Adrienne Wolter shares local restaurant reviews, day trips and cooking adventures
First of all, let's hear it for all the inventors who have the patience to take their revolutionary ideas from concept to marketplace. I applaud them for so many reasons, I really do. With that being said, there are just some products - especially kitchen ones - that would have been better left on the drawing board. Yes, they're intriguing, but they're also completely unnecessary.
I got a few new appliances this Christmas, either as gifts from others or as gifts to myself. I finally got the Vitamix I've been dreaming of for ages, and I treated myself to a Starbucks Verismo (a single-serve coffee maker capable of making espresso). Both have already gotten a lot of use. But one gift, I'm sorry to say, went straight back to the store - the very first item on this list.
Perhaps you have wondered if buying one of the following appliances might add efficiency to your culinary routine. I'm here to tell you that the answer is that they won't. All they'll do is sit on a shelf, and unlike a bulky unused elliptical, you can't even use them as a clothes hanger.
Apparently, creating your own version of the Egg McMuffin is so challenging that a product devoted specifically to this arduous task is necessary. The Breakfast Sandwich Maker is truly a one-hit wonder. Unless your diet consists of nothing but English muffins, eggs and cheese, save your money - it costs around $30 - and buy something else for your kitchen that you'll actually use.
If throwing hot dogs into a boiling pot of water or trying not to burn them on a griddle or in a frying pan gets too tough, turn to the Hot Dog Maker. This diabolical appliance will cook up those hot dogs in a jiffy, and warm two hot dog buns simultaneously. At about $40, this is as useless as it gets. Even the most ravenous hot dog fans would scoff.
Be honest: How often do you have a burning need to make crepes? Sure, they're delicious, and I could easily eat them more often than I do, but I'd just use a pan. Easy-peasy. No special appliances, no spending dollars on a machine that will eventually be sold for 50 cents at a garage sale.
Eggs are terrific, and I wouldn't want to live in a world without them. However, I can't figure out why I need a device to boil them when I can put a water-filled pot onto the stove. The Egg Cooker makes zero sense unless you live in a cramped dorm room, and you and your roommate crave nothing but hard-boiled eggs.
I adore those decadent blue and pink strands of cotton candy that are available at festivals and sporting events. With that being said, I have no desire to make cotton candy - or fairy floss as it's sometimes called - in my home. I mean, it might be fun as a one-time lark, but the machine would basically become something of a nuisance rather quickly. I'd rather wait until I could buy cotton candy from someone who has the equipment to make it en masse.
Babies need pureed food at certain points in their lives, and the fresher the puree, the healthier the infant, according to many moms and dads. Yet there's absolutely no necessity for a Baby Food Maker when you have a blender and/or food processor in the house. The baby food maker is probably one of those gifts that is a last-minute grab by a frantic baby shower guest.
I've experienced the old bloody knuckle more than once when grating cheese, but I can't remember even once wanting an electric appliance to do the grating for me. An electric cheese grater may be recommended at, say, a factory that produces grated cheese for mass distribution. However, it doesn't belong anywhere in my house... or yours.
Stick with the basic tools and a few other clever (but small) gadgets and you'll find that your kitchen will be less cluttered and you'll have more to spend on quality food items. Isn't that what being a foodie is all about?