Living in a developing country, buying fruits and veggies from the market... well, it made grocery shopping day a bit more complicated because we couldn't just bring everything home and stick it in the fridge until we were ready to use it.
First of all, our fridge struggled to keep things cold enough to actually keep for more than a day or two.
Secondly, most of our fruits and vegetables had to be washed and then soaked in solution of mild bleach water to prevent bacteria or other parasites from making us sick. Amoebic dysentery is not fun...
That also meant that each leaf of salad had to be first individually washed (at least we did), soaked and then individually dried... It was time consuming.
Then during one of our furloughs, I had a brainstorm. I'd take back a salad spinner. I started shopping garage sales, Goodwill and Salvation Army, looking for one. I found it, packed it and took it back to Niger, excited to try it out.
Shortly after we'd resettled into life in Niger, I pulled it out to show my house helper how to use it. She was pretty excited, too... and informed me that I should have brought one back a long time ago... or had my mother send me one!
She broke it the very first time she used it.
She felt awful... When she was there, she helped prepare the salad as always, drying the individual leaves.
When she wasn't (which was often, since I tended to go do my shopping on Saturdays when she didn't work), I had another brainstorm.
Because it involved wrapping the lettuce up in a large beach towel, walking outside and swinging that towel around until most of the moisture was forced off the lettuce by centrifugal (or perhaps more accurately, centripetal force from the perspective of the water droplets on the lettuce and the lettuce itself) and absorbed by the towel.
It worked really well... unless one of the kids let loose of the towel. Then said child had to gather the high-flying lettuce (before the goats got ahold of it), re-rinse, re-bleach and re-swing once again.
Just ask them what they thought of the whole process...
When I saw this...
...for sale on Amazon, I went ahead and splurged. We had enough bonus points that it didn't cost anything extra.
My children are thanking me!