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Gadgets You Should Have Tossed Long Ago


gfron1
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Andiesenji,

I couldn't help but notice that while your knife should be hung on the wall, the ruler you used to show perspective, should be tossed...hand-written numbers :raz: Maybe we can takea collection for you to get a new ruler.

BTW, now I feel like this should be a competition in itself...so far the frozen food knife is #1!

gallery_17399_60_12168.jpg

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I looked at the Twist-N-Chop also, there are several makers, some quite fancy - I simply couldn't understand how they could be "ergonomically" designed (in my opinion most engineers aren't all that brilliant about designing things that fit women's hands -

Such as men.

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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Don't feel bad, I got one as a gift from someone who should know better.

My above remark about the "ergonomic" business, is because carpal tunnel syndrome was unheard of before some idiot decided people who do a lot of keyboard work should have the keyboard lowered...... note that this causes the wrist to be bent upward, stretching the tendons and nerves that run through the carpal tunnel. My boss, an orthopedic surgeon, says that people (mostly women) typed on standard and electric typewriters, some for 30 years or more, with the machine at desk height and never developed carpal tunnel syndrome because the wrist is straight in this position and there is no stress on the structures in the carpal tunnel. The "improvements" created a problem and it still exists today.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Andiesenji,

I couldn't help but notice that while your knife should be hung on the wall, the ruler you used to show perspective, should be tossed...hand-written numbers  :raz:  Maybe we can takea  collection for you to get a new ruler.

BTW, now I feel like this should be a competition in itself...so far the frozen food knife is #1!

gallery_17399_60_12168.jpg

I will never part with myheavy, maple, Westcott, Made in U.S.A. rulers. The numbers that are printed often don't show up well in photos so I added the larger numbers with a Sharpee. The brass ruling edge is very sharp, unlike the ones found in stores nowadays.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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You bought that YOURSELF? :blink:

Oh, dear, Jamie -- I never pictured you for a guy who owns a chicken-shaped egg cooker!

I know. The shame, the shame. As the Brits say, I must have been feeling tired and emotional. One should never drink and then walk through the smallwares department. The only good news is that it wasn't a car lot or I might be driving this sports futility vehicle.

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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Oh, dear, Jamie -- I never pictured you for a guy who owns a chicken-shaped egg cooker!

But it has a 5 star rating!

Thank you for partially restoring my reputation around here, Jasmine. I believe the bar we were in was five-starred too.

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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Oh, dear, Jamie -- I never pictured you for a guy who owns a chicken-shaped egg cooker!

But it has a 5 star rating!

Thank you for partially restoring my reputation around here, Jasmine. I believe the bar we were in was five-starred too.

And now back to Biker TV with your host Heather Ireland.

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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I'm profoundly honoured by your kind comments.

Since that article was written I've come to realise that it didn't really exorcise any of my junk acquiring tendencies. Only last week I had to quietly offload a tortilla press and one of those hand-twisty-whirly-apple-peeling dingusses. It was marketed as a 'Shaker Apple Peeler/Corer' which I consider an appalling and grievous slur upon the good people of Lancaster County.

I should, however, sound one cautionary note on general chucking-out.

I have on a shelf in front of me, a wire whisk, Circa 1930, that I inherited from my grandmother. It's rusty, the paint's almost gone from the handle and it's probably the most profoundly unsanitary appliance in existence. I've often asked myself why I haven't thrown it out.

Then, about six months ago, renovating our house, I finally got the opportunity to design a kitchen from scratch. Colour was the subject of protracted and empassioned row which culminated in my wife pointing at the whisk and making an enfuriated but insistent squeaking noise.

The whisk was ceremonially transported to a paint specialist and the sublime 'eau-de-nil' green of its crapulous handle was scanned into the mixing machine. Three months later, I was present in a rural workshop as the hand built cabinetry was sprayed the same gorgeous colour. My Granny would have loved it.

I guess some things are worth keeping even when we can't quite work out why.

Edited by Tim Hayward (log)

Tim Hayward

"Anyone who wants to write about food would do well to stay away from

similes and metaphors, because if you're not careful, expressions like

'light as a feather' make their way into your sentences and then where are you?"

Nora Ephron

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Many people have taken a similar route, in fact two different people I know bought old houses and had kitchens designed around "vintage" appliances and utensils. One in particular loved the cream and green combination propular in the '20s and spent big $$$ on completely renovating a craftsman bungalow in Pasadena.

I advise anyone contemplating tossing out old stuff to first take a look on ebay and see what similar items sell for. (Having bought a lot myself, I am familiar with this.)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I won this in a silly competition to see who had the largest number of tins, bottles, and plastic food containers in their fridge. I won without listing everything and this was my prize.

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It works by pushing the handle downward which makes the blades spin. I used it once to mix powdered buttermilk and water. Will stay with my stick blender and send this off to the thrift store next trip.

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You bought that YOURSELF? :blink:

Oh, dear, Jamie -- I never pictured you for a guy who owns a chicken-shaped egg cooker!

I know. The shame, the shame. As the Brits say, I must have been feeling tired and emotional. One should never drink and then walk through the smallwares department.

We all cook. Everyone knows we cook. Every gift of plastic, metal, acrylic, chrome, whether it be automatic, power-driven, hand-cranked or perfectly inert, can be excused, since it's a GIFT.

Every salad-spinning, food-dredging, egg-timing, rice-steaming gadget, every bit of esoteric mylar-coated, titanium-bladed, battery-burping kitchen ware can be made blameless by the simple words, "She cooks."

