In between stoking the woodstove, plowing and shovelling snow, and huddling to stay warm during the coldest days of winter, the team at Rustik has been doing some mindless Internet surfing to make the days go quicker. Anything for this winter to end sooner.
As you’ve no doubt guessed, our clicks always seem to lead us to fun, obscure, odd and offbeat gadgets and utensils for the kitchen. Some of them are whimsical, some of them are useful, and some of them are a little of both.
Admittedly, we normally prefer content with more of an intellectual bent. Instead, we thought we’d end this snow-filled, cold-filled month with some light-hearted eye candy for your dining and culinary pleasure.
DOMO ARIGATO, WINE CORK ROBOTO
Nothing like a big Argentinean Malbec or California Cabernet to warm up a winter evening. Sometimes – and this is just our little secret – we have been known to drink both in one sitting. And when we have friends over for a dinner party, look out! Corks abound.
When we came across the very fun Corkers Robot Set we loved the possibility of turning what is normally a cast-off into a source of entertainment. If you’re not into robots, there’s an animal version, too.
FOR THE OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE CHEF
For some, there can be no compromise – and we totally get it. We can be like that, too. So, when we came across the Obsessive Chef Chopping Board we couldn’t believe just how much effort had gone into etching it with exacting measurements and precise angles to guide a knife to slice and dice perfectly. Whether you’re a master chef, or a budding master chef, this is a fun and unique board guaranteed to showcase your OCD.
RELIVING THE ’80s
LennyMud, who sells via Etsy, gets us right in our nostalgia bone with her Lionel Richie and Mr.T(ea) themed pottery. In addition to the spoon rest, Lionel comes in a cheese plate (“Is it Brie you’re looking for?”). Call us suckers for the 1980s, but it’s hard to resist the man whose music was ubiquitous in that decade, along with the man whose A-team highjinks kept us glued to our faux wood-panelled RCA TVs.
SIMMER TO PERFECTION
We’ve all been there. You’re busy and distracted, your pot boils over and a big mess ensues. Lid Sid can help. He playfully hangs over the edge of a pot to prop it open and let out excess heat. A perfectly fun, perfectly whimsical way to simmer.
You read that right. You love Scrabble. You love sweets. Now combine the two, for edible scrabble letters and yes, even the tile racks. Andiespecialtysweets over at Etsy has made waves with this verbose confection, garnering attention from none-other-than Martha Stewart. Made and naturally colored with pure vanilla and real chocolate, these candy edibles are a super-sweet treat.
It’s pretty quirky, but we loved it when we saw it. After all, how many Hedgehog Cheese Graters have you come across lately? Braced for action, all four legs spread and ready to tackle the challenge of your Parmesan or Grana Padano.
SHE BLINDED ME WITH SCIENCE
When we came across this awesome kit from uncommongoods, it immediately made us think of a fun little ditty from the 1980s by Thomas Dolby. And, while this edible science kit is made specifically for kids, it also struck a chord with our inner child. You see, a lot of what happens in a kitchen is about science, and the kit teaches about acids, bases, solutions, formulas, reactions, carbonation, indicators, pigments, gels, and polymers, among other things. Don’t know what any of those are? The seal on the kit says it all: “Stay Curious.”
NO FUSS, NO MUSS BREAD BAKING
We were intrigued by this high-temp silicone bread-baking bowl from Lekue on Amazon. It would seem that this newfangled technology allows steam to circulate inside the closed silicone cocoon, keeping the dough moist and preventing the bread from drying out, while the side openings allow direct heat to give the bread a crusty, golden texture. All the while, no greasing or oil is necessary, as the bowl is completely non-stick. When you’re done, fold it up and tuck it away in a drawer. No more stacks of oddly-sized baking trays collecting dust.
There can be nothing more anti-climactic than slicing up (tearing, really) a beautiful, piping hot homemade pizza with a cheap, dollar store pizza wheel. It’s heretical. So, when we came across the Fred and Friends Pizza Boss 3000, we were surprised and delighted. After all, who doesn’t want to use a contractor-grade pizza slicer to cut through their pie? Tough, engineering-grade plastics and a laser etched stainless steel blade will bring out your inner carpenter.
When we came across these muffin top baking molds on the Foodiggity shop, we couldn’t help but think of Homer Simpson, which made them worthy of some love and attention from us. Then we thought about something far more serious, with deeper, farther reaching popular-culture impact. At the risk of sounding totally infatuated with late 20th century nostalgia, we couldn’t help but wonder if Elaine Benes’ idea — a muffin top shop — wouldn’t have been a more resounding success with these around? Sadly, we’ll never know.