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  #1  
Old 07-22-2004, 12:08 AM
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Default The Kitchen Gadget You Can't Live Without

My current favorite is the Microplane Grater. It turns Parmesan into the lightest, snowiest, instantly meltiest flakes I've ever seen. I had no idea grating could be such a mystical experience. It was originally a woodworking tool, but I firmly believe it has found its true calling as a grater/zester.

I got it for Christmas from vm and was thrilled. It's an eminently affordable and utterly delightful gift for any cooking-inclined friend or family member.

Does anyone else have one tool they can't help but adore beyond all proportion?
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Old 07-22-2004, 01:38 AM
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Default Re: The Kitchen Gadget You Can't Live Without

A simple, collapsible, 4.00 steamer insert. It can be used in any pan and really there is no better or faster way to cook veggies, especially asparagus!
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Old 07-22-2004, 02:34 AM
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Default Re: The Kitchen Gadget You Can't Live Without

Oooh, I want a Microplane. Nigella Lawson bangs on about them all the time and she's right about almost everything.

I can't live without my Cuisinart, which does all the stuff I hate. In the realm of little, unnecessary fiddly shit, though, the prize goes to my citrus zester. I love that thing. Anything that keeps me from grating my knuckles is my friend.
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Old 07-22-2004, 02:50 AM
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Default Re: The Kitchen Gadget You Can't Live Without

A big fuckoff shiny knife.

Or a mahogany chopping board.

Everything else I can live without.
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Old 07-22-2004, 04:14 AM
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Default Re: The Kitchen Gadget You Can't Live Without

It might just be this lovely little ceramic (or porcelain?) lemon/lime reamer. I got it years ago at a second-hand store. A close second is one of those little plunger chopper thingies, great for trapping & chopping rolly cranberries. I recently got one

But, OMG, liv, now I must have a Microplane Grater! :drool2:
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Old 07-26-2004, 01:29 PM
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Default Re: The Kitchen Gadget You Can't Live Without

I've still got the same bottle opener I've had since I was in high school.

Mr. Guinness...meet Excalibur.

Pleased to meet you.

Pleasure's all mine, sir.
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Old 07-26-2004, 03:12 PM
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Default Re: The Kitchen Gadget You Can't Live Without

Perhaps it's time to move up in the world, Ronin.
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Old 07-26-2004, 03:45 PM
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Default Re: The Kitchen Gadget You Can't Live Without

Something you take for granted that you can find anywhere - until you're actually looking for it - is the tomato shark. A must have tomato de-stemmer. I prefer the variety with a plastic handle, but this is the cheapest one:

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Old 07-26-2004, 03:46 PM
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Default Re: The Kitchen Gadget You Can't Live Without

Would you all hit me if I said "can opener"?

* Petra ducks and runs
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Old 07-26-2004, 03:56 PM
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Default Re: The Kitchen Gadget You Can't Live Without

Well, I've searched far and wide and I just can't find it available anymore, but years ago I bought a citrus juicer from The Pampered Chef catalogue which is basically a lemon tap with filter.

You jam the thing into the lemon, core and pour. None of the seeds and spooge and whatnot gets past the filter, and suddenly squeezing out a tblsp of lemon juice mid-recipe becomes the easiest thing in the world.

Here's a pic I found on Google even though it's no longer available on the actual site:



You want it, doncha Rev? You want it baaaaaad.
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  #11  
Old 07-26-2004, 03:59 PM
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Default Re: The Kitchen Gadget You Can't Live Without

Quote:
Originally Posted by lunachick
Would you all hit me if I said "can opener"?

