Thursday, April 27, 2006

Someone's in the Kitchen with Dinero

The Williams-Sonoma catalog arrived and I finally figured it out. Why do rich people build 2,000-square-foot kitchens, yet can't and don't cook? The catalog contains the answers. They need the monster kitchen to store all the shiny gadgets they'll use once, if at all.
Here are some of the items the culinary imagineers at Williams-Sonoma have invented for May, 2006. Quick, build an addition to the house so you can install more cherrywood cabinets.
You must have a $149.95 thermo whipper so you can make food foams like that crazy guy at El Bulli in Catalonia. Choose savory or sweet foam, or better yet, fly to Spain.
And how can you have a simple plate of asparagus without a complete set of "asparagus tools"? For a total of $151.90 you can get the All Clad asparagus pot, asparagus double boiler, asparagus tongs, asparagus peeler and asparagus colander. Hey, I just use a $2.95 pan from the drugstore and my pee doesn't smell any worse than yours.
I could go on about the $40 Calphalon pepper roaster that saves you the inconvenience of roasting peppers over a burner with a fork, or the $36 batter dispenser that squirts perfect circles of pancake batter onto the griddle without messy drips. (Rich people hate mess, another reason they don't cook.) But what I really want to go on about is the $199.95 electric vacuum marinator, pictured above. Knock out a wall, we must make room for one of these.
As the Crankette once pointed out, most electric kitchen appliances either spin (the Cuisinart and all its ilk) or they get hot (like George Foreman's grill or Williams-Sonoma's croque monsieur maker). The electric vacuum marinator does more. It rotates and sucks.
Just toss the meat and marinade in the machine's plastic barrel, hit the button, and the air is expelled while the meat rotates. Not only is it supposed to infuse meat with a "deep, rich flavor," but it looks appealingly like the device that turned Jeff Goldblum into a fly-man.
Nobody who really cooks would use any of this crap. It's just stuff you'd have to wash afterward, and find a place to store. And you wonder why the take-out sections of gourmet supermarkets are crammed with so many rich people. Their designer kitchens are just too cluttered and it's so hard getting a contractor who can keep up.


Blogger Dagny said...

My dad is king of the gadgets and unfotunately he insists upon buying them as Christmas gifts for me. The only gift of his that I consistently use is my Kitchenaid mixer -- and that's because I specifically requested it. OK. And occasionally I use the Cuisinart. Does anyone want a bread machine?

10:07 PM  
Anonymous kudzu said...

This is hysterical! And you're right: the marinator rotates --- and SUCKS. I haven't seen this because I tossed my WS catalog right away.

People often present me with kitchen gifts on special occasions. One of the silliest was a crepemaker, a pan-like thing with a rounded bottom that you dipped into batter and inverted over the heat to cook the crepe -- well, you get the idea. Batter dripped everywhere and never cooked properly and the thing ended up in a box designated for the Little Sisters of the Rich, as a friend calls the Catholic thrift shop.

8:52 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...


I wouldn't buy and don't want a thermal whippper, but I _really_ want to play with one for a couple of weeks.

9:19 AM  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Kevin: Me too! [chagrin]

Kudzu: Or what about that silly raclette melter?

Dagny: My dad asked me why I don't want a bread machine. Because I live in the Bay Area!

Cranky may or may not drop by to comment; he's on the patio soaking up much needed warmth.

3:00 PM  
Blogger PEFACommish said...

I have one of those food shrinkwrap machines that allows you to suck the air out of the bag. The main use of them is to allow food to last longer in the fridge and in the freezer.

A second benefit is that you can marinate stuff. The vacuum forces the marinade into the meat more efficiently. Of course if you actually use a bag, the liquid marinade comes flying out of the bag during the sucking process.

11:40 AM  
Anonymous 'Ol Pilot said...

Williams Sonoma used to sell a $25 polycarbonate (Lexan) marinator that was very good, albeit a bit small. It used the same rubber corks and pump that wine saver gizmos use. I had one and it was great. It rapidly infused flavor in meats and veggies. But it eventually cracked, probably because my wife repeatedly put it in the dishwasher. Polycarbonate at elevated temperatures and humidity is hydroscopic which will eventually embrittle it. So will the acetic acid (vinegar) in marinades. I'd buy another one in a heartbeat if they would make it a little bigger and make it from 300 series CRES (stainless steel, for non-engineers)

1:23 PM  
Anonymous Shrink Wrap Machine said...

Shrink wrapping is a comparatively new technology. and that made packaging operations easier, convenient, and economical. Shrink packaging can be applied not only to individual product but also to stacks. It helps to arrange small objects into compact packs. A shrink film is wrapped around the product and kept on the conveyer and the film is shrunk by applying hot air or by passing through the shrink tunnel. The process is controlled by pyrometer to give the product a tamper proof over wrap.

4:16 AM  

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