I suppose this is more of a chat about what the new year is going to be like, and less about a mundane but spectacular kitchen appliance. We’ll cover a little bit of both.
The new year is one of my favorite times. Not for the weather, but for the symbolism. It’s a time to reflect, to plan. It’s a time for second chances or a clean slate, depending on which metaphor floats your boat. Introspection and self-improvement can (and really should) happen any time, but the beginning of the year seems like it was just made for checking one’s progress and perspective. In the first month, I’ve been all about simplifying and being intentional. Beautiful Wife and I have simplified our diets for the first month by doing the Whole 30. I’ll talk more about that in a retrospective, once I’ve had time to gather my thoughts. I’ve also personally set my theme for the year to be Intentional. Which is a bit like saying living with simplicity of thought and action…so I’m tying this all back to simplifying. And to a garlic press.
I’ve noticed that I don’t think much about the simple and mundane items in my kitchen, and certainly forget to reassess or optimize them every now and then. For example – how many of you have a drip coffee maker? How many of you have ever tried using a French press (I’m a big fan of the Nissan insulated ones) or used a Chemex to enjoy some pour-over coffee? You might find you like the results from those simple methods. To my point though – when was the last time you though “hmmm, maybe I’ll reassess how I’m making my coffee”? In all honesty, Beautiful Wife and I use a Nespresso Pixie with the froth pitcher, which is decidedly not simple. Coffee purists (Caleb and Mark, that means you two), feel free to scowl. For this post let me make it clear that you technically don’t need the humble garlic press. You can use a mortar and pestle (supposedly it produces a less bitter garlic mash), or simply the flat of your chef’s knife. But I like a press for my garlic maceration. Less muss, less fuss, and I don’t have to keep one more work area clean or drag my 10 pound Thai granite mortar and pestle off the top shelf.
After the hinge pin popped out of my El-Cheapo brand garlic press, I went on the hunt for a new one. Beautiful Wife actually did some research as well, and ultimately her pick won out. So, what’s so damn special about the Zyliss Susi 3 garlic press? It works very, very well smashing unpeeled cloves. It cleans easily. It has a cleaning tool that rides onboard so I’m not looking for it every time I try to clean the damn thing. Let’s take a look:
It’s got some clean lines, and looks like it would be at home on the good ol’ NCC-1701. It actually looks more like a Tricorder or phaser than a garlic press. Incidentally, some folks are actually trying to make a real Tricorder – you can read about it here. And some really smart folks made a communicator as well. Okay, enough Trekkie stuff. Back to pressing. The Susi 3 feels good in the hand, let’s you get your squeeze on, and has a big enough well to stuff a giant clove of garlic or a few wee ones instead.
Zlyliss claims there’s no need to peel your cloves, and they really mean it. The only catch is that the press crushes the cloves so completely that you really should pull the flat square o’ garlic waste from the press before smashing another clove. For example:
Luckily, it’s easy remove the spent clove, and clean the press with the attached space-aged blue cleaning tool.
You get the idea by now, right? A simple kitchen tool that works splendidly. When you use it, you may have a moment like I did, where say to yourself “huh…I had no idea that I could get this excited by something that looks like a prop from a 1960’s sci-fi show”. It’s a simple add to your kitchen that you’ll enjoy using.
If you’re interested in buying this clever little press, click on the link above. I just set up an Amazon Affiliates account, so if you buy it or anything else from Amazon once you click through, I think I get about a dollar or something (I honestly haven’t really figured it out yet, and I’m not sure I even know how to insert the code as write this draft). It’s like leaving a tip in the tip jar if you thought this post was worth the few minutes to read it.
For full disclosure, I buy all my products and meals with my own money…just like a real grown up. If for some reason in the far future, enough random people read these ramblings and someone thinks to send me free stuff to test or talk about – or – better yet, I become D-list famous and I have strangers inviting me to the opening of their new restaurant and comping me plates of locavore superfood chow of righteousness, well then I’ll update you on who’s paying for what.
In the mean time, enjoy your New Year, and good luck with any pressing issues that 2015 may bring –