On Kitchen Gadgets & Thingamajigs

According to Encarta, a gadget can be either an ingenious device or a trivial one. And if you look under synonyms in Microsoft Word, you'll find suggestions like implement, tool, appliance, utensil, apparatus, contraption, and thingamajig. So, while sorting through my kitchen cupboards earlier this week (another mid-winter past time, right up there with cooking), I found items that fit every one of those descriptions, and I thought, why not blog about these gadgets? I'll let you know which ones I find useful and worth their space and maybe someone out there can identify the mystery item that I hold onto for fear that as soon as I throw it out I'll discover what it is and why I should have kept it. Oh, come on! You know exactly what I'm talking about!

FYI, my kitchen isn't exactly huge, but somehow I still have tons of cupboard. Am I wrong, or doesn't 35 doors and 16 drawers seem a bit excessive? Needless to say, I have all kinds of room for all kinds of things, and a mid-winter purge is sometimes necessary (something that almost never happened during the 18 years we lived in a mobile home).

I keep a box of rarely used items—or at least those that have safe play value—behind one of those many cupboard doors. My grand babies know that this door isn't locked and that gramma does not object to its contents being strewn from one end of the kitchen to the other.

Of course, whenever we need to use something from this box, it must be washed first. Small inconvenience, I say, compared with happy babies playing at our feet :)

I've always held that I will not have a junk drawer. And I don't. Even this box is a place for everything and everything in its place!

A citrus reamer is a fantastic little tool! It also makes a fantastic little toy!!

These came from Value Village. I ended up with them because I wanted the other items they were bagged with. We think they are silicone egg poachers; at least, that's what we use them for!

Useful for both knotted muscles and teething babies, this oddity is a keeper!

Littles like using a straw, and this gadget makes any cup nearly spill proof.

We keep funnels, shake containers, and ice cube trays in this box, too. I know what you're thinking:

shouldn't ice cube trays be kept in the freezer? Like, with ice in them?

Well. . . . no. Personally, I think they're kind of a pain, having to refill them all the time and then finding them all empty and in the sink, just when you really wanted ice. . .

Keeping them empty saves me all that disappointment.

Seriously, when I really find the ice trays useful is when I want to freeze a batch of baby food.

I blend my home canned carrots and chickpeas (or green beans and lentils, or some other concoction) with veggie or mushroom broth.

A super healthy, tasty, and convenient way to feed the Littles at gramma's house.

But the gadget sorting doesn't end here. There's more—the highly coveted gadgets which, for obvious reasons, are not made so accessible. Tucked away in a locked and obscure lazy Susan, we actually forget they're there until we need them.

Any kitchen that has space for it should have one of these old-fashioned gadgets. We use this regularly.

I love this one! But since we've started using minced garlic, we haven't needed this gadget. But I keep it, just in case we ever decide to grow our own.

Not sure what to call this, but it will grate both chocolate and cheese, though not terribly well, mind you. If space were at a premium, I'd send it to the thrift store.

I only use this for chopping nuts, but since space is definitely not at a premium, it's worth storing just for that.

If this little gadget worked better for slicing strawberries, it would get a lot more use around here. But it works great for boiled eggs, so we'll keep it.

Now this, my all-time favourite, has earned counter space and a dedicated electrical outlet; and, though it may be considered more of a small appliance than a gadget, it's certainly no contraption or thingamajig!

At the ready every morning for my smoothie, it also blends up a ton of other stuff (such as the aforementioned baby food), which means that for smaller portions of whatever—such as creamed soup for two—I needn't haul the big-deal blender out of the cupboard.

And at only $20, I don't worry about maybe having to replace it every year (which I haven't had to, but just sayin').

So now, for that mystery item . . . .

Any ideas?

It may have been left here by the previous owners.

Or (now as I ponder the unused appliances pushed to the back of the shelves) could it be some sort of attachment for the food grinder that we haven't used in decades?

At any rate, it has baffled and annoyed me for so many years now, that I'd love to hear your guesses before I either solve the mystery myself or pack it off to the re-use shed for someone else to ponder.

Until next time,

Happy mid-winter purge! :)