Tag Archives: amazon item of the day

Mr. Coffee Electric Coffee Grinder – Spice Grinder – Item of the Day

coffeeEvery day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Mr. Coffee Electric Coffee Grinder.  And yes it does a bang up job grinding coffee and occasionally I grind up some Mai Thai Coffee and drop it in my french press, but that is not my primary use for this tool.

To me this is the greatest ever dried vegetables and spice/herb grinder you can get your hands on for under 20 bucks.  In fact for Prime members this awesome tool is just 18.56 with free shipping.

I use this grinder to make hot pepper powders.  Garlic and onion powder from a store?  Never I buy dried onions and dried minced garlic in large quantities, I then make up powders as I need them in small quantities.  Just smell fresh made garlic or onion powder and you will see why.

I whip up my own spice mixes like this one which is a great go to rub for almost any meat but especially chicken on the grill.

  • About a table spoon of each
    • Thyme
    • Dried garlic
    • Dried onion
    • Mustard Seed
    • Fennel Seed
    • Chili Powder
    • Dehydrated Celery (yea that is a secret)
    • Cumin
    • Tellicherry Black Pepper Corns (another secret)
    • Kosher or Sea Salt
  • Then about 3 table spoons of paprika
  • About 2 table spoons of parsley

This is all done by estimate by the way, not with spoons but you can do that if you want to.  This is a go to rub for poultry and fast grilled pork.  I just whipped up some for my buddy David to go on quail.  You can see that here.  The best thing with small pieces like quail, cut up chicken etc, is to put it in a large bowl and toss till well coated then grill.

Anyway it is unlimited what you can do, did you see the celery above, we always have it on hand, grinding it gives you the same type of punch as celery seed but it sure costs less and it is more versatile.  You guys that grow 15 different hot peppers can go mad scientist with pepper blends.

The Mr. Coffee Electric Coffee Grinder is also equipped with what they call a “Chamber Maid Cleaning System”.  This little device you spin with your finger and it helps get out all the stuff hiding on the edges.  For actual cleaning though, the bowl is water tight!  Fill it just below the max fill line with water (don’t get the base wet), put the lid on, pulse for a few moments, dump it out, set it upside down to dry, DONE!

Lastly I bought my first one of these before I even started TSP, it lasted until this year, when I stupidly tried to grind oyster shell with it!  So I got a new one, and I have found its limits, no rocks or shells, LOL.  Trust me no kitchen specifically no prepper kitchen should be without this tool.

This item has 1900 plus reviews and 76% are 4 or 5 star.  If you read the negative reviews they seem to be either coffee snobs that want a 18 dollar grinder to grind with the precision of a 500 dollar tool, or people to dim to get the cord out of the storage space on the bottom.  Friends you can’t fix stupid but you can fix up some amazing rubs and powders with this fool proof tool

Remember you can always see the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here.

 

Leupold VX-1 2-7x33mm Scope – Item of the Day

scope

IMPORTANT NOTICE – I am bringing this around because it has been marked down to only 180 bucks and they did this because this amazing little scope is being discontinued.  I have no idea what if anything Leupold will replace it with.  This scope in my view is one of the best values ever on the market, well above the cost value ratio in its class for everything else out there.  If you want one get them now before they are gone.

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Leupold VX-1 2-7x33mm Scope.  I have always considered Leupold to be one of the best optics makers in the world.  So when I found out their VX-1 line was so affordable, I wondered if the quality would remain true.

This scope answered that for me with a definitive yes.  Like all Leupold scopes this one comes with a lifetime warranty.  I own quite a few Leupolds and I have yet to ever use said warranty, but it is nice to know that it is there with anything you are investing over a hundred dollars on.

As to the cost this scope sells for 199 on Amazon.  This fits with my mindset, always be frugal never be cheap!  Up until now I have recommended the Redfield Revolution 2-7x33mm in this class of scope, it comes in at 172 dollars.  It is the scope I have on my hand built 10/22, and it is a very good scope.  But the clarity of the Leupold and their reputation for decades of quality is well worth the extra 27 bucks.

