Good Food Blog
Kitchen tools and gadgetsPosted at 11:56AM, 28 May 2008 by Jenni Muir - Food writer
Garlic crushers: handy kitchen gadget or instrument of the devil? As I stood at the sink the other night trying to brush away the bits jammed in the holes - and wound up using a toothpick to push them out individually - I did wonder why I keep the damn thing. Then I dried it and shoved it straight back in the kitchen drawer.
In fact I normally just chop garlic, or squash it a bit then chop or slice. I know how to purée it with a big pinch of salt but for me it takes ages and I hate the way the smell lingers on the board, making everything garlicky for ages afterwards. Garlic crushers are not only a faff to clean, the flavour the crushed garlic then gives to dishes can easily go over the top.
The charms of the highly popular microwave crisp makers have totally passed me by.
But who hasn't got a drawer or cupboard holding kitchen equipment they barely use? Little serrated knives, veg peelers, tablespoons, cups, Klippits and skewers are close to the front of my utensil drawer; the other stuff mightn't get much use but at least it stops the favourites rolling around. Even the can-opener hardly gets a look-in these days, thanks to ring-pull tins.
Of course, one person's must-have might be another's dust-gathering waste of money. A colleague once told me the most ridiculous kitchen gadget she'd ever bought was a waffle making machine - I love them and have two. Yet the charms of the highly popular microwave crisp makers have totally passed me by.
Holiday cookery courses are a nightmare because I always become convinced that I need the most bizarrely shaped and heaviest object the teacher has used. Yet the best purchase I ever made on my travels was a light, skinny pair of bamboo tongs.
Still, every time a new kitchenware catalogue comes through the letterbox (and that seems to be happening more frequently) don't we all pounce on it? It's not just a love of cooking and all its paraphernalia. Doesn't a little part of us believe life would be transformed by a clever new gadget or appliance?