Unitasker Wednesday: Twinkie Maker

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy!

The first weekend of May each year is the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival in Howard County, Maryland. For those of you who have not attended (probably most of you), it is similar to a state or county fair but with no cows, no pigs, and nothing carved out of butter. Almost all of the vendors are selling yarn, raw wool, farm supplies for caring for your flock of sheep, or food made out of lamb (which, is a little disturbing at first, but you get over it because lamb sausage tastes amazing). There are also 4-H style competitions regarding sheep breeding and herding and it is a wonderfully good time, seriously.

I have been to the Sheep and Wool Festival numerous times over the years and, although I claim my favorite part of my day is looking at some of the most beautiful yarns made in the US, it really isn’t my favorite part. Here’s a secret: my favorite thing about the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival is eating a deep fat fried Twinkie.

I do not, as a general principle, eat Twinkies. They terrify me. I watched the time lapse video of a Twinkie never rotting and that sort of put an end to my desire to ever consume them or feed them to my kids. I like to eat food that eventually can go bad. Except, once a year, the siren call of the fried Twinkie beckons me — a Twinkie on a stick, dipped in sweet batter, deep fried, and then sprinkled with powdered sugar. I don’t know how, but it is truly delicious.

This week, an Unclutterer staff writer emailed me a picture of the Twinkie Maker and my temptation went into overdrive. I could MAKE MY OWN TWINKIES!

My homemade Twinkies wouldn’t have any preservatives and they could actually rot! I could make deep fried Twinkies at home whenever I wanted! I could …

And that is when the answer struck me.

The reason deep fried Twinkies taste so good is because of all the fat and preservatives and things that make it so horrible for me. A “healthy Twinkie” is not a Twinkie at all. It’s a thing wanting to be an actual Twinkie, a sub-par pathetic replica. It’s like tofu pretending to be meat or flax pretending to be an egg. The only way to enjoy a deep fried Twinkie is at the Festival, once a year, among beautiful yarn and barking border collies.

Alas, the Twinkie Maker is nothing but a unitasker in sheep’s clothing.

Unitasker Wednesday: Egg Minder Internet Connected Egg Tray

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy!

At last count, a billion* people had emailed us recommending we feature the Egg Minder Internet Connected Egg Tray:

For the rare few of you who did not email us about this device and have not seen it before, let me give you a quick rundown of its absurdity:

It’s a tray — for $99 — that tracks when you place eggs into it, how many eggs it is holding, and then tells an app on your smartphone this data.

So, if you’re having a conversation with your boss at work and she asks you if you currently have fresh eggs in your refrigerator, you’ll know the answer immediately.

If you’re being tortured and what stands between you and death is knowing how many eggs you have in your refrigerator, you’ll get to live.**

If you want to egg that politician you don’t like***, you can check an app on your phone to know if your eggs are rotten and will be stinky when you throw them at him.

If you’re in a bar and looking to meet a “special friend” for a single night of romance, you’ll know while you’re still getting boozy if you can also make the person breakfast in the morning.****

Seriously, dear readers, I have no idea how anyone could accidentally over buy $99 worth of eggs and have them go rancid while this technology is still supported. I think it would take a person about 40+ years of routinely buying eggs and then not eating them to waste $99 on eggs. And there is no way current smartphones and this tray will be operating 40 years from now.

Something is wrong with the Manufacturing industry. It may be time for an intervention, as I’m pretty sure Manufacturing is drunk. Drunk is the ONLY explanation for this product.

*Number may be a slight exaggeration.
**Unless you are someone in Bryan Mills’ family, this likely will not happen to you.
***Unclutterer does not endorse egging politicians.
****Unclutterer has every reason to assume that showing a person your Egg Minder app will actually reduce your chances of going home with that person.

Unitasker Wednesday: Perfect Bacon Bowl

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy!

Ah, bacon. The best tasting of all the cured meats. Salty, fatty, pork goodness in a strip form that you can hold. Sigh.

The best part of bacon is that it doesn’t need to be improved. It is perfect. What it most certainly does not need is to be made into a Perfect Bacon Bowl:

Seriously, what is wrong with people who cannot simply enjoy bacon? Why does it need to be shaped into anything? Can’t it just be bacon?!

