One-Hit Kitchen Wonders

While I’m most easily identified as Irish because of my freckles and red hair, I was raised by a German mom in a household in which being on time meant arriving 5 minutes early.

First grade came with a radio alarm clock of my very own so I could out of bed and ready for school independently. True story. Needless to say, I’m acutely aware of time and I strive to use mine with thoughtful efficiency.

This desire to make good use of time translates to my kitchen and the array of gadgets and appliances I own. Although I try to not purchase kitchen items that serve only one purpose, through the years I’ve somehow accumulated a number of tools which really only accomplish a single task. Here are some of the ones I actually use.

Prepare to have your world rocked – this 6 cherries (or olives) at a time pitter will change your cherry eating game! Rinse your cherries and pull stems. Place in pitter and squeeze shut. Boom! Cherries pitted and separated and ready to toss in the bowl or your mouth. Truly my favorite kitchen accessory.

I like fruit with my cereal. Strawberries are a favorite of both mine and Jeter, my 85-pound Labrador retriever who appreciates the tops. After years of going at the task with a paring knife without bothering to hull, I’ve recently begun using my single purpose (So far. Ideas?) strawberry slicer. It has been in a drawer for a good few years, I think, and I don’t know what prompted me to start using it. But now, I cut the tops off with a knife and then slice them with this cute-as-a-button gadget.

I suppose hard boiled eggs might also fit well enough.

The Whirlybird popcorn maker has been in my house for awhile, but I’m confident that some day my son(s) will move out and they’re officially invited to take this with them. Anytime is fine. I’ll miss the convenience of the crank distributing the kernels, and I’ll probably miss my kid(s), too.

But life goes on, and I’m willing to let this item go. A pot would work just fine for me – plus you can melt the butter in the hot pot after you’ve poured the popcorn into a bowl. Efficiency points earned right there!

The electric kettle, which takes up counter room all year, but really doesn’t get used much in summer, is fast and convenient. I’ve got solar panels and my electric bill is pretty minimal. I’ve tried to train myself to use more electricity and less natural gas in the kitchen. As for the kettle, I’m putting that in the pantry cabinet until fall. Next…

My Kitchenaid stand mixer is a piece of equipment that I can’t imagine being without, even though I basically use it for a single purpose – mixing batters and doughs. I have no fancy attachments like a meat grinder or pasta maker, but I love this device. It’s heavy as hell and takes up an entire shelf in my kitchen, but the Kitchenaid is not going anywhere.

So, those are the space taker/time saver tools I use on the regular. What I definitely don’t use is the apple corer and I may as well just give that away, just like I did the avocado scooper-y thing. I certainly don’t see myself ever using it. What I’d like to perhaps add to my “toolbox” is a good juicer and a garlic press, assuming there’s one that actually works without turning the garlic into pulp.

How about you? What do you use, never use or still hope to have, when it comes to your kitchen gadget collection?

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