Category Archives: Amazon Reviews

Frontier Organic Lemon Pepper – Amazon 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 Frontier Organic Lemon Pepper.  As always I recommend buying herbs/spices by the pound, buying by the ounce is a suckers game.  Also while I don’t eat 100% organic, I feel in this case you really should. 

Lemon pepper is made with lemon zest (the yellow part of the peel).  The citrus industry is one of the most heavy users of pesticides in the world.  When you think about these things being sprayed and the out side of the peel being removed and eaten, well, if you want a conventional product go for it.

Okay so as you might imagine this one is going to come with a recipe, but not just any recipe, the best lemon pepper herb chicken you will ever and I mean ever eat.  If you are making a lot just double the recipe, and it will work with any chicken but I formulated this for either boneless skinless thy or breast.  If you are doing breast cut it into thinner and smaller slices before starting.

Jack’s Lemon Pepper Herbed Chicken

  • 1/3rd cup of olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 of a lemon and the zest
  • 2 oz of white wine
  • 2 tsp of rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp of lemon pepper
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary (if it is large needles crush it with your fingers a bit)
  • 1/2 tsp of basil
  • About 1 teaspoon of dry mustard – or as much as you need to emulsify.
  • Skinless boneless chicken (as much as you want to make, the above will do about 4 breast halves or about 8-10 thy cutlets.

Wait?  What the heck is emulsify?  Okay this marinade is made of oil, lemon juice, wine and rice vinegar.  Do you know what happens when they are put together, well in short they don’t get together.

The wine, vinegar and lemon juice all blend and the oil floats on top.  How can we get a good uniform marinade like that?  Well we can’t!  So we need an emulsifier, this lets us blend an oil and a water based liquid and keep them together.  For instance mayonnaise is an emulsification.  Made mostly of eggs and oil.  This emulsification is much easier though.  The dry mustard will allow us to mix oil and the other liquids and suspend them while keeping the mustard flavor very low compared to “prepared mustard”.

So take a ball jar and put all the ingredients except the chicken into it.  Put the lid on and shake the hell out of it.  Like for a good 45 seconds to a minute.  Stop shaking and let it sit for about a minute, take a look and see if the liquids stay mixed.  It is normal for the herbs to settle some but the liquids should not separate.  If all is well continue, if it is separating give it another bit of dry mustard and repeat.

Put all your chicken into a large zip lock bag, shake the marinade one more time to get the herbs all suspended again and dump it into the bag.  Push most of the air out of the bag, massage the bag and work the marinade all over everything.  Put in a bowl (in case it leaks, which would suck without the bowl) and put it in the fridge.  Leave it over night, a few times during this period massage up the bag and flip it over.

The next day remove the chicken and put it on a few paper towels for about 30 minutes at room temp.  This is important or you will be frying in a pool of oil and it will be hard to get  good brown.  Then fry in a pan of your choice or grill until done.  Don’t over cook it!  Cook to 145 if you use an instant read thermometer, but I can just tell when it is done by feel.

You can make this with any lemon pepper and it will be very good, you may find yourself addicted to it.  But if you want a superior organic product consider adding Frontier Organic Lemon Pepper to your pantry today.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

Dr. Earth Premium Gold Organic Fertilizer – 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 Dr. Earth Premium Gold Organic Fertilizer.  This is part of my 4 core item regime for producing healthy and heavy bearing plants.   I have written about this before but my four core items are, GS Plant Foods Liquid Kelp Fertilizer, Garrett Juice Plus, Endo Mycorrhizae Fungal Inoculation and of course Dr. Earth Premium Gold Organic Fertilizer.  You can find them all under the tag “fertility” in one place.

So given there are many fine quality organic solid fertilizers, why have I settled on Dr. Earth Premium Gold?  First is that it is a balanced fertilizer, with an NPK ratio of 4-4-4 and what that means is that you are always giving your plants a good boost of all three primary nutrients.

