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Silly Inventions

 

Paul McCartney wrote and sang about Silly Love Songs. Today I give the spotlight to silly inventions.

Americans have always been an inventive sort. Depending upon your source, Americans hold the most patents in the world. There are different ways to compute that figure, but whether America is first, second, or third we are up there. 

But for every light bulb there are dozens of not so useful inventions.

Woman’s Day magazine has posted an article on line that showcases “Ten Products Designed for Lazy People.”

In a way, since the dawn of time, isn’t that how most inventions came about? What is that old saying, “Necessity is the mother of invention,”?

Or some times Making Money is the inventor’s goal.

Pet Rocks

How many of you remember Pet Rocks in the seventies? It was a put on. But it was fun. And quite the money maker for the ‘inventor.’ According to Wikipedia it made the creator, Gary Dahl, a millionaire.

For those of you to young to have never heard of Pet Rocks, “the first Pet Rocks were ordinary gray stones bought at a builder’s supply store. They were marketed like live pets, in custom cardboard boxes, complete with straw and breathing holes for the “animal”.  A Pet Rock was the perfect pet for busy young professionals. “A rock would not need to be fed, walked, bathed, groomed and would not die, become sick, or be disobedient. [Source: Wikipedia]

Whitening Tooth Paste & Oxi Clean

Before you start thinking who would ever be silly enough to fall for something like that, do you buy whitening toothpaste or one of those oxi-clean detergents?

Basically all whitening toothpastes have in them are abrasives that may be effective in temporarily removing some stains. But they do not bleach the teeth. And over time they can also damage tooth enamel. However, they can help in removing plaque between dental visits. But they do not really whiten anyone’s teeth.

And the active ingredient in oxi-clean cleaners is just sodium percarbonate, a dry granulated form of hydrogen peroxide, a fairly common cleaning product.  Sodium percarbonate can be purchased from many pool supply stores for a lot less than you pay for it in any oxy-clean product.

Now I am not suggesting in any way shape or form you should buy your own of any of these items. I am just using them as illustrations of silly inventions. Someone names a common item something else and has a great marketing campaign and we all buy it.

All of this leads me back to the Woman’s Day article of inventions for lazy people.

I do not want to be accused of copy wright infringement so I will not mention all ten of the invemtions for lazy people. And I cannot show any of the pictures. I will however link to the entire article.[See below.]

Of the ten inventions the Motorized Ice Cream Cone was my favorite. This is  a plastic device that rotates your scoop of ice cream for you so that you do not have to turn it your self.

Plllllleeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaasssssseeeeeee!!!!!!!

My word, where is Maxine when you need her!!!!

Geez!! Half the fun of eating an ice cream cone is having it drip on your hands and fingers and having to lick it off.

The worst part of this invention is after your ice cream is gone you do not have a cone to eat.

Some of the other inventions in the Woman’s Day list include:

Automatic Ball Thrower

Spaghetti Twirling Fork (What? And miss all the fun of messing it up myself?)

Teapot Pourer

Dustmop Slippers (If my condo was not carpeted this might be useful.)

Woman’s Day 10 Products Designed for Lazy People .

Three Questions For You

1. What is your favorite invention in the Woman’s Day 10?

2. What silly invention would you create?

3. What product would you design for lazy people?

Here’s Your Chance

Be Creative! Be an Inventor! Be Innovative!!!

Leave your comments and share your invention in the Comments section below. If I get enough of them I will do a complete post and compile and share your idea(s) with all of MTTD readers.

Who knows? Maybe you will be the NEW pet rock Super Star!!! 
Featured Recipe           Lemon Tarragon Chicken

I love easy week night dishes. And few ingredients lend themselves to ease of preparation than chicken.

I have shared several recipes with you like the one I am about to share to day. Both Creamy Mushroom Chicken and Dijon Chicken with Grapes sauté a chicken breast and then cover it with a sauce, just like today’s recipe does. In these two recipes I used the less expensive bone in chicken.

Today’s recipe I used skinless, boneless. But you could also make this recipe with bone in chicken breast.

Tarragon is a lovely, delicate herb that tastes like licorice. The sauce recipe comes from the April 17, 2011 edition of Woman’s Day magazine. However, I did a fairly major change in the recipe as you will see below.

The lemon juice makes a nice contrast to the sweetness of the tarragon.

This is just a lovely recipe, even though I made some changes to the original.

This is what you will need for 4 people:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 tablespoons of flour

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

¾ cup chicken broth

2 teaspoons cornstarch

¼ cup lemon juice*

2 tablespoons tarragon chopped

2 tablespoons butter**

Salt & pepper to taste

* 1 large lemon should give you about ¼ cup.

** First change: original recipe called for 2 teaspoons. I like more butter.

Here is what you do:

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat.

Mix the flour and salt and pepper on a plate.

Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture to coat; shake off excess.

Add the chicken to the hot oil, reduce heat to medium,  and cook about 4-5 minutes per side till nicely browned or golden and cooked through and no pink remains in the center.

While the chicken is browning measure out the chicken broth, cornstarch, and squeeze the lemon.

When the chicken is done remove it to a plate and keep warm with aluminum foil.

Make the Sauce

NOTE: The picture in the magazine shows a chicken broth or soup  consistency and look to the sauce. It was way too runny for my taste. 

So this is what I do.

Add the chicken broth to the cornstarch in a pan (the actual recipe has you add everything to the skillet right away.) and stir until cornstarch is dissolved completely.

Add in the lemon juice and mix well.

Simmer over low heat until the sauce begins to thicken slightly.

NOTE: I have to add more cornstarch; 2 teaspoons is just not enough. I add 1 teaspoon more at a time until the sauce begins to thicken.

When the sauce is the consistency you like remove the pot from the heat. Off the heat add the butter and the tarragon and mix well. Make sure all of the butter is melted.

I use more butter than the original recipe calls for. I think more butter makes a richer tasting and a more delicious sauce.

Then add the sauce to the skillet and scrape up all the golden brown good stuff at the bottom of the pan. You can see in the picture below, I have started to get some of those tasty brown bits mixed into the sauce.

If the sauce is still too thin add a bit more – just a pinch – cornstarch and stir it in to the sauce and continue heating until thickened.

Add the chicken back to the pan to heat it through. Turn the chicken several times to coat it throughly with the sauce.

Serve the chicken with some of the sauce poured over and with any side dishes you like.

Bon Appetit!!!!!!

Cost

4 chicken breasts                 $5.40

2 tablespoons of flour           $0.15

1-2 tablespoons olive oil        $0.34

¾ cup chicken broth             $0.50

2 teaspoons cornstarch         $0.07

¼ cup lemon juice                $0.33

2 tablespoons tarragon         $0.55

2 tablespoons butter             $0.45

Salt & pepper to taste

Total cost = $7.79
Cost per person = $1.95

Quote of the Day

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.

Herm Albright

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