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What kitchen item have you *never* used?


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Here I am shopping online for more kitchen gadgets and special appliances and I started thinking about what I've purchased that seemed like it would be really useful, and yet I've never used it. Here's a start of my list:

mini-slow cooker

mezzaluna

tea ball

springform pan (never did get around to making a cheesecake)

tortilla press

Do you also have items that you never used?

Perhaps we all need to meet in the center of the country and have a big swap meet!

*****

"Did you see what Julia Child did to that chicken?" ... Howard Borden on "Bob Newhart"

*****

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How small is a mini slow-cooker? I have a very small one because I cook for two most of the time.

The mezzaluna disappeared sometime ago and I have no idea what became of it or the wooden bowl I used it in.

I use the tea ball to make loose tea. I'm a tea drinker and only rarely drink coffee.

Springform pan is used often.

I gave the tortilla press to one of my daughters who uses it occasionally.

The only thing I can think of that I have never used is a soup toureen and I have four! Three are regular size and one is a mini that I snagged for serving Thai soups.

Ah, yes. One of those gadgets for making fried pastries that are sprinkled with powdered sugar. I can't remeber what they're called but my Grandma made them once or twice.

Edited by BarbaraY (log)
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I bought one of those stick-type immersion blenders and never used it. I won't dispute it's obvious utility, buy there was just something about it I didn't like. :blink:

I think I probably gave it away?

I also have a new electric knife I got 2-3 years ago when my old one burnt out. While they're great for slicing fresh bread, the new one just didn't feel right. Instead, I use one of the blades from the old one to slice bread by hand. :huh:

I haven't used the sausage stuffer attachment for my KitchenAid yet, but I still fully intend to some day. :wink:

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I was given a pretty expensive fish poacher but if I'm going to cook fish, I like it broiled or braised or sauteed, not poached. Eight years of this long, covered pan sitting around, I realized it is the perfect size and shape for a stuffed pork loin and has the added advantage of it having the lift tray!

I was also given a REALLY expensive, Italian pressure cooker. Almost 15 years after its acquisition and non-use, it was the new-found boyfriend, Kevin, who instructed me in its qualities! Seemed living on a yacht in Panama for a year, this was practically his only useful pot which he utilizes with great dexterity.

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I have moved house twice in the last 12 years and I've pared down my kitchen equipment each time although only of rusting 'back-of-the-cupboard' aged baking tins or the odd chipped bowl. My kitchen storage is quite limited, so I don't buy equipment unless I know I'm going to use it, as I don't have enough room for stuff that I don't use.

Incidentally, I have had my Mezzaluna for about 20 years. It is quite possibly my favourite piece of equipment! I use it all the time to chop fresh herbs which are grown in our garden. I don't have one of those curved boards, but just use it on my trusty old chopping board. I love to use it.

My rolling pin is also very old and is made of wood - although it has no handles - they must have come off years ago. My parents had a restaurant and the rolling pin belonged to my mother who was a superb pastry cook, besides preparing all the food served in the restaurant. When she retired, we had to employ two chefs to do the work she had done alone. I often think it may be something of a health hazard being wooden and so very old - but hey - it's only used for home baking and we are all thriving! Using it certainly stirs up the memory bank!

jodda.x

Eating something well conceived and well made is one of life's very great pleasures.

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I haven't used the sausage stuffer attachment for my KitchenAid yet, but I still fully intend to some day. :wink:

I also have that attachment and have never used it. Actually, I don't know why I wanted it, since I prefer sausage patties to links. I also have the grain grinder attachment which I have never used, but I use the meat grinder all the time. I think the only other kitchen item I own but have never used is a baguette baking form that my mom gave me when I was a teenager. I still have it and it's somehow managed to move with me several times. Hmmm...maybe that will be my goal for this month. Other than those few items, I usually find that I have the problem of not having the right item. For example, I only have one liquid measuring cup, and it's the one that came with my immersion blender. I use that cup way more than the blender.

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Here I am shopping online for more kitchen gadgets and special appliances and I started thinking about what I've purchased that seemed like it would be really useful, and yet I've never used it.  Here's a start of my list:

mini-slow cooker

mezzaluna

tea ball

springform pan (never did get around to making a cheesecake)

tortilla press

Do you also have items that you never used?

Perhaps we all need to meet in the center of the country and have a big swap meet!

Well don't pitch or sell that tea ball yet. Just a suggestion for using that tea ball, they are wonderful for when you need a small bouquet garnis, for say, a herbes de Provence garni. Or if you want to add any whole spices or herbs or chilli peppers that you do not wish to have to fish around for later to retrieve. I keep an extra length of chain link handy to attach to the short chain and hook it over the pot.

Haha, of course you could actually use it for green tea which is wonderful for speeding up the metabolism if you find yourself over-indulging in your own wonderful cooking!

A springform pan isn't limited to cheesecake use either.

