A Backup Plan - 07-03-23 01

A Backup Plan – Perhaps

Having grown very accustomed to a daily latte, I thought I might need a backup plan for my espresso machine. You know…in case the electricity goes out one morning.

Is This A Good Backup Plan?

We were out at a thrift store and I found this beauty sitting there.

It was shiny. It also looked like it could both make an espresso and steam milk. But I wasn’t sure about either of those “facts.” I picked it up and it was heavy, so I thought that was a good thing.

Then Thaddeus brings reality into the conversation. “Do we really need another ‘thing’ in the house?” “If the electricity goes out, how do you plan on grinding your espresso?” “It looks like it’s missing a part and there’s no box or instructions.”

All very valid points, but I still decided that if it was $10 or less, I’d buy it. It was $5, so it came home with me.

Turns out that it’s a Bellman CX-25 Stovetop Espresso Maker (promotional link). They go for over $200 new and at least $35 used. I felt justified in my purchase.

Then I tried to use it. I hoped against hope that this wasn’t one of those espresso makers that required a lot of testing and experimentation. Turns out that it is. But fortunately, someone on YouTube has done all the experimentation and showed me exactly how to use it.

On my second attempt, I was able to make a decent, strong cup of coffee (I wouldn’t call it espresso exactly). And the steam wand worked great…almost as good as my heavy-duty machine.

In a pinch, this machine would be an okay replacement for my current espresso/latte machine. But it’s most likely that it will go into the tag sale table box of items we’ll eventually sell.

Current Knitting

After a large cardigan project, the scarf knitting is going much more quickly. I have both finished the first scarf and I’ve started the second. The first scarf…

It’s large, thick, colorful and warm. Everything I was hoping for. It’s about 7″ wide and 72″ long. Though measurements change based on how much stretch is going on. But it’ll be a perfect addition to the gift-scarves in September.

I started the second scarf, which I’m calling the Koknar Scarf.

Koknar is Afghan for poppy. And I know it doesn’t look like much yet, but there are a few “surprise” details I’ll share about when this scarf gets further along. Stay tuned.

5 comments on “A Backup Plan – Perhaps

  1. You already finished that beautiful scarf? Yikes! Maybe I need to start drinking espresso.
    Your stovetop espresso pot looks wonderful! What a find. The video was fascinating. And your electric machine looks amazing. Someday I will have to try a latte and see if it speeds up my knitting…….
    Years ago I found a Silex Double Bubble glass coffeemaker at our local thrift shop for $5. I had never seen anything like it and was intrigued. We loved the coffee it produced.
    Dutifully the delicate looking glass parts were carefully washed and stored away each day to keep is safe. One lazy or busy day, that didn’t happen and the top got shattered. We’ve used electric percolators ever since.
    Best wishes for the 4th and more summer. And your latte mornings.

  2. Joe, the first scarf (name?) is beautiful. I know the pattern is simple, but the bias construction and color choice makes it sing. Is the pattern simply increase/decrease on one side and increase on the other side? Cheers for a quiet 4th. Here in Eugene, explosive fireworks (read “noisy”) are illegal for the first year throughout the city. Even so, we have Doggie Downers for our sound-sensitive pup.

    1. Thanks Fred…yes, the bias garter stitch is pretty simple. I start with one stitch and increase one stitch on each side of every-other-row until it’s as wide as I want it. Then I increase at the beginning and decrease at the end of every-other-row. At the same time, I switch colorways every-other-row as well. Using a dark yarn with a high-contrast colorful yarn works really well with this kind of bias-striped knitting.

  3. I spy a mushroom spoon rest just like the one I made in ceramics class 40+ years ago! My teacher was horrified that I did mine in blues instead of proper mushroom colors.

    1. Wow! Keen eye…yes, we found this spoon rest at a flea market. It was made in 1977 by a woman named Tess. I honestly hate the physical design of this spoon rest. The two holes in the bottom make it impossible to wash this thing and remove all the water that gets inside of it. But I do think it’s pretty.

      Handmade ceramic spoon rest made by Tess in 1977
      Handmade Ceramic Spoon Rest bottom made by Tess in 1977

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