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mommato3boys

Kitchen gadgets....what do you really need and what can you do without?

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The kitchen has sort of become hubby's domain since he is disable and I work 40+ hours a week, but I do get in there on my off days. Today being an off day I made tortillas. I was looking for something and I was amazed at the "stuff" we have accumulated. Some of it we do not even use. So I thought I would fix a kitchen tote for the pop up and that way I wouldn't have to move stuff around.

 

Plastic spoons/ladles, I am beginning to hate them so I guess they will get moved to the pop up.

 

My pans are mostly cast iron, I have a few stainless steel pots. So only one skillet is going to the camper and one small sauce pan.

 

Wood spoons, the love of my life, (please don't tell hubby he thinks he is LOL) But I do have quite a few of them so several will find their way to the pop up also.

 

Bowls, I really don't have any bowls to part with, we have slowly switched over to glass bowls and done away with plastic stuff. I think I will invest in some metal bowls or melamine bowls for the pop up.

 

Knives---I am always in the hunt for good knives. The handle and blade must be one piece and it must come with it's own protective blade cover.

 

I do however, need a marble rolling  pin and marble slab, for rolling out dough. I would like a larger wood cutting board and a smaller wooden rolling pin. I only have one wooden rolling pin.

 

Hopefully I will have a basic functional kitchen soon. I really don't need the "convenient" stuff like the watermelon slicer, or the corn on the cob handles that you stick in the ends so you can eat it easier.  I don't use most of it so it needs to go. This is all part of downsizing and making the work think we are not important. You know keeping our head down and not drawing attention to ourselves.

 

What do you have in your kitchen that is taking up space and you can do without? How do you plan to have a functional kitchen that will allow you to prepare stuff from scratch.

 

 

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I got rid of a lot of my utensils last year. I still use the corn holders for hot cobs. One thing that I can think of right off of my head is a nutcracker complete with picks. The metal ones. I can't ever remember using it. I don't know why I'm hanging on to it. I'm sure I've had it over 30 years. Next time I see it, it's going. 

 

I have a big oven roasting pan with a lid. Granite ware. I can't remember the last time I used it either. When I make a turkey I just buy the breast so I put two disposable pans together for strength and pitch them when I'm done. They usually come in a two pack anyway. I can't remember the last turkey I baked. I don't donate it because I think I'll need it. Pffft, it's probably an antique. Same thing for a turkey baster. Mine never looks clean so I don't use it. But I still have it.

 

I'd like to have a marble pin and board too. A small rolling pin with those donut like things you put on the ends to gauge the thickness of the dough would be nice. They raise the pin up to different heights. My wooden pin is huge. A smaller would be better for me.  Hummm.  

 

This was supposed to be about deciding what stuff to get rid of and now I'm thinking about rolling pins I "need". 

 

I bought a new set of pots and pans about 6-7 years ago. Paula Dean I think. Since they are nice and new I don't use them. I still use the old stuff. Why do we do that. Buy things and then think they are too good to use.  Sigh. 

 

One tool I can't do without is my ratchet can opener. You don't have to twist them. You just pull the lever back and forth. Easier on my hand and wrist. I've never had an electric can opener I could work properly. 

 

I'll probably think of more when I go through a couple of more drawers.  

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Ratchet can opener...must google this. I detest electric can openers and will not have one. I think they are a waste of money. I just the old fashioned hand can opener but I will check out this ratchet can opener you speak of.

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Went through all my kitchen cabnets and drawers last year. Down to the basics now. I agree about the can openers. Don't like the electric ones. I do have the ratchet can opener and like it. They work really well and yes they are easier on the hands.

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7 hours ago, mommato3boys said:

Wood spoons

 

Be sure to give them a good oiling once in awhile...with olive oil.

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7 hours ago, mommato3boys said:

Bowls, I really don't have any bowls to part with, we have slowly switched over to glass bowls and done away with plastic stuff. I think I will invest in some metal bowls or melamine bowls for the pop up.

 

I've pretty much pitched all the plastics and purchased glass storage containers (Anchor Hocking-Pyrex etc.), corning ware and stainless steel.

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7 hours ago, mommato3boys said:

Knives---I am always in the hunt for good knives. The handle and blade must be one piece and it must come with it's own protective blade cover.

 

Several months ago I found a really nice set with sleeves, at Aldis.  I also love my ceramic knives...which I originally bought at Harbor Freight but haven't seen them there for a long time.  Big Lots has "some" but I'll wait to buy any more.  You wouldn't believe the number of old knives I gave to hubby for his metal recycle bin!

