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Well, sometimes flashy, showy gifts aren't the way to go--sometimes you want to go the more "useful gift" route.


u/PenelopePew asked:

What's the best "I didn't know I needed that" gift you've received?

Here were some of the answers.

Cut The Commute

A door stopper on the end of a telescopic stick. Truly moving around in a wheel chair has been revolutionized for my mother. No need for anyone to hold the door

Redland_Station

Tick Shower Tock

A clock for the bathroom. Wasn't intended for the bathroom was just a cute small clock but it matched my bathroom decor so it went there. It helped massively with time management specially for morning showers when I had no idea how long my showers were and used to end up rushing to get ready for work.

shakakhannn

Like Heaven On A Cloud

A good set of bath towels. My grandmother gave me a set as a graduation gift. I knew how expensive good towels and I knew she really had to save up for them, so I was thankful, but the same kind of thankful you are when grandpa gives you his dentures for Christmas.

I'll be damned if I dont use those towels every day 7 years later (though I do need a new set at this point). They are very easily the most used gift I have ever been given.

eskamobob1

Cat Control

My nephew bought my wife a cheap plastic duck call. I have no idea why my nephew thought this a perfect gift, but he was 100% correct.

It is now known as the "cat whistle" in our house because the cats stop whatever naughty thing they were doing immediately upon hearing it.

UnknownHanson

2460-Done

Two tickets to Les Miserables. I had absolutely no desire to see the show although my (now ex-) wife had been seriously hinting about it. When I opened the envelope on Christmas morning I was pretty pissed. She basically gifted herself.

I was still pissed when I was dragged to the theater. The performance began...and I was in tears after ten minutes. It was just an incredible live performance and before we left I would buy the CD and listen to it for hours.

somewhereinks

To Be Used

My husbands aunt buys the most practical gifts you could think of! Every year for Christmas I'm excited for her gifts like she bought some insulated bags last year. The year before she got me a nice nail care set and the Rock file is perfect to use on my baby's nails! I never think of the things she buys but every thing she buys is super useful!

wheaties201

New Hobbies

My boss bought me a fountain pen with my name on it as a Teachers' Day gift. It's not even a quality one but it's actually my first fountain pen at the age of 20. I never knew I would be this obsessed, now I'm going to get myself a Lamy Safari and then even more. Prost, to expensive hobbies we've all not been able to resist!

nowatrueredhead

B-ewe-ts

My husband let me pick out this gift but my winter boots. They're probably ugly to some but they're lined with sheep's wool and they're so comfortable to wear and warm! I never found such comfortable boots and I wear them almost daily.

coffeeandjesus1986

My Best Friend

A kitten, from a total stranger. Yes, really.

I wouldn't describe myself as much of a 'cat person', per se, and I wasn't even sure what to do with it at first.

A few years down the line, and it's basically my best friend. A constant companion whenever I'm @ home. And to think I preferred dogs once, yeesh!

:)

LSDeann

A Little Bit Extra Support

Insoles for my shoes. Hands down. I had never used insoles before, forgot they were even a thing to be honest. When i received them as a gift from my Mom and put them in my shoes was incredible. They make the world of a difference and helped A LOT with my constant foot pain from my insanely arched feet. Greatest gift ever.

InkingMyPainAway

Image by Anemone123 from Pixabay

Life is hard. It's a miracle to make it through with some semblance of sanity. We are all plagued by grief and trauma. More and more people of all backgrounds are opening up about personal trauma and its origins. Finally! For far too long we've been too silent on this topic. And with so many people unable to afford mental health care, the outcomes can be damaging.

All of our childhoods have ups and downs and memories that can play out like nightmares. We carry that, or it follows us and the first step in recovery is talking about it. So who feels strong enough to speak?

Redditor u/nthn_thms wanted to see who was willing to share about things they'd probably rather forget, by asking:

What's the most traumatizing thing you experienced as a child?
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Image by klimkin from Pixabay

Being single can be fun. In fact, in this time of COVID, being single can save lives. But the heart is a fickle creature.

And being alone can really suck in times of turmoil. None of us are perfect and it feels like that's all anyone is looking for... perfect.

Now that doesn't mean that all of us are making it difficult to partner up. Sure, some people are too picky and mean-spirited, but some of the rest of us are crazy and too much to handle. So one has to be sure.

The truth is, being single is confusing, no matter how much we try to match. So let's try to understand...

Redditor u/Mcxyn wanted to discuss some truths about love and our own issues, by asking:

Why are you single?
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Tiard Schulz/Unsplash

Whether you're an at home parent, a college student just leaving the nest, or a Food Network junkie, there are a few basic tips that everyone should know.

