Women multitask, utensils sometimes don’t

Subsequent to the last post about my Oxo Good Grips perfect potato peeler, a friend rang in frantic desperation: “Disaster!” she panted “My Oxo Good Grips perfect garlic press has met with a sorry accident! It has become unhinged!”

Gracious! I thought - under normal domestic use, how on earth do you break an Oxo Good Grips garlic press? Was it a messy marital tiff? A malevolent intruder? Was there blood? Were the police called?  But no: she merely supposed that the garlic press might do as a nutcracker. It did not.

Now, the thing about Oxo Good Grips utensils (and many other kitchen tools, come to that) is that although they are sturdy, worthy, ergonomic and durable, they are also what we in the industry call ‘task specific’. Plus, they’re mainly designed by men, who also tend to be task specific. Whereas women are multitasking lateral thinkers in a hurry. Which means when we engage with any household job, we reach for the nearest implement and say: “That’ll do.”

The consequences of which are sometimes serendipitous, but more often not. For example, it is very hard to realign the blade of a paring knife which has been used to prise open a tin of black treacle (circa 1997). A spatula will never be the same again after wallpaper stripping. A flour sifter redeployed to dredge the fish tank quickly loses its shop-new lustre. I hardly dare tell you what happened when I tried to blend pastry with a springloaded onion chopper. An imaginative customer routinely used an electric drill for cake mixing instead of a hand whisk (“Same principle!”) until she had expensive oak units fitted and the risk became too great.

So of course I replaced the unfortunate garlic press with no more rebuke than a gently sympathetic “tsk, tsk”. And, being a woman, I don’t suppose for a moment my errant friend has learned anything from the episode - other than to buy her brazil nuts already shelled.

Posted: 22-Aug-11



Shock and horror! who could possibly mis-treat their Oxo Good Grips (I look sheepish as this tale has a familar ring to it.) I have a peeler and a garlic press and both are super to use.

By Valerie on 22-Aug-11

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