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Most useless or least used kitchen gadget
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birgit



Joined: 31 Jan 2005
Posts: 247
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Erin, I don't know, but maybe I've translated too directly from german. I mean a round metal circle with two movable handles, a little bigger than the egg in diameter, which is meant to take off the upper part of the egg shell. Works approximately like the wild animal traps shown in old jungle films ...
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Knifethrower



Joined: 29 Oct 2006
Posts: 218
Location: Heaven, actually.

PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My most underused, but not unloved gizmo is what my Dad calls the Falafel Launcher...its a post with a meatball sized cup, and the bottom of the cup is spring loaded. You retract the bottom with a lever, fill the cup and let it rip over a vat of hot oil. If it were not for the self-imposed moratorium on frying food, I'd be launching falafel rockets on a weekly basis.

(Just for FYI, my favorite gadget, one I cannot live without, is my tiny, razor-sharp dished grater. I puree garlic in it instead of using a press or the microplane. I get all the oil, flavor and three times the kick out of one clove.)
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Richard Leader



Joined: 22 Feb 2006
Posts: 77
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm - ashamed to say it, but my pasta machine. I bought it more than 10 years ago and have used it... 3 times (it's moved house with me more times than it's been used!)
Having said that, it will get its 4th outing on Thursday as I've promised mushroom ravioli to some friends...
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scorched peanut bar



Joined: 17 Aug 2006
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With the advent of screwtop wine in Australia, sadly, my waiters' friend is getting fewer opportunities to be so friendly.
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srk



Joined: 09 Apr 2005
Posts: 85
Location: Berkeley, CA

PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm very pro-garlic press, as I haven't mastered mashing the garlic with the side of my knife. My least-used gadget is something that came in a holiday package of amaretto, given to me by a friend, that somehow produces frothy cappucino-amaretto drinks or something. I think it's essentially an electric drink mixer, but I've never taken it out of the box. The amaretto, on the other hand...

I am proud to report that I used my knife sharpener for the first time today. I've been sharpening knives since I was a kid (my parents apparently trusted me a lot, and my dad showed me how when I was 10 or 12), but they own a great big rectangular sharpener, and so I wasn't quite sure how to approach the one that came with my knives (looks like a little sword, but with a long slim cylinder instead of a blade). Anyway, it worked well enough to efficiently chop veggies for Clotilde's yummy ratatouille!
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msue



Joined: 18 Dec 2005
Posts: 368

PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That garlic peeler sleeve was chucked after a few years of rolling around in the drawer, unused. I tried to make use of it - it seemed so clever - but found that a knife worked so much more efficiently.

The most useless gadget, however, was a narrow little claw that you inserted into a jar to extract one olive. I inherited it somehow from my grandmother or my aunt. Now that I think about it, it looked like new, so the claw was probably 50+ years old and never used. It went to the donation pile! The cycle is broken!

And speaking of olives, does anyone here actually use one of those narrow little olive dishes? Who lines up their olives?

Ohhhh...now I'll have nightmares about extracting olives one at a time and neurotically lining them up. Never mind!

Smile
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Pesto Man



Joined: 17 Jun 2005
Posts: 185
Location: New Orleans Louisiana

PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I feel I MUST come to the defense of the much maligned garlic peeler Shocked Shocked mine is in constant use (I haven even worn a couple out) but then again, as a professional pesto maker I probably peel more garlic in a week than most do in a year....really helps me rip through a pound or so at a time without crushing the cloves which would help the oxidize too quiclky.but honestly, If I didn't need so much at a time mine would languish in my drawer too...

Very Happy
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Nicki



Joined: 26 Jul 2006
Posts: 106
Location: England

PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haha, the garlic gadgets do seem to get a rough deal on the popularity front...

You wouldn't believe the stuff that people buy for their kitchens: a small credit card for grating garlic, a white porcelin ginger grater, cheese tongs, a small hoover for table crumbs, an apple peeler which clamps to the worktop, a porridge stirrer, beaded jug covers, grapefruit spoon, butter curler....

