Unitasker Wednesday: Chef’n Sweet Spot Ice Cream 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!

When I was in college, I had the opportunity to work with a professor who was doing ice cream research and as a student project, we got to use an industrial ice cream sandwich maker similar to the one in this video. What I learned from working on this machine is that the wafer parts of the sandwich are hard so they do not break as they feed through the machine. The ice cream is cold but soft so that it can be easily pumped through the machine and fill the sandwiches. Once the sandwiches are wrapped, they go into a freezer at -30ºC (about -22ºF). The freezer is this cold to keep the texture of the ice cream smooth by preventing the formation of large ice crystals.

After learning all of this information, I cannot understand why someone would go through the trouble of making ice cream sandwiches at home. However, the Chef’n Sweet Spot Ice Cream Sandwich Maker will allow you to do just that — go through an awful lot of trouble to make sub-par ice cream sandwiches.

I thought perhaps this piece of clutter might be useful if you were allergic to dairy products or needed to make gluten-free ice cream sandwiches but one look in the freezer compartments at my local grocery store and I found dairy-free, gluten-free, nut and peanut free ice cream sandwich options in several different flavours. So you do not actually need the Chef’n Sweet Spot Ice Cream Sandwich Maker to help you cope with allergies.

The Chef’n Sweet Spot Ice Cream Sandwich Maker is supposed to be easy to use but it is still a lot of work. First of all, you have to bake your own wafers in the silicone top and bottom of the mould and wait until they cool. Next, soften ice cream until it is spreadable and fill the tray you have placed on one set of wafers. Then, very carefully put the lid containing the other set of wafers on the top. Finally, freeze the contraption for at least an hour. (I hope your home freezer is at -30ºC). When you take them out of the freezer, gently remove the sandwiches from the mould. Congratulations. You now have messy ice cream sandwiches.

Unless you enjoy making work for yourself, bypass this clutter maker.

Unitasker Wednesday: Gläce Ice

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 bet if Unclutterer readers need an ice cube, they reach into their freezer or maybe they have ice cube makers built into their refrigerators. I imagine that if they are throwing a party, they run out to the nearest convenience store and buy a 10-pound bag of ice cubes for about two dollars. (For those that are interested, a 10-pound bag of ice contains about 160 cubes so that works out to about one penny per cube).

But what if you want to enjoy a shot of high-quality Scotch — on the rocks? Would you use ice cubes that only cost a penny?

Of course not! You would purchase Gläce Ice.

Made from purified water, these meticulously crafted, individually carved ice cubes and spheres do not contain minerals, additives, or pollutants that may taint the flavour of high-quality drinks. It is just pure, unadulterated water that will dilute your top shelf spirits.

These marvellously sculpted pieces of ice can be shipped right to your door by the case load. Packed in dry ice, you can get 50 Gläce Ice cubes or spheres (or a combination), for a mere $325 USD. That’s only $6.50 per piece! And, they come in a re-sealable vacuum pouch with a one-way air valve to protect the Gläce Ice from absorbing odours from your freezer.

I suppose you could make your own ice cubes and spheres. You would need a countertop distilling machine to make your own distilled water (less than $100) as well as silicone ice cube trays that will make round and cube shaped pieces of ice (and a host of other frozen treats) for about $15.

balls of steel in whiskyBut that is a lot of clutter that sits in your kitchen making ice cubes year after year. Instead, you can unclutter by joining the Tudor Luxury Ice Club and have Gläce Ice shipped to your door on a regular basis all for the low cost of $1100 USD per year.

For those of you who do NOT like your single malts diluted with water of any type, the website Cool Material evaluated whisky stones to see which ones cooled Scotch the best without changing the flavour. The winner was Balls of Steel. Minimalist styling, effective drink cooling, all for about $30 USD — and a portion of all sales is donated to testicular cancer cure research.

Thanks to Editor-at-Large Erin Doland for tweeting about Gläce Ice and suggesting that we just donate to our local food banks instead.

