Some while ago Delicious, a rather nice upmarket foodie magazine ran an article on the most useless kitchen gadgets. I don’t remember what most of them were but I was certainly surprised to find that an egg slicer featured among them. The egg slicer was probably the most exotic piece of kitchen equipment my mother ever owned! You may remember from my past posts that she wasn’t renowned for her culinary prowess. Though to be fair, a look around my kitchen wouldn’t exactly shout ‘domestic goddess’ because I’m not a great one for gadgets. However, the egg slicer was one of the first things I bought for my ‘bottom drawer’ (does this concept still even still exist?) and I’ve never been without one since. A knife doesn’t do the job nearly so well. It’s hard to cut the egg thinly enough to provide enough slices to cover a piece of toast adequately (and I do enjoy a hard boiled egg on a piece of toast that’s been spread with marmite – I’m one of those who loves the stuff). When my daughter left home to go to university I was required to supply various kitchen bits and pieces and top of her list? Yes, an egg slicer.
There are several other small items that I wouldn’t want to be without in my kitchen… like the set of measuring spoons shown in the photograph above. Who would have guessed that the contents of a Christmas cracker would have proved so long-lasting or useful? The rim whisk (sometimes called a spiral whisk) is regularly used for gravy, custard or sauces and must be forty years old. The oldest whisks were made from twigs but although metal versions were available in the 19th century, it wasn’t until a 1963 television cookery programme featured one that they became popular.
So far as modern equipment goes I’m not really bothered beyond my garlic press (why ARE the bowls on these round? I’ve never found a round clove of garlic) and the electric steamer. My first steamer (a stove-top two part saucepan style stainless steel one which I still have) was another item bought for the bottom drawer. I’ve rarely ever boiled a vegetable. It’s so much more practical to cook several different ones using only one piece of equipment and it’s a healthy way to cook.
The most recent addition to my kitchen is a pair of tongs kindly gifted to me by my son’s girlfriend when I admired her own. Oh what an exciting life, I lead!
And apart from my liquidiser (good for soup) and an electric hand blender, I think that’s about it for gadgets. I borrowed a soup maker from my daughter to see if it was something I’d use but it didn’t impress me enough to make me want one, and I’ve always made cakes by hand, never bothering with an electric mixer/chef type of thing either. It just seems like overkill for jobs that only take a few minutes.
How about you? What kitchen equipment do you consider essential? And does anyone else out there own an egg slicer?