Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Favorite Kitchen Gadget

Posie's Place is hosting a Favourite Kitchen Gadget event. I've managed over the years to curb my gadget mania (the drawers won't hold any more stuff) because I have everything I could possibly use or need. That said, it is truly difficult to chose a favorite item, but one thing I could not do without is my bench scraper, which I've had for at least 20 years. Besides this metal scraper, I have about six more, all of which are white flexible plastic, and these too are indispensible.

This is what Wikipedia has to say:

A bench scraper is a tool used by bakers to manipulate dough and to clean surfaces on which dough has been worked. It is generally a small sheet of stainless steel (approximately 3"x5" or 8 cm x 13 cm) with a handle of wood or plastic along one of the long sides. A baker uses this tool to help pick up, turn, and portion dough. When finished, the bench scraper can be used to scrape up the little bits of dough that have dried onto the kneading surface during the forming process. This tool is alternatively refferd to as a "dough cutter," "dough knife," "pastry cutter," and "pastry knife."

In addition to its intended use with dough, it's an excellent picker-upper. This is its main use in our kitchen, moving a good amount of chopped meat or vegetables from the chopping block to the stovetop. I have to admit occasionally a morsel will fall to the floor, and when the dogs were alive, they'd get a well-deserved treat. Since then, though, I've noticed a lot more crumbs, etc., on the floor, which needs cleaning a lot more often.

Also on the list would have to be at the dozen or so different sizes of heat-resistant spatulas, mostly coming from Cost Plus. I tend to use these nowadays even more than wooden spoons; they're great for stirring around the "corners" of a saucepan or scrambling eggs.

In the past few years, I've renewed a relationship with the good old blender. Smoothies, pureed soups, pureeing simmered chiles for Mexican sauces, and cold soups for our desert hot weather are all good uses.

Thinking for a moment on some of the other most often used gizmos in our kitchen, I'd say the garlic press, toast tongs and lemon and lime presses are all used a lot.

I can't wait to see what everyone else submits as their favorites.

1 comment:

Homesick Texan said...

I'm pretty simple, but my favorite gadget is my tomato knife--never have I found something that can cut tomatoes like butter, even better than a super-sharp 10 inch blade. I'm a also a rubber spatula fan.