Friday, February 15, 2013

February Quarterly Co. Food 52

Quarterly Co. is a slightly different kind of subscription box company.  It's not a monthly adventure but it's quarterly.  The way it works is you pick a "contributor" you would like to receive a curated gift from anywhere from $25-$100 and every 3 months you will receive your item in the mail from them.  With each gift you receive the story behind it.  The curators consist of CEO's, authors, chefs, world travelers, business owners, etc.  This is my fourth box from Amanda Hesser and Merril Stubbs creators of Food 52.  I very much enjoy cooking and experimenting with new ingredients and flavors.  The description of this service read: "The best home cooking is a blend of the practical and the inventive. Which may be why, as avid home cooks, we love objects with utility as much as those with great beauty. We’ll be sending you packages filled with nifty items for your kitchen and table—no superfluous gadgets or gewgaws but things you’ll want to use and display for decades, until your children attempt to snag them for their first kitchens."  Sounded perfect for me.

The good:

Variety: There are lots of different curators to choose from.

Something different: This is definitely different from other subscription companies

Commitment issues? Don't want to make a monthly commitment but still want a treasure?  You can get a quarterly treasure. 

The not so good:

Don't like waiting: If you don't like waiting this may be torture for you. 

Price: It used to be all subscriptions were $25.  Now there have different price points.  I'm curious about some of the others but not curious enough to risk $100

Contents of box with approximate retail price:

21 oz. can of Bar Keepers Friend. Value = $1.00 - I first tried this stuff last year after receiving it in one of my Craveboxes.  I love this stuff and had just gone to Target the day before I received this package to get some more. It works on everything and really is better than regular powdered cleansers.    
1/4 lb. package of Kishu Binchotan Charcoal. Value = $15.00

Stewart & Claire Lip Balm in old fashioned. Value = $6.00

The value of this box is $23.00.  The lip balm is really nice, you can smell the spices in it.  I like the bar keepers friend product but I expected a little bit more than a $1 cleanser.  Just doesn't seem to go with their normal specialty items.  Now this Kishu Binchotan Charcoal is definitely a specialty item.  This is from Japan and make by burning oak branches until they are red hot then rapid cooling them.  I had to learn more about this product and it's uses.  So since I looked it up I'll share the info with you. 

7 easy ways to realize its benefits

1. In drinking water, add 1/4 lb of Binchotan in a pitcher of tap water. Binchotan helps release alkali ions to increase the pH in water - around pH 8-8.5 - to create natu
rally made mineral water.

2. For cooking rice, Binchotan emits far infrared rays when the temperature raised in the rice cooker, and the rice will cook completely. Far infrared rays can retain the taste of the food and eliminate any unpleasant smells. Binchotan will release healthy minerals into your food.

3. In the bath, add approximately 3/4 lb of Binchotan in hot bath water. This way, Binchotan emits far infrared rays which enhance blood circulation and keep your body warm and relaxed for a long time after.

4. By electrical appliances such as televisions, microwaves, computers and mobile phones which emit certain amounts of electromagnetic energy. Binchotan can block harmful electromagnetic waves with its unique electrical conductivity.

5. In your home, the charged ions in our environment due to unhealthy smoke, noise, and harmful electromagnetic waves result in unclean air. Like the air at the seashore or in the forests, Binchotan introduces negative ions to the environment, which are said to put people in a better frame of mind.

6. Place Binchotan inside your refrigerator to work as a deodorizer, and eliminate those unwanted smells. Try Binchotan in your closet or in your shoe box. It also protects from dampness and molds. The cavities inside Binchotan absorbs bacteria which causes unpleasant smells and unnecessary moisture.

7. In your garden, recycle old, used charcoal. Broken pieces of Binchotan can be mixed or applied over regular soil. The infinite number of tiny holes in Binchotan creates great air and water passages in soil. This use helps to increase microbe activity and creates ideal soil for healthy plants.

Interesting huh?  This totally makes up for the boring cleanser.  I think I'll try it in drinking water and during a bath.  It says this size package will last 3-5 months then you can break up the pieces an add it to soil.  Worth a try right? 

Verdict: This box was an odd mixture.  It's just enough to keep me curious though for the next shipment.      

**I pay for these boxes myself and not any type of sponsor paid or unpaid for Quarterly Co.

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