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Food for Thought: Why did I buy this thing?

The L&T Cheryl DeGroot
The fabulous larding needle: Push the pointy end in, drag the bacon into the meat.

"What was I thinking?"  The question's not just for past relationships. In this week's Food for Thought, Nancy Leson and I share tales of some of the questionable gizmos we've bought over the years.

My entry was the larding needle. I bought it years ago because the beef bourguignon recipe I was trying called for threading pieces of bacon through the chunks of meat. I never could get the thing to work right and gave up on the thing. The dish came out fine without it and I've never bothered with the needle again.

Here's Julia's recipe, which includes bacon but does not require a larding needle. If you prefer one that does, I'll sell you mine cheap.

Nancy Leson thinks the silliest thing she's ever acquired is the bagel slicer her father insisted she have. Bagel slicing injuries are a very common reason for emergency room visits, but you don't need special apparatus to do it safely. 

Never try to slice a bagel while holding it vertically. Just lay it down, hold in place with the flat of your hand and slice horizontally almost all the way through.  Then stand it up to saw through the last inch or so.

Nance really does loves her hardboiled egg slicer.  "I got it for 69 cents at the thrift store but I love it so much I'd buy a brand new one."

Credit Nancy Leson / KNKX
These things are really fun to use.

I've teased Midday jazz host Paige Hansen for years about the set of Wonder Knives she bought from a TV commercial years ago. I just checked in with her and she reports they held up for about two years.  That long?  Isn't that AMAZING? And no discussion of what-was-I-thinking? kitchen gear could be complete without a look at the fabulous Sushi Shooter.

"Every man is a damn fool for at least five minutes every day; wisdom consists in not exceeding the limit." – Elbert Hubbard

Dick Stein joined KNKX in January 1992. He retired in 2020 after three decades on air. During his storied radio career, he hosted the morning jazz show, co-hosted and produced "Food for Thought" with Nancy Leson and wrote and directed the Jimmy Jazzoid live radio musical comedies and 100 episodes of Jazz Kitchen.