Use 'Em Every Day: Great Kitchen Gadgets
Frivolous and pretentious? Or a great way to save time and steps in the kitchen? Here are a dozen kitchen gadgets that fit in the second category, and a couple to avoid.
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Slotted spoon and soup ladle. Neither the yin nor yang of moving food had found its way into my utensil (read: junk) drawer until recently. How did I ever get along without them?
Parchment paper. For years, I ignored the bakers who talked up this time-saver, thinking it seemed so wasteful, but then I realized you can reuse it and it probably has less impact on the environment than those aerosol spray oil cans.
Wax paper. This oldie but goodie, the ugly stepsister to plastic wrap, is back in my drawer after an absence of many years. But wax paper lies flat on the counter to sift flour onto, and it minds its own chemicals when microwaving dishes. Some plastic wrap fits so tightly over the bowl that it holds in big gusts of steam — an open invitation to a burn when opening.
Apple corer-slicer. An apt way to increase fruit in your diet. Just wash apple, and core and segment in one deft move.
Cookie dough scoop.These come in two sizes — regular and cookie-lover. It guarantees equal baking time because the cookies are all the same size. Quicker than simply spooning, too.
Some gadgets are good but require the soul of a perfectionist. In this dubious category, I place my nutmeg grater (a TV miniseries' worth of time to get 1 teaspoon) and my melon baller. (Who cares if each bite is perfectly round? As Gramp used to say, "They all go down the same hatch.") Less waste with a knife, too.
Suzanne Martinson writes for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
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