Tuesday, October 23, 2007

If Lovin' My Gadgets Is Wrong...

...I don't wanna be right. Hi, I'm Holly, and I'm a "gadget whore." That's my confession for the week.
Usually it's kitchen gadgets. Y'all would not believe the different sizes and types of whisks I have. I have gadgets to facilitate the boiling of the PERFECT egg. These include a gadget that has a very sharp and very tiny needle to make a teensy, tiny hole in the shell of the egg before you boil it. That makes it cook quicker with out becoming rubbery, and it makes it easier to peel. I also have an ovate shaped, flat bottomed, gadget made by Hammerhead products called the Eggsact Eggtimer. Yes, that's IS the way it's spelled. You drop it down in the pot with the eggs you're boiling. It has markings from the right side for Soft, Medium, and Hard, with marks between those conditions as well. When the egg has reached that degree of doneness, the gadget turns purple to that marking. You can then take the eggs off the burner at that point.

But the gadgets of which I am most proud are the ones that assist me in the making and preparation of dough products. I include biscuits in that category since I make biscuits more often than any other dough product. I love my biscuit cutters. The reason I love them is because they're sharp. I know some people use a glass or a cup to cut their biscuits, but that just squishes the dough down and seals the edges. I prefer the sharp cut from a true biscuit cutter because I think the biscuits cook better.

Now, Nanny had a dough board. It was a HUGE wooden board, although I've seen marble ones in the last twenty years, but they aren't as big as Nanny's old wooden one. Mom had a dough board made for her kitchen when she and Daddy built their dream house in '86, but I think I'm the only one who's ever used it. Good Bro, Sally, you ever given it a spin? Anyway...I've never had a kitchen counter big enough to accommodate a dough board that big. So I roll my dough out on a silicone dough mat. I have actually come to like it better than a dough board because it has measures on the sides in inches and in the middle it has circles for different sizes of pie crusts from tarts to 10". The mat folds up so it's east to dump the used flour in the trash, and I can wash it off in the sink. Then I roll it back up and store it in its box.

My rolling pin is an old Tupperware model. It's hollow. I fill it with water, stick it in the freezer the day before I'm going to use it and let it freeze solid. That way it stays colder than even one of those marble rolling pins. When I'm not using it, it lives in the pantry. For those of you who don't bake, the colder your ingredients and implements, the easier it is to "work" your dough.

My newest gadget is a set of Rolling Pin Rings. What are those, you ask? Well, they are color-coded, rubber rings of 1/16"; 1/8"; 1/4"; 3/8". They fit on the ends of the rolling pin so that you can roll the dough to a uniform thickness. I am really jazzed about these. No more guesswork. They will be of the most use when I'm makin' Fried Pies. Hear that, Mel?

My family makes fun of me sometimes for this fetish with gadgets. For instance, I was telling the Angel Baby Girl about my mushroom/strawberry slicer. She said, "I have one of those, too. I call it a 'knife'. " I tried to explain to her that I could slice an entire mushroom or strawberry with one stroke instead of several; and the slicer came with a soft brush with which to clean mushrooms! She was still not impressed. The Dearly Beloved, when we began to run out of drawer space, put his foot down and told me I had to stop buying whisks. I think that was when I switched to hangers for a time, and then...I forget after that, I think it was cleaning products. But that didn't last long. Most of them are unopened under the sink!

Tomorrow, my new tech toys.


~Fathairybastard~ said...

It's all about the gear babe. No need to explain.

jrshirley said...

You are my hero.

JPG said...

The sheer VOLUME of kitchen gadgets can be overwhelming. I finally took a mild stand on whisks when I counted seven of them while searching for a potato peeler.

I finally located two of the latter, but there were wire whisks in amazing abundance. I measn, from a tiny lil' thang that would hardly beat a robin's egg, to a huge, industrial grade number that would mix a 20-pound bag of flour into three gallons of milk in wheelbarrow. I mean, if you want to make biscuits for an entire Boy Scout jamboree . . . .

And there are the space-age nylon whisks guaranteed not to place the slightest scratch on the cherished Calphalon cookware. (Why such mixing wouldn't take place in one of a 17-piece set of nested stainless steel mixing bowls, I do not fathom.)

Or, shall we ponder the rather specialized strawberry stem stub circumsciser, professional model? Heaven forfend one should serve chopped stromberries with the least hint of greenish tinge remaining.

I could go on and on, but I'll either let her glory in her gadgeteer esoterica, or maybe I'll do my own blog on such. [Or, maybe I'd best just SHUT UP, for fear she'll ask about some of the special purpose handloading and gunsmithing tools on my work bench.]

Bob said...

You NEED a microplane,

Holly said...

@JPG, well, since I don't know anything about the stuff on your handloading bench, I thought it WAS all necessary, until this comment.
@jrshirley, why am I YOUR hero? b/c I admit I have a gadget jones? or b/c I admit it's for kitchen gadgets? or b/c I make biscuits and pies and fried pies?
@bob, I have a micro planer, and a zester, and a fine shredder, and a medium shredder, and a julienner, and 3 different types of corkscrews, and and and...

phlegmfatale said...

I LURVES me some kitchen gadgetry. I could spend the gdp of a third-world nation at Sur la Table and Williams-Sonoma. Seriously, it's a sickness.

Debbishoe Two said...

Just wondering, how do you keep all this stuff in order?

Question: I also have the Tupperware
rolling pin which I plan on using this week. I haven't had it out it quite a while. I don't remember, can it go into the dishwasher?