* lunachick ducks and runs
Depends. Is it the Oxo can opener? Anything Oxo rules the world; that's just a known fact.
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Old 07-26-2004, 04:10 PM
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Default Re: The Kitchen Gadget You Can't Live Without

I'm afraid not, liv. A cheap and nasty supermarket brand is the one I believe I have, but it opens tins of tuna with all the fight of deep sea game fishing. It really makes you work for your food, as the Good Lord intended.
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Old 07-26-2004, 06:12 PM
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Comedy Re: The Kitchen Gadget You Can't Live Without

Quote:
Originally Posted by lunachick
I'm afraid not, liv. A cheap and nasty supermarket brand is the one I believe I have, but it opens tins of tuna with all the fight of deep sea game fishing. It really makes you work for your food, as the Good Lord intended.
:haha: You should so start a really rusty shit kitchen gadgets that bring you close to nature because you can't afford to replace them thread.
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Old 07-26-2004, 11:40 PM
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Default Re: The Kitchen Gadget You Can't Live Without

Cheap-ass food processor. Nothing fancy. Got it a few years back, and oooh, the sauces and marinades you can make in a hurry. Not to mention an artichoke heart dip that I make weekly. Yum.
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Old 07-26-2004, 11:48 PM
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Default Re: The Kitchen Gadget You Can't Live Without

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clutch Munny
Not to mention an artichoke heart dip that I make weekly. Yum.
Yum indeed. Could you be persuaded to post the recipe in a new thread, or in What's for Dinner? Pretty please?
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  #16  
Old 07-27-2004, 12:03 AM
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Default Re: The Kitchen Gadget You Can't Live Without

My dutch oven isn't a 'gadget,' though, is it? You were probably trying to specifically avoid causing me to talk about my dutch oven, weren't you?

Well, what are you going to do? Ban me?

I love my dutch oven. It's cast iron, a Wagner, #10, about a million years old. It's perfectly seasoned, a perfectly glistening black. I swear you don't even have to turn the heat on to cook in it. The lid seals perfectly, the little condensation points recirculating moisture to cook everything to perfection unless I do something to fuck it up. I love my dutch oven.

I also love my dumb gigantic butcher block cutting board I made out of scrap wood I found in the garage one day, because I was mad at all my stupid tiny cutting boards. I can just wash my vegetables and stuff, pile them all up, and start chopping, moving the finished stuff over to different sections of my glorious, spacious cutting board, never having to stop to move things out of the way. I can just chop until I'm done. I can fit a whole gigantic salad onto my cutting board. And then, I just wipe it off, and buff it with olive oil and it stays beautiful if a little uneven around the edges. (Cause I done made it muh own saylf, haw!)

Other than that, I don't really have many gadgets, mostly because I am poor and my kitchen is tiny.

Mostly, though, because I am a hillbilly.
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Old 07-27-2004, 01:39 AM
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Default Re: Dutch Oven

Lisa, are you talking about something like this?

Or this, with the feet, made to be used on charcoal or campfires?

I need to get one. Just seeing it reminded me of the dutch oven cobblers we made with canned pie filling, pancake mix and a can of 7-Up back in my Boy Scout days. Mmm-mmmm.


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Old 07-27-2004, 01:49 AM
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Default Re: Dutch Oven

My most indespensible kitchen gadget would have to be the Rubbermaid slotted spatula, one like I am unable find any more, black heat-resistant nylon one-piece with the slim handle. What is up with all the fat handled bastards made these days? Half of them aren't really dishwasher compatible because water gets up inside the handles or under the grips and then leaks out water of unknown sanitariness right at the most inopportune moment, like right when the food is done and you are putting in on a serving plate. Yuck!


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Old 07-27-2004, 04:55 AM
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Default Re: Dutch Oven

Quote:
Originally Posted by warrenly
My most indespensible kitchen gadget would have to be the Rubbermaid slotted spatula, one like I am unable find any more, black heat-resistant nylon one-piece with the slim handle.
I just bought one regular spatula and one pancake turner one at K-Mart for something like $.70 each. Sounds like the same thing, anyway. One piece, slim handles, slotted, black plastic-like stuff.

K-Mart and Target have this annoying practice of displaying things by brand or price range or something, rather than by category, so they'll have one brand of spatulas in one aisle, and more an aisle or two down. I remember because it made me mad when I got mine.

Anyway, go look, and if you still can't find any, let me know. I'm pretty sure they had plenty here just a couple of weeks ago, and I could send you some if your crazy backwoods stores don't have them.

