The (Apparently!) Multi-Purpose Kitchen Gadget

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The purpose of a kitchen gadget may not always be obvious to everyone.  A recent consultation with a young man reminded me that if you don’t know what something is, you might assume it is designed for a different job altogether.

This charming young bachelor is working on improving his eating habits, and the basics of healthy cooking was a key topic of our discussion.  “Do you eat vegetables?”‘  I asked.

“Not that often,” he replied, “I don’t know how to cook them.”

I mentioned that roasting is a good, simple method, and I went through the basics with him.  He wanted to know how to steam vegetables, and I told him, “Oh, that’s super easy.  Do you have a vegetable steamer basket?”

The response:  “No, I don’t think so.”

I described the inexpensive gadget and recommended that he pick one up at Target or Kohl’s.  “It’ll cost you about $5,” I said.  I used my interlocking fingers to demonstrate how it opens up to accommodate any size saucepan.  “It opens like a flower from a bud,” I went on, “with little metal ‘feet’ that hold the vegetables above the water as they cook.”

His face lit up.  The lightbulb just went on.  “Ohhhh, . . . so that’s what that is!  We have one of those in the drawer.  My roommate and I thought that was for straining pasta!”

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