Monday, April 9, 2012

Tools That Make Things More Difficult

This photo has recently been traded around on pinterest...

Wow! Fantastic! A way to finally solve that problem that I have with all of those bags that need a way to keep them closed! Oh wait, I already have that, it's called a bag clip or a twist tie.

What I'm wondering about this weird little method of closing unruly bags is why someone would bother taking a bottle, cutting off the top, negotiating the sharp edges of the cut-off bottle, then doing the dance of getting the bag over the bottle and threading the cap on through the plastic of the bag.

It seems more like something that someone who's obsessed with reusing things would do, rather than someone who wanted a convenient way to keep a bag closed would do.

"ooh, look at me! I cut off a bottle and closed the bag with it! I'm recycling!"

Well, I say just recycle the bottle and save yourself the time. Get those twist ties out and have at it. Cutting bottles off just complicates something that isn't complicated to begin with.

This also made me remember the time that I went to a kitchen tools sales party and was subjected to an hour of overseasoned dip made with velveeta and pimentos. After that I had to sit through a parade of unnecessary kitchen tools, each one made to do one specific task, which ostensibly would make the dinner-prep process more convenient.

If convenient means that you have about three times as many gadgets to wash than before, then yeah, it was that.

I remember sitting there thinking that every single thing those gadgets would do could have been done with a good chef's knife. And knowing how to use it, of course.

So many tools that we use are totally unnecessary. A new gadget is fun, but if you don't use it then what's the point? I've bought many a cake tool over the years that I never pick up, and I'm sure I'm not the only person. So many things are sold that are supposed to make doing cakes easier, but just end up being space-wasters.

 I think that my favorite tool that's really useful is the Agbay cake leveler. Yes, you can level a cake with a bread knife but it's far better to do it with the Agbay. That's a useful tool. Makes things easier.

The least useful one that I have is probably the Cricut, since I have it but I still use my exacto knife instead. For me the Cricut adds a level of complication that I don't need.

What are your favorite tools that really do serve a purpose by replacing something else and making the job easier, and what are some that you wish you hadn't spent the $$$ on?

(About the photo: I don't know the original source, so if someone does and lets me know I'll give it proper attribution.)

 Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC in Richmond VA, and cake supplies online at and


Ruth G. said...

Tonight I used a revolutionary device to close a bag for the freezer that I must share. It's called a ... rubber band. Remarkable device. : )

Kara Buntin said...

Where did you find this revolutionary new tool? It sounds amazing! Wait, let me put my scissors and bottles down while I go look for a pen to write the name down so I don't forget....rubber band. Now I feel better! ;)

Eva Farragher said...

I also love my Agbay. Its a tool that does what it says it does, easily, perfectly with no compromises. I get the most use out of that, my cheap flat black plastic turntables, my disposable piping bags, my hardware paint scrapers, my acrylic balling tools and my Kitchenaid mixer. I also get loads of use out of my small, extremely sharp Victorinox knives. Then, I have all the cr*p I have cluttering up a shelf in my studio, mostly branded Wilton, including a ridiculously expensive, flimsy tilting turntable they make which up-ended an ivory buttercream wedding cake tier upon which I was applying an intricate black buttercream pattern to the sides...three hours before it needed to be delivered to the wedding venue. I tend to avoid Wilton now on principle.

Eva Farragher

Maxine said...

Never in all my days have i seen let alone heard about using the top of a bottle to close a bag...
Kara, i had to click on the photos to enlarge so as to see exactely what one does... think i will stick to the rubber band or sticky tape.... i would do myself a huge harm cutting off the top of a plastic bottle lolll Maxine

SweetThingsTO said...

I love your writing style - I giggle when I read it.

Ruth - A rubber band!! You should "pin" it :-)

Audric Montuno said...

Cake leveller also gets my vote (for most worthwhile). I don't have an Agbay - just have a simpler one, but it still works like a charm for the required level of use that I have for it. Haven't accumulated enough other toys to have a lot of useless stuff around.

Colleen said...

This was great! I was debating on whether to purchase the agbay, and now I feel confident that it will be a good investment. (I know this was not an agbay referral post, but, well, ok ,carry on. LOL)BUT, I get the gist.... if you will use a tool frequently, it helps you produce a better product, and it cuts your time...then it is worth it! Valuable information to know when starting up a business.