Posted by: Gregoryno6 | April 14, 2014

And if you think the strainer’s big…


… you should wait till you see the teapot! But seriously…

Finding a new strainer for the kitchen has been an exercise in patience and luck – and also, as it turned out, a lesson in the power of television and the fragility of cultural memory. Several times last year I went around the shops in Perth and toured the online retailers too in search of a big 36cm strainer to replace the old one which had fallen apart. I DID actually find a replacement at the local supermarket – an item in their own brand of kitchenware. The mesh began to fray after just a few months of use. No, I didn’t return the dud and demand a refund. Common sense says that when I pay $3 for an item it’s not likely to last quite as long as a similar item that costs $20. There’s a point at which a sensible person says, Not worth the hassle.

So the search resumed, and again was fruitless. By now my trip to Melbourne was growing near. Having exhausted all the possibilities locally I added ‘strainer’ to my buy list and forgot about it.

Over east I again didn’t have much luck. Melbourne! Retail capital of Australia! I muttered through gritted teeth. But a helpful assistant at a shop in Camberwell Junction suggested I try Wheel&Barrow up the hill. And there, at last, my search ended.

‘I’ve been looking all over for one of these, I said to the lady who served me. ‘Are they going extinct or something?’ She explained that mesh strainers were currently out of fashion. ‘All the young girls watch the television cooking shows and all they want is what they see there,’ she said. ‘Right now I can’t keep colanders on the shelf – they sell out as quickly as I can get them in.’

Strainers are passe and colanders are the hot new item? ‘Er, colanders aren’t all that new either, are they?’ Dubiously I eyed the one colander still waiting for a new home. ‘My mother had something like that. I’m pretty sure my grandmother did, too.’

‘Oh, they’re nothing new!’ Madam W&B laughed. ‘But these girls who are 24, 25 – they’ve never seen them before so of course they’re just the latest thing!’ She went on, ‘I really wish I could get some advance notice from these cooking programs about the stuff they’re going to use. I’d stock up big.’

I thanked her for having brought my hunt to a satisfactory conclusion, and promised that my new utensil would be given plenty of work back here in Perth. As we said our farewells Madam W&B confided that she’d had the same conversation with another customer. ‘Last week an old lady said to me, “The young ones buy every fancy thing they see these days. But they still can’t bloody cook!”‘


  1. excellent

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