Why a 2×7 when the world is so full of 3x9s, isn’t bigger better?  In this case no, not in scope size or magnification.  When you are scoping something we would call a modest range rifle say stuff good out to 100-200 yards, you just do not need more then 7X.  What you do what is a very wide fast field of view up close, and being able to drop down to 2x gives you that.

Next up with these lighter guns like my Rugger 77 or say a Remington Model 7 or similar, what is great is how light weight they are.  This scope or the Redfield for that matter would also serve well on light weight lever guns like say an 1894 Marlin.  I mean the last thing you want it to take a beautiful little 5.5 pound rifle and slap two pounds of scope and rings on it.

This wonderful little scope tips the scales at only .62 pounds, keeping the rifle light, well balanced and fast handling.  This is another advantage over the Redfield which comes in at 17 ounces (almost twice the weight) while actually being the same size externally.  Again another reason the Leupold is worth 27 bucks more.

So if you have been looking for a high quality scope that will give you light weight handling and top quality optics without needing to sell a kidney to afford it, check out the Leupold VX-1 2-7x33mm Scope today.  And it this sort of thing is important to you, it is made, right here in the good old USA.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S.  –  This short video will give you a look at the scope mounted on my 77/357.  This is not meant to be a major review just a short video to give you a feel for the scopes dimensions and how it fits nicely onto a small framed rifle.

P.S.S. – It is interesting to note that my old favorite the Redfield 2×7 had major influence on the VX-1 2×7.  In 2008, Leupold purchased Redfield and many of each brands current offerings has influenced the other.  It seems to me that Leupold took the Redfield 2×7, upped the optics in it, and shaved off a lot of weight.  Again the two scopes are almost identical in external dimensions.

 

Fletchers’ Federal Pepper Mill – Item of the Day

mill

Special Note – The hand finished walnut version of this item I review here is what I paid 50 bucks for 11 years ago, when I first did this posting it was selling still for almost that much on Amazon.  I brought it back around because it is currently on sale for 35.48, which is now less then the painted one mentioned in the PS below.  This is a fantastic price, again I have owned mine now for 11 years, it is still just as good as they day I bought it.

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Fletchers’ Federal Pepper Mill. Now I know there are some that might ask why in the world anyone would pay about 50 dollars for a pepper mill?  The answer is because 9 years ago at a store, I found this mill, there was a promotional tag on it that said, “the last pepper mill you will ever buy”.

I snorted with condescension, but I also didn’t put it down.  Just that day I had thrown away yet another piece of junk pepper mill that crapped out.  My philosophy is always get the best value to performance ratio you can.  Another way of saying this is “always be frugal never be cheap”.

Frugal looks at total cost, cheap looks at cost today only.  Throwing out 5 or more 15 – 20 dollar pepper grinders over 5 years, costs 75-100 dollars and you get shitty performance during those years.

With skepticism I took the mill to the counter, mumbling under my breath “for this price it had better be” once again reading the propaganda saying, “the last pepper mill you will ever buy”.  Did it live up to the hype.

Well “last ever” is a bold claim!  I can’t say yet if that is true, even making allowances for buying a second one, or one as a gift.  Will this thing ever die?  I don’t know, I do know I have had it for 11 years, a year longer than I have been doing TSP.  With that in mind, last night, I made a Foraged Bloody Mary and when I did I grabbed this very mill, and it worked as good as the day I bought it.

The one bit of maintenance I do is every time I empty it, before refilling it I take the top off, turn it upside down, depress the bottom a few times and clean out the dust, then refill and rock on.  Is there anything better than the Fletchers’ Federal Pepper Mill I don’t really know, but if it costs more, I would not see the need to pay more.

A final note, when you cook with pepper or use it on food, please use it fresh ground.  Pepper has a lot of oils in it, that is where all the aroma and flavor come from.  This is why preground smells like, well nothing and fresh cracked smells, amazing.

