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Why did you put millet in my muffin?
December 12, 2013 12:57 PM   Subscribe

2013 Hater's Guide to the Williams-Sonoma Catalog. The Miele Rotary Iron is a machine as old as the hills and used to be called a mangle. A mangle. For what it did to your fingers. I know, because I inherited one from my grandmother.

Also, shockingly, the beehive starter kit is reasonably well priced.

But there is no way in hell I'm paying 50 bucks for muffins.

Previously.
posted by Sophie1 (125 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

 
Three months of pork sounds delicious.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:01 PM on December 12, 2013


Three days of pork spread over three months' time.
posted by helicomatic at 1:04 PM on December 12, 2013 [6 favorites]


18.7 minutes of pork spread over three month's time.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:05 PM on December 12, 2013 [22 favorites]


I make my own butter with an old Dazey churn all the time, with none of the pretentiousness and all of the yummy.
posted by Melismata at 1:08 PM on December 12, 2013


Look I know we all love 90 Days Of Pork but can we think about monogrammed steak searers? What message does such a thing convey? What are you saying about yourself when you want people to eat your name?
posted by The Whelk at 1:09 PM on December 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also, shockingly, the beehive starter kit is reasonably well priced.

Beans?
posted by Rangeboy at 1:09 PM on December 12, 2013




I make my own butter with an old Dazey churn all the time, with none of the pretentiousness and all of the yummy.


W-S products are for people who want a picture perfect kitchen that won't be messed up by all that cooking nonsense.

Besides, less cooking means more time to focus on tablescapes and pitchers full of neat gin.
posted by The Whelk at 1:10 PM on December 12, 2013 [13 favorites]


Lardò, or the 120 Days of Pork
posted by theodolite at 1:10 PM on December 12, 2013 [30 favorites]


I swear, if I could make that suicidal chicken my desktop wallpaper...
posted by Etrigan at 1:11 PM on December 12, 2013


1000 Porks Of Solitude.
posted by The Whelk at 1:12 PM on December 12, 2013 [6 favorites]


18.7 minutes of pork spread over three month's time.

At roughly $18/lb. That's dollar-a-minute pork!
posted by bonehead at 1:12 PM on December 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


This reminds me of when Jezebel used to be cool and they would mock the latest J. Crew and Anthropologie catalogs on the regular.
posted by Sara C. at 1:12 PM on December 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


"Thomas Barrow, my dear footman! Look at what I've got you! Now you can iron my bedsheets in nearly half the time! SURELY YOU MUST BE PLEASED."

Wait, do footmen iron? Watching Downton Abbey with me is an exercise in tolerance -- I don't quite grasp the intricacies of class difference and manners, and on top of that many of the characters look really similar -- but I'd like to think I was somewhat paying attention.
posted by griphus at 1:12 PM on December 12, 2013 [3 favorites]



At roughly $18/lb. That's dollar-a-minute pork!

Cheaper than in town.
posted by The Whelk at 1:13 PM on December 12, 2013 [19 favorites]


I don't quite grasp the intricacies of class difference and manners

That's okay neither does the show.
posted by The Whelk at 1:13 PM on December 12, 2013 [6 favorites]


Also for $100 of pork I want something a little better than:

A "bacon steak" whatever the fuck that even is,

Italian sausage (seriously not German or some other country that is actually famous for its uncooked link sausages?),

and some fucking artisanal Jimmy Dean.
posted by Sara C. at 1:15 PM on December 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


I got my grill-happy stepfather a monogram grill brand a couple of years ago (not from W-S, and I think it was half the cost, but). I don't know that he's ever actually used it, but I think he was more excited about that than any other present I've ever gotten him. It's a good gift for a hard-to-shop-for Dad.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:15 PM on December 12, 2013


But who says you have to use your initials for the brand? You could get one for COW and one for PIG.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:16 PM on December 12, 2013 [34 favorites]


Wait, do footmen iron? Watching Downton Abbey with me is an exercise in tolerance -- I don't quite grasp the intricacies of class difference and manners, and on top of that many of the characters look really similar -- but I'd like to think I was somewhat paying attention.

Well, valets iron the newspaper, and I think Jeeves ironed Wooster's clothes.

Then again I think the term "footman" is the problematic part of this. What is it that footmen supposedly do? I forget? Something with horses?
posted by Sara C. at 1:17 PM on December 12, 2013


HAHAHALOL THE "BUTTERMAKING KIT" WHICH IS ACTUALLY JUST AN EMPTY JAR LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL
posted by Sara C. at 1:19 PM on December 12, 2013 [19 favorites]


But who says you have to use your initials for the brand? You could get one for COW and one for PIG.

The company I purchased from actually had a set of RARE, M-R, MED, M-W and WELL, which could actually come in handy.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:20 PM on December 12, 2013 [5 favorites]


18.7 minutes of pork spread over three month's time.