Next is the make up, here are the ingredients: Fish meal, fish bone meal, mined potassium sulfate, soft rock phosphate, kelp meal, seaweed extract, and earthworm castings. Also contains humic acid (5%), aloe vera (2%), and yucca extract (1%), and prebiotic microbial food – soluble sugars (7%). In other words it doesn’t rely on any single source and hence you get a much more balanced source of nutrients for plants.   Also note the humic acid included here, this goes beyond just fertilizer, it helps build soil and make all nutrients easier for the plants to absorb.

Of course you know that I am big on building soil as well, which is one reason I recommend a fungal inoculation in addition to fertilizers and foliar sprays.  Well Dr. Earth Fertilizer builds upon that, because it contains seven strains of beneficial soil microbes plus ecto and endo mycorrhizae to build up even more soil biology.

To really dive home how well this combination works take a look at one of my wicking beds.  These beds were planted with small plants about 5 weeks ago.  On planting the roots were dusted with fungal inoculation, I put a small pinch of Dr. Earth Premium Gold Organic Fertilizer into the hole with them and they have been twice sprayed with a mix of Garrett Juice and Liquid Kelp.  I think you will agree the vigor, growth and health are all very evident.

Click for Full Sized Image

So give Dr. Earth Premium Gold Organic Fertilizer a shot on your garden today.  You can get a 4lb bag for only 12.00.  And two bags will serve most vegetable gardeners well over a season, possibly two. Again I just drop a small amount into the hole when I plant and about once a season I pull back mulch, add a pinch around my plants and water it in after replacing the mulch.

If you want to load up though they now have 50 pound bags on Amazon as well.

When I establish a new bed I also scatter a small amount across the entire surface before adding the mulch layer.  If you want to really push things into super high biological activity, sprinkle a small amount of dry molasses on the soil at that time as well.   Due to shipping costs I recommend  you source dry molasses locally, most garden and landscape shops will have it.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

 

Monoprice Releasable Cable Ties – Item of the Day

cabeltiesEvery 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 something I feel no one should be without.  They just do too much, for too little cost to not have some.  They are Monoprice Releasable Cable Ties and at only nine bucks and some change for 100 pieces they are a steal.

Get a few bags and do the following.  Make up bundles of about 20-30 a bundle.  Just use one tie to hold the rest together.  Put a bundle in your BOBs, put one in every glove box of your vehicles, put some in your garage where you can see them and just grab them, etc.  Heck I keep half a dozen as part of my EDC, you don’t even notice them in a cargo pocket until you need them.

The key is the releasable part!  We even use these for keeping gates closed on our low fences for our ducks.  I keep a few tied on top of various fences all over the property, so if you need one there is always one close by.   They are very strong and stay flexible a long time.  They tend to last about 1.5-2 years if in direct sun before becoming brittle.  Otherwise they seem to last forever.

I use them for many other things as well.  I use them to tie up new seedling trees for say a month until they stiffen up.  Since you can remove and reuse them it is cheaper than plant tape.  I use them to tie 4 large hog panels into a square and make an on the fly animal pen.  There is no limit to how useful these things are.

Sure they are kind of small at 6 inches, but you want 18 inches?  Put three together and when you don’t need that any more take them apart.  And since I first started recommending these they have added a lot of different sizes.  They now have them in 6, 8, 10 and 12 inch lengths.  So the choice is yours.

So just how versatile are cable ties in general, okay I am going to tell you a story, I am NOT SUGGESTING THAT you do it, it is just what happened.  Many years ago when I was in the Army I had two friends, Brad and Dean.  Dean was the one that owned a truck and he was a “character” to say the least.

Dean would just toss Brad or I the keys anytime we needed his truck.  One day we wanted to run to the PX, so Dean tosses Brad the keys.  In we jump and to the PX and back we go, beer run of course.  Brad is a typical guy from Southern Louisiana so he bends speed limits till they break.  We get back an Dean says, “oh yea, I should of told y’all to take it easy until the new tie rod gets here”.