As to the best deal on premium quality pepper corns, check out my write up on Tellicherry Peppercorns, or just get them at amazon, they are, Spicy World Tellicherry Peppercorns.  In any event no matter what pepper you prefer you should pick up the Fletchers’ Federal Pepper Mill to grind it in.  If not now, perhaps the next time you bang a cheap mill on the counter, curse under your breath and hold it up and look at the underside as though as it is an old Chevy in need of suspension work.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

PS – I have linked to the “Walnut” finished model.  Please note there are other finishes, some painted, some of smaller size.  The internals of all the PEPPER MILLS are the same, and there is some pricing variation.  For instance if you want one painted a sort of cinnamon color, you can get it for half the price.   This makes sense as hand finishing wood is more labor intensive than a simple lacquered paint finish.

And that is great, do use some care in your selection as some of the models you can select on the page are actually salt mills, like this one.  I am sure they work just fine, but the grinders are different as they are designed for a different purpose.

 

Fermax Yeast Nutrient – Item Of The Day

fermax

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Fermax Yeast Nutrient.  This is my go to yeast nutrient for making meads.  Think of this stuff as food for your yeasts.  There are two ways to use this stuff when making mead.

First the lazy man’s way, which is what I do.  When brewing add 1tsp-2tsp per gallon as though it is just part of your ingredients.  The philosophy here is that the yeast will use it as they need it.  It will give them a boost and get your fermentation to finish faster.

The first method is used mostly by people making fruit meads, or meads with other ingredients that provide some nutrient anyway.  Meads that would likely finish just fine with out Fermax, the little boost just speeds things along and helps you get a full fermentation.

The second method is a timed multiple introduction.  There are many schools of thought on this but the most common is feed your mead at brewing then on days 2, 4 and 6 in staggered additions.  For a gallon you would use about 1/2-1tsp per feeding.

The rational here is yeast need nutrient at different times during there growth cycles and by feeding them at these time frames you give them what they need when they most need it.

Personally I only do staggered additions when making a classic mead, that is to say honey, water, yeast and no fruits, herbs, etc.  In that case since you are not providing nutrients from other ingredients the staggered additions give you a much faster finish with less chance of a “stuck mead”.

I want to point out two things, the schedule above is ONE of many.  Ask some and they feed at 12, 24 and 48 hours after brewing, some have more complex schedules.  The key is all of these “work” if they didn’t, no one would keep doing them.

Second is that many mead makers have moved on from Fermax to products called Fermaid K and Fermaid O.  Those are fine products as well, but they cost more and I found no real gain in how fast and how clean my meads finished with them, so I went back to Fermax, which I have been using for about 18 years with great results.  Basically in this world I have sided with “if it ain’t broke don’t try to fix it”.

You will note I recommend the 1 pound bag, this is the most cost effective size for the home mead maker.  A 4 ounce bag is only 2 dollars less so buying it is just stupid.  If you are getting started in the world of mead Fermax Yeast Nutrient deserves a spot in your kit.

Remember you can always find the TSP Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

 

Demitri’s Bacon RimShot for Bloody Mary’s – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Demitri’s Bacon RimShot for that perfect rimmed glass for that perfect Bloody Mary.  Right up front is there any way this is a preparedness item?  No, but it is a lifestyle item and much of what we focus on here is lifestyle.  Let me tell you the story of how this stuff came into my life.

I have this friend David, my partner in crime at Biltong for Breakfast.  One of his things is mixology and the guy makes some stellar drinks, like the artwork above, a Bloody Mary he recently made at our second filming.   Now I am not sure what a proper Bloody Mary Glass is, apparently it is simply a High Ball Glass but I was checking into some on Amazon and this stuff popped up as a related item.

I almost bought some but then I thought, hmm, bet I can get David to buy this.  So I shot a text over to him, “hey have you seen this” and less than ten minutes later a return text with, “you know I had to order that right” came back.

Hook, line and sinker!  And I knew it would get better, I knew that the next time he came over he’d bring it and make me a Bloody.  The only thing better than a perfect weekend morning with a Bloody you made, is a perfect weekend morning with a Bloody someone made for you.

Okay this stuff was the bomb, it took an already fantastic drink and made it better.  Yes that is actual bacon in those drinks, along with cilantro, an onion, a gerkin, colored carrot, celery, olives, peppers and I think part of the kitchen sink is in there too.  It is literally a breakfast you can drink.   We have also discovered celery bitters and using them in our drinks now as well, got to say they take the bloody to another level as well.

