Home Zone: The single mother of invention ... cubed
Aug 03,2007 00:00 by Maggie_Reed

"What am I going to do with 50 little cubes of pesto?" Lisa Brock asked herself six years ago.

 
FOODCUBER - Now you can easily store the proper portions of food in one step with the FoodCuber. CNS Photo courtesy of Alanna Swenson. 
 
DAY COUNTER - Salsa is one of many foods that can spoil easily once opened. Keep track with the DaysAgo Digital Day Counter. CNS Photo courtesy of double u products, inc.  
 
LEFTOVERS - Take the guesswork out of just how many days your leftovers have been in the fridge with the DaysAgo Digital Day Counter. CNS Photo courtesy of double u products, inc. 
The single mother of two and former financial services executive was reading a magazine article stating that ice cube trays could be used to freeze more than chicken broth.

She thought it was a great idea, but didn't know quite what to do with all those little cubes. She looked to find suitable containers to hold more manageable sizes.

"Then I realized the things didn't exist," she said.

Despite knowing nothing about plastics or marketing she took the plunge from her home in Lake Oswego, Ore., and founded Food Cuber LLC.

"I told my kids the worst thing that could happen was that we would lose everything, live in a shabby one-bedroom apartment, drive a beat-up used car and they would hate me for the rest of their lives," she said. "But, they stood by me.

"Now, three years and a lot of hair dye later here we are."

FoodCuber hit the market three years ago and since that time she has not had a single item returned.

Simply put, FoodCuber allows you to pre-portion and store food in one simple step. Just fill the cubes, snap on a lid and store them in the freezer, fridge or cupboard.

The FoodCuber makes sense for all sorts of people and tasks ... dieters will find useful for portion control, parents for homemade baby food, the home gourmet for special sauces, the frugal homemaker interested in making meals ahead, child or elder caregivers to provide nutritious meals and snacks, and even pet owners wanting to make homemade pet food following the recent contamination scare.

"The pet food scare developed a whole new market I'd never envisioned," Brock said.

They are currently available in three sizes similar to ice cube trays only deeper. Each tray is designed with a fill and half-fill line allowing for two useful, easy-to-view measures per tray. The one-half-cup tray holds eight servings, the 1-cup has four compartments and the 2-cup has two.

They are available separately or in a set and the lids are interchangeable. FoodCubers are dishwasher and freezer safe. The single tray with lid (any size) is $7.50; the set of trays (one of each of the three sizes with three lids) is $20.

For more information, call 866-302-2823 or visit www.foodcuber.com.

COUNTING YOUR DAYS

Tired of wasting food because you aren't quite sure if it's still good or not?

Toss those worries, not your food, away with the DaysAgo Digital Day Counter from double u products inc.

The device came into being while Deborah Stephens Stauffer and Kathleen Whitehurst were working on ideas for a new business venture. During a break, Stauffer asked Whitehurst if she would please feed her son. Opening the fridge, she saw several half-full baby food jars with warnings to use within three days of opening.

"So how do you know how long they've been open?" Whitehurst asked. "Oh, I wish I knew - you can't believe how much food we have to throw away because we can't keep track," Stauffer replied.

Eureka!

The DaysAgo is the first digital day-counter that easily answers that question. The counter attaches to containers through either a magnet for metal surfaces or suction for others. It has a digital screen that starts counting days once you touch the button.

Not only will it help with foods that spoil quickly, like baby food and leftovers, it can also be used to track days for numerous other tasks from watering your plants to dispensing medications.

A DaysAgo package includes two counters with either a magnetic base or suction attachment. The base color is silver and the accent colors are randomly assorted and can be a combination of any two of the following: charcoal, lime, tangerine or blueberry. Counters are operated by watch batteries, which are replaceable.

Named the Best New Household Product of 2007 by Good Housekeeping magazine, the retail price is around $11.

For more information, call 800-401-4906 or visit www.howmanydaysago.com.

Maggie Reed can be reached at  619-718-5821; or P.O. Box 120190, San Diego, CA 92112.

© Copley News Service