mini chopper

Useful gadget

What is more annoying then walking into a dollar store and finding a Microwave Egg Cooker? It happened. I saw one. When I go to dollar stores, I always check the Kitchen Equipment shelf. I’ve found a wooden spatula with a curved lip that helps for saute. I’ve found a 4-pack of tongs, made of good quality metal (minus the silicon tip), the package included 2 short and 2 long tongs. I’ve picked up a funnel strainer, and one or two other cool things.But a Microwave egg cooker? Come on folks. What happened to the old fashioned boil-the-egg-on-the-stove? Are people really afraid to use their stove-tops? Does a microwave use less electricity than a stove? I don’t even have a microwave in my house. I am adverse to them, and short of a quick way to heat butter, or chocolate (double-boiler any one?), I find them useless.

I don’t eat frozen meals, and once I got the Partner used to flavorful cooking, she too has discovered that food sans the microwave is a beautifully flavored thing.

Kitchen gadgets are based off professional cooking ware, adapted for the home cook. Usually they are made cheaply, out of low quality plastic, and metal that ends up bending or breaking. Which is why you can find them in abundance in dollar stores.

I’m not going to debunk the new silicone movement. Anything that will help me not get burned is a good invention. Still, I don’t see those silly gloves that you can pick up in your local grocery store making their way to the Professional kitchen.

When I was looking for a new wood cutting board, it took me five stores, and almost $30.00 to find one that had the quality I wanted. This was a few years ago, before the food craze really hit the market, and higher quality product started showing up at the Grocers. I was at Safeway the other day (a regional grocery chain), and they had a comparable board for a little less than what I paid for mine.

So, who invents all these gadgets, and why do they think they’ll “help the home-maker?”
Not all gadgets are bad, per se. I like my funnels, and my baby strainer (good for hand-juicing lemons and limes). But how many are out there that people are buying and then just throwing into a junk drawer because it doesn’t hold to its promise of making cooking easier?

An internet search yielded over 3 million hits for Kitchen Gadgets. By narrowing the field, that number lowered to 114,000. It’s a world full of gadgets, and the kitchen has it’s share.