Chef's gave us some of their top tips for amateurs and beginner at home cooks that will really make a difference. They are trained professionals with years of experience in the kitchen, so they definitely know what we're all missing.

If you're looking to improve some of your cooking skills and techniques, but you're still learning how to boil water correctly, this list is for you.

Redditor BigBadWolf44 wanted in on the secrets and asked:

"Chefs of Reddit, what's one rule of cooking amateurs need to know?"

Let's learn from the masters!


What a common mistake!

"A lot of the time when people add salt to a dish because they think it tastes flat, what it really needs is an acid like lemon juice or vinegar."

- Vexvertigo

"Instructions unclear I drugged my dinner party guests and now they're high on acid."

- itsyoboi_human

"Yes! Or tomatoes. They're pretty acidic too and go with so many things. Our dinners are so much better once the garden tomatoes are ripe. Or if a dish is too acidic, oil/butter or a little sugar can help add balance to it."

- darkhorse85

"Like tomato and eggs. Every Chinese mom makes those slightly differently and I haven't had a tomato egg dish I didn't like yet."

- random314

"There's a book called 'Salt Fat Acid Heat' that comes highly recommended to amateur cooks."

- Osolemia

"Reading even just the first chapter about salt made a lot of food I cooked immediately better, because I finally understood salt wasn't just that thing that sat on the dinner table that you applied after the meal was cooked."

- VaultBoy42

"Salt is important for sweets. A batch of cookies without that little hint of salt doesn't taste quite right."

- Osolemia

Unfortunately, this tip might not be accessible to everyone. Many people who contracted COVID can no longer use their sense of smell the way they used to.

"Have a friend that lost his smell from COVID, and now he only recognizes if food is salty, sweet, sour or bitter."

- AlphaLaufert99

"Just wait until he gets his sense of smell back and a ton of foods smell like ammonia or literal garbage now. Yeah, that's fun... It's been 7 months for f*cks sake just let me enjoy peanut butter again!!!!!!!!!"

- MirzaAbdullahKhan

You can't take back what you've already put in.

"You can always add, but you cannot take away."

- El_Duende666

"I find people's problems usually are they're too scared to add rather than they add too much."

- FreeReflection25

"I see you also grew up white in the mid-west."

- Snatch_Pastry

Safety first!

"Not really a cooking tip, but a law of the kitchen: A falling knife has no handle."

- wooddog

"I'm always so proud of my reflexes for not kicking in when I fumble a knife."

"If I drop anything else, my stupid hands are all over themselves trying to catch it (and often failing). But with a knife the hardwired automatic reaction is jump back immediately. Fingers out of the way, feet out of the way, everything out of the way. Good lookin out, cerebellum!"

- sonyka

"Speaking of KICKING in. On first full time cooking job I had a knife spin and fall off the counter. My (stupid) reflex was to put my foot under it like a damn hacky sack to keep it from hitting the ground. Went through the shoe, somehow between my toes, into the sole somehow without cutting me. Lessons learned: (1) let it fall; (2) never set a knife down close to the edge or with the handle sticking out; (3) hacky sack is not nearly as cool as it could be."

- AdjNounNumbers

"Similarly, NEVER put out a grease or oil fire with water. Smother with a lid or dump baking soda in there (do not use flour, as it can combust in the air making things worse)."

- Metallic_Substance

How else will you know it tastes good?

"Taste the food."

- OAKRAIDER64

"Also don't be afraid to poke and prod at it. I feel like people think the process is sacred and you can't shape/flip/feel/touch things while you cook them. The more you are hands on, the more control you have."

"No, this does not include situations where you are trying to sear something. Ever try flipping a chicken thigh early? That's how you rip a chunk out of it and leave it glued to the pan until it's burnt."

- Kryzm

Here's one just for laughs.

"When you grab a pair of tongs, click them a few times to make sure they are tongs."

- Kolshdaddy

"People really overlook this one. You've gotta tong the tongs a minimum of 3 times to make sure they tong, or else it can ruin the whole dish."

- BigTimeBobbyB

If you're looking to get into cooking or to improve you technique, pay attention to these few tips.

Salt generously, add an acid to brighten things up, and don't forget to taste your food!

If all else fails, you can always order take out.

Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

Victoria_Borodinova/Pixaba

As part of the learning process, children often do embarrassing things before they learn a little more about the world and all the different implications therein. While the inappropriate moment is usually minor and ends in laugher some instances are truly mortifying.

One such instance involved a little sister who was around 6 at the time. It was the 90s and at the height of the youth-focused PSAs (think the frying egg representing your brain). One type was a safety PSA about stranger danger. The speaker would remind the children that if a stranger tried to take you anywhere to yell “Stop, you're not my mommy/daddy" to raise the alarm.

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