You’d think that in 2013 we’d have perfected the art of being able to spot false advertising, consider that with dozens of Internet sites reviewing everything from spray foam insulation to eatable candy underware for men, you’d expect that people would weed out these cockamamie gadgets.
Occasionally we’ll walk into a store, see a pretty box and think, “Hey, that looks neat, let me drop 40$ on it.” or like Fry said in Futurama:
At a certain point though, once you’ve taken this item home and left it in its box long enough, you’re no longer able to return it, not even for a store credit and this sucks in several different ways, one of which is that you’re now 40$ short. Another is that the box is huge and takes up a lot of premium space in your tiny tiny house because instead of spending that extra money on a larger home you’ve decided to fill your smaller one with useless gadgets.
This is one of them and it’s called the Hamilton Beach Half Pint Soft Serve Ice Cream Maker. Other than the obvious Guinness World Record for the longest kitchen appliance name in the world, it also features a pretty box. On this box there is a picture of a small child holding one of the bowls. Notice how she is smiling? I can certify without much chance of being wrong that she is smiling because she did not, in fact make that ice cream herself.
On the box it says: “Make your own ice cream in 6-12 minutes.” It’s followed by an * which should’ve tipped me off.
You CAN make your own ice cream in 6-12 minutes, however, factoring in the rest of the total time required to actually produce a cup of ice cream, this time grows to several hours by which you’ll either have decided to go for another snack or simply given up, replaced the items in the box and called it a day.
Here’s what happens, first, when you want to make your ice cream, the two half-pint cups that come with the unit MUST be frozen. This requires several hours in the freezer.
Then once your cups are nice and frozen you’re supposed to mix one of their recipes. The problem with the recipes is that they’re designed for 720ml portions, one of their two cups is actually 360ml which forces you to make two batches, or take out your calculator and make a single batch by using calculous and several other mathematical equations as complex as the plot in Lost.
You then take this concoction and pour it into your frozen cup, place the lid on it with the motorized stirring apparatus inside, plug in the amazingly short power cord and turn the unit on which causes the lid to immediately jump up and eject your mixture on the kitchen counter. You try again this time holding the lid in place at least until the mixture becomes friable, then you sit and watch it spin…
Half an hour later it looks like this:
You take the mixture out of the cup and realize it’s way too liquid to be called cream, then you look at the box and of course it says SOFT serve ice-cream. DAMN! A moment later you pat yourself on the back for reading the manual which states that you can make harder ice cream by simply freezing the whole thing after you’ve stirred it for the aforementioned 6-12 minutes. A process which requires several more hours of preparation.
By then we all looked at one another, opened the freezer and took out our pre-made commercially available gallon pail of actual ice cream which was available to eat right away.
So there you have it. Another useless gadget that much like the juicer, dehydrator and my personal favorite, the rotary popcorn maker, will take up storage space in your tiny, tiny house.
Scores 4/10 for making promises it can only keep by using small character print, loopholes and other shenanigans. Also, the power cord is too short, you’d expect for 40$ to have at least five or six feet of it. Nope. They’ll give you an eight inch power cord which requires one of these: