- September 24th, 2012
Bold the ones you have and use at least once a year, italicize the ones you have and don't use, strike through the ones you have had but got rid of.
I wonder how many pasta machines, breadmakers, juicers, blenders, deep fat fryers, egg boilers, melon ballers, sandwich makers, pastry brushes, cheese boards, cheese knives, electric woks, miniature salad spinners, griddle pans, meat thermometers, jam funnels, filleting knives, egg poachers, cake stands, garlic crushers, martini glasses, tea strainers, bamboo steamers, pizza stones, coffee grinders, milk frothers, piping bags, banana stands, fluted pastry wheels, tagine dishes, conical strainers, rice cookers, steam cookers, pressure cookers, slow cookers, spaetzle makers, cookie presses, gravy strainers, double boilers (bains marie), sukiyaki stoves, ice cream makers, fondue sets, healthy-grills, home smokers, tempura sets, tortilla presses, electric whisks, cherry stoners, sugar thermometers, food processors, bacon presses, bacon slicers, mouli mills, cake testers, pestle-and-mortars, and sets of kebab skewers languish dustily at the back of the nation's cupboards.
Generally speaking, I don't buy gear that I'm not going to use, so if it's in my cupboards or on my countertop, it's going to see a lot of use. When I think something is overly specialized and I can perform the same function myself with something I already have (like an egg separator, or a double-boiler), then I don't bother buying it. I stone cherries by hand, I use a bamboo skewer to test a cake for doneness, and I cook rice on the stovetop.
One of my very favorite and most frequently used gadgets isn't listed here, though: an immersion blender. Mine has different attachments, has worked like a beast for a long time without ever once balking, and makes almost everything easier, from whipped cream to pureed soups to salad dressing and beyond. It's the single tool I would most recommend for a tiny kitchen, because it does a lot with a little and takes up so little space.
Of the rest of the list, I have to say that I'd love a tagine. I have a recipe for a lamb tagine that is massively time-consuming to do properly and yet worth every single second of the fussing. I make it in a dutch oven now, but to actually make it in the vessel it was designed for would be a treat...