GreenGood Composter Model GG-20

greengood-electric-assist-composter After years of living in our own home, we had to move back into an apartment last year due to a change in jobs and a cross-country move. One of the things I miss most about my house is my compost pile and backyard chickens. My girls would come running whenever they saw me coming out the door with my silver compost pail, and they’d spend hours every day picking through the pile for edible scraps, worms, and other yummy treats. It was not just fun to watch, it also kept several pounds a week of vegetable peelings and other food waste out of the local landfill, while providing rich soil for my garden and reducing feed costs for the girls.

After saying goodbye to this idyllic scene, we moved into an apartment with a cramped kitchen, no balcony, and no municipal composting program, so I’ve been reluctantly forced to consign our food waste to the landfill. I hate it, and miss my girls more with every handful of carrot peelings I toss out, so I’ve been researching indoor composting options.

The most popular option for indoor composting seems to be vermicomposting, but as a lifelong cold composter, I’ve never bothered with fussy stuff like the ratio of green to brown waste – I just dump it all in as it becomes available and assume it will come out in the wash. And it does, albeit slowly. With worms, you have to worry about things like pH or they’ll die. I’ll be honest, it seems like too much work to get it right, and I don’t want to be responsible for a bunch of dead worms if when I inevitably mess up. I’m a softie and that sort of thing upsets me.

Compost tumblers may be another option, but I’ve heard odor can be a problem with them.

I was feeling a little discouraged about it all when I stumbled upon this article by The Green Mama, which introduced me to another option: The Red Dragon electric assist composter, aka GG-20. (Note: the article was written in 2012, and the model now appears to be silver.)

According to the review, the Red Dragon odorlessly converted kitchen scraps into compost within 12-24 hours, all in the space of a typical trash can. Zowie! Perfect for a cramped kitchen like mine!

Here’s a video of the Red Dragon’s big brother the White Dragon at work:

Now the downsides:

First, cost and availability. The Green Mama’s review reports that electric assist composters cost $300-900. Ouch. The Red Dragon itself seems to be a Korean product and not widely available in North America, though I found a Canadian owner who reported a price of $680.

Second, electricity consumption. My first reaction to the concept of an electric-assist composter was bafflement over why one would add electricity to a process that doesn’t need it, especially when a large part of the motivation for composting in the first place is to go green. The manufacturer’s website reports that the unit requires a relatively substantial 60-90 kWh/month which is comparable to the energy consumption of a 14-19 cubic foot Energy Star refrigerator.

Despite my concerns about the energy consumption, I’ve decided to tentatively add the GreenGood GG-20 to my wishlist because the size, speed, and odorlessness with which it operates sounds perfect for my needs in other respects, but I’d love to hear more accounts from people who have owned or tested the Red Dragon or its successor, the Silver Dragon. Does it work as well as reported?

The Roasted Vegetable

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Review:

Want to read

I’ve recently been rediscovering the joys of roasted vegetables thanks to recipes such as this Roasted Cauliflower With Cumin Seeds and would like to continue expanding my repertoire and experimenting with the most successful ways to get vegetables into my daughter’s tummy. This book not only focuses on roasted vegetables, it also gets great reviews.

Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge: The Ultimate Guide to Mastery, with Authentic Recipes and Stories

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Review:

Want to read

I have a go-to stir-fry recipe taught to me by my father that works well and is a family favorite, but I’d like to expand my skills and this cookbook has come highly recommended from many sources.

Every Grain of Rice: Simple Chinese Home Cooking

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Review:

Want to read

I’ve heard many wonderful things about Fuchsia Dunlop’s Chinese cookbooks (which also include Land of Plenty: A Treasury of Authentic Sichuan Cooking and Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook: Recipes from Hunan Province) but have never prepared any of the recipes. This one seems like it might be the best choice of the three for beginners (I enjoy Chinese cuisine, but have had mixed success cooking it myself) thanks to the “home cooking” aspect – I don’t need to re-create a Chinese wedding feast, just feed my family with simple, delicious, and healthful food.

The Redwall Cookbook

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Review:

Want to read

I blame Brian Jacques for my fondness for books with great food descriptions. Though the fictional feasts of Redwall don’t have quite as much variety as those of Westeros, they always made my mouth water and I’m quite curious to see how some of them actually taste.

Domingo/Milnes: Great Operatic Duets Album Review

Plácido Domingo: Great Opera Duets

Price: $4.98

4.9 out of 5 stars (17 customer reviews)

5 used & new available from $3.26

Review:

Another album I grew up listening to on vinyl and love. Domingo and Milnes were in their prime when they recorded these duets together, and they’re a perfect match. The gorgeous duet from Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers (“Au Fond du Temple Saint”) is simply sublime and the album’s standout for me, with “Solenne in quest’ora” from La Forza del destino and “Sì, pel ciel marmoreo giuro” from Othello close behind.

My rating:5 Stars (5 / 5)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 3 Review

Buffy the Vampire Slayer – The Complete Third Season (Slim Set) (DVD)
Actors: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon, Alyson Hannigan, Anthony Head, James Marsters
Director: David Greenwalt, David Semel, David Solomon, James A. Contner, Joss Whedon
Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC
Language: English (Dolby Surround)
Subtitles: English
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Running Time: 990 minutes

List Price: $39.98
Price: $39.99
13 offers available from $14.48
4.7 out of 5 stars (686)

Review:

I have a hard time deciding whether season two or season three of Buffy is my favorite. I think I would have to say that I like individual episodes (Innocence, Passion, Becoming 1 and 2, etc.) in season two better than any single episode in season three, but season three was much stronger and more consistent overall. The pod people, for one, seem to have spent the season on vacation, so there are no clunkers on par with “Bad Eggs” or “Go Fish,” thank the muses. The Mayor is also one of my favorite Big Bads.

mayor-become-invincible

Unfortunately, despite the fact that it’s one of my favorite seasons, it’s been quite awhile since I’ve seen any episodes other than my favorites (Lover’s Walk and Graduation Day 1 & 2), so I’ll have to do a rewatch before doing comments on individual episodes. Oh the pain. 😀

My rating:4 Stars (4 / 5)

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King of Math Junior App Review

King of Math Junior (AppStore Link) King of Math Junior
Developer: Oddrobo Software AB
Rated: 4+4
Price: $2.99 Download from the App Store

Review:

King of Math is a great math game, but some of the topics are a little too advanced for elementary school students (especially in the younger grades), so the developers came out with this junior version for younger kids. It has simpler problems and cuter cartoons, but the same variation in question format that I like about the original version.

We have completed the free version, but the full game is still on our wishlist.

My rating:4 Stars (4 / 5)

LEGO Ninjago Epic Dragon Battle (9450)

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Review:

We liked the Golden Dragon so much we’re thinking about getting this set for the Ultra Dragon as well. It looks even more impressive!

LEGO Creator Taj Mahal (10189)

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Review:

At more than $2000, I don’t expect to ever get the opportunity to build this set, but isn’t it amazing?

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