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Instant Noodles: Gear and Gadgets Galore

Bright Noodle Bowl

I once heard that you eat first with your eyes. Sounds rather messy to me if you’re a literalist; but otherwise it seems it’s true. (Me, I eat first with my nose. Even after years in chem labs I can still enjoy the aromas of fine vittles being prepared.) One of the small challenges with instant noodles is they’re not often visually appealing. (someday I’ll tell you the difference between challenges and opportunities, and how I got a beating over that one day.)

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I don’t mean to say instant noodles and broth look bad. Heck, if they do, then don’t eat them! They’re way too cheap to put up with if they’re ugly. The old dating adage of “Go ugly early” doesn’t apply here. (You’ve been warned, Tom!) Still, they’re often bland looking concoctions.

Nice Bowl and SticksSo fix that! For $5-10 you can have a nice set of tableware for noodles that will last a lifetime with some care. For $25 you can go high on the hog and include a nice water kettle; more on those later. Remember, just drop some hints before your birthday, to either one of your friends, or let your aunt Gertrude know you’d like some nice stuff for Christmas. Only don’t let her pick it out, for Heaven’s sake; give her a picture! Or the whole catalog, with the right items circled, flagged and dog-eared. Don’t leave life-changing choices like this to just anybody! Sheesh.

There, you got me digressing again. You’d think I was some bad guy in a movie or something. Hey! Quit that out, I’m writing a breakthrough article here! Gotta concentrate…

You really only need a few items to bring visual interest to your snack of instant noodles. A few sets of chopsticks (remember, they come in pairs, no left-handed ones; sorry) you can mix-and-match with a small collection of heat-proof bowls. Toss away those Cool-Whip bowls, or save them for Thanksgiving dinner, or something. You need Real Bowls for great instant noodles.

Be sure the bowls can take boiling water handily. Usually, if they’re dishwasher safe they’ll do fine. Fired ceramic or stoneware are great; porcelain’s probably too expensive, but if you’ve got it, flaunt it. Nothing else you’ve tried has impressed your cat at mealtime, maybe this will be your big break. Knock yourself out. (That’ll teach you to mess with distract me!)

Green Bowl Brown Sticks

If you’re going to have somebody over to share your noodle dinner, first remember to fix two bowls of the stuff, they’re not that expensive. You might consider using some nice bamboo or wooden roll-up mats or something. You can often find these things on sale at your friendly neighborhood Asian trinkets or food store, often at very attractive prices. While you’re at it, place a couple of chopstick rests on the table, and some of those really cool Chinese soup spoons with rests.

If you want to serve tea with the meal, that’s easy too. Get a set, two or four, of those nice, little ceramic teacups that you see in all the Asian restaurants. You want to get goods one for cheap? Check out the local restaurant supply houses, I bet you can find some there. I bet you already have a small teapot for steeping the beverage, or you can just use your electric water kettle.

I can’t think of a better way to impress a date for $30 bucks or less, and still have reuseable stuff left over after she’s cleaned up and gone home…

Enjoy the (Pumped Up Table Noodles) Heat!

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