Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Gadgets & Glasses

I hop into a kitchen gadget store every time I get the chance. I’ve drooled over gadgets. I’ve cursed purchased gadgets that did not live up to promises. A couple of items have stood the test of time. Both came from Williams-Sonoma.

The first one is an olive pitter/cherry stoner (I’ve never used it on cherries, although my husband did once for a splendid cherry pie). I’ve slowly acquired a taste for olives over the years starting with very mild oil-cured black olives and now preferring large green Sicilian beauties. Olives with pits seem to be firmer than the pre-pitted kind and I like the firmed style. Trying to pit olives with a knife requires patience that I’m not accustomed to doling out. The pit simply will not relinquish the olive meat. The pitter makes my life (and my chicken with olives and capers) much easier.

Number two gadget is a tomato peeler/deseeder. My husband found this many years ago in a Williams-Sonoma catalog (now, it can be purchased in the stores). He ordered it as a surprise for me. What a godsend! I had recently begun to cook and had been making fresh sauce the slow and inefficient way via a paring knife and thumb action. Not only did it take up a lot of time, it also led to a loss of flavorful liquid. The peeler deseeder originates from Italy and is mostly red plastic. It’s basically a modern Italian version of an old metal grinder. Peeling and deseeding tomatoes still takes some time, but this gadget makes it much more efficient and I do not waste any flavor. I also use it to deseed canned whole tomatoes when fresh tomatoes are not available.

And now to my most recent acquisition from Sur la Table – Bodum Double Wall Thermo Glasses. I purchased the Pavinas which hold nine ounces. The box says mouth blown, dishwasher safe, microwave safe. Since the glasses are double walled they essentially encase one glass inside of another, thus, keeping liquid temperatures more stable (hot stays hot, cold stays cold). Another perk is that cold liquids do not sweat the outside of the glass (glasses do not stick to coasters or leave water rings on wooden tables). So far, I’ve been very pleased. The Bodum series of double walled glasses come in an assortment of sizes from iced tea to espresso. Mine were the next size up from the espresso size and retailed for $14.95. A small caveat – the glasses seem very delicate and the warnings include not placing the glasses in a crowded dishwasher. I have washed them several times in their own space and so far, so good.

1 comment:

ET said...

I always feel like if I have neat gadgets it will make me want to cook more. I am never right in this assumption though. :)