This is where the story gets better, David noticed you actually get two packs of the bacon salt with the tin.  So being the good friend he is, he gave me one to experiment with.  Then in packing up his drink kit he forgot to take his celery bitters and his bloody mix with him.  Did I say the best bloody is one someone makes for you?  May be, but one you make on a Sunday from the found spoils of a friend who forgot them, well that is a strong runner up.

So Sunday morning we had the family coming for the day, like the entire family.  Prior to their arrival I concocted the bloody you see below.  Not quite the art work that David did, but I didn’t have the time really.  See that mini pepper though, yea stuffed that thing with garlic and jalapeno yogurt cheese I made myself, then capped it with some of that bacon salt.  Holy crap I could eat 100 of those things.

This has me wondering what else we might do with this ingredient.  Yes rimming a Bloody Mary glass with it is fantastic, but the flavor is basically pepper, salt and bacon, I mean there has to be a multitude of uses for this stuff.  So give Demitri’s Bacon RimShot a try and add it to your personal favorite way to make a Bloody and see what other uses you can come up for with it.   I will tell you, as I sat on my new back porch with the dogs, milking that drink for a full 45 minutes of the pre crowd peace I had left, I realized that there is a strong possibility that Bloody Mary Sundays may become a ritual around here.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – I have not tried these yet but they intrigue me, the same company makes some pretty interesting mixer concentrates.  Keeps the shipping down as they are bases that you add your own tomato juice to.  And this may be over the top, if that is possible in the Bloody Mary World, but they even make pepperoni meat straws, yea really.  Ya, gotta love the innovation of the free market!

 

Hamilton Beach Electric Kettle – Item of the Day

kettleEvery day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day the Hamilton Beach Electric Kettle.  This item gets used daily.  Now I paid a bit more for mine to get a red one.  Why?  Dorothy likes and wanted a red one.  Well, when a woman puts up with all the crap that a full time podcaster and part time farmers wife puts up with and asks for red, by God she is gonna get it from me anyway.  By the way since the first time I posted this item, the cost of the red one has dropped to almost no real difference in price.

In the end though red or silver they function identically and the silver one is only $24.57 with free shipping on prime.  What do you do with it?  Well clearly you boil water with it but here are my big uses for mine…

  1.  Making mead as seen in this video
  2. I make 4 boiled eggs with no effort in it at a time (more on that below)
  3. I make my tea or coffee with my French Press with it every day
  4. I pre heat water with it for boiling when I am doing a lot of cooking

Okay about those eggs, want perfect eggs hard boiled to this, with any electric kettle by the way.  Put 1-4 eggs in the kettle, fill about half way with water, turn the kettle on, most will automatically stop when they boil, this one does.  When it shuts off, set a timer for 12 minutes, let it just sit for that long.  Pour off the water, rinse with cold water to cool things off and remove your eggs.

Why does this work so well.  Okay when you do the same thing with a pot the eggs sit on the bottom and get hotter on the bottom and get hotter than the 212 it takes to boil the water.  And electric kettle is efficient, heat comes from all sides evenly heating the water, which is why it boils faster.

Due to this your eggs are heated to the exact 212 range of the water and boil to hard perfectly.  Add a tsp of vinegar and they will even peal more easily.  Oh, also use eggs about 2 weeks old for boiling if you have fresh from your own yard eggs, they will peal easily compared to super fresh ones as well.

In any event a good Electric Kettle is something I just could not live without in my kitchen, and the Hamilton Beach Electric Kettle is the best value to price one I have yet found.  Consider that it has 4.5 stars over all with over 700 reviews and it makes a lot of sense that it is a quality product.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

 

 

 

Fermtech Mini Auto-Siphon With Tubing – Item of the Day

autosiph

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Fermtech Mini Auto-Siphon With Tubing.  As many of you know I am a huge fan of small batch mead making.  In fact at the recent workshop I demonstrated why by making a batch of mead, racking a batch into the secondary and bottling a batch and did all of that in under 30 minutes.