...But enough about my sex life. BAM!
posted by Horace Rumpole at 1:23 PM on December 12, 2013 [34 favorites]


What are you saying about yourself when you want people to eat your name?

I can only speak for myself here, but when I want people eat my name, what I'm saying about myself is that food with my name written on it will magically turn into my flesh when eaten, and that people should, therefore, start wars in my name.
posted by The World Famous at 1:23 PM on December 12, 2013 [13 favorites]


A "bacon steak" whatever the fuck that even is

I'm picturing one piece of extremely thick cut bacon.
posted by troika at 1:24 PM on December 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


The company I purchased from actually had a set of RARE, M-R, MED, M-W and WELL, which could actually come in handy.

But if you brand a steak with RARE, does it still count as rare?
posted by Strange Interlude at 1:24 PM on December 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


For blue, do they just sell you a crayon?
posted by bonehead at 1:25 PM on December 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


But who says you have to use your initials for the brand? You could get one for COW and one for PIG.

I think they've since changed it, but back during the Bush administration, the Sky Mall always advertised the grill brand with the initials GWB. I always got a kick out of that.

The only thing (I think) I've ever gotten from Williams and Sonoma were a set of electric salt and pepper grinders, that I initially made fun of, but I've since really grown to like because grinding enough pepper for soups and stuff can be annoying.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:25 PM on December 12, 2013


I want a steak branded with HAPPY BIRTHDAY instead of a cake this year.
posted by troika at 1:25 PM on December 12, 2013 [8 favorites]


I'm picturing one piece of extremely thick cut bacon.

Oh man, now you've just reminded me of the best bacon I ever had, which was super super thick like that. Well not steak thick obviously, but really outrageously thick. It was $2.00 a slice, but it's the best $2.00 of my mother-in-law's money I have ever spent on bacon. Kitchen in Providence, people, the owner is a surly misanthrope and there's only like five tables, but the bacon is phenomenal.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:27 PM on December 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


But who says you have to use your initials for the brand? You could get one for COW and one for PIG.

Given my woeful lack of grilling ability, this would prove useful but for the lack of being able to see any brand of any kind after I'm done. Perhaps I could just brand their napkins.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 1:28 PM on December 12, 2013


I want to know the percentage of homes owning steak brands that haven't had a teenage ass-branding incident.
posted by griphus at 1:29 PM on December 12, 2013 [15 favorites]


I lost my shit over W-S sometime last year, when they introduced the whole "agrarian" line of things to try to capitalize on the DIY-foodie thing. Someone sent me a link to their site because they heard I was into canning stuff - and then I saw that the canning jars that they sell are the really expensive German jars that work differently from the way every other intro-to-canning book tells you how canning jars work. Why? They're prettier. No other reason. I do have some of those brand bottles, and they do work, but I only tried them out after having successfully canned with the $20-for-a-case old-school mason jars you can get in practically every hardware store in the country.

And they also had this Hundred-dollar stainless steel jam kettle that works just as well as my own "random stock pot". They're not on a mission to introduce these cooking/food trends to people, they're on a mission to exploit it. Feh.

Actually, the thing that got me last year was they also had some kind of artisinally-sourced burlap for something. I can't find that, but I see they have artisinal twine.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:29 PM on December 12, 2013 [9 favorites]


Oh, just add cream! It couldn't be any easier, except for the part where you spend TWENTY AGONIZING MINUTES churning and churning and churning away like Roger Clemens working his pitching arm down into a barrel of wet rice, just so your stupid dinner guests can have a fresh pat of butter with a fucking rooster crest on it.


Silly, that is what kids are for! WOULD YOU LIKE TO MAKE SOME BUTTER FOR THANKSGIVING DINNER? WHILE MOMMY DRINKS WINE AND ENJOYS A BREAK FROM Y'ALL TEARING AROUND LIKE MANIACS? YAY!




Mommy (who is totally not my sister) knows that is just a damn jar, though. Mommy graduated summa from frickin' law school.
posted by louche mustachio at 1:30 PM on December 12, 2013 [7 favorites]


Their basic kitchen tool type things, like tea towels and melamine mixing bowls, are surprisingly reasonable when you catch a sale.

The especially good thing is that they're always running sales on the seasonally colored versions of these things right after any holiday, despite the fact that none of this stuff is really aggressively seasonal at all. Scraping the side of the bowl with a pastel colored bowl scraper after Labor Day? GOD FORBID.
posted by Sara C. at 1:31 PM on December 12, 2013 [5 favorites]


You could get one for COW and one for PIG.

or NOT PEOPLE.

