Kitchen Hell: Utensils

I love spending time in the kitchen (you would never have guessed what with all the recipes I post on here…). Cooking relaxes me, it makes me happy and chills me out when I’ve had a hard day. I like to challenge myself in the kitchen too, giving myself recipes that I never thought I would be able to make and then taking a stab at it anyway. Nine times out of ten, after much air scorching profanity hard work and perseverance, the results are exactly what I wanted and I leave the kitchen feeling fulfilled, both in my cooking ability and in my belly.

So you would think that if I’m one of these people that cooks to relax, surely I love everything to do with cooking. Well, no. The kitchen can turn very quickly from my little oasis of serenity into a coliseum of abject hatred pitting hungry, angry lions against a toddler armed only with a butter knife stressful arena of irritation and annoyance. Unfortunately it only takes one thing to do this: Utensils.

I’m not going to lambast all kitchen utensils – most are generally quite useful. No, instead I’m going to list what I think are the MOST annoying, vexing, irritating, downright frustrating and pointless utensils ever created and exactly why they need to be sent to:

kitchen hell

Sieves
Does any other utensil take quite so long to wash as a sieve? Trying to get it clean is like trying to make a donkey do a Charleston. It won’t work but even if it did no one would ever believe you anyway. Other than this issue, I’ve got nothing against sieves, but my hatred for washing them up is enough by far to force them into Hell with no remorse. Goodbye you messy devils.

Tea Strainers
See ‘Sieves’. Enough said.

Graters
I have lost count of the amount of times I’ll be absent mindedly grating something and then BAM I manage to grate my fingers into the same pile as the rest of my food. You might say that this could be solved by me paying more attention when I grate, but I have managed to do it even when fully concentrating, on that last bit of cheese/carrot/etc that tricks you into thinking it’s large enough to grate. I don’t know if you’ve ever done it yourselves but its akin to someone rubbing you down with sandpaper after a relaxing full body massage.

Whisks
I hate whisks purely because I can’t find one in the size I want that isn’t silicone. It’s been two years and it’s still driving me nuts.

Paring Knives
Living as I do on a student budget, it is impossible to afford a top of the line knife block with a paring knife that is halfway decent. Unfortunately my paring knife is too short to be of any use, I mean it slices perfectly fine and doesn’t need sharpening but it’s just too small to be used on most of the veg I buy. It’s a shame really but I don’t really need a “button mushroom knife”…

Now in the immortal words of Gandalf the White: “Send these foul beasts into the ABYSS!”

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It was too much for Gandalf to bear when he was asked to clean ALL the sieves in Minas Tirith

 

Are there any useless utensils that you think I’ve missed? Do any more deserve to go into KITCHEN HELL? Do you think any of mine should come out of the abyss? Leave a comment and let me know!

Literary Hell

I’ve read a lot of books over the years. As a consequence of this, I have therefore read quite a few utterly terrible books. The rule seems to be that for every 3 books that you find that are great, you will find one book so bad that it makes you want to scratch your eyes out so that you can’t read anything that bad ever again. These terrible books deserve to meet a horrible fate, the kind that is arranged in darkened rooms under bad lighting. Which lead to me think of the BBC TV show “Room 101”. For those of you that don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s a wikipedia entry for the show:

“Room 101 is a BBC comedy television series based on the radio series of the same name, in which celebrities are invited to discuss their pet hates and persuade the host to consign them to a fate worse than death in Room 101, named after the torture room in the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, which is itself named after a meeting room in the BBC Broadcasting House where Orwell would sit through tedious meetings”

So let me introduce you to the first installment of “Literary Hell” the place that bad books go to die!

First up, and I know it’s the easiest book series to hate and lambast, BUT:

The Twilight Saga
I have the unfortunate accolade of having read the entire saga and I must say, I wish I hadn’t. Without mentioning the films (which are even worse, if that’s even possible!) the Twilight saga was a bland, unstructured bloke of prose that featured a character that was only unforgettable because of how utterly shapeless and devoid of any detail and emotion she is. The books read like a madman spewing gibberish at you in the street, with very few coherent parts that added up to make a thoroughly underwhelming plot. Spoiler Alert: Nothing Happens! The first two books are about love and loss, the third book features a battle between a vampire army and a smaller group of “friendly” vampires which we don’t see because we’re focussed on Bella and her non-adventures and the final book builds up to a gigantic confrontation that doesn’t happen and is resolved peacefully and with love and care. Utter, utter garbage. Dracula would be turning in his grave if he could see how people use the word “Vampire” nowadays (well, he would be if it wasn’t for that stake stopping him ;D ).

Mockingjay
I’ve mentioned before (here to be precise) how much I enjoyed the first Hunger Games book. The second installment wasn’t as good, but I could live with it. However, the third and final part of the trilogy was such an unadulturated crime against humanity that it’s a shock how it got through the publishers! Mockingjay takes every good aspect of the first two books and makes them awful, putting Katniss into an utterly unbelievable war setting and robbing her and the other main characters of everything that made you love them in the first few books. Marginally better than the Twilight Saga, but come on, that’s not something to be boasting about…

Fifty Shades of Grey
Oh yes. The big book of the moment, the one that everyone is talking about and hailing as amazing. Surprise, surprise, I have something bad to say about it. Now, whilst I haven’t read the ACTUAL book, I HAVE read the majority of the original ‘FanFiction’ that eventually became the book, oddly titled “Master of the Universe”. Let me tell you, don’t ever read this. If you do, you will want to rip off your skin in an effort to feel something more painful than reading it. You will never find anything more painful, not even getting kicked in the nuts. Fifty Shades of Grey was originally a “FanFiction” of the Twilight Saga, in which Bella, a student, meets Edward, who is a CEO of a massive corporation, in an interview and then  signs her life away before realising that he loves BDSM and whatever. The entire premise of the book is flawed from the start, like trying to polish a turd, you cannot make Twilight better. The real kicker, however, comes in the form of the actual writing style. The overuse of elipses between each statement is possibly my least favourite new writing trend, making everything seem like one big run-on sentence. The dialogue is so hammy that i would avoid it if you like to keep Kosher and the only thing that seems to have changed between the transition from “Poorly writtien Twilight FanFictition” to “Published Poorly writtien Twilight FanFictition” are the names given to each of the main characters. Avoid this book at all costs, it will devour your soul.

If you’re up for a challenge, I’ll include a link to the “Read Online” version of Master of the Universe. not for the faint hearted.
Possibly the worst thing to happen to literature, ever.

I hope you enjoyed the first installment of Literary Hell, I’ll be back with more once I’ve read some more incredibly bad books!