Posts Tagged ‘kitchen’


Friday, September 4th, 2009

wine cork trivetThere is a pleasantness to the feel of cork. Lamps made of cork were popular in the sixties. These days you can even get cork walls and floors.

I couldn’t resist this cork trivet. I’m not a wine expert, but I think all the corks used to make this trivet are from California wines.

A trivet, as those of you who follow etymology might deduce, technically involves an object blessed with three legs. However, according to reliable trivet trivia sources such as, a potholder can be an “informal trivet.” Which puts my oversize coaster or undersized bulletin board safely in trivet territory. And if you don’t believe Wisegeek, Amazon bestows upon it the official trivet designation.

I did not expect this trivet to still be in production, never mind for sale on Although I believe mine to be vintage (note the nicely beveled edges on the example I own), it was a letdown to see my trivet being sold on the Internet in kit form. I took some solace in the fact that its Amazon sales ranking was 54,455 in Kitchen and Dining. What do they expect at $19.19 for a cheap wood frame and some glue? They don’t even supply the corks, never mind the wine. I got mine for fifty cents at a tag sale.

As a service to you, and a treat before the long holiday weekend, I’m republishing a few Amazon customer reviews for the Wine Cork Trivet Kit.

We’ve bought this kit as a gift (and another one for ourselves) – it’s very easy to use and is fun. [Nothing worse than a hard to use, depressing trivet. -ed.]

I would describe the Wine Cork Trivet as a functional memory maker. During a recent trip to Italy, I got the idea from a local restaurant to save our wine corks. The corks were displayed in an oversized glass when we returned home, but they just seemed to be taking up space. With the Wine Cork Trivet, they serve a valuable purpose whenever we entertain and it’s also easy to see the many different types of wines. Just putting it on the table transports us back to “La Dolce Vita.” A great idea!

I bought this for a friend for a bridal shower gift. She saw mine and wanted one. The only issue is the glue takes a while to go from white to clear and as you get to the bottom of the tube of glue, it is really hard to squeeze. My friend loved it!

Quick shipping…good product with an added reason to keep our wine corks and hold onto some of our memories. Construction seems solid and sturdy. Hope to drink more wine because of this.

For some reason, this was labeled Most Helpful Critical Review:

This item makes a nice gift for someone interested in wine because it is not something ordinary like wine glasses or even a bottle of wine. You could probably make one yourself much cheaper, but then you have the difficult task of explaining what it is. Having it come in a box labelled as “Wine Cork Trivet Kit” makes it obvious what it is and that it is a gift intended for the recipient, rather than some wood you tacked together with a creative idea.

And this was labeled Most Helpful Favorable Review:

First, I love to say the word “trivet”. trivet! trivet! trivet! This is nice, simple kit that consists of a wood frame that serves as the base of the trivet (trivet!) and the supplies to glue down the corks. I am 3 corks shy of having enough to start the project, but will report back later when it’s complete. (He or she actually completes the project and reports back:) My only complaint, and it’s very minor and not really the fault of the trivet (trivet!) is that it’s a bit larger than I expected. it’s 9×11 – where as I think it would work better if it was a bit smaller.. maybe 6×6. Just being nit-picky. They probably make a smaller trivet (trivet!) and I overlooked it. We love to put hot things on it. Sometimes I just make large pots of hot water so I can put them on the trivet (trivet!).

Here’s an even easier-to-make cork trivet kit.

I think these people read too much into the Wisegeek idea that an oven mitt could be used as a trivet. Anyway this thing, whatever it is, talks.

To get meta, take a photo of some wine corks.

Sometimes a Pepper Mill

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

pepper grindersThere is no reason in the world for me to have this many pepper mills. Of all the mills that have come my way, the one that works the best is the one in black plastic from Ikea.

I’m no fan of the company, but this peppermill has good ergonomics and produces a nice even grind every time. Unlike the other mills, it doesn’t constantly come out of adjustment, since the top does not screw on, it slides on.

Lots of people collect salt and pepper shakers. That’s a whole different ball game. Although some of mine have matching salt shakers, I have no excuse for accumulating all these pepper mills. At least I haven’t spent much; except for the black Ikea model, I got them at yard sales or Goodwill. (Horrible blog confession: I don’t always remove the peppercorns.)

The largest pepper mill I own is just under eighteen inches. You can get a three-footer at And no, it’s not a phallic thing, it’s my quest for a perfect pepper grinder thing. Although anybody that grinds his pepper with a 36″ pepper mill…

Unfortunately, it is getting harder to find peppercorns in bulk packaging. Some supermarkets only carry the little plastic bottles of peppercorns with the grinder built in. This is lame, worse than disposable razors. And compare the per pound price of the peppercorns in these flimsy grinders with the bulk peppercorn price. Yes, a total rip-off.

Stephanie thinks I (we) have too many pepper mills. But she is a salt freak. She once took a continuing ed class about salt.  When my brother went to Paris this spring, she made him promise to bring back a container of Le Saunier de Camargue, Fleur de Sel.  Fancy salt like this is often served in a salt cellar.