Spring Shopping

Last week my Microplaner broke in two. I loved that thing. For much of my 30’s, I bought specialty kitchen products from traveling cookware shows. Now, if I buy a tool for the kitchen, I want it to have a couple purposes: like a big bowl I could use for mixing and for serving... small bowls for individual fruit servings or to serve condiments with main courses.

But I loved that Microplaner. I used it for zesting fruit over a bowl. That’s it. A Microplaner does not fit my current kitchen multi-purpose mantra; plus, I still have my box grater standing at attention in the back corner of the cupboard. It would do the job, so I didn't need to replace the Microplaner, but I really wanted to.

Part of the allure of this tool is its history: It was originally used by wood workers. With a sturdy handle and a long, narrow, fine grater the width of a ruler, it was designed for delicate jobs – comparable to getting only the zest and no white pith off citrus fruit.

A new shopping complex opened up near us; surely either Pottery Barn or Williams-Sonoma would carry a replacement Microplaner. It was a good excuse to have a look around. I parked between both home stores, and another store caught my eye. J. Crew. Never been in one, so I decided to take a look. Lovely, lovely clothes. I moved to the middle of the store thinking there might be more sizes above 0 – 6 farther back. And there were! I found two XL vest tops for summer. I tried them on and realized I had made it to the size 12 section. No, my wardrobe at the present time would not be seeing J.Crew additions.

Sold on the idea of something new for spring, I decided to go to a store where I was sure to find something that would fit. Gorgeous spring colors dressed the windows of the shop across the way. Again, everything was lovely in this store too! I made a circle throughout the whole store and zig-zagged through the displays in the center of the store. I soaked up every spring hue of baby-chick yellow, bunny pink, lilac purple and mint green.

Then, sure enough, I found just the thing. The Microplaner in Williams-Sonoma fit my hand like a glove. I nearly bought the mini-whisk too, but the cashier said it shouldn't go in the dishwasher. At least I found one thing that fit me.