Somebody Fetch Me a Unitasker!

Here at ES, we love to hate on unitaskers, or at least make fun of them whenever possible.  And with good reason.  I mean, if you haven’t yet learned to crack an egg, no ridiculous kitchen gadget is going to save you.  Also, my kitchen drawers are filled to maximum capacity, so if it it comes down to a choice between a bottle opener or a lettuce knife, the booze wins every time.

There are times, though, when a unitasker is certainly called for.  If I had a cherry tree, I would definitely acquire a cherry pitter, although perhaps not one that costs $50.  Same with an apple tree and those amazing peeler/corer/slicer things.  And actually, those do more than one thing, even if it is to a single piece of fruit, so I guess it’s not a unitasker after all.

And there is a certain gray area when it comes to unitasker ownership.  What if, for example, you are really bad at cutting pineapple?  Every time you cut one up, you get the distinct feeling that this can’t possibly be the best way, as you seem to have wasted about a third of the fruit.  But no one has been able to show you a better way, except your brother-in-law, and that is because he owns on of these. Yes, a pineapple cutter. A perfect pineapple cutter. It’s brilliant.

So, is it worth owning something that you only use three times a year, if it does exactly what you need it to do?  This, my friends, is a question that I have yet to answer satisfactorily. I can promise you this, though.  I will never, ever, own a corncob cutter.

5 Ridiculous Kitchen Essentials to Be Thankful For

Most of us have learned by now that the original Thanksgiving table did not feature turkey, but more likely venison, eel, and perhaps a dried gooseberry or two. A bird with an injectable marinade was probably not on the menu. Also lacking at that first harvest celebration was a non-stick roasting pan and other kitchen essentials that we have come to believe are necessary to pull off a holiday meal. So let’s be thankful that we are blessed with about 50,000 more kitchen unitaskers than those poor pilgrims. Here are our top picks for culinary inventions that may (or may not) make our Thanksgiving preparations easier, but at least they encourage us to be thankful for our uniquely inventive spirit.

1. Talking Thermometer

The age-old struggle of moist (salmonella anyone?) versus safe (how about 12 pounds of turkey jerky?) can be resolved with a device that will tell you to pull out before irreversible damage is done.

2.  The Homo Sapien

Bone china in the shape of a peeled potato can help you accomplish such mammoth kitchen tasks as crushing garlic or fresh herbs. Or you can use it to pummel that annoying cousin who always makes fart jokes.

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Feed Us Back: Comments of the Week

– We thought Sweet Fiend had made the ultimate All-American recipe when she dreamed up chocolate and beer filled donuts, but reader Jim takes it to an even higher level:

I making these today with this beer.
It’s a chocolate Ale from Kansas City. If you can find it I highly recommend it.

Ahhh. Chocolate and chocolate beer filled donuts. Bravo.

TheGourmetCoffeeGuy isn’t running out to buy a bananza brand automatic banana peeler:

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Feed Us Back: Comments of the Week

– You ESers has a field day with our favorite new unitasker, the bananza. debbie koenig:

I love that it’s a “hand-held” banana slicer. Obvs so much more convenient than those bulky room-sized ones.

Britannia, however, is not making fun:

I kinda want one, don’t judge.

– And kitchen geek stands up for parsley as a garnish:

Used to be right there with you on the parsley garnish; but I’ve mellowed a bit. I’m anti curly-parsley and bad parsley but I think fresh flat leaf has its place. Garnish breaks down just like ingredients in the recipe, complementing or contrasting. Your current recipe and Rocco’s example go with the complementing camp. I often use parsley and/or cilantro in dishes that have neither to provide a fresh herb contrast to whatever dish I’m serving. Think about osso bucco and tell me gremolata is out of place as a garnish cutting the richness of the dish.

Finally, flickr user arenamontanas deserves a huge round of applause for somehow providing the perfect photo for this post.

Thanks for simmering with us — see ya next week!