As part of my 40 bags in 40 days Lenten challenge, I cleaned out my kitchen gadget drawer. I found several odd things I'm sure my grandmother has given me over the years. One such item was a pickle grabber. Do I really need a pickle grabber? No. A knife or a fork would serve the purpose just as well, and I already have those items on hand. Why do some people feel the need to have so many specialty items? It's ridiculous!
This pickle grabber made me wonder what other crazy kitchen gadgets are out there.
There is a local restaurant supply store that advertised a gadget just a few days ago which quickly sprang to mind.
A banana slicer. Really? I guess a knife is just too darned complicated to operate? The advertisement says that even your kids can slice their own bananas without risk of cutting themselves. Umm.... unless there are some super tough bananas I don't know about, even a kid-friendly butter knife will cut a banana.
An avocado scoop. Touted as a "great way to know you’re getting all the avocado out of its skin." I use a tablespoon, and it works fabulously.
A strawberry stem remover. Again, I use either a knife and slice the stem off, OR I use a spoon. Typically a spoon takes less of the berry than the knife.
An asparagus peeler. "This utensil not only peels the asparagus for even cooking, but it also snips the tough ends." Let's see, part of this utensil looks much like a potato peeler that most of us already have on hand. I admit that I rarely use my potato peeler. I use a knife. The potato peeler is typically only used by my hubby and sons. However, you could use the potato peeler to peel your asparagus and a knife to cut off the tough ends.
A pancake batter dispenser. I use a measuring cup to pour pancake batter on the griddle OR I use a ladle. I can see this dispenser getting clogged and making a huge mess. Plus it's not a small thing you can easily fit in a drawer.
A butter curler. Hmmm.... not that I host many fancy parties that would call for curled butter, but from the looks of it, you could use an old fashioned bottle opener or even a knife! Imagine that - a knife. Of course, you wouldn't have the ridges unless maybe a serrated knife would do it. But really... Who cares if your butter is curled?
Marinade Express. For $300 you can get a food spinner to spin your food while it's marinading to get maximum flavor. How about putting the meat in a sealed plastic storage bag and just flipping the bag periodically? When I remember to, I'll actually use my vacuum sealer to seal the meat with the marinade. The vacuum sealer actually sucks the marinade into the meat, it makes it very tender and flavorful. I really don't see the need to spend $300 for something to spin my food in the marinade. That's just Cuh Razy!! Or Cray cray as my boys would say.
Date dots. These little date dots are affixed to a container with a suction cup. Use these when storing food so you know when it was made. If you can't remember when you cooked something and need something like a date dot, how about using a piece of scotch tape on the container with the date written on the tape with a sharpie? Maybe the tape isn't as pretty as these little dots, but it's just as effective and FREE!
A chain mail apron. It's very seldom that I even remember to wear an apron. I can't even imagine what one might cook that would require a $400 chain mail apron?? Seriously?!
The breakfast sandwich maker. Supposedly when the egg is cooked, the center plate slides out and all the ingredients will fall together making a complete sandwich. Really how long does it take to throw an English muffin in the toaster, fry an egg and piece of ham? My kids make a version of this almost every morning, except they use a toaster oven and frying pan.
Chip clips. I'm probably going to get some flack for this one, because I know a lot of people use chip clips. This particular set of chip clips are on sale for $66. I use clothes pins, and they work perfectly fine. I can get a bag of 100 clothes pins for roughly $10 or $15 dollars at my local Wally World. Plus, I can use them for my clothes, crafting, etc.
A bladed meat tenderizer. What happened to using a meat cleaver to tenderize? I know the meat cleaver will also flatten the meat if used too much, so if you don't want your meat flattened, how about just using a knife to poke holes in the meat? I've used a knife to tenderize numerous times, and it works just as well as this $30 gadget would. It's doing the same thing a knife would....
The silicone door spice clips. Okay, finally a kitchen gadget that I can endorse. I think these are great and very economical at 20 door spice clips for $7.95 via Amazon.com. I store the spices I use most often in stainless steel cans with magnets on the back of them. The cans are conveniently hung on the side of my fridge. These clips would be extremely helpful for the organizing the remaining spices I have in my cabinet. I may actually have to get some of these.
What kitchen gadgets do you have that you feel you couldn't live without? Me? I don't consider it a gadget, but I would have to say the one thing I couldn't live without in the kitchen would be a good knife. As I'm sure you noticed, I use a knife for most of the things these gadgets do.
Rumor has it we're expecting winter weather in parts of Arkansas tonight and tomorrow. I don't know about you all, but I'm sick of winter. I hate the cold weather, I despise snow and I'm ready for summer! By the way, in Arkansas, it's very rare that we ever get snow - we get ICE! There's a difference. A quick story: In the mid 80s I worked with a young lady who was from Missouri. Her husband was in the Air Force and had been transferred here to the Little Rock Air Force Base. We were expecting winter weather over the next few days, and she and I were discussing it. She said that we in Arkansas just don't know how to drive! Overnight we received sleet, freezing rain and a dusting of snow for good measure. I made it to work the next day without incident, and before her, I might add. When she walked in, she was obviously quite shaken, and she proceeded to tell me the story of her and her husband's drive in to work. Apparently, things didn't go so smoothly for them. At some point they slid into a ditch, up onto a sidewalk and drove with two tires on the sidewalk for a majority of their trip. And we Arkansans don't know how to drive. HA!
Despite the misuse of it's, I had to share this. It's so true. Just yesterday some people were wearing shorts.