I hope you all had a lovely holiday, whatever you were celebrating. I celebrate the Solstice, but also Christmas because my family does. My favorite present this year was from a dear friend, a Tupperware garlic press with an ergonomic handle that will make short work of the fresh garlic I love to put in my cooking. That was the most dreaded part of meal prep for me before; my sad $5 garlic press was hard to use and it was starting to flake paint into my food. My new press is ideal for my damaged hand. It will make me forget my hand is even a problem.
I have a few devices like that; my 5-way opener tool that will open any bottle, including 2-liter soda bottles and “twist-off caps,” which I hated even before they were almost impossible to remove. Why leave the ripply metal edge on? How is nearly tearing flesh off your hand a technological advance? I keep a flat keychain bottle opener and a pair of folding scissors in my purse.
In the bathroom, I clean my shower stall with a car wash brush. It has a big soft brush head on a long handle. I prep the surface by applying a paste of vinegar and baking soda (stand back, it will foam like a model volcano), then scrubbing with the brush. It goes fast and easy this way, with no bending over to scrub stubborn stains.
But the Holy Grail of my labor-saving devices is The Coney Thing. Years ago I went to the dollar store looking for those flat rubber sheets you use to get traction when opening jars. I found a 3-pack including 2 rubber sheets and a conical rubber object that rendered the package 3-dimensional. I didn’t want the coney thing, but for a dollar, I’d get two things I did want, so I bought the pack. When I got home, I opened the package, put the rubber sheets in the kitchen drawer, and flung the coney thing in the trash. “Hate the coney thing,” I muttered.
Well, I’m a big soft heart, even with inanimate objects, and I felt bad for not giving the coney thing a chance. I rinsed it off and put it back in the drawer, narrowing my eyes as if to say “you’re on notice, coney thing. Earn your keep.” The next time I had to open a jar, I tried grabbing it with the rubber sheet to no avail. I moved on to the metal jar opener, but the handles spread too wide for my hand to grip it comfortably. The coney thing sat in the drawer, unassuming. I picked it up and tried it. That lid broke free with a satisfying “squuck” sound. I stood there, startled, the lid gripped with the coney thing in my hand. “Like the coney thing,” I grudgingly admitted. Since then, the Coney Thing has become my go-to kitchen gripper. Every time I use it, I smile and say “Love the Coney Thing.” The Coney Thing is aging and getting brittle. I’m hunting for a new coney thing; I’m not prepared to live without it. This very morning I used it to open a bottle of V-8 and smiled and said, “You’ve still got it, Coney Thing. Love the Coney Thing.” I think when I finally retire it, I’ll have to bury it in the yard under a flowering shrub. The Coney Thing deserves better than the garbage can.
What are your go-to gadgets that make your life easier? Do they come with fun stories?