I recently posted about five household items you can do without.

When my husband read that post, he said: “You know, a lot of people might not find those odd.” To which I responded: “C’mon! A pickle picker? Really?” 

But I stand corrected. To date, the running count on (self-declared) pickle-picker enthusiasts is up to five.

So this week, in a nod to my gadget-loving husband, I’m going to post about five  household items I’ve learned – courtesy of him – that you can’t do without. Or at least can’t do without once you’ve had one yourself:

1. Recipe Holder – You know how whenever you’re making a recipe, you either can’t hold the page open, can’t see it from where you’re cooking and/or something splatters all over the cook book, rendering the recipe illegible? Search no more. Get one of these babies and you can just prop it up on a table while you cook.

2. Lap Desk – Don’t get too excited, folks. This is just a lap desk, not a lap dance. It’s a small, flat surface you can write on when you want to work somewhere other than a desk – i.e., your favorite chair, your bed, etc. Yes, I know. You can also just use a book.  But it’s often hard to locate a book that’s large enough to hold whatever it is you’re writing. And if you’re working on multiple sheets of paper at once, this wider surface comes in really handy.

3. Vertical Chicken Roaster – For reasons that elude me (gravity?), chicken cooks better – i.e., is more juicy and succulent – when you cook it vertically. And who doesn’t like succulent chicken? (I’ve always thought it would be great to come up with a list of food descriptors that really turn people on and off. I’m a sucker for anything that’s “pan seared,” but loathe the term “drizzled.”) Anyway, highly recommend a vertical chicken roaster.

4. Lever Model Corkscrews – Yes, these are expensive. But if you drink wine with any regularity, you will welcome this easy, one-stop method for removing the wine cork without leaving any of the bits inside. Added bonus: they make the deltoid-challenged amongst us feel like strong(wo)men. Also a great wedding present.

5. Roncilio Silvia Espresso Machine – Also pricey. But if you drink espresso/cappucino/latte on a daily basis and care about how it tastes, once you start using Ms. Silvia (as some of my friends affectionately refer to theirs), you’ll (a) never go back to Starbucks and (b) easily earn back the money you would have spent there in a month. True believers should add the Roncilio “Rocky” grinder to the mix.How about you? What are your can’t-live-without gadgets?

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