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

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

shelly's favorite gadget

The Down-Home Holiday Guide to Kitchen Gadgets 
" can just throw those other more primitive gadgets away..." $10 and up
In rhapsodizing over her modern grater, Shelly poses a counter-argument to Sarah's old-timey cheese gadget - The Microplane is not a personal transportation device, it's a personal CHEESE transformation device.
In my world, just about anything is better with a little grated parm: eggs, soups, chili, toasted bread with butter...but oh, the work, and bloody knuckles that one had to endure just to get a taste of Italy on savory edibles. Until the Microplane, that is.
I received the Microplane, a simple, ergonomically designed gadget, as a gift from a friend a few years ago, and it quickly became my "go to" for grating fresh parmesan. With a few quick and nearly effortless passes along the blade, the Microplane renders your block of parm into fluffy, micro-particles of shredded delight. The Microplane is light enough and so well-balanced that you can hold it with one hand, and grate the cheese with the other. You can brace it across a soup bowl, or hold it in mid air and pass it over a plate or a pot cooking on the stove, grating all the while. Long gone are the days of rooting around in the kitchen for the latest version of a "grater."

Believe me, I've tried them all: the boxy one that you plop down on a cutting board and commence to scraping knuckles along with the cheese, the one you crank feverishly where the cheese goes into a receptacle (along with your sweat), the one that is shaped like a mandoline, which seems to be designed more for grating thumbs than cheese. The Microplane is truly the tops at what it does and in my opinion, you can just throw away those other more primitive gadgets.
I've also heard that it makes grating ginger, orange and lemon zest a breeze as well. And best of all, somehow, because of the way it renders your cheese into microfine particles, your block of expensive, authentic parmesan from Parma will last at least 3 times longer!

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