Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
gfron1

Gadgets You Should Have Tossed Long Ago

Recommended Posts

As I sat cursing my cheap strainer tonight, and moreso, cursed myself for not throwing the strainer away, I thought maybe egulleters might enjoy sharing their favorite kitchen gadget that they just can't bring themselves to put in the trash. Here are my two...

STrainer.jpg

Notice the lovely stain in addition to the damaged plastic

Spatula.jpg

Why do I have this again....?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ya know, a few years ago i bought a 'julienne peeler.' Its terrible, takes more knuckle off than anything else and the cuts are frankly unsexy and gross. I look at this tool all the time and think to myself 'pitch it,' but can't ever bring myself to do it. In the back of my mind i'm hoping one day it'll finally work or i'll use it to scrape paint off the side of my house...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ya know, a few years ago i bought a 'julienne peeler.' Its terrible, takes more knuckle off than anything else and the cuts are frankly unsexy and gross. I look at this tool all the time and think to myself 'pitch it,' but can't ever bring myself to do it. In the back of my mind i'm hoping one day it'll finally work or i'll use it to scrape paint off the side of my house...

I have that same tool, and it scraped my knuckles too. I really should throw it out.

I also have a large collection of splintery wooden spoons that are destined for the trash heap...one of these days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For a discussion on this topic, I know of no better source than fellow egulleteer Tim Hayward blog post Cooks Graveyard. And check out the rest of his blog while your there, some of the best food writing I've found on the web.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for that link, Shalmanese. I especially had a chuckle over these lines:

There is only one surer way of losing weight than a juicer and that is to amputate a major limb. After a few mornings struggling with the thing, this probably became the more attractive option.

and

Before the food processor was the mandolin. Cripplingly expensive with a complex folding structure which made even the slickest cook feel like M.Hulot erecting a deckchair and guaranteed to remove all of your knuckles down to the bone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Consider this "Frozen-food knife" which I have owned for 40 years. It rusts if one breathes on it, corrodes about five minutes after it is cleaned and polished. My knife man refuses to even touch it since an unfortunate incident ten or twelve years ago. He accused it of twisting and "biting" him while he was running it over the polishing wheel.

gallery_17399_60_27287.jpg

gallery_17399_60_12168.jpg

gallery_17399_60_1430.jpg

:huh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For a discussion on this topic, I know of no better source than fellow egulleteer Tim Hayward blog post Cooks Graveyard. And check out the rest of his blog while your there, some of the best food writing I've found on the web.

I have just, in honor of The Cooks Graveyard, officially designated the box at the top of my pantry "the coffin" :biggrin: It's the place where all those little useless items end up: the cheapo garnishing kit I've ignored for 20 years, the metric measuring spoons I bought by mistake, the fancier shaped pastry tips, the egg lifter*, the cookie press, the I don't even know what all else is in there...

*Tupperware made a specialized tool just for lifting hard boiled eggs out of the pot, and I can't throw it away because it's just SO ridiculous.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I knew this thread could be fun, but I had no idea how fun until I saw that scary frozen food cutter! :shock:

That thing should be in a horror movie.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I knew this thread could be fun, but I had no idea how fun until I saw that scary frozen food cutter!  :shock:

That thing should be in a horror movie.

Actually, some people have said the same thing about me! :blink:

If you look closely at the "wavy" edge of the knife, you can see that this was not stamped.

Each knife edge was shaped by hand on grinding wheels, using a template. No two were alike. My mom had one and if you put them side by side the curves didn't match up.

The one thing about it, it holds an edge very well - it just looks awful.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have one of those Tupperware egg lifters. I also have the "pickle" server container with the built-in pickle lifter.

I hosted a lot of Tupperware parties for a couple of friends. I had a huge kitchen and family room with lots of seating, plus big coffee and tea servers. They gave me a lot of stuff that were premiums never offered for sale. Some useful, some not so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have just, in honor of The Cooks Graveyard, officially designated the box at the top of my pantry "the coffin"  :biggrin:  It's the place where all those little useless items end up: the cheapo garnishing kit I've ignored for 20 years, the metric measuring spoons I bought by mistake, the fancier shaped pastry tips, the egg lifter*, the cookie press, the I don't even know what all else is in there...