Man that is some shitty pork for a hundred bucks however, even more so when you consider a huge direct order of the world's best ham is less then that
posted by The Whelk at 1:31 PM on December 12, 2013 [10 favorites]


Man that is some shitty pork for a hundred bucks however, even more so when you consider a huge direct order of the world's best ham is less then that

My wife is in Spain without me and basically every day at like 4:00 she just calls me to brag about the ham she ate that night. What I'm saying is, are the two of you in cahoots? Seriously. Stop flaunting delicious ham in my face, world.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:32 PM on December 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


In the right light, W-S is kind of a wealth redistribution scheme.....
posted by The Whelk at 1:33 PM on December 12, 2013


It's okay Bulgaroktonos, we can talk about duck prosciutto then, which is also cheaper than what they have.
posted by The Whelk at 1:34 PM on December 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Williams-Sonoma: because there's a sucker born every minute.
posted by Kitteh at 1:34 PM on December 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh god it just hit me.

Williams-Sonoma is literally Versailles' hameau
posted by The Whelk at 1:36 PM on December 12, 2013 [7 favorites]


Actually, the thing that got me last year was they also had some kind of artisinally-sourced burlap for something.

Yeah. They also have artisanal chicken scratch.

Seriously, if you have chickens and you are ordering your scratch from W-S, you need to rethink your chicken situation.
posted by Sophie1 at 1:36 PM on December 12, 2013 [14 favorites]


(except, presumably the little farm would produce actual milk and cheese and eggs as opposed to bizarrely shitty versions of farm products in costly wrappers)
posted by The Whelk at 1:37 PM on December 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


EC, that's a Maslin pan. They're really cheap in the UK, but I've seen them for about $80 in NA.
posted by bonehead at 1:39 PM on December 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Man it;s hard to read the product descriptions and not hear the flopsweat they obviously want you to feel - NO NO NO YOU'RE NOT GOOD ENOUGH, NOT DOMESTIC ENOUGH, DOMESTIC IS IN, WHAT ELSE ARE YOU MISSING, EVERYONE IS GONNA LAUGH AT YOOOOOOOOU

Seriously it's like the Sharper Image but with crockpots.
posted by The Whelk at 1:41 PM on December 12, 2013 [7 favorites]


I read that as crackpots.
posted by Melismata at 1:42 PM on December 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's the gift catalog for people who like the idea of poverty tourism but can't actually motivate to leave their homes.
posted by mkultra at 1:44 PM on December 12, 2013 [9 favorites]


Here's a New Yorker cartoon i've re-drawn and re-submitted so many times but it never gets bought because I think it cuts too close to home.

Two people in a pitch perfect W-S kitchen/living room area. One is walking toward the door, looking disdainfully at the other

No amount of elegant solutions to modern living will make me love you.

posted by The Whelk at 1:44 PM on December 12, 2013 [47 favorites]


(also I imagine the kind of people who buy chicken-care products from W-S are also the type to forget they have chickens.)
posted by The Whelk at 1:46 PM on December 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


No amount of elegant solutions to modern living will make me love you.

You know you could use that line to caption any New Yorker cartoon?
posted by sebastienbailard at 1:48 PM on December 12, 2013 [27 favorites]


And then they fire the cleaning lady for forgetting to feed the chickens they never mentioned to her.
posted by Sara C. at 1:48 PM on December 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think they've since changed it, but back during the Bush administration, the Sky Mall always advertised the grill brand with the initials GWB. I always got a kick out of that.

I always thought that was a reference to Bush's DKE brand.
posted by zamboni at 1:48 PM on December 12, 2013


Here's a New Yorker cartoon i've re-drawn and re-submitted so many times but it never gets bought because I think it cuts too close to home


Where is the cartoon? I was told there would be a cartoon.
posted by louche mustachio at 1:50 PM on December 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


It's funny because given the right mood and place, I would and have totally shelled out an absurd amount of cash for bacon steak (swanky gastropub) and super expensive jams (farmers market) but somehow W-S's compleat lifestyle vibe makes it both more logical to buy those items and incredibly unappealing to do so. I like my commodity fetishism as more of a hodge podge, thank you very much.

And if I bought too much artisanal popcorn from W-S I fear I would transform into a monogram-clad small Asian Martha Stewart.
posted by spamandkimchi at 1:52 PM on December 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hm, maybe the hodge podge inconsistency is why I really love flipping through the SkyMall catalog. Like it has that faint whiff of aspiring business class traveler, but then is just super random.I mean they sell towel warmers, but I also bought my friend a pair of spy camera goggles from them.
posted by spamandkimchi at 1:55 PM on December 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


MetaFilter: not even monogrammed, which is horseshit.
posted by klanawa at 1:56 PM on December 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Nifty fact: if you buy a Williams-Sonoma product at retail cost, throw some craft paint and a twine bow on it, and resell it at a loss on Etsy, you will have just completed the rite that summons a Kitchen Atronach.
posted by jason_steakums at 1:57 PM on December 12, 2013 [17 favorites]


I worked at Williams-Sonoma's corporate offices for several years, and I think my proudest accomplishment was surreptitiously hanging this picture of Jean Baudrillard on the wall of the studio where they shoot a lot of the crazy spreads that you see in their catalogs (along with those of Pottery Barn and West Elm, which they also own).
posted by whir at 2:01 PM on December 12, 2013 [26 favorites]


Also, shockingly, the beehive starter kit is reasonably well priced.

