Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Conspicuous Consumption in the Kitchen

These people exist, but I have only heard of them, never visited their lavishly-furnished abodes.

These people, despite not being able to boil water, take delight in such as:  an AGA ATC5 CRM stove - with five (5) ovens - $20,000   A Breville Barista Express $600  A Cuisinart 14 cup $200.

This month's edition of Bon Appetit will have them frantic to get their hands on -

An Asian konro barbecue grill.  It is made of unfired clay and looks like, say some, a terra cotta flower pot.  It is to be used outdoors only and the model pictured is top of the line - a Korin's Konro Grill with Net, Medium for $240 plus binchotan charcoal ($25) to use with it. and others prices range from $30 to $60.

Chef Kostow, of The Restaurant at Meadowland, Napa, goes in to raptures describing why it is a superior grill - "When a meat's fat and juices drip onto the binchotan, it creates a cloud of flavor that engulfs the food.  You don't get the flare-ups that you do with American charcoal which create bitter, burnt flavors."  Er, Chef that's called over-using the lighter fluid.

Binchotan charcoal is made from white oak and is said to burn very cleanly and very hot.  To start it going, the charcoal is put in a wire basket and held over a gas burner on your stove, then put in the konro.  Then you can use a hair dryer to get the heat the way you want it.  This all sounds a little suspicious to me - if it were truly state-of-the art it would have a self-ignition switch and a built-in fan.  Caveat emptor anyone?

An ad for a Samsung Family Hub refrigerator faces the grill news.  The interest line reads, "It  has built-in cameras (3) that take a photo every time the doors close, so you always know what you have and what you're missing."  This app is, of course! tied to your smartphone so that you can item shop on the way home. 

Samsung claims that the buyer can store 22 or 28 or even 30 bags of groceries in it!  If you are stocking 30 bag provisions, how many kids was it that you adopted? 

Additionally, the refrigerator will tell you when something has gone bad.  Does the app have a nose, too?  It does have speakers, a microphone (karaoke with your refrigerator?  That's desperate unless the wine cellar is just next door to the reeferand an internet connection.   To go online in search of immediate psychiatric help?   $6,000.  Still, cheaper than a $20,000 stove.

Out of curiosity, I went window shopping for much cheaper kitchen gadgets.  Williams-Sonoma has  "guacamole tools" and this set includes a pitter (curved spoon) and a masher (ordinary potato masher) for $15.    You see how improvisation can save you money?  Use whatcha got awready!

And kitchen snobs?  Maybe a cooking course so that you can use some of this stuff instead of just waving at it as you cruise through to the pool where the caterer has set up the barbecue? 

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