A bad workman blames his tools, while a smart one loves them — and has better ones. People complaining about consumer culture only do so because they’re consuming the bad stuff. The glory of a capitalist society is how it rewards people prepared to spend a bit to make their life better — a bit of money on the products, sure, but it’s the bit of time taken to choose the right things that many find hard to pay. Which is why we’ve found them for you. It’s also the cost you can earn back, as your upgraded equipments simplifies your life and saves (or improves) your time every day. We’ve brought this intelligent attitude to bear on the most important room for the productive person: the kitchen. Because no matter how hard you work the human body is still Garbage In, Garbage Out, so if you fill yourself with quick and dirty rubbish don’t be surprised when that’s what you start to produce. The body and brain need to be properly fed, and we’ve found some smart tools to help you do it.
1. Magnetic Knife Block
The smartest knife-holder since Dexter and infinitely less likely to murder you. Also: much sexier. The Magnetic Knife Block can be ordered in various colors and looks seriously cool in any of them. It also allows vertical storage of blades without appalling little hooks or the horror of suction cups. Annoyance and weak grips are two things you really don’t want with knives. The ideal gift for that culinary friend, because no matter how much kitchen equipment they have we guarantee they don’t have knives hanging from rare-earth magnets…yet. And if you’re going to keep calling around because cooked food tastes much better than microwaved mash, you should really stay on their good side. Especially if they own enough knives to need this.
2. Beautiful Sunbeam Kettle
The Sunbeam kettle violates time and stress by making a cup of tea relaxing before it’s even made, allowing you watch water boil.
Designer David Knott has created a logical impossibility, a lava lamp which does something useful, and that useful thing allows you to enjoy a relaxing cuppa as you ponder the zen paradox. Electronic sensors automatically shut off the heat. No whistles, no leaping for the switch, and no scalding steam as you yank it off the element. Just the most relaxing kettle in existence until the Buddha invites you round for elevenses.
3. Death Star Cookie Jar
It’s not often we suffer from existential feelings of pointlessness, since that’s an even more unproductive use of your brain than turning it into a doorstop, but the Death Star Cookie Jar manages it. You’ve already seen the picture! If you don’t already dearly want one, there’s nothing we can say to change your mind.
4. The Molecular Cuisine Starter Kit
Molecular cuisine might be an old fad for restaurants, but it’s definitely new for your kitchen. The Molecular Cuisine Starter Kit expands your mind and your stomach, and the 8-year old part of you that wanted a chemistry set. Bonus: you ARE allowed to eat stuff from this one!
The recipes and ingredients included let you really play with your food, making things you won’t find anywhere else. The “Tools + additives” approach of the kit mean you aren’t limited to recipes they specify. Those are just recommendations to get you started. After that you can eat the smartest (or stupidest) culinary concoctions you can imagine!
5. Cooking for Geeks
Cooking for Geeks is essential reading for anyone who enjoys eating, which is everyone. Or at least everyone who’ll still be here in a couple of weeks. Think of the last five things that you ate. Could you call any of them “interesting,” and do you understand how that’s one of the most miraculous words in the modern world? Turn every meal into an education, and erase the idiotic misconception of that being a bad thing.
6. Garlic Zoom
The Garlic Zoom might look like something designed by COBRA to kill GI Joe but, no wait, ignore the “but.” That’s kickass! Zoom your ingredients by dropping them in the clear sphere and running it over kitchen surfaces like a toy car, turning this tiny chore into a tiny joy — and that’s the kind of change that improves your life.
It helps that garlic pressing is one of the lost arts of modern cooking, with 90% of all known utensils breaking, bending, or giving up in the face of this glorious clove. Garlic remains nature’s greatest apology for all the spiders and snakes, and is more than worth it. Years of clogged pressers and un-ground ginger have left us ready to try anything. And if “anything” has to be childish fun too, that’s a price we’re prepared to pay to enjoy delicious food.
Image credit: JoeGough / iStockphoto