My Holiday Kitchen Guide

I, too, have struggled to meet my culinary needs, so I thought I would help you all out with my helpful guide of items that might be useful in the kitchen. First, let’s conquer the salt challenge. As we all know, salt is vital and goes in almost everything we cook, so who wants to waste time hunting for it, shaking it out of a shaker, fiddling with the top, and all that other hassle? To solve this existential kitchen crisis, I’ve decided to use the following item:

I call it “bowl.” I place it on the counter next to my other spices, and when I need salt, I know exactly where to go. The best part of this item is that it can multi-task. It can also hold pepper, spice rub, melted butter- hell, you name it. It really is a must have in every kitchen.

The next item I have on my guide that you might find useful is the following:

That is a “knife.” With one of those, you can basically do anything you want in a kitchen. Yes, if you must, you can spend thousands of dollars on a knife for every occasion, but really, that is the only one you really need. It slices, it dices, it chops, it peels, it deveins, it skins, it carves- you can do pretty much everything with it, including slitting your wrists after reading the Atlantic.

Finally, the must have item, far better than some ridiculous 1500 dollar piece of machinery, is the following:

I call this one “hand.” It can make a flawless bechamel or hollandaise, it kneads, it peels garlic, it stirs, it transports. It really is the miracle tool. Best of all, barring a freakish accident, you should probably already have a matching set of them. You would be shocked what you can do with them.

You can even separate eggs with them. It’s fucking amazing.






159 replies
  1. 1
    Corner Stone says:

    that be useful

    Hmmm…
    And my God. WTF is wrong with your hand?

    ETA, honestly man. Did a bee sting your hand in several locations?

  2. 2
    cathyx says:

    Where do you get those things called hands? I can’t find it on Amazon.

  3. 3
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Corner Stone:

    And my God. WTF is wrong with your hand?

    Overuse from other useful things?

  4. 4
    BGinCHI says:

    Also, Megan, if you’re reading this, one of those three things can be used for sexual pleasure. In either an auto-erotic mode or on your conservative husband.

    Go ahead and guess which one.

    Or just try them in the order John has presented them and get back to us. And yes, it’s ok if you test this in your kitchen.

  5. 5
    Raven says:

    Jammed thumb.

  6. 6
    John Cole says:

    @Corner Stone: Well, I’ve broken every finger 2-3 times, so they are kind of gnarled, but that is just a weird angle for the picture.

  7. 7
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    TALK TO THE HAND!

    “You there! Hand! Make some flawless bechamel at a fraction of the price of $1500 kitchen gadgets!”

    “And after you’ve done that, make me a sammich and get me a beer!”

  8. 8
    Bill says:

    Back in the ol’ chef days, I used to be pretty good at repairing broken hollandaises and bearnaises.

    If someone added their butter too fast and broke the sauce, I would fix it for them, but they had to ask me to Come To Their Emulsional Rescue.

    True Story.

  9. 9
    Comrade Mary says:

    Very few things I read actually make me laugh out loud. Your pigless salt cellar did the trick.

    (Psst: while you have the camera out, a picture of your sous-chef Tunch would not be unappreciated. Pleeeeeease?)

  10. 10
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Bill:

    Come To Their Emulsional Rescue.

    God will get you for that.

  11. 11
    Baron Jrod of Keeblershire says:

    Nice countertops.

    What are they made of?

  12. 12
    Raven says:

    Ya’ll might enjoy this new cookbook from Athen’s own Hugh Achenson (originally from Canada). A New Turn in the South.

  13. 13
    Bill says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I have literally been dragging that joke around for 15 years or more.

  14. 14
    dmsilev says:

    Yes, yes, but is that ‘hand’ imported from Italy or Japan? If not, it’s no good.

  15. 15
    Violet says:

    Thank you, John Cole. This post is a thing of beauty. Hand excepted.

  16. 16
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    Your fancy salt holder looks remarkably similar to mine, which came from that swanky store, IKEA.

  17. 17
    BGinCHI says:

    @Raven: He’s been on this season’s Top Chef a lot. He comes off a little dickish.

  18. 18
    tamiedjr says:

    I’m sensing a little sarcasm on this thread.

  19. 19
    Anoniminous says:

    @Bill:

    Whisked their problems away, eh?

  20. 20
    Baron Jrod of Keeblershire says:

    @dmsilev: It may not be Himalayan, but it is pretty pink.

  21. 21
    Yutsano says:

    I haz salt bowl jealousy. Mine is just a small dish.

  22. 22
    Redshift says:

    Hey, if you’re lucky, just posting a picture of a knife next to one of a hand will get you one of them Moore Awards from Sully!