Yick. Langstroth hives are the worst possible introduction into the worst industrial kind of beekeeping. I really need to go into mass production of Warre hives one of these years as a little sideline, because I'm not even a Chinese factory worker and I manage to build basic hives a lot cheaper than that one. Mind you, I don't waste resource on silliness like box joints and fancypants copper roofs, though.
posted by sonascope at 2:01 PM on December 12, 2013 [8 favorites]


This article was written by Drew Magary, who also did the annotated xmas list FPPed here last week. Drew is killin' it.
posted by mcstayinskool at 2:04 PM on December 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


No skep hives? tsk
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 2:13 PM on December 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


EC, that's a Maslin pan. They're really cheap in the UK, but I've seen them for about $80 in NA.

Oh, no slight against the pan itself, just against the faint whiff of exclusivity which implies that you must use this pan and no other if you want your jam to be successful.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:23 PM on December 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


whir, I think I love you!

My personal favorites are the "gingerbread estate" and "that's 50 bucks for eight muffins. they're not even monogrammed, which is horseshit". The steak branding iron doesn't need any commentary to be hilarious.

I say all of this as a hypocrite who loves Zingerman's, granted.
posted by ifjuly at 2:27 PM on December 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


A "bacon steak" whatever the fuck that even is

Take four normal strips of bacon. Place them one on top of the other, in a stack.

Using your meat monogramming iron, solder the four individual strips of bacon fat together into one sizzling agglomeration of pig lard.

Presto! Bacon steak!

Serve with cranapple compote and freshly-churned rooster butter.
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:30 PM on December 12, 2013 [5 favorites]


I read that as crackpots.

It's okay - -I read the title as "Why did you put millet in my mullet?" and was picturing an 80's dude having a bad hair/food day.
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:34 PM on December 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wait, nobody else has ever had a bacon steak? I likely have one a week, they're so delicious. Just ask your butcher to cut it thick, that's all.
posted by Thing at 2:40 PM on December 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Obviously whoever wrote this has never enjoyed the joy of sleeping in the absolutely crisp bedsheets that result from the use of a mangle. Obviously 2000 dollars is ridiculously much for one but there is nothing wrong in principle in using a mangle.
posted by Authorized User at 2:43 PM on December 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


No skep hives? tsk

Skeps are illegal in most countries now.
posted by sonascope at 2:46 PM on December 12, 2013


But who says you have to use your initials for the brand? You could get one for COW and one for PIG.
- Marisa Stole the Precious Thing

Mine'd say KOSHER and TREIF.
posted by Dreidl at 2:46 PM on December 12, 2013 [5 favorites]


LONG PIG
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:52 PM on December 12, 2013 [6 favorites]


God these food product choices are so bad, not like "this isn't worth the money." but like actively bad things I would not pay money for.

Hey W-S people, you'd save money and get better quality by just hiring me as your personal food shopper. Pay me to run your mail-order food service options. I got this.
posted by The Whelk at 2:53 PM on December 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also, there's a huge and hilarious problem with using a wonderful butter keeper and home-churned butter. The problem is that, when you churn your own butter in a jar, which makes great butter and is a good activity to keep your arm muscles from falling to atrophy while you're binge-watching Farscape, you cannot get all the little tiny pockets of buttermilk out of that butter unless you work the fucking fuck out of it in cold water for an hour afterward. Keep your home churned butter at near room temperature in a butter keeper for a day and you know what you get? Delicious butter full of teeny bubbles of rancid, sour buttermilk. Yum.
posted by sonascope at 2:55 PM on December 12, 2013 [10 favorites]


"Churning Butter to Farscape" is my new favorite euphuism.
posted by The Whelk at 2:59 PM on December 12, 2013 [8 favorites]


The worst thing about the butter churning kit is that the absolute best use for a KitchenAid mixer, unless you do all your own baking, is to make butter.

Making butter in the KitchenAid not only eliminates the problem of sore arms and the time it takes to turn cream into butter, it also vastly decreases the difficulty of separating the butter from the buttermilk, because the whole thing is in a big metal bowl that makes everything pretty easy to work with.

So if you're the sort of person who gets a Williams-Sonoma catalog, you probably already have a piece of kitchen equipment which is far better at butter manufacture than any jar.

