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form over function

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
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:
Ciao!

"I Am Not Afraid... I Was Born To Do This." Joan of Arc
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Ciao!

"I Am Not Afraid... I Was Born To Do This." Joan of Arc
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post #2 of 26

Multitaskers

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.
post #3 of 26
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!
"At weddings, my Aunts would poke me in the ribs and cackle "You're next!". They stopped when I started doing the same to them at funerals." D. Barry
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"At weddings, my Aunts would poke me in the ribs and cackle "You're next!". They stopped when I started doing the same to them at funerals." D. Barry
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post #4 of 26
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
post #5 of 26
Depending on the stage of your "disease" I believe storage space can have a definite impact.

;)
post #6 of 26
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....
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #7 of 26
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! :(
My name is not Rhonda, I'm a guy
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My name is not Rhonda, I'm a guy
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post #8 of 26
How come there's little **** in front of RONCO? :confused:
I swear i didn't curse...honest..... :cry:
My name is not Rhonda, I'm a guy
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My name is not Rhonda, I'm a guy
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post #9 of 26

Microplane for garlic!?!?!

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.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #10 of 26

Re: Microplane for garlic!?!?!

Wouldn'y you kill your sharp edge if you use NUTMEG on your microplanar? I use a small nutmeg "cheese grater" for that. ;)
My name is not Rhonda, I'm a guy
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My name is not Rhonda, I'm a guy
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post #11 of 26
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.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #12 of 26
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.
post #13 of 26
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. :)
post #14 of 26
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:
post #15 of 26
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....................
post #16 of 26
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....
"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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post #17 of 26
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...



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.

:)
post #18 of 26
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:
My name is not Rhonda, I'm a guy
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My name is not Rhonda, I'm a guy
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post #19 of 26
I have a #4 and use it for garlic, ginger, jalepinos........LOVE IT!!!!
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #20 of 26
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.

;)
post #21 of 26

Don't I know what you mean...

I'm afflicted with the illness too. I easily get tempted (and carried away) at the sight of beautiful new gadgets, especially if they work. I also collect antique kitchen gadgets as well as new ones, along with molds and rolling pins (from glass to wood to copper to stainless steel to marble).

As far as cookbooks and magazines are concerned, it's madness! Acquired two new books this week -- I have to rearrange my shelves to fit them in...

:rolleyes:
K

«Money talks. Chocolate sings. Beautifully.»
«Just Give Me Chocolate and Nobody Gets Hurt.»
«Coffee, Chocolate, Men ... Some things are just better rich.»
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K

«Money talks. Chocolate sings. Beautifully.»
«Just Give Me Chocolate and Nobody Gets Hurt.»
«Coffee, Chocolate, Men ... Some things are just better rich.»
Reply
post #22 of 26
Forgot to add that I really couldn't live (or cook) without my #5 citrus zester that I also use for cheese/chocolate/ginger//garlic/nutmeg grater! :p
K

«Money talks. Chocolate sings. Beautifully.»
«Just Give Me Chocolate and Nobody Gets Hurt.»
«Coffee, Chocolate, Men ... Some things are just better rich.»
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K

«Money talks. Chocolate sings. Beautifully.»
«Just Give Me Chocolate and Nobody Gets Hurt.»
«Coffee, Chocolate, Men ... Some things are just better rich.»
Reply
post #23 of 26

we are all sick people...

Count me in on one of everything...
And then there's all the Sicilian plateware I had shipped over from my last trip
that's now being pushed aside for the Moroccan platters and tagines that I have recently acquired from a new discovered source.

Isn't there a 12 step program for this somewhere...:lol:

Oh yeah I forgot - I also have 4 plastic basket cheese molds that I had to bring back too:blush:
"Life is a banquet - and most poor suckers are starving to death" - Auntie Mame
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"Life is a banquet - and most poor suckers are starving to death" - Auntie Mame
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post #24 of 26
OH, you mean like the soup plates I carried back from Amsterdam on my lap, because I had that pattern and was used to that style, but hadn't seen it anywhere here? :blush:

There was just a piece in the NY Times yesterday about finding pieces of china on the Web; Guilty, guilty, GUILTY!!:D :D :D :blush:
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #25 of 26

Yeah I do mean like that

I UNDERSTAND. I have a 2 feet tall statue of the Virgin Mary and angels made out of SUGAR that I carried back on my lap in it's own special suitcase (that I had to buy) from Sicily - when I arrived home the customs dogs had a field day and I had to unwrap the entire mound of bubblewrap newspaper wadding on the airport floor to prove it wasn't drugs...:blush:
"Life is a banquet - and most poor suckers are starving to death" - Auntie Mame
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"Life is a banquet - and most poor suckers are starving to death" - Auntie Mame
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post #26 of 26
I am afflicted as well, I’m a hopeless case. Cookbooks and anything that belongs in the kitchen, on the table and in the plates too! I can not pass a kitchenware store without going in. Looking, lusting and drooling over any little thing I see. Ok so they are not always little. I am trying hard not be buy on impulse. Look into things before buying. Obviously not for every little thing but for buy that counts. I said trying not succeeding.

For years I would buy every Japanese plates I saw. Always in blue and white. I now have a great collection. Add to that too many pairs of chopsticks. I was reading about Wendy’s collection of indigo dishes and was telling myself how much I love blue plates and the red one too. How good they would look with white plates.

A few weeks ago I made a decision, No idea why. I wonder if it isn’t just a new way to justify getting more books. See I love to travel and since I am presently unable to finish my world tour I decided to tour the world in cookbooks. So I made a list of cookbooks from many different countries. I just have to get The Glorious Food Of Greece. The Food Of Israel Today and The New Book Of Middle Eastern Food. And let’s not forget Elephant Walk, Cracking The Coconut and Sicilian Home Cooking. I already went crazy and got Spain from the Culinaria collection.

Waiting in line to pay a book the other day I noticed two books on Irish cooking on sale. I don’t have any book on Irish cooking I told myself, why don’t I just grab those two while they are on sale. I don’t really like Irish food what will I do with two books on it. I returned them a few days later.

Beside cookbooks and everything else I have a weakness for moulds. Specially miniature moulds. I already have quite a collection. Among my favourite are walnut shaped moulds. Then there is the whole petits fours collection. The extra miniature set and various others. Last week I almost bought mini bundt moulds but refrained myself. I know eventually I will buy them. Have I mentioned cookie or petits fours cutters? I just love all the shape, it’s so clean, so inspiring. I have a box full of them. In fact I am a whole cupboard full of moulds.

Then there is catalogues. I store them in a little stool with all the Good Cook’s catalogues (I’ve keep them all). When things aren’t going well I’ll open the stool and take a few out to look at. I’ll just lust after all those beautiful tools or pans. Or cinnamon chips and black cocoa…



One last thing, I have the no. 5 grater. I use it for everything, ginger, nutmeg, etc.
When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
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When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
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