I wrote this article for CityPalate Magazine this summer after trying to find these elusive berries. Have a read. -Erin
“Have you seen any of these?” Like a culinary detective hunting an elusive suspect, I flash a photo at a clerk at the market. “Sorry, no.” I try again next door. “I’m looking for these. Know who’s got any?” “Can’t help you.”
I get similar reactions from people all over the market until I run out of fruit stands. Yes, fruit stands. I’m looking for a berry, and though it’s said to be one of the most prolific in Alberta and western Canada, I’m met with inquisitive looks every time I ask about it. Continue reading “Hunting the elusive Haskap berry”→
We all love deep fried food, don’t we? It’s just so unhealthy. But a new kitchen device promises to give us that deep fried flavour and crispness without all the fat and calories. Enter the Philips Airfryer. Continue reading “Philips Airfryer review”→
Summer is camping season, and there’s nothing better than getting out to the mountains, or the badlands. This month on Tech Talk on CTV, we’re showing you both high-tech and low-tech gadgets to make roughing it more enjoyable.
Watch the Video by clicking here!
I’ve blogged previously on each of these gadgets, but I’ll put links to each here just to make finding them easy for CTV viewers.
First up, this awesome Stanley French Press Coffee KitI got at Campers Village. This versatile set up allows you to boil water in the compact narrow kettle pot, add your coffee (grounds are conveniently stored in the lid!) then use the French press plunger grid to press fresh quality coffee, and transfer it to the thermos where it’ll stay hot for 24 hours. It also keeps drinks cold or iced if that’s your thing. I also thought it was really clever that the lid unscrews into two coffee mugs.
I also got a lot of use out of this kit by pairing it with a Biolite CampStove. More on that below!!
Next, I tested out a handy flashlight charger. The Black Diamond Ember Power light gives you light when you need it, which you always do when you’re camping, plus its USB port will also charge any gadget you have with a USB plug. Dead camera? No problem. Phone out of juice? Easy to fix. I kept this gadget in my purse and also found it really versatile when we were short-cutting home through a park after visiting a neighbour after dark. My husband’s also been stealing it for everything from finding some papers in his truck after sunset, to recharging his phone on the golf course.
Speaking of light, I also love these new 10″ LED Light Tent Pegs from Coghlans. They secure your tent, tarp or lines, and have a simple twist on/off bright LED light which will keep you from tripping in the dark. I found myself using these to mark hazards around the campsite too, like big rocks and roots.
I also picked up a couple other low tech options that I find I’m using constantly while camping and on the road.
The Nemo Helio Pressure Showeris super handy if you like to camp away from crowds and off the beaten path. It comes in a tiny zip pack about the size of a mixing bowl. The 11L capacity means plenty of water, and because it rests on the ground, you don’t need to worry about hefting it overhead, or trying to fill it while it’s dangling from a tree. So how does it work then? You pressurize the “tank” with a foot pump then use the sprayer to enjoy 5-7 minutes of shower time.
Lastly, I snagged one of these versatile hooks, thinking it would come in handy and it did. The Nite Ize Gear Line is a handy line with rigid twist-tie-like tabs on each end. It’s got several different carabiner-type S-clips along its length, meaning you can string up whatever you want and keep it there with ease. You can use it on a tree like I did to keep a garbage bag within easy reach, or use it in a tent to keep gear, towels, water bottles, or keys off the floor and within grabbing distance.
That’s just some of the new gear I’m loving this season. You can find everything I mentioned at Campers Village in Calgary and Edmonton, or online at Campers-Village.com
Also on CTV Morning Live, we looked at the BioLite Camp Stove. I reviewed this product for bestbuy.ca, so check out the full review HERE. The BioLite CampStove was the company’s first production piece. The concept is simple and genius at the same time: the CampStove creates a smokeless campfire that can cook meals and boil water in minutes. Setup is easy, fuel is free, and the company says, “flames are hyperefficient with performance on par with white gas stoves.” Then at the same time, the stove’s heat generates usable electricity for charging LED lights, mobile phones, and other personal devices. The stove’s USB connector will charge up most devices, and every twenty minutes of charging with a strong fire gives you about an hour of talk time on most smartphones.
You can also watch my video review below.
We can’t forget about the BioLite NanoGrid, a great gadget which I also reviewed in full for BestBuy.ca. It’s a compact but powerful lighting kit that gives you amazing options and versatility for bright, powerful LED light while camping, hiking, and barbecuing, even out in your yard, or anywhere you may need portable light. The BioLite NanoGrid consists of two main parts: the USB Power Bank, and the String Lights. The Power Bank is the hub of this kit. It provides power to recharge smartphones, it acts as a lantern, and it’s also a flashlight plus it connects and powers the peripheral string lights. The powerful Li-Ion battery can be recharged from any USB source (including BioLite products, like the aforementioned CampStove) and then you can share its power to any USB chargeable gear.
Lastly I just loved these handy little cube lights from Enevu. They have three light settings, low, medium and really bright. The low light is really subtle and a nice glow, while the highest setting is perfect for using as work or task light. You can also remove the plastic diffuser cap and use the base as a directional flashlight. The lights come in different colours as well, so you can have bright clean white light, or fun colours.
Have you got some gear ideas I should check out? Let me know in comments below! -erin