PS: My dutch oven is like the first one, for indoor use. It's a different brand, but it looks almost exactly like that.
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Old 07-27-2004, 05:12 AM
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Default Re: The Kitchen Gadget You Can't Live Without

Quote:
Originally Posted by lisarea
I also love my dumb gigantic butcher block cutting board I made out of scrap wood I found in the garage one day, because I was mad at all my stupid tiny cutting boards.
That sounds so amazing. Nothing annoys me more than having to figure out where to pile things after I chop them. I don't like dirtying dishes just to hold veggies while I'm still chopping, it just ain't right. I want to get me one of them big ole choppin' blocks.
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Old 07-27-2004, 06:02 AM
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Default Re: The Kitchen Gadget You Can't Live Without

Quote:
Originally Posted by livius drusus
Well, I've searched far and wide and I just can't find it available anymore, but years ago I bought a citrus juicer from The Pampered Chef catalogue which is basically a lemon tap with filter.

You jam the thing into the lemon, core and pour. None of the seeds and spooge and whatnot gets past the filter, and suddenly squeezing out a tblsp of lemon juice mid-recipe becomes the easiest thing in the world.

Here's a pic I found on Google even though it's no longer available on the actual site:



You want it, doncha Rev? You want it baaaaaad.
OMFG. No more fishing seeds out of my hollandaise? No more accidentally ambushing people with bitter little pips in the tabbouleh?! Am I to understand that this marvelous gadget no longer exists??!

That's argument #13,842 against the existence of God, by my reckoning.
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Old 07-27-2004, 06:06 AM
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Default Re: The Kitchen Gadget You Can't Live Without

Quote:
Originally Posted by livius drusus
Perhaps it's time to move up in the world, Ronin.
NO!

Never!

Heretic!

I'll part with my loyal and favored tool when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers!
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Old 07-27-2004, 06:11 AM
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Default Re: The Kitchen Gadget You Can't Live Without

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronin
I'll part with my loyal and favored tool when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers!
At that point, wouldn't your loyal and favored tool also be cold and dead?


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Old 07-27-2004, 06:32 AM
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Default Re: The Kitchen Gadget You Can't Live Without

Quote:
Originally Posted by warrenly
At that point, wouldn't your loyal and favored tool also be cold and dead?


Warren
Hrmmmm...point taken.

They'll probably steal my bitchin' bottle opener as well.

Those CSI guys are like that.

:glare:
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Old 07-27-2004, 07:07 AM
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Default Re: The Kitchen Gadget You Can't Live Without

Quote:
Originally Posted by viscousmemories
That sounds so amazing. Nothing annoys me more than having to figure out where to pile things after I chop them. I don't like dirtying dishes just to hold veggies while I'm still chopping, it just ain't right. I want to get me one of them big ole choppin' blocks.
Precisely my motivation, too. The ones I like are usually expensive, but they're really easy to make, as evidenced by the fact that I can do it. Home improvement stores usually have scrap lumber piles toward the back where you can get odds and ends super-cheap. Assuming you don't already have a garage full of scrap wood and stuff, what you do is you get a bunch of different hardwoods from there, 1" thickness, probably (all the same thickness, regardless). Make sure it's not warped, or at least not too warped. You want pieces without big knots or cracks in them, too, because you want the surface as solid as possible.

Then, you just glue the pieces together with wood glue, and clamp them to dry. Use two or three of the big clamps, depending on how many you have, and wipe any excess glue off. I suggest putting newspaper or something between the clamps and the board, just so it doesn't all get glued together. I don't know if that would really happen, but I worried about it. Then, after maybe a few hours to be on the safe side, remove the clamps, saw off the ragged ends if necessary, and sand the whole thing until it's even and smooth. You can drill a hole in one corner if you want to hang it or something, but I just lean mine on the counter.

Then, you wash it with plain water and a scrubby brush or something, dry it, and oil it thoroughly, probably a couple of applications. Don't ever use soap on it or anything. Just wipe it off and re-oil it when it stops looking so glamorous.
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