I am such a gadget hound. It’s shameful, really, the amount of time I spend wandering aimlessly around Williams-Sonoma, fingering one shiny thing after the next. (I do keep the shop girls busy, though, as they think, I’m sure, that I’m about to shove an All-Clad roasting pan into my coat and load my pockets with cookie cutters, dressed as I usually am in my cloak of mediocrity. With this being Williams-Sonoma and all, I’m suspiciously uncool.)
They needn’t fret, I’d like to tell them. I already have an All-Clad roasting pan, and I’m really picky about my cookie cutters. They’re wasting their time following me around the store, because I’m there simply to fall into a dreamy reverie, in which I’m drifting from table to table, imagining myself fingering all of these tools – my tools – in my own commercial kitchen.
But every once in a while, I come across something so bright, so shiny, so … deliciously useful … that it jerks me into the here and now, and I simply must have it. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, I usually find myself lacking the willpower necessary to stave it off, and within the week, I’ll own it. Here are a few of my recent weaknesses. (You might be able to resist 2 of the 3, but, if you’re the owner of a KitchenAid standmixer, I dare you to ignore the beater blade….)
These have to be the cutest measuring cups and spoons I’ve ever seen. I wanted them so badly, I didn’t even want to wait for Amazon to ship them (a model of self-control I am not). I ran over to Williams-Sonoma on my lunch break and picked up a boxed set. They’re from All-Clad and are modeled after All-Clad’s full-sized pots – even the handles are the same. I love the inner markings on the 1 cup and 1/4 cup measuring cups. They’re high-quality stainless steel, so you can, I don’t know, melt butter or chocolate in them on the stove or something when you’re not scooping flour or filling them to brim with marshmallow fluff. The measuring spoons won’t fit into every container, so I can still use my other favorite measuring spoons, but, the set is just so … soooo … cute. There. I said it. Can’t think of a better word for them at the moment, as their shiny, sparkliness is bedazzling me.
Once you get a good look at this photo and digest what you’re seeing, you won’t need to read my babble about it. Go ahead, click the picture, look at the larger version. Did you notice the rubber squeegees mounted on the edges of the paddle? You know what that means, right? No more scraping down the bowl. That’s right, let it sink in. No more scraping down the bowl. And see the separation of the blades at the bottom of the paddle? It’s on purpose: it scrapes around the little bubble on the bottom of the mixing bowl so you lose nary a crumb of goodness. ‘Nuf said. Go buy. (I got mine at Chefs Catalog, but it’s also available at Amazon.com.)
Okay, this is kind of an odd tool, but, as pie season is just wrapping up – apple pie season, in particular – I wanted to share the find that probably extended my non-pie-making lifespan by at least several hours. Apple pies take a lot of apples, and that means endless coring, peeling, slicing, coring, peeling, slicing, coring, peeling, slicing, cor- okay, stop it already! This gadget does all three in one step. You mount the apple on the spike, turn-turn-turn the wooden handle, and, ta-da, a cored, peeled and sliced apple. Whole thing takes about 10 seconds. (Yes, that’s seconds.) So cool. (They’re available at KingArthurFlour.com, and I also spied them on a high shelf at Williams-Sonoma.)