Product Recommendations

***I get nothing for recommending the following items, and they were all bought with my own money.***

As a diversion from writing fiction, and moaning about the weather, I thought I would mention some products that I use, and recommend.
Not something I do very often here, I know.
In fact, You are more likely to find me complaining about things that don’t work, I appreciate that.

(I have mentioned the weed puller and steam generator iron before, but decided to include them as that was a long time ago.)

With apologies to my readers outside the UK, as I don’t know if these things are available where you live.

Santoku knife.
You can pay anything from Β£10 to Β£400 for one of these knives. Mine was about Β£25 I think, and has lasted me for eight years now. I do use a knife sharpener to keep the edge sharp, but it is such a versatile kitchen tool. The flat heavy blade crushes garlic cloves, and then you can chop them into tiny pieces with the same knife. It cuts through fresh pizza with no need for a wheel, and of course it slices onions, and any other vegetables you want to prepare. It also glides through thick joints of meat, and will cut a chicken in half with no effort. If you like fish, it will take the skin off a salmon fillet, and open up a larger fish with ease.
Almost a ‘one-knife’ cook’s dream. The only thing I don’t use it for is slicing bread.

G-Tech K-9 Vacuum.
Most of you know that I have a dog. His fur gets everywhere, even though he is a short-haired breed. Normal vacuum cleaners struggle with dog hair, even those that claim to be able to cope with it. This model from G-Tech just powers it up. The re-chargeable battery means no annoying lead, and the lightweight construction makes it easy to carry around anywhere. The collected dust and fur is stored in a cylinder, so no need for disposable bags. Just open the end of the cylinder, and slide the contents into any bin.
This device is so powerful, it ‘drives itself’ along, so requires no push/pull effort. It also has a system of headlights, to show up all the dirt, fluff, or fur.
Not cheap, but incredibly effective.

Fiskars weed puller.
I am an unenthusiastic gardener, and the lawn is home to legions of dandelions. Not wanting to use chemicals with a pet dog around, I got one of these. Simple to use, with little or no effort, and the weed is pulled right out, including the root. Tough construction, and nothing to go wrong, this could last a lifetime.
It really is as easy as it looks on the video.

Steam Generator Iron.
I have written about these before. Since buying one over 15 years ago, I could never go back to a normal iron again. The lightweight handset attached to a huge boiler and large water tank makes such easy work of the most difficult ironing, you will wonder how you ever used a conventional iron. I have tried various brands, but recently returned to Tefal again. They seem to have it sorted, and offer the most powerful devices too.

Skechers Memory Foam casual shoes.
These are the lightest and most comfortable shoes I have ever owned. They feel like you have nothing on your feet, and I can walk all day in them without any pain in my legs and feet. Sometimes, bold claims are actually true. This is definitely the case with this great footwear.

Tefal griddle pan.
A good solid non-stick griddle pan is a must-have in any kitchen. Whether searing meat before oven cooking, browning sausages, cooking bacon and burgers, or getting a steak ‘just right’, this type of pan is simply indispensable. I currently use a Tefal model, but many others are available. Get the best you can afford, and you won’t regret it.

So, six recommendations for everyday items that will make your life easier, or more comfortable.

