jug of water to keep under the table. No muss, no fuss, and no cleanup. Perfect for the classroom.

#96 larryroohr

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 09:04 AM

I have a glass cutting board I use for shaping bread so they aren't useless, should call it a bread shaping board.

I bought it for cutting before I knew better thinking it would be easy to keep disinfected after cutting up raw chicken which is probably true. If your knife standard is cheap knives and a quick slide through sharpener that hones the crap out of them then it probably wouldn't make much difference what you cut on.

#97 Jaymes

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 09:15 AM



I'm a teacher, and have a Keurig in my classroom. I agree with all your cons, but will add a big pro: it doesn't require any cleanup. That's huge if you don't have access to a kitchen.


I was going to make the exact same comment. My husband gave me one last summer for my birthday for my classroom. It sat unopened at home, but I brought it to school and use it every day. I buy a big jug of water to keep under the table. No muss, no fuss, and no cleanup. Perfect for the classroom.


And I gave one to my elderly father (85 at the time) who was living alone. He really likes coffee, and is restricted to only one cup a day. He'd never brew up a pot for just that one cup, so he was just having a cup of instant coffee that he heated in the microwave.

I bought him a Keurig and he loves it. I keep him supplied with the refills because they're expensive enough that he would feel wasteful and extravagant buying them himself, so he wouldn't. He uses that Keurig every single morning and often has a cup of hot chocolate in the evenings.

There are not too many things that are not useful given the right situation.

Even that crap white bread (that I didn't know existed until I was about ten and had it at a friend's house because it wasn't allowed in our house). Somebody must buy it because the stores are full of it.

However, I did discover after moving to Texas that even that crap white bread is not only useful, but necessary, with Texas-style BBQ brisket.

So there you go.
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#98 Darienne

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 09:56 AM

And I gave one to my elderly father (85 at the time) who was living alone. He really likes coffee, and is restricted to only one cup a day. He'd never brew up a pot for just that one cup, so he was just having a cup of instant coffee that he heated in the microwave.

I bought him a Keurig and he loves it. I keep him supplied with the refills because they're expensive enough that he would feel wasteful and extravagant buying them himself, so he wouldn't. He uses that Keurig every single morning and often has a cup of hot chocolate in the evenings.

You are a good daughter. :wub:
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#99 andiesenji

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 09:58 AM

I've had Senseo pod brewers since I was given one in 2004. Sadly, the company seems to have discontinued selling them in the U.S. but I'm fortunate in that I bought a backup in case the current one fails. Also, I have a pod maker so I can make my own.

I've also got a cute little pod type espresso brewer (15 bar) that I enjoy and generally use in the evenings.


Then there are the glass cutting boards. I have several but have never used a knife on one. I found that the largest fit exactly into the wire shelves of the utility shelving units of which I have a bunch. Having a level surface keeps bottles from tipping, keeps appliances with feet from getting stuck &etc. I also put one (has rubber feet) on the stone counters under pottery or stoneware cookware. I learned to my chagrin that some have rough bottoms that will score or scratch granite or marble counters - not pretty and expensive to refinish.
So they do have their uses, just not for which they were originally intended.
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#100 Arey

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 11:47 AM

At the local produce store today I noticed a bottle of imported Greek tzatziki. It was $4.57 for a 3.5 ounce bottle. I asked the produce lady, if this was a joke, and she said no, sometimes people will buy 2 04 3 bottles at a time, and they sell about 17 bottles week. She said people don't cook anymore. So out of curiosity as I continued shopping I noted down the prices of ingredients you'd need if you wanted to make your own tzatziki. Generous sized cucumbers were 69 cents each. Fage 2% Greek yoghurt was $1.99 for a 7 oz container. Lemons were 3 for $1.19, Garlic was $2.99 a lb, and wine vinegar and olive oil were available at several different prices. Fresh dill and parsley were $1.99 a bunch.

Why would anyone pay $4.57 for 3.5 ounces of tzatziki? If they didn't want to make their own? there are a lot of grocery stores, and supermarkets where you can buy it, and several Greek restaurants in the area will sell you their own freshly made tzatziki at what I considered an exorbitant price until this morning.
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#101 Kouign Aman

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 11:55 AM

At the local produce store today I noticed a bottle of imported Greek tzatziki. It was $4.57 for a 3.5 ounce bottle. I asked the produce lady, if this was a joke, and she said no, sometimes people will buy 2 04 3 bottles at a time, and they sell about 17 bottles week. She said people don't cook anymore. So out of curiosity as I continued shopping I noted down the prices of ingredients you'd need if you wanted to make your own tzatziki.
Generous sized cucumbers were 69 cents each.
Fage 2% Greek yoghurt was $1.99 for a 7 oz container.
Lemons were 3 for $1.19,
Garlic was $2.99 a lb, and
wine vinegar and olive oil were available at several different prices.
Fresh dill and parsley were $1.99 a bunch.

