Monday, February 14, 2011

Ten out of ten toys

Don’t you just love little kitchen gadgets? They lurk in the most unlikely places - their shiny steel and lurid colours beckoning to me to take them home. I have at least four gadgets for grating ginger and three that will cut fancy shapes, batons and even spirals. I have an antique cheese slicer and butter curler and handmade vegetable slicers that need oiling to keep them from rusting. Some I use all the time, some languish in the back of drawers in between garage sales.

Some of my favourites are from Asia. I have graters made from recycled cans and a zester made from laminated strips of bamboo and a beautiful hand carved wooden mould for making steamed sweets. The most bizarre came from California - a fold up vase made from plastic – perfect to take backpacking!

Returning from a trip to SFMOMA, friends bought me a few goodies. My favourite would have to be the clip from the No mess range from Trudeau Corp, a Canadian company. Made of silicone and steel, it is a spoon holder that lets the spoon drip back into the pot instead of onto a plate or your counter top. If you have ever had a jam spoon glue itself to your work surface, or had tomato/curry/plum stains on your white Formica you will appreciate how handy this gadget is.(if you are crazy enough to have a white counter top in the first place you deserve all you get!)                                                                                                             

Making piccalilli in an attempt to use copious quantities of zuc’s and cuc’s and turmeric was its first test. It held the wooden spoon easily. A few days later, it was doing service on a batch of hand cream. One of the biggest hazards with making emulsions is keeping my thermometers from falling in. I usually hook a piece of copper wire over the side of the pot but it tends to slide sideways and I have to fish it out of the hot oil or water. No Mess held onto the wire, no worries and even held my thin spatula, staying there through the whole process! It has the added advantage that you don’t forget where you left the spoon! Ten out of ten!

PS Check out the links...I even found the fold up vase there!

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