Friday, April 10, 2015

Vital Kitchen Tools with Reference to Cezanne

I do like to read about what cookbook authors think is vital in the kitchen.  Especially when I notice what they leave out.  Such as a small tack hammer for those occasions when you can't get the knife started in the melon. Or the saw for opening the pumpkin. Or, as in my own kitchen, the handy slipjoint pliers.

These have now permanently left their friends the tools, and come to live in the kitchen drawer along with the winecork puller outer.

The reason for this goes back in history, to when the vintners cleverly got away from corks made of, well, cork. They then adopted these new corkoid plastic devices, which grip the corkscrew in a death grip, get the cork out okay, but then it's the cook's own job (old joke of my Mom, God sends food, the divil sends cooks) where was I, oh yes, the job of getting the cork back off the corkscrew.  

Why they don't just get with it and go to screwcap tops, which everyone in the industry knows would work as well, we might ask. Before we realize the screwcaps might just have that aura of likker in a brown paper bag, and not command the price of a bottle you really have to work to get into, well, it's marketing, that's why.

So we home sommeliers, who don't even have that little cup thing hanging on a chain proclaiming our status, well we resort to the slipjoint pliers, when they're not helping tighten drawer pulls and getting needles out of tricky situations, and they do a nice job of tackling that industrial grip the cork has on the opener.

The pic is what Cezanne might have set up if he'd had to do this. But in his day, even if he could afford wine, they had real corks which are not so hard to deal with.  He would have had a problem with the design of the still life setup, well, so do I, but this isn't art, this is an industrial demo pic.  I rest my case. And my pliers.


  1. bravo bravo. your array resembles mine, but mine also (she announces proudly) includes an adjustable wrench in bright blue made for anything but used here for opening factory sealed and I do mean sealed jars without dislocating a wrist, a finger, or the cat. On a bad day it doubles as a hammer.

    thank you for the picture, I think we even have the same brand of pliers.

  2. No woman's kitchen is ever complete without a spanner or two, particularly an adjustable shifter for things that refuse to come undone any other way. A great contemporary kitchen still life (though mine would include a heat gun, the cordless drill, and a rubber mallet)!

  3. Interesting tip on the pliers! I'll have to give that try. Those dang corks always give me plenty of trouble to get in.


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