FRIDAY FOOD THING (kinda sorta)
Back in the early 70s — long before Recipe du Jour — Rich, Walt and I opened a custom photography lab, the Tidewater Picture Company, in Norfolk, Virginia. Remember darkrooms? They are nearly extinct now, having yielded, begrudgingly through the years, to digital photography and Photoshop.
One of the cool things about darkrooms is that the equipment used in them was built to last. Such is the case with the GraLab Model 300 darkroom timer. Set the minute hand with the push of a finger, flip off the lights, and a plutonium-green luminescence circled around and ’round, ticking off minutes in the pitch dark. Amazing construction. Flawless performance.
Unlike modern kitchen timers.
I have not had much luck with kitchen timers: they are not loud enough and they break way too easily; one tumble from a countertop and you will be stepping on tiny pieces of plastic and stainless steel springs for weeks.
Being somewhat hard of hearing, my television’s constant over-volume ruckus, my dishwasher churning at stubborn food grungies, hell, even the inside-my-head crunching of popcorn, make hearing a wimpy, wind-up kitchen timer impossible.
Last week, I finally got fed up enough to do something about my problem: I did my research, read reviews, eventually buying the Cooper ATKINS FT24 from Amazon for about $40. Powered by 4 macho “C” batteries, the FT24’s adjustable volume can announce an end time with enough force to cause an avalanche, a gentle purr, or no sound at all because the FT24 quietly flashes a red warning light if you want it to.
Mom used to call such great purchases “terminal” products, ones that will never break or cause problems and will outlive you by decades. The Cooper ATKINS FT24 timer appears to be a keeper.