Why would anyone pay $4.57 for 3.5 ounces of tzatziki? If they didn't want to make their own? there are a lot of grocery stores, and supermarkets where you can buy it, and several Greek restaurants in the area will sell you their own freshly made tzatziki at what I considered an exorbitant price until this morning.


Reason 1 = one-stop shopping
Reason 2 = one batch of tzatziki would run in the vicinity of $11 for a person who bought one lemon, one head of garlic, and the cheapest oil and vinegar available. If you dont have a use for the unused quantities, that's a bit more costly than the $5 jar.
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#102 Shel_B

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 05:56 PM

 

 

 

 

What's the difference if the container is ultimately placed in the recycle bin?
 

The difference is the number of times you use it before placing it there, which reduces the number of bottles that have to be recycled.

 

 

Don't forget the energy used to transport those plastic bottles of water.  Depending on the brand, some of those bottles travel a great distance.  And then there's the resources used in making and transporting the bottles themselves, and their raw materials.  I couldn't stand to see Toots drinking time and again from old plastic bottles, so I bought her an appropriately sized stainless water bottle:

 

http://www.kleankanteen.com/


.... Shel


#103 DiggingDogFarm

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 06:20 PM

Wow, I could list MANY things!!!!!

 

Recently, some folks I know were bragging about scoring big with ten 69 cent cans of Swanson Chicken Broth (with all the flavor enhancers that come along with it)....YUCK!!!

 

For the same $6.90 they could have bought a 10 lb. bag of chicken leg quarters...made 'real' broth/stock and had the meat to go along with it!!!!!!

 

People never cease to amaze me!!!!!  :huh:


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#104 dcarch

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 06:33 PM

I was in the NYC Sub-Zero/Wolf showroom.

 

I asked the salesman, "Do these expensive appliances really last long?"

 

He answered, "Yes sure. They really last and last, because people who buy them don't cook with them."

 

dcarch


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#105 Darienne

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 06:44 PM

Wow, I could list MANY things!!!!!

 

Recently, some folks I know were bragging about scoring big with ten 69 cent cans of Swanson Chicken Broth (with all the flavor enhancers that come along with it)....YUCK!!!

 

For the same $6.90 they could have bought a 10 lb. bag of chicken leg quarters...made 'real' broth/stock and had the meat to go along with it!!!!!!

 

People never cease to amaze me!!!!!  :huh:

I agree with DiggingDogFarm that making one's own chicken broth is always better.  But I am stunned that he can buy 10 pounds of chicken leg quarters for $6.90...that 69 cents a pound. 

 

Sometimes where we live in Ontario, Canada, they are on sale for a dollar a pound, but usually they cost $1.70 a pound.  (DH reminds me that we could buy chicken leg quarters in Utah for 70 cents a pound.) 


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#106 DiggingDogFarm

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 06:50 PM

Not long ago they were 59 cents a pound.

Now, usually 69 to 79 cents a pound.

 

Wegman's, one of the popular grocery store chains in this region, currently has them for 69 cents a pound.


~Martin
 
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#107 annabelle

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 07:18 PM

I buy backs and necks to make stock (I can't recall the price off-hand).  Not only do I get tasty chicken stock, but lots of schmaltz since backs are fatty.


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#108 pbear

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 11:00 PM

Surely canned stock falls in the convenience category.  Home made is only cheaper if one ignores labor.  Also, for most folks (me included), there's a storage issue.

 

Anyhoo, that was a fun thread to read.  For me the real stumper is commercial bread, almost all of which has the texture of marshmallows.  Obviously this is a convenience item as well.  I certainly don't expect many people to make their own bread.  But ISTM there should be enough demand for bread with texture that the commercial bakers would supply it.  Here in San Francisco, we don't have anything equivalent to Arnold's or Peppridge Farm.  Even the rye bread is marshmallows.  And, no, I don't want everythng to be artisanal and heavy crusted.  That market, actually, is pretty well covered.  What stumps me is why the general public doesn't demand something between the two.  To the extent, at least, of making it a commercially viable option.



#109 DiggingDogFarm

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 05:07 AM

Home made is only cheaper if one ignores labor. 

 

I don't see it that way.

Homemade and store-bought are not the same product and, for most, labor is required to earn the money to buy stock.

