Good Gadget, Bad Gadget Pt. VI

I have a bad habit of bringing my favorite cooking utensils places, and leaving them there. You may remember the sad saga of my favorite wooden spoon which got left in a ski cabin at Big Bear. Similarly, I left my favorite tongs at a cooking lesson I was giving for my friends’ gourmet girls group. And then I left my next-favorite tongs at the Steve McQueen beach house in Malibu.

A man cannot live long without tongs.

So it was that I was out at Target, shopping for a new pair of tongs amidst the long aisle of mostly useless cooking gadgets. The very same day, I received the first of what will undoubtedly be a “Summer is coming” onslaught of emails from Sur la Table, Williams-Sonoma, Cooks.com and other helpful sources touting this season’s newest and greatest tools and resources for the outdoor cook. More

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Good Gadget, Bad Gadget Pt. V

It’s fun to kick off a new year with another addition of our popular post, “Good Gadget, Bad Gadget.” It seems that even with an economic downturn, the gadget industry is employing armies of product designers and child labor-stocked Chinese factories in the creation of countless new must-have items for the kitchen.

I’m a fan of modern design — we live in a midcentury modern house with sectional couch, Barcelona lounges, shiny orange barstools we call the “iStools”. But one of the most important points to modern design is “form follows function.” And one of the prevailing afflictions in modern design — especially kitchen gadget design — is “form follows form.” In other words, when clever product designers get really cool ideas with utter disregard to whether something is needed.

From the outlands of the avant garde comes the modern edition of “worst gadgets”. I call these “Form Gone Wild”:

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The Garlic Zoom XL. Not sure what the “XL” is for, except that’s what people tack on to the names of their new cars, motorcycles and other products to make them sound futuristic.

And speaking of new cars, could you not just see this little pod cruising across the surface of Mars? Not sure what it does to garlic, though.

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The Skinny Girls Creative Process

Welcome to the third season of Skinny Girls & Mayonnaise!

(I like to think of my blog like a TV show, in the event that some enterprising producer out there decides to offer me a cooking show.)

“Brought to you by the good people at Kikkoman Soy Sauce. And by the Norwegian Seafood Council.” (I’m a PBS guy.)

We’ve got a great year ahead, folks, with all sorts of interesting things planned…

Corn butterer

Actually, I’ve got nothing in particular planned. I typically jot down ideas as they occur to me (much like this one, and I currently have no idea where this is going). More

Good Gadget, Bad Gadget Pt. IV

Summer is on the horizon. Which means it’s time for a new onslaught of absurd kitchen gadgets. (Next winter’s clearance items.) Kudos to kitchen gadget inventors everywhere for their continued creativity in coming up with an infinite procession of products we didn’t even know we needed. (And, if you’re like me, you’re just clamoring for new gadgets to fill up all that empty cabinet space in your kitchen.)

As usual, when I’m finished exploring the world of the ridiculous, I will delve briefly into the truly useful — which is, sadly, a much smaller category. But first, the Hall of Shame:

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This may be the worst kitchen gadget ever invented. Thank you, Suzanna, for passing this one along:

Tuna press — to press the oil out of the tuna can... I kid you not.

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Good Gadget, Bad Gadget Pt. III

Obviously I like writing about gadgets.

Mostly because I’m continually amused at some of the things people produce for the kitchen. Like politics, it’s an endless source for humor. And, contrarily, I keep realizing how lost I would be in the kitchen without certain other tools.

From the “Over $100 Things You REALLY Don’t Need Unless You’re a Molecular Cooking Nerd” category come these fine new items being offered “exclusively” in a recent email.

A "food smoker" for $100. To add a bit of smoke flavor to your food.

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