Lenore Edman, Co-founder of Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories


Cool Tools Show 309: Lenore Edman

Our guest this week is Lenore Edman. Lenore is a co-founder of Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories. When she’s not building pen plotters, she likes to bake, sew, and make jam for relaxation. You can find Lenore on Twitter @1lenore and @EMSL.

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Show notes:

The All New All Purpose: Joy of Cooking (1997 edition)
I have the 1997 edition of The All New All Purpose: Joy of Cooking. The Joy Of Cooking has undergone several major revisions over its decades and decades of publication. So for me, the 1997 one is the best one, because it’s the one that I use the most. We also have the 1952 and it has recipes that the 97 doesn’t have, but I don’t use it very often. There’s one bread that we usually make for Thanksgiving that’s in there. But what’s great about the 97 edition is, that it’s modern enough that the ingredients are pretty consistently available and it’s undergone enough revisions that the recipes are really, really reliable. I love this one. It’s the one that my mom got me when I was basically starting my own cooking adventures. So it’s got special meaning for me.

Borner Mandoline, V-7000, Red
We call this the red slicing tool. It’s a mandolin by Borner. We buy one every few years because the blades gradually get dull and it’s made of plastic so it can crack, but we use it so much and it really streamlined a lot of things in our cooking process and our prep processes. This is one that has not just a flat slicer, but also a julienne slicer and coarse chopping. We use it for onions all the time. But there are a couple things that we’ve found it’s really good at that we didn’t anticipate. And this is things like making Banh Mi Slaw where you’re going to lightly pickle, the diakon and carrots for sandwich slaw. And normally the recipes will call for you to grate it. But when you grate things, it kind of tears the surface and it damages the cell structure. Whereas if you do a fine julienne, it leaves it crunchier and crispier with a better texture. So similarly, we do this for hash browns and for latkes that if you julienne the potatoes, instead of grating them, you get a really different texture that retains the moisture inside the pieces instead of getting wet and, and soggy. And it’s just really great.

Wire Potato Masher
This is a potato masher and it’s one of the ones that’s a wire that is squiggly shaped. And I do use it for mashed potatoes, but we don’t make mashed potatoes very often. Only at Thanksgiving. I use it for a couple other things. One is guacamole. I think it makes a nice chunky guacamole because you aren’t mashing it as fine as you would with a fork. And then the other thing that I use it very regularly for is jam. When I’m making jam, I start cooking the fruit and then I mash it with the masher and it breaks up the pieces more and lets the juices and things out so that it gels better. And I don’t have to cut the fruit as fine. I don’t have to puree it or anything. I just cook it down and then mash it with the masher and it helps it to just make a better consistency. I like a chunky jam. And so I use it for jamming.

Bathsheba Grossman’s Klein Bottle Opener
A Klein bottle is like a Mobius strip. A Mobius strip only has one side. It’s a flat piece of, for instance paper that is twisted so that there’s only one side to it. Well, a Klein bottle is a bottle that only has one side. It doesn’t have an inside or an outside. It just has a side. They usually look a little bit like a figure eight, like the handle is kind of going through the surface and coming out the inside. This is 3D printed Klein bottle that is also a bottle opener. So you can use it to open a bottle of ginger beer or regular beer and it is made by the artist, Bathsheba Grossman. And I met Bathsheba at the very first Maker Faire back in 2006 and was just blown away by her artworks, which are mathematically generated 3D printed objects, usually in metal, in a centered process. This particular one comes in a bronzed finish. It’s really beautiful. And what’s wonderful about this Klein bottle opener is the way that it feels in your hand. Like it’s the one tool that I use that just feels perfect to use. It’s the right shape, has the right amount of leverage. It fits in your palm beautifully.

About 10 LED Projects for Geeks:
I got to participate in a project to write a book with some LED projects. And it was put together by folks that we know through Maker Faire. We got to participate, especially in the sort of beginner level projects like getting started with LEDs, learning to use resistors and do creative things. It’s a project based book. And so the kinds of projects that we included were ones that take as their core, the LED throwie, as sort of the basic building block where you have an LED in a coin cell, and you incorporate that into something, whether that’s putting it into something beautiful, like a sea urchin shell, or making a greeting card out of it by etching plastic, those kinds of things. And then the later chapters in the book go over more complicated things like adding microcontrollers to change the behavior of the LED.


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