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tools of the trade

[ Thursday, November 22, 2007 | Leave a Comment ]
In the world of men, there seems to be a fine line that is drawn between "toys" and "tools". I've never considered myself a gadget or toys person per se, being pretty content with the only cell phone that i've ever bought, not being into cars, not upgrading my iPod constantly and not owning a stand alone lcd of any sort. Then again, I look around and I have a substantial amount of gear, rivaling any collector or gearhead. I feel though, that I have at my disposal: tools. Tools to record music, tools to capture the still moments in time. Am I really attached to them? "Not really", I say - but when challenged to offload as much as possible, I utterly fail. Alas, I'm in the doomed category... but I digress...

The reason for this post is to share with you a couple of the wonderful tools that I've procured or used to great satisfaction in the journey of taste. We've all had that frustration of trying to open a bottle of wine unsuccesfully, even using something that we've used before succesfully.. DISASTER.. But without further ado, here is the Corkscrew, or otherwise known as a 'wine bottle opener' that I love (I took this opportunity to test the piece of plexi-glass that I picked up last weekend at Rona to add to my photography studio set-up):

This one hails from Inniskillin, the Ontario winery which is probably the most internationally recognized for it's incredible Vidal Icewine. It came *free* with certain bottles of wine when my sister was doing a tasting there about a month ago. The knife is quite handy (especially the teeth) in removing any of the wrap around the top of the bottle mouth that usually protects the cork. The spiral ("worm" apparently is the nomenclature?) of the corkscrew itself is pretty standard, but I like the sharpness of it. The "foot" is good, but the coolness comes in that it's a 2 step foot. Use the first foot to raise the cork to a certain height away from the mouth of the bottle, but use the 2nd step of the foot to get it all the way out.. Genius!

Anyhoo, onto the cheese plane. Gizelle and I picked up a multiset of cheese cutting tools from Kitchen Stuff Plus: 5 tools for $10 - pretty good, but the cheese plane wasn't so good (will show & tell in a future post). I was worried that we would have struggled through every stroke of planing cheese during our party. That would have been a disaster. But then Nat gives us a great lead at the Kitchen and Glass Place (anyone know the official site?), down the street from her current work-abode (The Cookbook Store. One of the nice gentleman led me down the row to the planes - he mentions a cheap one made in Taiwan, but mentions that Swissmar makes great products and that his daughter loves them. I'm parked illegally and sway back and forth between the Swissmar and this other adjustable-mouth plane (ie can vary the thickness of the planed cheese-but $30!!!). I worried about moving parts, etc.. and ended up with the Swissmar - yay! It's a piece of art in my opinion =)

[both shots D200, 17-55mm f/2.8 with Alien Bee B800 with Giant Softbox]

ps more people can comment about the wine & cheese!! you know who you are! haha


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