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Tips for Adulthood: 5 Household Items You Can't Do Without

In last week’s tip list, I posted about 5 Household Items You Can Do Without. When my husband read that post, he said: “You know, a lot...

In last week’s tip list, I posted about 5 Household Items You Can Do Without.

When my husband read that post, he said: “You know, a lot of people might not find those odd.” To which I responded: “C’mon! A pickle picker? Really?” But I stand corrected. To date, the running count on (self-declared) pickle picker owners is three.

UPDATE: THE OFFICIAL COUNT IS UP TO FIVE.

So this week, in a nod to my gadget-loving husband, I’m going to post about 5 Household items I’ve learned – courtesy of him – that you can’t do without…or at least can’t do without once you’ve had one yourself:

1. Recipe Holder – You know how whenever you’re making a recipe, you either can’t hold the page open, can’t see it from where you’re cooking and/or something splatters all over the cook book, rendering the recipe illegible? Search no more. Get one of these babies and you can just prop it up on a table while you cook.

2. Lap Desk – Don’t get too excited, folks. This is just a lap desk, not a lap dance. It’s a small, flat surface you can write on when you want to work somewhere other than a desk – e.g. your favorite chair, your bed, etc. Yes, I know. There’s such a thing called a book. But it’s often hard to locate a book that’s large enough to hold whatever it is you’re writing. And if you’re working on multiple sheets of paper at once – grading papers, for example, or cross-checking lists – this comes in really handy.

3. Vertical Chicken Roaster Here’s the one we own. For reasons that elude me (gravity??) chicken cooks better – i.e., is more juicy and succulent – when you cook it vertically. And who doesn’t like succulent chicken? (I’ve always thought it would be great to come up with a list of food descriptors that really turn people on and off. I’m a sucker for anything that’s “pan seared,” but loathe the term “drizzled.”)

4. Lever Model Corkscrews – Yes, these are expensive. But if you drink wine with any regularity, you will welcome this easy, one-stop method for removing the cork without leaving any of the bits inside. Added bonus: they make the deltoid-challenged among us feel like strongmen. Also make great wedding presents.

5. Roncilio Silvia Espresso Machine - Also pricey. But if you drink espresso/cappucino/latte and care about how it tastes, once you start using Ms. Silvia (as some friends affectionately refer to theirs), you’ll (a). never go back to Starbucks and (b). easily earn back the money you would have spent there in a month. True believers should add the Roncilio “Rocky” grinder to the mix.

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For more household gadgetry, check out burbiajuice.

And if you’re feeling angry, be sure to vent your frustration through this gadget (hat tip: freakonomics).

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  1. Paige Orloff April 2, 2009 at 10:46 am #

    I am so happy to have found your (lovely) site, thanks to a mention from Isabel Gillies over on thehappinessproject.com. (I just read her book, Happens Every Day, in one sitting, and loved it, and am so glad that the common friend Isabel and I share urged me to read it–it’s fantastic. But I digress.) Your list is great, and I LOVE that you recommend Ms. Silvia. I bought her for my husband about 7 years ago for Christmas. Big splurge, yes, but to date, the best (printable in public) gift I’ve given him. I like to explain to potential Silvia converts that she’s Italian, not German, and thus needs some finesse, but once you master her (and get the right grinder–you’re so right about that) she pays for herself in a year, if not less, and the quality of the coffee is better than 99% of what’s available out in the world. I just love that someone else shares my enthusiasm! (Love the lever pull corkscrew, too; need the recipe holder, desperately, and you’ve nearly convinced me about the vertical chicken roaster, though I usually just throw my chickens into my cast iron sauté pan, and they work fine. As for the lap desk–my MacBook fills that role :-) )

  2. delialloyd April 2, 2009 at 11:02 am #

    Yay! Another Silvia fan! We should start a facebook group…thanks for your kind words, Paige.

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