Friday, October 8, 2010


I read a lot of blogs. Well, Google Reader helps me read a lot of blogs, but that's a topic for another day. Most of the blogs I read center around really nifty things that I lust about until I a) find a good deal and break down and buy it, b) it is within two months of my birthday/Christmas and I can make someone else buy it for me, C) I find something cooler to usurp it in my prefrontal lobes. Here are a few things that I haven't bought but are on my SOMEONEPLEASEBUYMETHIS List. Today's episode. Kitchen Gadgetry.

1. Hand Blender

I don't know how much this would help me in the kitchen, but that's part of the allure actually. I hate blenders, and food processors are a major P in the A to clean and take apart and expensive to boot. A hand blender is the perfect alternative. It makes any container a blender. You can make drinks, sauces, soups, any number of things faster than you can say "Who the fuck hid the top of the blender?". My sister works at a kitchen store and I will be asking for one of these under the tree.

2. Bobble 

They look like something Astronauts would keep their space Gatorade in, but they work any gravitational field. The Bobble is a water bottle with a filtration system attached to the spout that filters water directly into your mouth. I'm sure most of you are screaming that "there's nothing wrong with tap water" and to you I say 3 things. First, there is a 30 year age limit on this blog Dad. Second, sometimes even though the water is perfectly safe it still tastes funny. Remember that time when all the water was contaminated with Poo??!? This would have been mighty handy! No? And third, it's a lot better than drinking bottled water all the live long day.  

3. Rice Cooker

Roger Ebert has been singing the praises of rice cookers for decades, (he even wrote a rice cooker cookbook!) and if there's anyone whose opinion I trust unflinchingly, it's Roger Ebert. He claims that it makes absolutely flawless rice that will make you salivate, even if you don't like rice or have salivary glands. I'm not a huge rice fan, but I would like to see what all the fuss is about. He also claims you can make all kinds of other goodies (soups, oatmeals, etc) too, which is good, because I versatile things.

4. Nice knife set (but will settle for nice Santoku knife).

SS has instilled in me the virtues of a nice sharp knife. I don't claim to be a knife expert, or even that I know how to use a knife properly, but I do know that the $8 knife that I bought from TJ Maxx should be able to cut a tomato without smushing it. I promise I will stop putting knifes in the dishwasher if I can have a nice knife. It doesn't have to be super expensive (CMM almost plopped $350 on this 6-piece Shun set on Woot yesterday (don't tell Deirdra)) it just needs to cut things quickly and consistently. I feel like an adult after that sentence.

5. Meat Thermometer

I'm conflicted on meat thermometers. Part of me says if you follow the recipe right and keep tabs on things you shouldn't need one. And the other part of me doesn't want to be making 20 slices into a pork tenderloin and asking everyone what color pork should be and what color these "juices" are "running". If you've ever consumed something undercooked, you probably understand that it is a dangerous game of Russian Roulette. Everyone is hypersensitive following the meal, listening mindfully for the first sign of food poisoning or gastrointestinal distress. And once one person feels "icky", you know it's a ticking time bomb for the rest of  you. Actually, I just convinced myself, I should really get one of these.


  1. 1. A hand (immersion) blender is even more useful than you think it is. Best tool for making creamy soups and such.
    2. I wouldn't have bought that set because it comes with the 6" chefs knife. I much prefer an 8". Also people say you really only need one good knife to do everything with but a decent paring knife is pretty much a necessity too. I also have a ceramic vegetable knife that's really nice for small stuff that doesn't require 8 full inches of sharpness.

  2. 1. Sounds like Collin doesn't have any need for a knife - he's got it covered (and even a fancy ceramic one to boot!).

    2. You do not need a rice cooker! You can make rice on the stove and it will be delicious.

  3. unless I get a special dispensation for the over-30 rule here, and perhaps an apology, this may be my last post(though yes I am/sound like a dad and yes I would say that tap water is just fine, thankyou).

    Colin is spot-on on both counts. A hand blender is indispensable - mine is going on 12 years old and still surprises me with new uses/tricks. And you really can thrive with just the two knives - chef's and paring.

    You should check out cook's illustrated's comprehensive knife review section (cook's illustrated is a good site, especially for science-y, budget minded folks like you - unfortunately most of the good stuff is locked behind a paywall. however, in true "frugal" mikedunn fashion, you can periodically sign up for the 14-day free trial - very useful when you need a specific recipe -cough pumpkin cough - or to get access to their gadget reviews before making a big purchase). I followed their advice when making my budget chef's knife purchase a few years a ago, and the top-rated 8" forschner has been a solid performer.

    a rice cooker is convenient, but unless you consume large bowls of rice daily (or love brown rice and can't get the technique down), ultimately your (or your relatives') money would be better spent on better gadgets. And-sorry to blaspheme Ebert here- a ricecooker is not versatile, unless you like to use a tool for jobs for which other tools are better-suited.

    Good white rice on the stove is within your reach, especially if you have a decent heavy saucepan that is thick and distributes heat evenly. Or just try Craig Claiborne's classic "perfect rice" oven-based recipe (google it) and you will never have ricecooker lust again (that didn't come out right...).

  4. mike, i literally can buy all of those things for like $150 so don't even bother forwarding this list to mom and dad.