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

Saturday, December 18, 2010

lucy's favorite gadget

The Down-Home Holiday Guide to Kitchen Gadgets
When not writing books, reviewing craft beers, or staging environmental events, Lucy Saunders likes to flip a pancake with her cool Androck spatula
Author Lucy Saunders -, "Grilling with Beer" - reveals her favorite gadget and, surprise, it has nothing to do with beer  -  This spatula belonged to my mother-in-law, Mary, and has a futuristic design -rocket-shaped tapered handle made in brown Bakelite and, as you can see in silhouette, an off-centered slightly wavy shape to the metal spatula that makes it so easy to use turning eggs, etc. It's the pancake flipper of the 30s -so cool, and made in the USA by Androck. I love making breakfast with it.

Friday, December 17, 2010

vicky's favorite gadget

The Down-Home Holiday Guide to Kitchen Gadgets
"...not my great grandmother’s potato masher that she carted across the plains.."
Native Idaho-an, Vicky Virgin, takes us on the long, strange trip that led her to her favorite gadget of - what else? - a potato masher  - My favorite kitchen utensil is the potato masher.  How can it not be? 1) I was born and raised in Idaho. 2) I have fond memories of romping through the potato fields as small toy like airplanes buzzed overhead spewing a toxic cocktail of pesticides. 3) My father was born in the middle of the winter in a spud cellar. And one more thing, 4) Our high school drill team sold baked potatoes for $1 as hand and feet warmers at football games.  OK so we established that. And no, this is not my great grandmother’s potato masher that she carted across the plains. It is someone else’s great grandmother’s. 
It was our maiden voyage to Idaho – a trip out west to meet the land and family that reared me. Not sure how much time to allot for the mixing of my future NY Jewish husband and my Mormon family, but anyway.. I thought it would be wise to plan a nice 4 day road trip – an escape valve if needed – a little loop through that wild western landscape. The road opened up in front of us. Just as we had successfully negotiated one hair-raising mountain pass, another one would open up in front of us and there was one behind that one and another one behind that one - ad infinitum as far as the eye could see.  He was terrified.  It was the scale he kept saying. This much I remember. 

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."

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

sarah's favorite gadget

The Down-Home Holiday Guide to Kitchen Gadgets
Sarah's old-school gadget makes grating less of a chore  - I always enjoy grating cheese with my mom's back-in-the-day cheese grater. It's still satisfying, functional...and always a little challenging to put together.

Cheese grater - or wheel barrow?
Sarah's unique take.

A greater wheelbarrow? 

Make the holidays even greater
with Sarah Sills' Artwares collection

Check out Sarah's playfully sophisticated designs on mugs, bags, tshirts, notes, more. This BK-based designer will even customize!

Monday, December 13, 2010

kevin's favorite gadget

The Down-Home Holiday Guide to Kitchen Gadgets 
"...straight out of the sci-fi film War of the Worlds," $50 and up
Kevin's favorite gadget beamed down once a year - The thing I remember most from my mother’s kitchen is a vintage citrus press like this one. In my imagination it was a one-armed robot alien straight out of the sci-fi film War of the Worlds.  Every Christmas my grandmother would send boxes of oranges from Florida, and we would have fresh-squeezed juice for the holiday season only. Then it was back to Tropicana from a carton. 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

jed's favorite gadget

The Down-Home Holiday Guide to Kitchen Gadgets
"More useful than a snail-stuffer," $6 and up

Jed's fave gadget had a starring role on TV - In 1991, I moved to Los Angeles to work as a writer for a game show. Both undertakings were foreign to me. Unused to such scattered urbanity and having no car, I rented an apartment a few blocks from the studio. The neighborhood, so innocent by day, turned out to be in the middle of gang territory, with helicopters and bullets flying overhead at night.
Work was equally strange. I had never written for television, didn't know anything about scripts, or how television was made, and it seemed odd to spend one's day trying to thing of antics designed to amuse a demographic of 54 year old women...(continued)

lori's favorite gadget

The Down-Home Holiday Guide to Kitchen Gadgets
When dedicated to tuna, a two-bladed mezzaluna is a tuna chopper, $15 and up 
Lori's beloved gadget is a tuna chopper (aka, double-bladed Mezzaluna) - My favorite kitchen gadget is my tuna chopper. It is double-bladed and decades old and was part of my used to have a red metal handle but now the paint's mostly gone. No matter. The blades work perfectly. Since tuna is one of my favorite foods (the way I make it, of course) that tuna chopper is part of my soul, my family, and when I use it I always feel a comfort, like all is right with the world...(continued, with Lori's famous recipe)