 

I agree on the sponge bread, I've never understood the appeal of that garbage.


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~Martin
 
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#110 rotuts

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 06:40 AM

excellent.  made my day :

 

""""   They really last and last, because people who buy them don't cook with them  """

 

in a way certain types of sandwiches are better on bread thats a bit softer:

 

not wonderbread, mind you but Arnolds or PM   such as tunafish.  egg salad  etc

 

even a turkey sandwich.   those commercial bread however dont' last very long and retain the full type of texture and aroma for the bread part of a sandwich.


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#111 pbear

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 02:00 AM

 

Home made is only cheaper if one ignores labor. 

 

Homemade and store-bought are not the same product and, for most, labor is required to earn the money to buy stock.

 

Come, now.  Labor to buy applies to both parts and cans.  I was talking about the additional labor to turn parts into stock.  Of course home made is better than canned.  But I don't have any trouble understanding why most folks don't consider the difference worth the extra effort.
 


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#112 annabelle

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 08:05 AM

That's correct pbear.  My mother buys stock in cans since she can never make up her mind about what she is going to cook.  She also has RA and it makes it difficult for her to lift heavy pots with limited dexterity and strength (she is 80).  Since she lives alone and doesn't entertain, canned stock is fine for her needs.

 

I look at it as a step up, and an improvement, from the bouillon cubes she was using before.

 

Baby steps, baby.


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#113 DiggingDogFarm

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 08:09 AM

 

 

Home made is only cheaper if one ignores labor. 

 

Homemade and store-bought are not the same product and, for most, labor is required to earn the money to buy stock.

 

Labor to buy applies to both parts and cans. 
 

 

 

 

That's true but in the case of the leg quarters you're getting a whole lot more and it only takes about 10 minutes of active time to make stock.


~Martin
 
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#114 Adam George

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 11:02 AM

Why spend the money for a full set of knives ?

dcarch

 

If you literally have no decent knives, a block with a small number 5-6 knives and a steel can offer very good value.  Especially at times of the year like now.

 

I'm starting to replace my [really] cheap block that i got when I moved out fives years ago with individual Wusthofs for my specific needs, but truth be told I more than got my money's worth and I will keep the block, too.


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#115 Shel_B

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 12:31 PM

.  ... but in the case of the leg quarters you're getting a whole lot more and it only takes about 10 minutes of active time to make stock.

 

I can't accept that, at least considering how I make stock.  Let's see, first I have to get the stock pot, which, because of its size is not handy in the kitchen.  Then, vegetables have to be cleaned and cut.  The stock has to be watched and skimmed, at least in the early stages.  After draining and straining, the debris has to be composted, the pot cleaned and put away, and the stock put into containers and refrigerated.  At some point the fat needs to be skimmed off and dealt with.  And lets not forget cleaning the prep tools such as knives and cutting boards.  For me, that's a lot more than ten minutes of my time.  It's a lot closer to an hour by my rough estimate.  And then there's the cost of energy for heating and cooking the stock, heating the wash water or running the dishwasher ... and my time for all this has some value.

 

There's a time and place for prepared stock, or prepared anything.  I have only come across one person in all my years on cooking forums who claimed they used no prepared foods, that everything they consumed was made from scratch.  Frankly, I don't believe that.  I'd like to meet one person who never uses at least some prepared ingredients to effect time savings or make preparing a meal more convenient or easier.


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.... Shel


#116 IowaDee

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 12:48 PM

Amen, Shel, exactly my thoughts.  Nice if you can go that way but it isn't always possible.  


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#117 DiggingDogFarm

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 01:29 PM

 

.  ... but in the case of the leg quarters you're getting a whole lot more and it only takes about 10 minutes of active time to make stock.

 

I can't accept that, at least considering how I make stock.  Let's see, first I have to get the stock pot, which, because of its size is not handy in the kitchen.  Then, vegetables have to be cleaned and cut.  The stock has to be watched and skimmed, at least in the early stages.  After draining and straining, the debris has to be composted, the pot cleaned and put away, and the stock put into containers and refrigerated.  At some point the fat needs to be skimmed off and dealt with.  And lets not forget cleaning the prep tools such as knives and cutting boards.  For me, that's a lot more than ten minutes of my time.  It's a lot closer to an hour by my rough estimate.  And then there's the cost of energy for heating and cooking the stock, heating the wash water or running the dishwasher ... and my time for all this has some value.

 

There's a time and place for prepared stock, or prepared anything.  I have only come across one person in all my years on cooking forums who claimed they used no prepared foods, that everything they consumed was made from scratch.  Frankly, I don't believe that.  I'd like to meet one person who never uses at least some prepared ingredients to effect time savings or make preparing a meal more convenient or easier.

