Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The mystery teapot

In the late 18th, early 19th century, a certain style of teapot came into fashion in England. It was modeled after a pot brought back from India by a Lady Cadogan and was made popular because George IV admired one. Thenceforth everyone absolutely had to have one.

I want one too, not because I am a follower of George IV, but because the teapot is just plain cool. This teapot has no lid. There is no apparent way to fill it.

The way it works is this: If you invert the teapot you see that running up into the pot from the bottom is a tube. You fill the pot through the tube, turn the pot rightside up and the water.....aaaah, too hard to explain. Look at this glass version of the pot and you can see how it works.

You can look for antique Cadogan pots (like the top photo) manufactured by the Rockingham works in England or you can buy the modern glass version shown here (called the Mystery Pyramid Teapot) for $30 from a site that also sells Klein bottles.

Just in case you don't know what a Klein bottle is, it's a bottle that, like a Moebius strip, has a continuous surface. Enough said. You can check out the Klein bottle site to learn more.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Ramen spork

If you have a kid either in college or recently graduated (which probably also means unemployed), then it's very probable that ramen figures heavily into his/her food budget. So check out this very fine ramen-eating implement.

This stainless steel spork was designed by Masami Takahashi for a chain of ramen restaurants in Japan. It costs $14 from Uncommon Goods.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Stabilizing a cutting board

There's nothing more annoying (or potentially dangerous) than a cutting board that slides all over the counter when you're wielding a sharp knife. Some cutting boards come with nonskid feet, but what if you have a perfectly fine collection of other random cutting boards--as I do--with no nonskid bottoms?

Well, if you do a Google search on the topic, you'll get tips on using a wet towel underneath the board. Or if you've ever been to a professional food shoot, you'll have seen food stylists use stacks of wet paper towels under their boards.

Both of these ideas work just fine, but not as well as my personal favorite: nonslip shelf and drawer liner. You can find rolls of this webby material in any hardware store. It costs from $3-6 for a roll 12 inches wide by 5 feet long. You can cut out pieces that match any one of your cutting boards, and it works like a charm.

If you can't find it locally, you can do a search on Contact brand drawer liners.