I have been making mead, wines, ciders and beers for a long time, like 20 years in all.  But I really got into small batch meads (one gallon) last year when Michael Jordan showed me how fast and simple it could be.

The problem was for 20 years I made 5 gallon batches and a big racking cane was just a pain in the ass for siphoning a gallon, so I checked to see if there was a mini cane and found a bunch of options and settled on this one.

I like that it comes with 6 feet of tubing.  Frankly I cut it in half and find 3 feet about perfect for transferring from one container to another (racking).  I no longer use a bottling wand for bottling, instead I rack to a 2.5 gallon carboy and use the spigot on it to fill my bottles.

I looked for a 2.5 gallon carboy to recommend on Amazon, they have them but DO NOT buy one there, I get mine from Uline.  The ones on Amazon are all like 20-35 bucks, which is just stupid.  You can get them here on Uline or 14 bucks a piece.  And yes I have fermented in them as well for larger batches.

Okay back to the racking cane/auto-siphon.  This thing rocks, you put your hose on it, put it into the vessel you want to rack to, pump it one to two times and it starts flowing.  I rack from a small step stool and set that on my counter and put my receiving vessel in the sink.  Makes clean up a snap.    With small batch meads, ciders and wines you will transfer each batch at least twice and the Fermtech Mini Auto-Siphon With Tubing is the easiest and fastest way to get the job done.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – While I focused on using this for making mead, ciders and wines above, if you check out the reviews on Amazon; you’ll find a ton of very happy kombucha brewers that use this item as well.

Walkerswood Traditional Jamaican Jerk Seasoning – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s item of the day is Walkerswood Traditional Jamaican Jerk Seasoning, I prefer the Hot and Spicy but you can also get it in Mild or in a Pack with One Each.  I like heat, but I don’t like mental crazy heat and to me anyway, the hot and spicy is fairly mild.

This is another one of my “cooking cheat codes” building on Friday’s review of Doenjang Paste.  I have always loved Jamaican food, especially the star of the show, jerk chicken.  So long ago I taught myself to make it from scratch.  When I met my former business partner and fellow foodie Neil Franklin, he told me about this stuff, and said, “just try it mate, you’ll never do it from scratch again“.

Neil was spot on, and a look at the ingredients shows you why, no junk and the core of solid jerk seasoning, scallions, scotch bonnet peppers, salt, black pepper, all spice, nutmeg, citric acid, cane sugar, thyme leaves.

Not far off what I used to make from scratch.  And a hell of a lot easier and faster!

It is so easy to use, rub it all over chicken, put chicken in a zip top bag and let it sit over night in the fridge.  You can then bake at 350 till done, kick the broiler on and crisp the skin.  Oh and save that juice, add that to a bit of rice and it is hard to not eat until you think you are going to explode.

My favorite way to use it though is grilled, low and slow over indirect heat.  If you want the juice put a drip pan under it, then give the drippings a quick simmer over direct heat to be safe.  And guess what I just found out, you can buy pimiento wood chips.  In Jamaica real jerk chicken is cooked over pimento wood.  So just make up a foil pouch of chips and poke some holes in it and bring that final bit of flavor to the party.

So that is main reason why this stuff exists, making jerk chicken and if that was all it did, it would be enough.  Remember though, this is a Spirko cheat code, so you know I have more to add.  Rub large shrimp with it, dust them with a bit of lime zest, bacon wrap and grill on skewers.  The shrimp, the bacon grease, the lime, the jerk, yes it is all very, very good.  Make a sauce from rum with pineapple for these and you may think you died and went food heaven.

Spirko Hack – When bacon wrapping shrimp it is hard to get bacon crisp without over cooking the shrimp.  Step one, par cook the bacon, to where it renders about 1/3rd of the fat but will still wrap easily.  Step two, put a cast iron skillet on the grill or a side burner, put each skewer on the cast iron for 15-20 seconds per side at finish.

