Monday, March 21, 2016

Things I Read So You Don't Have To

Huffington Post has an article (yes, I know) entitled, “7 Things Everyone Over 40 Should Have In Their Kitchen.” I am 73 and have only one of the seven, and I’ll bet I am doing better than “everyone” who fills their list.

1. A seriously cushioned gel mat in front of the sink. They refer to this as “a lifesaver,” or at least “a leg and foot saver.” I certainly don’t have one, or need one, since I still work out in a gym and spend more time standing in front of the stove than the sink in any case. Have they never heard of automatic dishwashers?

2. Nomex Burn Guard oven mitts. Not only am I well over 40, but I have Parkinson’s Disease, and no, I don’t think so. They refer to these monstrosities as alternatives to “grabbing the nearest dish towel,” but I use perfectly good hot pot holders which are smaller, easier to hold things with, and occupy far less space in a drawer.

3. A non-electric can opener. That’s the one thing I have. I have never tried an electric can opener, and consider them idiotic.

4. Chafing dishes. Why suggest this to the “over 40 crowd?” This belongs to the “Miss Manners crowd” or to someone who is far more interested in appearance and style than in good food. I have no interest in serving up food from a steam table, having had enough of that when I was in the Navy.

5. Backup corkscrews. They suggest that “corkscrews have a way of disappearing.” Oh please. I’m old, not feeble minded. I’ve been using one corkscrew for 25 years, and it’s always right there in the second drawer down where I put it.

6. A knowledge of cookware and materials. Seriously? I’ve had that since I was in my twenties, and I don’t keep it in the kitchen (see the title), I keep it in my brain which is often in the bedroom or other parts of the house, and often is not in the house at all.

7. A window box of fresh herbs. Another thing that one can do in their twenties as easily as they can in their forties, so why is this offered as an “over forty” tip?

Apparently Arianna Huffington pays her writers at about the same rate that Joan Walsh does over at


  1. 1) I can see this in a restaurant, where you're on your feet all day, and I've done that. At home, not so much. Something to catch falling spills maybe.

    2) Never used a Nomex mitt in a commercial kitchen, and when I burned myself more than casually (yikes), they wouldn't have helped.

    3) Gimmee a break. Never had or used an electric can opener.

    4) Chafing dishes? I'm a home cook. not a caterer or a party holder. Food doesn't last that long around here.

    5) I have one, maybe two corkscrews. If yours end up in your snow boots, you're drinking too much and can't be trusted with them.

    6) Who thinks up this stuff? You acquire knowledge over the years with experience (and maybe formal training). It's in your head, people.

    7) Herbs in your windowbox? I have a different kind of herb in MY window box, thank you very much. Sheesh, this could apply to anyone.

    None of this really applies to anyone over 40 for age reasons. They're just making shit up.

  2. I'm coming in really late here. I will admit to having a gel mat in front of my kitchen sink, it makes a favorite place for my dog to be comfortable in the kitchen while I'm working. It has the great benefit of keeping her in one place while I work, she spends a lot more time on it than I do. As for the rest, B2 is right, they're just making shit up (or have a some sort of corner on the sales of said crap).