back to article Why did I buy a gadget I know I'll never use?

It could get steamy in here. I have stripped off the layers and am now looking to turn up the heat. I’m looking forward to an afternoon of delightful tenderness with plenty of oohs and aahs. I certainly don’t want things to be chewy. Preparing the Brussels sprouts for Christmas dinner is always a challenge. The Dabbs …

Page:

  1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

    Half a million years of evolution

    The A Africanus whose progeny survived was the one who thought "That rock looks like it might make a good axe - I'll add it to my collection". Fast forward half a million years and a characteristic which now has no real selection advantage persists because it has no real disadvantages either.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Half a million years of evolution

      no real disadvantages either

      Excepting a threat from the missus that unless you chuck all that junk out, pronto, there's zero chance of you ever becoming a father (or, worse, of getting the pre-fatherhood practice in that evening).

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Half a million years of evolution

        ..and the day after, she asks you to do something/fix something and the bit you need just went off to the tip. Don't tell her so if you value your life. Just go buy a new whatever you just chucked away. In fact, get two, just in case. And whatever ever else might on offer that looks like it might be useful :-)

  2. Admiral Grace Hopper

    Interference

    It's not helped by well-intentioned but inappropriate gifts. I was bought and Amazon Echo Dot at Christmas which I really must put on eBay. I certainly don't intend ever taking it out of the box.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Interference

      I bet it's in there brute-forcing local wifi, listening, and uploading. You can never have too much vital marketing information.

      1. elDog Silver badge

        Re: Interference

        And conspiring with eBay (or Amazon store?) to make sure you never can sell it. Blackmail?

    2. Daedalus Silver badge

      Re: Interference

      I pulled my Echo out of the drawer over Xmas to mollify the daughter who gave it to us. After I remoted James Marshall Hendrix Esq. into it a few times it got disconnected.

    3. Shadow Systems Silver badge

      Re: Interference

      My mum got into the habit of sitting down just after the new year, sorting through all the collected stuff, & either selling it online (Craig's list, Ebay, etc), giving it away to charity (thrift stores, church donation boxes, etc), or outright chucking it in the bin.

      Anything she hasn't seen/used since the last sorting automaticly gets added to the "Gotta go" pile; anything used less than a dozen times (1x/month) gets added to the "probably gone" pile; and anything used more than 1x/month is removed from the collection & moved to someplace it'll be more conveniently located.

      The upshot of this is that the collection is kept manageable, the hoarding tendancies of my dad (RIP) were kept from driving her to murder him in his sleep, & it's given me the impetus to do likewise.

      Now I sit down just after the new year among my own collection & start sorting into the same three catagories.

      Everything that gets kicked out the door gets sent to charity rather than sold, meticulously listed for tax purposes, & written off said taxes come time to hand said paperwork over to my local taxman.

      I can claim fair market value for everything I donate, which is invariably far more than I could have sold it for otherwise, & get a fat refund cheque back shortly afterwards when the taxmen realize I've just donated a small fortune.

      "Did you *really* donate nearly 5K worth- what's this? Ah, the receipt from the charity to whom you made the donation... Itemized. In alphabetical order. Counter signed by the charity. *Sigh* Fine. Approved. Expect your cheque in two to three weeks..."

      *Gleeful squeal*

      So all that crap I will probably never use ends up making me money rather than occupying what little storeage space I have left down in my cave.

      *Does an arms outstretched, tripping the light fantastic, dancing twirl in the middle of the room*

      Free! Free! I'm free of all the crap!

      *Cough*

      Frog pills. Definitely time for my frog pills...

      1. Ledswinger Silver badge

        Re: Interference

        "My mum got into the habit of sitting down just after the new year, sorting through all the collected stuff, & either selling it online (Craig's list, Ebay, etc)"

        Selling it online? That would make you, what, four years old, right?

        Back in my day, the parents just gave the shite to more distant relatives and hoped that it didn't come around again. Crap like car-door kettles, Pifco buttoneers, and such like. The point of the gift was in the giving, and therefore it didn't matter WHAT you gave. Oh happy days.

        OTOH, unwrapping any gift from non-close family was something of a lottery: "Oh, Maurice, we've been given another grenade". "Don't worry dear, we haven't yet given one to Jessie."

        1. GBE

          I give up...

          Crap like car-door kettles, Pifco buttoneers, and such like.

          What's a "car-door kettle"?

          1. Ledswinger Silver badge

            Re: I give up...

            What's a "car-door kettle"?