If you disagree and think a cup or bowl of bacon is necessary to enjoy the best meat this planet has ever known, then please — PLEASE — just use the bottom of a muffin pan to make bacon cups without purchasing all four of these devices. You probably already own a muffin pan and, for the most part, it is a bit of a unitasker. So, why not make that muffin pan a multitasker? Live a little!

But wait, there’s more! The Bacon Bowl even comes with its own infomercial. I dare you to watch it and not salivate all over your computer keyboard! (Unless you’re a vegetarian or observe a religious tradition that doesn’t consume pork, then I wouldn’t suggest you watch the infomercial. It will probably leave you nauseated.)

Thanks to reader J for introducing us to this unitasker. And, now, I think I’m going to go make some bacon in strip form, as it should be …

Unitasker Wednesday: Bullseye baking

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy!

Like many home cooks heading into the holiday baking season, I am a fan of using silicone coated baking mats. Instead of greasing cookie sheets or lining them with parchment paper, I use the silicone mat. It’s reusable and versatile. In addition to keeping cookies and pastries from sticking to a pan, it’s also perfect for making melted sugar and chocolate embellishments for desserts — they pop right off when they have cooled — and as a pan liner when baking fish. I predominantly use half cookie sheets when baking (they fit in my dishwasher since they’re only 18″ x 13″), and the half-sheet silicone mat works exactly as I need it to.

Reader Mary Ann appears to be on the same page as I am in regard to the versatility of standard silicone mats. As a result, when she came across this week’s highly specialized item, she said she just “HAD to share” it with us. It’s called the Baker’s 13 baking mat, but I’m going to call it a unitasker:

To be fair, nothing is stopping a person from using this mat for other baking purposes. The cookie police likely wouldn’t hunt you down if you tossed a salmon down on it. However, the designers certainly intended for it to be used for cookies.

And — here’s my biggest issue with it and what makes it a unitasker — it doesn’t actually ensure that you’ll have perfectly shaped cookies like the product is advertised to do. From the product description: “Baker’s 13 Ultimate Baking Mats turn out perfectly-shaped cookies every time” But, all it actually ensures is that you evenly space cookies out on a sheet so they probably won’t bump into each other.

To have a perfectly shaped cookie, you would need to use a cookie cutter or bake the cookies in forms. But, this sheet assumes you are using the blob, spooned-out-dough method, which doesn’t make perfectly shaped cookies. Just because there is a perfectly round bullseye on this mat doesn’t mean your blobs of dough will grow to that perfectly round shape as they bake. Also, the mat doesn’t account for the height of your blob of dough, which is a key factor in determining the final size of the baked cookie more so than its pre-baked width. It also doesn’t account for dough consistency, as some cookie doughs spread more than others when heated. (The higher the fat content in the dough, the more they usually spread when cooking.) So, even if you perfectly blobbed your dough onto the smaller target, your cookie still might grow to be larger than the larger target and end up touching a neighboring cookie.

As a silicone mat, I’m sure it’s lovely and the inventors of the mat look like awesome guys and if you have issues with figuring out how to space cookies on a cookie sheet so they don’t run into each other this mat most likely could help you (but so would a multitasking ruler and an understanding of the fat content in your dough). Unfortunately, if you’re looking to buy it to make perfectly shaped cookies as it is advertised, this mat isn’t going to help you achieve that goal.

Unitasker Wednesday: How to ruin the fun of s’mores

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy!

Just the other day, I was sitting around thinking about how s’mores are way too much fun for their own good. They involve sticks and gooey marshmallows and an open flame and it is all more happiness than I can handle. When I want to make s’mores, I want a totally dull and boring experience. Therefore, you can imagine my contained excitement when fellow Unclutterer Dave Caolo emailed me about the Charcoal Companion SS Smores Roasting Rack CC3112:

This thing is such a fun-killer that even its name is boring. Jackpot!

Sadly, this clinical s’mores maker is just one in a long line of fun-killing s’mores makers. We shall not forget the Old Fashioned S’mores Maker, the S’mores Maker, the Microwavable S’mores Maker, the S’more To Love STL-600, or the Reel Roaster (though, this last one does look to be mildly entertaining), all of which we have featured in the past in our Unitasker Wednesday column. Ruining s’mores is quite the trend these days. Poor, s’mores.

Finally, I couldn’t stop laughing about the product description on Amazon, which lists the Charcoal Companion’s sales ranking in its category:

Pet Supplies? I … I … I … I don’t want to know how this is in any way related to a pet …

Unitasker Wednesday: Trongs and Dip Cups

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy!

