Hysterical, charming, delightful, and creative stories about kitchen gadgets

I promised last Friday I would post some of the best of the entries for the first-ever Almost Vegetarian Now It's Your Turn contest.

I’m doing this so you can see what great company you keep!

The entries range from terribly sweet to utterly charming to totally delightful and I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did.

I particularly adored mmauray’s post because it perfectly captures how I feel when I work in the kitchen.
It's red. And shiny. You can fill it up, flick a switch, and walk away. It does all of the work for you. It's my one true love.

It's my KitchenAid mixer.

I begged and pleaded - it was the only thing I asked for my birthday, for Christmas, for Valentine's Day. I even asked for it for St. Patrick's day (hey, who knows). Finally, it came to me. I reorganized my whole kitchen around it. Made it my centerpiece. It is clearly the most expensive thing in my house, and I felt that it deserved pride of place. Even though occasionally it blocks me from using my counter for something more useful, I won't move it.

I pretend I'm a baker, but mostly I just follow other's recipes. Sometimes I tweak here or there, adding a pinch of salt or a little more cinnamon, or some flour for texture; mostly, though, I just love the moments of solitude. Stirring, measuring, watching bread rise, and, of course, mixing.

But Sammawow passed over her “ . . . beautiful blue KitchenAid mixer . . . ” for a “ . . . can opener made by Good Cook.” See, it doesn’t have to be expensive to be beloved.

I thought TAG’s post was totally adorable. I could absolutely picture a child, squishing toys into mama’s fancy European gadget.
On a visit to Europe once, my mother dragged me into this Italian department store. Imagine Wal-Mart, but with class! Anyway, we were going to fly back home the next day and she wanted to get something uniquely European to bring home.

She ended up getting this contraption that makes julienne potato's. You peel the potato, pop it into the gadget whole, and give it a squeeze -- out comes the fries. Sounds simple, but this child had a whole lot of fun with it, even going so far as to fill the gadget with play-doh and toys!

Speaking of kids, Tiff’s story about her son was too cute (and such an inventive child)

I don't have a review but i have to say my son loves my cheese grater! It's the kind you put the cheese in the trough and turn the handle and out comes the cheese (from pampered chef). When ever i have to use it i have to go hunt for it because my two year old takes it out of the drawer (blade not included) and plays with it. It's usually in his bed or in the playroom. Never knew there were so many uses for a cheese grater!

Then there are the people who prefer the choppers

I love that Dawn Marie uses her Pampered Chef Food Chopper to “ . . . help pound away the stress!” But she’s not the only one that prefers the food chopper. Candice says hers is her favorite gadget, too. And, ha!, she seems to be the only one in her household that can put it back together (and she is very diplomatic about it, too).

Speaking of husbands . . .
I can identify with urban vegan’s story about her husband not understanding “ . . . why I get upset when he uses the kitchen scissors to cut paper or when he puts the paper-cutting scissors in the dishwasher.” I think some people think all scissors, all knives, all — what-have-you — are created equal. But to a cook or a baker, they are not!

And then there are families . . .
Laura likes her Bosch Mixer with Food Chopper attachment and blender attachment. According to her, “The mixer part holds up to 20 cups of flour! Meaning I can make enough bread dough in it at once for six loaves . . . " I’d say that’s enough to feed us all, but she already has a handful with a family of nine!

Here’s an anecdote from the winning entry that made me laugh (thanks Carol)
I think I've always loved tea kettles, but now I am reminded of an anecdote told by a friend about a friend of hers, when she was first on her own. (Not sure I believe it was about 'a friend,' but you be the judge.)

Anyway, my friend got a phone call from the other, exasperated, near tears: she'd boiled a hotdog - it fit in through the pour spout perfectly! - but now, cooked and far plumper - how could she get it out again?

The world is full of wacky cooks

I thought Naomi’s story about her non-cooking college roommate was so much fun! Imagine, having to show someone how to “ . . . heat up the beans in a saucepan and shred the cheese with a grater . . .” And speaking of Mexican food, I also loved Joshua’s description of his quesadilla maker: “A big red chili looking thing.” I can picture it now!

Of course, for many, the tough part was picking just one gadget
My heart goes out to Dawn who loves kitchen gadgets so much she just can’t choose one (I so know that feeling). I bet we’d have fun at garage sales together! (And I think Candes, or maybe her mother-in-law would be fun, too. After all, they have a kitchen gadget they have no idea what it does! Tip: Cook’s Illustrated magazine runs a monthly feature where they identify unidentifiable kitchen gadgets. Maybe you could contact them. If you do, let me know what it was!)

And speaking of gadgets, Sandy has me yearning to try a ricer (I’ve heard such good things, but have never tried one) after talking about how it made her over-cooked potatoes nice and fluffy.

I also totally identified with Pava whose “ . . . idea of a perfect day is to cook while watching the food channel.” Eventually, she noticed “ . . . all the chefs had a two tools I did not, so I bought them: a pair of big tongs with silicone grippers and a santoku knife.” She shops the way I do: Monkey see / monkey do! (Thank goodness I am immune to the Shopping Channel or we’d really be in trouble.)

I really loved this sweet and beautifully written story by Jaime
When I moved into my own place a few months ago, my aunt asked if needed anything. "Electronics? Do you have a DVD player?" "No," I said, "but you know what I'd really love? A food processor." She gave me a funny look, but a week later a 3-cup Cuisinart arrived at my door, and it's the best thing ever. It's amazing how self-sufficient making my own hummus makes me feel.

Finally, Redmoon79 really sharpened his pencils and sent me this utterly delightful ode to his coffee grinder

My coffee-bean grinder is the key,
though drink it, I do not!
Instead, it pulses cashews for faux-cheese
And herbs for my cooking pot.
Grinds flax seeds for smoothies, and sesame seeds too.
Oh, my red KitchenAid bean grinder,
Where would I do without you?