My Favorite Kitchen Gadgets
Hand Blenders Make Yummy Healthy Smoothies!
Kitchen gadgets can make cooking tasks faster and more fun. I inherited a few from my great grandmother and still use them, others are brand new and I love using them just as much! Here are some of my favorites:
Egg Slicer: I think they still make them today if you search online. It is a flat piece of aluminum with a hinged piece that is sectioned off in cutting wires. You place a hard-boiled egg on the aluminum tray and lower the cutting section and it makes perfect egg slices. Great for a fast egg-salad sandwich or salad topping.
Lid Loosener: I have several different kinds of these, but my favorite is the antique variety that was made for opening canning jars. It's metal and is shaped like a pair of pliers with a large round opening for placing over a jar lid (pickle jars, mayo jars, etc.) Other forms are a thin rubber square that lays over the top of a jar, or the kind that is formed with two ends, one for bottles and one for larger jars. You slip over the formed end and squeeze and twist. As I get older and my hands get more arthritic, I use these opening gadgets more and more.
Hand Blender. I know this may be considered a small appliance, but to me it's a wonderful gadget! Mine is a Cuisinart and has a rechargeable battery pack. I'm a klutz when it comes to cords and know I'd drag the cord over the container I was blending in and know it over, so the cordless variety is great for me! The hand-held device is very powerful. My doctor recommended that I eat a banana everyday to keep my potassium level up. I'm not a huge banana fan, but can pour some juice, berries and a banana in the container that came with the hand blender and make a delicious smoothie for breakfast in only a couple of minutes. I can drink the smoothie right out of the mixing 2-cup mixing container that came with it, so I get every drop and not large bulky blender container to clean. It's amazingly strong and can even handle ice cubes. The battery stays charged for about fifteen to twenty ‘blends' before recharging.
My Kitchen Aid ice cream scoop. It doesn't sound exciting, but it is! It has a very ergonomically friendly thick handle with a soft rubber coating on the handle. Our freezer thinks it's a cryogenic tank and that scoop really makes it easy to cut through even the hardest ice cream. I also use it for scooping the seeds and goop from squash and pumpkins. It makes a good scoop for large melon balls, meatballs and cookie dough.
Funnels: As I said, I'm a klutz and for me funnels are a must. I store a lot of my flower, sugar, beans, rice, and grains in vintage canning jars. I have several sizes of funnels for this and it makes transferring anything from maple syrup to barley from a large package to a jar super easy and a lot less messy and time consuming. A tip for transferring syrup or honey - spray the funnel with a little Pam and this keeps the liquid from clinging to the funnel.
Kitchen Scissors: These are a must have for saving money in the kitchen. Whole chickens are much less expensive than the separate parts, so I buy several fryers when they're on sale. Cutting them up is quick and easy with kitchen scissors. Make sure you can put them in the dishwasher and keep them clean. I use them to cut up herbs too, which is much easier than chopping with a knife.
Surgical Gloves: I guess these don't qualify as ‘gadgets' but they make a lot of icky tasks much easier. I like to mix my meatloaf with my hands, so wearing the gloves really help. They are to wear when cutting up those chickens too, as I know I won't accidentally transfer any bacteria from my hands to other foods or surfaces. Any goopy, icky task is much easier with disposable surgical gloves. I'm trying to live green, so use them sparingly.
Decorative Cutting Mat: I found one of these at Aldi's and wish I'd gotten several as I haven't seen them for sale since. They are flexible cutting ‘mats' instead of a cutting board. Since they are thin, I leave mine right on the country and the scene of a French Bistro is very cheery. It is dishwasher save, so very easy to clean. One warning however, don't put hot pans on them like I did as they do warp under extreme heat.
Some kitchen gadgets aren't aren‘t even made anymore, like ice picks, mechanical batter mixers, quality rolling pins and heavy duty bread making bowls. I have a lot of hand-me-downs, but I also find these oldies but goodies on the internet. Keep a lookout at thrift and antique shops for some of these items too.