*Tupperware made a specialized tool just for lifting hard boiled eggs out of the pot, and I can't throw it away because it's just SO ridiculous.

Wait...you mean that fancy cookie press lurking back in the bottom cupboard might never get used? :shock::laugh:

Meanwhile...I just have to know what Tupperware came out with other than a slotted spoon?! Photo, please!

I like the "coffin" designation. In our household, though, everything's jumbled into a drawer with the useful stuff. Hmm.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got one of these as a giveaway from the manufacturer. It sat on my counter for weeks while I tried to figure out whether to give it away, toss it, or what. One late afternoon, I heard a big commotion on the stairs that go up to the backyard from my kitchen. A family of raccoons was on the stairs waiting, apparently, for me to open the door so they could come in and eat the cats' food. City raccoons are pretty bold and fearless, so they didn't budge when I opened the door and yelled. I grabbed the first thing at hand and threw it at them -- it happened to be the Twist n Chop. It did the trick; they scattered. Plus, the Twist n Chop broke, so then I could throw it away with a guilt-free conscience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I got one of these as a giveaway from the manufacturer. It sat on my counter for weeks while I tried to figure out whether to give it away, toss it, or what. One late afternoon, I heard a big commotion on the stairs that go up to the backyard from my kitchen. A family of raccoons was on the stairs waiting, apparently, for me to open the door so they could come in and eat the cats' food. City raccoons are pretty bold and fearless, so they didn't budge when I opened the door and yelled. I grabbed the first thing at hand and threw it at them -- it happened to be the Twist n Chop. It did the trick; they scattered. Plus, the Twist n Chop broke, so then I could throw it away with a guilt-free conscience.

I've never owned or had a chance to try one of those Twist 'n' Chop things, but every time I look at it I think, "No way could that work as advertised." I guess you just confirmed my assessment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I got one of these as a giveaway from the manufacturer. It sat on my counter for weeks while I tried to figure out whether to give it away, toss it, or what. One late afternoon, I heard a big commotion on the stairs that go up to the backyard from my kitchen. A family of raccoons was on the stairs waiting, apparently, for me to open the door so they could come in and eat the cats' food. City raccoons are pretty bold and fearless, so they didn't budge when I opened the door and yelled. I grabbed the first thing at hand and threw it at them -- it happened to be the Twist n Chop. It did the trick; they scattered. Plus, the Twist n Chop broke, so then I could throw it away with a guilt-free conscience.

I'm embarrased to say that I sell these in my store. When we got them we tried them out for making salsa thinking, "how perfect - just the right size." Then the juice leaked out. Then the food pieces weren't chopped very well. Then our forearms started tiring. We never got to the point of the blade dulling and not knowing what to do with it, so we just gave it to a friend. When they finally sell out at, they won't be in our store anymore.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I looked at the Twist-N-Chop also, there are several makers, some quite fancy - I simply couldn't understand how they could be "ergonomically" designed (in my opinion most engineers aren't all that brilliant about designing things that fit women's hands - I have lots to say on this subject, not now). I have arthritis in my hands, especially at the base of my right thumb and can't grip or pinch. This thing would be torture to use.

I did get one of the onion choppers - chopper/box combination and it works great. It is larger and heavier than I expected it to be, considering the price, it is quite well made. There was some discussion about it on another thread and I am very happy I got it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My housekeeper just breezed through and said I should mention that she loves the onion chopper and ordered one to send to her Mama in Hungary - she has arthritic hands also.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have one of those Tupperware egg lifters.  I also have the "pickle" server container with the built-in pickle lifter. 

I hosted a lot of Tupperware parties for a couple of friends.  I had a huge kitchen and family room with lots of seating, plus big coffee and tea servers.  They gave me a lot of stuff that were premiums never offered for sale.  Some useful, some not so.

andi -

one of my dearest friends still HAS and USES on a regular basis the "pickle server". last time i was up and we had sandwiches she pulled it out of the fridge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have one of those Tupperware egg lifters.  I also have the "pickle" server container with the built-in pickle lifter. 

