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March 05, 2003
turn off that damn Raffi record
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I am a gadget snob.

I have a deep passion and appreciation for food and cooking. My life's goal is to be a chef. I've worked in the cookware section of a major department store and drooled over the inventory. I learned all about cooking equipment; what is useful, what is useless clutter, and what is crapola. And I've watched a hell of a lot of Food TV.

Before I knew any better, I thought I needed drawersful of gadgets to be a good cook. I thought I needed garlic presses and lemon reamers and all that stuff you see hanging on the wall of my aforementioned former employer.

I learned from my friend Audrey that all you need are a couple good knives, and that you should never put the knives in the dishwasher. From there, I learned all kinds of things you'd never know if you learned about kitchen gear from infomercials.

I've grown to despise those idiotic contraptions you see on TV. That thing with the plunger that has the curvy blade that minces a clove of garlic in a second? Stupid. Stupid. Buy a chef's knife (around a hundred bucks on sale) and learn how to use it.

That's what Audrey is standing around for. She's the rep for the knife company. She hangs around on Saturdays and Sundays, just waiting for someone to come up to her and ask her how to use the knife you just bought. And if you take care it, it'll do all the same things as the titanium knife in the other commercial.

Okay, it may not cut a can, but when's the last time you wanted to cut a freaking tin can? Seriously.

Don't get me started on the pancake flipper.

See the lady on the other side of the aisle there, by the pots and pans, in the apron? That's Dhana. She works for the cookware company. She will explain to you why you're burning your eggs. Just buy the nonstick skillet, okay? Spend some money, fill out the card, and read the instructions. It's a piece of equipment, like your Cuisinart. You need to maintain it and clean it. And for the love of God, don't drip-dry a cast-iron pan. Dry it on the stove. Otherwise, the clerk at the store will roll her eyes at you.

And no. You don't need a garlic press. Or a lemon reamer. In fact, a garlic press squishes your garlic beyond recognition and makes it taste bad. Just use the damn knife. Remember, if you see it on TV, it was created by some lazy person who doesn't know how to cook.


But. But. You said you loved the Ronco "Set it and forget it!" rotisserie BBQ thingamabob!

Posted by: Ryan at March 5, 2003 11:15 PM

Well, I have to stand by my spin chopper (and I desperately want a Pasta Pro, no matter what anyone tells me) but then again, I am a lazy person who doesn't know how to cook. :)

Posted by: kreeesty at March 6, 2003 04:51 PM

I have to admit, I also desire Pasta Pro! ;)

I gave my husband a chef's knife for Christmas this year, and you should have seen his face light up! He uses it for everything.

And not all Ronco products are all that bad...I got my parents a clapper one year, and we had hours of fun listening to The Gypsy Kings and watching the Christmas tree lights go on and off and on an off and on and off.... :)

Posted by: Beth at March 9, 2003 10:16 AM

I second the spin-chopper sentiment. I am no slouch with a chef's knife, but I make a lot of fresh salsa, and the spin-chopper thingy lets me make it a lot faster, and enjoy it a lot more often.

Posted by: Vulcan Alumni at March 16, 2003 02:02 PM

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