Hard as this is to believe, the obsessive portion of my personality did not spawn itself from the neurological ooze inside my skull. Iactually inherited it from dear old dad; a striking man with a full beard, savagely awful (in a good way...mostly) sense of humor, a slight case of paranoia and a near painful attention to detail (we got away with nothing in my house). Fortunately for me, my father is also a gadget addict and over the last few years he has developed a passion for constructing the perfect kitchen. Now, is your mind is traveling along a logical path which would lead you to the assumption that my father is chefy-wannabe like myself? Halt that train and divert it somewhere more useful... like Jamaica, because my dad rarely cooks. So the question is 'why'? Oh who the hell really knows. Dad's motives are mysterious and often inexplicable (even to himself). Perhaps it has something to do with both of his children having chefish tendancies. Perhaps he just likes holding up stuff and having the following exchange...
Dad: What's this?
Me: I don't know (sometimes I do and just pretend I don't). Looks like..a medieval torture device.
Dad: There is something wrong with you.
Me: Yes, I know.
Dad: It's a (fill in the blank).
Me: Oh cool! -or- Wow....why would you buy that? -or- But you have a (fill in the blank) which already does that.
Dad: I know! -or- *deflated* You sound just like your brother. -or- I do? Oh *pause* Where is it?
Typically the conversation ends with him telling me, triumphantly, that I may borrow it as long as I write a note reminding myself to bring it back. Occasionally he gifts it to me, then forgets and upon seeing it in my house at a later time, accuses me of stealing all his wonderful toys. It is... a complex relationship. But in truth? Most of the stuff my dad buys I would never steal...from anyone...for any reason. Also he purchases most of his varied knicks and knacks from a soulless, would-be-boutiquey kitchen store that shall remain nameless. ([Warning: Incoming Rant] The only thing that was ever worth purchasing at that place was mulling spice... which those bastards discontinued, further proof that they are the inspiration of the evil. There, I said it. Evil. [Rant Complete]) Most of the items I can not use in good conscience, because no one should spend that much money on a piece of stainless steel someone was clever enough to fashion into the shape of a soap bar.
The absolute worst thing he has shown me so far is his All-Clad stainless steel wok. I will pause here for a moment and allow that to sink in. All...Clad...stainless...steel....wok. I do not want to know how much that culinary contradiction cost him, but I am just outraged by the very idea. A wok is at its best when it is charred to crap, nice and seasoned by abuse. All Clad pans are things of beauty to be pampered and adored, not charred to crap. Honestly, I am surprised its very creation did not cause some tear in the fabric of the time and space causing us to go hurling into the sun...or something. I can not lay the blame completely on All Clad, because I believe the person who sold it to him should be flogged within an inch of their life. Where was the intervention in good conscience? When did we stop caring, people?
However, every so often my father purchases something that is actually amazing. Tomorrow I will begin my quest to find said amazing things by wading waist deep into that sea of gadgetry. It may feel a bit like the garbage compactor scene from 'Star Wars' at times, but I am determined to find something useful amongst the sh@t my dad owns.