Why?????? — my annual kitchen rant…your chance to rant, too

READERS: Due to my complete ignorance of technology, I’m not mounting any pictures right now because I have to learn some stuff I don’t have time to learn…..Be kind. Use your imagination!

And send me your recipe requests. After this week, I’m open to research assignments! Now the blog….

Dar Culinary Universe,

I have a few questions:

Why would anyone market a whisk so heavy-handled that, when you rest it in a dish to go get another ingredient, it overtips and sends ingredients flying everywhere? And it’s from a really good brand, too.

Why do refrigerator manufactures put ridges in the ledges of the fridge that are just uniquely designed to trap drips and other grunge?

Why don’t oven doors open sideways, like a car door, so you can get in there and clean them?

Why can’t they invent a food processor that doesn’t trap ingredients in the blade so that, when you’re scraping it out, you have to work like a slave with a rubber spatula so as not to waste stuff?

Why don’t ovens have built-in timers? (I mean everyday ovens, not the too-expensive-for-the-likes-of-us ones.)

Why doesn’t everything come in a resealable container (and I mean reliably resealable, not just some cheesy thing that you can never get to connect up properly)?

Why do food companies create dozens of new flavors of things so that the store doesn’t hardly have enough room for the basic thing anymore?

Why aren’t spices dated so you know how old they are?

Why don’t all electric stoves use the same size burner liners so you don’t have to take the old gunky one to the store to be sure you’re getting the right size?

Why do microwaves (or anything else in the kitchen, for that matter, other than a timer) have to beep? My refrigerator beeps if I keep it open what it considers too long (which is about long enough to remove two ingredients, when I might be digging four or six things out). I want to smack the thing. And it’s new!

Why do we NEED so many tools and appliances? I’ve got a pineapple cutter, an apple slicer, a gravy grease separator that I use maybe once a year each. Why couldn’t they just settled on a really practical, useful set of tools and then sell the hell out of them?

Have any of these product developers every actually worked in a home kitchen?????? Have they ever tried to lean into an oven and clean the back? Have they ever tried to keep a refrigerator really clean? Have they ever tried to get all those damned tools in one drawer?

I swear, someday I’m going to downsize seriously and it’ll come down to this: three good knives (chef’s, serrated, paring), about four spatulas (different types), a couple of whisks (big and very small), a couple of ice cream scoops (regular and smaller), a good cutting board, a food processor, an immersion blender (despite my recent run-in with one), a microwave (hate ’em but you need them for reheating and melting chocolate), a standing mixer with multiple paddles, a range of pots and pans (range in sizes as well in materials; conventional and nonstick), a Le Creuset Dutch oven, a potato ricer or food mill , a citrus reamer, measuring cups and spoons, a kitchen scale, a colander and a fine strainer, a range of heat-proof bowls in sizes from gigantic to tiny, a set of Emile Henry casserole dishes, tableware and … I think that’s about it. I have pasta maker I haven’t used in a decade. I do have to admit I use my yogurt strainer weekly but that can be done with a bowl and some cheesecloth. I’m addicted to wooden spoons so I have about a half a hundred of them but they’re mostly decorative. I generally use only three of them. Okay, you gotta have some chopsticks and maybe a saimin bowl or two. And some containers for leftovers (but that’s why God invented Ziploc and Glad).

Why have I bought all this STUFF when the manufacturers seem to give no thought whatsoever to my convenience, particularly, how to clean the stuff???

Okay, that’s my year-ending rant. (Well, I might do another.)

I hope you’re having happy holidays. I’d LOVE to hear your kitchen rants and what tools you could not live without.

Oh, one last thing: I admit it. I am LUSTING for a home sous vide machine. There is only one home brand and it costs the earth. But as my therapist says, just close your eyes, breathe, think calm blue ocean and in 10 minutes the craving will go away.

(Yea, right.)


  1. Anna

    December 14, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    So glad to hear I’m not the only one! Fortunately for us, your kitchen hoarding is fruitful and enjoyable.
    Whenever I browse the kitchen aisles, I realize, to my horror, that I have one of each and every little item I see there. I even have the plastic thingie that makes a boiled egg square!
    However, my work horses in the kitchen are the timer (ha!), the microplane, the vegetable peeler and the hand mixer.

  2. Vadalia

    December 15, 2011 at 1:01 am

    Why don’t oven doors open sideways, like a car door, so you can get in there and clean them? ANS: Mine does, a 1963 Tappan Fabulous 400. The 30″ range. Google it.
    Why can’t they invent a food processor that doesn’t trap ingredients in the blade so that, when you’re scraping it out, you have to work like a slave with a rubber spatula so as not to waste stuff? ANS: When ready to pour/scrape something from the bowl of a food processor, put your finger in the hole on the bottom of the container bowl and press against the underside of the blade (like a bowling ball hole – not IN the bowl, UNDER — this will hold the blade in place. Empty as much as of your mixture you can without ruining your spatula. Then put the bowl back on the processor, cover and whir a second or two to clean the blade. Remove the blade and scrape the bowl.
    The rest of the stuff I totally agree with you: my new Samsung microwave from Costco is driving both hubby and me crazy with its 5 beeps. Sounds like a forklift is backing up. We are ready to open it up and pull some wires. We rush to push OFF at the 2 seconds countdown, just so we won’t have to hear that ANNOYING beep.

  3. Soos

    December 15, 2011 at 2:32 am

    I may have a tenth of the stuff you do. I love my immersion blender and fear my son will hog the use of it – smoothies! – when he comes home next week! I need a better workhorse knife. I’m no chef – just a home cook, assembler, recycler and repurposer.

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