Those words render the bearer as innocent of actions and acquisitions as that Southern title "That Child." A That Child swears, misbehaves, harms man and beast, and is benignly regarded as an anomaly to be smiled on, to be trotted out as a matter of misbegotten family pride, of a sort.

A poetry submission won a prize, a bit about a lonely woman, and the judges said the clincher was the line,

"...and a closet full of midnight-ordered junk from Ron Popeil."

There's no shame in the HAVING of the stuff; we blush merely at the idea that we CHOSE it. So let "He Cooks" suffice for the receiving, and consider them all gifts.

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  • 3 weeks later...

As I've been blathering for a while, Casa FoodBabe is getting a new kitchen this year. Mr. FB and I are looking at some of the things that will be replaced, that we keep hanging on to through seven houses, technological advances, and plain old prettier stuff.

We have a small Weber charcoal grill that we bought the week we moved into this house, in 2001. The same one, $75.99 with our Home Depot "welcome to Westchester" coupon. The new Wolf will have a grill, but we can't give this up!

My husband loves his little Krups coffeemaker; the new kitchen will have a Miele coffee center. He's really kind of sad about not having that before-bed ritual, where he'll fill the pot, set the timer, and know it'll be there the next morning, waiting. And he's also kind of sad about giving up his toaster oven, even though the speed oven will do the same things for him.

Anyone else have stuff like this, that they can't give up, even when they are able to? If we are weird, are we totally alone?

"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
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Then count me amongst the weird phalanx, as well. An ancient, arthritic Presto percolator, though I bring it out and set it amongst an espresso machine, a Senseo, several presspots and drip pots, and somewhere in there is a little Aladdin-shaped bottom-to-top Mediterranean thingie that makes luscious syrupy brew.

My parents loved perked coffee, and the SHAPE was even important...none of those little-perkynosed-top-pour things...a nice SPOUT was necessary, and the Presto has quite a nice profile to its credit. I'd always set up the pot the night before, and when I emerged from my bedchamber, the smell of that brew and the sight of Daddy, feet up, in the pool of golden light from the good reading lamp, in my easy chair with a copy of Louis L'Amour---those are some nice memories.

And I wouldn't part with my old Franklin stove for all the stainless-steel, console-like-a-rocketship marvels of this or any other age. She's a black, gleaming, six-burner whiz, with a WIDE oven (whose idiosyncrasies run to blowing out the pilot when you open the door without turning on the gas first). I LOVE her, and she has a lovely family history, as well, having nourished a generation of middle-schoolers (including DS #1) in our little town before coming to me some twenty years ago.

And my Mammaw's chipped Homer Laughlin pieplate---I'm not a cracked-crockery user, but this one---it's turned out more lemon icebox and coconut cream and chocolate pies, all nestled into that never-fail family-recipe crust and topped with egg whites just stolen from the hen, than any lineup of pans in a restaurant kitchen. It's a pretty ceramic plate, with faded roses in the center, and just a whisper of the gold inscriptions all round the edge.

I not only JOIN the Weird Ranks, I'm a founding member.

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  • 2 years later...

Its margherita time (is any time NOT margherita time?) around here so I pulled out my juicer which gets lots of use. I had forgotten how last season we beat it into submission and the handles no longer align. To juice with this, which I did last night, I have to stack two or three limes in it to compensate for the gap. Maybe its time for a new one....naaah.

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I'll have to dig out my old lime juicer that I bought on my first visit to Baja Cal. in 1959. It's made of wood and the hand-hammered hinge is held together with a 30-penny nail.

I came across it a month or so ago when I was digging in a box of junk, looking for a wooden potato smasher. At the time I thought I should dust it off and hang in on my oddities rack but never quite got around to it.

I actually bought it from one of the bartenders in the Jai Lai Palace in Ensenada after watching him juice lemons, limes and little oranges with one for fresh fruit drinks, with seemingly little effort.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I bought this silly herb mill several years ago thinking it would save me the trouble of chopping large quantities of herbs such as parsley. I used it once or twice, then never again. It does a better job of shredding your hands than it does herbs, and cleaning it is a major pain in the ass. Still, after two moves, it remains in my possession -- in the bottom drawer of my storage cabinet, getting in the way of much more useful items. I refuse to toss it. I suppose I'm just in denial that it wasn't a very clever purchase after all. :rolleyes:

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  • 2 weeks later...
plastic egg separator.

Hand-thrown ceramic vegetable steamer

<editted to add the EVULU; "hippy" is an ethnic group, right? :wink:>

I know your post is old, but did you happen to buy that vegetable steamer at a Good Will store in Ann Arbor, MI? Because that's where I sent mine--it didn't so much "steam" the vegetables as "parboil them into mush" God, it was a terrible kitchen tool. :blink:

ETA: And tonight I'll see if I can get a photo of the Cuisinart that I inherited from a friend that has lost the little plastic doohicky that pushes the pin down (the safety mechanism) so the blades will spin--I force it down with a butter knife (with the lid securely in place) instead of taking the time to buy a replacement bowl... Laziness--where would I be without thee?

Edited by BekkiM (log)
Feast then thy heart, for what the heart has had, the hand of no heir shall ever hold.
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The Mayoknife.

I've had this taking up space in my utensil drawer for years. I used it for a while until I realized that it was far less useful than a half spatula.

We have this. Chris loves it; he uses it to make sandwiches and burgers, even when the mayo jar is full to the brim. If he doesn't see it in the utensil drawer immediately, he grabs one of my wood-handled spreading spatulas and mookeys up the handle past bearing.

So when it's time to spread mayo, and he wants to spread his own, I lay it out, along with the condiments and sandwich makings. Thus it gets used, ad infinitum.

So I CAN'T throw it out. :sad:

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