Good Food Blog
Gagging for gadgets?Posted at 11:37AM, 09 June 2008 by Sylvia Howe - Journalist
I have had my own kitchen for many years, and I have come to the reluctant conclusion that I really, truly, don't need anything else for it. Need, that is. I want lots - to upgrade my Magimix, have a steamer, a whizzer, a thumper, a peeler, but that is simply self indulgence. Which, believe me, has its place...
When I first had a kitchen and thought about cooking my own food - properly, one or two steps up from the can opener - I was delighted by wanders around Peter Jones. I glued my nose to the window of David Mellor and gasped at the gorgeousness of Divertimenti. And I dreamed of buying a fish kettle - as you do.
This gawping led to much purchasing. Nothing too grown up, but I know my melon baller dates from that time (used, say, three times; well, would you?). My zester, though, is brilliant and I continue to use it to this day.
The humble potato peeler didn't excite me until just the other day, when I discovered that there IS a difference between a good one and a bad one. I had tried the ones that have a revolving head (didn't do it for me), ones with long handles, ones with short, but I have learnt from my local kitchen shop that Victorinox is the only knife company that makes them, and yes, dear reader, they do work better.
The wonderful thing about gadget addiction is that the craving can be satisfied very easily.
I debated long about a food processor. I did have a Magimix, and it did do its stuff brilliantly, but when I moved house, it didn't, for some reason. I wasn't too sad - I had an excellent excuse to buy something else. And I did. I got a smaller one that does perfectly well, as I never really cooked for multitudes anyhow. I then tried one of those choppers on sticks and that was fine until it burnt its motor out. I bought a larger processor, but that just confirmed that it was bigger than I needed.
So now I have a stick thing that has attachments - a whisk, a chopper and a bowl with a little blade that it attaches to the top of and spins around. It works perfectly well. I love the idea of things that are low tech. I long for a pasta maker, but so far have resisted. I yearn for a hand mincer but ditto. I did buy a herb mouli - I have nothing but good to say about it, but it lies in the drawer. I have an electric steamer, but used it two years ago, preferring those bamboo stacking ones, until they went a bit fuzzy. Now I use steel ones, and they work fine.
My recent favourites? A little spatula (a spoonula, I think) that has the scoopability of a flat-headed one, but is in fact shaped like a spoon, in palest blue. Lovely. And - and I almost hesitate to tell you this - my avocado slicer cum scoop is absolutely brilliant!
I shall be going to the Good Food Show this summer to indulge my secret vice. The wonderful thing about gadget addiction is that the craving can be satisfied very easily. It doesn't really matter how much you spend or how serious the gadget you buy is. It just has to be new, and full of promise.
I got my fish kettle - as a wedding present. Everyone's is a wedding present, with the possible exception of Rick Stein's. It is in the garage, I think.