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Most useless or least used kitchen gadget
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Curmudgeon



Joined: 16 Feb 2007
Posts: 7
Location: Jersey Shore

PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 3:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have a small plastic gadget for separating the yolk from the white of an egg. My wife received it as a gift at a Tupperware party. We tried it once or twice but it requires three hands - one to hold it and two to open the egg. "Dear, could you come into the kitchen and help me separate two eggs?" I have no idea why it is still in the drawer.
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georgia



Joined: 16 May 2006
Posts: 456
Location: california

PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The poor garlic press has certainly taken in on the chin in this forum. Frankly, mine is used almost exclusively these days by my grandsons to make "spaghetti" from Play-Doh, but I understand how folks can either love it or hate it. (By the way, while we're talking garlic, a great way to help peel multiple cloves is to cut off the root ends and then drop them in a bowl of cold water for a few minutes. The water seeps under the paper skin, loosening it enough to slip right off...You're welcome...)

I shall now invite much controversy: I do not own, do not want, a microwave oven. I had one for a couple of months after we dismantled my late mother-in-law's kitchen. It took up far too much space on the kitchen counter, was used only for boiling water and melting butter or chocolate, and I got rid of it asap.

Am I the only person in the civilized world to respond to a microwave this way?
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Curmudgeon



Joined: 16 Feb 2007
Posts: 7
Location: Jersey Shore

PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Am I the only person in the civilized world to respond to a microwave this way?

Without thinking about it, we all adjust what we cook (or heat) and how we cook (or heat) it according to the tools we have available. My second cup of coffee was heating in the microwave when I read your message. Having the microwave means we can have hot coffee all morning without an electric coffee maker taking up any of our limited kitchen counter space (the microwave resides on a shelf under the counter). I could heat up the leftover chili for lunch another way, but the microwave is quick and there is no pot to wash.
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I certainly could live without my microwave! We have one but I cannot recall Dick ever using it for anything other than heating cognac! And I only use it to reheat stuff---and make popcorn. Oh and I had a friend who used to dry his underwear in his microwave---but I've managed to get through life so far without having to resort to that.
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msue



Joined: 18 Dec 2005
Posts: 368

PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Georgia, I will come out of the shadows to join you on the microwave issue - I don't have one, don't want one, and have never missed it since my previous microwave gave up the ghost.

I had one of the huge Amana combo microwave-convection ovens, my first Christmas gift from my husband, and we've been married a quarter century now. I was thrilled when I got it. We used it for years, but eventually it became a giant gadget used only for popcorn and reheating tea. When it died, and suddenly I had so much more counterspace EXACTLY where I needed it, I refused to own another one. I have never missed it, never automatically turned to use it, never thought, "oh if I only had a microwave I could cook that!"

And thanks very much for the cool garlic peeling technique - I'll try it soon!
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Rachel



Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 296
Location: Santa Barbara, CA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Georgia, no, you are definitely not the only person out there who is anti-microwave! I didn't grow up with one... well, until I was 14 and my parents redid the kitchen. Even then, all we ever used it for was boiling small amounts of water or steaming vegetables. Since leaving home, I've lived in only one house that had one and I never felt the slightest compulsion to use it. The flat I've lived in for the past couple of years doesn't have one and it's never occurred to me to wish it did.

As to useless things that I *do* have... well, I actually get quite a lot of mileage out of my garlic press, but I do have a melon baller lurking at the back of the drawer that I bought three years ago and have used... once. That said, I have so little kitchen paraphernalia to call my own (the curse of being a student!) that I'm reluctant to part with any of it, even the useless bits!
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georgia



Joined: 16 May 2006
Posts: 456
Location: california

PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2007 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So far, my vote for favorite item in this forum is Curmudgeon's egg separator! But do have a little sympathy for all those folks out there who absolutely panic when they must separate an egg. (Cooking teacher/writer Marion Cunningham tells a story she swears is true about teaching a novice cooking class. When she told a class to "separate the eggs", one person asked, "Into how many piles?")

We all have our little foibles and insecurities. Egg separators, garlic presses, whatever...one man's meat, etc...

