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Saturday, June 6, 2009

Show and Tell: F.R.EE - My Favorite Word

FREE - I love this word, no - I'm in love with this word. Everything has value, in some capacity, to someone so when people are giving something away, hence - it's freeness, I always ask myself Cara, could this be of some use to you or will it just become transplanted clutter that you will deem valueless in time?
This next statement should come as no great shock to you. I love yardsales. Oh, how I love them - the signs, locating them, 'window shopping' in the great outdoors, and then there is the bartering. I am not as aggressive a negotiator as I once was, but I can still haggle with the best of 'em, and if I don't like the deal - I walk.

A couple years ago I found this at an off-the-beaten-path yard sale.

It wasn't free. It was five dollars. *ouch* I mean, five bucks at yard sale is excessive for a lifetime nickle and dimer like moi. But I couldn't stop thinking about this breadmaker. I'd always wanted one and what is five bucks, really? A number 3 at Mc.D.'s. A combo sandwich at Dun.kin's. Apparantely for the price of a calorie ridden stack of junk I could get my very own breadmaker.

Even still, I did what I always did. (note: did, not do) I walked away. As I started the car I thought, If it's still there tomorrow it'll mean that it is really supposed to be mine.

But could I let it go? HECK NO! I thought about it. Obsessed on it. Couldn't stop thinking about it. "Slept" on it. Woke up worried that just after I left someone else snatched it up. Tried to focus at work and beelined directly there (an agreevis waste of gas...) at 4pm.

It was there. It was mine. Five Bucks...what a steal! I thought as I paid and took possession of the 'must have' item. Nope, I didn't even try to barter.

It didn't come with a manual. No biggie. A quick google search, a bit of patience as twenty-something pages downloaded, then printed and wha-la I was in the bread making business. A steal indeed. My yardsale breadmaker purchase ranks right up there with the best-five-bucks I ever spent on ebay!

So, last weekend, after celebrating my mother's 38 years of teaching at a small family luncheon (didn't she look happy!) Jer and I spied a sign across the road. FREE it read, in big, bold, beckoning letters. Tables and tables of stuff, just sitting there - FREE!

Um, a kid in a candy store was I! We approached and I saw it.
A rice cooker! It seems I have weakness for small kitchen appliances that are hard and bulky to store. Do you know how much rice I cook with a gluten free girl in this house???

Unable to stop myself, I glanced around while reaching for it, like someone was going to say - Ha! Just kidding! Not FREE for you. But no one was there. And it was. And it now sits in my pantry. And I have no idea how I ever lived without it. It makes the best dang rice I've ever had.

However, like all things obtained for little or no money at yard sales, it did not come with a manual. And, according to those pretty blue and green buttons it also makes porridge, oatmeal, brown rice, etc. I'd love to know how!!!

To really maximize my SHOW AND TELL, I'm also sending out a SEARCH for my quick trip to google yielded this word: discontinued.
So, if you have a SANYO ECJ - B35M kickin' rice, porridge, oatmeal maker WITH a manual (and access to a copier), then I have postage! My email link is under the header. Thanks.


Kristin said...

Ok...I think I have some info that will help. First of all, this rice cooker costs over $100 on Amazon. Second of all, there is info in the reviews that help.

If you read the 5 star and the 4 star reviews, you can find almost all the info you need because they are responding to a person who gave this a low rating.

They do say that for things other than Japanese rice, it will work by following the instructions on the package.

Cara said...

I am starting to think there is NOTHING that the amazing Kristin doesn't know!!

Thanks hon!

caitsmom said...

Can't help with the manual or other info, but can say LOVE the rice cooker. I don't know what I'd do without this appliance. TRULY!!!! Enjoy.

Sara said...

I got a second-hand rice cooker and never figured out how to use it. I ended up giving it away.

But, here is my favorite gluten-free dessert recipe (actually one of my favorite dessert recipes that just so happens to be gluten free). It is super rich and very easy:

Cake (amounts are for one cake—double for two layers)
4 oz bittersweet chocolate
1 stick unsalted butter (salted worked okay)
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 375 F and butter an 8- or 9-inch round cake pan. Line bottom with a round of parchment paper.

Chop chocolate into small pieces. In a double boiler, melt chocolate with butter over barely boiling water, stirring until smooth. Remove top of double boiler from heat and whisk sugar into chocolate mixture. Add eggs and whisk well. Sift 1/2 cup cocoa powder over chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined. Pour batter into pan and bake for 25 minutes, or until top has formed a thin crust. Cool cake in pan on a rack for 5 minutes and invert onto a serving plate.

Serve with raspberries and whipped cream. Or for true decadence, pour chocolate ganache over it.

Lollipop Goldstein said...

I love that Kristen found that info for you. What a great end to a great story.

Mrs. Gamgee said...

I think I need to go garage-sale-ing with you! I never find the good stuff. And I totally understand the compulsion toward kitchen gadgetry. I can spend a ridiculous amount of time in the kitchen aisles at any big box/discount store. :)

areyoukiddingme said...

Free is my favorite word too! Anything under $5 is wonderful. We've been garage sale-ing lately to find clothes for our 2 yr old, and I find it difficult to pay more than $1 for anything.

She said...

YAY for the free rice cooker!! Do you guys have up there? Best thing EVER! :) (Like craigslist, but everything is FREE.)

Delenn said...

I want your luck, girl! I sooo want a breadmaker, but don't want to spend the money--FIVE dollars! Way cool!

The rice cooker--um, I did not know there was even such a thing, but it looks neat!

Malky B. said...

I know this was a side note but congrats to your mom on 38 years of teaching. She actually looks a lot like one of my high school teachers.

The Steadfast Warrior said...

I love yard sales too. Slight issue is that we don't have a car and the things I am looking for are bigger.

Good deals you got!

Parenthood For Me said...

Great purchases! All day yesterday I waited as people dropped off donations for our first Charity Yard Sale next Saturday. You would be in awe of the amount of stuff sitting in my parents huge garage. I picked up some donations for my son. I love buying used toys because kids only use them for so long and it is a great way to recycle. Wash them and they're ready to go until my son outgrows and we pass them on.

JuliaS said...

Lol Cara! You and I have a bit of kindred spirit in us!

I once got up at 4:30 in the morning to take advantage of a black friday sale 10 years ago to get my first bread maker. I still have it - still use it. I have had to re-find the manual on the internet as the original has fallen apart.

Love my rice cooker too . . .

Sorry about the manual on yours and that I can't help you much. Good luck in your search!

Cassandra said...

My rice cooker was also free, because when my friend moved in with her fiance, they each had a rice cooker and didn't need two. The only problem? All of the writing is in Chinese.

Luckily there are only two buttons, so I figured out which button was which (cook and keep warm).

Too bad I almost never use it, because I don't really care for rice!

Lavender Luz said...

I would *LOVE* to find a find like that! Rice cooker rice is better than any other.

Lisa DG said...

Ah- I love small kitchen appliances- what a steal!

JamieD said...

That is too funny!! Not only am I a sucker for free stuff (sometimes I think I border on hoarding) but also stuff on sale. Hubby views it differently than me, though. If I buy something for $50 that was originally $100, I feel like I ~saved~ $50 but he thinks I ~spent~ $50.

Men. They'll never understand.

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