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Posts tagged “UK

In praise of specificity

Posted on January 12, 2016

When I was in Japan a few years ago, I went to a place called Tokyu Hands. It blew me away: floor after floor of stuff, so much of it incredibly specific. A container to hold sliced tomatoes so they wouldn’t sit in their own juice. Teapot brushes. 15 different types of scissors for ikebana. A knife specially designed for cutting chestnuts. An those were just the things whose use I could fathom. I found it fascinating but perplexing: even if some of the products were clearly genius (I loathe soggy tomatoes) why oh why would you want all this stuff in a country where houses were so minuscule?  Would you even use it? Wasn’t it all a bit silly? Was it just another example of Japanese…

The Goods: The Perfect Wooden Spoon

Posted on January 1, 2014

Doing anything well is about having the perfect tool. It renders the beginner at least halfway competent, the middling enthusiast confident, and powers the truly skilled to new heights. Working with the perfect tool is utter pleasure and yes, the ultimate luxury. Making something work is drudgery (and often a gigantic waste of time.) In the kitchen, one of the most fundamental tools is the wooden spoon. They were fetishized last year with all their connotations of honest home cooking and the toned-down life, and no end of earnest woodworkers took to making them out of premium woods, all sustainably produced. But I rather suspect that many of the spoons ended up as “design elements” on a kitchen wall: beautiful, authentic, ignored. What a…