Unitasker Wednesday: Stuffed meatballs 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!

If kindergarten students can make spheres with playdough, adults should have no trouble forming a ball out of ground meat with their hands. This is why I do not understand why anyone would be interested in the stuffed meatballs maker.

At just over 10-inches by 10-inches and one inch high, this flippy-floppy item is supposed to improve the way you make stuffed meatballs. First you fill both sides of the meatball maker with meat. (I assume we use a spoon because one of the “great features” of the stuffed meatballs maker is that you do not use your hands.) Then, you make indentations in one side of the meatballs with the hinged cavity maker and fill it with cheese or sauce. Finally, you fold over the top side of the device to seal the meatballs. Again, I assume that the meatballs just roll right out of the meatball maker into a pan for baking.

This would be great if it actually worked. Reading the reviews tells me that I have made erroneous assumptions. The stuffed meatballs maker does not fully seal the meatballs closed, nor do the meatballs simply slide out of the device. They have to be pried out of the meatball maker and then sealed by hand. In addition, you have to wash the meatball maker as well as the spoon and your hands.

Save yourself some time and money and just use your clean hands to make stuffed meatballs and thoroughly wash your hands afterwards. I know there are some readers who do not like handling raw meat so wearing disposable gloves will keep your hands clean. Disposable gloves have many more uses than a meatball maker too.

Unitasker Wednesday: Capabunga Artisan Bread Saver

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

Artisan is a term used to describe food produced by non-industrialized methods, often handed down through generations but now in danger of being lost (also known as home cooking). An artisan baker is a craftsperson who is trained to the highest ability to mix, ferment, shape and bake a hand-crafted loaf of bread (also known as my grandmother).

Interesting though these definitions are, most people buy their artisan bread at a bakery where bread making can be automated to some extent. There are variable speed, electric mixers and blenders, and proofers and ovens with accurate timers and fine temperature controls — a long way from how my grandmother made bread using a bowl, a spoon, her hands, a clean linen cloth (which at other times acted as a tea-towel), and a wood stove.

I guess if some people buy their bread at artisan bakeries they would also purchase the Capabunga Artisan Bread Saver to ensure that their bread stays fresh as long as possible. To keep a loaf of crusty bread fresh, you have to cover the cut portion to keep the moisture inside the loaf while allowing the crust to stay exposed to keep it, well, crusty. My grandmother told me that. She also told me that waxed paper or foil wrap and an elastic band (all of which you probably already own) would work really well.

Thanks to reader Joy for bringing this unitasker to our attention.

Unitasker Wednesday: Pie markers

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

Canadian Thanksgiving is fast approaching and with the smell of pumpkin spice lattes wafting out of every coffee shop, our attention turns to pumpkin pie. (This is my favourite, super easy recipe.) With only four adults in our family, it is pretty easy to cut the pie into equal pieces. If you have to serve pie to five or seven people, it gets a little tricky to cut pieces into equal sizes.

That’s why you need a collection of Pie Markers! Pie markers score pies (and cakes) in equal proportions for serving your guests perfect slices. Made of durable food grade aluminum, these pie markers will make sure that you will not waste time trying to equally slice your pies with a knife which will be inaccurate and time-consuming.

Buy an entire set of pie markers so you can cut pies into 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 12 slices. Just remember that the diameter of each is almost nine inches so the entire set will create lots of clutter in your cupboards.

If you would like to avoid the clutter, this video shows you a trick for using a simple piece of paper (which you likely already have) to find the centre of a pie. In the video they score a line across the centre of the pie but if you want to cut the pie into an odd number of pieces, do not score across the centre, just make a little X to mark a line out from the centre and use a protractor (clean it thoroughly first) to mark the angles around the pie according to this chart.

Unless you are running a bakery, restaurant, or catering business and need to mark many pies and cakes every day, use a piece of paper and protractor. They will take up a lot less space in your kitchen cupboards.

