Alright alright alright! Who’s ready for another month of online browsing adventures?
This month I’ve been taking a deep dive into weirdly specific kitchen tools, of all things. I totally used to be one of those people who argued that all you really need is a good knife or two and a good pan. And I do still believe that! My (good) knives and (good) pans are testament to that. But all the same, as of late I’ve been finding myself on more than one occasion down an internet rabbit hole, mentally kitting out my kitchen with more stuff.
When I think about it, I can see I’m still pretty low-key on all of this. You won’t find any apple slicers (that’s a real thing. I must ask, what’s wrong with a knife?) or a strawberry huller (again, I use a knife…) on my list. But where I am decidedly not so chill is on making sure I get exactly the right one of whatever I (have decided I…) need. Hence, weirdly specific. And because they’re all wants, not needs, I can take my own sweet time with this. The weirdly specific kitchen tool deep dive has not yet gone as deep as it could (and will!).
Probably the top priority right now is a salad spinner. We’ve been eating a lot of salad this summer, thanks to the lettuce that grows prolifically in our vegetable garden, and I can’t see that ending anytime soon. The vegetable garden is still acting as if it’s midsummer – our capsicum has new flowers on it, for goodness’ sake. Anyway, using a colander to wash lettuce (and paper towels to dry it) has always worked fine previously, but salad spinners are just really way more efficient. Thing is, they’re big and clunky, and I just don’t really like how they look. This one, for example…
It’s definitely clunky. My kitchen drawer space is precious!
There’s a weird price discrepancy between salad spinners as well – like, how can one be nearly $50 better than the other? The second one is more low-profile, which clearly I approve of, and I think it could have a lawnmower type ripcord action which could be kind of fun? But do I really need my salad spinner to be fun? I mean, I do have Netflix.
In general, it seems like the salad spinner manufacturing industry is ripe for disruption. Something collapsible maybe? I’m looking at you, Joseph Joseph. Oh, I just googled (maybe I should have done that first) and it kind of exists but it still looks way too big and awkward.
I think I’m looking for something specifically aimed at millennials. You know the sort of thing I mean. It’ll have its own app for no good reason at all, and it’ll connect to Alexa, and it’ll have a name like SPNR. That’s what I need.
A salad spinner may be my top priority right now, but a French butter bell has been on my list a loooong time, way longer than the salad spinner. I mean, butter > lettuce, obviously. I should add that I don’t know exactly how French these butter keepers are. I’ve definitely seen them advertised as such, but I do have to suggest it may also be possible that we have romanticised France to such an extent that calling something ‘French’ is a good way to sell it to suckers like me. That said, it works! I love France! And I have the utmost respect for their frankly enlightened and liberating attitudes towards butter.
We’re butter fans in this house, and while I definitely appreciate the practicality of being able to both keep your butter out of the fridge and prevent it from going rancid at the same time, mostly I love the idea of putting something this attractive on the table at breakfast. This has been particularly pertinent of late because it is, of course, hot cross bun season. Thankfully, there’s still time – hot cross bun season flows seamlessly into toast season, bagel season, and crumpet season around here (aka the rest of the year). Here’s what I’m eyeing up…
This is fine. But, as we all know, the point of this is not to find things that are ‘fine’.
I like this, BUT it is not actually a butter bell! It lacks the important water part that keeps the butter from going rancid. It came up when I searched for butter bells so I guess Ballantynes is doing a good job with their SEO. It’s not what I need, but it is nice and I do approve of their copy – ‘for your daily butter needs’ – because it makes me feel seen. I do have daily butter needs, thank you Ballantynes.
Easy winner here. It’s blue, it’s simple, it does what I need it to, it’s actually French, and not only that, it’s Le Creuset, and I have a deep and lasting love for that brand (years and years ago I worked with them, and they took me to see a special screening of Julie and Julia (letting me watch a Meryl Streep movie is a very quick way to earn my undying love and loyalty), and they also gave me products that are still going strong, over a decade later. They’re quality).
While I’ve been writing this, I wondered what the best weirdly specific kitchen tool that I own now is (because yes, all right, it’s not just pans and knives). I’m very fond of my Microplane but I use it for hard cheese, zesting citrus, and grating ginger, so I think it’s too useful? Just not specific enough, at least. I have to say, though, if you’re looking for something that does one thing and does it better than you’d ever imagined, you can’t go past my citrus squeezer. The best. I actually use this all the time. So there you have it!
What’s your favourite weirdly specific kitchen tool? Or what would you really love to own? And if I were to develop the SPNR, would you be in? 😉