Kitchen Tools Of Extremely Questionable Usefulness

Carin’s dad is a really handy guy. He’s always coming up with ways to save time and space, or to solve problems that you didn’t think you had but totally do. Just the other day he helped me reclaim about half a desk worth of space by adding items rather than subtracting them, for instance.

If he can’t build what you need (he usually can), he’ll go out and find it, and good lord does he ever love finding things. It’s not unheard of to unexpectedly become a part of a shopping expedition spanning anywhere from three to five towns. Sometimes all you need to do is be in the car, foolishly thinking you’re going to dinner. If you need something, by god you’re gonna get it, even if it takes all night.

This isn’t always as bad as I might be making it sound. Many times I truly appreciate the determination. Seeing a project through to its happy conclusion is certainly an admirable trait, and it’s not every day you find a pro handyman that’s also as close to a pro shopper as one can get without actually being compensated by the stores he’s patronizing. To be sure, there is certainly a lot of usefulness there.

But other times it’s little more than a thinly veiled excuse to buy crap. If Carin’s dad gets it in his head that you should have something, by god you’re gonna have it, even if it takes all night. If it looks neat or like something he thinks he might use, everybody needs one. For all the cool things we have thanks to his work, we have a surprisingly large amount of stuff kicking around here that I quite literally cannot identify. And even if a thing has been explained to me upon its arrival, I still haven’t a clue what it does or why.

We have jar openers that I was supposed to use to open my beer. They’re far too large for this purpose. Yes, I tried. Unfortunately they don’t work well as jar openers, either. they’re either not the right fit for the jars we own or they’re too slippery to get a good grip, so I wind up using man power and the spoon popping trick my mom showed me when I was younger, just like I’ve always done.

We have tongish meat flippy things that can’t possibly pick up or secure anything unless you’re really good with largely inflexible rubberish chopsticks that are attached to each other, or don’t mind getting your hand so close to the hot food trying to line it up that you might as well just barehand it. Update: Carin reminded me that grabbing and flipping was actually a secondary purpose for these things. Their primary use was as toaster tongs for getting toasted things out of your toaster. Useful, unless the thing is sticking out normally and you can use your hands, or the thing was snagged further down in which case you’re probably breaking or squashing it trying to get it back.

We have rubber oven shelf edge covers because…because we have them. I’m not even sure if he knew what they were supposed to do. I imagine they’re supposed to protect something, but what? Oven shelves are built to withstand heat, and when they’re hot you’re not supposed to be touching them. There go the two most obvious uses I can think of.

I’m not sure if Carin’s dad reads the site. I don’t think he does. Neither of our families tend to as far as I know. Maybe that’s a good thing. If he did, we’d probably end up owning some or all of these 11 Insanely Specific Kitchen Gadgets. That is, if we don’t already.

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