Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Rating the drawers.

Flatware
A necessary component to any kitchen, and yet, a bit dull. An uninspired collection of day-to-day flatware in the five main sections---butter knives, dinner and dessert forks, serving spoons and forks, tablespoons, teaspoons. (No silver, which is locked up someplace and reserved for special occasions that have yet to arrive.) The drawer shows some signs of life in the optional sections, which include cheap paring knives, measuring spoons detached from their brethren, iced-tea spoons, children’s flatware, and other odds and ends. Varies wildly from dutiful adequacy to twee frivolousness and marred by poor presentation. Grade: B-

An appearance by an accomplished costar like this bamboo tray might have raised the bar,
Junk
Truly a treasure, but one must approach it in a spirit of fellowship and bonhomie. Every kitchen should have a good junk drawer, and this one shines. Little flashlights complemented by little batteries---oh, one should hope they come together if the power goes out! Rubber bands and twist ties, small screwdrivers (Phillips and flat), a microwave oven tester, a padlock with key… truly a drawer of wonders. With all such, its secrets are not clear at one glace. But aficionados will explain that this is the nature of the beast. It will always require digging, but always reward same. Grade: A

Dishtowels
Another odd collection, eclectic but in an entirely predictable way. Towels are stacked (one might say stuffed) into the deepest drawer in the collection, but with little sense of appropriateness. Very worn towels with cartoon bunnies vie with white high-faulting chef towels adorned mainly with coffee stains. Buried are fluffy towels that retain their original colors, reserved for kitchen use when guests worthy of the silverware arrive, one imagines. Still, they’re all clean, and that’s worth something. Grade: B

Cooking Utensils
A good grouping, kind of fun and quite democratic, with smaller whisks, peelers, and cheese slicers rubbing metaphoric elbows with more plebeian measuring spoons, extra knives, and wooden spoons. A lack of organization keeps this drawer from being, well, top drawer, but its usefulness is undeniable. Grade: A-

Cooking Utensils II
An insane hodgepodge of seldom-used tools, this drawer offers something for everyone, but with no logical thread. Ice cream scoops and bamboo skewers, meat thermometers and candy thermometers, a partly melted plastic spoon and a silicone-coated whisk that works poorly are all jumbled together. Yields some rewards, as with Cooking Utensils I, but sequels are seldom as good as the original. Grade: C+

Coffee Accessories
Unusual to find an entire drawer devoted to coffee things, but this one is, almost entirely. Many lids from reusable travel mugs are in evidence. A smattering of scoops of the type that come with coffeemakers join them. On the whole, amusing in its single-mindedness but quickly tiresome. Someone's drinking a lot of coffee. Makes you wonder if these people ever sleep. Grade: C

Receipts
Bad idea, bad execution. Using a kitchen drawer for credit card receipts is boneheaded, especially a small drawer that gets filled up fast. Receipts fall out the back and into the cupboard below. There’s no order or direction at all, and it usually takes a full-blown paper crisis to get it cleaned out. This drawer should never have been made, but having been made, should be kept shut. Grade: F
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