Curmudgeon...where on the Jersey Shore are you? We spent an idyllic summer on Long Beach Island one year a hundred years ago before moving to the Left Coast. True, we spent it waiting tables most of the time, but the rest of the time I worked on a tan and wore a bikini -- the last time I did either of those things! But I keep fond memories Laughing
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Curmudgeon



Joined: 16 Feb 2007
Posts: 7
Location: Jersey Shore

PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I meant no disrespect to people who use egg separators. My mother taught me to do it by hand when I was about five, before I found out it was supposed to be difficult. One reason I don't use many kitchen gadgets it that I regularly cook in three different kitchens. It's simpler if I stick to the basics.

Georgia - I haven't been to Long Beach Island in many years, but I still remember a wonderful picnic with friends on the beach. We're up at the gritty northern end of the shore, just outside of Red Bank.
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Expat Chef



Joined: 27 Feb 2007
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 8:54 pm    Post subject: Useless gadgets Reply with quote

The antiquated egg beater thingy - a whisk works so much better. The onion chopper - what's up with that? A chef's knife and decent knife skills seem to be able to replace about a hundred of these one-offs. Though, I like my nutmeg grinder. It stores the nutmegs in the top.

You have to be guilty of one or two of these gadgets!
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Lukas



Joined: 25 Feb 2007
Posts: 3
Location: Brooklyn, New York

PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Someone gave me--and I do believe it was a gag gift--this tool with a very long, skinny handle and then a coin-sized rubber half-circle stuck perpindicular to the bottom it. I have no idea what it's for and have never found a use for it. Maybe for scraping browned bits from the bottom of a very deep pan?? I don't know!
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Richard Leader



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

PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To weigh in on the microwave debate, mine broke about 8 years ago - I've never felt the need to replace it. For heating things up we have an oven and the hob. For defrosting things, I get them out of the freezer a little earlier. For anything else - well what else is there? Wink

On balance, I'd rather have extra work space or cupboard space...
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ducksauce



Joined: 16 Nov 2006
Posts: 22
Location: california

PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 10:28 am    Post subject: garlic press miroc wave Reply with quote

Well as far as the micro wave as concerned, for anythign other than reheating it is worth less cause it can not carmelize, also anyting u reheat or heat in the micro wave i will bet money that i an use my stove and oven and have a far more delicous product. And the reason i have not used my garlic press in over 2 years is i got a micro plane. my knife works well but if i want the garlic to become part of the cream reduction or part of the sauce there is not better way i have found to fully incorperate whole garlic than using a micro plane, neat trick is to grate couple heads on micro plane then mix in a little oil and it will keep covered with plastic for a couple days very nicely.
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Baking Betty



Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Posts: 2
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia

PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 12:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A "bagel slicer"--so bulky and unnecessary! They don't always work either! They kind of smash the bagel while you slice. Do they come as free gifts with infomercial purchases?
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emilyj



Joined: 26 Jun 2006
Posts: 184
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lukas wrote:
this tool with a very long, skinny handle and then a coin-sized rubber half-circle stuck perpindicular to the bottom it. I have no idea what it's for and have never found a use for it. Maybe for scraping browned bits from the bottom of a very deep pan?? I don't know!


Could it be a device to get olives out of long skinny jars?! I use my microwave for re-heating leftovers (although I agree that a stove does a better job I hate having extra dishes) and heating my milk for coffee in the morning and that's it. I have never successfully used it to defrost meat, I have tried many times when I have forgotten to take the meat out of the freezer early enough and have found that it invariably cooks the meat on the outside and the inside stays frozen even on the defrost setting of the microwave.

I agree with ducksauce re using the microplane for garlic, I don't like big bits of garlic in sauces and find that it really beats the garlic press which is awful to clean.
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georgia



Joined: 16 May 2006
Posts: 456
Location: california

PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lukas, for your long, skinny spoon thingy, I think it's meant to scrape up the last of what's left in the mayonnaise or mustard jar. No kidding. I'm pretty sure I've seen that gadget marketed for just that chore. But using it for retrieving anything at the bottom of a tall, narrow jar sounds reasonable. Olives? Capers? Armed with these suggestions, perhaps you'll actually be able to put it to work.
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