My earliest recollection of a specific toy I wanted was when I was perhaps 7 or 8 and the toy was a Tonka Dump Truck. You know, the kind big enough for a 7 or 8 year old to ride on but still small enough to bring in the house at the end of a busy play day and at the time the family was large and money was tight but my mother, bless her, found some way to finally get me one. It was the best toy I ever got—- THANKS MOM.
Now as we get older our taste in toys change depending on our likes and dislikes. In my case I went from Tonka toys to outdoor sports—- baseball, football and fishing with fishing dominating a lot of my youthful years. When I got married my “married” toys consisted of a BBQ, lawnmower and renovation type toys— the renovation toys being the latest Hammer Drill or Table saw and an air compressor and nail gun combination. Somewhere along the line I also had my computer building toys but that may be a post for another day.
These days my toys revolve around the kitchen and what can make dinner preparation easier and more fun. What I present to you today are three kitchen toys I use quite often and would quite frankly not know what to do without.
The black gadget on the bottom left of the picture is a French Fry cutter and has been such a great purchase. If you have purchased frozen french fries in the supermarket lately you will probably have noticed they can be costly. I purchased a bag the other day for when I really don’t feel like going the deep fryer route and a 650 gram bag (that’s 22 ounces or 1.5 pounds) cost $6.95 whereas a 5 pound bag of potatoes is usually under $4.00. Now I don’t know about you but if it’s me I’m going the bag of potato route 95.5% of the time because I do have a fry cutter at home which cost me all of $21.00 about a year ago and the other great thing about the cutter is that it is dishwasher safe and comes apart very easy for cleaning.
That curious round thing on the right side of the picture was a god send when I was operating the kitchen at the Veterans Service club a while back and we needed to save money. It quite simply is a Hamburger Press that is capable of making 1/4 and 1/2 pound patties. I found this one in our local BBQ supply store for around $18.00 and was so impressed with it I bought one for my son.
This little gadget may be a wee bit time consuming to use, however, when it comes down to a case of economics it’s a great addition to anyone’s kitchen arsenal. Just think about it. The Veterans club, prior to my arrival, was spending approximately $45.00 for a box of pre made burgers that, for one thing, contained MSG and for another fell apart on the grill and the box held 35 4 ounce burgers.
I found a local establishment that consistently sold 10 pounds of ground beef for between $21.00 and $24.00 and this gave me 32 5 ounce burgers and since I was using my burger recipe I could control what went into them but more specifically what didn’t and the Burger Press made the job that much easier and cost effective even taking into account my labor.
That “fancy dan” gadget at the top of the picture is my old nemesis…… the Mandolin. It was the last kitchen gadget I used at the Veterans club before I switched jobs and it is the one that is responsible for putting a couple of stitches in my finger. Well, truth be told……. I was responsible because I wasn’t paying attention and did not have the safety guard in place but that’s a story for another time and place.
I love this piece of equipment even though it took a bite out of one of my digits because it can do so many things. It slices at different thicknesses, it has a shute where you can put cucumbers or zucchini and get the exact same slice each and every time, a pop up set of “julienne” blades and it even has a flip over “cheese” grader segment. I have used this for making onion rings, carrot matchsticks, potato chips and so much more………. yeah I know—- kind of sounding like a commercial….. and again it was inexpensive. Somewhere around the $25.00 mark.
If you don’t have one of these I would highly suggest you get one……. they are definitely a must have in your kitchen arsenal.
All of the items you see above are inexpensive but owe so worth the purchase for when you are making “simple but tasty recipes for the grilling season and beyond” and trust me you won’t regret the purchase.
So until next time………