Hugs Squirrelly Cakes

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:huh: I've never used my spaetzle maker (you put the dough in the top and move it back and forth over holes over boiling water) - it's still in the original packaging and never even opened. Also haven't used my set of three sizes of springform pans! :blink:

Carolyn

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."

J.R.R. Tolkien

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Someone gave me a huge set of sillycone bakeware. Floppy red muffin thing, loaf pan, cake pans etc. I can't bring myself to do it. I always reach for the real old, real things.

My mom gave me a rolling choppy thing, haven't touched it. I sorta hate gadgetry.

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:huh: I've never used my spaetzle maker (you put the dough in the top and move it back and forth over holes over boiling water) - it's still in the original packaging and never even opened.  Also haven't used my set of three sizes of springform pans! :blink:

Send it to Daniel.

garlic press

hot pot (chunnukah gift)

roasting rack (where did my roasting pan go?)

cornish game hen upright roasting racks

does this come in pork?

My name's Emma Feigenbaum.

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Someone gave me a huge set of sillycone bakeware.  Floppy red muffin thing, loaf pan, cake pans etc.  I can't bring myself to do it.  I always reach for the real old, real things.

My mom gave me a rolling choppy thing, haven't touched it.  I sorta hate gadgetry.

I'll trade you the silicone for a garlic press and cornish hen roasting racks :biggrin:

does this come in pork?

My name's Emma Feigenbaum.

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Great question!

There are a great many gadgets and appliances that look terrific when demonstrated by one of those slick sales people who can make the item do tricks. However, when one gets it home, turns out to be impractical and never works as advertised.

Considering that there have been thousands of single-use gadgets and appliances invented but only a few that are truly indespensible, it is no wonder that almost every homemaker has a drawer, box, shelf or closet full of oddities.

That being said, I have a ton (and I do mean an actualy 2000 pounds) or more of more or less useless junk, but I keep it because I am a collector of odd gadgets. I have been collecting them for more than 40 years.

Some were made well over 100 years ago, Many were made in the '20s, '30s and '40s.

The "breakout" age began in the 1950s with a proliferation of funny little gadgets that seem to be re-invented every few years, in fact I have several versions of almost identical gadgets that are marketed each time as something "Really New and Handy" or similar catch phrase, and yet disappear and reappear in cycles. (For instance, a spiral slicer that is simply a hand-held curved blade with a sort of screw at right angles at the end that is stuck into the end of a carrot or cucumber and one spins the blade around and around to slice the vegetable into a long ribbon.) The first one I saw was made in the late 1940s.

Like this

And here is a modern one...

mrsadm mentioned a teaball. I can't recall ever using one for tea (I have a huge collection of teapots and several electric tea makers) however, I do use them for herbs and spices and have several, different sizes and different shapes, ranging from a little 1 inch diameter sphere to a large oval that is 6 inches long and 3 inches wide and a large sphere that is sold as a "rice ball" (non-stick).

I have one made by Ecko, that is a mesh ball on a long handle for infusing herbs and spices into big pots of soup. In all the years I have been buying on ebay, I have only seen one for sale - I bid on it but this was before the advent of the auction robots that automatically bid (I am currently using Bidnapper) and I lost the bid. At that time I had only dialup internet and it was much too slow. The one I have has some broken wires and I would like to find one in better condition.

I have one large one I use in my bathtub for infusing herbs into bathwater.

I like my Bron mandoline and use it often but I have been using it for many years and am used to it. I use it to slice ginger for making large batches of candied or "crystalized" ginger, slicing tubs full of cucumbers for canning pickles, slicing 10 pounds of onions for onion confit and etc.

I have tried several of the "V-slicers, angled slicers and etc., but have never found one that worked well for me. This is a case where personal preference is the determining factor.

I know quite a few people who collect gadgets, some specialize in a particular era, some on one particular item. A couple who live in Encino have a huge collection of eggbeaters.

Of interest to African-Americans - the first mechanical eggbeater was invented by Willis Johnson, an African-American, in 1884.

My collections are rather eclectic and whimsical - a particular item will catch my fancy and I wonder how many types were made and when, how it evolved, etc., etc., etc....

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"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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My husband gets on my case regularly because of my love of "useless" kitchen gadgets. Most of them actually DO get used, but I have a few that have moved to the back of the closet:

My electric deep fryer is the biggest. Used once, worked well, but I just hated dealing with all the oil afterwards...

I also have a "ravioli maker" I was given, that's cute, but really I just like forming them by hand on the counter.

Here's the one I haven't used, that I'd love suggestions to get me inspired: canape molds. I got them in a gift exchange & I think they're adorable, but haven't had the impetus to actually pull them out & use them...

I've been trying to justify buying a spaetzle maker but I just got the mini cheesecake pan I've been eyeing for a while so it will have to wait :biggrin:

Do you suffer from Acute Culinary Syndrome? Maybe it's time to get help...

