It is a luxury I will die without: the $18 Rachael Ray garbage bowl.
Rachel Ray is the cute-as-a-button girl-next-door with the wildly successful "30-Minute Meals" shows. She also has a daytime talk show, a slug of cookbooks, cookware galore and now, her very own garbage bowl.
Who knew that the pinnacle of success would be having your name attached to a garbage bowl?
I'm pretty sure we've lost it.
It's a bowl, right? Plastic, even. You could get four big plastic bowls at any mega-mart for the same price, but because this is like the one Rachel Ray throws garbage in on her cooking show, it goes for 18 smackers.
The bowl doesn't have any special features. It doesn't have a suction bottom to anchor it to the counter, no pour spout and it's not rated for 1,200 degrees heat. It doesn't roll over, bark or play dead.
It's a bowl. A bowl for garbage.
Seems to me there might be some intermediate steps to try before buying a designer bowl to hold eggshells and banana peels. Here's a golden oldie: pull the trash can out from beneath the sink and put it by your feet when you work.
Or try this one: dump kitchen scraps in an old Cool Whip container. Or in an empty sour cream container. Or in an empty deli container.
My personal favorite is having a brown grocery sack by my feet when I cook. There's nothing like the satisfaction of making a hook shot with an empty tomato sauce can and hearing that glorious hollow "thud."
Or here's one - and, granted it's a little out there - hang an actual trash bag from a cupboard knob and use it for garbage.
But none of those solutions is marketable. You don't have to buy a single thing, you're using what you already have. You're being resourceful. What a dud.
I'm not knocking the garbage bowl, it's a good bowl. It does everything a bowl should do - it sits there without giving you any sass, holds things and looks very bowl-like.
I'm just wondering when we became so affluent, coddled, and cushy that we need designer bowls to hold garbage? Bowls remarkably similar to the bowls we already have.
Perhaps the garbage bowl is like a consolation prize. If I can't look like Rachel, or cook like Rachael, at least I can make garbage like Rachael.
If I can't cook like Emeril, at least I can buy knives like Emeril and chop like Emeril. If I can't be a domestic diva like Martha Stewart, I at least can buy her stemware, dinnerware, 600-count sheets, towels, muffin tins and play like I'm Martha.
It's always so much easier to buy the gizmos and gadgets than to actually acquire the skills.
Here's the real kicker to the garbage bowl. When you're finished dumping the apple peels, orange rinds, onion skins, garlic mush and tomato innards from this rough and tumble, guaranteed-to-last-for-many-years bowl, the instructions say, "Hand wash."
Sounds kind of prissy for a bowl that holds trash.