549: Box Graters
Matthew Amster-Burton 0:00
Hi I'm Matthew and I'm Molly and this is spilled milk. The show where we cook something delicious. Eat it all and you can't have any
today. Thanks to host Molly. Yep, that's me. We are talking about box graders did
Matthew Amster-Burton 0:16
this this fell out of the salad spinner episode. We're spinning some salad and
fell out of it. Cod salad spinners are magical. It's another
Matthew Amster-Burton 0:24
one of those one of those quantum mechanical mishaps like the fabric, multiple dimensions, the fabric of the multiverse, multiverse, the fabric of the multiverse the multiverse. Okay, it's Friday, if you haven't noticed it is yeah.
Have you read the Sea of Tranquility? No. Oh, so it's kind of about the multiverse. Okay. I started. It's Emily St. John Mandel.
Matthew Amster-Burton 0:47
Oh, okay. I should read that. You should. Does she have any other books? Just kidding.
Okay, okay. I'm gonna start us off, please. I don't think I have ever lived in a home without a box Grader My entire life. I mean, either. So my parents had a box grader when I was growing up, and it was really sharp. Like it was not. Would it have been made of steel? Like it was steel? Yeah, it was not shiny. It was not stainless. It would rust if you didn't wash it quickly enough. So you can imagine whatever that was like. That's, that's the sharp metal. Right? That's the good metal.
Matthew Amster-Burton 1:21
I know what you mean. I feel like we may have had that as well. I remember I remember like growing up our box grater not being shiny like this.
And I also remember the sound. It made a particular sound when you graded like a carrot or something against the large grading. Oh, yeah, I love that sound. That was a bit different from the sound that migrator makes now it was like a little bit of a tinny or sound interesting anyway is made of tin. I think my mom still has this box grader. I didn't stop over and ask, but it is the best box grader I've ever text or heard. And that's right. You do occasionally text Yeah, mom. Okay. Ah, when I was in my senior year of college, in my senior year of college, I lived in an apartment for the first time okay. And I remember going to IKEA, which you know was like brand new and so
Matthew Amster-Burton 2:14
I used to love going to IKEA and like the thought of the thought of going to IKEA now like for like a fun outing. Even pandemic aside like feels like oh, it's I guess it's like when they stopped letting me go into the ball pit.
Yeah, last night. We went to IKEA and stocked my little kitchen in this apartment complex on campus called Merrilees. It was like the last building to be renovated. Okay, campus it was gnarly. Anyway, I got a little box grater at IKEA. And that thing was always a piece of crap. Okay, granted, this was over 20 years ago. I have gotten rid of that one. Now I have one that is shiny metal. It does not have a brand on it. I have no idea where I got it. And I've had it for at least a decade. And I love it is it similar to the one that I have here it is very similar to the one that you have. It's got the classic four sides. It's tall, it does not have like a fancy base that catches things as you grade them. And mine I think the handle at the top is metal. It's not ergonomic in any way. My new there and it totally gets the job done.
Matthew Amster-Burton 3:25
Okay, so this is the second Amster-Burton family box grater. The first one I had written that it was a wedding present. But then when I was talking about it with wife of the show, Laurie this morning said no, it wasn't really a wedding present. It was like a wedding hand me down because around the time we got married Lori's aunt Susan was moving like across country and sent us some kitchen stuff that wasn't going to make the move was shot, which was great. And one of the things in there was a used box grater that still had many years of life in it. And we used it for maybe 10 years and it did eventually break as I recall I think like one of the one of the corner welds gave out and so that like you got like a gash down down the corner. Yeah, and then we replaced it with exactly the same model. Okay, and that's what we're looking at doesn't have a brand name. I think we got it at like city kitchens, which was a kitchen store in Seattle that that used to exist downtown. And it was probably less than $10
Have you ever replaced about Well, it sounds like I know the answer to this but so what you're saying is this box grater that I'm looking at right now is quite old.
Matthew Amster-Burton 4:34
This one is at least 15 years old. Okay,
I think mine is close to 15 years old to if not 15 years old and it's interesting because I wonder how much better one might be if I like replaced it.
Matthew Amster-Burton 4:47
I've wondered this too. And I I kind of feel like for me like I can understand like you know needing needing like a more ergonomic handle. Or if you have like certain grading EADS that the four sides of this don't fulfill but I really only use one side of it. This feels like a perfectly engineered kitchen utensil to me like it's hard to imagine under what circumstances I might need something other than this or even or even like appreciate something other than
I think also that the thing for me is that I have never had a box greater gets so dull that I noticed it was dull yeah because the other thing is you're not you know you're not grading stuff on here to like be beautiful, right? Like when I
Matthew Amster-Burton 5:28
if I mean great things to make me beautiful like if
I were going to great carrots or something if I want them to be gorgeous. I don't know. I mean like the food processor make food processor makes more of like a perfect like a man. Yeah, right. This creates a true shred that is like thinner at each end, right? Oh, true
Matthew Amster-Burton 5:51
shred would be a great day for like, like extreme sports show, right?