  23. 23
    PeakVT says:

    Wait, no “spoon”? Though I suppose “hand” could be used as a spoon in a pinch, so it’s really not a necessary item.

    @Baron Jrod of Keeblershire: That’s actually the top of his stove. Cole has previously posted a photo of a formica countertop which he claims is in his house. We should still send the inspectors over at some point, however.

  24. 24
    Corner Stone says:

    @John Cole: My dad was a switchman for the railroad for 30 years. Got hands like catchers’ mitts, slap you into next week or take a cast iron skillet out of the oven.
    And his aren’t that messed up.

  25. 25
    dmsilev says:

    So, at this point we’re just teasing poor Mr. Levenson, right? Just waving that low-hanging fruit right in front of his face, daring him to fall off the wagon.

  26. 26
    Julia Grey says:

    Yeah, that “egg separator kit” made me laugh.

    Not just a single silly gadget, mind you. A KIT.

  27. 27
    ruemara says:

    I’m busy animating flying fallopian tubes and this is a welcome respite from keyframing. And…I think I have all those needed kitchen items, except I’m not into the pink gnarled thing.

  28. 28
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @tamiedjr:

    This reminds me of Counselor Troi advising Picard that a ship filled with Klingons might have hostile feelings.

  29. 29
    Corner Stone says:

    Call me elitist but I really enjoy a well balanced whisk.
    There, I said it.

  30. 30
    RossInDetroit says:

    If you went into most people’s kitchens and took away all but eight cooking utensils, in six months they’d be a much better cook. Skills, not tools.

  31. 31
  32. 32
    passerby says:

    I was laughing by the time I got to the virtues of “knife”, then I saw “hand” and that just did me in.

    But, ya know what, on a serious note I think I’m gonna try the “white salt” in “bowl” method. I have a nice flowing salt shaker (with grains of rice just like my grandmother showed me) but I can see clear advantages to having an open dish, “bowl” or salt cellar.

    So thanks for the tip, John.

    ETA: the most frivolous gadget I’ve got is probably the boiled egg slicer. The “knife” and “hand” could handle it, but its more fun to put the egg in the cutter.

  33. 33
    Redshift says:

    OT: Hey, I just noticed I made the front page on TPM yesterday evening!

  34. 34
    Raven says:

    @BGinCHI: BD wrote the Preface. It’s funny, he lives around the corner on Blvd and we see his wife and kids quite a bit but he’s always on the road. The only contact I had with him was a flame war on the neighborhood listserv a few years ago and I thought he was a dick. He was really nice this morning when I popped $40 for the book. The new local indy bookstore held a signing event at the farmer’s market and he was even nice to this ditz that showed up with 6 copies and announced “I bought these on Amazon”!

  35. 35
    Cain says:

    @PeakVT:

    Wait, no “spoon”? Though I suppose “hand” could be used as a spoon in a pinch, so it’s really not a necessary item.

    If there was a spoon, there would be a picture of his fav dog next to it. Symbolism is powerful I hear.

  36. 36
    dmsilev says:

    @Julia Grey: I’ve seen those things advertised before, and my understanding is that they don’t really work all that well. Shocking, I know.

    And, as we discussed ad infinitum in the previous thread, it’s not like separating eggs is all that hard, even for those poor souls who use nothing but their hands, the egg shells, and a couple of bowls or cups or whatever.

  37. 37
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    For the sake of completeness, John, maybe you should point out that that last one is a left hand and many people don’t find those all that useful and might consider it a luxury. Still, I wouldn’t give mine up.

  38. 38
    Corner Stone says:

    I actually have a chef’s knife and a Santoku. Call me Jamie Dimon Jr. but the serrated Santoku may be the best single purchase I’ve made for the kitchen.
    If you’re kicking me under the bridge the Santoku is the knife I’m taking with me.

  39. 39
    Julia Grey says:

    I need a wooden spoon. You know, to stir the grits.

  40. 40
    Redshift says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: That’s why the most dangerous character to have in the Star Trek TNG drinking game is “drink when Troi says something blindingly obvious.”

  41. 41
    Anoniminous says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I used to have problems with people running off with my kitchen implements. Now I keep them padlocked, which is why I have to find the whisk key before cooking dinner.

  42. 42
    RossInDetroit says:

    If I had a bowl of salt Mrs. inD would drop a coffee cup on it and break it, sweep the salt onto the floor by accident, then the dog would eat it and throw up. We keep things in closed containers. Plastic ones.

  43. 43
    Joel says:

    You know, my in-laws gifted us with a bunch of Wusthof knives and a lot of them are nice and useful (especially the paring knives, can’t have enough of those). But when push comes to shove, the best knife in our box is:

    http://www.amazon.com/Victorin.....B0000CF8YO

    h/t to Cooks Illustrated for pointing that one.