Unitasker Wednesday: Personalized peanut butter spoon

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

Wouldn’t it be great to have your own personalized peanut butter spoon when you eat peanut butter right out of the jar? No longer will you have to use a regular, everyday spoon for such an exalted task!

This custom-made spoon is hand stamped one letter at a time and made with non-toxic ink. (We would certainly hope the ink is non-toxic!). The vendor suggests that if you choose to use your spoon you should wash it the dishwasher to avoid abrasive hand scrubbing to prevent the ink from wearing off.

I’m not sure why you would buy a spoon if you do not plan on using it. Maybe at $25 (plus $10 shipping) you would want to keep it pristine, as a decorative item mounted on the wall with a souvenir spoon collection — but then again, with Comic Sans typeface, maybe not.

Thank you to professional organizer, Hazel Thornton for bringing this unitasker to our attention.

Unitasker Wednesday: Snap-on bedding labels

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

Today’s unitasker is Snap-on bedding labels. These simple to attach, snap-on labels that tell you the size of bed sheets. For about $16 USD, you get four labels. I’m assuming one for each of the flat sheet, fitted sheet and both pillow cases.

You do not need spend $16 USD on this item if:

  • You buy different colours of sheet sets for different sizes of beds in your home and put a colour-code chart in your linen closet to remind people which colour of sheets are which size.
  • You only have one size of bed. All of the sheets would be the same size regardless of colour.
  • You use the same colour of sheets for all the beds but launder the sets of sheets on different days and store the sheets for the bed in the room in which the bed is located so they don’t get mixed up in the linen closet.
  • You use the same colour of sheets for all the beds but you own a Sharpie permanent marker and decide to write a small letter in the corner of each sheet/pillowcase indicating what size it is.

If you do not do any of the above, and have not read our article on how to best store your sheets, feel free to purchase the Snap-on bedding labels.

We’d like to thank reader Ann J. for alerting us to this unitasker!

Unitasker Wednesday: The Prepdeck

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

Reader Pete brought today’s product, The Prepdeck to our attention.

The Prepdeck is designed to organize and unclutter your kitchen work surfaces. It includes a fold-out cutting board, 15 containers in four sizes, a storage compartment for knives and utensils, an accessory drawer with prep tools (grater, slicer, juicer, etc.) and a removable trash compartment for collecting scraps.

The Prepdeck is large and cleaning all those little parts would be a challenge! As Reader Pete put it, “I shudder to think of the potential for cross-contamination, especially if you’re a meat-eater.”

In other words, Prepdeck duplicates everything that your kitchen already has, all of which can be easily cleaned in the dishwasher. Not to mention the fact that the little containers have to be stored in the fridge individually while the Prepdeck remains unused taking up almost all of your counter space.

Here is the thing though…

I just finish setting up my youngest kid at college. The Prepdeck would be very helpful. The cutting board would be easier to clean and sanitize than the chipped and stained countertops in the dorm kitchen. Having a small compartment for collecting scraps means they wouldn’t fall on the floor and attract pests. The Prepdeck’s little containers hold just enough for one person and are small enough to be stored in the fridge in her room. She could fill up the containers at home on the weekends and have enough fresh fruits and veggies for the week. Being able to store all of her own kitchen tools in one spot would be beneficial as well.

Actually, for anyone living in a dorm, small apartment, or RV, and doesn’t already have kitchen tools, the Prepdeck would be the way to go.

Should we call it a large, cumbersome, multi-tasking unitasker? I’ll leave it to our readers to decide.

Unitasker Wednesday: Robot Eating Lollipop Holder

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

All of us who eat lollipops have had the same conundrum — what do we do with the half-eaten ones? We can’t just set them down on the arm of the sofa or on the kitchen counter. What are we to do?

robot shaped lollipop holderIntroducing… The Robot Eating Lollipop Holder!

