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Judge John Hodgman on Organizing the Kitchen

Dustin writes: My wife organizes kitchen tools by this rule: From the food’s perspective, is it a weapon? So, measuring cup — not a weapon, bottom drawer. Vegetable peeler — weapon, top drawer. Strainer, no; garlic press, yes. But what about the bench scraper, for dividing dough? I contend: Weapon! My wife says it simply moves food around — not a weapon.

If you were stocking a weapon drawer for protection against slasher-movie villains, I’d get it. But you’re sorting by your food’s fears. I’m not sure what this does for your workflow, but it’s your mise-en-(crime)-scène, chef. So, yes: Weapon! A bench scraper (also known as a bench knife) is not only good at gutting dough down the middle, it’s also good at gashing cold butter into cubes and lacerating brownies into perfect squares. (I’ll leave it to you to imagine your food screaming. I want no part of your weird Pixar movie).

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