  44. 44
    PaminBB says:

    Nicely done. Too bad you only have one of those hand things. Maybe you could add one to your Amazon wish list.

  45. 45
    Redshift says:

    @dmsilev: Heck, I have barely developed any cooking skills at all, and even I can separate an egg. (The quiche recipe said “brush the crust with egg white” and I just did it.)

  46. 46
    Bill in Section 147 says:

    The hand, even the used one pictured, is probably out of my price range. When I think of the wonders I could do with just one more than the two I have. truly a remarkable gadget.

  47. 47
    Raven says:

    @Joel: MY 40 year old carbon steel Sabatier’s will do just fine.

  48. 48
    Corner Stone says:

    @Redshift:

    That’s why the most dangerous character to have in the Star Trek TNG drinking game is “drink when Troi says something blindingly obvious.”

    “Captain, we have to get out of here.”
    REEEEAAAALLLYYYY??

    But she serves her purpose. It’s too early for me to expound on the greatest in the ST series universe.

  49. 49
    Liberal Sandlapper says:

    I love the salt bowl and the knife, but why do you have a picture of that mangled piece of meat in the third picture?

  50. 50
    Julia Grey says:

    Cast iron griddle. Holds the heat, and once it’s seasoned, a little oil goes a long way. Who needs “Non Stick”?

  51. 51
    Yutsano says:

    @Redshift: Just remember us little peeps. That’s all I ask.

  52. 52
    Corner Stone says:

    @Anoniminous: Hmmm…the whisk key…

  53. 53
    policomic says:

    THAT’S nawt a “knoife,” THIS is a knoife.

  54. 54
    sukabi says:

    @Julia Grey: best egg separator out there is the shell that the egg came out of..

  55. 55
    robertdsc-PowerBook says:

    Grand slam, John. Grand fucking slam!

  56. 56
    passerby says:

    @Julia Grey:

    I need a wooden spoon.

    Indeed. A wooden spoon is a happy spoon. But lately, I’ve taken to using hi-temp spatulas. Got like, 8 or 9 of them in different colors.

    Works real well for grits I find. And also for scrambled eggs in teflon pans.

  57. 57
    Mnemosyne says:

    I’m taking a cooking bootcamp at the beginning of February. I’m hoping not to lose a finger as they attempt to teach me knife skills.

    I’m actually a pretty good cook, but I tend to use a lot of pre-cut veggies since I have a very rational fear of injuring myself with sharp/pointy things. Again. Especially after this year’s potato-related trip to urgent care on St. Patrick’s Day before I’d had a drop of alcohol.

  58. 58
    Svensker says:

    @Bill:

    but they had to ask me to Come To Their Emulsional Rescue.

    I’m hoping to remember this long enough to spring it on the siblings at Christmas. I have anticipatory groaning pleasure.

    Also, too, John Cole, this post improved mah crappy day big time.

  59. 59
    Raven says:

    @Mnemosyne: Keep that knife sharp and the tip on the cutting board.

  60. 60
    Mnemosyne says:

    Also, too, if you’ve never seen it, there’s a hilarious series on YouTube called My Drunk Kitchen.

    G has a huge crush on the host. Fortunately for me, he has a weakness for sarcastic brunettes who wear glasses.

  61. 61
    JenJen says:

    LMFAO LMFAO LMFAO

  62. 62
    jayboat says:

    @jeffreyw:
    Dude…

    I just checked out your other photos and now I is hungreee. I’ll be right over, what time is din-din?

  63. 63
    JPL says:

    @Raven: I have a ten inch slicer but it’s only thirty-seven years. My ex used a stone on it a lot so it’s shaped a tad funny but still works great

  64. 64
    RossInDetroit says:

    Considering John’s.. ahem.. tragic bad luck, the image of his naked hand juxtaposed with a knife makes me wince a bit.

  65. 65
    malraux says:

    @Anoniminous: All of my dad’s recipes, of which there are admittedly only about 4, begin with “First pour three ounces of bourbon into the chef”.

  66. 66
    Bill says:

    @Raven: MY 40 year old carbon steel Sabatier’s will do just fine

    I have the carbon steel heavy 12″ Sabatier, which I do not use often. I also have a VERY old Trumpet brand 8″ Sabatier that holds a very nice edge. I once won $10 from the chef for whom I worked by shaving with it. My face. I shaved my face with my french knife.

  67. 67
    gaz says:

    Mr. Cole;

    You sir, have outdone yourself.

    Between those hits from you and Sarah, Mcbargle might just take you up on that knife suggestion.