            A 1970's innovation. A plastic jug with a hook to go over the car door with the window down, and a water heating element that plugged into the car's lighter socket. Would have taken days to boil a trivial amount of water, but was so craply made and obviously dangerous you'd have had to have been mad to even try. I suspect targeted at Austin Maxi driving old codgers who couldn't get a hundred yards without having to stop for a cup of tea.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Interference

        "I can claim fair market value for everything I donate, which is invariably far more than I could have sold it for otherwise, & get a fat refund cheque back shortly afterwards when the taxmen realize I've just donated a small fortune."

        That's the US version. In the UK it's the charity that gets the refund. It was, after all, the purpose of donating it.

      3. John Presland

        Re: Interference

        Evidently one of El Reg's USian followers. In more civilised parts of the world "fair market value" means precisely one "could have sold it for". (This may not be true if you're large enough to be advised by one of the Big Four.)

    4. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Interference

      I seriously thought about taking it out of the box, but a glass or two of Margaux sorted that out. I now have this recurring nightmare that the bloody thing is actually running on battery power, listening to everything going on in the house and waiting for the day that one of my children finds it and releases it to wreak havoc.

      I think that you have to surreptitiously drop it into the unsuspecting pocket of an innocent commuter, á la M.R.James story 'Casting the Runes'.

  3. m0rt Silver badge

    I boil sprouts. They taste fine. Yay me.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Can't imagine them being any good without salt anyway.

      1. m0rt Silver badge

        Actually, here is an interesting thing to try: Tequila shot then a sprout. Trust me.

        1. DJO Silver badge

          Sprouts while being the vegetable from the devils own backside do have one redeeming quality, sprouts and mash make far better bubble & squeak than cabbage and mash.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            "sprouts and mash make far better bubble & squeak than cabbage and mash."

            Which just goes to prove that can be eaten fried - after boiling.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Tequila shot then a sprout.

          A new twist on projectile vomiting??

        3. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

          I lose whole days whenever Tequila is involved. Given that I actually like Brussel Sprouts that combination misses the point of having them in the first place. Which is probably your intent?

          For the record, if frozen, boiled Brussel Sprouts is what I do here. Now fresh is another thing. Those get steamed in my Wok which is my Swiss Army Knife kitchen tool of choice.

          1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

            At Jack of Shadows, re: woks.

            Beware dubious cookbooks with titles like "101 ways to wok your dog".

            /runs away trailing frog pills...

        4. Kevin Fairhurst

          Sounds a better idea than

          Cinnamon challenge

          Tide challenge

          Whatever else has been “invented” since I last looked

    2. A K Stiles
      Coat

      Boiled Sprouts

      Me too.

      Preferably boiled what would technically be called "for a little bit too long". I was the only one at christmas that actually likes them, but still the preparer (I wasn't allowed in the kitchen) insisted on trying to cook them so they were still crunchy, and also some stir-fried with various spices. They still didn't like them, and I didn't get to enjoy them they way I like them. Everyone's a loser!!

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: Boiled Sprouts

        This seems a common phenomenon; preparing food for somebody the way they are supposed to want them, rather than how they do. And it doesn't even need to be cooked. I love grapefruit, always have, but never ate them as a child, because the adults were convinced that the nasty bitter white bits had to be eaten too. So all the lovely vitamin C got wasted.

        1. Tom 38 Silver badge

          Re: Boiled Sprouts

          Fry garlic and onions in butter until soft, add some bacon, add sprouts and cook until brown edges. Add chicken stock and black pepper, braise over a high heat until the stock has evaporated and the butter is sizzling again.

          1. Olivier2553

            Re: Boiled Sprouts

            "Fry garlic and onions in butter until soft, add some bacon, add sprouts and cook until brown edges. Add chicken stock and black pepper, braise over a high heat until the stock has evaporated and the butter is sizzling again."

            all the above, but blanch the sprouts in cold water first to remove the stronger of the taste.

        2. Radio Wales
          Flame

          Re: Boiled Sprouts

          Technically at least, I am the notational head of the household.

          Consequently, when the dinner prepping gets under way, I insist that I shall be served Roast potatoes and Boiled parsnips, done in the way I have always liked them since my mum did them for me.

          So predictably, as we gather around our dinner table, I am ritually presented with Boiled potatoes and Roast parsnips.

          I spit fury and snarl 'I don't like either of them done this way, and for the last twenty years, you get it wrong'.

          The reply for the last twenty years has always been 'Well why didn't you say so, dear?'

          I am checking on the precise definition of war crimes now.