It would have to get really dull for me to notice that it was not an effective box grater and
Matthew Amster-Burton 6:01
I had this experience recently where I replaced my microplane, which we'd had for like 20 years probably. And I was so excited that like the new microplane was going to be noticeably sharper now. Not really.
Okay, I've been thinking about replacing mine and I haven't Yeah, okay, well, hold on. So, let's talk about this.
Matthew Amster-Burton 6:19
Are you gonna, are you gonna share with me the history of the box grader? I've not even looked at this agenda. Oh, my God. Oh, my God. I just
copied and pasted a lot of stuff into the agenda. So basically, the history of Wikipedia is pretty scant. Okay, the what we call a cheese grater. The modern cheese grater was invented in France in the 1540s by Paul sua booty. How do we know that? I don't know. Okay, but he made it out of pewter.
Matthew Amster-Burton 6:45
I feel like this guy wrote a book called I am the inventor of the cheese. Great.
I think that this guy was like, I have invented something great that people will always need but will never be excited about and I want to be known for Yeah,
Matthew Amster-Burton 6:59
I think yeah, bully a more like, bully shit.
Wow, that's good. One did Wow. That was one of your restaurant. Okay. Anyway, sorry. I'd
Matthew Amster-Burton 7:09
like to announce my retirement. So according
to Wikipedia, he made this thing in order to like make hard cheeses edible.
Matthew Amster-Burton 7:16
How hard were the cheeses? Right? Right. Okay, if they weren't why were they making them if I guess I guess like, like they were needed for preservation and that was like the primary goal of
course. And then you had to be able to like get some get get a chip off the
Unknown Speaker 7:33
old block. You needed to get some Yeah, he needed to get a true shred. Yes.
Okay. Anyway, culture magazine, however, it has a little bit more information. So they they credit both Francois booty and Isaac hunt. No explanation of who that is probably not French with inventing the cheese grater in both in the 1540s.
Matthew Amster-Burton 7:53
Okay, okay. So he's like a thing where like, like, it was just in the air. It was just in
the air. Yeah, it was like the like the bubonic plague. Okay, wait, that wasn't in the air. Right. That was by contact? I think so. Or did Bobo's like release things.
Matthew Amster-Burton 8:08
This is what we're going to talk about on our show now. Okay, yeah, I think I think they released like a miasma. Okay,
perfect. Great. Anyway, so, of course, what Bulli was in France? Again we definitely know he made it from pewter I don't know why we know this but anyway, according to culture magazine, he made it to help households stretch budgets and take advantage of excess cheese which aged rapidly
Matthew Amster-Burton 8:34
about accents. Like this and cheeses that age rapidly? I mean, like Parmesan like that stuff. You want that to age for like a couple of years. Yeah. Fast. Is it aging? Is time moving faster back then.
Matthew Amster-Burton 8:49
And did did they have Parmesan like from Italy? They've got imported into I guess. Oh, no, maybe
they had but like, Okay, first of all, like,
Matthew Amster-Burton 8:56
Are there French hard cheese? Like like extra hard cheese? What like because like cheddar is like a hard cheese? Like, what
do you call like, like a grunt like cheddar as a semi firm? Okay. I don't know if that's right. But I think of it as a semi
Matthew Amster-Burton 9:08
firm or there are there is there a French equivalent to like a Parmesan.
So there are a variety of hard cheeses in France, but I'm not actually sure if any of them are French like I'm thinking for one thing of mimolette which is a very hard cheese but yeah, that's true. I'm not sure if it's actually French or if it's Swiss or something.
Matthew Amster-Burton 9:28
Okay, well, anyway, so like, so people were it sounds like people were just like accumulating so much excess cheese and it was becoming like a storage problem. Okay, anyway, and yet despite despite having like tons of excess cheese and their cheese garage, they also needed to like stretch their budgets. Yes.
Because I'm sure they were talking about budgets in the 1540s PJ's way. Apparently, this is also according to culture magazine during the Great Depression. When food was scarce and home cooks were trying to maybe Like make dishes look more ample than they were okay. Do you think a lot of home cooks were busy doing this like sort of trying to floof their dishes to make them look more full than they were?
Matthew Amster-Burton 10:09
Yeah, I think yeah, they were there in the 20s were a type of like, make make it look more ample. Yeah.
Okay. Apparently during this time, Jeffrey Taylor of Philadelphia heard of bully's invention, and made his own improved cheese grater by sharpening the holes of a metal shower drain.
Matthew Amster-Burton 10:29
Oh my god. Okay, I have two questions. You know exactly what they're going to be. Number one. He heard of bullies invention. 380 years later? Yep. Like, oh, hey, I heard that this guy in France invented invented some kind of cheese pulverizing device. And this is gonna this is gonna save us I guess. I guess like, okay, to the I guess first of all, they didn't have the internet yet. So Jews traveled slowly. Yep. Like, they just heard about the French Revolution. Well, the you
know, they probably sent a lot of graders over like on carrier pigeons, but they just didn't make it. The Atlantic, you know, a picture like headway or or Urkel or whatever is named
Matthew Amster-Burton 11:12
Stever family matters, tried to fly. Oh, they got really heavy cheese.
