It’s been a while since our last update on the hardware. Last we left it, the silicone tooling was going back to the mold maker and engraver for some rework. We’ve got some good news for you: all the silicone parts have been made (as of a few hours ago), and we’ll get them early next week.
The silicone molding had been our roadblock to shipping since December — now things will start rolling. What’s left? Once we get the silicone parts, they’ll go to our assemblers just down the road in Austin. After that, we’ll package them up and mail them out. The assembly process is a design project in itself, and this first run will help us perfect the process so each successive run is easier and faster to produce.
We can’t make any promises yet. If all goes well with assembly process, we’re looking at mid-February for first run Ranges. We’re still on track for second run Ranges to ship in February.
We’re getting ready to submit the final version of the app the app store for approval. Right now, we’re incorporating the last bits of feedback from beta testers and polishing things up — like the splash page and preset buttons.
P.S. We had a snow day on Friday. This is how much snow it takes to shut down a Texas city.
Christmas candy: chocolate bark
Chocolate bark is one of the easiest (and quickest) holiday candies you can make. It’s really just melting chocolate and mixing treats in.
You just have to make sure to temper your chocolate well. This time I took the route of never letting my chocolate get out of temper. For dark chocolate, that means not letting the temperature go above 90ºF (for milk chocolate 87ºF, and for white chocolate 83ºF). You can do this with a double boiler, but I went the microwave route this time. Make sure you’ve got a good candy thermometer, like Range, handy.
So you want to make some chocolate bark? Awesome.
- (High quality) chocolate, about 12 ounces — Dark chocolate is my preference
- Things to mix into the chocolate — I used about ½ cup peppermints
Put your chocolate in a bowl. Microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring after each time.
When the chocolate begins to look melted, take its temperature with Range. You want to make sure it doesn’t get hotter than 90ºF and leave temper.
Once the chocolate is all smooth and melted, stir your crushed peppermints in (or whatever topping you choose). Reserve some to sprinkle on top if you want.
Then pour the chocolate onto a pan lined with wax paper and top with the leftover peppermints. Once the chocolate has set (it should only take a few minutes if properly tempered), cut into pieces and share with your best friends!
Christmas candy: Caramel corn
It’s not Christmas in my family until my Dad has made the first batch of caramel corn (and usually some chex mix to go along as a side dish). The secret family recipe was a little vague when it comes to temperature, so I took this year’s batch as an opportunity to test Range out — and see what was happening behind the scenes with the sugar.
The Secret Family Caramel Corn Recipe:
- 8 quarts popped corn (That’s 32 cups)
- 1/2 pound margarine (Really, that’s what the recipe calls for – substitute butter at your own risk.)
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 1/2 cup light Karo syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
Place popped corn in a greased baking pan. Don’t actually fill your pan this full — you won’t be able to stir it. Split the popcorn into two pans.
Bring margarine, brown sugar, Karo syrup, cream of tartar and salt to boil and cook for four minutes. This will bring the the temperature up to 275ºF by the time it’s done — solidly in the soft crack stage.
Fold in the baking soda to make the mixture fluffy.
Pour mixture over popcorn, and stir to cover the popcorn as evenly as possible. If it starts to harden, don’t worry! Baking the caramel corn will warm it up and soften the caramel (and help you redistribute it each time you stir). You might want to move your phone out of the way first…
Bake in oven at 250 degrees for 45 minutes - stirring every 15 minutes. This will make it crispy. Sometimes caramel corn is too sticky — this one is just right.
Christmas Candy - Fudge
As the Christmas cooking season gears up, we’re putting Range through it’s final tests before shipping them out to Kickstarter backers.
Before jumping into fudge making, It was time to review the candy making basics.
Traditional fudge gets cooked to the soft ball stage — giving it a soft but firm texture. If you don’t cook it long and hot enough, you’ll end up with sticky fudge that won’t hold it’s shape when you cut it. Cook it too long and hot? You’ll end up with hard grainy fudge. Gross.Peanut butter fudge is the office favorite. And it makes a great gift if you do a little Pinterest magic. Tiny snowflakes on a mason jar? Perfect.
Our first time homebrewing with Range was also our first time homebrewing (we made a pale ale). I was surprised at how easy it was, but because I’m nowhere near an expert yet, this won’t get into the nitty-gritty of homebrew science.
First I used Range to bring when heating the water to proper steeping temperature. And then when letting the grains steep — set a timer and an alert so you know if the temperature drops to far.
After steeping, remove the grains and bring the wort up to a boil, add the malt extract and the hops.
Quickly cool your brew down — if the temperature is too high when you pitch the yeast, your beer will not turn out well. I promise.
The hard part’s done now — all you that’s left is to pour the wort in your fermenter with yeast and some more water.
Here’s a graph of Range’s temperature data throughout the process.
After a few weeks of fermenting it’s time to bottle.
I’m currently living in fear of bottles exploding in my closet. We’ll see how it tastes in a couple weeks!
While there’s not a native channel for Twine on IFTTT, it’s easy to set up IFTTT recipes using Twine’s existing notifications. Email? Can do! Twitter? Of course. SMS? That too. It opens up a world of possibilities for your Twine.
For example: Do you hate coming home to dark house? Set up your Twine and a breakout board with a photoresistor to turn on a lamp when it gets dark in your house (with a little help from a WeMo switch and IFTTT).
Here’s how to do it:
1. Set up your Twine with the breakout board and photoresistor like this.
2. Save a rule like this:3. Set up your WeMo switch.
2. Set up a recipe at IFTTT.com that connects emails from your Twine to your WeMo switch.
Something to consider: the WeMo action on IFTTT only checks every 15 minutes, so the lights won’t turn on immediately.
3. Don’t worry about coming home to darkness ever again!
The hard data behind the best turkey
Now that we’ve all detoxed from Thanksgiving overload, it’s time to examine the results of Range’s first taste of turkey.
And the data says the Turkey was cooked perfectly to 165º F — the USDA’s recommendation for killing bacteria. Much higher than that and you’ll end up with dry flavorless turkeys. This turkey? John says it was ”the best goddamn turkey I’ve ever put in my mouth.”
The graph is almost as beautiful as the turkey.