The Worst Birthday Gift Ever

January 2011

Nearly two years ago, I received the worst birthday gift ever, and I have no one to blame but myself.  While I was playing Pittsburgh tour guide, my guest and I visited the Shadyside neighborhood of Pittsburgh.  We were lured by the flashy new kitchen paraphernalia of Williams-Sonoma.  As it was almost my birthday, I was feeling especially justified in making a purchase.  Wanting to really up my cake styling, my eyes landed on an icing kit.  The aproned store clerk was quick to tell me the many wanders of the magic icing wand based on personal experience.  That settled it!  The icing kit was sold!

For nearly two years now, I have tried to come to terms with this tool, but I am well past the reconciliation phase.  I want divorce!  Having tried for so long to find peace with this piping device, the ship has already sailed with my opportunity for a complaint letter to the store or maker.

Thus, I rant.

1.  As a baker without a dishwasher, cleaning this apparatus is a real inconvenience.  It’s difficult to separate the clear plastic piece from the metal piece.

2.  The plunger usually causes a build up of icing to form in its bowl shape.  This makes pumping out icing far less efficient, since most of the icing can’t make it to the tip.  It also causes pressure build ups, so it’s really difficult to produce the perfectly piped masterpiece desired.

3.  I usually ended up wasting so much icing because pushing the plunger all the way to the bottom of the barrel never expels all the frosting goodness.

4.  Due to the icing stuck behind the plunger and the icing that never makes it to the baked good, the entire process of filling the barrel and pushing down the plunger has to occur multiple times.  This repetitive frosting leads to quite the mess around the top of the contraption and wastes more icing.

Dear Williams-Sonoma Worker at the Shadyside Store,

You deceived me, and thanks to your recommendations, I bought myself the worst birthday gift ever.  I don’t even think you ever iced a cake before that moment when you sold me lies.  My only hope is that other bright-eyed bakers do not fall for the same trap.  I am going to convert to icing bags.


Quelcy T. Kogel

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