    Although I think ritual seppuku might be more appropriate, considering the circumstances.

  68. 68
    Yutsano says:

    @jayboat: He’s catering my wedding. He just doesn’t know it yet. :)

  69. 69
    gaz says:

    @cathyx: That’s because they’re sold out.

    There is incredible demand from the folks in the DRC…

    badum … groan

  70. 70
    dogwood says:

    Thanks Cole. That’s the hardest I’ve laughed since Colbert’s pap smears at Walgreens piece.

  71. 71
  72. 72
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Raven:

    We’ll see, but I iz a klutz. Fortunately, I’ve only seriously injured myself a couple of times (like when I tore my ACL falling off a stepladder), but I always have bumps and bruises from stuff like misjudging the height of the roof of my car and whacking my head. And I’ve had the same car for 12 years.

  73. 73
    Raven says:

    @Bill: Suuweet, I have a couple of boning knives as well.

  74. 74
    gaz says:

    @Raven: Raven, something about that rusty knife on that particular piece of literature struck a creepy chord with me.

    Maybe I watched deliverance at too young an age.

    oh. it’s a cooking manual – oi

  75. 75
    Raven says:

    @Mnemosyne: Sheet, I broke my leg in 18 places in 8th grade (didn’t keep me out of the Army). Broke my back in 75 and spent a year in a full body cast as well as harrington rods T-6. Nose, collarbone, wrist and fingers too!

  76. 76
    Raven says:

    @gaz: It’s not rusty, that’s just the way carbon steel looks. As I said upthread, the book was written by a Canadian transplant.

  77. 77
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @dmsilev:

    You know, LONG before any BJ commenters began sharing links to McMegan’s holiday gift guide (hours, anyhow, maybe even the day before the first mention showed up in a thread) I sent a private email to Tom begging him — imploring him — to go back on his vow and just take on this one irresistible column. But dammit, he spurned my plea, and the world is the poorer.

    Not that there was anything wrong with Sarah’s or John’s posts, of course. And Tom, you know it’s still not too late. Sometimes it’s all about piling on.

  78. 78
    gnomedad says:

    But your guests will be confused when they see salt in something that does not resemble a pink urinal.

  79. 79
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @ruemara:

    I’m busy animating flying fallopian tubes

    LOLWUT?

  80. 80
    kdaug says:

    @Anoniminous:

    which is why I have to find the whisk key before cooking dinner.

    I’ve always found that whisk key makes cooking more enjoyable.

  81. 81
    RossInDetroit says:

    Saltcellars used to be a big deal. Here’s a fancy one by some Italian dude.

  82. 82
    Valdivia says:

    John while I don’t comment often these days I always read and I have to say: posts like these are one of the main reasons (and the best on the web commentariat). This was full of fucking win.

  83. 83
    numbskull says:

    Wait, you named the dog Rosie, right?

  84. 84
    Hawes says:

    The brilliance of this is that how – in the infinite reaches of the internet – no one got here first? The McArglebargle has been dominating the snark filled reaches of the Tubes and no one else thought of this?

    Well done sir!

  85. 85
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @gaz:

    oh. it’s a cooking manual – oi

    To Serve Southerners

    “Aaargh! It’s a cookbook!!”

  86. 86
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Raven:

    I’m not sure I even knew there were 18 different places a leg could break.

  87. 87
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @RossInDetroit:

    Megan is going to be pissed that she doesn’t own that.

  88. 88
    Raven says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Both bones above the ankle shattered. Walking my bike home with two girls after football practice. I climbed an apple tree and the lady came out and yelled to get down. I yelled back “don’t worry lady, I have insurance”! The branch broke and I hit the sidewalk. It literally broke my leg in half (think Joe Theismann without the compound. We didn’t have insurance.

  89. 89
    gaz says:

    @Raven: Damn that hurts just thinking about it.

    Sorry.

  90. 90
    Raven says:

    @gaz: It was 45 years ago, that and my broken back, have left me in awe of the resilience and fragility we all possess and how luck is the most important thing in life.

    eta, Think of this, I survive a tour in Korea, a tour in Nam without a scratch and in 75 break my back and spend 2 months in the hospital in Atlanta and watch the war end on TV (while the orderlies push me and another nam vet over to the window to smoke doobies!

  91. 91
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Are you offering us your hand in marriage?

  92. 92
    Anne Laurie says:

    @RossInDetroit:

    If I had a bowl of salt Mrs. inD would drop a coffee cup on it and break it, sweep the salt onto the floor by accident, then the dog would eat it and throw up. We keep things in closed containers. Plastic ones.

