Monday, October 22, 2007

Gadgets, gimmicks

We all have them - those kitchen gadgets that take up valuable real estate in cupboards, collecting dust. Some of them were gifts from clueless wedding guests or well-meaning grandmas and some of them we are guilty of purchasing, spending hard earned cash on for who knows what reason. What merchandise from Spencers Gifts, Carol Wright or Bed, Bath and Beyond lurks in the dark recesses of your kitchen? For me, I just discovered some gems while we work on a kitchen demolition project. Here are some of the beauties I found amid the rubble:

Rival Sno-Cone Maker: I really can't remember buying this but I know that I did sometime a few years ago. To my knowledge, we've never used it because, guess what, we don't care for sno-cones.

Popcorn maker: In the day of microwave popcorn, which is really all I ever make, this is as obsolete as you can get. This was a wedding present and we've never opened the box. I think this one will be donated.

Creme Brulee Kit: Ok, this one was also a wedding present but the reason we never used it was we couldn't find the fuel for this particular machine. That, and we just don't make creme brulee. I have the cookbook that goes with this one too. Saddest thing is that I recently gave someone a Creme Brulee kit for a wedding gift. Now before you cry "hypocrite" the wedding theme was France, so I get a little credit for that.

Tiny Food Processor: The only thing this thing is good for is making salsa - a small amount of salsa. Otherwise, it is too underpowered and too small for anything of value. Plus, I never remember I have it or don't want to put it together just to chop a quarter of an onion. Wasted space.

Along the way, I've purchased and tossed specialized garlic peelers, ginger graters, corn cob prongs, cheese spreading knives, turkey injector kits, popsicle makers and sushi kits. Why have I accumulated all this junk, other than being more than a touch OCD? Because gadgets promise a new, Better way to do things and shortcuts sound good. Why take the time to cook bacon in pan or in the oven when the Wavy Baconater can zap it in your micro and do it in half the time. Why hardboil eggs on the stove when the Eggomatic 5000 can make a dozen eggs in a flash for that once a year bowl of egg salad that you make for the company picnic. Gadgets make us think we are saving time and doing things in a new-fangled, fancy way. More often than not, they are globs of plastic and metal that take up space and do little to save time or money. Sure, there are a few gadgets I love but my journey down kitchen junkyard lane has reminded me to stick to the basics and just make do. Making do is highly underrated.


Buck said...

Actually, I'm a little OCD when it comes to getting rid of things I don't use

HOWEVER - I do have two teeny tiny Tupperware containers that SO need to go down the trash chute. But they're so cute.

Seattle Coffee Girl said...

My dear mother used to work for Williams-Sonoma. And she is about as Zen in the kitchen as anyone I know: spare is the word here. She doesn't own a darned gadget at all. And I long to emulate her in that regard. But somehow I can't part with my potato ricer and that magic little thingiemabober that takes garlic skins off. I'm a bit of a kitchen gadget slut. (sigh...)

Lorraine said...

I used to be a kitchen gadget slut. Then I pretty much made a rule for myself that I wouldn't have anything in my kitchen that only had one use. My zester doesn't count.

Speck said...

Multi-use gadgets are a requirement in my teeny-tiny kitchen. My one guilty pleasure is the wire egg slicer thingy.

PinkAndChocolateBrown said...

Oh, I LOVE my popcorn popper. Air-popped popcorn is so much better tasting (and healthier unless you coat it with butter) than microwave. Plus, no burned kernels.