Really like a sort of sort of ditzy owl?
Matthew Amster-Burton 11:21
Or carrots or golf. Fucking Urkel, man.
Know that the command that the Weasleys had who was like always flying into Windows and stuff like that. Do you remember? I
Matthew Amster-Burton 11:31
do remember. But like, if I ever remembered the name, it's been absolutely wiped by the idea by these image of Steve Urkel like with with some sort of flying like a jet pack that he invented, but also ox great, but yeah, then like eventually, like the world's first working jet pack and used it to deliver greater hours. And
he did it he attached to the, to his body with his suspenders.
Matthew Amster-Burton 11:56
Yeah. And Laura is still not impressed. Girl, is that the name of the girl? I don't know. I think so. That's what came to mind.
Okay. Anyway, yeah,
Matthew Amster-Burton 12:06
I watched every episode of that show, but not since it originally aired. Okay,
but hold on. But your other question was, was the shower drain used? Of course. Yeah, of course it was you think he just had a shower? Around?
Matthew Amster-Burton 12:19
Like, they didn't have like extra shower drains? Okay. So yeah. Okay. So, you know, just wipe a little bit of the hair off it.
We have a lot of questions and
Matthew Amster-Burton 12:29
about where this this thing came from. And I didn't find any information about the actual like box grater, you know?
Unknown Speaker 12:37
when did that start? But I did find some thoughts from wire cutter that helped me kind of understand what the advantages were of a box grater over other types.
Matthew Amster-Burton 12:48
I feel like I can kind of Intuit what they are. But I want to see if I if I'm intuiting correctly. Okay, this is brought to you by Intuit makers of QuickBooks just
so you know, this is definitely like a multi tool. This is the kitchen multi tool. This is the the kitchen multitone Yeah. So you know, you could use it for like shredding vegetables like potatoes like to make hash browns or carrots. You could also use it to grate Parmesan, you could use it to grate ginger. You could do with these things in a food processor, too, obviously,
Matthew Amster-Burton 13:17
but later than a box grader, I'm sure,
sure and the food grip. The food processor has more parts that you've got to clean. Yeah, it also like takes longer to set up.
Matthew Amster-Burton 13:28
Can I tell you something about my choirs?
Hold on, I'm not done. It also. So the box grader works well for preparing like smaller amounts of food than a food processor. Okay. And also it has, it also keeps things from getting super messy, because it contains whatever it is that you're grading.
Matthew Amster-Burton 13:48
I sort of imagined that maybe the box grater started out by only having a grater on one side just for the advantages of like, the graded items and standards like yeah, being stable. And then they realized oh, we could like put more graders on the other sides that people will never use.
I mean of course so prior to to you know micro planes becoming like all the rage. I of course used this for grading parmesan and stuff like that on the smaller side. Yeah, no, okay, let's get into this but hold on. Okay, so just just to sort of get the lay of the land in addition to box graders there there used to be rotary graders to remember a road it is
Matthew Amster-Burton 14:26
greater I use it sometimes for Parmesan.
Oh, why would you use that over this?
Matthew Amster-Burton 14:32
I don't know. It's it's because nostalgia maybe nostalgia. I mean, like we have just literally work better yet. Yeah, no, I don't have a good answer. Okay, well, so
there's rotary graders.
Matthew Amster-Burton 14:45
I'll tell you what, if you want to like great a bunch of parmesan like over a dish like like the rotary grater is better. I get that. Okay. Because you can grate it directly on and you don't have to like like grate it and then like pick it up and put it on. I can just so much work
well. Okay, so there's the rotary grater, there's a box grader and then there's a grater that we might call like a flat grader. Yeah. Which is the worst guy, which is the worst kind. And those have been around for a really long time. Right? Like prior to like,
Matthew Amster-Burton 15:13
probably like, I mean, like if you think about a shower drain, right, that was like a flat grass flat ish. Yeah. And
then there is I think of like, the fourth type might be called a rasp grater. So it's the style. It's a style that has a handle. Yeah, meant to be held aloft, not like rested on a cutting board like you might with a flap grader can
Matthew Amster-Burton 15:31
like hold it with the tip of the rasp tilted down for the cutting board. I do that sometimes.
I mean, I do think that the beauty of a rasp style grader that you can just hold in your hand like that is that you can grate cheese over something. Like Wait, you can grate cheese or like citrus zest or nutmeg. Yeah, that's true. Like you it is a pain in the ass to hold a box grater. Oh, it's just not man. No, it's It's meant to be used like on a countertop.
