Monday, May 14, 2012

Happy Mother’s Day to Me–Kitchen Gadgets

Everyone knows that you should never buy utilitarian gifts for Mother’s Day, such as a vacuum cleaner or kitchen gadgets, because it sends the inadvertent message that she is only good for cooking and cleaning.  In fact, on Chicago Tribune’s list of What NOT to Get Mom, you can see that kitchen utensils hit the list twice:
  1. Chia Pet – tacky!!
  2. Obscure kitchen gadgets – that’s me!
  3. A wig – “Only really reminds us about how often mom can make us want to pull out her hair!”
  4. Socks – this must be akin to ties for Father’s Day
  5. Pots and pans – cook, woman, cook!
  6. Vacuum cleaner – only if this was specifically requested
  7. Popcorn – tins of popcorn are only acceptable from work suppliers during the holidays
But if you’re a gadget geek like I am, and you specifically pick out the obscure kitchen gadgets yourself, it can make for a very sweet Mother’s Day.  This year, Amazon was running a 20% discount on Kitchen and Dining items with their credit card up until Mother’s Day (hmm, did they not get the memo on what not to get?).  I took the opportunity to find some really cool kitchen gadgets for fruit.  We love eating fruit at our house (all of us except for Adam who will only eat soccer oranges), so anything that makes preparing fresh fruit easier is welcome.  Here’s my new arsenal:

This little gem works like a charm!  Press the button, insert, twist and a perfectly hulled strawberry emerges.  Even 8-year-old Dova can handle it.  It will also save my marriage because I always complain that Doug lops off too much of the strawberry when he uses a knife.

I absolutely love fresh pineapple but hate the huge time sink and mess of cutting one up.  This pineapple slicer and corer took all of 30 seconds to extract the juicy pineapple slices from a fresh pineapple.  A co-worker joked that you could use the leftover shell as a huge drinking cup for a tropical themed party.  Well, it would work if you didn’t core right through the pineapple like a did the first time.  But, we can still pretend.

This cherry pitter looks like fun as well as being useful. I can’t wait till cherries come into season. In the past, I’ve actually sliced cherries and pitted them by hand for fruit salads.  Now cherries will regularly appear in fruit salads as well as fresh cherry pies!  Mmm, pie.

For over ten years, I have used the the Apple Master Apple Peeler, Corer, and Slicer for peeling, coring and slicing apples for apple pies. The kids have loved the tradition of peeling apples for Thanksgiving pies.  Here’s a shot of Adam from 2007:

Adam helps peel apples

I’ve always had issues setting up this contraption because the core has to be lined up exactly or else you have to touch it up afterward.  Sometimes the peeling blade cuts too deep, sometimes it misses huge sections.  So when I spotted the Starfrit peeler and read the reviews, I jumped on it. I peeled one apple and it came out perfect with far less waste. Can’t wait to make the next apple pie, because you know we love pie around here.

Hope you had a Happy Mother’s Day!

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