There are tools in my kitchen so useful that I reach for them every day: wooden spoons, Microplanes, my divinely easy-to-use Oxo vegetable peeler. And then there’s the stuff that migrates to the bottom of my kitchen junk drawer: terra cotta roasted-garlic cookers, citrus zesters that rip off big hunks of fruit along with the zest, the whisk with a handle that gets red-hot when used at the stove.

Erica Marcus, a food writer for Newsday, apparently has her own junk drawer. She contributes a pert little post for her “Burning Questions” column (reprinted here by the Baltimore Sun) in which she takes salt grinders, bagel slicers, and electric hot-chocolate makers to task.

It makes me wonder—who buys this stuff? My theory: They’re all Christmas presents. “Jane likes to cook!” thinks your poor desperate Christmas-shopping aunt. “Surely she’d like an iced tea maker!”

Or an avocado slicer. Or an electric wine-bottle opener. Or the Hot Dogger.

What’s rusting away in your junk drawer?

See more articles