Matthew Amster-Burton 15:59
Do you think who is the American guy Jeffrey Taylor of Philadelphia. What other things in his house? Do you think he tried grating cheese on before a lighting on the shower train cover? Like, I'm wondering like maybe he had like a stubbly face and tried his own face. Yeah, like, sure. Maybe they probably probably like toothbrushes back then. Were really rough and stiff. Yeah,
maybe he tried like a washboard they Oh yeah, absolutely. washboard is basically a big rasp is yeah, like really big teeth. Yeah. So basically, I reach for this. I have a microplane, you know, the rasp style. I think even in a drawer somewhere I have a flat grader. I never reached for the flat grader. If I want to use something with that size holes, the box grader small grading hole was really
Matthew Amster-Burton 16:49
well now. Can I ask you now? Do you ever use this side of the box grater that has like the little I even the rasp side? Yeah, okay, it's raspy light. It's does that do anything? Yes.
So it reduces cheese to like a powder. Okay, so for instance, when I am making meatballs, when I'm making meatballs and I want the cheese to just like dissolve into the meat. I do really like using this okay, and I learned this from from Cafe Lago. That makes sense because they're in their meat ball. They use really, really finely finely ground I feel
Matthew Amster-Burton 17:32
like I maybe like had a bad experience with that side of the grater once like either involving the mafia or just like grading my knuckles and might shy away from it. That side is terrifying. Yeah, but maybe I need to like face my fears head on and like put my head on the grater and give it another try.
I think you know, the truth is I don't use that site very often. But if you are looking for or even God, you know when you go to like an old when in in the old times,
Matthew Amster-Burton 17:59
but you might you mean the 1540s or the 1920s? More like the
1860s when you would go to let's say like a fancy Italian restaurant. Okay. Yeah. So your grandfather was in town, and they would bring around a little shallow bowl of Parmesan with a spoon. Yeah. Have you ever been to a restaurant that did that? That would be like rats.
Matthew Amster-Burton 18:19
that makes sense. I'm saying like it has a nice melting. Okay, I'm
Matthew Amster-Burton 18:25
gonna try this sometime soon. Yeah, I use the box grater at least like three times a week probably tailor me to like you know, anytime. If I'm if I'm shredding some cheddar for a grilled cheese or enchiladas or like a quesadilla. Like I use it for a lunch case all the time. Or mozzarella like cheddar and mozzarella. Those see the most box grater action in my house. I do use the little hole side for Parmesan, not the rasp side too scary. So
wait, you don't use a microplane for Parmesan.
Matthew Amster-Burton 18:54
I sometimes use a microplane for Parmesan. It depends like I will get out the microplane if I just want to like like, you know, great a little bit over some pasta that I'm about to eat. But if I'm gonna use it as an ingredient, I like the microplane is too slow.
I got that's a really good point. When I make like catch away Pepe and I need a lot of grated parmesan or pecorino. I have still tended to use the microplane but my hand gets tired and I wind up like resting the tip of it on the cutting board and then it leaves this gouges the cutting board. But I think that like the pieces here don't melt as well as they would from a microplane.
Matthew Amster-Burton 19:30
Yeah, probably but I don't know if I should prepare some time.
Does anyone has anyone in the history of the world ever used the slicer? box grater?
Matthew Amster-Burton 19:41
Let's try it right now. This is our show and we can do whatever we want and I have some cheese in my house. It's excess cheese.
Great well that's what this greater is for.
Matthew i can i talk for a minute about how Bach's graders are made. Yes, please. Okay. Oh actually no wait, let's do this first I noticed that there are three
Unknown Speaker 20:08
slices so so
I think you really only need one. Okay, do we have six slices now now that you
Matthew Amster-Burton 20:17
know like, like, somehow came up with for we have like chips
of cheese. Oh, I
Matthew Amster-Burton 20:23
know there's one no,
that didn't go as badly as it could have.
Matthew Amster-Burton 20:26
But under what circumstances would you do that? I mean because they're not going to be like regular slices.
Maybe you're somebody who like, I know that you and I both like to great cheese that we are using in a grilled cheese or case study. Yeah, maybe there's some people out there who really prefer to slice cheese and this is a way to reliably thinly slice cheese. Look how thin this slice is. So that's pretty satisfying, right? Yeah, I'm
Matthew Amster-Burton 20:48
still never going to use it again. That's interesting. That's that's going to be the one time in my entire life that I use the slicey side of the box grader. It makes you think
Matthew if you go before me I'm gonna give a eulogy whether you're whether your family wants it or not.
Matthew Amster-Burton 21:03
Okay, I want I want you to put this in writing I want you at my funeral you you have to talk about the one time how you were there the one time
you use the slicing side of the box. I'll never forget it
Matthew Amster-Burton 21:15
and are you talking about that? And also about the time we went to the nude beach and how like my junk looked great.
Well you looked fantastic all of you right yeah you can you can just like take this and you couldn't you can think on it on a rainy day you looked great.
Matthew Amster-Burton 21:31
Okay, but I want you I want you up there on the what did they call the the plane the dial up on that diets? Bang in my gavel? Yeah, what you need to like draw a picture go for. Okay. Question. I know you have more to say about box graders and I will definitely be listening and not interrupting. When you grate on like the main side. Yeah. Of the of the box. Great big hole side. Do you find it satisfying to like, go up there with your hand and like knock off the strands of cheese?
