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if you've known me for more than a minute you may have heard my expression for what it feels like when i get an idea that just makes sense: 'it's like a white hot hammer of inspiration to the back of the head'

Monday, April 21, 2014

travel tissue

this is a personalized take on another camping hack that i have seen floating all around pinterest/buzzfeed/etc
i couldn't make the original because i apparently don't buy the correct quantity of ground coffee in a plastic tub. this is the container from the 11.3 oz size of ground folgers. 
i have sometimes in the past, but that canister is currently in use as my "washing kit" for travel and camping. 
so i was working with the small size, which does not hold an entire roll of toilet paper. 
good thing it's not too hard to swap out the roll at 3/4 full.

sorry, i didn't have a photographer, but this one is easy to do without a lot of step by step.

wash coffee canister. make a cut down the side at least a 1/4 of an inch wide and as tall as a roll of toilet paper. i started it with a pocket knife and used titanium shears to cut it, but i suspect that was overkill. tough scissors should do it. i was using what was already on the coffee table. 
insert roll. 
for the large sized canister you can use a full roll, or if you don't buy the giant mega super charmin family size garganutan rolls that i do, normal ones probably fit in the 11.3oz sized canister. 

this is the first draft. it was not quite right. if you look closely at the top of the cut in the plastic, the tissue is squeezed. this did not pull out smoothly and ripped. 

you can see the rip from the inside 

riiiiipped! if you look carefully past the flash, you can see the top of the tissue catching on the plastic and making a little tissue wad

cut a little taller and a little wider. 

yay! there's the correct fit! the tissue pulls out smoothly and cleanly, no tears. and the container is small enough to fit under some car seats or in shoe pockets on the back of the driver's seat, unlike the full sized coffee canister. 
so the original hack is to take this camping, and you can tie a string through the canister for hanging on a tree or campground bathroom door.  (you ever go to a campground in the off season? be glad they unlocked the restrooms and turned on the water, but don't count on TP!)

personally, i will be taking it to the beach this weekend. not camping but good for the road trip and for dealing with excess sunscreen spatters. 
this seems like an excellent way to have tissues at the ready in the car for those of you with kids. cheaper than fancy kleenex boxes and better protected from sticky small ones. 

recipe holder

this feels so simple to me that i cannot even think of it as a real hack
i was watching a video about uses for resealable zip top baggies and this was suggested:

place your recipe in a clear plastic bag on the counter so it doesn't get food spatter on it while you cook.
look, that's snazzy and all, but on the counter? why? my ingredients and mixing bowls are on the counter. there's no extra room on the counter. 

enter: our friend the binder clip

you know the metal wings come off, right?

why  hello, cabinet door pull!

squeeze and snap that sucker back on there, then flip it back up:

voila! eye level recipe protected from spatters.
and that's my great grandmother's spoonbread recipe. deeelicious! 

of course for a larger recipe, like a magazine page cut out or such, use a larger bag. you could probably even use this for a small cookbook, although i might throw a pencil or a wooden spoon handle in the top of the clip to rest along the top of the book and make sure it stays spread open to your page.