Kitchen gadgets: The bad - And a FREE contest to WIN free kitchen gadgets

As you know, every day this week, we are looking at kitchen gadgets from Chef's Planet. Why gadgets just from one company? I am tired of the hit-and-miss of buying gadgets; never knowing if my new purchase will be a great find or a great waste of space. I though it would be nice to have one company I could rely on. So, here we are.

Yesterday, we looked at the good. Today, big surprise, we are looking at the bad.

And, of course, you know that the super fabulous Now It's Your Turn contest is coming up where you can win the most expensive item reviewed this week for (oh dear, here comes my inner barker again) free, free, FREE!

The bad
First item on the menu today, the Grande food mill ($85). I, who, actually, am fairly good at putting things together, could not manage it. In fact, I said bad words. That's when the husband took over. He said bad words, too. But he did manage to put it together.

And, ten minutes later when it had only done half a job with some cooked potatoes and more strength than I could muster, he also took it apart. I cleaned it, he packaged it, and here we are.

Food mills are designed to purée food, removing skins and seeds and whatever from fruits and vegetables to leave you with incredibly smooth soups and stocks and jams and baby foods and so on. And I could see how this would work. But it was such a bother. Personally, I'd rather use my KitchenAid stand mixer, my Cuisinart food processor or my immersion blender (all of which do multiple things, thus earning each a coveted place on my limited countertop) and forcing the puréed item through a sieve.

The bad: Part two
They call the nutcracker ($15) "... physics at its finest. Design at its most functional." They picture it with a hazelnut, an almond, and a walnut. So I get a few of each and give it a try.

Hazelnut: Despite the fact that the copy says "Shells won’t fly everywhere" the shell flew everywhere. And so quickly that I have yet to find all the shards. But it did crack the nut.

Almond: I dropped it in, pointy side down and it promptly jammed the nutcracker. I couldn't get it out until after I pounded the nutcracker on the kitchen counter. I then dropped it back in, fat side down. The nutcracker worried the shell, but did not break it. I tried hard. It tried harder. I tried my very hardest and am pretty sure I came damn near to breaking this thing (the handle shifted sideways which I am quite sure it is not meant to do). The shell didn't break, but it did cracked. So I did the rest by hand.

Walnut: Ha! Ha! Very funny! Is this someone's idea of a joke? The walnut doesn't fit far enough into the damn thing to even get near the cracking mechanism. I make a mental note to find a hammer.

Unfortunately, all I can say is that the copywriter is way, way better than the physicist and designer who created this thing. And, hey, didn't anyone even try this thing before they pictured it next to impossible nuts and put it up for sale? Heck, I tried it for everyone. Let me show you:

And the beat goes on . . .
Having looked at the good and the bad, tomorrow we will turn to the . . . well, you can guess.

Win free stuff contest
And I haven't forgotten about this totally unique Now It's Your Turn contest. The one that puts you in the driver's seat. The one where you can win a kitchen gadget for free, free, FREE! (I'm stuck now and always have to write it this way.) It's coming.