I always wish I didn't have to like I don't like that. I have to get my hands dirty using a box grater. I wish there were a way to do it. Where I didn't have to get dirty.
Matthew Amster-Burton 22:12
Does that make your hand dirty? Cheese makes your hand feel kinda like little gummy. Yeah,
I think that for me, the big downside of a box grater is I hate cleaning it even though it never like snags the sponge like I think it's going to remind him the dishwasher. I wash my hand. Interesting because I just this has been through the dishwasher hundreds of times and really look at it look upon its majesty. Well, and it hasn't gotten any duller. I mean, I feel like anything that has a cutting surface. I don't want to I know
Matthew Amster-Burton 22:42
what you mean. But like I could I could prove to you right now that this is still sharp as a tack
how? Okay, so the other thing is, we probably ran our dishwasher maybe every third day. And I feel like if I just if I graded chatter on that and left the chatter on it in the dishwasher, it's gonna get fairpoint
Matthew Amster-Burton 22:58
we run our washer pretty much every day. And when whenever I have reached for the grater, and it wasn't there because it was in the dishwasher. I was like, yeah, yeah, and I don't like feeling that way.
My favorite thing is if I've just grated cheese on the big hole side, okay, the ideal scenario is that there are some dishes in the sink already one of them that is large enough to hold the box. Great. Oh, interesting. And I can put the box grader dirty side down into this vessel that already has soapy water in it. And then the cheese like gets nice and loose and then it's super easy to clean. Okay, two
Matthew Amster-Burton 23:35
things. First of all, I liked that you said that this is your favorite thing. Said secondly, I really appreciate your use of the phrase dirty side down. Like I went I'm gonna figure that out a way to work that into conversation later today.
Matthew, I met someone recently who keeps a dirty bed in their house and then a bed for sleeping.
Matthew Amster-Burton 23:59
Oh my God, and they don't want to hear about this. And then I want to tell you a story and they
only use the dirty bed for sex and like play time. And they use the clean bed only for sleeping. I mean
Matthew Amster-Burton 24:13
that sounds very bourgeoisie. I don't I'm not totally opposed.
Sex is messy. But it is not that messy. And I mean, I mean
Matthew Amster-Burton 24:24
it depends what you're doing, I
guess. I know but like put a towel down. Yeah. But like are you that worried about like sleeping?
Matthew Amster-Burton 24:32
I mean, no, I'm not. But I can't I can't decide whether I like this idea or not like something there's something about it like it just seems like it might be fun to have like the special special fun bed but happy fun bed. But but it's also nice to make the regular bed that happy fun bad. I mean, like the good news is like I'm never gonna have to figure this out because like we certainly don't EVER revert other.
Okay, all right, well, moving right along.
Matthew Amster-Burton 24:57
Okay, wait, so I have to tell Do you have similar stories? So I was swapping like, roommate like funny roommate stories with with friends at work? I think it was Kathleen like shout out to my coworker Kathleen I think was the person who told this story if we have someone else I apologize for sliding you absolutely blew everyone else's story out of the water So Kathleen had a roommate who didn't like getting into bed were when they had been like you know sleeping like sweat Aliy and like then getting back into bed with their own cold sweat right sure. But did was lazy like didn't want to like have to be doing like washing their bedding all the time. So the solution they came up with was to put like 12 flat sheets on their bed and have like designated sections like between these two sheets is like medium clean and between these two is like just showered can't get into like you know zone four unless I've just showered and then like this is like like zone one over here is like the real gnarly one and
hold on wait they just keep removing fitted if they put like 12 on wouldn't they just keep removing them as you
Matthew Amster-Burton 26:07
think so but it sounded like they had they kept them all on for a while and just knew like which between which pairs of sheets work was like which level of filth wait but really doesn't it doesn't make any sense go ahead so they like they come back from working out and no like last time I came back from work we did they
did they keep extra flat sheets on to or just fitted i because it fitted I meant flat. Oh sorry, said I think you said fit.
Matthew Amster-Burton 26:35
Okay, that would be wild.
Oh my god. flat sheets did formed
Matthew Amster-Burton 26:41
like a series of pockets and somewhere like dirty pockets and somewhere clean pockets. And they knew which pocket to climb into if they had just showered or just got back from the gym or any were in between.
I mean, humans are endlessly genius. And terrifying, terrifying.
Matthew Amster-Burton 26:57
And like it was so good. Like, oh, I just just like having having heard this story. You know, just I just like felt good.
