Saturday, November 27, 2010

Kitchen Stocking Stuffers, Now Why Didn't I Invent That?

“What in the world?”
It was my first question when I saw these hanging in a kitchen store display window in Vancouver.  Were they very oddly shaped Popsicle forms?  A Canadian's idea of a joke?

I must know so I ask the proprietor of the store about her display.  Her answer to my question?  A banana case!  No question her strategy of hanging these in her front window, got people like me in her store.

With the holidays upon us and always on the lookout for the perfect stocking stuffers, kitchen gadgets are my favorite item to give and receive.  But I'm not so sure about this one.  I have never personally had a problem transporting a banana in my lunch, but then again I try not to whack my lunch around like it was a hockey puck.  After doing a bit of research, these cases were actually designed in Japan as part of a vast array of bento box gear items.  What's a bento box?  Think of it as a Japanese version of a lunch pail except that it has many compartments that make it easy to store food.  The Japanese are masters of creating items with a less-is-more approach.  Sometimes designed with understated elegance or in the case of this container, very quirky.

It's difficult not to marvel at the creativity of the human race.  When there is a need, people in this world find inspiration and develop a solution.

Take peeling the skin off garlic for example.  At first glance I had no idea what Santa left me one year. This pliable, not very pretty tube gave me no clue to its brilliance at disrobing a clove of its papery skin.  If you're like me when cooking, my recipes almost always call for a couple of cloves of garlic.  Pop a clove in the cylindrical rubber tube, give it a firm roll with the palm of your hand and low and behold a beautifully naked specimen.  (Yes, I'm still talking about the garlic)

Have you ever needed to grab the handle of a pot on the stove or the lid off a hot item but the potholder not within reach?  My solution up until last year was to grab a kitchen towel with the associated risk of catching it on fire.  Santa must have been peaking through the window because last year he left me little rubber grippers.  Why didn't I think of that?  I have them right next to stove in a drawer -- always at the ready.

If you (Santa) are stumped by what to fill in a cook's stocking, perhaps I've given you some ideas about finding some very inexpensive, useful gifts.  Or at the very least, creating a stir of giggles with a mystery kitchen gadget on Christmas morning.

You actually may be thinking right about now, "I must have that Banana Carrier!"  Since I'm a mind reader, here's your access to getting your very own along with the garlic peeler and holders:

Banana carrier
Garlic peeler
Pinch holders

Now that I'm out of stocking stuffer ideas, do you have any you'd like to share?  If so, feel free to leave a comment.


  1. Great blog, Sylvia! I don't know why I want that banana carrier so badly! Here's one more...After our trip to Italy this summer, we became addicted to the lattes and Italian coffee with the perfect steamed milk/frothy foam. We found a battery-operated, hand-held "milk-frother" at Ikea called "Produkt" which is awesome--for less than $3!

    Happy Holidays!!

  2. Hey Sly, it's Joy. Love the first two gadgets and have them both. We MUST compare gadget drawers someday. My new fave is a silicone cup that you can put an egg in and voila, eggs benedict in no time, with no fuss. I put four of these cute little pouches in a pan of hot water, spray with PAM, crack the egg in, and cover. A minute or two until perfection. Need to take a photo and post.

  3. Ikea is brilliant at finding all kinds of do-dads. Great idea Dee.

    Joy, I'm now on the lookout for the silicone egg cups. I must have. We consistently struggle with making a successful poached egg! Thanks for the tip.

  4. Clark MitchellNovember 29, 2010

    My oh my...I just sold (in a garage sale for $2) my Ronco Tater Twister. Makes curly fries. And then I have what looks like the hair "rake" that African-American's stuck in their Afro's in the 70's. It's an English Muffin separator!

  5. Hi Sylvia, It's Barbara. Wonderful blog! I so would have purchased that Ronco Tater Twister, Clark! Love your kitchen toys, Sylvia. That banana case is perfect for school lunches, if the boys could survive the teasing... Regarding the poached eggs, do you add enough vinegar? Works every time for me...Your blog is such fun reading; can't wait for more! I can just picture John out there finding these wonderful toys for you.


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