The one best kitchen tool you absolutely must have and one of the worst companies I have ever dealt with

The eggs were about to expire, the bananas were turning a wicked shade of brown, and the lemons were packing to go to the old folk's home.

So I did what anyone would do. I baked a light banana walnut bread, an olive oil lemon loaf, and little coconut cakes. I hadn't baked like that in ages. And I had a thoroughly good time of it. That is, except for my back. Which ached with hours and hours of standing on my hard kitchen floor.

But it didn't have to be. Because there is one kitchen tool every cook should have, but few home cooks think to own.

Chef's clogs
For anyone who cooks (or bakes) for any length of time, chef's clogs can make the difference between ease and misery. The first chef's clogs I ever tried were Crocs. Endorsed by Mario Batali (who, by the way, ironically wrote a blog post entitled Why I Hate Food Bloggers), the Crocs got pretty high marks for comfort but very low marks for warmth (they made my normally cool feet so uncomfortably warm I had to throw them away).

Now, when I planned the post on the Crocs, for balance, I also wanted to review chef's clogs. So, way back in May, I contacted Chef Revival and requested a pair of clogs for review.

I had written an article for a publication about entirely different products from Chef Revival a while back and the person (an administrative assistant) I dealt with provided review items in a matter of days. The person (an executive vice president) I dealt with for this request took loosely TWO MONTHS and more email messages that I exchange with my family. My frustration level, to say the least, was insanely high.

The clogs
The upper is cowhide leather, which means they breathe. The inner sole is moisture-resistant alder. The outer sole is a non-skid tread. All of which make these quite sturdy and quite comfortable.

My quandary
So here's the scoop. On one hand, the clogs are so great that I absolutely want to recommend them. But, on the other hand, dealing with this company was such a horrendous nightmare (if they are this horrible when they are trying to get coverage, a situation where companies are typically tripping over themselves, I can't imagine how dreadful their customer service might be), that I would not recommend them to my worst enemy.

What to do?

Hammacher Schlemmer & Company to the rescue
So I searched the Internet for another source of these great clogs. And I found one: This amazing, landmark store in New York that not has the chef's clogs ($109.95), but has all sorts of other interesting goodies.

This whole episode took an insane number of hours and caused an absurd amount of frustration. So here's hoping I've saved your back from pain and your day from grief.

And it's a shame about that other company. There are other items I would like to write about. Ah well. Now for a nice piece of lemon loaf.