Thursday, January 29, 2009

my low tech kitchen favorites...

I'm not usually one to rush out and buy the latest gadget...and I definitely think twice about all things high-tech. High-tech means I'd have one more thing to learn to use. So I tend to stick with the tried and true! But I do have some low-tech (no tech?) favorites in my kitchen...which I use on a regular basis. In my early days of setting up house, I picked up a V3 vegetable slicer at a home show demo.
It quickly became a favorite...and I use it all the time. If I'm making a pot of soup...all the veggies get sliced on this gizmo. The onions are chopped in a jiffy...almost painless. I happened to see them at the flea market in Palm Springs a few months ago...and so I have my next one all ready to go when I need it. Who needs a food processor...

...when they have a Boerner slicer at their beck and call? It slices, dices, chops and juliennes...and comes in it's own caddy. And no...I don't sell them!

Ten years ago we took a road trip to Alaska...and my favorite souvenir was this Ulu knife (pronounced oo'loo) and chopping block combo.

It is just perfect for chopping a handful of nuts...or a can of water chestnuts. Everything stays in the bowl. If you ever visit Alaska...don't come home without one!

My most recent kitchen favorite is this La Provencale garlic grater...another Palm Springs flea market find (I think it is now called a street fair).

It is a wee ceramic bowl with a very rough bottom...made in Italy...and perfect for grating a clove of garlic or fresh ginger. You simply rub the garlic clove on the bottom of the dish...and create the finest minced garlic paste. The brush can be used to gather the grated garlic or ginger into a ball. Garlic butter is ready in a jiffy...and I've been adding fresh ginger to all kinds of dishes.

While others bring home jewels and designer bags from far off places...I collect items that make life easier in the kitchen! So those are my three no-tech gadget recommendations for today.

Well, let me add one that each of you already has in the drawer. Rather than putting out the big bucks to purchase a gizmo to break up ground beef while browning...

...why not just use your potato masher? It works great!

In this progressively high-tech world...many of my best kitchen gadgets are decidedly low-tech...and I like it that way.

Have a wonderful day...


  1. A long, long time ago (like 25 years) I worked at Taco Bell. We always used a potato masher (albeit, a larger one with a much longer handle) to stir and break up the ground beef.

    As for the Ulu knife, I've been to Alaska and didn't get one. :( But I have a friend there, and I may have to ask her to send one to me.

  2. Wonderful - you made me smile at your souvenires! I have one of those wonderful slicers - The Great Dane thought he could use it faster than I and took the top off his finger (sorry for the horror story so early in the morning!)
    I like the look of that ulu knife.

  3. What a great post! I have a potato masher and that's it. I'm definitely missing out!

  4. That is a handy dandy little slicer! I always chopped by hand until my husband surprised me with a food processor a few Christmases ago. It is wonderful and makes food prep so easy! That, and my Kitchen Aide mixer, are my favorite pieces of equipment. I wish I had them 30 years ago!

  5. That little ceramic bowl reminds me of a little glass dish that my mom gave me from my childhood . . . meant for making baby food - grating apples etc. Now I know what else I can use it for. I like simple gadgets too! But the slicer was too much for me too . . . I guess I wasn't careful enough.

  6. Thanks for that last tip. I always have a problem breaking up ground beef. I´ll try this next time!

  7. Thanks Judy for sharing your fave 'low tech' kitchen gadgets. My fave kitchen gadgets that I 'can't live without(or won't..hehe)' is my food processor and my Kitchen Aid chopping knife.

  8. I have number one and the potato masher which I can see has a great new reason to be in my drawer.
    I will have to invest in those other two. . I'm a gadget junkie. . it is something terrible. . I can't stop.

  9. Very neat gadgets! I'll bet you cook the best food with them. I need easy stuff and actually the easier the better when it comes to gadgets.

  10. My friend uses a slicer similar to the V3. We tried it and liked it so we bought a similar one thru Pampered Chef. I like the potato masher idea for ground beef. My hubby uses the potato masher to break up frozen juice.

  11. Hey I have the 'Ulu' knife too. When we took our crusie years ago to Alaska we saw those at every port. And at our last port we made sure we got one. They are really sharp!

    Thanks for sharing your great "low tech" kitchen gagets!!!

  12. hey, i have a v-slicer and love it too. that girlic/ginger grater sounds great, i have never seen that before, handi little thing. i like all your little tips, how in the world did i not think of the potatoe masher and ground beef before, brilliant...;-)

  13. A potato masher to break up my browning hamburger cleaver!! I love learning new tips for life in my kitchen and I really like getting new recipes. Think how excited I am to have discovered your blog. You are the first blogger that I have corresponded with, from Canada.

  14. I always seem to be on the same page as you in household things. I am a low techi too. I have very few gadgets. I finally broke down and bought myself a food processor. And it drives me crazy more than it seems to be useful.

    My low tech favorites at the moment are my French press, and stove top espresso maker. No machines!

    ...and the other thing I am always noticing how much we decorate the same. I have in my kitchen the cream cabinets, stainless steel fridge, and the reed glass in my pantry door. We must have been looking at the same magazines while we were building our homes. Mine is 3 years old this Feb. :0)

  15. ooh, I love the potato masher idea! And I need one of those slicer things too, since I have somewhat of a low tech kitchen as well. Love those garlic bowls too. I don't have one, but they do such a better job than the presses.


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