(That said those nifty paddles would be useful for butter made in a stand mixer. But they should cost $4.95 for the set, max.)
posted by Sara C. at 3:13 PM on December 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


Isn't bacon steak uncured pork belly? If you've never had it, wait for your next celebration-worthy event, find the nearest Korean barbecue (preferably one of the swankier ones that actually has a variety of decent quality meats, not the ones that are mainly for drunk food--and I love the drunk food ones, probably more than the fancy places but not for this ANYWAY) and order the samgyeopsal. You will understand.
posted by kagredon at 3:20 PM on December 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


I don't get sore arms from churning by jar-shaking, though I'm relatively muscley in that regard so it may just be my mileage varying, but even though I can churn in my lovely old Hamilton Beach, I would miss that lovely zen moment of buttery conception when the schlooosh schlooosh schlooosh in my hand goes schthwump, meaning I've crossed that mystical boundary in which I've made one thing into another thing. 'Course, I'm in a one-person household, so there's a matter of scale, too. Maybe I'll give it a try this weekend, though, with the littlest mixing bowl...
posted by sonascope at 3:23 PM on December 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


i want armed taffy guards
posted by elizardbits at 3:26 PM on December 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


GAURDS, STICKY HIM
posted by The Whelk at 3:27 PM on December 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


It's not that I don't imagine pork belly could taste good. It's that the thing costs $100 and you get some thick cut bacon, a type of sausage easily found in any supermarket, and a food item most closely associated with breakfast at McDonald's.

If I'm paying $100 for three installments of the Oink Of The Month Club, I want jamon Iberico, maybe some finocchiona, and some interesting German wurst. Not the typical choices at Denny's.
posted by Sara C. at 3:27 PM on December 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


The whole gingerbread estate thing with the butter toffee Navy SEALS shooting hot caramel into interlopers' eyes really just made me want to be the Princess Bubblegum of the Gingerbread Estate. Get on that, Adventure Time. Surely the land of Ooo could have a Gingerbread Princess ruling over a Christmas-themed gingerbread kingdom, and I wish to be that Gingerbread Princess.
posted by yasaman at 3:32 PM on December 12, 2013 [6 favorites]


if you buy a Williams-Sonoma product at retail cost, throw some craft paint and a twine bow on it, and resell it at a loss on Etsy, you will have just completed the rite that summons a Kitchen Atronach.

oh good i have been looking for an excuse to post a link to this etsy account, aka the best etsy account of all time

OF ALL TIME
posted by elizardbits at 3:32 PM on December 12, 2013 [35 favorites]


I still can't walk into a Williams Sonoma without thinking of the finest erotic take on a Bellini coupe yet, in the voice of Ray Smuckles.
posted by jetlagaddict at 3:33 PM on December 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


"I am a hundred years old"
posted by The Whelk at 3:36 PM on December 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


LONG PIG
posted by Devils Rancher


Eponappropriate
posted by Cookiebastard at 3:36 PM on December 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


This is great, we just got instruction from a relative that they want something from Williams-Sonoma. Now I can gleefully enjoy the item we wind up picking!
posted by Nanukthedog at 3:40 PM on December 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


I actually think that the pork thing is one of the more reasonable items--$100 for 6 pounds of pork doesn't seem that weird if you're buying really high-end stuff (and on preview: there is high end sausage, so that objection seems a little silly.) It's more just, as is always the case with the pricey bundles of food things sold by WS and Harry and David and Omaha Steaks and their ilk, is why would you buy from them instead of actual butchers/chocolatiers/cheesemakers/etc.? And the answer is usually some variant of you don't know what you're looking for, with an occasional side of "it's expensive so it must be good" and also the fact that companies like WS are really good at fancy presentation, so when you're rich and trying to buy a gift for your nephew or granddaughter who you're vaguely aware likes cooking or whatever, it gets easy to go for the fancy pork bundle from WS, even though someone who knows what they're doing could probably make that $100 go a lot further at local stores or, hell, even by mail ordering from Pat LaFrieda's (warning: expensive burger meat, in case your mind is still being blown by the idea that not all sausage is like what's sold in the freezer aisle) or something
posted by kagredon at 3:42 PM on December 12, 2013


I usually trust the butcher to know what's good - maybe there's the fear of being scammed! But you can usually taste it. If I'm looking for something I'm not up on, it's fine to say "Hi there Monger, I'm looking for something like XYZ for ABC because of ALPHABETA." I mean, that's why they're there, to answer questions and be experts.
posted by The Whelk at 3:45 PM on December 12, 2013


MURRAY'S MONTHY CLUBS

Comparable price, better quality, and they have gift boxes at well.

Seriously Murray's Cheese Sh is my go to "ugh what do people like? Meat and cheese, have some meat and cheese from here."

