In which our editors pull back the curtain and let you know what we dropped our cold hard cash on this month.
Firstly, let me acknowledge that this gadget has a truly stupid name. "Chef'n" sounds lowbrow and "Garliczoom" sounds goofy. But what it lacks in branding it makes up for in being the most terrific time saver in my entire kitchen. You see, garlic prep is usually a discipline of two solitudes: one the one hand you have the traditional garlic press, the official tool of hillbillies, it's so useless. Seriously, the only two things chefs agree on is that the colab dinner with Mario Batali is probably a bad idea, and that garlic presses (which crush the poor cloves) are a terrible idea.
On the other extreme, you have chefs insisting you peel your own garlic and then smash the clove with the side of your chef's knife and then mince, Easy, they claim. But it's not—unless you have solid knife skills, it takes forever and your fingers stink like garlic for a day. Enter Chef'n Garliczoom. You buy that weird pre-peeled garlic that is somehow shipped from China (peel your own cloves and I'll salute you) and drop them in this container and then then move it back and forth on the counter while they internal blades do the mincing. You can even make race car sounds as you move it's wheels back and forth (I wouldn't do that, of course, but you could). And when it's time to clean it you just give it a rinse—there's no need to give it a solid scrub because the only thing that's ever going in there is garlic.—Neal McLennan, food editor
So this is a bit of a cheat, since I neither purchased it myself nor is it technically a homeware, but it soon shall be. My friend Melissa is often the caretaker of my yowly cat, Zoe. (So. Yowly. For the last two weeks, she's woken me up at exactly 4:10 am by yelling in my bedroom doorway. How does she know? Real evil genius at hand.) And despite Zos pulling such charming behaviour while visiting the House of Edwards, she manages to keep Melissa in her fan books. So when M. spotted this Etsy artist who will crank out pics of your sort-of beloved for a mere $5, she spur-of-the-momented it. And it's adorable. I'll be printing these out at my local photo shop (ahem, Costco) and framing it up for a spot on the wall to remind me that an evil genius can be sweet, too.—Anicka Quin, editorial director
When I'm travelling, I tend to do a very specific type of shopping where I walk into a store and touch everything wistfully and then leave without buying anything. Some days, I'll spend a whole afternoon fondling homewares and not actually spending money. Some may call me a champion window shopper, others may call me a menace for compulsively messing up displays with my grubby little hands, but either way, my carry-on is usually too small or the objects I'm coveting are too fragile to ever commit to bringing things home. I love 'em and I leave 'em; my heart is usually broken, but at least no plates are.
That being said, it's not like I can never find the things I truly love again: we live in a capitalist global village (for better or worse), so Portuguese dishware is actually pretty easy to source right here at home. So I've started hitting up very exotic shopping destinations like HomeSense and Crate and Barrel to stock up on imported plates like these that remind me of Lisbon. They're that pleasing rough-hewn texture, each uniquely glazed by hand, and still a souvenir in my mind....just an outsourced one.—Stacey McLachlan, executive editor
Yeah, measuring cups aren't the most exciting objects in the kitchen, but they are some of the most used. Well, in my household, anyway, where I prepare a startling amount of Mason-jar overnight oats and chia seed puddings to ensure that, even during the most hectic of mornings, I can still get in the most important meal of the day. And thanks to these bamboo-fibre, primary-coloured cups, that meal prep is now a tad more enjoyable. The multi-hued scheme is genius for ensuring you nab the right-sized one from your kitchen drawer, and I love the vessels' handle-free construction, which allows me to easily dip them into bags and containers with small openings, so I don't have to risk spilling something all over the counter while pouring. Plus, they're just really cute (for measuring cups, anyway)—so much so that I occasionally use them to serve snacks. Mostly to myself, though. (It helps with this thing called portion control I'm trying to master.)—Lucy Lau, style editor