    3. AndyS

      The verse followed by canteens and grans across the country:

      Sprouts on in March,

      Carrots in May.

      The veg will be ready

      come Christmas Day.

      1. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge
        Unhappy

        My Gran was always of the opinion that if the veg doesn't need to be wrung out before serving it is underdone.

        So Sunday dinner was started around 9am for a sit down around 2pm, the house filled with the scent of cabbage steam for days after.

        I still dream of this.

        Sometimes I wake screaming.

        1. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

          "So Sunday dinner was started around 9am for a sit down around 2pm, the house filled with the scent of cabbage steam for days after.

          I still dream of this."

          It used to give me nightmares. Whole houses smelled of boiled cabbage.

          "Sometimes I wake screaming."

          Ah, you too.

          The canteen cook needs teaching how to not boil sprouts to death.

        2. Radio Wales
          IT Angle

          My mum was in the habit of boiling cabbage on Sundays and boiling the washing on Mondays,

          On Tuesdays, I could never quite identify which of the two pongs inhabited the whole house until the following Saturday when we had a proper fry-up to annul it - before starting all over again.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "Carrots in May.

        The veg will be ready

        come Christmas Day."

        Surely carrots sown in May and harvested just before Christmas will be big enough and hard enough to club carol singers over the head.

    4. The_H

      Nah.

      Half your raw sprouts, spread 'em like little bald men packed together in a greased baking dish. Crumble over some very crispy bacon. Drizzle with maple syrup, balsamic vinegar and a touch of olive oil. Bake until caramelized. Your life will never be the same.

      1. elDog Silver badge

        With all that other goodness, just leave out those evil little cabbages!

      2. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

        "Half your raw sprouts, spread 'em like little bald men packed together in a greased baking dish. Crumble over some very crispy bacon. "

        Yes, we tried that recipe.

        It works perfectly so long as you use plenty of bacon, drizzle the maple syrup over it, and discard the sprouts before serving.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Joke

          "It works perfectly so long as you use plenty of bacon, drizzle the maple syrup over it, and discard the sprouts before serving."

          You must an American. Only an American would use bacon as a sweet dessert!

      3. Modius

        I despised the things as a youngster, but love them now, prepared very similarly to this. Really, once you've figured out the baking and adding of bacon, the rest is just icing on the cake. Delicious!

    5. Alister Silver badge

      raw sprouts, shredded or finely sliced, make a really nice addition to a salad, with a pleasant peppery flavour.

      Seriously, try them.

      1. VinceH Silver badge
        Mushroom

        The best way to cook sprouts is to fire them into the Sun. All of them. Let no sprout remain!

        1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

          At VinceH, re: sprouts.

          YES! The first acceptable use for the damned things! Enjoy a pint in gratitude, as long as it's not a tequila-sprout shot like that other wierdo suggested. =-)p

          *Wanders off to go aim the catapults for sprout removal duty*

          1. VinceH Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: At VinceH, re: sprouts.

            "YES! The first acceptable use for the damned things!"

            Well, I wasn't thinking of it as a "use" as such, but in hindsight, it is: The Sun is gradually losing mass (and we're getting further away from it) - so feeding it sprouts (and other things we don't like) makes sense.

            1. Terry 6 Silver badge

              Re: At VinceH, re: sprouts.

              Presumably, though, the reaction mass required to get sprouts sunward would be greater than the increase in solar mass. So pushing our orbit further out.

            2. Shadow Systems Silver badge

              Re: At VinceH, re: sprouts.

              "...and other things we don't like."

              May I suggest May & Trump for starters? With all the shite they contain they should fuel the sun to burn for another billion years.

              *Cough*

              I'll get my coat, it's the one with the SCUBA gear in the pockets...

    6. Admiral Grace Hopper

      Boil? Pah!

      I curry sprouts, with excellent, if anti-social, results.

      1. Little Mouse

        Re: Boil? Pah!

        I'm a sprout fan too, but don't ever be tempted to make a sprout omelette.

        It tasted fucking awful.

    7. hj

      Try broiling them, they will taste finer.

    8. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      I feed mine into the composting bin - I'm sure they tasted fine as well.

    9. Whitter
      Coat

      Boil?

      Quarter then stir fry.

      I'm Scottish.

      I like to fry.

      1. harmjschoonhoven
        Thumb Up

        Re: Boil?

        @Whitter: I like to fry in Greek ILIADA virgin olive oil. FTFY. With a bit of hot curry powder. Yummy.

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019