Friday, December 30, 2016

Air Fryer Review

I got an air fryer for Christmas!  Honestly, I'd never even heard of them, but I'm always willing to try out a new gadget!

Before ever opening the box, I did some research - I'd already flipped through the booklet, and knew if that was the limit of what I could make, I was going to need more to try!  Through my research, I determined it is actually just a little oven.  Basically, a toaster oven in a newer shell.

My initial plan was to try it out every single day for two weeks, the first day of which was 12/26/16.  What actually ended up happening is that I've used it four times, and before I ever finished the fourth had made my decision.

Let me say right now that I don't think the product is bad or defective in any way.  This is not a case of that at all.  This is a case of the product not being right for ME and MY HOUSEHOLD.

Okay, let's start.

Monday, 12/26, roasted carrots - I made some carrots in the thing.  The carrots were definitely not cooked through.  When I went back to the recipe, I found it was in Celsius.  I live in Fahrenheit world.  DUH.  Obviously, that was on me.  I increased the temperature and cooked the carrots and they were done.

Thursday, 12/29, roasted potatoes - I cut up a russett potato and a sweet potato.  I cooked them for 10 minutes, shook the basket, then cooked for another 15.  They were done!  They were yummy!  They filled the basket, and were only enough for me.

Thursday, 12/29, mug cake - Yup, you can take a microwave mug cake recipe and (using a glass mug!) bake it in the *ahem* fryer.  It takes longer, but it bakes up deliciously.  Again - only enough for one.

Friday, 12/30, fried chicken - Actually, "baked fried chicken".  What I mean is, any "fried" chicken recipe that's going to work in here is already created with an oven in mind.  You cannot take your deep fried chicken recipe and put it in this machine and expect it to come out the same as it does in oil.  I would've liked to use it to cook our potatoes, too, but I have this thing where I like to eat all my dinner on one plate in one sitting, and you can only cook one thing at a time in the air fryer.  Oh, and I cooked two pounds of chicken and had to do it in three batches, for a total of one hour and fifteen minutes - a full 45 minutes longer than if I'd just thrown it in the oven.

SO, here's my review:

-SUPER EASY clean-up.  Literally, hit it with some hot water and a dish scrubber, dry it off, you're done.
-Automatic shut-off!  Even though it's plugged in, the oven turns off as soon as that timer dings.  No worries about forgetting about it or not hearing the timer and burning your food.
-Fairly versatile.  You can, in fact, cook chicken, steak, fries, cake, fish, and everything it says in it.

-Small size.  Maybe it's just mine, but it's too small to feed a family of 4 even if you're only using it to make a side dish.
-Limited capabilities per use.  You can ONLY cook chicken OR steak OR fries get the drift.  If you want steak AND fries, you still have to turn on your oven.
-Quiet timer ding.  THANK GOODNESS it shuts off the heat when the timer goes off, because if you're not in the same room,you won't hear it!
-Not actually a fryer.  I think my BIGGEST complaint is I feel it's false advertising.  You have all these companies making these "air fryers" and making money off of them, but it's NOT a fryer - it's a circular toaster oven with a fryer basket instead of a baking sheet.

Despite the greater number of cons than pros, this is, as I said, not a bad product.  In fact, I think it would be a pretty great little machine for a person living alone, or perhaps two people.  Oh, or a person who maybe has memory problems or is just generally not somebody you want operating big oven/stove or even a toaster oven.  It is not, however, intended for use when you want to fry/bake more than one thing at a time or for more than two people.

Oh, and if you wondered what kind I was given, it is this one:

I don't find that terribly relevant for my review, though, as they are all essentially the same device.

Monday, December 26, 2016

It's Better Than Not Knowing

The psychiatrist said it first. The psychologist agrees. I think we finally have it - a diagnosis, something to go off of, to plan and make goals for a better today and tomorrow. Jellybean has Borderline Personality Disorder. They're calling it "traits" rather than "disorder", because she's only 11, but it's the same. Friends with BPD have told me: She has a rough time ahead. I can deal with rough, as long as I know why. Knowing why helps me know how to respond. We're lucky, really, to live in a time when the brain is somewhat more understood. A mystery, still, but not for lack of trying. People want to know why, want to know how to help, and so we have wonderful doctors worrying towards that goal. Oh, there are still people who would say, "All that kid needs is a good ass-whooping," but they are no longer the majority. She's lucky, too, to have parents who give a shit, who saw something not right and set about to fix it. No, we won't be able to just "make it all better," but we will be right there beside her - learning how to cope, how to help her adjust the way she responds (if not the way she thinks). Our goal is for her to feel confident to take on the world, to not be held back by a faulty fuse in her brain. Is it really even faulty? Yes, she is the one who will have to adapt to society, but her brain is not bad; it's only different. We have a list of goals to work on over time, but the first is assertiveness. When kids at school upset her, she just ignores them or smiles and pretends she's fine. She has to learn to say, "Please don't do that, it upsets me." She also has to learn her responsibility ends there. If people choose to be dicks after it's pointed out to them, it reflects on THEM, not her. Hell, we could ALL stand to learn THAT!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Tired of life right now...

Hey, blog land, with my zero followers, because who advertises a sporadic blog?  Not I, so you'll just have to accidentally find it.  Probably when I comment on another blog, that's when you'll find me.  Then you'll be like, "What the fuck is this shit?"  Close the window.

Yes.  I said, "fuck."  I like that word.

Also, it's how I feel lately.


My depression.  My daughter's depression.

She's 11, by the way, and was cutting herself in school last week for the attention.  Obviously, we're not paying her any mind what with the psychologist, psychiatrist, play therapist, neurologist, CT scan, and now two different MRIs she's had.  Nope, we're not trying to help her at ALL, so she needs to take sharpener blades and cut the top of her wrist and ask fellow students to choke her with her scarf.  She's quite brilliant, but quite the depressed, anxious, and low self-esteemed child.  I don't know HOW.  She gets attention.  She gets love.  She gets cuddles, hugs, kisses (when she allows it - we practice consent).  She is encouraged to express herself artistically, through her clothing, through anything except destroying things, temper tantrums, and screaming at people - which are of course her preferred methods of expressing anything but happiness.  She's like the little girl with the little curl.

There was a little girl, who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead.
And when she was good, she was very, very good; when she was bad, she was horrid!

That's my baby, in a nutshell, minus the curl.  When she's in a good mood, she's so sweet and loving and you'd think there was never a happier child.  When she's not, and she's so often not, you never see it coming.  Who knows what will set her off? Not me.  Not her.  NOBODY.

She's had psychological testing done.  Just finished it a couple weeks ago, actually.  She has no psychosis:  no bipolar, no bpd, no schizophrenia, nothing like that.  Just severe depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem.

Isn't that enough?

So, I'm scared to allow my own depression to show, really, because I don't want to make hers worse.  Mine is definitely compounded by hers, because all I want to do is make it better and there's NOTHING tangible to make better!  I can't even give her advice about what's making her sad, because as anyone who's had depression knows:  There is nothing making her sad, she just IS.


She got a hair cut before her MRI yesterday, though, and she loves it.  She was so happy, and seems more confident so far.  I hope it helps, any little thing that helps.  She had a hand bell concert tonight, too, and seems to love that.  She wants to be in band and orchestra when she gets to middle school, so there's lots of concerts, football games, and spending in my future.

Well, my head hurts, and all I have left to say is different words repeating the same message.