Reader Feedback: Instant Pot, Home Chef, Etiquette, Tap Water

I have the most loyal and responsive readers on earth. Every day I can count on my inbox filling up with your opinions, reactions, gratitude, funny stories, arguments and even an occasional rebuke from a reader who lets me have it!

What really gets my attention is when I receive hundreds of responses to a single post. That’s when I know we’re on to something. Here’s a tiny sampling to show you what I’m talking about.


My new Instant Pot sat in the box for a few weeks. I wasn’t sure what to do with it and maybe I was a little scared. Thanks for pushing me to give it a try. I joined the Instant Pot Community online and now I’m so comfortable using it. That group is wonderful and I’ve learned so much. You’re right—Instant Pot is amazing. Now I use it every day to make at least one meal. It has paid for itself more than once by now. I’m hooked on Instant Pot! Sally

Please remind everyone to read 10 Common Mistakes You Can Avoid as New Instant Pot User before they even open the box. I made mistake #1, foolishly. IP Customer Service helped me rescue my IP. Colleen

I love my Instant Pot so much I gave one to my daughter-in-law for her birthday. Let’s just say that was the best money I could have spent. Molly

Thanks for this post about Instant Pot. I am getting acquainted with mine, and I just made yogurt! I loved that heating the milk to the right temp was preset and I didn’t have stand over the stove watching to see that the milk didn’t actually boil. And then I could just stick the thermometer in and do other things while the temp dropped to 110F. Then I mixed the starter (left over from store bought plain yogurt) and poured the milk into glass jars and set the pot again. It worked great! JM


For the first time in my life, I look forward to making dinner when we have a Home Chef meal kit in the fridge. My 15-year old son and I do it together (a miracle right there) just like we’re on TV. Even better, we love everything about the food. Myria

Haven’t been in a restaurant or take-out joint since meeting your Home Chef. Kudos and many thanks. William

I cannot thank you enough for introducing us to Home Chef. At first I was reluctant to even try because it sounded too weird. But I couldn’t pass up the  $30 coupon you offered us [still available-mh] and just wanted to give it a try. Home Chef is my new best friend. I thank you, my husband and kids thank you. Twice now, I’ve used the gift card option at Home Chef to send a dinner-in-a-box to  friends and family. It’s best gift ever. Dedria

I too tried Home Chef after you last mentioned it. I have loved it! I look like a genius in the kitchen now. And Bob is eagerly coming home from work to see what I’ve whipped up for dinner. CBS did a comparison of these dinner prep kits and gave Home Chef the highest rating. They said that they could not purchase the ingredients cheaper in their evaluation—and that did not consider the time and energy involved in going to the market. I give Home Chef 5 stars! Janine


Thank you for the “should I pay the minister” advice. I am the wife of a minister and I am amazed at what people think regarding that. When he spends his entire Saturday afternoon and evening (his day off) away from his family and performing your wedding, I get pretty annoyed with no payment. His qualifications allow him to perform your wedding, but it is not part of his “job.” He can say “No, sorry.” which I encourage because people are so cheap and my time with him is so valuable. Honestly, I have to tell myself not to ask because otherwise I get so angry. Leaving it in God’s hands and you were his instrument today. Bless you and your advice through the years—it has helped me tremendously! Anonymous

Thank you SO much for telling your readers to ask for separate checks when or before they order. I’ve been a server nearly two decades, and I can say without a doubt this makes the server’s job so much easier, and allows them to give all their tables the best service because they don’t have to scramble and ignore others need in a last minute ‘crisis’ when one table wants to get out the door but need a party of 10 split up ten times with three different payment methods. Nicole

Thank you for these useful guidelines. Here’s another thought: When customers add their tip to the total charge on a credit card, some restaurants pay their credit-card fees out of tip money, thereby shorting the server. We usually pay with a credit card when we eat out, but we try always to tip in cash. (We’re very careful credit-card users and never carry a balance!) Maggie


I have read about fluoride—what it is and how it came to be used in municipal water supply—I avoid tap water whenever possible. I invested in a Berkey water filter with the added fluoride filters. It has paid for itself because non- fluoridated water is so much better for my health and I no longer pay for questionable bottled water. Donna

I enjoyed this column because I too think the bottled water industry has taken advantage of folks. As a retired pediatric dentist I am concerned about the widespread use of bottled water (which often contains negligible fluoride, depending on its source or processing) and folks avoiding tap water containing fluoride.

Your column recommended use of a reverse osmosis filter. If the system uses reverse osmosis, fluoride will be removed from the water. Many of these products do not use reverse osmosis and the child will receive fluoride. The parents should check the system they install to make sure it is NOT reverse osmosis. Daniel W. Shaw, DMD, MSD formerly Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry

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