Flipping through a catalog of must-have kitchen gadgets, Terry had enough. “Oh, come on!” she exploded. “Why would ANYBODY need this?”
She waved the catalog under my nose. It was a brownie pan that, for $20, comes with a slicer that always cuts your brownies into 12 equal pieces.
“Just cut your brownies with any ol’ knife you already have,’’ Terry said. “If they have to be the same size, get out the tape measure.
“But really, if they’re all the same size, how can you sneak the big one? Or pretend you’re following your diet by taking a slightly smaller one?’’
Obviously, Terry had forgotten what it was like to be a kid. The whole world depends on your brother or sister not having one sip or one bite more than what Mom served you. Some parents would pay far more than $20 to squelch the battle cry, “Mooommmmmm! He got more than I did!”
It was a rare treat for us to have a Coca-Cola when I was kid. When a bottle did show up, Mom divided it into two cups for my brother Tim and me. You better believe we boys slid our cups together to take stock.
“Mom, Tim’s cup is fuller!” I would yell, noticing a barely perceptible smidgen of a difference.
“Let me fix that,” Mom said. She picked up Tim’s cup and took a sip.
“Mooommmmmm!” Tim yelled. “Now Burton has more!”
“So he does,” Mom said. And she took a sip from mine despite my assurances that I was fine with how things stood.
This went on for a few more rounds until the cups were exactly even. Then we boys were satisfied.
Somehow, it escaped our attention that we both ended up a few gulps short and that our satisfaction wasn’t why Mom was smiling while she dabbed her lips.
You know, a $20 portion control tool might be useful even if Terry thinks it’s crazy.
The best way to create crazy kitchen gadgets is to take something that works fine and add electronics.
The Twirling Spaghetti Fork is a great $9 investment if you’ve eaten so much pasta that you no longer have the energy to rotate your utensil yourself. A cheaper solution would be to drop your face into your plate and slurp.
The $20 Egg Genie is like a little incubator. Place seven eggs in the slots, flip the switch and when the light shines, you have boiled eggs! Or, you could just boil water in a pan you already have and fix the whole dozen.
The $40 Digital Timer with Removable Remote Beeper lets you leave the thermometer in the meat, keep the synced beeper, and no matter where you are in the house, it will buzz you when the meat is done. It saves the trouble of having to actually look at it.
For $13, you can buy pizza scissors to cut your pizzas if you don’t want to use, say, any knife in the house. Or get the Pizza Boss 3000 for $16.50. It’s a power pizza cutter shaped like a miniature circular saw.
Better yet, get the chain saw out of the garage. You could prove your skill if your finesse is light enough to slice bread but your strength still is manly enough to fell 8-foot-circumference trees with the same chain saw. It’s for the true Renaissance man.
It makes just as much sense as some kitchen gadgets Terry pointed out to me.
Hey, how come her glass is fuller than mine? Does anybody know where I can find power measuring cups?