Brad and I get down and look and see that fricken Dean had used 4 tie wraps to hold a broken tie rod together.  As in it had broken in two and he tie wrapped it back together.   For those that don’t know, the tie rod holds the front searing brackets to the frame so you can turn.   Kind of an important function!  So Brad almost kills Dean but later we laughed about it, because when you are 20 you are stupid!

That has always stuck with me and while I would not replicate it as a “temporary repair”, I would replicate it with great care and driving very slowly to get a vehicle to safety in a similar situation.   Trust me and if you don’t keep cable ties in your preps, start doing so and the best ones for flexibility and usefulness are Monoprice Releasable Cable Ties.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

P.S. I have brought this item back a many times, the reason is simple, if I made a list of the top 5 most useful things on my homestead, I am sure it would change over time, but these would never fail to make the list.

 

 

 

Birchwood Casey Gun Scrubber – 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 Birchwood Casey Gun Scrubber (synthetic safe formula).  I remember when I was a kid and used to clean my uncle’s gun because “I got to”, yea I really thought that way.  Mostly that cleaning was a brush and a mop thought the bore and a clean out of the chamber and wipe down with a oil rag.  But sometimes he would help, we would break the gun down and really give it a full cleaning.

The first time we did this I discovered Birchwood Casey Gun Scrubber I thought at that time and still do think today, the stuff is like magic.  Every bit of residue, oil, etc, gone in a second, the metal is ice cold and dry at the same time.  This stuff belongs in every gun cleaning and maintenance kit.

Let’s talk about the synthetic safe thing though.  Flash 8 years later and young Jack Spirko is a private in basic training.  He is cleaning his 20 year old Vietnam Era M16A1 and it feels like spit shinning a turd.  No matter what he does, the Sergeant Major’s tiny thin ass pinky can always seem to find some dirt in his weapon’s chamber, he thinks “if only I had some Birchwood Casey Gun Scrubber.”

Young Spirko gets though basic and goes to AIT (advanced individual training) more of the same, Drill Sergeants yelling, lots of training, daily PT and more inspections.  One thing changes though he gets a bit more freedom, like the ability to go to the PX.  Young Spirko goes to the sporting goods section of the PX, hoping against hope and there he finds his long sought Birchwood Casey.  He buys 4 cans and shares with all the guys in his squad bay.  These 8 guys are going to rock the next inspection!

The spray does its magic but this is in the days before the average person had synthetic stocks, young Spirko has never even touched a weapon with synthetic stocks until enlisting.  Something horrible happens!  Every where the stuff touches the stocks, they turn bleached out whitish gray!  Oh shit!

Fortuitously Spirko’s squad leader (a prior service Marine) had seen this before, a bit of black shoe polish mixed with tiny amount of CLP (civilians call it gun oil) and a wipe down of the stocks and they are back to looking like shitty 1970s era hardware they are.  The day was saved and while the squad didn’t get though the next inspection totally gig free, weapons wise they did very well.

Well, I continued to spread the word about Birchwood Casey Gun Scrubber when I went to my permanent duty station.  With a warning about getting it on the stocks and the remedy if you did.  It made a lot of soldiers really happy.

In 1993 I finished my time in service and came to Texas.  I continued to use Birchwood Casey and about 2012 if I remember right I was at a place called Academy Sports and Outdoors.  Picking up some stuff for a range trip and found the synthetic safe version.  I tried it and it worked just as good as the original, and a spot or two on your stock was no longer a disaster.

Now let me tell you the one important thing about this stuff, it is basically stripper.  It takes EVERYTHING off gun metal except say bluing or parkerizing.  All dirt but also every drop of oil, etc.  This means it is a cleaner not a maintainer, and you need to properly lube or lightly coat with oil any metal that it touches after cleaning it, as otherwise it will be unprotected.

So if you want to keep your guns at the ultimate level of clean pick up some Birchwood Casey Gun Scrubber today.  I recommend at least 2 cans at all times in your kit.  Because of course two is one and one is none.