I guess I'm just like a filthy pig because I don't care at all. No, no, hold on. I do sweat a lot at night and so does my spouse. I think it's a side effect of our antidepressants. Sure. Anyway, I do sweat a lot at night and I just we change our sheets like once a week. So I'm just sleeping in my own filth for like six of the seven nights. Yeah,
Matthew Amster-Burton 27:29
yeah, same same here and showers are for Yeah, I
don't care. Okay, great. Perfect. So just just setting that up. Okay, wait, but now let's finally talk about how box graders are made. Yes, please. I'm gonna I'm gonna try to condense this. Okay, so these holes that are on all around in the multiverse, okay, you know, the holes on all the sides of the grater are made in one of three ways either stamping etching, or a combination of the two. Okay, all right. I think I might know what this means. So in stamping the holes are like mechanically punched out of a metal sheet steel sheet. Okay, that's what we're looking at here. Okay, that seems to be and the side of the hole that protrudes catches the food and forces it against the edge to shear it apart. Yeah, that's what we're looking at right there. Okay,
Matthew Amster-Burton 28:17
it's, there's really a lot of a lot of shearing going on.
Etching uses a chemical process to corrode thinner, more flexible, just thinking out loud, creating very sharp fine teeth that catch and shave off pieces of food. So
Matthew Amster-Burton 28:31
that's if you buy like you can buy a microplane brand box grater and it's good. That's That's what microplane is all about etching, I think
Oh, okay. So etched teeth might be preferable to stamped holes because they're sharper, but they're also like trade off with trade offs with this, apparently, I think they probably are less durable. Yes. And apparently the more rigid surfaces of stamped sheets, produce like more uniform shreds.
Matthew Amster-Burton 29:01
Okay, that makes sense. Yeah. And uniform spreads are really important to me, like,
more important to me, too. So.
Matthew Amster-Burton 29:09
So how do they fold it into a box? I don't know. Okay, great. Okay, I have a really strong person.
So we we have over the years accumulated like, some camping gear. I've seen some of it. Yeah. And last year, I decided to finally I have like people who are really good at camping and who are like who just like me make it look really easy and enjoyable. Again, they have like dedicated like a debt like dedicated kitchen gear, right? Yeah, like like my friends. The rehabs have basically a metal I mean a plastic tub, like a plastic storage bin. That is their camping kitchen basically, and it has like spoons and all the stuff that's dedicated to that. And in the past, I've been like why would I spend money to have like two bucks graders? Why would I do this? Last summer I finally went out and like fully equipped our camp kitchen. So now we have like a measuring cup. We have a box grader we have like tongs all this stuff dedicated in the camping kitchen
Matthew Amster-Burton 30:09
anyway, you're gonna get another bed next I can feel it. But anyway,
when I went to Fred Meyer to purchase these these tools, I wound up getting a box grader that is full size, which because I hate using small box graders I don't understand the point. So I went ahead and got a full size box grader, but I got one that had like a base on the box or like a triangular one with a ball. I don't unders I hate that.
Matthew Amster-Burton 30:34
It's not the same shape as a tiller muck baby love like this grader is perfectly sized. Tiller muck baby love Oh, perfect shape.
I wouldn't be able to get my hand all the way. Yeah, the inside of it. If you've got like a pyramid shaped one. You can't do that.
Matthew Amster-Burton 30:50
Yeah, if you've got a pyramid shaped one, like get out. Yeah.
Anyway, the one that I bought like a lot of box graders today come with a base. That's like a yeah, that fits on it that catches the food. Sometimes it even has measurements on it.
Matthew Amster-Burton 31:05
Oh, yeah. I've seen that. That has so it has like a plastic side. Yeah, yeah. Okay. Yeah.
Anyway, I bought one that that has that and did it change your life is fine. Okay, I enjoyed it for camping because actually, I could, it actually had like a full on, like, little Tupperware, like there's like a little like a little rectangular vessel that sits up inside the box with a lid. So you can actually grate directly into that vessel if you take it off and put it on the bottom. Okay. And I did like that, especially for camping when like, it's really useful to have a couple like Tupperware errs that are easily stashed away. Yeah,
Matthew Amster-Burton 31:43
I gotta say like, I have come around a lot on the idea of like having more than one of something.
Yeah. So my box grater at home does not have a cap on the bottom or anything like that. And I really don't care. But I think it's great that a lot of them come with it. These
Matthew Amster-Burton 31:57
I think I think it's great
to great. Okay,
Matthew Amster-Burton 32:00
I'm still not gonna go out and get one.
Matthew, are there any things that you grate on yours that we haven't discussed?
Matthew Amster-Burton 32:06
I don't think so. It's really, really three things as far as I can think of cheese carrots for making coleslaw and potatoes for making hashbrowns. And that's about it. Yep, for me, it's a Kate I will I will great onions for there's this one recipe that I think we've talked about on the show before that's like a like a. Yeah, I know. Because Because Abby asked me for the link so it must have been we must talk about it on the show for like a pork or chicken. Don't worry. This guy's made with a sauce that has a lot of grated onion in it. I will grade that on the box grade are very satisfying. Like if I'm
making marinade for bulgogi or something. Yeah, I would great the Asian parent. Yes, I
Matthew Amster-Burton 32:44
will do that. Yeah, on that like a small hole side.
I use mine for cheddar and mozzarella. Yeah. I also used for Jack as well. In the summer. One of my favorite like, kind of go to potluck things is to bring like ranch dip. Just you know Hidden Valley Ranch powder, one packet to a pint of sour cream, and then great cucumber into that.
