May 3rd, 2009

Phil & Ted’s Me Too Portable High Chair

Is there a direct correlation between our country’s supposed obesity epidemic, and the size of our highchairs? Modern highchairs are huge! And we own one. This was all well and good six years ago, when we were living in a house with a kitchen that could accommodate a monstrous seating contraption. But now we live in what is called a “Tudor cottage”, which means that only wee creatures (fairies, dwarves, smaller beetles) can comfortably move about in our kitchen.

Enter Phil and Ted’s Me Too Portable Highchair. It’s meant to be a travel highchair, and indeed it can be used this way (particularly if you want to avoid those cumbersome, square, restaurant highchairs that never seem to fit under the table, with straps that don’t strap, and with the remnants of some other kid’s lunch smeared all over it – the bus boy having swiped at it, ineffectually, with a rag). But we use ours at home, every day.

It clamps onto the edge of the table. From the side, it almost looks like the baby is levitating. But the clamps are very sturdy and strong. No worries! The seat is made of nylon, and it would be nice if it detached for machine-washing. Even so, it is fairly easy to keep clean (you can wipe it down, or – for more dire circumstances – soak it in the sink, but beware that it will take a day or so to dry, unless you can set it out in the sun). Our daughter loves that she can sit right up at the table and be a member of the family, and not be seated, alone, at a remote location necessitated by the inexplicably long, protuberant legs of our ghastly highchair. It is easy to unclamp it for traveling to grandma’s house (unless you have let some banana spackle the thing to your table, in which case you have only yourself to blame). One design flaw is the gap between the child and the table; there’s a few inches there where food (and sippy cups, and forks, and nuks) will invariably drop to the waiting maws of the dogs below.

In short, this is a great product – especially for those with small kitchens, hatred of restaurant highchairs, and dogs.

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This Weeks Tip

How many cakes have you baked in your lifetime? And have they ever really been as moist as you would like them to be? I mean, melt-in-your-mouth-don’t-need-a-glass-of-milk-or-a-spoonful-of-frosting-to-wash-it-down moist? Simple secret: Add up to 1/4 cup of mayonnaise (yes, we said mayonnaise) to your mix — whether it’s a mix made by you or by Mrs. Crocker — you’ll be amazed at the result. Just don’t tell anyone you’ve done it. Unless, of course, you want the whole cake for yourself.