Final Warning – When I say this stuff takes all grease, grime, soot, powder residue, etc. off I mean it.  Do not spay this stuff over an unprotected area or it will be covered in gun gick!  Your wife will kill you if you do this over the dining room table!  Put down a layer of like two old towels and for best results do it outside.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

Crosman Nitro Venom Break Barrel Air Rifle – Item of the Day

nitrovenom

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 Crosman Nitro Venom Break Barrel Air Rifle available in both 22 Caliber and 177 Caliber.  A few months ago I set out to find the best value to price ratio in break barrel air rifles and settled on this one.

There is a lot to like about the Nitro Venom Series.  First is price, there are better break barrel guns out there but nothing close to this that I have found in the 200 dollar and under range.  Next is quality of fit and finish, now a high end Weatherby this gun is not but as a pellet gun the finish is very well done.  Next we have power.  The 22 caliber version will put standard lead pellets down range at 800 FPS and the 177 smokes em down range at 1000 FPS.

Now were it really comes together is accuracy, please understand that piston guns have a break in period, more on that in a second.  That said I was getting decent groups out of the box with this gun.  After a full break in of 500 rounds I can now drill a quarter at 20 yards, and I can knock holes in beer cans off my back fence from my porch, about 60 yards.

Now another feature that I really liked and led me to this pick was the integrated picatinny rail.  By that I mean the rail is fused to the receiver, not bolted on.    Piston guns have forward recoil, they can be hard on scopes but harder on rings and mounts.  Because this rail is welded to the receiver you eliminate an entire point of failure, this rail is NOT going to move.

The included rings are 4×4 rings, meaning they have 4 vs 2 bolts for each ring, this is really important with forward recoil.  The included Centerpoint 3×9 Scope is in my opinion the only weak point, but I would pay the price for this gun with no scope so I am fine with it, in fact it is still on my gun.  It isn’t a bad scope and it does hold zero (over 2000 rounds now).

It is just not a really clear scope.  I don’t expect Leopold quality in a scope at this level but suffice to say it could be better.  I will likely eventually put a UTG 4X32 1″ Mil-dot Airgun Scope on mine, I currently have that scope on my Crosman 392 and I really like it.  I also think 4x is plenty of power for an airgun and like mildot to play with hold over and windage at extended ranges (50-100 yards).

On break in, one of the nice things about nitro piston is they break in faster.  Older style pistons took 1500 or more to really settle in.  Most now break in at about 1000 shots.  Nitros tend to settle in at about 200-300 but I go 500 before I really start dialing in the “perfect pellet” for it.

Here is my basic break in.  I get the gun hitting about center at say 10 yards, then move it to 25 yards, get it basically hitting center, not really concerned about a tight group.  Then I put 100 cheap ass pellets in a small dish on my back porch.  Every time I get a chance I shoot it until I am bored.  I just shoot some of my metal targets off hand until the bowl is empty.  I do that until I get though 5 bowls and then get down to picking the best pellet.

So far one of the most accurate pellets this gun shoots is a pleasant surprise.  They are the quite inexpensive Crosman Premier 22 Hollow Points.  As this is a fine hunting pellet and only $5.82 for 500 rounds, I have pretty much settled on it.  It has been more than adequate for squirrels and rabbits so far.

The other thing to do is check the scope rings/mounts every so often during break in.  This means check tightness but don’t keep torquing them down more and more every time, just make sure you are not getting movement or loosening.  You can also mark your scope with a grease pencil along the rings which will show you any movement of the scope.  Though be aware it is easy to wipe off.

So if you are in the market for a good quality piston air rifle that doesn’t cost as much as an entry level center fire rifle, check out the Nitro Venom in your choice of 22 Caliber or 177 Caliber today.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

 

Anker Astro E7 26800mAh Portable Charger – 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 the Anker Astro E7 26800mAh Portable Charger.  I have tried a lot of back up power packs and this one is my current favorite.  This product has a great value to price ratio, coming in at 65.99 with free shipping on prime.  It currently has over 2,100 reviews on Amazon with 4.5 stars overall.

Frankly, Anker is just a stellar company, they build high quality products and back them with a great 18 month warranty, though I have never had the need to use said warranty.  Next is the power capacity of this particular power pack, 26800mAhs is enough power to charge a

  • iPhone7 10 times
  • iPad Air 2.5 times
  • iPad Mini 3 times
  • Samsung S6 6.8 times

To put that in perspective I get an easy 24 hours of light use with my iPhone and it still has quite a bit of battery on it.  And if you are in a grid down you minimize use to critical needs, that means this should keep your coms up with your iPhone for a good two weeks.

To me your phone is your lifeline.  It brings you news, it lets you call for help, communicate with loved ones and more.  While I have a generator and several battery banks in my home I am not always in my home.  So I always keep one of these in my pack fully charged as a final back up on power needs.  I recommend you consider the Anker Astro E7 26800mAh Portable Charger for your own needs.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

 

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 all of our reviews at TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com

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.

Tweezerman Professional Stainless Steel Toenail Clippers – 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 Tweezerman Professional Stainless Steel Toenail Clippers.  This may seem like an odd item but well, it is something we all need and something that serves multiple functions.

There is the obvious function, cutting nails and I use these for both toe and fingers nails.  I have always found most toe nail clippers to be for well, I guess children and women.  I have had them come apart and even one time break, I mean the metal cracked.

Next if you don’t keep a set or two of clippers in your fishing gear you either don’t have fishing gear or you are missing out.  I keep a set of these in each of my tackle boxes, so no matter which one I grab I always have them.  Sure you can cut fishing line just fine with a knife but no tool on the planet is better for trimming up rigging then clippers.

Lastly I don’t know what it is but there are three things I lose more than anything else.  They are in order sharpie markers, tape measures and nail clippers.  I just don’t get it, I am talking not leaving a room or a garage, having just had it in my hand and fing GONE LIKE A FART IN THE WIND.  Sometimes they show up, a day, week or month later, sometimes they are gone forever.

I tend not to believe in the super natural but if their are gnomes or some such shit that steals things, they must adore pens, tape measures and nail clippers.   So I want a quality clipper but I also want one that when, not if I lose it, I am not going to be too upset about it.  At $6.68 a piece when I need more I usually buy 2-6 at a time.

Right now I am down to the ones in my tackle boxes and one pair in my medicine cabinet.   Perhaps I should put a rat trap next to it and see if those little gnomes really exist?  In any event for your nail care and your tackle box at this price the Tweezerman Professional Stainless Steel Toenail Clippers just can’t be beat.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

 

“Sand Salt Surf and Sun” – Wicking Fishing Shirts – 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 Item of the day is “Sand Salt Surf and Sun” – Wicking Fishing Shirts.  Now “Sand Salt Surf and Sun” is a brand of design put out by a company called Vapor Apparel.  I happen to like my shirts with something interesting on them, but you can also get these shirts in long and short sleeve in a generic version (plain no design) for on average 10-12 bucks less per shirt if you are so inclined.  Links to all the options are at the end of this review.

Note that the “Sand Salt Surf and Sun” branded stuff and the stuff with no design are the exact same shirts, from the exact same company.  Just one has some sort of art work on it and the other is plain.

There is a lot I like about these shirts, lets start with UPF 50 as a sun protection rating.  UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) is a new standard measure for how well fabrics protect your skin from the sun.  A rating of 50 means only 1/50th of the suns UV radiation will pass though the fabric.  More importantly this is for both UVA and UVB solar radiation.  Most sun screen does a really good job on UVB radiation but is pretty poor at the UVA radiation.

Next is the wicking technology.  To put it bluntly being covered in sweat sucks and the only thing worse is a soaked in sweat shirt that just won’t dry.  It feels like wearing a fricken giant body diaper!  Nasty.  These shirts wick the sweat off you and dry quickly, they turn your sweat into fricken air conditioning.