How about jerked baby back ribs, really easy ones that are almost no work!  Rub your ribs well and marinate over night.  Sacrifice a beer into your pressure cooker, put in steaming rack, then add ribs, pressure cook for 40-50 minutes.  Take out ribs and make a base from the stuff in the bottom of the cooker 50-50 with your favorite BBQ sauce.  To do this simmer it to reduce by half and blend in about the same amount of BBQ sauce, after the reduction.  Baste top of ribs and finish on grill or under broiler.  Save some of the baste for dipping.  Just cook long enough to dry out the baste and firm up the ribs, about 10-15 minutes.

Jamaican meat balls, there is no such thing.  Oh but there can be!  Finely chop one 12-16 ounce pack of bacon (oh you thought I was just going to mix this and hamburger didn’t you?), now add one pound of ground beef and one pound of pork and the bacon to a bowl.  Chop up a bunch of green onions and a few cloves of garlic.  Use about 1-2 tablespoons of Walkerswood seasoning, I do this by eye.  Add one egg and half a cup of panko bread crumbs to bind.

Mix well and this is important, let it sit for an hour at least, over night is better.  Bake in a 400-425 degree oven until done.  I like to bake them on a rack so the drippings fall away and they crisp a bit with the convection roast setting, save those drippings though, use foil for easy cleaning.  Why does it have to sit before cooking, those wonderful panko crumbs suck up all that seasoning and hold onto it, that is why.

Frankly you can jerk up just about any meat and even some veggies with this stuff, so give Walkerswood Hot and Spicy, Mild or Variety Pack a try today.  It doesn’t just make great chicken, it makes great everything.

One last hack you say?  Okay, next time you are hungry for burgers, mix some into your meat.  Also coat one side of some bacon with it, grill your burgers and bacon, also slice an apple into about 1/4 inch slices, (trust me), grill the apple till just done and grill some chili peppers, seeded jalapeno is good.  Now assemble the burger with peppers and apple where say lettuce and tomato would normally go.  Of course cheese is optional but highly encouraged on this, pepper jack is my preference.  Toast your bun of course with a brushing of garlic butter.  So now you are hungry right?  So you know what to do, get some Walkerswood Today.

Remember you can always find the TSP Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – It seems that this seasoning and chicken thighs will be featured on a new episode of Biltong for Breakfast soon, something about a salad with jerk chicken or something like that!

P.S.S.  – The mild version is the exact same ingredients, just less scotch bonnet peppers.

CamelBack M.U.L.E. – Item of the Day

muelEvery day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the CamelBack M.U.L.E.  What exactly does M.U.L.E. stand for, well that would be “Medium to Ultra Long Endeavors”.  This is my go to pack and it has only gotten better over the years, I bought mine over 9 years ago, I am still using it, it is still in great condition.

In fact the video below is from a short hike we did in Arkansas over 8 years ago.  I mean this is SO LONG AGO, I Have an iPod in the electronics pouch vs. an iPhone!  I mean really I have been though 4 iPhones in those 9 years and I still have the same pack.

I will say this pack doesn’t have massive cargo capacity but is is plenty for EDC and basic trail emergency gear on short hikes.  It excels for mountain biking because it is not over sized.  My number one use is wearing it while working on the farm in our 100 plus degree heat, so I stay hydrated and do not pass out.

If you want a larger capacity for cargo check out the CamelBack H.A.W.G. – Which stands for “Holds A Lot of Water and Gear”.  It is basically an up-sized version of the M.U.L.E.  Unless I am taking a major hike or spending an over night or something like that I prefer the lighter and smaller format of the CamelBack M.U.L.E.

I personally feel that the CamelBack concept as a whole has saved many lives over the years and prevented likely 10 of thousands of cases of basic heat exhaustion and trips to the ER for heat stroke.  In my days in the military, especially in Panama and Honduras, the number one injury I witnessed was what is called a “heat casualty” and it always came down to insufficient hydration.

If you are in the market for a top quality hydration solution and want to be able to carry a nice amount of gear along with it, take a look at the CamelBack M.U.L.E. today.  It isn’t the cheapest item in the category but for a pack that has lasted 9 years and is still going strong, as often is the case you get what you pay for.   At 80-130 bucks (depending on the one you pick) with free shipping, this pack is worth every cent.  And hey that is less than I paid for mine, so many years ago.

