I am not a kitchen gadget girl. For one thing, I hate clutter. I am constantly purging our closets and giving away junk to the local thrift shop (and to the disconcertment of my packrat of a husband). For another, I learned how to cook from my mom, who's Chinese. You want to watch someone make something by hand? Watch a Chinese person. These are people who are not afraid of a little kitchen work. My mom would turn out a four or five course meal every night of the week with little more than a cleaver, chopping board, wok, and a pot or two. For years, I didn't own so much as a vegetable peeler; I used a paring knife. Lemon squeezer? Pierce the lemon half with a fork, squeeze with your fist, then move the fork back and forth. Rolling pin? I'd use an empty wine bottle. Luckily, there are always plenty of those around my house.
Still, little by little, gadgetry has started to sneak into my kitchen. I don't know if it's laziness or the fact that my cooking has gotten both more frequent and ambitious, but I now own all of the above (peeler, squeezer, rolling pin) and much more besides. And so, it is with a mixture of shame and delight that I introduce you to...my new sous chef. Tada!
What's your favorite MacGyver trick in the kitchen? Or the gadget you can't live without?