    Sounds like our house. Except that after the Spousal Unit accidentally broke the bowl, he’d knock the pieces all over the floor as well. And we have multiple dogs, who’d probably start a fight over who got first eating rights on the salt/broken glass mixture. Also, our ‘papillon mix’ rescue Gloria is tall enough, and enterprising enough, that she can reach the front half of the kitchen counters, although after 2+ years of regular meals she’s somewhat less likely to bite anyone who tries to take potentially edible ‘captures’ (used aluminum foil, tea bags, Dial soap wrappers) away from her…

  93. 93
    gaz says:

    @Raven: fuckin hell dude. I’ll bend the ear of my private sky fairy / FSM / etc… on your behalf =P, FWIW (not much maybe I know, but it can’t hurt)

    And thank you for your service. Whether or not you broke your back in service to our country (in that awful fucking war) I owe you more than a prayer. We all do.

    Thanks for ensuring I can spew nonsense on the odd blog. Thank you for all the freedoms I take for granted every day. Thank you for helping create a place where I *can* take them for granted (even if I shouldn’t)

    you ever shoot some paypal info my way, I’ll send you some good beer =P cheers mate.

  94. 94
    Jamie says:

    If McMegan didn’t exist, we’d have to invent her.

    I’d add chopsticks and a flat spatula to the list.

  95. 95
    jeffreyw says:

    @jayboat: We are done for the day at chez jeffrey.

  96. 96
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    We’ll see, but I iz a klutz.

    Knowing one’s liabilities is half the battle. Did they mention that those of us with ADD also tend to have ‘issues’ with stuff like depth perception & balance?

  97. 97
    gaz says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    To Serve Southerners

    Aaargh! It’s a cookbook!!

    LOL

    (edit: bquote no worky)
    FYWP
    *headdesk*

  98. 98
    Anne Laurie says:

    @RossInDetroit:

    Saltcellars used to be a big deal.

    Stuff was expensive, after all, as well as essential. Since this is an edumacated bunch, we all know the Latin root behind “salary”, yes?

    (Not to mention, fancy-arse saltcellars were not only essential dining implements, but provided a useful status marker at high-end banquets where the lesser diners could be seated below the salt.)

  99. 99
    Yutsano says:

    @Anne Laurie: My brother’s Weimareiner is a total food whore. You cannot leave him unattended around any edible source. We think it’s because of how he was treated before my brother got him (he’s a rescue) since he also has massive separation anxiety.

  100. 100
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Raven: When I moved into my own apartment, (mumble mumble) years ago, I bought a couple of different Sabatier knieves. They’ve stood me in good stead.

    JC: I think you should add a spoon to the kitchen kit. I’m not sure you want to be stirring something over an open flame with your hand in the boiling water.

  101. 101
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Oh, yeah. My medication doctor got worried once because I had a really impressive bruise on my arm from trying to haul the cat out from under a dresser. She said, “Do you bruise easily?”

    I laughed and said, “Oh, that was not an easy bruise. It hurt like hell.”

    But the Concerta does seem to help a lot, especially at work. Now the problem is changing 40 years of bad habits.

  102. 102
    waratah says:

    I use the same tools John, except this morning after hand squeezing a lot of oranges for juice I told my husband I needed to save my hands for evening projects and need to buy a juicer.

  103. 103

    One of the first “Kitchen Tricks” that I learned – a method of doing something difficult with surprising ease – involved using one of those things you showed as your last essential tool.

    Separating eggs – it was easier back when eggs had actual shells. A lot of eggs are so thin-shelled that it’s hard to crack them without breaking the yolk. But, it can still be done.

    Crack the shell – pull off the top part. Dump the yolk into your fingers, and let the white drain. Voila! A lot easier than the method I knew – carefully dump the yolk from shell-half to shell-half, trying to drain out the white.

    And yes, hands can knead. A good Kitchen-Aid stand mixer *can* slowly burn out its motor on kneading flour – I suppose the faster motor-burnout is due to our advancing technology. Did you know that Kitchen-Aids used to take *decades* to strip their gears or burn out their motors? Now they can do it in mere *months*!

    Anyway… yes, hands can *knead*. And you don’t need to keep touching the dough and squeezing it to find out if it’s got just the right texture. Your hands are right in there!

    (But they do get messy. On all but the stiffest doughs, your hands will collect a skin of flour paste. *This is normal* – do not view it as a sign that you haven’t reached full elasticity. Only in free-form loaves should the dough be stiff enough to avoid getting flour-paste coated fingers. You might be surprised how wet a bread dough can be and still turn out a *very* nice loaf in a pan. And even with some free form loaves, you’ll get paste-y fingers. I am given to understand that a good baguette is made from dough that’s fairly wet, and this is why you use a floured couche during final proofing.)

