The OXO Good Grips Salad Dressing Shaker Makes Me Eat More Salad

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[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

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When my wife wants to get me to do something—heck, when I want to get myself to do something—things go a lot more smoothly when the administrative, organizational work is done ahead of time and all I've got to do is swoop in and take action. Want me to clean the bathtub? Just hand me that sponge and bathroom cleaner and I'll go at it. Want me to cook you dinner? Stick it on our joint calendar and I'll remember.

Similarly, I'm way more likely to make a specific food for dinner if the prep work is done ahead of time. Take salads, for instance. I love a good salad, whether it's simple or complex, and while making a simple vinaigrette is by no means difficult, I'm way more likely to make myself a salad if that vinaigrette is ready and waiting for me.

In the past, I got there by drawing lines on the side of a squeeze bottle with a sharpie. It's easy, inexpensive, and it works—all you have to do is give it a shake and squeeze out dressing. The only problem is that even with a sharpie, those lines get smudged, so often that I find myself guessing how much oil and vinegar to add to the mix by sight, and as anyone who seeks perfection in a vinaigrette knows, that ratio is extremely important.

Enter the OXO Good Grips Salad Dressing Shaker, a device pretty much custom-designed for folks like me.

The concept is pretty simple: a plastic measuring cup with clear lines on the sides along with a tight fitting lid that tapers down to a pour spout. A rotating stopper keeps the whole thing airtight. How's it work? Easy: just measure your vinaigrette ingredients directly in the container (I like to make at least a week or two's worth at a time), close it up, and put it in the fridge. Any time you want a salad, just shake it up to emulsify, pull back the stopper, and pour it on. No mess, no sharpies, no cleaning up measuring cups, no whisks, no bowls, no problems. It's one of those tools that just works.

(Of course if you want to go the semi-old-fashioned way, a good squeeze bottle is still your best, inexpensive friend.)