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Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
I re-comment on comments and re-re-re-comment on re-re-comments.
* One exception: short stories.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Tools not gadgets

We've talked about specialised cooking implements and the cumulative madness they bring about. For a time we had a pan intended solely for cooking asparagus (courtesy of Vic, VR's dad, who was a chef). A cylinder that held the stalks upright, thus boiling the lower depths while exposing the tips only to steam and splashes of hot water. A good theory given that the tips need less cooking. But how do you check whether the lower depths are done?

These days VR boils asparagus in a frying pan where shallowness ensures all is easily accessible. Does it a lot too. Asparagus is our favourite veg.

Some specialised tools are vital. You may prepare oysters once or twice a year but you're up the creek called merde  without an oyster knife. Madness lies in unnecessary specialisation. You buy a melon baller, then one meant to tackle Gaia melons, then a larger one for water melons. Soon, all collect dust.

I didn't know we had this ice-cream scoop, acquired recently. In theory I should be against it: what's wrong with a serving/table spoon dipped in hot water? But it's a delight to use, its mechanism strong and well proven. Easy to clean, despite its nadgery.

Does anyone really approve of fish knives?

Confession: our culinary chopper may gather dust but it hangs on the window frame, doesn’t take up much space, looks brutally beautiful. Good for threatening Jehovah's Witnesses.

WIP Second Hand (26,803 words; New space adds to wordplay.)
DURING her student days Francine had quickly seen the need for a laptop. And, shortly after, had recognised the benefits of touchtyping. A few weeks of self-imposed discipline and her agile fingers did the rest. Soon she was recording comprehensive and legible material directly from lectures which clumsier, less far-sighted students could only envy.


  1. My little cherry pitting gadget looks so happy between the heavier kitchen tools hanging out in the utensils drawer. It never had to work.
    I think ice cream spoon works better when dipped in cold water.
    Another research suggestion.

  2. John Betjeman finally did for fish knives if you remember in his poem called How to get on in Sociey which sent up middle class pretentions. It begins:
    Phone for the fish knives, Norman
    As cook is a lttle unnerved,
    You kiddies have crumpled the serviettes
    And I must have things daintily served.

  3. Ellena: You do the research, I'll write it up, we'll share the Nobel.

    Joe: I can't quote anywhere near as accurately as you can but, tell you what, I've never been tempted to have an electric fire with plastic embers.

  4. Ellena and Roderick: cherry pitters also work for olives. Just saying.

  5. Beth: Gradually you are providing me with lengths of string whereby I can tie together the lacunae of your background and eventually arrive at an elegant and interrelated net. Months ago we discussed dry Martinis; there is clearly a link here