Shovel It In

construction utensils
These kids eating utensils brings new meaning to playing with your food. The Constructive Eating utensil set includes a "Fork Lift" Fork, "Bulldozer" Pusher, and "Front Loader" Spoon. The utensils are designed with textured handles, made with PVC-free, phthalate-free plastic, and are dishwasher safe. $19.95 at The Spoon Sisters.

 


The LEGO Kitchen

Legokitchen

Over the weekend, I found myself at the just-opened LEGO store at New Jersey's Garden State Plaza.

While I had a hard time pulling myself away from LEGO's ultra-cool new "Architecture" series featuring the Guggenheim Museum, Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Water, and landmark skyscrapers, I also noticed a series of new products intended to outfit your kitchen in the contours of the classic toy bricks.

Clockwise, from left: LEGO kids cutlery, minifigure cake mold, minifigure cookie cutters, rolling cookie cutter, and kitchen storage set.

 


Ponyo Toy Chases Ham in Your Tub

Ponyotoy

In Ponyo, the just-released Japanese animated film about a little goldfish who yearns to be a girl, the main character expresses her desire for things human with a particular predilection for ham. A Ponyo water toy made for the Japanese market allows you to re-enact the moment in the privacy of your own bathtub. Yank on the plastic ham, which is attached by a cord to Ponyo's mouth, and she will quickly chase the meat down. $18 at eCrater.

 


The Puzzle That Seasons

Rubikpepper The Rubik's Cruet Salt and Pepper Mills take their inspiration from the iconic '80s puzzle. Behind the plastic exterior -- which has the look and feel of a Rubik's Cube -- lies a ceramic mill. Fill them with sea salt and peppercorns and twist the top row to season your food. They would be perfect if only you could twist all the sides like the original, but then they'd lose their functionality (and you'd never be able to figure out which was the salt and which was the pepper). $18 each, sold separately, at Unica Home.

 


More on Bagelgate, or What Would Rebecca Rubin Eat?

RebeccarubinThe LA Weekly food blog Squid Ink has more details on the historical mystery that is bagelgate.

Squid Ink blogger Jessica Ritz contacted the American Girl headquarters to get more information about the composition of Jewish American Girl doll Rebecca Rubin's school lunch. She turned up this new piece of information from a company spokesperson:

Our historical researcher for the Rebecca series consulted with food historians about the bagel in Rebecca's School Set. While there is a lack of hard historical data on what toppings were the most common or popular in the 1910s, we found that people developed their own favorites just like today. It's likely people used preserves, cheeses, and other toppings with bagels as they would with other breads. In order to add some color and interest to the bagel in Rebecca's School Set, our Product Development team chose an orange cheddar cheese (not sliced American cheese), which also would have stood up to being in an unrefrigerated school lunch box.


So, it's not American cheese as we may have suspected. And though cheddar cheese seems a little more palatable than Kraft singles (just a little), we still have questions.

Read More >

 

 


Jewish American Girl Doll Eats Bagels Sans Schmear

To much fanfare, American Girl recently introduced its first Jewish doll, Rebecca Rubin, a 1914 New Yorker of Russian ancestry. While the dolls have a reputation for historical accuracy, I couldn't help but be surprised to discover what appears to be a striking anomaly among one of her accessories.

Rebeccarubin A "school set" (inset) includes a pretend lunch of a bagel, rugelach, and pickles. But, look closely at the bagel, and you will see that it's adorned with two suspect slices of orange cheese that look strangely like American cheese. A Shonda! I mean, really, where's the cream cheese?

What we now know as American cheese wasn't even patented until 1916, much less produced on a large scale until the 1950s. So, this has to be wrong. But, how were bagels eaten back then. Did Jews spread cream cheese on their bagels in the early 1900s, or something else?

I contacted Maria Balinska, author of The Bagel: The Surprising History of a Modest Bread, to get a historical perspective on bagel toppings.

Read More >

 

 


The Pop That Satisfies

Mugenbeer2

The Bandai Mugen Beer Can offers all of the satisfaction of cracking open a can of beer without the calories, intoxication, or -- for that matter -- even the beer itself.

$17.99, in a choice of yellow, white, red, blue, black, or silver, at gizmine.com.

 


Truffle Snuffle

Trufflesnuffle_2

Playing around with truffles is an expensive proposition, but how do you properly train children in the the art of hunting down the pricey tubers. HABA's Truffle Snuffle game offers a fun solution. Take turns strapping on the pig snout and race the clock to pick up the matching truffle cards. Before long, your kids will be ready to sniff around Provence like real truffle hogs. $18.99 at Oompa Toys.

 


Soft Slice

PlaypizzaThe transformation of the gastronomical landscape into a spectrum of soft, sometimes woolly, and always inedible toys continues apace. Lilly Bean's handmade Play Pizza set includes a 9" felt pie with mushrooms, pepperoni, and green pepper. Sadly, there's no plush prosciutto. Be sure to also check out the breakfast, dinner, and brown bag lunch sets. $28 per pie at Mahar Dry Goods.

 


Soft Slice

PlaypizzaThe transformation of the gastronomical landscape into a spectrum of soft, sometimes woolly, and always inedible toys continues apace. Lilly Bean's handmade Play Pizza set includes a 9" felt pie with mushrooms, pepperoni, and green pepper. Sadly, there's no plush prosciutto. Be sure to also check out the breakfast, dinner, and brown bag lunch sets. $28 per pie at Mahar Dry Goods.