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Kitchen Gadgets

The funny thing about kitchen gadgets is that they're inherently useless. The nature of the matter is that an item that proves to actually be useful will almost immediately lose the label 'gadget', as will anything that has more than one purpose. No-one refers to their frying pan, or cheese-grater as a gadget. However, there's something joyously decadent about owning a culinary device you'll use for a single dish once in a blue moon. Anyhow what follows is a list of the most useless kitchen gadgets in my possession. There's a common theme that they all solve problems that weren't really problems, or were better served by something already in existence. If you bought me any of these as a gift, please accept my apologies, I probably asked for it, full of the anticipation that some tedious culinary task was about to be immeasurably enhanced henceforward. 1. The Lettuce Knife. The theory is that the oxidisation reaction with a metal knife is what causes lettuce to brown at the cut edge. The solution is a green plastic serrated knife. However being blunt all it does is bruise the lettuce where you cut it, causing it to, um, go brown. 2. The Garlic Press. I appreciate this a minority opinion, and up and down the land most people happily use garlic presses day-in and day-out but I really don't understand what these have over crushing with the side of the knife and then mincing finely. Most of the garlic remains behind in the press, meaning you can only use it once between cleans and it takes more time to clean than chopping your garlic with a knife would have in the first place. Also, you are throwing away perfectly good garlic. Do you really need it that mushed up anyhow? 3. The Flavour Shaker. In the adverts Jamie Oliver threw a few things into one of these, shook it, and out came perfect pesto, or salad dressing, or ground spices. But you can't make pesto in this unless you want to do it in seven batches because it's far too small. Because there's no weight behind the ball it doesn't crush anything terribly well, and because of the weird shape anything you do manage to make successfully gets stuck. Really, stick with the pestle and mortar. Or use the blender. 4. The Bagel Guillotine. Wormella bought this from the states at great expense after seeing one on The OC, and to be fair, she is a huge fan of it. It splits bagels, or other round flat bread products. But not terribly evenly. Should your bagel be a bit soft it comes out as a squished mess. And if it's a bit hard you need the strength of the Hulk to make the blade go through. Besides we already have a device that splits bagels perfectly every time - A bread knife. 5. Anything supposed to make salad dressing. Now you can put your salad dressing in a mug and whisk like crazy with a fork, or in a jam jar and shake until your arms hurt. Nothing you can buy will work better than either of these methods. Not the device with the twirly handle on that moves a stick inside the jar. Not the one with the funny little electric whisk

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