I hosted a lot of Tupperware parties for a couple of friends.  I had a huge kitchen and family room with lots of seating, plus big coffee and tea servers.  They gave me a lot of stuff that were premiums never offered for sale.  Some useful, some not so.

andi -

one of my dearest friends still HAS and USES on a regular basis the "pickle server". last time i was up and we had sandwiches she pulled it out of the fridge.

When something works well, there is no need to change the design. The pickle server does just what I expected it to do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For a discussion on this topic, I know of no better source than fellow egulleteer Tim Hayward blog post Cooks Graveyard. And check out the rest of his blog while your there, some of the best food writing I've found on the web.

I LOVED this!!! And we all have 'em. Some of us, the unfortunately dubious few, have all OF 'em.

Birthdays and Christmases and Mothers' Days---with seb'm chillun, the gifts mount up---holidays bring out each and every new gadget, gizmo, cutter, cooker, cup and lifter ever even fleetingly DREAMT of by Ron Popeil.

And EVULU is appropriate---sounds like a Southern maiden lady of a certain age, still living at home, just her and her elderly Daddy. You see them in every town, Ole Man Prysock and Miss Evulu, turning out for every church social, garden club, civic club, Eastern Star and Rotary meeting in three counties. He creaks his way out of the car, lifting his shaky bones by means of a rubber-tipped cane and her patient arm, shifting the cane to his other hand when upright, straightening his ancient hat with the other.

She stands, squinting in the sunlight, knowing her place, her too-young headband holding back her wiry gray locks, her swirly gored skirt reaching nearly to the top of her neat anklets and lace-up leather shoes. She's been too long on the kitchen counter, or stowed away in a dark drawer next to the cow-headed skewers and the rusting skimmer, her own personal rusting of the soul showing in every grimace, every gesture.

Those pore ole EVULUS---born of the best intentions, the brightest ideas, the hopes for convenience and ease; they are all promise, and the delivery has a short span of interest. Like my Texas friend says, they're "all hat and no cattle."

They have their uses. But they don't have much of a life.


Edited by racheld (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

plastic egg separator.

Hand-thrown ceramic vegetable steamer

<editted to add the EVULU; "hippy" is an ethnic group, right? :wink:>


Edited by Kouign Aman (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
An EVULU (ethnic vessel or utensil of limited utility). This convenient catchall phrase of the kitchen archeologist covers all those pointless, comedy pots too embarrassing to display (excluding the Wok, which is stupid enough to be in a category of its own. EVULUs include, rice steaming baskets, paella pans, tajines, charcoal fishgrills, balti buckets, confit pots and foufou serving scoops made of shells. Each item was used once before you realised you could do exactly the same job in your regular western saucepans. And by the way – just because you use the dripping crock to keep your wooden spoons in doesn’t mean it isn’t an EVULU.

--- Tim's definition of an EVULU. I have an enormous paella pan I've used twice in twenty years, and can't bear to part with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got one of those "wheely deals" looks like a minature farm tractor accessory for tilling for chopping up the clumps of earth that the plow made.

It's supposed to chop up parsley, etc. but it don't work worth crap.

I won't throw it away, because its French and very old! I still have the original box it came in!

doc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I won't throw it away, because its French and very old!  I still have the original box it came in!

ebay? :biggrin:

I have been diligently going through cupboards and donating everything I possibly can. The last pickup contained a waffle iron we got for our wedding and never opened (because we got two and liked the one we use better) (we've been married over 11 years), my old crockpot that was still in the box it was moved out here in 9 years ago, and a horrible vegetable/rice steamer that my parents unloaded on me...uh, gave me as a present.....when I moved out of their house about 20 years ago.

All of these things should have been gotten rid of ages ago, and in the case of that awful steamer, I thought I HAD gotten rid of it, but no, when I looked in the cabinet above the refrigerator (which I hadn't looked in since we moved in), there it was. It's not there any longer.

Marcia.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×