I’m Loving/What’s Your Gadget?

I have not been doing a lot of crafting lately.  Ok, “not a lot” = none.  Jackson, the sweet little boy that he is, has been struggling with sleeping on his own, which has kept me up in the wee hours, and thus made me ready for bed every night essentially before it’s even dark out.  I have never been much of a night owl, but generally, before #3 child came along, the time after the kids went to bed has been my work time.  *Sigh*  I will get back to it again someday soon…

Anyway, I have been doing more cooking lately.  I have always liked to cook & experiment in the kitchen (it’s the cleaning up that I can do without).   Bill likes to cook, too, which is why, at Christmas time a few years back, I started a tradition of stuffing his stocking with cool culinary gadgets on which we wouldn’t normally splurge for ourselves.   And hey, it doesn’t hurt that I happen to use these gadgets as well (I’m selfish that way, but hey, I figure it’s a win/win).  In years past, among other things, I have gotten him extra-nice spatulas, silicon pancake molds, and a garlic wheel (which in theory, seemed like it would be really cool, but actually ended up being a dud). 

Last year, he returned the favor and got me one of the things I am now unable to live without:  my OXO Salad Spinner by Good Grips.  This thing has single- handedly changed the way we eat.  I used to never make salad, because I hated the washing of the lettuce, then the drying.  I can remember practially using up half a roll of paper towels just to dry off a head of lettuce leaves.  I’m not really one for bagged salad mixes, so it was enough to keep me from making it regularly.  Now, thanks to my gadget, we have it almost every day, and we’re probably a bit healthier for it. 

I realized the other day that there is another kitchen device that I have become completely dependent on:  my garlic press.  I tend to go a little nuts when it comes to garlic.  If a recipe calls for 2 cloves, I’ll most likely put in six.  Yeah…. maybe this is why I don’t have more friends.  When we first got married,  I was lucky enough to recieve a really nice press for my bridal shower, and I have been using it ever since.  In my opinion, not all garlic presses are created equal.  Again, I have to hand it to OXO for creating something that is comfortable and doesn’t take the strength of a sumo wrestler to use.  The problem?  After 7 years of use, it finally pressed its last clove and went to that great garlic farm in the sky.  The funny thing is, it didn’t break at the joints, or some other place that would make sense, but the actual metal broke right in half!  And this wasn’t some flimsy little garlic press, it was heavy-duty.  The point where it broke had to be at least a half inch thick.  I guess I don’t know my own strength, yuck, yuck. 

Anyway, believe it or not, I did have a backup (I know… it’s sick).  I scoured through my drawers and found it:  the lesser press.  The red-headed stepchild of the garlic pressing world.  No rubberized handles.  No comfort grip.  If I put more than one clove in at a time I basically have to jump on the thing to get it to press.  Now, you may be wondering why I don’t just buy minced garlic in a jar?  This is where I get all persnickety:  jarred is just not the same as fresh.  Yes, I am a garlic snob– and chopping it won’t do, either.

I do feel somewhat guilty, in these economic times, when people are losing their jobs and having trouble putting food on the table, getting all fussy about a garlic press.  But it could be worse, I could be addicted to Gucci (I’m not judging, I’m just sayin’, garlic is a little easier on the wallet).  As I’ve been ‘suffering’ these past weeks with an inferior garlic press, I’ve been thinking–  Does anyone else have a gadget, etc. that they have come to depend on?  I’m not necessarily talking about cooking instruments, just something that you can no longer live without?  If so, please share, I’d love to hear.


11 Responses

  1. I like the garlic wheel. It is not a dud. My favorite Kitchen gadget is you.

  2. My rice cooker is my bestest friend.

  3. I love a garlic press! We got ours from IKEA. Works GREAT! It is very utilitarian but it gets the job done. I used to use one of those silicone garlic roller things to get the peel off but some little children of mine lost it. I started using a meat tenderizer to smash them to get the peels off instead. I add more garlic than the recipe calls for too. Now that we are expecting #4 garlic usually makes my mouth water. And Frank’s Hot Sauce.

    I LOVE, LOVE my yogurt maker. SOOOO much cheaper than buying yogurt. And pretty easy too. I’m sad I have to leave it behind when we move to the UK this summer. 😦

  4. i read the comments just to see what that guy you are living in sin with wrote…LOL he didn’t go as deep in the gutter as my mind did…he was very sweet.

    i’m sooooooo not a cook…soooo…i guess the gadget i can’t live without is ….hmmmmmmmmmm….oh i know….it is seasonal, but my little pampered chef thingy that takes the green thing out of a strawberry. and oh yes, it is now strawberry season in NC.

  5. Mine’s Pampered Chef too- the small whisk thing that can fit in a glass to mix chocolate milk–I use that thing whenever I need a whisk. Loveloveloveit.

  6. oh! i thought of another pampered chef thing. that mix and chop thing! it uniformly and easily chops meat as you brown it. works great for italian sausage when you cook it out of the casings. the mix and chop also does wonders for mixing frozen juice concentrate. love it! i AM taking that to England.

    here is a link:

  7. I love my Microplane zester/grater- 40020
    It makes grating parmesan cheese so easy and fluffy. Zesting and orange/lemon/lime is practically effortless.

  8. My garlic press is my friend as well. I have Pampered Chef press. I also love my can opener from PC. So many people give up on it but once you get the hang of it, you will never go back to the old style.

    But since I am on a hummus making kick, I must say I love my food processor and it’s a mini one. I want a bigger one, but making my own hummus is saving me money and that’s good.

  9. I love my Rabbit corkscrew wine opener – so simple! And my old microwave with a turntable. This new (to us) house has a built in microwave over the stove and it simply doesn’t cut it in the “evenly defrost/cook” department w/o a turntable. Oh, and the Keurig coffee maker for my hubby!

  10. Hi again…never did get back into the sewing cuz well… they kept me really busy …but you’ll see what i mean when they get bigger…lol

    there’s more reasons too but….onto this kitchen thing

    it’s sad to say that i don’t use garlic presses…. special tools…. the one thing that is my favorite though is….

    a magnetic church key that gets hung on my fridge… without that we’d be lost….really
    silly huh?
    and omg i googled bottle opener to see if that’s the word i wanted (wasn’t) but there are some phallic openers there if you click images….wow…good morning to me!!! gonna have to get me one of those….hahaha

  11. I knew it…I could cook for you guys.

    Garlic and me…like Peas and Carrots

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