 

 

Takes me about 10 minutes of active time to make a batch of chicken stock with the bones from 10 pounds of leg quarters.

No cutting boards....no knives...no pot watching....no skimming...no dishwashers.

 

I grab the 5 liter pressure cooker.

Toss the bones and a whole onion in the 5 liter pressure cooker and cover with water.

Bring up to pressure and adjust heat.

Turn off heat when done....allow to cool naturally.

Strain and pour into containers.

Refrigerate or freeze.

Wash pressure cooker, bowl and strainer.

Toss the bones in to the bokasi bucket.

 

It doesn't have to take a lot of active time and effort.


Edited by DiggingDogFarm, 27 December 2013 - 01:51 PM.

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~Martin
 
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#118 Porthos

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 01:52 PM

This is meant for Adam George up-thread.

 

Of the 11 knives in my knife block I regularly use the following: 10" chef's knife for fruits and veggies only (gets hand-washed & dried and returned to the block when I am done with it), 10" chef's knife for proteins, 3 1/2" paring knife, 7" Santoku for cutting up bricks of cheese into smaller pieces and for green onions I just made the decision yesterday to retrieve my 12" slicer from my knife roll and add it to the block but it still won't be used that often. My DW's knife block is closer to where we keep the bread so I generally grab her bread knife if I need one. And I use my Wusthoff ((sp) shears regularly.

 

The tomato knife that came with my Spanish Henkels set has yet to be used. I rarely use the 3 "slicers" with the curved blade that came with this set.


Edited by Porthos, 27 December 2013 - 01:54 PM.

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#119 rotuts

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 01:53 PM

I completely agree with both positions.

 

it's more like :  what do you enjoy doing in the kitchen.

 

we all have the same amount of time. the buzz now is 24/7    :huh:
 

we portion it out differently.

 

i used to do a lot more in the kitchen.

 

a bit less now.

 

Ive become pretty lazy.

 

that being said, the Test Kitchen a while back did a 'Chicken Noodle Soup'

 

close enough.  it made stock with supermarket ground chicken etc etc

 

it may have added  low-salt boxed or not.

 

I made this.  i added my own take on the herbs  it used broad noodles.

 

this was the very best chicken noodle ( or what they called it ) soup one could ever

 

make at home.  you could 'goose it' for your own flavor profile

 

but the ground chicken made this dish

 

but you had to be interesting in making it

 

as a personal project  for 

 

""" Fun in the Kitchen  """

 

:biggrin:


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#120 cakewalk

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 01:54 PM

I don't understand the point here. (Or in a lot of other posts in this thread. Or maybe the thread in its entirety.) Are you really saying that if it doesn't take you a long time to make stock, then you simply can't understand why other people don't make their own stock as well?

 

 

.  ... but in the case of the leg quarters you're getting a whole lot more and it only takes about 10 minutes of active time to make stock.

 

I can't accept that, at least considering how I make stock.  Let's see, first I have to get the stock pot, which, because of its size is not handy in the kitchen.  Then, vegetables have to be cleaned and cut.  The stock has to be watched and skimmed, at least in the early stages.  After draining and straining, the debris has to be composted, the pot cleaned and put away, and the stock put into containers and refrigerated.  At some point the fat needs to be skimmed off and dealt with.  And lets not forget cleaning the prep tools such as knives and cutting boards.  For me, that's a lot more than ten minutes of my time.  It's a lot closer to an hour by my rough estimate.  And then there's the cost of energy for heating and cooking the stock, heating the wash water or running the dishwasher ... and my time for all this has some value.

 

There's a time and place for prepared stock, or prepared anything.  I have only come across one person in all my years on cooking forums who claimed they used no prepared foods, that everything they consumed was made from scratch.  Frankly, I don't believe that.  I'd like to meet one person who never uses at least some prepared ingredients to effect time savings or make preparing a meal more convenient or easier.

 

 

Takes me about 10 minutes of active time to make a batch of chicken stock with the bones from 10 pounds of leg quarters.

No cutting boards....no knives...no pot watching....no skimming...no dishwashers.

 

I grab the 5 liter pressure cooker.

Toss the bones and a whole onion in the 5 liter pressure cooker and cover with water.

Bring up to pressure and adjust heat.

Turn off heat when done....allow to cool naturally.

Strain and pour into containers.

Refrigerate or freeze.

Wash pressure cooker, bowl and strainer.

Toss the bones in to the bokasi bucket.

 

It doesn't take a lot of active time and effort.