Starting a new hobby can be expensive. Believe me, I should know.
First, there was soccer … then the cake business … then skeet shooting … then Latin dancing … handmade aprons … and hand-painted sandals. Plus cooking, of course.
With all of these hobbies, in exchange for some worthy experience, I always end up with a little less cash and a lot less closet space. (Fortunately, I have a very understanding husband, who also has a few hobbies of his own.)
Cooking is no exception. I have mountains of tools that I don’t use, which take up space in drawers that I can barely open. So how can one avoid my mistakes? Here’s my new two part test: (1) Does the tool have only one function?; and (2) Can that function be accomplished almost as easily with a knife? If the answer to both questions is “yes,” don’t buy it.
Following this test: Cherry & Olive Pitter = Good, while Banana Slicer = Bad.
Yes, there is such a thing. In fact, there is an assortment of products available to help you enjoy your bananas … even though the banana is, quite possibly, the easiest fruit to slice (enter butter knife) and store (set on countertop).
There is the “banana split” banana peeler, which purportedly “makes it easy and fun to peel bananas!” (I think “fun” is a stretch.) As far as slicers, you have your choice of the full-length slicer (which promises “banana slices in an instant!” … as opposed to banana slices in a minute or two), or the hand-held slicer (which will “keep hands and fingers safe!” … safe from what, I’m not sure). As far as storage, you could go with the traditional banana hanger, or upgrade to the limited-edition banana keeper. For individual bananas, you have three options: the banana holder (also known as the “nana saver”), the banana bunker (which promises to “save your banana from your tough schedule”), or the banana guard (similar to the bunker, but which provides air ventilation to your banana).
You get my point. Save your money. Less really is more.
All that said, here is a short list of gadgets that I do think are worth getting. Any would be a great Father’s Day gift, if you are looking for ideas.
- Swissmar Peelers (Set of 3)
- OXO Cherry and Olive Pitter
- OXO Citrus Squeezer
- OXO Salad Spinner
- OXO Angled Measuring Cups
- Kitchen Shears (any brand)
- Kitchen Aid Food Processor
- Screwpull Champagne Stopper
- Mrs. Anderson’s Pie Crust Shield
- Nonstick Fluted Tart Pan (any brand)
There are others. If you have a favorite gadget, please let me know. I would love to add it to my list!