Category Archives: review

A Review of the Orgreenic Non-Stick Pan



I have a list of things that would be nice to have.  When I want something, it goes on the list.  If it’s still on the list after a month, then I will think about purchasing it.

A non-stick flat surface went on my list awhile back.  My nine year old doesn’t like to eat his veggies, but loves pizza.  I found a recipe on the net for a cauliflower crust pizza with great reviews: .  It looked great so I made it, but the experiment was an epic disaster.  The crust ended up being glued to the cookware and no amount of peeling or prying could budge it.  Dinner ended up being a peanut and butter sandwich.  Hence the non-stick surface went on my list.

The commercial for the Orgreenic cookware shows eggs and cheese totally sliding after cooking.  It made it seem like nothing would stick – that’s what I was looking for.  In my previous quest with Kohl’s cash to make a purchase that would not be subject to hedonic adaptation [ ] I had eyed the frying pan, but it was $20 and after tax would exceed my allotted budget for the task.

But last week I found the pan on sale at our local grocery store for $10, so I got it.

The reviews on Amazon are amazingly bimodal – a group at 5 stars (excellent) and a group at 1 star (terrible) and very few opinions between.

When I got it home and opened it, I read the instructions on use.  The first step was seasoning the pan.  I chose to use Olive Oil and heating in the oven at 300 degrees for  an hour.  I didn’t actually think about it much at the time but looking back I did some things well unintentionally.  I coated it in the Olive oil and then wiped it out so the pan looked dry.  After heating, I let the pan cool again before wiping.  After seasoning the pan, I started wondering why pans have to be seasoned, and found this great webpage on the chemistry of seasoning cast ironware:  ,  Basically on cast iron, the oil polymerizes on the pan surface to form the coating.  If something similar on happening on the Orgreenic (which seems reasonable) the way I seasoned left a nice coating.  If I had read the cast iron blog before doing it, I would have used flaxseed oil as the seasoning.  On the other hand, the flaxseed oil might have cost more than the pan – so perhaps I am lucky to have not read it first!

Last night I made the cauliflower pizza in the flat bottom of the Orgreenic pan (just popped the pan in the oven).  I didn’t use any aid to prevent sticking – just the seasoned ceramic surface to put the pizza crust “dough” on.   Cooked per instructions and ….

The entire pizza slipped right out of the pan in a perfect one round piece!  The splatters of pizza sauce or stray cheese that burned on the side of the pan?  A paper towel wiped them right off with no residue.  The pan looked new after wiping it out.

I’m impressed.  Put me in the five star camp.  After reading some of the one-star reviews on amazon and the comments in the cast-iron blog linked earlier in this post, I suspect that many of the problems people have had with this pan are due to seasoning issues.

And my son gave two thumbs up on the pizza.

An Experiment in Overcoming Hedonic Adaptation

oxo potato peeler


A few months ago I found myself in possession of $20 in Kohl’s cash.  These are time-limited coupons that Kohl’s occasionally gives customers when making a purchase.  In this instance, the cash expired on the same day I found myself near their store.

I made a conscious decision to try to use that Kohl’s cash to improve the quality of my life on that day going forward.  It was a way to challenge myself.  The rules were simple: whatever was purchased had to be paid for entirely with the coupon and it also had to have the potential to permanently increase my daily life happiness.  As I wandered the aisles, each item was evaluated for potential to increase my life happiness.

As you know, hedonic adaptation prevents a permanent increase in happiness levels with most purchases.  Once the rush is gone, the happiness level returns to the natural set point.  In a sense, this experiment was fighting human nature itself.

As I reflected on my daily routine, it came to my attention that a daily irritation that I had gotten used to was the frustrating ordeal of peeling potatoes with our cheap all-metal potato peeler.  It hurts a little to hold, the blade swivels 180 degrees (and is therefore only in cutting position part of the time), and I was constantly bumping my knuckles on the cutting board.  Thanks to hedonic adaptation, this was just a normal part of my routine.

In the kitchen section I found a nice Oxo peeler like the picture on this post.  It has a soft handle and the blade always faces the potato.  I decided to get it and replace my old peeler.

It’s been two months and so far the experiment has worked great.  I am grateful for the new peeler every time it’s used.  Part of the happiness comes from how comfortable the new peeler is to use and part comes from the lack of pinched fingers and bruised knuckles from the old peeler.

In my mind, the Independent Penguin will optimize all his expenditures to provide a continuous improvement in his level of happiness and have no expenditures that don’t provide such a benefit.


A Review of the WaxVac



The WaxVac has a great TV commercial.  I always cringe when the actor punctures his eardrum with the Q-tip.  But I cant turn away either.

Probably every parent will understand the situation that led to me trying it.  Non-parents might not, but they will one day.

My 9 year old told me he had an earache one day.  When asked why, he replied that he had a piece of wood in his ear.  When asked why, he replied that he put it there.  When asked when, he replied that it was there for a month.  Yes, a month.

Now, I wasn’t convinced there was a piece of wood in his ear.  But I was convinced that it hurt.  I had many ear problems as a kid, so wanted to get it cleaned out.

So I ran to the local store and picked up some gentle ear cleaning supplies: hydrogen peroxide and an ear cleaning and irrigation kit.  And in the asle near the check-out was the WaxVac for $10.  With the background of having seen those TV commercials a hundred times, I thought that if it really was a tiny piece of wood that the WaxVac would be perfect.  So I got it.  As a desperate parent.

The package was easy to open.  It was easy to put together (the battery compartment wasn’t clearly marked, but I figured it out).  There was a little light in the back, and the vacuum turned on.

But the WaxVac sucked.  Not literally – that would have made it useful.   No, it had no suction at all.  Totally worthless, although my son kind of enjoyed playing with it.

Oh, it was just a bit of earwax by the way.  Problem solved.  Now onto the next crisis.