twenty years ago, Tigg bought a new beverage container from… well…
should I tell you it’s from Pampered Chef, or just keep that quiet?
new beverage container.
had gone to a friend’s house, saw it on the cover of a catalog
on the counter, and knew right away it was perfect for us. She
bought one, we’d have it in a couple of days, and it was going
to be the solution of all our lemonade needs.
wasn’t happy when I made a face.
know the face. The skeptical husband face that told her I wasn’t
nearly as excited or as impressed as she expected me to be.
actual situations at the time was that we had a couple of one-gallon
containers already. Used them all the time. And, I do mean all
the time. At least one of them was always in our fridge.
issue that had Terry looking for something new was easy enough.
One of them had cracked. We had two, one was broken, so replace
the broken one simple.
first one to break did so after about ten years of fairly constant
use. Such use included being brought to several pre-concert tailgate
parties. For them to have lasted a decade bordered on miraculous.
But those fantastic containers that we used were from Tupperware…
so the face was expressing how going to a different company for
a style that looked quite different was obviously the thing to
that, right there… face or no face… that’s uncalled for sarcasm.
Because in reality Tigg was looking out for me. She knows I like
lemonade, knew we needed a new container, went looking for one,
and bought one. If I was so set on getting a replacement, then
I should have moved my behind a bit faster and bought one myself.
Besides, a requirement for a new container wasn’t that it must
be from Tupperware. Some of the stuff from Pampered Chef is outstanding
and we have a few of the company’s items that I can’t imagine
being without. (But where would that be funny? Instead, I make
the skeptical husband face and offer up a bitter attempt at a
joke. Ha ha. Anyway…))
isn’t about Tupperware or Pampered Chef. Also, not about a replacement
for something broken in the kitchen. It’s about multi-tasking.
out this container tried to do too much, and couldn’t even do
any one thing well.
of the things Tigg initially liked about it was that this particular
model was a very exaggerated oval in design. It was tall… long…
and thin. So, it could be slid into small openings in the refrigerator…
into places where a gallon of milk, a bottle of soda or a container
of orange juice simply wouldn’t sit right. She had our fridge
in mind, and knew we often stored things in combinations were
thin might be handy.
also liked that it came with a handle in the top that attached
to a stirrer thingy. All-in-one design. No more wooden spoon that
ends up getting placed on the counter and getting everything sticky
while you close the container and move it to the fridge.
the catalog pages, it appeared to have a lot going for it. And
I had to admit… looking at it for a few minutes after my initial
reaction, it did appear that she had several good points.
of that changed once it was filled.
the handle for lifting it was located at the very end of the container,
the design created an unbalanced situation where it was impossible
to use the handle with one hand when it was full. Too heavy for
the awkward grip. Hurt your wrist to try and move it with one
hand. Actually… it almost broke your wrist while offering a searing
pain and you had to react quickly so you wouldn’t drop it. It
was always a two-hand job to move it, which in turn meant placing
it on the shelf in the fridge an awkward process.
that wasn’t all as far as placing it…
was thin, which should have helped it fit into weird spaces. Unfortunately,
it was also tall. Really tall. There was only one spot it could
be placed. All other options, from other shelves to the door,
were out. Adjust the shelves on the door for it? Could do… but
the tall and thin design made it top heavy with no true placement
balance, so chances were good that if you did place it on the
door it was going to topple over each and every time you opened
the fridge. Plus, to help with the volume for content, the thin
was offset by long. That meant while it did fit into spaces in
one direction thanks to width, it also had problems being placed
in spaces due to length.
the stirrer thingy? It didn’t reach the bottom of the container
when the lid was in place, so it didn’t really stir much of anything.
Left all the lemonade mix on the bottom. You needed to shake it,
which meant the stirrer was pointless. Also, the stirrer thingy
was built in. Couldn’t remove it unless you used the container
without the cover. Tip the container to pour and the handle for
the stirrer would come flying up out of the top, then the stirrer
thingy would then hit the lid, and the top came flying off spilling
lemonade all over the place.
in theory. Poor in reality.
haven’t used that container since we finished the second batch
of lemonade it held.
can be useful… when it actually multi-tasks.
I’m intrigued by multi-task items. Alton Brown will tell you the
only single-task tool he wants in his kitchen is a fire extinguisher.
Interesting theory to utilize when considering equipment purchases.
I often find that when people set out to make something useful
with all sorts of bells and whistles, being designed to perform
multiple tasks it more often than not means multiple headaches.
and improved is an interesting marketing slogan… new and fixed
is not quite as catchy (nor is it usually true).
~ ~ ~
essay is a revision
of an essay previously posted here on the