You can sink a lot of money into a kitchen. I’m always talking about how cooking meals at home saves so much money, but let’s be honest: with items like three-hundred-dollar KitchenAid mixers on the market, your cash can disappear faster than your leftovers. And you only have to turn on Food TV for a few minutes to begin feeling like the big, fancy appliances are essentials. But for those of us who don’t cook in the kitchens of our Hamptons homes, essentials might be, like our houses, a bit more modest.
Don’t get me wrong: I have big dreams for my kitchen cabinets. I want them filled with a stand mixer, a NutriBullet, a big food processor, an espresso machine… you get the idea. But until that happy day (right – like I’ll spend all that money in a day!), I wanted to write a post about the smaller treasures that already call my kitchen home. In fact, they’re so small, they all share one drawer.
I’ve used peelers before, but this one is far and away my favorite. Because it’s designed to fit into your hand, you have much more control over it and can apply more pressure without accidentally sending it flying across the room.
I bought this at Wegmans for around five bucks and use it all the time for carrots (if you notice an orange tint to it, your eyes are not playing tricks), zucchini, and even eggplant. It’s small but sturdy and dishwasher safe, the real selling point!
2. The Garlic Press
Life. Changing. I always cooked with garlic powder or salt, and while they still have their place, cooking with actual garlic is incredible. Nothing smells as good as that first whiff of pressed garlic mixing into your soup… stew… chicken. It’s magic.
This press also came from Wegmans for fifteen dollars. It’s not dishwasher safe but redeems itself by coming with a handy little cleaning brush that snaps into the inside.
3. The Apple Corer
This gadget helps me to eat the entire apple. Biting into an apple can be messy, and I usually give up before I’ve really eaten the whole thing. This makes it much easier by just removing the inedible parts and leaving you with slices that are great for dipping into peanut butter.
This is from Ikea for under ten bucks. Bonus: it comes with a cover for the bottom so that you don’t accidentally core your hand. I don’t know if it’s supposed to be dishwasher safe, but mine is. 😉
4. The Citrus Peeler
Raise your hand if you enjoy peeling oranges. Yeah. Exactly. I got this gadget at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and for two dollars, I think it’s the cheapest thing in the store. Again, it’s contoured to fit into your hand, which makes it really easy to use.
The idea here is that you can use the “blade” to make several slices along an orange or other citrus fruit and then easily peel it. Sometimes it takes a little effort, but it’s much easier than using a knife… or your nails.
5. The Juicer
Finally, there is the juicer. This is also from Wegmans (are you seeing a theme here?) and cost around fifteen dollars. Yes, this is the same kind Martha Stewart uses, although in watching her show, I’ve noticed that she has this in at least three different colors. All you have to do here is cut the lemon in half and squeeze. Super easy, no seeds, quick cleanup.
There you are – the VIPs of my gadget drawer. Together they may not even add up to the cost of half a KitchenAid, but they make cooking much easier, and they’re fun to use! So the next time you see a kitchen toy you want in the grocery store, treat yourself. You might just find your new favorite thing.
Till next time!