I got to make a grand tour of three of the biggest department store retailers yesterday (JC Penney, Sears, and Target.) The object of my quest: a decent Dutch oven. Now that our yearlong war with boxes is more-or-less over, I've had the chance to look at all the cookware we've received and see if there is anything we still need. It didn't take long to figure out that I'm still using the cheap $20 stew pot I got in the housewares department of a drug store over 10 years ago.
Alas, decent Dutch ovens are hard to find... Target (pronounced tar-zhay) had some surprisingly intriguing offerings, but nothing I wanted to buy.
My frustration about this gave way to a question as time went on, however: who lays out the sales floors of these department stores? In Sears, for example, I found myself proceeding up an escalator, leaving "great for campus" shag dorm-room furnishings in obnoxious solid colors (evidently loud, shaggy dorm room stuff is in this year) only to arrive at a table full of black-lace-over-pastel thongs that pair with matching peignoirs on the next rack. Maybe this is a not-so-subtle play on the budding sexuality of American youth headed back to campus?
In any case, my hunt was not entirely fruitless. I was able to locate a Rival 3-4 cup electric deep fryer for a mere $15! Mrs. Geek loves a well-made french fry, and I recently tried my hand at the home made version using the "dual fry" method in a 30 year old copy of "The Joy of Cooking." Alas, temperature control is the key to great, crispy french fries, and something difficult to achieve on my electric stove. We tried it last night with superior results. I don't care if the deep fryer doesn't last long... for $15, it's already worth it.
Oh yes, if anyone wants to get me this, let me know. I'll tell you where to send it.
on 2004-08-29 at 8:35 a.m.
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