Tuesday, October 4, 2011

As Seen on TV: Topsy Turvy

My husband is always teasing/warning me about 'as seen on tv' products. My experience with these enticing sounding items has been mixed. I usually wait to purchase until I see them in a store, but the pasta pot - a pasta cooking pot with a strainer in the lid - would be such a blessing in my pasta-loving family. Both my son and I ordered them from the tv ad. Unfortunately, the lid was difficult to remove when the pasta was hot. It was dangerous in the long run, and wound up in the garbage.

The oxygen bleach cleaner sounded great, but not so. Didn't work as easily or as well as touted on those annoying ads.

The 'gopher' was better, and mine actually found a good home in Romania. (True story.) The gopher is a hand-held arm extender, for want of a better explanation. You squeeze the plastic handle and the three foot long metal arm's business end squeezes around the object on a high shelf you want to reach. I'm pretty tall and can reach most shelves in my house, but I used mine for reaching behind the washer and dryer for lost items. Fairly handy, but it was in the way a bit because I seldom used it. A friend's mother was incapacitated and confined to bed. I gave it to my friend to take to her mom - who loved it, wore it out and is on her second one now. Success!

The topsy-turvy tomato grower - ah! The green cylinder hangs upside down from a tree limb or hook. There is a device to hold the tomato plant inside, and the vine grows downward. Now this sounded like just what I needed to thwart the rabbits and critters in my backyard while providing me with delicious home-grown tomatoes all summer. To be fair, I bought mine at a reduced price in a second hand store and got a late start. I felt lucky to even find a few tomato plants left at a local farm store. I proudly planted the tomato anyway, and imagined all the juicy tomatoes I'd have on sandwiches, over cottage cheese, cut up in omelettes. I could hardly wait. It started out promising. The vine quickly grew, albeit upside-down. I went out of the country for three weeks late in the summer and when I checked in with my husband I always inquired about the health of the vine. On my return, he teased me about the two small green tomatoes that had finally graced the healthy vine. That's okay. Two is better than none. Next year I'll start earlier. An attempted break-in netted the backyard invaders one small green tomato. Yes, in their haste to outrun our dog, the boys evidently grabbed the plant and pulled one of the small tomatoes off. Okay. The larger of the two remained. Yesterday it dropped off. It is now on the kitchen window sill, the most expensive tomato in the world, pound for pound. (Well, even saying 'pound' in the same breath as my tomato is a real stretch.)

Yes, I set this little green beauty on the kitchen window sill in hopes of its reddening up a little despite its having two worm(?) holes at the top, and being barely as tall as a wine cork. Tiny little baby. Here's hoping the topsy turvy delivers the goods when I start it earlier next year. Fried green tomato, anyone?

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