Are you addicted to kitchen gadgets?

We’re here at the cabin, doing our best to stay out of touch with the world. Which doesn’t always work when you’re used to being plugged in. But for the rest of the week, I’m turning my blog over to my amazingly talented friend, Sean of Wool Gatherer. He’s hilarious, a David Sedaris in the making. I hope you enjoy his posts as much as I do.

It is, I daresay, an example of my decadence

by Sean Dilley

When Darren and I were in Germany two years ago, I rediscovered the simple pleasure a perfectly soft-boiled egg at breakfast.

I imagine that many of you recoil at the notion of jiggly eggs in the morning or any other time. I’m untroubled by your reaction.

Either you enjoy soft yolks or don’t. I realize that there’s little middle ground on this point. One of my good friends gags at the mention of even an over-easy egg, and I’m sure that the words “soft-boiled” would send her into a light coma.

I, in marked contrast, can barely choke down an egg if the yolk is hard cooked, and scrambled eggs have always sickened me. (I do make the rare exception for a good breakfast burrito, but there has to a lot of guacamole and gooey cheese in there to hide the horrid dryness of the eggs.

But I digress.

In Berlin, each morning our friendly server would offer us an egg to round out our Continental breakfast. We could have it fried or boiled. Darren always declined, but I went for the soft boiled egg every time. It arrived under a little crocheted chicken cozy. (No, I never asked for the pattern.)

In the fifteen years since my previous stay in Berlin, I had lost the knack for cleanly decapitating my egg, but even if I did have to discretely spit out a few bits of shell as I ate, I still loved the combination of the hot, soft egg on top of the fresh crusty German bread, cheese, and pepper bacon. That’s some good eatin’. Mmmmm, köstlich!

As our European trip was nearing its end, I found myself making my usual list of the things I’d miss when we got back home. Somewhere on that list, I won’t say how high, were those morning eggs.

On the last leg of our journey home, while we sat in the Newark airport at trusty old gate 41B (“my” gate for the seven years I flew back and forth between New Jersey and Minnesota during grad school at Princeton), I hopped online and ordered myself a set of egg cups. No big deal, really. Just $5 for four brightly colored plastic cups.

But then I got to dreaming about having a neater way to lop off the top of my eggs, and before I knew it, I had forked out $60 on a “Professional Egg Topper.”

Yes, spending $60 on that gizmo was kind of crazy. I have no problem admitting as much.

But as a lifelong lover of kitchen gadgets, how could I resist this marvel of engineering? Simply place the bell-shaped end over the top of the egg, pull back the spring-loaded black ball as though starting a game of pinball, and let the internal steel peg smack down on the egg. The impact creates a perfect crack around the bottom of the bell that makes it easy to neatly lift off the top of the shell. No muss, no fuss.

In for a penny, in for a pound, I figured. So I quickly purchased another implement that I never knew existed until that day, but I also knew I had to have, an egg pricker.

It, too, is a spring operated affair, with a sharp little steel needle that pricks a tiny hole in the bottom of the egg before it goes in the boiling water. In theory, that little hole lets steam escape from the cooking egg and prevents the shell from cracking. Well hey, sign me up!

Perhaps I didn’t need an egg pricker (yes I bought a German model), but could I really take that chance? And hell, it was only $8, which was dead cheap after the topper.

So now, on some nights when I think I’ll need a special treat to start the next off on the right foot, I’ll set my alarm to wake me ten minutes early so I can pull out my silly egg gadgets and make myself a nice breakfast before work.

Now if only I could find someplace in the ‘burbs that sells those crusty German hard rolls covered in all kinds of toasted seeds to go with my eggs…

[Homer Simpson drool sound.]

So, that’s my story. Strange yet still comfortably mundane.

~ Sean

PS. A shiny Euro to the first commenter who can identify where I got the title for this post.

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25. August 2010 by Jennifer Jeanne Patterson
Categories: Food | Tags: , , , | 6 comments

Comments (6)

  1. Nothing wrong with the love for a kitchen gadget! I think we all have our favorites- I’m a dork but I love slotted spoons lol!

  2. I’m a big kitchen gadget fan myself. I just bought a cherry pitter and at a fancy cheese slicer last week to prove it! I didn’t even know they made a top lopper for eggs, that’s too cool!

  3. My mom gets us kitchen gadgets for our stockings each year for Christmas. We spend the morning opening and playing the “guess what you use THIS for” game!

  4. The site looks beautiful!! oh, my site moved as well so please subscribe to the feed at

  5. Oh i so agree with you on the soft boiled egg. I love it. And if you order one in a restaurant here they ruin it, cause they forgot how to make it. So what i end up ordering is soft poached eggs and it is almost as good.

  6. Absolutely nothing wrong with a fancy kitchen gadget that brings you one step closer to egg bliss. I love eggs too! xoxoxo

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