Mountain Coffee

Backpackers have long put up with instant coffee or “miner’s coffee” (throw the grounds in boiling water and wait till they settle). Until we see a hiker’s espresso machine, Nissan makes the next best thing: a sturdy metal version of the efficient French plunger press. It has won a testimonial from a Himalayan mountain climber.

Nissan Stainless Steel Coffee Press, $59.95 plus $4.95 tax and $5 shipping from Peet’s Coffee and Tea, (800) 999-2132.

Cool Jerky

Lange’s, a genuine old-fashioned Indiana butcher shop, makes wonderful, heavily smoked meat snacks that fit neatly into a back pack: landjaeger (a sort of summer sausage), skinny beef sticks (crisp and juicy), honey log (skinless, faintly sweet) and very flavorful turkey breast jerky. The phone is likely to be answered by Peter Lange himself, a good old Midwesterner if there ever was one.


Lange’s Old Fashioned Meat Market, 218 W. 7th St., Michigan City, IN 46360; (219) 874-0071. Price per pound: beef sticks $9, landjaeger $10, honey log $12 and turkey jerky $12, plus shipping.

Stirring News

They’re not just pretty, they’re designed to be indestructible. We didn’t think rubber spatulas were something that needed improving, but on the other hand, we do have a collection of spatulas gone bad with melted tips. For its new line of spatulas, Le Creuset uses what it calls “medical-grade silicon,” which doesn’t melt or burn or absorb odors or flavors.

Available at Cookin’ Stuff in Torrance, Table Manners in Santa Monica and De Nault’s Hardware stores located throughout Orange County.


Big Pickle

We’re trying to picture the mega cucumbers that make Claussen’s new Super Slices pickles for burgers--they’ve got to bully everything else in the garden. The pickles themselves are wide enough to cover an average burger patty, so you have that old pickle goodness in every bite.

Available in supermarkets.