The last thing most of us need is more stuff — we already have plenty. I have an attic, a garage, a basement and a toolshed full of so much stuff they have their own gravity; they are starting to attract things from other places.
We have more kitchen gadgets, many of them never used, than Martha Stewart and Bobby Flay combined. I still have yet to touch that chocolate fondue contraption that someone gave us 12 years ago. If it was from you, don’t be offended. You probably never took the Make Your Own Jerky at Home machine we gave you out of its box, either.
Our pantry looks like an outlet store for Things That Will Never Be Used. Remember all that ice cream we were going to churn at home? All that beer we would brew ourselves? All that cheese we were going to smoke? All those dried fruit snacks we never made?
Some things we did use — once. The deep-fat fryer worked fine, but so does a frying pan, and it’s much easier to clean. The banana slicer also worked, but so does a knife. That thingy that lets you make perfectly round fried eggs? It really does make perfectly round fried eggs that taste remarkably, if not exactly, the same as not-so-round fried eggs, yet gives you one more thing to wash.
The electric mixed-drink whisk? We already had one of those. It’s called a spoon. Someone got us an electric wine cooler. Turns out we already had one of those, too. It’s called a refrigerator.
Years have gone by, and we still haven’t felt the urge to use the sausage maker someone so thoughtfully gave us. Nor have we made our own pasta, sliced our own deli meat or used the snow cone machine. The waffle maker, the machine that makes only cupcakes, the juicer, the sushi kit, the rice cooker, the kimchi fermenter, the raclette grill, the cotton candy machine, the nacho cheese dispenser and the electric yogurt maker take up an enormous amount of space on the shelves. While we love juice and rice and sushi and cupcakes and yogurt and waffles and nachos and kimchi, and while we love the people who gave us these presents, we don’t have the time or energy to use them...