Many kitchen gadgets are great, some are not. And gadget value doesn’t depend on how often you use it. One of my favorites is one I use about four times a year: a cherry pitter. Amazingly I always know where it is because I keep it high up in a cupboard in it’s original neato European box. I used it over Christmas when I had a gift of cherries, making myself a nice bowl of cherries to go with a cold supper.
Gadget-wise, I really burned myself recently at the great Fante’s kitchen store at the Italian Market in South Philadelphia. I really wanted to buy something, but I didn’t need anything, so I convinced myself that a “herb stripper” would be fun and useful. It’s not; there’s too much concentration involved and zero time saved. So I’m stuck with this beautiful stainless steel stupid gadget, stuck because how can you give away something that frustrates you?
New Pastry Brush!
When you’ve been cooking for over 50 years you need a good reason to buy a new gadget. I’ve been on the lookout for a few months for a new pastry brush. They are really useful. There’s no other gadget that you can use to brush BBQ sauce on meat, or olive oil on grilled vegetables. I have three already, but I don’t enjoy using any of them. One is too old, one is too small, and the head keeps falling off the silicone one.
I only wanted to spend a couple bucks, so I’ve been biding my time before buying a new one. I was really happy the other day to find a near-perfect pastry brush at a Mennonite discount grocery store. I always feel good about Farberware, and my new pastry brush has their signature no-nonsense quality, with 2.5 inch natural bristles and a plastic (who cares?) sturdy handle. For $1.50.