With game six of the World Series tonight, football season in high gear, and college basketball season starting this week, I predict a lot of hot wing consumption in Americans’ future. Before you throw your next party (which wouldn’t be complete without hot wings, obviously), check to see if you have these ridiculous unitaskers at hand.

And speaking of hands, there is no sense in expecting you or your guests to eat finger foods with their fingers! That’s just crazy talk. Instead, supply them with Trongs:

“But what about the sauce? I need a unitasker for each person to have for their ranch or blue cheese dressing! I don’t want liquid to touch any plates!”

Don’t get yourself into a tizzy, the good people at Progressive International have you covered. You can increase your party’s unitasker count with help from Dip Cups:

And, your party won’t be complete until you serve your Trong-held wings in the SnacDaddy. Now go on and enjoy watching your favorite sports activity knowing your festivities are sure to be unitasker-riffic!

Thanks to Amanda for helping us track down these hot wing unitaskers.

Unitasker Wednesday: The Double Barrel Sauce Squirt Gun and Captain Catchup

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy!

Way back in 2008, we featured the dangerous Condiment Gun in our unitasker column. Little did we know at the time, but the threat of ketchup being shot at your food from a .45 revolver was only the beginning of the menace.

Since then, a new unitasker villain has come onto the scene: The Double Barrel Sauce Squirt Gun:

This bad boy holds both ketchup and mustard. Now you can shoot up your hamburger or hotdog with not just one, but TWO condiments. (This is one of those elusive multi-tasking unitaskers.)

But wait! Are you more into science fiction than contemporary condiment weapons? If so, you might want to consider the futuristic Captain Catchup. Though, admittedly, it is only single barrel, so prepare to be sorely disappointed:

And, obviously, you’ll also want to order the shotgun shell salt and pepper shakers and the Gun Egg Fryer to complete your violent meal package!

Unitasker Wednesday: Eggo Expand-O

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy!

Someone (my husband) introduced my four-year-old son to Eggo Waffles once when I was out of town. I won’t name names (yes I will, my husband), but this person is responsible for what I believe to be the grossest food request my son makes. A couple times a month, my son requests a “waffle sandwich,” which is a slice of cheddar cheese in between two Eggo Waffles. It makes me gag just thinking about it.

As a result, I keep a box of Eggos in my freezer at all times to avoid meltdowns from a kid who rarely melts down and rarely eats processed food. Although I find it disgusting (sweet waffle with sharp, savory cheese), I’m not a cruel woman and the kid can’t eat candy because of his food allergies so “waffle sandwich” is his “sometimes food” candy equivalent.

Still, even with a box of Eggos taking up space in our freezer, I have no need for this crazy specific doodad. The Eggo Expand-O:

I like the idea of an expanding storage device, but why can’t it be larger and rectangular so things other than Eggos can be stored in it? Also, why does it have to look like a waffle and have a giant logo on the top of it? Highly specific food storage containers continue to confuse me: take the Nutri-Grain bars and Lem-O-Saver, for example. Evriholder should think outside the box, the Eggo box, and create a food storage container more folks could use.

Thanks to reader Holly for sharing this unitasker idea with us!

Unitasker Wednesday: Breakfast Sandwich Maker

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy!

This week’s unitasker is one of the more convoluted contraptions we’ve ever featured. In short, this clunky small appliance cooks eggs into a round shape so they fit nicely onto an English muffin. But, looking at it, you would certainly assume it does way more than cook round eggs. Check it out, the Breakfast Sandwich Maker:

Are you confused by it, too? Maybe watching the video will help:

It cooks eggs. You do all the additional assembly and cut (and cook) all your meat and cheese and carbs to fit the exact size of the device. I will say I am blown away by whomever made the pancakes the exact size of an English muffin — that takes talent. My pancakes are always wonky and blob-like.

Or, I GUESS, instead of buying this device you could just use a frying pan you already own and an egg ring that can be used for other things beyond breakfast sandwiches and is super easy to store. (That egg ring is also awesome at making perfectly round pancakes, useful for blob-making pancake folks like me.)

Thank you, reader Erica, for sharing this over-engineered small appliance with us.

Unitasker Wednesday: Car Seat Canopy

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy!

