Small Scales and Cider Kit 

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The only link these two items have is that they both came from a ‘Christmas In July’ event organised by Lakeland. While they are best known for Catalogues, they also have shops and of course a Website to help you choose.

kitchen scales
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I Can Cook Scales

Scales designed for the young cook, easy to use and small, mine was a orange colour and of course they are easy to clean.

The only control is the pop out display and this is also the on/off switch.

It runs on two ‘AAA’ batteries (not supplied), these fit into a bay in the base, beside this is a slider switch to determine if the scales show in grams or ounces.

The pop out measure is 6x3cm and its display is 3.5x2cm.

It has a single line showing the number of grams on the scale. You can of course add a bowl before you turn it on and the weight will be zeroed ready to add ingredients.

I am not sure why a young child would want measures in ounces unless of course they are following grannies receipt. But I think seeing 2 7/8 ounces could detract from the learning to cook experience. Still as a lot of older recipes are still quoted in ounces the need may still be there to display in that mode and it is available at a flick of a button.

The only button is a push in to release mechanism and should the youngster remember the same action works to turn it off. Even if they do not there is a time out so the battery will not be drained unnecessarily.

The I Can Cook Scales are available from the link below for £19.99 if you spend £30 or more delivery is free.

Mad Millie Cider Kit

This is the first time I have had the chance to review a home brew kit.

Certainly this kit is complete as it comes with reusable glass bottles and even labels for them.

While the concentrate provided was for cider there is no reason why beer cannot be made with the right ingredients.

This kit comes from New Zealand and is sold in the UK by Lakeland.

The items supplied are all detailed in the Starter Kit Instruction Book. First the largest item the Plastic Fermenter which can hold 12litres. A Thermometer Strip that you attach to the side of the Fermenter. A Hydrometer to read the Specific Gravity and know when Fermentation has completed.

The Cider Ingredients, Fruit Concentrate, Sweetener, Fruit Essence and Yeast.

The rest of the items are for cleaning and sterilising the bottles. These are a Bottle Brush, Mixing Spoon, Carbonation Drops (these give the fizz), Easy Syphon and Tubing, Cleaning Detergent, Steriliser, Bottle Tops and Labels.

There are ten parts – the final part is drinking – the first four are Cleaning and Sterilising the Equipment, preparing your equipment, adding the Fruit Concentrate, adding the yeast and sweetener.

Item five requires you to leave for seven days. Part six is to check the specific gravity, part seven adding the Essence, part eight Bottling, part nine is to leaver in a dark place to mature for two weeks.

The only choice this gives you is how dry you like your cider and this determined at part four where the amount of sweetener added will determine that.

Well the three weeks have past and I have bottles of Cider, while it tastes OK and is perfectly drinkable I have tasted better from professional brewers but then again if this tasted better than the professional then they would soon be out of business.

The secret is the sweetener and anyone who gets this perfect for their taste will find a way of staying in to have their fun.

The Mad Millie Cider Kit from Lakeland is available from the link below for £99 with free delivery.

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