New Gadgets

I still haven’t caught up from Thanksgiving. Hosting is great because it forces me to tidy and declutter. It also serves as an excuse to make random household acquisitions.

Like Cute W’s favorite new kitchen item: this OXO fat separator.

I have no idea why this makes his life so much easier because I pretty much don’t do anything that’s turkey- or gravy-related. Maybe, maybe, I’ll throw a potholder onto the kitchen table as Cute W is staggering under the weight of an enormous, sizzling-hot spatchcocked turkey that he’s just pulled out of the oven, so he’ll have someplace to put it, but that’s about the extent of my involvement. But if you are forced to actually contend with the gravy-making process because you are not blessed with a Cute W in your kitchen, it’s likely that you will appreciate this item.

Meanwhile, I was trying a new recipe for Thanksgiving, this Roasted Vegetable Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette, and so I decided that I needed a decent salad dressing container. Generally I just use a Ball’s jar with a lid, but that can get a little bit messy, which is not optimal for a buffet. First I picked one out at Target that was pretty adorable, but it turned out to be useless: it totally leaked when I shook it. Then we got this OXO salad dressing shaker:

Oh, it’s excellent. It stays nicely sealed while you’re shaking it, and then you can tip that top to pour out of the spout. Perfect for when you aspire to make more homemade dressing but would just as soon make it only, like, every third day instead of every single damn day. Incidentally, for that roasted salad itself, I totally went rogue on the vegetable selection, only keeping parsnips and garlic from the original recipe and throwing in butternut squash and green beans and asparagus and cauliflower instead of Brussels sprouts or carrots (both of which were featured in starring roles in other side dishes) and beets (just because I think that they are gross and they ruin everything). Anyway, the vegetables were delicious, but then I made the critical error of following the recipe directions and serving them at room temperature, which downgraded their rating from delicious to “meh.” I’d do it again, but I’d serve ’em up warm.

And finally, speaking of warmth, one of my sisters brought me this Better Homes and Gardens wax melter.

I was pretty much ignorant of the entire wax melter trend, but now I’ve officially jumped on the band wagon. You can switch up the wax for different scents, the light itself is pretty, and unlike a candle, I can leave it going and forget about it, even when I’m running in and out of the house, without worrying about accidentally burning the house down.  Come to think of it, hosting Thanksgiving meant I scored some other delights, too: another flameless candle, some cute cheese knives, and enough leftover white wine to last us a while (we’re much more efficient at drinking red, it seems).

Hmm, come to think of it, they’d all make excellent stocking stuffers.


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