  104. 104
    Citizen_X says:

    You would be shocked what you can do with them…You can even separate eggs with them.

    Well, maybe that’s McMegan’s problem: she lacks opposable thumbs. Ever consider that, ya buncha heartless speciesists?

  105. 105
    Raven says:

    @gaz: Aw, not of that is necessary,besides I’ve been sober for 20 years. Also, I was a raggedy ass 1%er fucking remf.

  106. 106
    RossInDetroit says:

    @Raven:

    1%-er in the biker sense and not the MOTU sense, right?

  107. 107
    tjmn says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Knowing one’s liabilities is half the battle. Did they mention that those of us with ADD also tend to have ‘issues’ with stuff like depth perception & balance?

    That explains all my sprained ankles lately.

  108. 108
    gaz says:

    @LongHairedWeirdo: Yeah.
    “Advanced” tech does seem to wear out quickly.

    In some cases I think it’s actually advancement. Considering that in the old days, it was actually worthwhile to *repair* things.

    Nowadays, some of that has gone away because it’s easier to make more money if products wear out all the time.

    But also, I think people don’t mention, is that said products are now often so cheap to manufacture, that it would cost more to repair them. Or that making them repairable would make them cost more to build.

    I don’t know if that’s the case, with some of these appliances, and certainly I don’t think it’s fair that the same companies that made these things 50 years ago now charge the same amount (adjusted) for the same thing even though it costs 1/10 of what it once did to make.

    But, OTOH – in some areas, I welcome some aspects of our disposable consumer products, and I think that some of this progression is a natural phenomenon that takes place as things get cheaper and simpler to manufacture. Adding that often times, the modern devices use less physical resources to craft than their half-century old counterparts…

    Just playin a little devils advocate here – I agree with you, but I think the above also warrants consideration when thinking about things like this, and yet it seems I almost never hear this angle of the argument outside of computer hardware.

  109. 109
    Keith G says:

    Hmm….fingers in salt bowls…. Can you say cross contamination?

    When I do bowl a spice, it is temporary and I toss any unused – which is infrequent.

  110. 110
    Valdivia says:

    @LongHairedWeirdo:

    I do the hand thing for separating eggs, my previous boyfriend saw me do that and thought i was insane. It’s so much better than the shell thing, but I guess hands=gross to him. We know better!

  111. 111
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Raven: A friend was walking between his house and where they keep the garbage for collecting. He fell and broke the leg bones right above the ankle. When explaining what happened, he said he’d been attacked by a ninja rock.

  112. 112
    tjmn says:

    I have had experience with ninja rocks. Nasty buggers

  113. 113
    Raven says:

    @RossInDetroit: 1% as in raggedy, sorry ass, sad sack motherfucker. I think the jar heads had 10 percenters?

  114. 114
  115. 115
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Yutsano:

    My brother’s Weimareiner is a total food whore. You cannot leave him unattended around any edible source. We think it’s because of how he was treated before my brother got him (he’s a rescue) since he also has massive separation anxiety.

    Yeah, a lot of rescue dogs never quite get over the fear of not knowing when they’ll have a chance to eat again. But if your brother likes Weimareinars, he should also be warned that even the most lovingly-raised examples of the breed are notorious for having, shall we say, an expansive concept of “edible”… as in “several pounds of gravel from under the backyard barbecue grill” or “multiple containers of Play-doh, including the cardboard & plastic, leveraged out of the heavy wooden toybox that nobody expected a dog to be interested (much less capable) of opening”. If the worst a Weim does is counter-surf (or garbage-can-raid), count your blessings.

  116. 116
    RossInDetroit says:

    @PurpleGirl:

    Walking across the parking lot at work I turned my ankle in a pothole and snapped the end off of a bone. The sun was in my eyes! 90 days in a cast, but I still managed to ride my motorcycle.

  117. 117
    WaterGirl says:

    @jeffreyw: Jeffrey, I want you to know that I loved that so much the first time around, that I have had that photo on my desktop for all this time, along with homer and the bee and smudge walking the line. Glad to see the re-release.

  118. 118
    Raven says:

    @Anne Laurie: Combine a cocker and rescue and you’ve got an eatin machine. When we get in the rack at night both pups jump into the bed for their goodnight cookies. I worry that Lil Bit is going to just have heart failure and die she gets so excited!

  119. 119
    ChrisNYC says:

    Completely fantastic post! Thanks so much for the laugh.

  120. 120
  121. 121
    Rihilism says:

    Somebody call Tyra, cause we got areselves a new hand model!

    FIERCE!

