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Fat Guy

Effective, inexpensive kitchen gadgets you couldn't live without

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A little hard plastic gizmo that was one of those things in the bucket at the cash register. It's about 2x2", and one corner is curved, the other square. Use it as a tiny bench scraper, or a thingee it get dried on crud out of bowls, etc.

A plastic ruler we got free at the fair from a 4-H booth.

Screwdriver. Mine has a screw top with different bits.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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The microplane. Inexpensive and used quite often for zest, to grate a light fluffy mound of cheese or to quickly and finely grate ginger or garlic to a paste.

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plastic bowl scrapper--good for cutting bread dough also

wooden citrus reamer

re-useable plastic deli containers

the garage sale edition of How to Cook Everything I paid $3.00 for

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Old thread resurrect, but this manual food chopper is an amazingly useful gadget.  No batteries, no power cord.   3 pieces to clean.

I've made salsa and chopped nuts and egg salad.   Used it to prep eggs for scrambling (does a terrific job).   It was under the Baolink name when I bought it and I think @liuzhou had it in a post years ago that tipped me off to hunt one down and purchase.  I have the 2 cup model and it's over 3 years old and still working great for a cheapo gadget.

 

 


Edited by Smithy Fixed the Amazon-friendly link; removed apology for nonworking link (log)
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I have the corresponding gadget from Tupperware. It has a crank rather than a pull, but the basic idea is the same.

One of the supermarkets here is selling such a gizmo at the moment as a "cauliflower ricer."


“What is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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The local supermarkets periodically puts  bamboo spoons, a package of about five, on sale for maybe $2.99. They range from almost flat to relatively deep bowls. I cannot cook without them. 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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Potato ricers are great. A single task tool, but one of the most effective there is. A thermometer like a Thermapen isn't cheap as a headline figure, but the cost per use is basically negligible over its life, so that'd be right up there. Tongs have been mentioned, but I like the ones with silicone pincers because you don't have to worry about any non-stick pan you're using, etc.

 

The above might be tools rather than gadgets, but meh!

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32 minutes ago, paynemj said:

Potato ricers are great. A single task tool, but one of the most effective there is. A thermometer like a Thermapen isn't cheap as a headline figure, but the cost per use is basically negligible over its life, so that'd be right up there. Tongs have been mentioned, but I like the ones with silicone pincers because you don't have to worry about any non-stick pan you're using, etc.

 

The above might be tools rather than gadgets, but meh!

I use my potato ricer for parsnips, celeriac, kohlrabi, sweet potatoes, some fruits, when I don't want to get out the food mill for a very small batch.

Also avocados, cooked chicken livers,  pressing steamed greens to extract as much liquid as possible.  

And even soft cheeses (spray the inside with oil so it doesn't stick) for a super-smooth result for cheese logs and balls.  

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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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As someone mentioned earlier ricers are great for squeezing moisture of something like spinach.

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1 hour ago, Okanagancook said:

As someone mentioned earlier ricers are great for squeezing moisture of something like spinach.

Might have been me. That's where mine sees the most work, because we go through a lot of frozen spinach (especially in winter, when I don't have greens from my garden). I can certainly buy fresh greens without difficulty, but frozen spinach is dirt cheap at one of the supermarkets (No Frills) and perishability isn't an issue.

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“What is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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19 hours ago, gfweb said:

Have you ever used the grind feature?  I'm wondering if this would work better for making curry pastes than a blender or normal food processor as it might replicate a mortar/pestle better...

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37 minutes ago, KennethT said:

Have you ever used the grind feature?  I'm wondering if this would work better for making curry pastes than a blender or normal food processor as it might replicate a mortar/pestle better...

I’ve chopped nuts with it. A few pulses give a good rough chop. A few more you get big and littler pieces.  Even more ...sand. 

 

I can can tell you it makes a beautiful romesco sauce. Smooth and homogenous. 

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5 hours ago, Okanagancook said:

As someone mentioned earlier ricers are great for squeezing moisture of something like spinach.

Or from shredded potatoes 

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You're all making me wonder whether I still have that potato ricer I never used! Did I give it away, or is it in some box somewhere? xD

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Regarding ricers.  During the past 5 or 6 years I have used it most often on  KIWI FRUIT!  

I can easily peel them, if i want slices, by blanching them in boiling water, just like a peach or nectarine or tomato.

 

But most often, I want to puree them. I wash them cut them into chunks, toss the chunks SKIN AND ALL into the ricer. 

squish the pulp through, LEAVING THE SKINS BEHIND.  What used to take me twenty minutes at best, takes 5 minutes with the ricer!

 

I got the idea years ago when I was ricing red potatoes with the skins on.  I rinsed the skins out of the ricer and started to hang it up and I saw several kiwi on the counter, which I was going to puree for layered parfaits  for some Italian visitors.  (Kiwi puree/sweetened sour cream, strawberry puree.  Colors of the Italian flag. )

One attempt that worked perfectly was all it took.


Edited by andiesenji (log)
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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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17 minutes ago, gfweb said:

Forceps. Used almost daily. Invaluable

 

 

Me too.

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1 hour ago, TdeV said:

 

 

Me too.

 

Me three. I finally fished (ha) mine out of the toolbox where they'd been stashed so they'll be readily available near the kitchen.

 

eta: Oh wait, mine is a hemostat. Same idea for this purpose, though not for its original use.


Edited by Smithy added final clarification sentence (log)
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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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On 8/24/2019 at 1:48 PM, gfweb said:

 

Same here but I have the Oster attachment.    I almost never use my regular food processor.      This chops raw and cooked meat, veggies, nuts, cheese.    I'd be lost without it.    I have one in town and one in the country, both flea market purchases at $10 a piece.    They are no longer made but available used or ebay.    Oster model 5900.

 

Also several handheld ceramic mandolins.

 

French working jars for both storage and making mayo.    A wisk just fits inside for instant emulsions.

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eGullet member #80.

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We have both hemostats and forceps; both are handy. A tip we give our students (because it's both true and fun) is that you can save a few bucks by heading to your local pet store and buying "feeding tongs," rather than something called "forceps."

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Dave Scantland
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eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Lemon/lime squeezer.   I have used a wooden reamer, any number of small glass or plastic reamers, and then this.    It does the most complete job effortlessly.     Strains at the same time.

1570871938_Screenshot2019-08-26at3_43_49PM.png.df2122c8967c313fd9a5019d3932bc00.png

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eGullet member #80.

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