I’ve never sat in a new product brainstorming session at a baby supply manufacturing company, but my guess is the meeting for the Car Seat Canopy went something like this:

Idea Staffer: “I’ve got it! Let’s make a baby blanket but call it something else. It will be like a baby blanket in every way, but have a different name.”

Boss: “I like it! New parents are idiots! They’ll buy anything, even unsafe things.”

Idea Staffer: “Exactly! Bwahahahahahahaha!

Boss: [Rolls fingers together, joins in with Idea Staffer's maniacal laugh.]

First things first, it is NEVER okay to put a blanket over an infant’s car seat. Even if the blanket has two straps to attach it to the carrier handle, it is not safe. Don’t ever do this. You are putting your child at risk of suffocation because half the blanket can still fall down on your kid AND you can’t see your child to know if he or she is choking, vomiting, overheating, not breathing, etc. A blanket over a car seat is very dangerous. Don’t do it.

Second, car seat carriers have canopies built into them. I have a car seat carrier sitting inches from me right now and, yep, it has a canopy! And, these canopies don’t put your baby at risk of death if you use them. They keep sun and wind out of your kid’s face, plus allow you to see your kid safely.

Third, this thing is $30 for a baby blanket. If you want to put your child’s life at risk and do something as poorly conceived as put a blanket over the seat carrier, any blanket will do. All blankets keep you from being able to see your child equally. It’s a lose-lose situation — no need to spend $30 to jeopardize your kid’s life.

Finally, if you want to protect your baby from the elements, try the following ideas:

  1. Don’t take your kid outdoors when the weather is horrible.
  2. If it’s sunny, use the built-in canopy or put your child in a body carrier and put a hat on your kid.
  3. If it’s cold, use a safe cover that allows you to see your child’s face, so you can see if your kid is in trouble.

Thanks to reader Hillary for bringing this totally unsafe unitasker to our attention.

Unitasker Wednesday: Guacamole bowl

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy!

For many years, I’ve wanted to eat guacamole at home, but I’ve been unable to do so. Yes, I can buy avocados at the store. Yes, I own a fork and can mush up the avocado. Yes, I can either make or buy salsa to mix with the avocado. Yes, I have spices like cumin and crushed chili and even some lime juice to make the guacamole nearly perfect. But — and this is the but where everything falls apart — I do not own an extremely specialized serving device to put it in before eating it, like the Guacamole Bowl. Drats!

Without the Guacamole Bowl at home, I shall never know the delightful taste of the guacamole served from this ceramic avocado that holds a mere 1-1/2 cups of dip. Woe is me.

Thanks to reader Erin for sharing this unitasker with us.

P.S. Speaking of people named Erin … just wanted to let everyone know that last week editor-in-chief Erin Doland, her husband, and her son welcomed a beautiful baby girl into their family. The four are now at home, discovering their new routine, and feeling incredibly blessed.

Unitasker Wednesday: Nail Perfect

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy!

Regular readers of this site know that I don’t have fingernails, so most everything about painting and decorating fingernails doesn’t make it onto my radar screen. However, I have hung out with enough people who do their nails to pick up some understanding so I’m not a complete idiot about the subject. I’d earn a solid C- if I were to be graded on painting fingernails.

But, even as a below average student on fingernail painting, even I know this week’s unitasker selection is overkill. Introducing Nail Perfect:

This gigantic doodad is to help you avoid painting your finger as part of the fingernail-painting process. Okay, fine, I’ll concede that accidentally painting your finger could be annoying. I can imagine that being bothersome.

However, this device doesn’t save you any time or effort — after you’re done painting your nails you still have to clean fingernail polish off the machine. It’s either a little fingernail polish remover on a Q-tip to remove the polish from your skin or fingernail polish remover on a cotton ball to take the polish off the device. Cleaning is still cleaning.

One of the reviewers on Amazon also pointed out that you have to leave a single nail in the slot until it dries before being able to apply a second coat. So, instead of being able to paint all 10 fingernails and then returning to the first fingernail to apply a second coat … you paint one nail, wait 5 minutes, paint a second coat on it, and then go to the next fingernail, paint it, wait 5 minutes, paint a second coat on it, etc. Doing all your fingernails could easily take an hour instead of 20-30 minutes. I can’t imagine how long it would take if you needed to do three coats …

And, last but not least, this thing doesn’t work for toenails. Sigh. You still have to clean the polish off your skin on your feet or find a manufacturer to start producing a Toenail Perfect gizmo. (I see dollar signs!)