post off: what item just didn’t work for you?


We loved the idea of these Oxo ice cube trays so much, we put them on our wedding registry. But alas — the reservoirs are so shallow, we tend to spill more water on the floor than we freeze. And while we thought the lid would allow us to pop out a few cubes at a time without getting a bunch on our laps, you can’t snap it on before the water is frozen, or you end up spilling more water everywhere. And when the lid is on, it’s not that easy to get individual cubes out. (Looks like a few Amazon reviewers have had the same issues. And some suggest that maybe I’m just ignorant in the ways of ice cubes.) So what item were you hoping would work great, but it ended up just taking up space? –Mary T.

From our partners

I have this same ice tray, and I agree with you. The lid is so not worth it, because I have to put it back on over my sink or as you said..water will be EVERYWHERE!!!

I LOVE kitchen gadgets, but before my recent move I got rid of a lot of things that I just ended up never using. Now I am back to basics. My kitchen drawers were Drawers of Shame.

Like that rubbery tube that you are supposed to peel garlic in? Stupid idea. You know how garlic is kind of sticky? Yeah, the sticky just got inside that silly tube. Just whack it with a knife.


The Space Bag! I know people that rave about them but I ended up recycling them. The seal at the top never stayed closed and the spot to connect your vacuum hose gave way after a couple of uses.

I love those ice cube trays. Fill it over the sink with the lid still part way on. Don’t fill to the top, of course. Slide the lid closed. Make sure you have a level place to put them in your freezer. Voila! Ice cubes that aren’t completely exposed to the freezer, that you can dispense a few at a time. The greatest invention in manual ice cube manufacturing history.


A steam mop that actually cleans the floors just fine, but which is only three months old and already showing signs of mechanical failure.


I went on quite a seplace for a good ice tray. and discovered this one from Orka which has worked perfectly for me. The lid fits in snugly enough to be useful but no so tightly as to cause problems. and has little guides on top for stable stacking of multiple trays, and the silicone bottoms for the wells make it easy to get the cubes out (though I usually had to push them against the edge of a counter, just usung my hands was a bit too tough). I just bought a house last fall and our freezer here came with ice through the door, so my trays aren’t in use any more, but if I ever need ice trays again I’m going back to them.


Anything garlic related, I have hated: garlic presses, those rubber things to remove garlic skin, and ceramic garlic roasters.


I agree about those garlic things! My recent urgh purchase was a set of 2 “non-stick” egg rings for cooking eggs we got from bed bath, and beyond. Not only were they completely NOT non-stick, the egg leaked out of the circle. Very annoying. Now, we’re going to try either the WS or C&B ones. Hopefully they’ll perform better!


A mandoline. We got one for our wedding, and I thought I would slice and cross-cut and julienne the heck out of everything. I think I’ve used it twice in four years. In fact, I have moved it from house to house more times than I’ve used it!


Quesadilla maker.
Yeah – I know.

But I thought it might be fun, and I thought it might work. Instead it is just an insane hassle. It’s getting tossed during our next move.

Mary T

See, I told you, morte100 — I’m ignorant in the ways of ice cubes! Perhaps I’ll give them another shot. Though I have to say, it still sounds like more thought than I want to put into my ice cubes. : )


Daffodil, you took the words right out of my mouth! I too had dreams of perfectly julienned vegetables dancing in my head, and, well, that’s where they stayed. In my head.

Oh, my other thing that I just HAD to have, and on the day of a big authentic Mexican Fiesta dinner party no less, was a tortilla press, that my ever loving bf dutifully ran out and bought me, but I ended up patting the tortillas out by hand. It turns out it’s not that hard. I sorta tried to pretend that I used it so he wouldn’t be annoyed, but he caught on.

Hey, I say just get a new refrigerator with an automatic ice maker and forget it!! LOL



Mary T

Your responses are all cracking me up, especially the last two. Thanks!


I second the Space Bag. I was amazed when all my stuff shrunk down to half the size…but that lasted maybe two hours.


For me, it’s an endless quest for a mop that wrings out well. I’ve tried mops made of cotton yarn, slabs of sponge, and what looks like sliced counter wipes, with a variety of self-wringing mechanisms. It’s sad, really. I like clean floors and I’m willing to work for them, as long as harsh chemicals and superfluous electricity usage aren’t involved. Yet somehow I just can’t seem to find the right tool for this job.


My mandoline went in the garbage after I managed to slice open my thumb, even though I was using the guard thingee.

My mom got the space bags, called me up while she was compressing everything to rave about them, then stuffed them under her bed. Months later when she needed something from them she had to take her bed apart to get them out because they had decompressed and wouldn’t budge. :D

Another item that I thought would be awesome but have ended up using only once or twice is an egg poacher for the microwave. I like my eggs better scrambled or fried and it takes about the same time on the stove as in the microwave, so…


Hear hear on the mandolines! Mine came with this piece that was supposed to prevent you from slicing your fingers, but it wouldn’t stay on the food, and I’d bang my fingers instead of slicing them, then I’d try without the piece and definitely slice them, and on top of all the physical injury, I could never adjust the various metal pieces to slice different sizes or shapes… what a trial! Stick to a knife. :)


I love my mandoline – but mine is one of those ridiculously expensive ones. I would have never bought it myself. I’ve used less expensive ones, and they’re worthless. I still like my good knife better.

All manner of fancy veggie peelers – crap. Or maybe I just can’t use them properly.

Again, Space Bags. How are they still selling those things?

Garlic presses cheat me of the opportunity to beat the crap out of something. I enjoy smashing garlic – it always makes me feel better.

shelterrific » Blog Archive » five things we learned last week

[…] 2. Mandolines can be hazardous to your health. More than one reader commented that the mandoline was a gadget they thought they’d love, but… Elizabeth says, “Mine came with this piece that was supposed to prevent you from slicing your fingers, but it wouldn’t stay on the food, and I’d bang my fingers instead of slicing them, then I’d try without the piece and definitely slice them, and on top of all the physical injury, I could never adjust the various metal pieces to slice different sizes or shapes!” Read the harrowing and funny tales of the disappointing gadgets here. […]

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