New Additions In The Kitchen And How They Came To Be, Part 1

January 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

It all started innocently enough right after Thanksgiving. Mrs Ilk came back from her annual post-Turkey Day extended stay at my in-laws and all she could talk about was the damned milk frother. I suppose that’s better than her complaining about the fact I left the kitchen a complete disaster during my 6 days of bachelorhood. But yeah, clearly my inlaws’ latest kitchen gadget purchase had her all excited. “It froths! And scalds! And there’s no clean-up!”

On and on it went. The next couple subsequent weekends as I fired up my French press she’d always ask me how much better my coffee would taste if I had frothed milk to go with it. Naturally I agreed. So when it came time to Christmas shop, I knew exactly what item was on the top of my list. I plowed my way through the Xanaxed Stepfords in Williams-Sonoma at Oak Brook to the coffee accessories section and asked about a frother. Mind you at the time I thought that the milk frother which I was in the market for was one of those flimsy little rods with the coils at the end. But no, turns out that those don’t have a heating element – so they do live up to their name as a frother, but they don’t scald. Nope, what I needed was apparently something that goes by its trade name – an Aeroccino. This magical device retails for $99 and never goes on sale anywhere from what I was told. So I bought it. That next day when we were making coffee the subject of the frother came up yet again…and I was beaming on the inside.

Fast forward to Christmas morning. We moseyed downstairs at the surprisingly reasonable hour of 7:30. I’d been told in advance that there was something I needed to open right away from Mrs Ilk’s dad because he was SO EXCITED TO GIVE IT TO US. For whatever reason it was imperative that I open this before anything else, even before we unleashed Ilk 2.0 on his giant present pile. Mrs Ilk handed me the bag – (immediately dashing my secret hope that it was a set of Titleist AP2s) and I peeked inside.

It was an Aeroccino. Christmas was ruined. I’d misinterpreted secret hints about a present for passive-aggressive yearning for a present. Whoops. Being the brat that I am, the first words out of my mouth were “welp, that’s one less present you need to open” before I grabbed the one that I’d bought out from under the tree, stomped and huffed over to the guest bedroom and dumped it on the dresser in there.

Boxing Day rolls around, and we’re off to the mall to return it. My wonderful wife is a lot of wonderful things, but she has a tendency to be absolutely paralyzed by indecision. It was important that we exchange this mystical device right away, or it would still be sitting on the guest room dresser in April. So we head into WIlliams-Sonoma once again.

Couple side notes on Williams-Sonoma:

1) It is not a good store for a 4 year old. Everything’s at grabbing level and none of it is very interesting to them but they have to touch it anyway.

2) My Iowan-Minnesotan mother-in-law cannot pronounce “Sonoma” no matter how hard she tries. It always comes out “Smomona.” Like nails on a chalkboard for me.

We got funneled to the left side of the store. This happens to be the demonstration side. That particular day’s demonstration item? The Nespresso.

I have a strange sentiment about the whole coffee-in-a-pod trend. Flavia, Keurig, Nespresso all of them are are all the rage right now. All of them are really convenient. Nespressos taste REALLY good, but the yield per pod/cost per pod equation is definitely not value-oriented. I don’t care how strong and concentrated the stuff is, I want a full mug of coffee. Between our French neighbors and my French now-former boss (the story of his reaction to me tendering my resignation earlier this week is a post in itself) I’ve tried my share of it. But the biggest problem of all in my eyes that also gives the greatest insight into my whacked out mind is WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU RUN OUT OF PODS AND SOMEHOW HAVEN’T ORDERED NEW ONES?

Well, I guess that’s a dilemma we may face one day. Because we now own one. Store credit + spending bonus + Christmas money made it a deal too good to pass up. We pretty much plowed through the “starter kit” of pods they gave us when we  bought it in about 48 hours. There was a time last week when I think we pretty much blacked out from overcaffeination. We experimented with shorts, talls, two pods in one cup. “Hey, let’s have another one.” Our coffee cupboard runneth over. I’m cheating on my press pot and feel really guilty but this is almost too easy not to take advantage of.

Coming soon: part 2, the Great Sodastream Caper


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