Matthew Amster-Burton 33:12
Oh, that sounds like even though I don't like that sort of thing that does sound appealing on like a hot day.
Yeah, it's delicious. And again, like that's something that you could like take on a camping trip. Yeah. Anyway, and a box grader is great for that. In fact, my friend Natalie who introduced me to the concept of grading cucumber into a ranch dip like that. She wants like showed up at Lake Washington one afternoon when we met up there with our young children and she had brought like a cucumber and a box grader thing of Daisy sour cream and like anyway, and you
Matthew Amster-Burton 33:42
look around and like everybody on all of their picnic blanket had bottoms, put box grades, they were all grading different things. It was just a beautiful Tableau and it was he did an impressionist painting.
I did I did. It was called like Sunday lunch at Lake Washington. I'm going
Matthew Amster-Burton 33:56
to be bidding on it this week at Sotheby's.
Wait, but I'm not done. Okay. And then of course, zucchini for zucchini bread.
Matthew Amster-Burton 34:04
Okay, that makes sense. I've never made zucchini bread, but I understand that it includes grated zucchini. Yep. If you're making carrot cake do you use would you use a box grater? I've never made carrot cake either, but I've eaten it. Yeah, yeah, I have a question. Have you ever graded your finger or knuckle on a box grater and isn't that the best and you can't wait to do it again.
I love grading my finger on any kind of grader. Yeah, I mean box graders are obviously
Matthew Amster-Burton 34:28
I do think like the classic stamp box grater is the worst one to get your finger on because it will take like a chunk out that will bleed forever. And like the blood will get into the food and like not only did you ruin your finger you were into your food also
why do fingers and toes have to bleed so much? I mean toes will just you could bleed out of your toe I
Matthew Amster-Burton 34:47
think I think it's because like they have to like do so much and so they just need like a steady steady flow of oxygen and nutrients.
Yeah. I know that you put here on the agenda. Have you ever graded butter and this is something I'm heard about people doing in like, biscuit recipes or pie dough? It's definitely a thing I've heard of. I've not tried it. Yeah,
Matthew Amster-Burton 35:08
I mean it looks it looks appealing to like, like, like frozen butter. Right? Yep. Like like the idea of like having a little grated shreds of butter and like having them like get smooshed into into like a pie crust. Sounds good. Maybe someday.
All right. Well,
Matthew Amster-Burton 35:24
do we have anything else to say about box graders? You can you can see here that like one corner is like where it was where it was, like, fuse together? Yes, right here. I think that's probably where our old one came apart.
I gotta say, I think this is like one of the unsung heroes of the kitchen. I
Matthew Amster-Burton 35:40
think so too.
Like, it's just it's cheap. You could achieve all your grading needs with it. You don't need a microplane. It's nice, but you don't need it.
Matthew Amster-Burton 35:50
A microplane is good for grading ginger. And I don't know if any of the sides of this are really good for that. But there are also other ginger graders.
I have rasped nutmeg, okay. Yeah, I know.
Matthew Amster-Burton 36:03
I've also rasped nutmeg. There's a lot of consonants in that phrase.
Anyway, I like it. I think this is a real like democratic kitchen tool. Yeah, I
Matthew Amster-Burton 36:13
think I think so to All hail the humble box grater. Now it's getting knighted. It is today. Okay, all right. Let's move on to segments including our new segment where we night and inanimate object every week.
Okay. All right. This week spilled mail comes from listeners Sky.
Sky says First off, I'd like to say that my boys 12 and seven are busy. Their names are big fans of the show. Don't worry, I only let them listen to the appropriate episodes. The NSF J tag was very helpful while at last show are you gonna
Matthew Amster-Burton 36:57
let them do this this episode where we talked about whether or not you should maintain a fuck bed?
Oh, listener sky. Let's mark this one NSF J Okay. Okay, Abby, Abby. I think we should also mark the previous one. NSF.
Matthew Amster-Burton 37:12
I don't remember the previous one that was so long.
Okay. All right. So back to listeners guys email. A few things. Number one, Molly once talked about how she wishes the rainbow nerds came separated by color probably on the movie theater candy episode. Well, wish granted. There's a new candy called nerds twist and mix that is a complete nerds twist and mix. That is a container with organisers like a school lunch.
Matthew Amster-Burton 37:36
Have you read it? You said it like the queen. Nerds twist and mix. All right.
A container with organizers like a school lunch tray that keeps the nerds separated by color.
Matthew Amster-Burton 37:50
Finally, finally we could separate the nerds by color
I am so excited about this you know listeners guy just yesterday. My family was having a little like movie afternoon. And we got to we each got to pick out candy at Safeway. And June picked out like the nerds gummy clusters. Oh yeah, that is a really good yeah, it's I think that's
Matthew Amster-Burton 38:14
a fantastic it has like crunched or like those like
the bullets. It's got a soft gummy interior
Matthew Amster-Burton 38:21
the berry like the raspberry like like ah the Haribo are very yes yes, yes,
but it but it's covered with nerds. Yeah, it's so good. Yeah. Okay, the second part of listeners guys email, you two have got to stop recommending books to read in now. But wow, I have a to be read that will never be finished. And you to consistently add fantastic recommendations to it. Do you use any book tracking apps like good reads story graph, etc? Thanks, Sky cash and Kenyan.
