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"We must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie." David Mamet

Friday, December 03, 2010

marietta's favorite gadget

The Down-Home Holiday Guide 
to Kitchen Gadgets
Of course, any real cook worth her weight in Himalayan Pink Salt will have cupboards full of justifiably essential tools. If I had my way, I would have a gadget for every function. The sad fact is that, living in a Brooklyn apartment, I do not have room to lodge much more than my family. Aside from our waffle iron, which we actually use a lot, most of my kitchen work is done with 4 pots, one good knife, and 4-5 favorite "gadgets".
     With the holidays upon us, I thought I'd share the gadget wisdom of my friends - who are either real chefs, parents creating daily meals, or just love to cook from time to time. The fun responses are starting to roll in... 
The dough scraper ($16.95) barely qualifies as a gadget
My first choice was my Mom's corroded 40 year-old garlic press. I love it (yes, love) because it was my mother's and it was such a daily part of our lives. Garlic went into almost everything that didn't feature sugar. She used it at least once a day and I treasure the idea that it still somehow retains her molecules. But sentimentality ultimately gave way to practicality (and laziness) - garlic presses are so hard to clean.  Once I learned how to quickly mince garlic with a chef's knife, I never looked back. (Though I still can't bear to part with  that garlic press.)
Today, my personal prize for favorite gadget goes to the dough scraper ($16.95). It has no moving parts, so it barely qualifies as a gadget. But it captures my heart because it does the job of many:
  • transport chopped vegetables off the board
  • scrape the bottom of a pan for nibbins
  • shove food around while cooking
  • emergency in-pan chopping 
  • dough scraping and cutting
Plus the wooden handle looks pretty with the steel, and it feels good in my hand.

Plus I feel so happy whenever I use it. Which is reason enough to feature it on the list.

I'd love to know about your favorite gadget - and so would everyone else! Send me a description and link/photo of your most most treasured kitchen gadget and I'll happily add it the growing list.

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