Useless kitchen stuff for morons

For those of you who follow my kitchen posts, be sure to check out The Motley Monk and his comments on useless kitchen gadgets morons might buy.

It’s a hoot.

For example:

and don’t forget…

And while this might be useful to instruct young people that, yes, we set the table in polite company, I object to the lack of indication for the cuillère à sauce individuelle!  

But we can adapt. 

We are flexible.

So it is not exactly for morons, if you get my drift.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Robert of Rome says:

    Fr Z and The Motley Monk should collaborate in a TV show for The Food Network.

  2. AnAmericanMother says:

    I could really have used that placemat while teaching my little ones how to set a table! I photocopied the relevant page out of the Joy of Cooking instead, but it wasn’t life size.

    The pizza fork/knife on the other hand, I would probably cut a finger off.

  3. motheroften says:

    I love the placemat as an idea for teaching kids! I have always used the F-O-R-K =L-E-F-T and K-N-I-F-E= R-I-G-H-T-, S-P-O-O-N= R-I-G-H-T- ( same number of letters in the words).

  4. AnAmericanMother says:

    Wow, motheroften, what a great memory aid!

    Too bad my youngest is now 19 and a U.S. Marine . . . . guess I’ll be able to use it with the grandchildren eventually!

  5. S. Murphy says:


    Your Marine might’ve been given a similar mat with outlines of various parts of the M16A2 service rifle (I think they’re still using A2s in boot camp, because they A4s were fielded pretty recently) to help him learn how to take it apart, clean it, and reassemble it, when he was a recruit. Not that hard, for most people, but someone thought it was good idea. By the time boot camp is over, you can do it with your eyes closed – you’ve done it so often.

  6. AnAmericanMother says:

    We’re heavily into the shooting sports here, so he could field strip an M-1 Garand and a 1911A1 before he left, as well as the FN-FAL, the SMLE, and a couple of other military orphans. Adding the M-16 wouldn’t be much of a problem (though we’re not big believers in .223 Rem/5.56 NATO around here).

    But I never could get him to put the knife on the right and the fork on the left.

    Of course, I’m not a DI either. Just as well.

  7. Peggy R says:

    I recall learning to set a table in K where we glued paper shapes of forks, knives, spoons, plates, etc. to a paper placemat.

    The pizza cutter/fork. Very cool. Pizza hut should come out with that. KFC’s spork’s now old hat.

  8. mjballou says:

    I was fortunate enough to have a mother who considered table-setting an appropriate activity for 10 year old girl scouts. (And I mean “formal settings,” she assumed the breakfast table had already been taught.)

    We drilled on the placement of fish forks and knives, salt cellars and ashtrays (remember those individual little ash trays?), what glass went where, and how to cope with “French service.”

    My mother died in January and I’m sure she will check out the arrangements at the Celestial Banquet.

  9. Charivari Rob says:

    I liked the placemat. I assume the instructions are Trace the Black and Don’t Spill the Red

  10. irishgirl says:

    Those are funny-looking gadgets, Father Z!

    I like the pizza fork/cutter-at least one can eat pizza ‘nicely’ and in small pieces! Not so messy!

    AnAmericanMother-ooo, that picture of the DI is a hoot! And your ‘baby’ is a Marine! OORAH! Tell him that I thank him for his service in protecting our country!

  11. AnAmericanMother says:


    I’m sure you’re very welcome! When I send the next MotoMail (a nifty service where they download an Email at the APO address and deliver it to him **for free**) I will be sure to let him know!

    Jack Webb was “The DI” before Gunny Ermey was the DI. OORAH!

  12. AnAmericanMother says:


    Condolences on the loss of your mom. You’re probably right, even where the heavenly feast showeth somebody’s got to set the table. :-D

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