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7 hours ago, mommato3boys said:

What do you have in your kitchen that is taking up space and you can do without

 

I'm a gadget lady and will NOT give up the things that make my job easier.  Air Fryer, Panini Maker, GrillX, Big Boss (similar to a Nuwave) air fryer, portable ice maker, popcorn makers, and lots of other goodies! :laughkick:

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5 hours ago, Jeepers said:

pots and pans

 

My cookware is cast iron, stainless steel, corning ware and a new set of smaller sauce pans and large casserole dish from Aldis.  Enamel clad cast iron with lids.  LOVE them!  Just can't use metal utensils on them...the enamel scratches.  But they sure hold the heat a lot longer than my stainless steel pans.

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5 hours ago, Jeepers said:

can opener

 

Hubby says I'm about the only person he knows that can break a can opener so quick! I love the Swing Aways...

image.jpeg

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1 hour ago, The WE2's said:

portable ice maker,

 

With one of those, during temporary power outage, if you have a whatsit  [someone know the name?] device to plug into cig lighter in vehicle.  Run engine and make ice to save food in freezer/fridge.  I have the whatsit....but not yet the ice maker. 

 

MtRider  :frozen:   ...course we don't NEED that during this time of year!!!

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I think about the only gadget my kitchen we don't use is the garlic press thing.   We always forget about it.   I don't have alot of gadgets, but more basic stuff.  

 

Other than the microwave, for small stuff that needs electricity, I only have the electric knife (carve turkey with it), blender, stick blender (we never bought baby food, so this sure was handy) and meat grinder (butchering deer).   Several years ago, I went through one kitchen drawer/cabinet at a time and got rid of stuff we didn't need.  

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After I bought y Emeril's power air fryer, it replaced 4 of my appliances. So that got rid of a lot of used space I needed. Even replaced the toaster. It toast, bakes, air fry, rotisserie, slow cooker, oven, dehydrator, and more.  So the 4 appliances that I got rid of saved me a lot of space. Still learning things on it though. 

I have several cast iron pans and a set of stainless steel pans that I use all the time.  I use my corning ware and pyrex bowls as well as some other bowls I have that I use a lot. I also have been trying to get rid of all the plastic containers. Not good for microwave cooking.  I have several wooden spoons that I love and got my eye on a wooden dipper. Price has to come down first. The spatulas, spoons and forks for cooking with are all stainless steel. DH is a diehard when it comes to using stainless steel for cooking. Got rid of most all of the plastic spoons and spatulas.  DH bought a really good quality set of knives several years ago and that is all we use where the knives are concerned. Those still look new. Don't think I can scale down anymore than I already have. 

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1 hour ago, out_of_the_ordinary said:

I think about the only gadget my kitchen we don't use is the garlic press thing.   

I have about worn our garlic press out, it and the juicer. They were old any way.

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As for appliances, I have a portable ice maker that I'll never get rid of. Unless it breaks and then I'll replace it. The ice cubes are little but that's okay with me. Another is my microwave. Everything else can go. Except for canning supplies and Food Saver.

 

I'm a gadget girl too. Problem is I use them a few times and forget about them. 

I've changed out most of my plastic for glass, pottery or stainless steel. Cast iron is just too heavy for me. I have some but don't use it. Although I have seen a skillet and a pan that has a rounded/square-ish handle on the other end. That would help with stability. It would still get hot though. 

 

I don't know about wooden spoons. I don't use them. I just wonder about if food is absorbed by them and if I could get them really clean consistently. :shrug:

 

I've added ceramic knives along with marble rolling pin and board to my wish list. Do ceramic knives really work well? Can you peel things like potatoes with them or are they mainly for chopping? Do they stay sharp? I have a drawer full of cheap knives. 

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I've been living in my minivan camper for the past two years, when I'm not house-sitting or visiting relatives. I had a dream to do this for over 40 years, so I finally did. I don't have space for much of anything, but since I am a minimalist, it doesn't matter. For my kitchen, I basically have no gadgets. I have a one-burner butane stove, butane bottles, a 2 qt. stainless steel sauce pan with lid, a small ceramic [?] skillet with lid, a wooden spoon, a plastic spatula, 1 large knife, 1 small knife, a potato peeler, a little knife sharpener, a Swing-away can opener, a small thin plastic cutting board, 2 soup spoons, 2 butter knives, 2 forks, 1 melamine plate, a set of 3 [different sizes] melamine bowls, a 1 cup stainless steel measuring cup, a small strainer, a large cup with a lid, 2 plastic food storage containers with lids, 2 pot holders, 2 dish towels, a scrubbie, a plastic spray bottle with a vinegar/water solution for washing dishes, plastic ziplocks, paper towels, and a small bamboo table for my counter.