Romertopfs and slow cookers seem like good wedding presents which never leave the box

That thing for eggs that looks like like a cigar clipper? It's an egg topper
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scorched peanut bar



Joined: 17 Aug 2006
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who actually uses those little spoon-resting plates, to lay the spoon down in between stirs? It just makes for more washing up.

My dad owned a "cheese machine" - a clear plastic box with a wire guillotine, and a garage roller door seal. You cranked the wheel which inched the cheese closer to the end, then you guillotined off the perfect wafer thin slice of cheddar. A stupid invention!

I prefere to finely chop my garlic, using a crusher for late night drunken pasta making when I am not feeling dextrous enough to wield a blade. I think Anthony Bourdain launched into a vitriolic diatribe (somewhere) into garlic crushers - and I have never looked at them the same way again.

Love a good melon-baller!
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Jaffolk



Joined: 29 Sep 2006
Posts: 24
Location: Leverkusen, Germany

PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For some reason I never got along with the garlic press. I always felt that it was too fidgety to really be called practical, but used it nevertheless for years because it was the only way I knew how to handle garlic.

Now I either chop it or I use a grater. I love my (supposedly French) garlic grater, but ever since I read what Anthony Bourdain wrote about garlic presses and how no self-respecting cook would ever use one I happily put mine away and never looked back. It's knife or grater for me.
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Richard Leader



Joined: 22 Feb 2006
Posts: 77
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anthony Bourdain isn't the first food writer to talk about the tyrany of the garlic press - Elizabeth David refused to sell them in her shop in Covent Garden in the 70s...


BTW, I used my pasta machine again and made a pretty good fist of it - I think it will be less than five years before it makes its next appearance!
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Raven



Joined: 07 Apr 2006
Posts: 46
Location: Vermont, USA

PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not used, not owned, never obtained, but seen at a kitchen equipment home party:

A measuring spoon, one-tablespoon size, with a slider that allowed calibration to one teaspoon, one-half teaspoon, one-quarter teaspoon.

The idea, I suppose, was that it would save space in your drawer.

I can't imagine a device less able to save time or energy. It annoyed me just to look at it, and I am sure the aggravation of using it would be great. No doubt it was invented for non-cooks who had no kitchen experience and would think it was fantastic and would go ahead and spend the money... oh, yes, the profit motive!
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blisstone



Joined: 24 Nov 2006
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 10:37 pm    Post subject: I must confess Reply with quote

I confess that I do use a garlic press on occasion. As in when I am making a marinade which uses a lot of garlic. Its so easy to cut the garlic tip off and put the clove, skin and all, in the press. I was told that for a press to work the holes have to be smaller. I have noticed that most kitchen places sell these presses with big fat holes. Perhaps that is one reason a lot of people find it useless.

I also confess that I do use that silly little teaspoon that slide up and down. I have a box full of measuring spoons left over from roommates and garage sale impulses. I am not particularly attached to it but I'll use it if its what I grabbed. I do like to use it when I am making bread. I just use it for the salt sugar and yeast. So I guess the idea is to save up on washing.

However my least used utensil is the little plastic box you put an egg on and then push a little button to poke a hole in the egg. Ever since I have used Jacque Pepin's "La Technique" way to boil eggs, I never have problems with eggs cracking.
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AngAk



Joined: 26 Jul 2006
Posts: 7
Location: Alaska

PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 11:51 pm    Post subject: measure Reply with quote

I love my sliding measuring spoon. It saves me time searching for my loose spoons in the drawer or fighting with the spoons that are nested together on a holder. One spoon instead of 4 works for me.

Least used would be my silpats. I know, unbelievable, but I always reach for the parchment instead.
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lovelyglutton



Joined: 08 Feb 2007
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2007 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have a wine aerating device that supposedly replaces decanting. It is called the Veinen Belufter or somesuch (alright, this is clearly made up German but I don't have the packaging with me). We have used it once but until we bother with a blind tasting will never know if it works. So never, then. Although writing about it has left me inspired; maybe I will rush home and execute some kind of controlled experiment. The Veinen Belufter lives in what we call the 'useful things drawer', with all the other useless tut we haven't got round to freecycling.
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