There is nothing that drives me more crazy (I feel like I use that phrase a lot) than expensive specialized equipment. I am of the Alton Brown philosophy that uni-tools, as he calls them, are a huge waste of money and should be avoided at all costs with very few exceptions.
So, I make my pledge here and now that my cookbook will not be filled with specialized tools that you will never use again!
Why mention this today? The $25 sorbet scoop is why.
As those of you who follow me on Facebook know, I have been testing some variations to my truffle recipe. I make truffles the old school way, a little rough around the edges, avoiding the perfect ball. They taste amazing, but when you look at them, they look like true truffles, and not the kind that you find in the store. Upon this realization yesterday I thought that it was time to invest in a sorbet scoop to make my truffles perfectly round (up until now I have been using a melon baller and semi-round has been the standard).
Some will stop reading right here, thinking that I am a total idiot solely based on store choice, but I decided to venture out to Williams-Sonoma to look for said scoop. As I entered the store and enjoyed the heavenly scent of the pumpkin butter cake (it always comes back to pumpkin) that they were baking, I let my eyes take in the beautiful sights of stainless steel, brightly colored stoneware, perfectly textured dish towels, and shelves upon shelves of tempting cookbooks.
It was beautiful.
I should mention, that although I love our local kitchen store and shopping at chef supply stores (the prices are much better!) I really enjoy a trip to Williams-Sonoma now and again. It is just so visually and gastronomically appealing that it makes me want to cry. My husband and I often joke that when the catalog for said store arrives at our house it is like a young boy receiving a girly magazine...I retreat to the couch and stare at each page until I have soaked up its entire contents, then move to the next completely unwilling to be disturbed until I have reached the back cover, at which point I exhale and begin to dream about the next special delivery from the postman.
Back to the scoop...
As I made my way to the special tool section I spotted the sorbet scoop. It was exactly the size that I had been looking for and seemed both sturdy and capable of the task at hand. Then I casually turned over the tool to look at the price...$25...seriously...$25. Am I an idiot? No. I put the scoop down and walked away. (I spent another 30 minutes and ?$'s, but I did not buy the scoop!).
I am appalled on a regular basis by what a rip off certain items for my kitchen are. I have a very well equipped kitchen and very rarely take a pass on tools that I think would have two or more uses, but this is where I had to draw the line. Upon returning home, I looked the item up on Amazon.com and the prices were not that much different.
Bottom Line: I am not buying a sorbet scoop and my truffles will most likely not be perfectly round...but they will still be perfectly delicious...