    @LongHairedWeirdo:

    why you use a floured couche during final proofing

    I have no idea what that means, but it sounds kinky!…

  122. 122
    Rachel in Portland says:

    Oh god. Thank you.

  123. 123
    Zach says:

    I went to read her xmas guide to see what the fuss was about and saw that the first item was a microplaner. Didn’t see the big deal because those things are sort of awesome and cheap. Then I skimmed through every other worthless item…

  124. 124
    AMD says:

    @cathyx:
    Where do you get those things called hands? I can’t find it on Amazon.
    Amazon is too pedestrian. Try The Sharper Image.

  125. 125
    Ozymandias, King of Ants says:

    Best of all, barring a freakish accident, you should probably already have a matching set of them.

    Well, speaking as someone who has had just such a freakish accident, one is all you really need in the kitchen.

    Even for egg separation.

  126. 126
    Julia Grey says:

    Many people are weirdly freaked out by the notion of someone else’s skin actually touching the food they make/eat, even if it’s going to be cooked after it’s touched. Maybe it’s because THEY never wash their hands.

    People in this country oscillate wildly between nightmarish germ-phobia and shocking hygienic negligence/ignorance. Mostly weighted toward the phobic, though.

    What makes me laugh are the people who will use wet wipes to open the rest-room door and then go out to handle well-worn plastic restaurant menus, flip through the clothes hangers and DVD cases on store racks, and let themselves down into the theater seats by the armrests.

    It’s not that wet wipes are useless. Just use them on your own FACE and hands and try to avoid touching your face in the meantime, as much to avoid spreading germs as to avoid picking them up. But people should really quit worrying so much about about touching public surfaces. Intact skin, washed frequently, is surprisingly protective.

    Oh, and as to cross-contamination from a salt cellar, salt will kill microbes–it’s the main reason pickling works. Corned beef, etc.

  127. 127
    chopper says:

    jesus, cole, your hand looks like you got it stuck in mcmegan’s $1500 thermomix.

  128. 128
    CaseyL says:

    This is the funniest thing I’ve read all week, and deserves some kind of prize for Funniest, Snarkiest, Most Appropriate Take-Down of a Vacuous Over-Privileged Twit.

  129. 129
    Keith G says:

    @Julia Grey:

    Oh, and as to cross-contamination from a salt cellar, salt will kill microbes—it’s the main reason pickling works. Corned beef, etc.

    Fine. You tell that to the health code inspectors who check out the AIDS hospice where I prepare meals. I don’t think they will be big fans.

  130. 130
    uila says:

    And when they pulled the hand… from the twisted… burning… wreck…. it looked…….

    LIKE THIS!!

    That thing is going to give me nightmares for a week.

  131. 131
    The Other Chuck says:

    My salt cellar is this wonderful gadget, with a closable metal spout attached to a lightweight cylindrical container. It’s made by a little boutique called Mortons.

  132. 132
    Jay C says:

    @PurpleGirl:

    JC: I think you should add a spoon to the kitchen kit. I’m not sure you want to be stirring something over an open flame with your hand in the boiling water.

    Oh, so that’s what happened to John’s hand…..

    Yes, one of those “spoon” things might be handy…

  133. 133
    Dave says:

    I can’t believe I’m the one to post this after four hours of comments, but Cole, it looks like you made a typo on that description of the last picture, and pressed ‘ND’ instead of ‘M’.

  134. 134
    John Cole says:

    Honestly, what is so appalling about my hand? You all know I’ve broken everything multiple times.

  135. 135
    Ruckus says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    Some people should just not have access to sharp tools. It’s for their own good. Have a friend like that. A pen in his hands is dangerous or humorous to anyone it’s pointed at, a sharp(or even not so sharp) tool of any other description is dangerous to him when it’s within 10 feet of his hands.

  136. 136
    DanielX says:

    Most excellent good post….but I like the kink in the TBogg post on the latest McMegan kitchen abortion…

    I sense bondage in the air…. kitchen bondage. Oh, ick. C’mon. We eat on that table. Jesus, now there’s McSudergravy everywhere

  137. 137
    j says:

    @Corner Stone: Did he ever play Chicago style 16″ no glove soft ball? Because that would explain it.

    Look at that thumb! I wanna see his bowling ball!

  138. 138
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @John Cole: I think it is the weird angle of the photograph, it makes your hand look a bit odd.

  139. 139
    dadanarchist says:

    Oh Christ I have own something similar to an item on McMegan’s list (Zojirushi rice cooker w/ timer — I use it so I can have oatmeal ready when I wake up in the morning).

    Going to go jump in the Mississippi now and beg Susan of Texas for forgiveness.

  140. 140
    pjcamp says:

    That hand’s really red. Watcha been doin’ with it?

