Seriously, who doesn't like to look at a shiny catalog full of Goodies for cooks and bakers? I certainly do. But, sometimes I just have to draw the line. You might recall how I had a Right Tantrum over those cads at King Arthur a few months ago. I thought I was all Been There Done That. Until now. The Beloved and I were perusing the pages of the latest Sur La Table catalog, and we began thinking that if we were to purchase everything they said we needed, we wouldn't be able to afford la table, let alone notre maison et les chats. Sheesh.
Honestly, you can tell me if it's just me. I can take it. Read what they Expect of Us first. Ahem:
- **D'Artagnan Organic Free-Range Turkey Now, I generally only buy birds that I know were able to stand up on their own, peck about on the gorund and enjoy a happy life before dying to feed me. That means that I buy my poultry at our farmer's market and that it's all happy and free range and organic. It is NOT, however, $110 for a 14-16 pound bird or $125 for a 16-18 pound bird. $7-$8/pound?! No thanks, guys. A quick search of the Hinternet tells me that I can find organic turkeys starting at around $2.50/pound and going up to about $6.00/pound. Of course I'd go with the less expensive happy turkeys, so I'm saving around $70-ish. I could go and give that money to Heifer International and fund 3 1/2 flocks of chicks for people in the developing world. Or, I could just get the D'Artagnan turkey and feel good about myself because it drank spring water while it was alive. **Oh, and listen to this. I just got back from the D'Artagnan site, and I can buy a special organic turkey straight from them for about $5/pound. And now I'm even more upset with Sur La Table. I shake my poing at you, messieurs et mesdames!
- Skybar (TM) Wine System allows me to keep three--count them, THREE--bottles of wine at the correct, varietal-specific temperature for up to ten days. All this for the Rock Bottom Price of $999.95. You read that correctly, just one nickel shy of a cool grand. Awesome. So, for $333.31-ish per bottle, I don't have to strain myself by Lifting the Bottle to Pour. Gee, thanks guys.
- For the Bargain Basement Price of $44.95, I can own a Mini "Slider" Burger Gift Set. Wait--can I own a gift set, or do I have to give it? Well, regardless, I'm pretty sure I--or a hypothetical giftee--don't need a mini burger press. I'm pretty sure I can manage to shape a wee burger for free.
- You guys know about those Shun knives, right? They are Very Cool--we even have an Shun 8" Santoku knife that I gave to The Beloved (myself) for his birthday (just because). Well, now a dude named Bob Kramer has designed some Stunningly Beautiful yet Ridiculously Expensive knives for Shun. The paring knife alone costs 5 cents shy of $150. I could splurge and get the whole set for 5 cents short of $1500 with free shipping. I'm pretty sure we'd rather pay the mortgage.
Friends, I'm not saying that these Items are not worth the money in any sort of objective way. We all have different budgets and different priorities. I'm just saying that for me, there is no way I'd spend this much money on any of those Items. Sorry, Sur La Table. I'm sure you're all lovely people, but the world isn't exactly rolling in disposable income these days.
If you're looking for useful items that you won't have to spend a bajillion dollars on, you can go and check out my recommendations.
If this is the year that you want to give to a charity or non profit organization in honor of someone else, consider these worthy causes: