form over function

Discussion in 'Cooking Equipment Reviews' started by catciao, Mar 6, 2002.

  1. catciao

    catciao

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    Okay, I admit it. I can't walk into the kitchen gadget area or Williams Sonoma without my heart starting to palpitate a bit. I absolutely have a compulsion/ obsession thing going on here. But after about 10 minutes I calm myself down and the responsible little guy in my head starts whispering "You don't really need that fancy-slicer, that's why you bought great knives; or "you don't need that $15 garlic press, just smash it with your chef's knive the old fashion way". Does anyone else have my illness? My questions to you are where do you draw the line? Is there a perfect collection of tools that anyone has found or are you having a hard time opening your kitchen drawers that are stuffed full of gadgets? What is the best kitchen tool that you have come across that performed as you expected and you use often? When do you buy a gadget if you know you have other tools that can perform the same function? I'm kinda a neat-freak in my kitchen, which also happens to be not very big, so less is more to me, which is unfortunate. I think I need a bigger kitchen!!:crazy: :crazy: :crazy:
     
  2. svadhisthana

    svadhisthana

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    I too suffer from your disease. Stores, catalogues, cooking.com, etc. all tempt me on a regular basis. I make myself wait and only if I can justify the purchase somehow then I buy it. I'm also a neat freak and am big on NOT having two of something. I find that if I can purchase an object that has more than one function it can more easily integrate into my kitchen.
     
  3. kylew

    kylew

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    I used to suffer from this disease. My EasyBake Kitchen has cured me :) I don't have the luxury of owning any one trick ponies. I am now at a zero sum level. For everything I out into my kitchen, something has to come out. As an example of my former illness, I have 3 things designed for garlic; a wooden mushroom shaped thing, a garlic press and one of those flexible rubber tubes. I use my chef's knife :) I also have a cherry pitter!
     
  4. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    Depends on what you mean by gadget. Most of mine are specially shaped moulds and shapes. For example, I have 40 mini tart pans. Ridiculous, but I use them at least once a year :). I also like purchasing unique shaped dishes in a variety of sizes. I tend to stay away from supposed labor saving devices like those peddled by pampered chef. They're hard to clean anyways.

    I use my gadgets a lot, especially since I've had more time to concentrate on things I like to do rather than pander to the masses. I'm doing a bunch of Chocolate Easter eggs right now actually. I have six egg sizes and four bunny sizes. It's worth it if you use it :)

    Kuan
     
  5. mudbug

    mudbug

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    Depending on the stage of your "disease" I believe storage space can have a definite impact.

    ;)
     
  6. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    Emersion blender, microplane grater and non-melting spatula....those are pretty wonderful gadets.
    Unfortunately I have alot of space....2100sq ft and walk in basement and huge closet with storage shelves to hold shtuff....sets of plates,glasses, I'm really big into ramekins....wine racks, I too have decorating and tiny pastry molds....chocolate molds and sugar egg molds...guess it's that time again. A dear friend of mine has a restaurant supply house adn gives me incredible deals....that place makes me drool, shoot just thinking about it....
     
  7. 84rhonda

    84rhonda

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    Wow, i'm glad to see there are people in the same boat as me. Maybe we can have a support group. If we had a Williams Sonoma here, I'd probably file for bankruptcy in about a year. My biggest problem is I have an instant attraction to anything shiny and stainless steel :p .

    I am running out of room in my apt, my cupboards are filled with stuff. I'm proud to say that I don't own anything "useless" or anything thing from an infomercial :bounce:. (mind you I'm guilty of watching the Rocket chef and that **** Ronco rotisserie infomercial, over and over again).

    I agree with Shroomgirl that a microplaner is one of the most useful gadgets out there. Love it for garlic, no need to bust out the fancy SS knives.

    And I have not drawn the line as of yet. I love kitchen stuff for their ART appeal too. I adore my knive block, it's so contemporary looking and looks like a piece of art. The kitchen aid mixer is also a beautiful piece to have "set out" as an art piece, but it's also extremely useful. I'm eyeying an espresso machine right now, unfortunately, I think it happens to be the world's most expensive HOME USE espresso machine :cry: .

    I have an addiction what can i say. Oh well, better than having a car addiction, oh wait, i have one of them too. D'OH! :(
     
  8. 84rhonda

    84rhonda

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    How come there's little **** in front of RONCO? :confused:
    I swear i didn't curse...honest..... :cry:
     
  9. suzanne

    suzanne

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    I already use it for cheese, and zesting, and horseradish, and chocolate, and just found out about using it for nutmeg. But, wow, that's a new use to me! Thank you, thank you, thank you! See, there's just no end to the usefulness of a GOOD piece of equipment.
     
  10. 84rhonda

    84rhonda

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    Wouldn'y you kill your sharp edge if you use NUTMEG on your microplanar? I use a small nutmeg "cheese grater" for that. ;)
     
  11. suzanne

    suzanne

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    Well, I haven't actually tried it, just read about it somewhere.:blush:

    But I can never get enough scraped off when I use a supposed nutmeg grater, so I figure it's worth a try. Besides, microplanes aren't very expensive now, so even if I ruin mine, it's easily replaceable.
     
  12. bouland

    bouland

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    Microplanes are relatively new to the food service industry, but they've been around the woodworking industry for a long time. They were, I've been told, originally designed to be used as wood rasps.
     
  13. foodie jeff

    foodie jeff

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    I know what you mean about the compulusion catciao. I have purchased a significant number of items in the past year or so, including Emile Henry baking dishes, All-Clad LTD cookware, Wusthof knives, etc. I don't know if there is a "perfect" collection of tools and gadgets, but based upon the way I cook, some of my favorite tools/gadgets are a stainless steel foodmill and the Microplate coarse and fine graters. My wife, who does not cook, loves to grate Parmigiano with the Microplane, and the foodmill works great for puréed soup, mashed potatoes, etc. I almost forgot about some others: the 4 cup fat separator, baguette pan, Le Creuset spatulas, Julia's Art of French Cooking, digital pocket thermometer, Polder thermometer/timer, Unicorn peppermill, Matfer mandolin...

    Some things I don't have (yet): a pasta machine and immersion blender. :)
     
  14. katbalou

    katbalou

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    my question is, have you gone over the line when you start collecting antique kitchen gadgets on top of the new ones? i think i reached maximum capacity on the new ones and now have things from the '20s and up. family heirlooms i guess, probably only other collectors understand and my kids will toss them when i'm gone. :lol:
     
  15. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    I too suffer from such a disease. Unfortunately, my wife does also, so I have no help in the restraint department. Of all the tools that I have my favorites are: my emersion blender, my morter & pestle, my mini cuisinart, and my Benrinier mandoline. Though I would hate to give up any of my "toys". Of course this doesn't include my knives and cast iron skillet, or my set of Allclad, or my mini teflon cheesecake pans, or my mini teflon tart pans, or my popcorn popper, or....................
     
  16. w.debord

    w.debord

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    Well you can write my name down in dark black ink, cause boy do I fit into this group. Over the years I've collected, boy have I collected: I started collecting white serving pieces when I was only a teen, then I got hip (HA) and funkey and turned to black modern serving dishes and gold colored stemware. But I prefer to blame Martha Stewart for all my craziness. We were catering and I think I recreated every buffet she ever published. I scoured every flea market to have the cool baskets and dishes she had....

    I went to Mexico and started collecting clay serving pieces (thank god they were cheap), then clear glass fish plates came in, I had to have those of course. A couple years later I progressed into colbalt blue serving pieces when then onto several colors of depression glass rolling over into fiesta ware (the last two being influenced by my spouse)...and that's not mentioning my everyday stuff and the sets of dishes I inherited too. AND GET THIS, I don't even have a china hutch! All my pretty dishes are on shelfs or in boxes down in my basement....I should be shot.

    Lets see ....then I have my collection of antique candy molds, but when I discovered that they were only good for looking at I began collecting copper molds. Well that gave way to more practical plastic molds and now I have (more then I'll ever use) candy molds.

    I inherited Moms baking pans and managed to add a few contempory pans mostly individual portions sided and I used them at work so I could justify my fetish. I can't forget all my professional pastry gadgets that no kitchen I've worked at owned (I just had to learn from having them, right?), figured it was my duty as a good pastry chef to be ever ready and knowledgable. And then as I've progressed in my illness I now have so many cookie cutters that I had to organized them into catagories to box them so I could figure out where's what when and if I need them.


    I won't go into my cookbook collection...(bet your glad not to read about those!)

    But I can say with all honesty .... The rest of my closets are empty, I don't own ANY nick nacks to dust, my home borders on stark looking except for my real art on the walls. I don't care to collect any of the usual female trappings, instead of a weekly manicure I'd rather own a candy mold or cookie cutter. That's fair don't you think? :bounce:

    P.S. The items I've omited from mentioning well...., those collections never really got big enough to call them a collection, I just lusted after them...when I snapped out of it and realized I was married to other collections I stopped. Shew....
     
  17. mudbug

    mudbug

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    84RHONDA,

    You may be interested in checking out the Microplane website.

    We use ours for nutmeg all the time and it stays sharp, it's designed for that kind of use and there are several different kinds of Microplanes available just for the kitchen...

    [​IMG]

    It's designed for "...ingredients like fresh citrus rinds, garlic, nutmeg, and parmesan..."



    bouland,

    You can read the story about the invention of the Microplane here.

    :)
     
  18. 84rhonda

    84rhonda

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    Thanks cchiu. Those tools sure resemble carpenter's tool more than kitchen gadgets. :)


    I know the last one is used a lot for woodworking isn't it?
    :lips:
     
  19. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    I have a #4 and use it for garlic, ginger, jalepinos........LOVE IT!!!!
     
  20. mudbug

    mudbug

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    Click on the first link I provided in my previous message. You'll find #5 is a zester. All of those pictured above are for the kitchen.

    Click on this link for information about their woodshop tools.

    ;)