When I first got this Dorothy liked the idea but thought is was “too expensive”, so she bought some cheapo hydration back pack, (the kind with no cargo space) from Academy for herself.  It failed, she bought another.  At that point I had, had enough and ordered her a M.U.L.E. and of course I paid extra to get it in red for her.  Where that second cheapo is I know not, likely in a land fill somewhere, but her red CamelBack is still in service.

Remember you can always find the TSP Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

Here is my video from 2009, this pack is slightly faded from the brutal southern sun but still going strong.

Frontier Whole Chamomile Flower Tea – Item of the Day

chamomtea

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Frontier Whole Chamomile Flower which is sold by the pound.  This stuff is awesome, I use it in many of my teas and in my infamous “Three Flowers Blend” for mead.

There is a lot to like about this item.  First and this is important to me, these are whole flowers as you can see in the photo above.  I have purchased many different brands of chamomile and many times I have gotten what looked more like dust and chaff than whole flowers.

Next this is an Organic product.  I would love to buy organic or local all the time, but we all have financial limits.  With herbs though, especially in bulk you can generally justify the very small cost increase.  This product is actually less per pound than some competing non organic options.

Lastly is taste, and face it if you don’t get good flavor what is the point.  Any medicinal or nutritional value is going to be depleted if flavor is depleted.  This stuff has a wonderful sweet flavor and a characterist I can only describe as “buttery”.

Here are some of my favorite recipes for using this stuff.

Jacks Morning Blend – Nine Mile Farms Tea

Spearmint Orange Winter Warmer Tea

Both of these are best made with a quality tea infuser or a French Press.  When I make them with a french press I use four tablespoons for my first batch and then just add 1 additional tablespoon for each additional batch that day.

Three Flowers Blend (3FB)

Three Flowers Blend started as a tea, frankly I didn’t really like it as a hot or even a cold tea.  The heather imparts a bitterness that isn’t really pleasant in a sipping tea.  But it intrigued me so I tried making a mead with it and man was it amazing.  People love it.

Per gallon of mead, use 3/4th of a cup of 3FB, 3 pounds of honey and 1 Tablespoon of Fermax.  Ferment for 30 days with a pack each of Cuvee and Pasteur Blanc yeast.  Rack and ferment at least 15 more days until completely clear.  Then bottle.

Finally I want to point out that Frontier Whole Chamomile Flower tea is damn good all by itself.  Just about 2 tablespoons to the large cup or 1 tablespoon to a standard tea cup and it is wonderful tea.  It is also a great ingredient in herbal salves and in soap making.

Additionally chamomile is wonderful for bees, just make a concentrated tea with your French Press, dump that into your sugar syrup when you are making it up and feed as normal.  DO NOT put loose leaf tea directly into your syrup, it will make a mess you can’t imagine.   I don’t know this from experience, I know it from common sense, trust me on it.

Also did you know Chamomile tea suppresses mold?  I have learned this growing micro greens.  I just make up a strong tea and put it in a spray bottle and spray young micro greens with it to suppress mold from messing them up and it works great.  I also toss a pinch in my sunflower soaking bucket for my sunflower spouts for the birds and no mold.

Lastly, chamomile also makes wonderful herbal cough drops you can make yourself, here is an article on doing that with any herbs of your choice.  It is super easy and much better than what you buy in the store.

So with all that going for it consider adding Frontier Whole Chamomile Flower to your pantry and preps today.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – You will note that all the links above are for one pound bags. I buy in bulk because it is cheaper, they store forever if you put them in sealed ball jars and I use a lot.

You will also note that all of the linked items are Davidson’s, Frontier or Starwest Botanicals.  I have never been unhappy with any of these companies.  So I usually shop all three for any bulk herb and pick the best price because to me they are all beyond stellar.  The one exception is heather flowers, because they do not carry them.  If you want to make some 3FB just know 4 ounces of heather flower is a LOT of heather and unlike many other herbs you likely won’t use it for many other things.