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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Culinary Spatter's Splatter Cover

I've always had a 'splatter-guard' in my kitchen.

You know - those things you put over a pan to keep the restless bits of oil, and what-have-yous, from attempting to escape the hot and congested mayhem that is an overcrowded frying pan.  

While I'm certain that they yearn to fly free, and dream of nothing grander than adorning my kitchen walls with their scintillating sheen, I (like most people) prefer to keep them firmly downtrodden, and in their place.  Can't have them pesky drops of oil thinking they run the place.

As far back as I can remember, there's been a cheap-o superstore one sitting in my drawer.  Honestly I had never really given much thought to splatter guards before - as long as they did their job, I'd keep them flush with craved cupboard time, and with only the occasional 'on-time' actually covering a pan.  

That all changed when, the last time I actually needed to depend upon Mr. Splatter Guard, and he just, plain, let me down.  There had been a tear in his screen for some time, you see, and because I had never really thought twice about him, this came to bear in one nasty cook-job resulting in many an oily culprit breaking free of her saucepan shackles.

So, ever since then, I started looking around for a new one.  It had been over a decade since I last shopped for one, and I admit I kind of didn't even know what I was doing.  The last one I had was purchased when I was still a child, and fresh out of my parent's house... it was the "what's the cheapest one around?" mentality.  

Well, suffice it to say that when you actually start looking around at available products, there are differences in splatter guards, both large and small.  I had just assumed that I'd need to suffer through the same congenital afflictions most guards I'd ever seen possessed: flimsy wire arm, cheap plastic handle,  and deplorably weak, terribly tear-able mesh screen.

That is not necessarily true.  While the significant majority are indeed like this, there are some pretty nice, well-crafted splatter guards out there.

I first discovered a "nice" one at Williams Sonoma.  It was, however, still filed into the "cool, but I'll still look around a bit first" category (as so many things do from W.S.).  It was nice... but expensive.  More expensive than a splatter screen logically should be... like stupid expensive.  Like I'm stupid for ever giving Williams Sonoma my money.  However, I do maintain that W.S. can be a great place to shop, and I often have the aforementioned "cool, but I'll still look around a bit first" mentality at the fore when there.

So it was that, several weeks later, and after checking all my other "Kitchen-Porn" haunts with no success (including Superstore --> SHAME upon thee Loblaws, for only carrying ONE splatter screen, and that of extremely poor quality... oh, oh, the shameful shame...) I happened upon a decently nice one in the unlikeliest of places!

Homesense had a very decent splatter screen, on par with the "nice" ones, which was fortunately free of the flimsy fabrication afflicting most other, poorer, models.  And it was significantly more affordable.  Like I'm stupid not to buy it kind of affordability.

Needless to say (I'm actually fairly hopeful I did NOT, in fact, need to say this, but whatever) I bought it; it is currently filling the role of Mr. Splatter Guard, and quite well I do say.

The handle is solid, firmly attached, and not going to bend or break or chip.  And the screen is not only fine, but also durable.

So, old Mr. Splatter Guard, with his many battle wounds, received an honourable discharge and is now spending his days golfing and taking cruises in the Bahamas.  While new and improved Mr. Splatter Guard is stepping into the void quite readily.  He has tiny, tiny shoes to fill, but his feet are so very disproportionately large that this intended analogy becomes moronically comical. 

In any case, he is well up to the task, and certain to help with any unwanted culinary spattering.