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I am dead center in the middle of the country, and I would like to volunteer my house for the swap meet. Everyone bring a dish to share, too!!

I have a citrus zester that has never been used--the kind with 4 or 5 little circles at the top to make long strings of peel. I just use my microplane when I need to add a little zest to my life--I mean, recipe.

I also have an immersion blender that is seldom used, and a KA mixer that is used at Christmas. Maybe.

sparrowgrass
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dotdotdot

Do you also have items that you never used?

Perhaps we all need to meet in the center of the country and have a big swap meet!

Everyone I know gives me kitchen gadgets and equipment -- and most of them, stuff that I've said I will never use. "If you knew how great this thing was, you'd use it every day."

"Air-cushioned" cookie sheets and jelly-roll pans.

Things that slice eggs, mushrooms, avocadoes.

Steel chicken trussers

Double-boiler

Electric skillet

Garlic presses, peelers and mashers

Cookie presses

Rolling herb choppers

Stand-up onion choppers.

Rolling pins with handles (marble, wood)

Pyrex. Pyrex. Pyrex.

Etc.

Sigh.

"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
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Everyone I know gives me kitchen gadgets and equipment -- and most of them, stuff that I've said I will never use.  "If you knew how great this thing was, you'd use it every day."

Electric skillet

Sigh.

Come on! Electric skillets are great, you should break that thing out and give it a whirl.

Gear nerd and hash slinger

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Pasta machine. Also garlic presses, Graham Kerr's bash n' chop and a garnishing kit (as if I'm going to carve radishes and make carrot spirals).

Most people have stopped buying me stuff though. I learned that if I tell them exactly what I want, they'll stop because it's either too expensive for normal budgets or difficult to obtain.

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My husband gets on my case regularly because of my love of "useless" kitchen gadgets.  Most of them actually DO get used, but I have a few that have moved to the back of the closet: 

My electric deep fryer is the biggest.  Used once, worked well, but I just hated dealing with all the oil afterwards...

I also have a "ravioli maker"  I was given, that's cute, but really I just like forming them by hand on the counter.

Here's the one I haven't used, that I'd love suggestions to get me inspired:  canape molds.  I got them in a gift exchange & I think they're adorable, but haven't had the impetus to actually pull them out & use them...

I've been trying to justify buying a spaetzle maker but I just got the mini cheesecake pan I've been eyeing for a while so it will have to wait  :biggrin:

I'll pass mine on to you next time I see you Eden! :biggrin:

Cheers,

Carolyn

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."

J.R.R. Tolkien

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I am dead center in the middle of the country, and I would like to volunteer my house for the swap meet.  Everyone bring a dish to share, too!!

I have a citrus zester that has never been used--the kind with 4 or 5 little circles at the top to make long strings of peel.  I just use my microplane when I need to add a little zest to my life--I mean, recipe.

I also have an immersion blender that is seldom used, and a KA mixer that is used at Christmas.  Maybe.

We could each bring a dish made with the item to be swapped.

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I haven't used the sausage stuffer attachment for my KitchenAid yet, but I still fully intend to some day. :wink:

I also have that attachment and have never used it. Actually, I don't know why I wanted it, since I prefer sausage patties to links.

Me too! Me too! [waving hand in the air]. Mr. Kim gets smart whenever he sees that attachment in the closet, "MMM, that was good sausage. Oh, that's right - you never used it, did you?" :hmmm::rolleyes:

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Mandoline, deep fryer, tortilla press, rice cooker and garlic press come to mind. I love my mezzaluna. Combine that with a good sharp knife and I can mince, chop, and crush my little heart out. My Mom swore by her electric skillet, my "skillet" is my wok. I don't have to plug it in! With not much storage space I really think before I buy anything to use in the kitchen.

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I haven't used my cannoli forms yet and I've had them for awhile. I *almost* tried making some during the recent month of cooking from Sicily... :smile: This is an item I know I will use sometime, but maybe I need to make an internal pledge to use them this year!

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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I've been trying to justify buying a spaetzle maker but I just got the mini cheesecake pan I've been eyeing for a while so it will have to wait  :biggrin:

I'll pass mine on to you next time I see you Eden! :biggrin:

Cheers,

Thank you Carolyn, you're a sweetheart as always! I was reading quickly & didn't even notice that message was from someone I knew :blush:

Hey maybe what we need to do is actually host regional gadget swaps. I'm sure someone around here would want a ravioli maker :smile:

oh and I remembered that I have the veggie slicing attachment for my Kitchen aid (it came in a set with the sausage stuffer & the pasta extruder) I tested it on a couple veggies when I first got it - horrible, just ripped em all to shreds. I suppose it could be user error - I didn't really experiment with it much, but I think it was just another mediocre slicing technology trying to improve on the knife and failing. I notice that a lot of the items mentioned in this thread are along those lines. (Though I adore my mandoline!)

Do you suffer from Acute Culinary Syndrome? Maybe it's time to get help...

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