Unless they're vegan, in which case it's dark chocolate. So much dark chocolate.
posted by The Whelk at 3:52 PM on December 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


I prefer to think of it as Will-i-am's Insomnia.
posted by srboisvert at 3:56 PM on December 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


And actually, the company they list as their source for the pork seems legit.

Although, hilariously, you can buy the equivalent of the "three months of pork" on their website for about $75 before shipping. MARKETING!
posted by kagredon at 4:02 PM on December 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


oh good i have been looking for an excuse to post a link to this etsy account, aka the best etsy account of all time

OF ALL TIME


I thought your praise may have been hyperbolic - I was wrong, that's totally the best etsy account ever.
posted by jason_steakums at 4:23 PM on December 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Some butchers in England, more so the lower rung butchers, do "meat for the week" specials. You get a bit of bacon, some sausages, a chicken, some mince, maybe a few lamb cutlets, a beef roast, and whatever, for £15 or £20. Basically meat for a dish for every day of the week. It's so cheap it's the mirror universe of the "three months of pork" offer.

I think you would kill yourself if you ate like that all the time, however.
posted by Thing at 4:24 PM on December 12, 2013


From the comments: Bespoke Global Falconry Companion
Years of apprenticeship and study are behind you. Your raptor is trained, and you have received the ultimate title of Master Falconer. Now, your new Bespoke Global Falconry Companion is loaded and ready for its inaugural outing.

Circling the field for the perfect spot to set up, you consider yourself lucky to take part in an ancient sport once reserved for nobles of Medieval Europe, the Middle East, and the Mongolian Empire. Little has changed in the game thousands of years later—there are no firearms and no outside weapons. It still all comes down to a relationship between the falconer and bird.

A prime locale has been found, and you and your fellow hunters set up camp. Gazing upon your portable case and matching custom trunk, you marvel at the 20-karat gold-plated perch, hand-carved stands, leather perch scale, and hand-sewn glove, anklet, and exotic-skin hoods by Ken Hooke, the world's preeminent falconry hood maker. A day in the countryside has never been so luxuriously appointed! Next, the furniture: Chatwin chairs and a foldout table by Richard Wrightman, the foremost designer of bespoke campaign furniture (the King of Jordan is a client). You unfold the beautiful, handmade backgammon board from Alexandra Llewellyn, pour yourself a drink from one of the lead crystal decanters, and select the cigar you'll enjoy, using your matching cigar cutter by David Linley. The birds are ready, and your gauntlet is in place. Time to hunt!
posted by unliteral at 4:24 PM on December 12, 2013 [7 favorites]


On the other hand, they do have Star Wars cufflinks.
posted by unliteral at 4:32 PM on December 12, 2013


Bespoke Global Falconry Companion

I thought this was a joke but it's not it's real

it doesn't even come with falcons

though given the blond model they styled it with, perhaps they were going for a bring your own khalessi and dragons vibe

still want it though
posted by jetlagaddict at 4:41 PM on December 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


Seriously, if you have chickens and you are ordering your scratch from W-S, you need to rethink your chicken situation.

Being a chicken owner, I can tell you that it all looks and smells the same when it comes out the other end.
posted by mudpuppie at 4:41 PM on December 12, 2013


the foremost designer of bespoke campaign furniture

Someone needs to remind these people that John Company was dissolved in 1874 and the empire is a mere shadow of what it once was.
posted by elizardbits at 4:48 PM on December 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


oh my fucking god they have blood diamond fantasy tours

i can't

I CANNOT
posted by elizardbits at 5:02 PM on December 12, 2013 [14 favorites]


jesus, elizardbits.
posted by ifjuly at 5:05 PM on December 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


You unfold the beautiful, handmade backgammon board from Alexandra Llewellyn, pour yourself a drink from one of the lead crystal decanters, and select the cigar you'll enjoy...The birds are ready, and your gauntlet is in place. Time to hunt!

I am picturing a rich guy sitting across from his falcon at the the Alexandra Llewellyn backgammon board, puffing on a cigar and contemplating his next move.

The falcon is winning.
posted by griphus at 5:12 PM on December 12, 2013 [12 favorites]


they are seated on thrones made of the finest young mugglehide
posted by elizardbits at 5:27 PM on December 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


my set of monogram grills
WIL
BUR
&
SOM
PIG
posted by djseafood at 5:27 PM on December 12, 2013 [5 favorites]


OF ALL TIME

Holy Maude. He has 178 sales!!!!
posted by Sophie1 at 5:32 PM on December 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Being a chicken owner, I can tell you that it all looks and smells the same when it comes out the other end.

