So today I was in kind of a melancholy mood and I was sitting in my office just hanging out inside my head. Now, trust me, that’s not a pretty place to hang out so after a long and whiney phone conversation with my “editor,” I decided the best thing I could do was take the dog outside and chill. My dog was out there eating grass so that he can come inside and puke on the most expensive object he could find, so I decided to check the mail instead.
Nothing good ever comes in the mail. It’s usually just a bunch of bills and as I think I’ve mentioned before, beaucoup catalogues. Today was obviously a slow catalog day as there were only three. At any rate, I’m sitting outside on the stoop, watching the dog mimic a goat and I started looking through the Williams –Sonoma Catalog. This is one catalog that I actually love perusing. On the back cover, there is an advertisement for “Star Wars sandwich cutters with vintage-style tin.” Seriously, STAR WARS sandwich cutters. I can’t believe it. Who in their right mind is going to spend $29.95 on a set of Star Wars sandwich cutters (with the vintage-style tin)? I realize that what I have in my hand is an entire catalog devoted to things that most people will never, ever have any need for. And yet, my kitchen is absolutely filled with all sorts of Williams-Sonoma appliances and the like.
I practically had to build a new house to accommodate the sheer number of individual appliances that Kevin MacDonald has gifted me with. The most recent gift was a blender, and it’s a nice one, but it’s just the latest in a long list that includes my Kitchen Aid mixer, my even better and bigger Kitchen Aid mixer, an amazing toaster oven, a waffle maker, a Mickey Mouse waffle maker, an electric griddle, a coffee maker, a really fancy coffee maker that I made him return and in a really unexpected and yet bold move, a Breville Panini Press. I got that one for Christmas last year.
Although I don’t make Paninis, don’t even really like them, I have discovered that the Panini press is in a league of its own. You can cook chicken, pork, burgers and even fish on the damn thing. It is one of the most useful appliances I have ever owned in my life. I have to say that for the first time, I really appreciate Kevin’s penchant for buying superfluous appliances. It makes me wonder what other great and underappreciated gems are lying in wait in the Williams-Sonoma catalog.
There’s the one on page 15: The Smoking Gun. With just one puff of this incredible device, you too can add an instant infusion of natural wood smoke – without any heat – to your favorite foods. Well, that’s something that I never thought of before. I’m making a note to myself to go up to Fresh Market and ask them if they’ll consider putting that infusion in to the many prepared meals that I buy up there. What? Did you think I was going to start cooking and use this shit myself?
Ok, I’m continuing on and page 18 has a deluxe slow cooker. I’m not really interested in something like this because it’s bad enough that I’m expected to cook, there’s no way in hell it’s going to take longer than it has to. Page 21 has a picture of yummy food on it. This is my favorite part of the catalog because normally the food looks so yummy that I ACTUALLY TEAR OUT THE RECIPE which is hilarious because the likelihood of me actually cooking said recipe is probably about the same as me becoming a super model, it’s just not happening. But I digress …
As I plow through the catalog, I realize that there is an entire echelon of living that I’m not experiencing. There’s the “perfect cup of coffee” coffee maker; the Caso “induction burner” (which apparently is a favorite of many “professional chefs”), the “Shun Classic rocking knife” that looks far prettier than my knives, but seriously WHY ARE THEY NECESSARY? On page 67, I discover that not only are the Star Wars Sandwich Cutters a must, but apparently you can buy Star Wars Cookie Cutters as well.
It seems that I have done a piss poor job of enjoying my life by using mediocre appliances, pots, pans and knives. Although I spend as little time as humanly possible actually using my kitchen for it’s intended purposes, I hereby vow to step up my game. I’m going to start by ordering some Star Wars sandwich cutters and packing up a lunch daily for Kevin and Daniel. Oh, I can make them Panini’s on my press and cut those up using the cutters. Writing this column has actually cheered me up so I suppose I owe a big thanks to Williams-Sonoma for providing me with some “fun” items to peruse. And you thought I didn’t like catalogues.
I’m just saying….