|Miscanthus sinensis "Adagio"|
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
My old Lowe's gas-powered push mower still cranks reliably but the handles and other parts keep falling off. Since our grass areas have become so miniscule, I have been mulling the possibility of using an old-fashioned reel mower. However, every time I'd read the reviews for them, I would back out.
Remington contacted me about reviewing one of their electrical products and I chose their RM212A electric push mower. I've never used an electric mower before so I didn't know what to expect.
Assembly: It arrived in a box weighing about 65 lbs. I cringed at the thought of putting it together (I am notoriously inept at these things) but I was pleased with myself after I put it together in less than 20 minutes with no major problems.
The mower runs on a 12 amp motor. Cranking it could not be easier. Just plug it in (100-foot, 14-gauge cord is recommended, a 50-foot, 16-gauge cord is acceptable). I like the nifty devise to crimp the cord so it won't come unplugged and I wish my hedge trimmers had one of these. Hold the button in and pull back the handle and you have power. Noise-hater that I am, I was impressed at how quiet it is! It is nowhere near as noisy as my gas-powered mower.
This mower has an option for using the bag attachment to catch grass clippings or you can opt for the side discharge. I initially thought that the bag attachment would be a hassle but I've discovered that I really love it. It is simple to remove and reattach. The grass clippings are great to dump on the compost heap.
Using the mower takes some getting used to it (and I'll discuss below) but I was very pleased at how well it cut and the grass looked beautiful. The cutting deck measures 19 inches and there are six single-lever height adjustments. Getting the electrical cord in place takes a few minutes but I'm excited that I no longer have to have gas to cut the grass.
I realized quickly that you have to be very careful when using this mower and be constantly aware of where your electrical cord is. If you are not careful, you could easily run over the cord and that would not be a good thing! Pulling the mower backward is not advisable unless you hold the cord out and are very careful. I found that placing the cord to the side and mowing away from it was the best way to go. I think this mower would work best in situations where there are large, unobstructed expanses of lawn and you don't have to deal with the cord getting hung around plants or ornaments. The manual advises not using on inclines with a slope in excess of 15 degrees. After using it a few times though, it gets easier once you learn how to handle and maneuver it.
Many of the parts (including the wheels) on the mower are plastic and I don't know how these will hold up. I am very rough on equipment and have to move the mower down steps to get to various areas of the lawn. I've been very careful about moving it but I do question the durability factor. I am not sure about the availability of parts replacement if that ever comes up.
Aside from that, I'm very pleased with this mower and I would recommend it!
The mower has a two-year warranty and retails for $199.
Enter for a chance to win one of these lawn mowers for yourself! Just leave a comment (with an e-mail address so that I can contact you if you are the winner). The contest is open until midnight July 31st. A winner will be chosen from a random number generator and will be announced on August 1.
Note: I received two Remington RM212A Push Mowers, one to review and keep for myself as well as one to give away. In return, I agreed to review the product, with no promise of a positive or negative review.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
- 2 cups cold heavy cream
- 12 ounces Italian mascarpone cheese
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup coffee liqueur, such as Kahlua
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, such as Pernigotti
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 (8-ounce) packages chocolate chip cookies, such as Tate's Bake Shop
- Shaved semisweet chocolate, for garnish
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the heavy cream, mascarpone, sugar, coffee liqueur, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and vanilla. Mix on low speed to combine and then slowly raise the speed, until it forms firm peaks.
To assemble the cake, arrange chocolate chip cookies flat in an 8-inch springform pan, covering the bottom as much as possible. (I break some cookies to fill in the spaces.) Spread a fifth of the mocha whipped cream evenly over the cookies. Place another layer of cookies on top, lying flat and touching, followed by another fifth of the cream. Continue layering cookies and cream until there are 5 layers of each, ending with a layer of cream. Smooth the top, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
Run a small sharp knife around the outside of the cake and remove the sides of the pan. Sprinkle the top with the chocolate, cut in wedges, and serve cold.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
I'm surprised that I've never written a post about Michael's delicious Southern cooking. He is an excellent cook. His mamma taught him well! While I consider myself a good baker, I'm not that great at regular cooking and unlike him, I have to have an exact recipe to go by. We went to the Farmer's Market Saturday morning and bought fresh okra. We had okra, peas, fried green tomatoes, corn and of course, cornbread. We only eat like this about once a week, otherwise we would both be the size of the house.
Saturday, July 2, 2011
Friday, July 1, 2011
Woodriff's lily collection was cultivated at Sun Valley Farms and Kirsch quickly saw potential in the lily that would become the world famous "Star Gazer". He applied for a patent in 1976 for although he credited Woodriff as the lily's creator, he had bought the collection and the rights to name and patent them.
Relations between the two turned sour when Kirsch fired Woodriff less than a year after their agreement. Kirsch stated that Woodriff and his family were unemployable, failed to take orders from supervisors, never showed up for work on time and were removing lilies from the premises. Woodriff filed a breach of contract stating the contrary. In the spring of 1974, a judge awarded the Woodriffs $5,000 in recognition of transferred property but rejected the Woodriff's claim that the lily collection could generate great profits in the future.
The saga ended bleakly for Woodriff who felt that he had been cheated out of the "Star Gazer" fortune but Ted Kirsch didn't get rich either. He sold 3,000 bulbs to a Dutch company for $15,000 in 1976 but, in a written contract, agreed not to apply for grower's rights in Holland. The Dutch went on to sell millions of the lily without having to pay royalties to Kirsch.
Kirsch and Woodriff died within one year of each other, Kirsch in 1996 and Woodriff in 1997. There are 36 million "Star Gazer" lilies sold annually.
If you'd like to read more about this fascinating story, check out "Flower Confidential" by Amy Stewart.