I wear them all the time now when working in the heat and when fishing in hot weather as well.  I really enjoyed them while wade fishing in the surf recently on Sanibel Island.  Talk about wearing an air conditioner.  When I would get too hot I would just kneel down and soak the entire shirt up to my shoulders (holding the reel above the water of course).  As soon as you stood up  you could feel your core temp drop as the moisture began wicking away and evaporating.

This isn’t really how an air conditioner works, it is more like how an evaporative cooler works, it is actually exactly how they work.  These shirts are great of course for swimming too.  And unlike sunscreen they don’t wash off and don’t expose your skin to chemicals.

As to price that varies based on color, size, designs etc but basically the branded design stuff ranges from about 26-35 dollars a shirt on average.  And the more generic non design plain shirts range from 16 to 19 dollars.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

P.S. – I really like the short sleeved shirts for wearing around the house, out in the yard and even out to dinner.  They look great and are very comfortable.  But when it comes to a day in a boat or at the shore, I vastly prefer the long sleeved ones.

Few reasons.  First it covers your arms from the sun and protects them.  Next especially when fishing and getting wet it increases the cooling power of the evaporative fabric.  Lastly, I can easily push long sleeves up if I want that look or feel, but I can’t stretch short sleeves down if my arms are getting too hot or burned.

P.S.S. – There is a lot of talk that “sun screen causes cancer” and such on the web today.  While there is a vein of truth to it, it isn’t that simple and most of what is online about it is total bullshit.  The best info on the subject and the info I personally trust is from Dr. Mercola.

 

OXA 4-in-1 Immersion Blender – 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 the OXA 4-in-1 Immersion Blender. This item recently came into my life when Dorothy and I made a batch of the famous squash and apple soup we serve at workshops. This soup is basically butternut squash, onions and apples along with some other stuff. You roast the squash and apples, saute the onions, put it all in a big pot with chicken stock and simmer it.

You then process it in a blender (we use our Vitamix which we love for many things) until smooth and it is done and delicious. You know what though we make it by the gallon for workshops and for canning. Transferring a gallon or two of scalding hot squash and apple puree that is almost like veggie napalm is not fun.

Recently while doing a batch I was like I have had enough of this I am going to get an immersion blender. I jumped on Amazon and holy crap, hundreds of options from dirt cheap to really expensive. As usual many highly reviewed models got F grades at Fakespot, fricken review cheaters. Some were really expensive and were true unitaskers. A unitasker is an item that does one thing and yet takes up space and resources. I agree with famous TV chef Alton Brown, I hate unitaskers and only settle for one when only it will do.

Then I found the OXA 4-in-1 Immersion Blender. Went to fakespot and with over 2500 reviews they have an awesome 4.5 stars and a perfect A grade for review quality. First test passed. Then I considered the additional things this item does. It is of course an immersion blender, this means you can blend soups, sauces, etc, in the pot vs transferring back and forth. But it also has a whisk beater for frothing eggs and cream, etc. We won’t use it much but it is nice for frothing a bit of cream to top a Holler Roast Coffee on occasion. Also comes with an acrylic jar to make smoothies and such. Any blender can do this with an appropriate container. So nice but not a huge win.

No for me the big win is the mini food processor attachment. We love pesto and the Vitamix doesn’t work really great for it. I have a big Cuisinart Food Processor but I don’t really want to take it out to make a cup of pesto or two cups of salsa. Honestly we will likely use the mini food processor more then the blender function.

And I call that a win, as I beat the unitasker space eating monster and still won’t have to ladle gallons of scalding soup to feed you guys at fall workshops any more.

Now here is the big thing, the other immersion blenders (unitasker or not) that had significant reviews, were 4.5 star rated and didn’t get a D or F on fakespot were all like 60-90 dollars or more. The OXA 4-in-1 Immersion Blender is 40 bucks. Guys that is a lot of utility and quality for 40 bucks.

So if you are in need of a immersion blender and hate unitaskers like I do, give the OXA 4-in-1 Immersion Blender a shot, I think you will be impressed.  Oh the best part, even with the attachments since it all breaks down, it takes up very little drawer space.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com