I just saw a commercial for a meatloaf pan, and it got me wondering how many special pans/spatulas/gadgets the average kitchen dweller has. I mean, does anybody really make meatloaf so often that they need a special pan for it? Is there still some 1960s housewife out there who’s sticking to Meatloaf Mondays with all the Heinz 57 she can find?

Clearly, there’s a market for a ridiculous number of specialty cooking and baking tools, especially now that we’re all glued to Food Network and learning about how the pros make fancy cakes and create homemade pasta using their fancy-ass pasta cutters and freaking organic, I don’t know, wheat from their sustainable roof garden or whatever — which I’m sure they need a million OTHER special tools for. But really, are the rest of us buying it?

Don’t get me wrong — I guess I have a couple of rather specific cooking tools that don’t care to live without. I have my garlic mincer (which, I found out today, also works nicely for mincing ginger; speaking of which, what else can I mince? Because two things is great, but if it can mince, like, five things, it might earn a spot in the front of the utensil drawer), and a fancy hard boiled egg picker-upper (which I don’t use all that often, but when I do, I love it so much I kind of want to make out with it). And I can’t forget the quesadilla maker we snagged when Jared’s grandma last moved — I’m sure people can make mango/camembert quesadillas with just a single hot surface, but why would anybody want to?

And for grilling, we have our fish holder, and our veggie basket. And when it comes to baking, I do have a yet-to-be-used flame thrower thing for making creme brulee, which, well, I’ve thus far stuck to ordering in restaurants rather than attempting on my own.

Okay. Fine. I do own a bundt pan (and have used it once), and have a cute little cake pan that bakes flower shapes onto a cake (but, because I always frost cakes, I’ve only used this a couple of times — it’s adorable, but not so useful with the icing added).

And, well, I’m not gonna lie — I want a Slap Chop like nobody’s business. I have an apple slicer, which is awfully handy, but the Slap Chop! Have you seen it? It’ll chop your nuts! And your fruit! And you can picture crazy eyebrow guy while you’re using it!

Aww, hell. Hand me the phone. And the number for the meatloaf pan. I’m sure I can come up with a veggie substitute, and when I do? I’m gonna need that pan.

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