There comes a time in every girl’s life when she wants to throw a massive Thanksgiving dinner party.

Or play Iron Chef. Or Top Chef.

Or cook really excellent deep-dish pizza and pull it out of the oven with a wooden pizza paddle.

(You know, in her 30-room villa big enough for a brick pizza oven.)

But where to find a coffee urn that will brew 101 cups at once so your caffeine-addicted family won’t have to fight among themselves for the Kona? A dramatic knife sheath worthy of the Iron Chef? An honest-to-goodness pizza paddle? For years, Bag Lady and Shopping Siren have pined for such cooking contraptions, the kind too-long denied us mere mortals (a.k.a. non-restaurant owners).

Until C. Caprara Food Service Equipment in Winthrop.

Located on Route 202, Caprara occupies an unassuming building across the street from D R Struck Landscaping Nursery and directly behind a flooring company. It can be a little hard to find — we’d driven so far through town that we were talking about turning around when we finally spotted the C. Caprara sign — and once there it looks a little is-this-the-right-place industrial. But it’s well-worth the brief game of hide-and-seek.

*Fair warning* Pass through those doors and you will want to host dinner, brunch, something. That’s cool, as long as you invite us. (Wahoo! Lives of the party! You won’t regret it.)

• American Metal Craft 16- by 17-inch wooden pizza paddle, $31.84
So fun and funky, we don’t care if you use this in your traditional electric oven just for laughs.

• Sizzle platter, $10.72
Cast-iron skillet-like platter like the ones restaurants use to serve sizzling hot fajitas. Guaranteed to make any dinner a hit. Guests will swoon at the unexpected restaurant-style feast. (Plumes of hissing smoke = awe.) And you can take all the credit. Just the kind of kitchen gadget we like.

• 101-cup coffee urn, $129
Need more caffeine than a little Mr. Coffee can provide? Try a restaurant-grade coffee urn. No more Thanksgiving-day fights between Uncle Rodney and Aunt Elizabeth! Well. At least not over the last cup of coffee.

• 7-piece Dexter Russell knife set in black nylon carry-all w/strap, $155
This gave Bag Lady a total “Top Chef” moment, having always watched the show and wondered, “Where do people buy those?” Here. They buy them here.

• Stainless steel mixing bowl, 13 qt., $10.40
One of those kitchen staples, and it comes in various sizes. Pretty brushed metal mixing bowls were a few dollars more. Gives new meaning to the phrase “mix and match.”

• Pizza trays, 12-inch for $4.72 and 16-inch deep-dish style for $9.62
Set your frozen pizza on the tray. Put the tray in the oven. Go watch TV. Remember to pop back into the room 20 minutes later. Really, there’s not much more to it than that. You could practically open your own pizza joint!
Especially if you own:

• An insulated red pizza delivery bag, $36
Truly! A snazzy name and a health inspection and you’re in business.

Best buy: Wilton Giant Cupcake Pan, $24.79
A-freakin’-dorable. Makes a single cupcake about half the size of a traditional round cake, complete with faux cupcake wrapper ridges on the sides and decorative swirls on top. Fool-proof. Dainty.

Think twice: Cafeteria trays, $3.56
It is possible to take a Good Thing so far that it turns into a Bad And Wrong Thing. These colorful plastic cafeteria trays? One example. Yes, they’re rare to find in someone’s home, making them a conversation piece. And yes, they might even be useful as you try to carry five kinds of finger sandwiches between the kitchen and the dining room.

But Shopping Siren weathered too many traumatizing school cafeteria incidents in her past to feel comfortable having these in her home. (Don’t ask.) Bag Lady was privy to actual tray-on-body violence in middle school. (Don’t ask.) Also, they’re lame. So skip the trays. Some things ought to stay with the pros.

Bag Lady and Shopping Siren’s true identities are protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who don’t want to be mistaken for deer. Please. Careful with that aim.) and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach them at [email protected] or [email protected]


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