Just place your half-eaten lolly in the hands of this large plastic robot-looking device, push the button and the hands put the lolly inside the robot’s head. The lolly stays fresh and clean. There is a note from the manufacturer to say that the lid may not open if lollipops are stuck to it so you may need to rinse the device with hot water. That is just fine because after each lolly, you’ll have to wash the device anyway.

I’m sure many people would find it challenging to get a small piece of plastic wrap and cover the lolly to keep it fresh even though it would be easier, and better for the environment to keep a small piece of plastic wrap in your pocket rather than this large device.

Thanks to reader Roxanne wrote in to share this week’s unitasker with the comment, “Seriously, who thinks up these things?”

Well, Roxanne, we don’t know who thinks them up, but an idea is one thing, so seriously, who agreed that this was worthy of production?

Unitasker Wednesday: Cutlery Cleaner

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

Safety has always been of paramount importance in my life. One precaution we take is to always hold kitchen knives by their handles and wash them one by one then place them in the drying rack them with handles up. We never pile sharp knives into the sink or dishpan due to the high risk of cutting yourself.

It doesn’t take very much time to carefully and thoroughly clean a knife as demonstrated by a chef in this video. You need soapy water and a soft bristle brush that you probably already have to clean all your dishes. That’s why I think the BladeBrush Knife Cleaner is a unitasker.

Although it does allow you to clean your knife blades safely, it won’t allow you to clean anything else. I suppose you could use it to clean all your cutlery but you would still have to have a brush, dishcloth, or sponge to clean the rest of your dishes. Also, for the price of this one unitasker, you could buy two packages of three multi-tasker regular brushes.

The problem with cleaning sharp knives (and other cutlery) is that it takes two hands to do — one to hold the knife by the handle, the other to scrub the blade. If you have reduced mobility in one, or both hands, consider a cutlery cleaner that mounts on the side of the sink.

Thanks reader Carol for bringing this unitasker to our attention.

Unitasker Wednesday: Bulb Nest

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

In every home we’ve rented all of the light fixtures contain the least expensive and least energy efficient light bulbs. In order to reduce our electric bill, we replace the cheap bulbs energy with energy efficient LED ones. Consequently, we store quite a few light bulbs because we switch them all back before we move out, taking the LED ones with us.

We have gone through this process 12 times in the past 25 years and never once did we consider buying or using a unitasker like bulbNEST — a cardboard box that holds up to 6 standard light bulbs and 2 spotlight light bulbs.

I suppose some people may find it useful but I think paying $16.99 USD for a cardboard box, even if it is custom designed, is a little expensive.

We store light bulbs in a small Rubbermaid tote, either in the original packaging so it is easy to see what the bulb is, or we wrap the bulbs in fruit net wrap that the local grocery store was going to throw in the garbage anyway.

Sometimes custom organizing solutions are necessary. However, with a little thought and items you already own, you can save money by creating your own storage solution.

Thank you to reader Ano Nymous for bringing this unitasker to our attention.

Unitasker Wednesday: Handheld dishwashing machine

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

When I first saw the photo of the handheld dishwashing machine, I thought it might possibly be useful for those who had limited use of their hands and did not have a dishwasher. It is referred to as a “robotic arm” after all.

I was wrong. You need two hands to get the dishes in the device and one hand to hold the thing while it washes.

The description on this device says you don’t have to get your hands dirty but you need both hands to put the dirty plate in it — unless you enjoy washing clean dishes like they do in the video (which makes my highly suspicious of its efficacy).

The site also states, “Environmental protection, beauty, simple, good cleaning effect.” But I fail to see how a plastic, robot-arm filled with electronics and a rechargeable battery protects the environment. The gadget reminds me of an extra-terrestrial insect from a sci-fi movie so maybe it is only beautiful to entomologists.

If you have enough space for the handheld dishwashing machine, why not just buy a countertop dishwasher? It would work better and your hands would stay cleaner.

Save your money. Save the environment. Avoid nightmares about green insects from outer space. Pass on this unitasker.