56 thoughts on “Product Recommendations

  1. I have two of those knives and they made cooking enjoyable for me after years of struggling with chef’s knives of the more ordinary design. Not sure why, but glad to know I am not alone. I have a Rowenta iron, also spendy by excellent. Currently I pay someone to come in and vacuum. She uses a machine that she wears on her back. It is excellent, especially because I am not the one wearing it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sketchers are my favorite walking shoes too! Wondering how they hold up for you in the rain? I’ve had several pairs over the years and just bought a new version made of a heavier material that I hope work well in winter.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. (1) I’m not quite sure about the ΜΆSΜΆaΜΆmΜΆuΜΆrΜΆaΜΆiΜΆ ΜΆsΜΆwΜΆoΜΆrΜΆdΜΆ Santoku knife. No doubt it would effortlessly slice through some important part of my body. I have half a mind not to buy one.
    (2) Our newer vacuum cleaner sucks better than the older one. Because the older one really sucks!
    (3) Your check from Steam Generator Ironmongers is in the mail. But they advise you against trying to iron out canine wrinkles.
    (4) My brain’s memory foam is in shreds. And now details of the past are quite ske(t)chy.
    (5) Meanwhile, during a cattle drive out of Texas, a cowboy went back to the chuck wagon, and complained that his steak was medium rare, and not well done. The cook, who looked a lot like Gene Autry, began singing, rather sarcastically, “Back in the Griddle Again…”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I can tell you lead a very ordered neat existence and compared to you we are slap-dash. Ironing is a rare occurrence and we and cooking is a bit hit and miss. We muddle through and we have far too much stuff laying around but every time we have a good clear up it seems to gather again. Of course retirement doesn’t help it removes that old tyrant necessity.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. That’s a nice range of products you’ve reviewed there, Pete! πŸ˜‰ Coincidentally, I very recently bought a kitchen knife very similar in size & shape to yours, but without the dimples; I’m such a cheapskate, though: I only paid Β£2.99 for mine πŸ™‚ I could do with a better vac; for my hair: I don’t have a dog! If I’m feeling flush next tax year (not holding my breath!) I might lash out on a decent one. Cheers, Jon.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll shop around for the vac, when I’ve decided I’m ready to buy a new one. I’m very lucky that at 65 I still have a lot of hair, although I don’t generally see it on the carpet unless I get down on my knees, but it soon accumulates! Cheers, Jon.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Because of dogs, kids, and grands, I’ve long used a shop vac and stopped buying vaccuum cleaners. Nothing worked before and I always seem to break them. Jim wears the same shoes you have featured and I hate my iron, so will see if I can find a US version of the one you use. Thanks for the tips, Pete!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I don’t iron anything these days other than bed linen, for some reason I dislike crumpled pillow cases! So my iron has been with me for years! I agree with you about the shoes. I have had Skechers for years now and they are comfy, though not waterproof. And a griddle pan is a must have. Another small appliance I can recommend is a Dualit kettle. Not cheap, but I was going through cheaper models every 2 or 3 years.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had a Dualit kettle in Camden, and it lasted for ages. Nowadays, I tend to get ‘free’ kettles and toasters from Amazon, through my role as a product tester. I am also on the Morphy Richards testing panel, so kettles are rarely something I have to buy. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete. x


    1. It is a big iron. But it stands easily on a regular board. The main thing is that the handset is very light for ironing, as it contains no water. It will iron both sides of a shirt, as it is so powerful. It uses tap water, heats up fast, and you can refill the separate tank while it is still working. There is a de-scaler widget that unscrews, and can be cleaned under a tap.
      If you check one out at a shop, you will see how easy it is to use.
      It is four times the cost of a normal ‘premium’ iron, but lasts for so long, it’s good value.
      Best wishes, Pete. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  8. How long have you had the vacuum? Has it lost suction at all? I find so many do, even grossly expensive ones. I had an expensive upright Dyson, it was great to begin with, but over the 6/7 years I had it, it noticeably lost suction (despite regular cleaning), the cable was a pain, it didn’t suck at all when tilted at an angle to go under the dining room table, and most annoyingly, it was a real faff to dismantle to do the stairs, and the hose would suck the main body towards it when using it on the stairs (this was a real pain when vacumming the cars for example, as soon as the end of the hose made contact with the carpet, the hose would constrict and in a split second drag the body with some force right into the bodywork of the car! 😑 )
    Also, the weedpuller is interesting, we get loads of dandelions, mainly due to the fact that the field opposite is adorned in them, i hate using weedkillers, not only for the dogs but also for the environment in general, so I might give this a whirl!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We have had the K9 for almost three years now, and it has never lost power or suction. It doesn’t come with hoses or many attachments though, which doesn’t bother us, as we don’t have stairs. But we bought it in a package deal, with this small hand-held for tight corners, and higher places. The small one is very powerful too, and also ideal for cars.
      Argos usually sell both for a ‘deal price’. I think we paid Β£289 for the pair. My step-daughter uses a Shark stick vacuum, which is similar. She prefers that.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Most Japanese knives are too light weight for me….we have a Bissell which works well for the dog hair…..if I pulled the weeds in my property there would be nothing green left…LOL…….I am lazy so I buy wrinkle free…..sorry to be a bummer….but just had to leave my thoughts with you chuq

    Liked by 1 person

All comments welcome

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.