Why Reinvent the Skewer?

Accidental Locavore Grilled ShrimpEvery year, there are grilling accessories the Accidental Locavore just shakes her head at. Seriously now, how many of my readers grill enough jalapenos to warrant a jalapeno holder for the grill? And where is there room for all this stuff? True confession time:  I hate most single-use kitchen stuff. I mean, how hard is it to peel an avocado and slice it? And if it is that difficult, just pull out a big spoon, scoop out the avocado and slice it.

Accidental Locavore Grill CombsBut back to the grilling silliness. Recently, in a trip through Sur la Table (where I was tasked with picking out my birthday present — fun!), I noticed these large stainless combs which were supposed to take the place of skewers. It was an interesting idea, but since I don’t do that much with skewers (except use them to dry pasta, but that’s another post), they didn’t seem necessary.

Accidental Locavore Bamboo SkewersWhen the box arrived with my gift, my friends had thoughtfully included the combs. The other night I decided to take them out for a test drive. I was just grilling some shrimp to put on leftover risotto. It took a minute or two to figure out the best way to do that with (and food takes up a lot of real estate on these things), then I gave them a quick baste with some Caesar dressing and tossed them on the grill. Miraculously, the line about not turning them without tongs or a pot-holder caught my eye, or there might have been trouble with burnt fingers from hot metal handles.

Accidental Locavore SkewersThe shrimp came out fine and I tossed the combs into the dishwasher — and there’s the problem. With wooden or bamboo skewers, you just throw them away.  With my “fancy” metal skewers, they’re flat and they’re coated, making them somewhat non-stick, so they’re usually pretty easy to clean (and since they’re long, you don’t need so many of them). With the combs, the dishwasher did a lousy job so I scrubbed them afterwards, but something has totally adhered to the handles. Now, it’s just the handle, but it’s unsightly and impossible to remove. It did make me realize that sometimes there’s just no need to re-invent something that’s worked just fine for centuries. What do you think?


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