 

I also have a fairly large 12 volt fridge [that opens from the top] that sips electricity, which I get from the solar panel on top of the car.

Edited by Pioneer Woman
Forgot something.
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Im weeding out things that require electricity to operate when I can find a non-electric alternative.  Example - I kept my old 4 qt pressure cooker, won't even look at an instant pot.  Why buy something that is less versatile (only one pressure setting) that also requires electricity.  Other cute things I am not buying....electric jelly maker....rice cooker.....etc.  Some electric appliances I do have a use for....my electric fry pan for example, but I use it multiple ways (to bake, to fry, to saute, to slow cook) to keep the heat down in the kitchen in the summer.  The crock pots are nice, but technically I could wrap cook instead, saving electricity.  But I also use them in multiple applications to save heat & electricity in the summer time.  A baked potato bar is a nice summer supper, all the better when the spuds are slow-cooked and the kitchen is not heated up by the oven.  

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I never could get the hang of slow cooking. When it starts to smell good, I want to eat right now. I can't wait.  Evidently Pavlov's dog is my spirit animal guide.

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19 hours ago, Jeepers said:

I never could get the hang of slow cooking. When it starts to smell good, I want to eat right now. I can't wait.  Evidently Pavlov's dog is my spirit animal guide.

You and my DH!  I had to bake bread when he was at work or else he would eat a loaf at a time - torn in half & dunked in butter - as soon as it came out of the oven!!  I thought of it as praise for the cooking....AND baked when he was not around, hiding away a couple loaves to tide us over a day or two!  Chainsaw Mary also wants to eat as soon as she smells the food....cooking on the low crockpot setting helps a bit, as it does not get quite so aromatic.....  I also make a pot of coffee so the aroma can be a culinary distraction, LOL.  I can (usually) wait myself....usually....Image result for free clip art of people smelling good food

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On 2/13/2020 at 12:30 AM, Jeepers said:

I've added ceramic knives along with marble rolling pin and board to my wish list. Do ceramic knives really work well? Can you peel things like potatoes with them or are they mainly for chopping? Do they stay sharp? I have a drawer full of cheap knives. 

 

I stopped in Bed Bath and Beyond today just to look around. Ours is so crowded and the aisles so narrow you can barely get a cart through. Most of the time I parked the cart in the main aisle and walked through the side aisles. Anyway, I looked at the marble rolling pins. Wow, are those things ever heavy! They were reasonably priced at around $20.00. Nice big solid marble with wooden handles and ball bearings. But they are just too heavy for me to use. I don't think I could have any control over it. Darn. The next time I order from Amazon I'm going to get a stainless steel one. It comes with a marked size mat, and the round end things that keeps your pin adjusted to high or low. The set is $16.00 and you could chill it in the fridge. 

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I have a grey marble one that DH likes to use.  But I found an ODD wooden rolling pin at a garage sale.  I like that one.  The handles are at right angles to the rolling part.  You grasp them like.....the "joysticks of the old Atari games".  You can get a lot better leverage with that angle.  I tried to find a pic but looked thru page after page and...nada.

 

MtRider  :cook: 

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If you do a Google search for "rolling pin with upright handles" they have a couple of pictures of them. Neat idea. I saw some with the upright handles that have a bar or two across the top too. 

 

I had a really pretty glass rolling pin on a nice wooden stand once. I put some olive oil and some herbs in it. Beautiful display. And leaked like a sieve after about a week. :o 

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I DuckDuckGo-ed it and didn't see anything.  :shrug:   I like the easier leverage for my weak hands.

 

DH worked 11.5 hrs today.  Good tips.  More tomorrow....til the snow drives folks away.  Today was nice....45* Sunny.  Folks came out in droves.

 

MtRider  B)    .....snow by tomorrow nite  :frozen:    

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On 2/12/2020 at 11:30 PM, Jeepers said:

ceramic knives

 

Get the good ones...they are wonderful!  Just make sure you don't chip them by chopping with them.  They slice, peel and cut very sharply!

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