Thursday, May 21, 2009

Today's Kool Idea: Collapsible / Pop Up Mesh Food Covers

Once a month, The Daily Kool family gets together with a group of friends at the park for a great big picnic lunch. We have such a good time! We all split the cost of a pavilion, and each family is responsible for bringing one food dish and at least one game for the kids to play together. This has to be one of the best ideas we've ever afternoon of fun in the sun, coupled with great friends, yummy food and our children's infectious laughter in the background. Did we mention the food? Imagine a picnic table filled with delectable delights...salads, dips, sandwiches, casseroles, desserts...the list goes on and on. The one thing that has always put a damper on our picnic though, is the sheer number of pests that inevitably try to horde in on our buffet. Seriously, folks...we're tired of constantly shooing flies away from our food...sure, it gives our arms a good workout, but this is just not the way we want to tone up our biceps. We needed to find a better way to protect our goodies.

Well, guess what...those little buggers better watch out, because their days of crashing our party are definitely numbered. We first came across these collapsible / pop up mesh food covers on QVC. After reading the reviews on both QVC and Amazon, this is definitely the answer we've been looking for! Check it out...this set is much better than the angled food domes we've seen. The sides go straight up (8 inches high), giving us more room to pile food high on each serving plate without worry. These
food covers also seem much sturdier...the wired bottoms look like they'll even keep the crawly bugs away. The mesh makes it really easy to see what's underneath the food covers, and the three sizes make it easy to accommodate all types of dishes. We love how these pop up mesh food covers collapse down to practically nothing when not in will be a cinch to find a place to store them. The only complaint that has been fairly consistent across the reviews is that the collapsible / pop up mesh food covers are unlikely to hold up on windy days. This is not much of a surprise, since ease of lifting them to get to the food is a major selling point. It should be solvable with a simple tablecloth weight, though...definitely not enough of an issue to prevent The Daily Kool from buying them, but something to keep in mind.

Amazon and QVC seem to have slightly different versions of the collapsible / pop up mesh food covers. Amazon's comes in a set of three...costs less, but the shipping is higher, so it evens out (both Target and HSN are higher priced). However, this version uses a nylon mesh ring to uncover the food instead of the full length strap found on the QVC
model. The centered ring might actually make it easier to keep the food covers steady when lifting up and putting down. Also, QVC's five piece set only comes with one of the largest size. So, we decided to place our order with Amazon for this one. We purchased three sets, so we can easily accommodate our large gatherings...the reasonable price (about $10 per set) was certainly worth it.

We can absolutely see getting a lot of use out of our collapsible / pop up mesh food covers. They are a great idea for picnics, barbecues and even camping trips. They are also ideal for indoor use...the food covers should be a useful deterrent to prevent pets and little children from getting into the dishes unsupervised. What a fabulous gift idea! Hopefully, these "kool" food covers are as terrific as they seem. We can't wait to try them out at our next park get together!

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