18 July 2006

Inspector (Kitchen) Gadget

Each weekday I unpack boxes of bubble-wrapped porcelain gravy boats, stainless steel scrubbers, imported almond extract, and the like. My role is as a kitchen gadget inspector of sorts. Today, as my fellow stockroom workers and I opened a record 207 boxes, we discovered a most unusual phenomenon: round chafing pans.

Now, I don't know if this strikes anyone else as extremely odd, but I certainly thought to myself when presented with this strangely named kitchen gadget, "Who in the heck would use a chafing pan? It just sounds painful." Besides that, what would you chafe? A block of cheese? Three tablespoons of olive oil? A chicken breast? I can't think of any recipes that call of chafing of the ingredients. But then again, I'm not Julia Childs. Or Chuck Williams.

Needless to say, this discovery falls within the ranks of egg fry rings, checkerboard cake pans, and Italian porcelain fruit. Just peruse www.williams-sonoma.com for a few minutes and you'll see what ridiculousness I unpack every day.

Whoever comes up with this stuff has way too much disposable time - and income - on their hands. Either that or they're really demented.

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