I am a street-level connoisseur of fine industrial design. The latest consumable to hit my A-list is our new double-walled stainless steel Bodum french press coffee maker. I tell you, a coffee pot that can't break and keeps the coffee hot in the container in which it was made is a good idea. When you add to that a properly placed handle that balances well in your hand when the pot is full of coffee... that becomes a great idea. But pile on top a spout that fires the coffee directly to the bulls-eye of what you were aiming for, with a spout length and angle that does not dribble all the way back to the kitchen? Freakin' brilliant. Is Bodum the Danish word for "apple"?
Also on my A-list: my KitchenAid mix-masher. And before you dash to the comment box to correct my typo, I do mean "masher." Kate decided it thus when, about 26 years ago, she watched me use one to make banana bread. It's quiet, powerful, well-balanced, and sized correctly for a woman's hand. It’s a pretty retro-robin's-egg-blue, and it doesn't have 39 speeds. It winds up to full speed gradually in your cookie batter so you don't get that explosion of flour in your face like you do with those 0-60 mph in one second brands. I'd buy a KitchenAid car if I could.
Of course, anywhere there's an A-list, there's a B-list. As follows:
1. Items ensconced in impenetrable plastic packaging. I once bought a pair of shears designed specifically to hack their way through that evil crap, but I couldn't get them out of the packaging so I threw them away.
2. Clothing labels that sneak up and bite you in the back of the neck just when you are too far down the road to turn around and pick a different sweater. First of all, they're sneaky and you don't notice them immediately. Secondly, some of the worst offenders are on clothes that parade themselves around in the "comfortable" section of Macy's. Sure, the blouse may be 1000-count pima Egyptian organic free-trade unscented biodegradable cotton, but that little label that reminds you how fat you are and that you're gonna pay $6 to get the thing dry-cleaned only? It's an amalgam of sand, poison oak, and scrap metal from the wreck of the Exxon Valdez.
What's on your A-list and B-list?