All I will say about this is that I got dressed for work this morning and decided to pick up and move a rogue chicken on the way out...
posted by Sophie1 at 5:41 PM on December 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


One of these days the Gutenberg of meat-searing is going to bring the distribution of word-seared meat out of Williams-Sonoma's world of illuminated meat manuscripts and to the people with movable type meat branding.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:06 PM on December 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Our wedding anniversary is coming up. I know what I want.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 6:08 PM on December 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Coming next year to the William's Sonoma catalog: monogrammed taco lock.
posted by sonika at 7:58 PM on December 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


oh my fucking god they have blood diamond fantasy tours
Hey! They're going to also "explore rough-diamond sorting houses and a children's community project, where the local population benefits from Forevermark's responsible sourcing of diamonds." See, they care!
[My real criticism was going to be that that shit is the FANTASY catalog and is supposed to be ridiculous . But then I read them. Pretty sure they're not supposed to be that fucking ridiculous]
posted by atomicstone at 8:09 PM on December 12, 2013


Oh fucking hell I miss the days when people put things on the internet because they had something to say instead of because they had to churn out words on a deadline

I am on a deadline I ran out of ideas six months ago hey I got a catalog in the mail maybe I can wring a few thousand words out of that fuck it let's go
posted by ook at 8:51 PM on December 12, 2013


The word bespoke just forever lost all meaning for me.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:02 PM on December 12, 2013


That just happened now?
posted by louche mustachio at 9:17 PM on December 12, 2013


i mean i point and hiss but i know full well that if i had the chance to be an imperialist bastard i would do so without a second thought

i need dragons
posted by elizardbits at 9:21 PM on December 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


*everybody wants to rule the world*

not everybody wants to churn a small amount of butter by hand.
posted by The Whelk at 9:23 PM on December 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Bespoke Global Falconry Companion

I thought this was a joke but it's not it's real


It... It wasn't spoofing the Horse Master story? I just can't ... argleblggggghhh. Tilt.

This world is insane.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:26 PM on December 12, 2013


for elizardbits
posted by The Whelk at 9:30 PM on December 12, 2013


I know this is more a satirical piece, but from what I read about its history, Williams-Sonoma was originally founded to import and make available high-end kitchenware from France. The founder saw a gap in the existing quality of American kitchen goods available in California, and this was the founder's attempt to do something. Supposedly he was quite passionate about his products—in the bigger context, this was around the time of the so-called American food revolution that happened in the 50s/60s. I.e., Julia Child and all that.

So on the one hand we can make fun of what it is today in the context of our current economy, but it's certainly interesting to ponder that influence--that the quality and type of food Americans have come to appreciate and enjoy today bear a nontrivial relationship with events and deeds set in history.
posted by polymodus at 2:00 AM on December 13, 2013


Worth noting, but rarely-mentioned: Williams & Sonoma has an absurdly generous return policy.

My mom bought a Waring blender from them about 15 years ago. She's not particularly happy with the purchase, because the things seem to have a lifespan of almost exactly 5 years. However, every 5 years, Williams & Sonoma have faithfully taken our shitty broken blenders, glanced at the well-worn receipt from 1998, and cheerfully handed us a new blender.

This certainly doesn't excuse some of the crazy shit that they sell, but the price premium buys you a pretty nice insurance policy.

NB: A W-S employee specifically told us about this policy the first time we went shopping for a blender to replace the first one that failed after 5 years. "Oh no! An expensive blender should last far longer than 5 years. Did you buy it here? If you still have the broken blender and some sort of proof that you bought it here, come back and we'll give you a new one."
posted by schmod at 7:38 AM on December 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Holy shit, the Neiman-Marcus thing actually is real.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:49 AM on December 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I mean at least they managed to hold back on offering a Hunt The Most Dangerous Game package when you shoot natives from atop a howdah.
posted by elizardbits at 9:21 AM on December 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


ook: Oh fucking hell I miss the days when people put things on the internet because they had something to say instead of because they had to churn out words on a deadline

Item #54-5318008 Hand-Crafted Artisanal Threadshit
posted by Rock Steady at 9:25 AM on December 13, 2013 [9 favorites]


So on the one hand we can make fun of what it is today in the context of our current economy, but it's certainly interesting to ponder that influence--that the quality and type of food Americans have come to appreciate and enjoy today bear a nontrivial relationship with events and deeds set in history.

Again, they are surprisingly reasonable for kitchen basics like mixing bowls, wooden spoons, tea towels, and the like. (Their silicon bowl-scrapers are unparalleled IMHO.) Especially if you go during a sale, since they completely rotate the colors everything comes in on a seasonal basis.

They also are the best source of high-quality imported kitchen tools if you don't live in a major city. I'd say that Sur Le Table is just as good, and there are some mom & pop places that also do this well, but if you live in Omaha or Tampa or Cleveland, you're much more likely to have access to a Williams-Sonoma than any of those options. Also, catalogs. My mom in nowheresville rural Louisiana is a W-S devotee because, with the wonders of UPS, she can have any fancy kitchen item she needs.