  141. 141
    Corner Stone says:

    @John Cole:

    You all know I’ve broken everything multiple times.

    It’s not that you’ve broken everything multiple times.
    It’s that you’ve broken everything multiple times and are still alive. Are you Samuel Jackson in Unbreakable? Or some other comic book character?

  142. 142
    Lyrebird says:

    @John Cole: Massive case of the sillies brought on by your most excellent post, sir!

    (plus I think some depth distortion in the photo.)

    Thank you so much for the laughs, I needed them!

    (I second/third/whatever the motion for adding a wooden spoon. I also have a great love for my coiled-wire u-shaped whisk — got it second hand, use it at least 1 x/wk, great for balky gluten-free flours.)

  143. 143
    Petorado says:

    Great post Cole, but you forgot the one useful kitchen tool McMegan doesn’t own, but desperately needs: a brain. Get one and all the other kitchen implements fall into place. Though I’m assuming “taste” would also come with said brain to aid Ms. “melted cheese on rice” in advancing her gustatory adventures. Such a sad life she leads — buying her way to 1%er happiness to prove she’s not among the lowly classes, while eating crap the 99% have more inventiveness and joy for living than to stomach.

  144. 144
    Corner Stone says:

    Seriously. I’ve looked at that pic more times than is really necessary. It’s like 5 little baby boy penii sprouting from a rising yeast dough ball.

  145. 145
    Lyrebird says:

    PS: plus 3 cheers for the over-30-yr-old Sabatier chef’s knife! That plus one paring knife & one cleaver equals a complete set…

  146. 146
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @dadanarchist:

    Zojirushi rice cooker w/ timer—- I use it so I can have oatmeal ready when I wake up in the morning

    YES! Someone who understands how wonderful this is. Take all (well, most) of my other crap away, but the Zojirushi you pry from my cold dead hands. There’s no way in hell I’m getting up and spending 20-30 minutes to cook oatmeal.

  147. 147
    redshirt says:

    @John Cole: Seriously, I’m jumping in at comment 150 or so just to say how much your hand freaks me out. It’s like a pig torso with cocktail wiener fingers.

    I’ve broken my hand/fingers too, but my hands look nothing like that. Are you a Zoidberg by relation, by chance?

  148. 148
    Svensker says:

    @Corner Stone:

    There is nothing in my experience which would cause that image to develop in my head. What kind of brain do you have, anyway?

  149. 149
    Corner Stone says:

    @Svensker: I’ve tried baking a few times. Plus, I hear organ music.

  150. 150
    Dr. Squid says:

    Dude, stumpy fingers. And really puffy under the thumb. But still useful, unlike McMegan’s.

    I’m a fatass, but you’d never know it by looking at my hands.

  151. 151
    psychobroad says:

    @chopper:I would say we have a winner!!!

  152. 152
    FlipYrWhig says:

    This is genius that rivals the Sadly, No takedown of Confederate Yankee’s charcoal grill and, from the heyday of Atrios, “preznit giv me turkee”.

  153. 153
    Montarvillois says:

    Got rid of my fancy salt pig and upgraded to a “bowl”, so I’m with you on that one. But that chef’s knife for peeling would be mighty dangerous, so his offspring the paring knife is another must have.

  154. 154
    bob h says:

    I’m wondering whether you should be running a political blog at all anymore. You can’t seem to bring yourself to talk about politics, even on a day when there is a momentous debate. Your disgust has reached a level well beyond even mine.

  155. 155
    Julia Grey says:

    What is this carrying on about John’s perfectly serviceable hand?

    Some version of The Dozens?

    Okay: All y’all mammas’ so skinny they can be used for kitchen twine, howzat?

  156. 156
    brian says:

    wow. literally, laughed out loud (which i never do, even with the comic stylings of sadly,no and tbogg). good work, john. i cant stand the insufferable mcmegan.

  157. 157
    Corner Stone says:

    @uila:

    And when they pulled the hand… from the twisted… burning… wreck…. it looked…….
    __
    LIKE THIS!!
    __
    That thing is going to give me nightmares for a week.

    You may never see this but I wanted you to know I loved this comment in its entirety.

    “And when they pulled into the gas station they found…a bloody hook dangling from the door handle!!

  158. 158
    dance around in your bones says:

    So fucking funny. I mean.

    Plus, I now know what your left hand looks like. Added to your knees and feet and left elbow, I have almost assembled a complete picture of you. Your cover is blown, John Cole.

    hahahahhahahhahhahhhaaa!

  159. 159
    Plato Socrates says:

    @bob h – John, how dare you not write about what *I* want you to on *your* blog? You make me sick.

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