Spending money on kitchen stuff that may never get used is nothing new – Williams-Sonoma has been around for years. But lately I’ve been noticing a new crop of products designed to appeal to the manic person in each of us, or, at the very least, that speak to my own personal weaknesses. These products are effective in that they create an anxiety only relievable by their purchase, much like the iPad. So in that spirit, I present the following cherry-picked selection of Kitchen Junk 2.0:
Have the imprecise dicing skills of your significant other been slowly driving you insane? Do the poorly cubed carrots in the garnish atop your butter-poached scallops cause you to awaken, screaming, covered in sweat? There is help. Check out the OCD Chef Cutting Board.
You don’t even have to bring up the problem – just gift wrap it for your loved one and pair it with this Apron Cooking Guide and the issue will sort itself out. Of course, if you do this, it might be in your interest to be wearing one of these stab-proof aprons. As it is German and comes from a company called “Heilemann Sicherheitstechnik GmbH” you can have full confidence in its protective capabilities. The price is “upon request” so it is safe to assume it doesn’t come cheap, but it will likely be a wash compared to the surgery co-pay with the lagniappe of not needing any recovery time in the ICU.
Whoever said the iPad was a solution in search of a problem clearly never heard about the iGrill, a Bluetooth-enabled meat smoking solution which transforms that glorious touchscreen into the BBQ equivalent of NASA Mission Control:
The device works as a probe thermometer, streaming real-time data to your current iWhatever, presenting a cornucopia of smoking minutia certain to keep you occupied for the 14 hours it takes that pork shoulder to reach maximum deliciousness. Virtual gauges, alarms and on-demand recipe resources are all there. While you kick back, enjoy a glass of wine. This one. It holds a full bottle and you can honestly tell people you’ve only had one drink.
Of course, the wine might make you sleepy, so it may behoove you to pick up a package of the World’s Finest Caffeinated Marshmallows, emblazoned with Mr. Stay Puft of Ghostbuster’s fame:
These are kinda cool, actually. I bought some for a friend over Christmas. Alternatively, one could order this unique tea picked by real monkeys, who presumably know a good tea leaf when they see it or, at least, a good marketing peg. This is sort of a kissing cousin of the Civet Poop coffee, which I sampled a little while back.
The possibilities are endless: Snack on the world’s most expensive cheese sandwich while browsing this Field Guide to Stains, or bring some Thanksgiving Dinner Gumballs home for the holidays. All I know is that I’m buying this stuff on my emergency backup credit card so my wife doesn’t see the receipts, because the last time I brought home this can of delicious, fully-cooked Tactical Bacon I had to play it off as a gag gift for a friend.
Jay Forman is the dining editor for New Orleans Magazine and the author of a monthly Table Talk column.