Name your most useless kitchen tools
Every christmas or birthday some well meaning person presents you "the cook" with the newest gadget. In my top ten, the garlic press is one of them (I can hear the howls now)
It all comes down to the right tools and ingredients. Discover great tips here.
I happen to like my mandolin. It's easy to use and clean and I get perfect cuts every time. It doesn't have an adjustment for the width of cut so that does make it a bit lame.
Who am I kidding I haven't used it since I bought it. It was the one thing at the hostess party I thought I'd use, having all sort of grand idea's of making perfect julienne cuts to impress guests. Next time I'll buy a salt and pepper shaker set, those I know we'll use.
I also have a mandolin, but I rarely use it. Unless I am making french fries and that also is very rarely (even though they are one of my favorite foods). I have to say though, when I do use it, it does the job well.
One of the tools I have that I never use is a chocolate scraper...makes curls etc. never used it.
I'll tell you one tool I use the most...my wine opener! ha ha...best tool invented!!! :-)
I rarely use it because a knife is fast and easy and doesn't require picking little bits of garlic out of any holes with a toothpick. Though I don't use my mandolin often, I love it for specific jobs. When I need a lot of nice thin uniform slices of big things that won't fit down the food processor shoot, it is perfect. When making vegetable terrines, scalloped potatoes, long strips of cucumber, it is the way to go. After owning and using it for years, I just discovered the blade is removable so it can be sharpened! I feel a little silly, but I once again have a razor-sharp blade.
I am fed up with it! Its big, its clumsy, it beeps when it wants and NEVER does toast the way I want it. And anyway, I usually like something melted on or around the toast, so I have decided to use the grill instead in the future. I threw the toaster away today and now have more workspace too!
Although I have a toaster I see what you mean. They sure do take up a lot of space. Mine is a cuisinart one that is pretty good, but it is still just a toaster. I am not really a fan of a big piece of equipment that only does one thing.
Only problem is...I LOVE TOAST! I think that I could potentially live without it if I had a "toaster oven". However I have never had one as they take up even more space...but I am like you....I love things melted on toast. I guess that is part of the reason why I have a panini machine.
Good Luck without the toaster! Happy Melting!
I, too, love toast and things melted on toast. On a weekend I will make either challah or English muffins or multi-grain toast "butter" it with a layer of ripe avocado and put scrambled eggs (loose of course) on top. Then, I place cheese, whatever we are in the mood for bucheron, muenster, goat etc. and put in my microwave which is a multitasker--it grills, bakes, cooks as well as microwaves. I melt the cheese over the eggs, which stay loose, that is essential. And voila, a fab breakfast. Who ever said it wasn't the BEST meal of the day!
I know this title sounds like a David Lynch movie, let me explain. The other day I was in a over-priced kitchen store that caters to the trophy wives and Sandra Lee's of the world. There are too many useless tools out there taking advantage of the elderly and housewives alike.
There was a set of olive and caper tongs for forty dollars. Confusious says,"save forty bucks use fingers". As if Americans were not lazy enough, I turned a corner to see an instrument that might stop culinary mankind as we know it. It has to be stopped before it infects more cities like some kind of gastronomic La Cosa Nostra. Ladies and gentlemen I am talking about the avocado slicer. If one has to scoop the avocado out of the skin to put it in the slicer, score it before you scoop it and use your KNIFE. That is all. I now ask each of you to go through your kitchen. If you haven't used something in six months you probably don't need it. If you have an avocado slicer, use your knife more. It's fun and leads to less dishes. Thanks for listening.
And add the Mango slicer! That is a HUGE WHAT IS THIS NECESSARY FOR? The natives would be appalled at such a device. Likewise, with the cherry/olive pitter, if you are too lazy to pit a cherry, don't make the pie or the olive don't make the dish. The fruit loses it's pungency when "pitted" in advance. It becomes flavorless.
Maybe those "ladies who lunch" and frequent the over-priced kitchen store need to volunter for a charity or community group?
Years ago, I bought a paring knife, because everybody needs a paring knife, right?
Well, not me. I never use the thing. To peel, I use a peeler. (or, in the case of ginger, a teaspoon) To cut up small items, like olives, garlic cloves and the like, I just use my chef's knife. To brunoise, I use my chef's knife. When I am making soup or something similar, I never cut the vegetables into the pot with my paring knife. I always cut them on the cutting board with... well, you get the idea. :)
I know a lot of people find chef's knives to be too large for certain tasks, but I'm very used to mine. I've tried using my paring knife for smaller things, and it winds up being the knife that feels unwieldy and uncomfortable to me.
I did use it a couple of months ago to slice cheese at my desk, here. It wound up in a cubbyhole on the desk surface behind a book. It took me several weeks to even notice it wasn't in my knife block.
I guess if I were to suddenly feel the need to start carving things into fancy garnishes, I wouldn't use my chef's knife. But, were that to happen, I'd probably go pick up a set of linoleum knives. :)
What about if you section citrus for a dish or recipe; I understand you are a man and a chefs knife may feel less cumbersome in your hands, but if you were to do something so delicate, you would use your chefs knife? Coming to spring and summer, I have a ton of dishes that require citrus segments, I dislike the paring knife as it is so small and I have really, really long fingers, which makes the paring knife annoying, but I find it necessary. I'd end up with mashed fruit if I used a chefs knife (mine is a 10" wide blade). Just wondering?
You mean like supreming an orange? My choice would definitely be a very sharp chef's knife. Probably my eight inch instead of my ten inch, but, still, a chef's knife.
I don't find the paring knife to be so much cumbersome, as that it is so small and lacking in mass. I prefer to feel like my knife is doing most of the work, and that I am just laying back and steering.
I also like my blade to be at least twice as long as whatever I am cutting, in most cases. I think making one clean slice with a longer blade beats sawing and poking with a short one every time, at least in regard to presentation.
So basically the moral of story is "use whichever knife feels comfortable for you". This is really why I switched in the video, to show people and let them know that they can use either. I am not a fan of "absolutes", it's much less freeing.