Matthew Amster-Burton 38:51
Okay. That's a great question. First of all, yes, we will definitely stop recommending books, we're off books. I don't use any of those things. And I just kind of forget which books I've read. And I think I just need to be okay with that.
I used to just forget what books I had read and it never bothered me and then I started reading a lot. I've read a lot more in the past five years than I think at any other point in my life. So I started tracking it just in Evernote yeah because I I kind of didn't want to use I don't like Goodreads because I don't like reading all the other people's reviews Oh yeah. It upsets me
Matthew Amster-Burton 39:30
extra I don't like to go on Goodreads because I might accidentally look up one of my own books see mean things that people said about
it? Oh, I can hardly if I have to link to any of my books for any reason I do it like with my eyes like squinted shut because reading a stumbling upon a bad review which has an almost magnetic appeal to an awful shirt.
Matthew Amster-Burton 39:50
Devastating. They don't have reviews on bookshop.org Do they?
You know they used to or at least on some books, they have a little like kind of almost like a chart on the side gets like rave positive or pan rant or something anyway, nevermind. Whatever. Okay, but listeners guy, I keep track of it in Evernote. It's kind of a very, like, low fi way of doing it. I have to remember to go in and write the book down. Sure. Okay. Yeah, it works for me and keeps me from being dependent on like any outside website that might have reviews.
Matthew Amster-Burton 40:26
Yeah. And I like I there definitely have been moments where I'm like, and what was that book and had trouble finding it, but like, I'm all that I'm not going to change now. Yeah,
yeah, I have tried using my so our library's website has like, a shelf where you can Yeah, like mark things as read or whatever. But that's not a really reliable thing for me, because number one, not everything I read comes from the library. And number two, I don't always finish books. Yeah. And I like to I also like to keep a record of whether I finished them or not sure. Anyway. All right. Well, hey, what's your sky? You are going to be thrilled with this week's now but wow.
It's a book. Yes. I'm so sorry listeners guy, but this one is really good. I'm actually in the middle of reading it right now. And I couldn't resist. So the world does not need me to recommend another Louise Ehrenreich book to anyone, right. Next time, we all know about the brilliance of her work. However, this book is just so good. And I'm loving it and I grabbed it on a whim off the peak picks shelf. It's the sentence. It's I'm familiar with this, but haven't read it. It's her latest book. And I have to say part of what grabbed me about it is it's kind of like a weird ghost story.
Unknown Speaker 41:48
There's a ghost like the boneless hands. Yeah,
there's a ghost that is haunting a bookstore. The protagonist is a native woman named Tookie spelled like cookie but with a T. And Tookie is a really like colorful and super quirky. Narrator Okay, I like when the book starts, she is using drugs heavily and you kind of have to just figure that out from like what she's telling you. And she commits a crime that is comical in its bizarreness. Okay, she's very funny. And then the book slowly she goes to prison, she comes out of prison, that part of the book is very short. And then the kind of ghost story begins because she works in a bookstore. And the best part is that so Louise Erdrich owns a bookstore in Minnesota. Most authors do these days. Yes. But anyway, she is a minor character in her own book. Tookie works in a bookstore that is owned by a woman named Louise, who is described as looking just like, anyway, I'm really loving it not just because it's a great story, but because it just makes me realize I don't read very many books where the protagonist is a Native American. Sure. And I'm really loving how, you know, I really love it when I come upon a show, you know, this is different, but when I come upon a show where a character is queer, but that's not the most important thing about that. Yeah. Right. And that is the of course, I think we can probably if you've read Louise Erdrich, you know, this about her characters, this is a huge part of their lives, and yet, they get to be whole people too. And so anyway, I just, I'm feeling really glad that I picked up this book. It's a fantastic story. And it feels really fun to be inside this character's brain. Okay, that's the sentence by Louise eldritch. Our producer is Abby circuito. Ella, and you can rate and review us wherever you get your podcasts.
Matthew Amster-Burton 43:43
Unless, if someone's just like, like playing this podcast, like too loud on their phone on the bus. Like, you can't like review us on the bus. Can you? What are you talking? I was, it was a desperate attempt to like, you know, just work like one last little little bit of fun into the show. We can
still try. We've got the closing joke. Okay. Okay. Well, so you can you can chat with other spilled milk listeners, maybe suggest some good jokes for us at reddit.com/are/everything spilled milk.
Matthew Amster-Burton 44:12
And until next time, thank you for listening to spilled milk. It's been How long have we been doing this? Like 12 years 12 and a half years and we're still maintaining separate beds. Except Except when we go on vacation.
And then sometimes we do share a bed. All right. Okay, I'm Molly, and
I'm Hold on. I'm crunching that's fine.