The problem is that W-S's business model is based on durable goods. People only need so many Wusthof knives and Le Creuset enamelware. Even with the tea towel type things, a person can only have so many goddamn towels and whisks and pinch bowls and measuring spoons. So they've got to keep customers coming back. The only option is to keep ramping up the elaborate single-task implements. They also have this weird problem where they need to sell consumables, but they have a hard time fitting consumables into their brand in a meaningful way without basically becoming a grocery store.
posted by Sara C. at 9:47 AM on December 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Bioko stands before you. Your blonde Basenji bitch pants in the jungle sun, and gives one brief yodel. You inhale the scent of a flower not breathed by a white man since the consulate fell. To your left, the exquisite mantraps of Pleatherson-Wittles, the finest craftsmen of wide-kerf sub-manglers. To your right, a golden shag settee carried by two albino giants dressed in resplendent Diane von Furstenburg gowns.

Truly, you wonder how you could have enjoyed hunting before.

To keep things sporting, you begin with a Alfunz Spritzer 40-pound onager, its hand-twined Tokapi leather windlass creaking like a mighty Yew orgasm. It takes patience, and you pass the time with a custom backgammon set made for the tomb of Walt Disney. You are playing as Goofy, and have just turned the gold-inlayed doubling cube to "Louie."

You are drinking Welch's Concord Grape Juice, which is very hard to get where you are, so you appreciate it a lot.

There is motion now, off in the distance. You motion to cease the onager, and beckon for your bespoke blowgun, tongue-lapped from rosewood by the Crennset family of North Umberland. Your eunuch injects you by surprise with a hallucinogenic tincture distilled in the Vatican by Pope Francis, and you raise your blowgun, your motions echoed by a cadre of Patek clockwork men. You smile at the handcrafted Hugo Boss darts dipped by orphans in Chanel #5 that are now raining down on the forest until the fronds shrug with opulence. The words for this luxury are only spoken in Lemurian.

The most dangerous game, indeed.
posted by klangklangston at 12:03 AM on December 14, 2013 [7 favorites]


Your blonde Basenji bitch pants

On first reading I thought this was a special article of clothing.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:24 AM on December 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


Item #54-5318008 Hand-Crafted Artisanal Threadshit

Yeah, sorry, I'm being a party-pooper.

Back in college I had a brief stint writing sketch comedy. We were always under a tight deadline, there weren't enough writers, I rapidly discovered I wasn't particularly talented at it and I quickly learned that when I found myself writing sketches about whatever random objects that fell into view that it was time to step away from the desk and do somewhere else for a while. We started using "Top 10 uses for a desk lamp" as code for "this is trying-too-hard shit, come back when you have an actual idea." So, right, top ten items I can mock in a catalog I just got, sure, I should've known better than to even click but I did and it was accidentally like the third or fourth thing in a row I'd clicked on that turned out to be a list of snarky riffs on things within arm's reach of a writer on a deadline. And I've just generally been feeling lately like what I'm finding on the web -- this isn't a complaint about MeFi, it feels like it's everywhere -- any it feels less like it used to, less like reading people's diaries, reading things they cared enough about to learn some HTML and figure out what FTP is and sort out hosting and go through a certain amount of hassle just for its own sake or because they had something they wanted to show the world; and more like flipping through old magazines at the dentist's office, all Humor In Uniform and celebrity puff except meaner. So many gawker buzzfeed listicle style churn-factories spitting out mindless listicle riffs because they have to keep up those page views, and even the "real" blogs feel like they've picked up the linkbait habit by osmosis, and the personal content has transmogrified into exchanging soft-focus inspirational photos on Facebook and snark stands in for humor and snobbery stands in for taste and I keep looking back and trying to figure out where we went wrong, somehow while we were arguing about pointless shit like RSS versus Atom or maybe while we were failing to turn Trackback into a useful thing we let the content mills and the "social" networks slip in and take over while we weren't paying attention and basically it's probably time for me to spend some time away from the internet for a while except that it's where I work.

So, yeah, turns out I pooped a little in aisle 134722. Sorry about that.
posted by ook at 7:14 AM on December 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


The author of this article, Drew Magary, also recently wrote this waterfowl-related piece you may have heard of.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:34 AM on December 20, 2013


ook, if it makes you feel better, catalog mockery is a tried and true format over at Gawker Media.

What keeps this from being "Ten Things About An Object Within My Eye Line", to me, is that it really is glorious fun to mock Late Capitalist Porn. Something is happening here. You never saw this sort of thing before the Great Recession, and I think there's a reason for that.
posted by Sara C. at 8:06 PM on December 20, 2013


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