When Susan Edmondson tries to decide what the most popular item in her downtown Libertyville kitchen store is, few things top the Corkcicle.
The gadget, which can be frozen and then put in a wine bottle to keep the wine chilled, is a big seller.
"We went through a lot for the holidays last year," said Edmondson, owner of Someone's in the Kitchen.
This year, though, she expects to be inundated with customers clamoring for the Corkcicle. The gadget made the "Oprah's Favorite Things 2012" list.
"It's the Oprah effect," said Edmondson.
Someone's in the Kitchen has been in downtown Libertyville for 10 years, offering customers traditional cooking supplies and goofy gadgets. Edmondson purchased the business from the previous owners in April.
"I always just loved being around kitchen stuff," said Edmondson, who worked in finance and accounting for 20 years before deciding to purchase the Libertyville business. "It's been a lot of fun. Libertyville is a wonderful community to be in."
Someone's in the Kitchen carries unusual brands that aren't seen at many retailers. There's the Swiss Diamond cookware line, for example, which Edmondson said is "one of the premiere cookwares." The store also carried Wusthof knives and the Joseph Joseph line.
The latter, started by two brothers, is "fun, innovative and practical," Edmondson said. There's a spoon, for example, with an elevated handle so there is no need for a spoonrest. There's also a salad bowl with built-in salad servers. The store also carries the GEFU line that offers a cerated slicer that cuts tomatoes, mozzarella and mushrooms with ease, along with a manual chopper that's great for making salsa, Edmondson said.
"We do try and do a mix of your basics with your unique items," said Edmondson.
A walk around the store reveals plenty of other goodies, including "girly gifts" like a cake slicer with a removable "heel" for easier cleaning. Edmondson likes the wine bottle- and teapot-shaped blackboards that can be written on with chalk. The shop also carries a selection of oils and balsamic vinegar from The Olive Tap, and spices from Spice Miser.
Fans of the PBS show "Downton Abbey" will enjoy the shop's selection of Mason Cash bowls. The line has been around since 1800 in England, Edmondson said.
Other unique items include onion goggles ("They look funny, but they actually work," Edmondson said) and pottery from a Waukegan-based artist. For the latter, the artist presses lace into the clay to create interesting designs.
Want to know what to do with all of those kitchen gadgets? Someone's in the Kitchen offers a variety of cooking classes. On Nov. 12, for example, students learned how to make the French dessert Croquembouche. Classes in coming weeks include Let's Get Saucy (Nov. 26), Feliz Navidad (Nov. 28), Yule Log (Dec. 3) and Tour de France: Champagne (Dec. 5). Contact the store at (847) 816-9511 for more information.
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