I was recently regaling some writer friends, including LoveCat, Michelle Douglas, with details of a terrific Christmas gift I received from an old friend in the UK. For years we've been swapping gifts, usually including something useful for the kitchen but with a definitely odd twist. Don't ask me how it started, but over the years we've got into the habit of searching for the silliest, most eye-catching kitchen implements we can find. And you know what? It turns out that some of these are absolute gems. So at Michelle's urging I thought I'd share just a couple of my favourites.
|The Ice Queen Scoop|
OK, so the Ice Queen ice cream scoop I got in the mail a couple of years ago is just plastic. But it's outlasted not one but two heavy duty metal ice cream scoops and still it works. Perhaps it's got some sort of royal blessing?
The same year I received the scoop I also scored the most amazing whisk I've ever seen. Every time I open the kitchen drawer and see it I giggle. Here's why.
Yes, that's right. Not only does it have a metal whisk it has the added bonus of a flock of little yellow rubber ducks! I've never seen anything like it. I long for the day when some Aussie kitchen store keeps these in stock. Till then I have to live with the suspicion that the English have a better sense of humour than we do. And what's even more amazing is that it's a brilliant whisk! It does the job far faster than my normal metal whisk.
Another favourite? How about my egg timer. Not the boring turn-the-hourglass timer or even a clicking alarm. Mine is an egg shaped one that you put in the boiling water with the eggs. It tells you when your egg is soft boiled by beeping out the tune 'Killing Me Softly'. Personally, I prefer to wait for hard boiled so I can hear it play 'Carmina Burana'. I'm sure my egg consumption has gone up since I received it!
So, what did I receive from my friend this Christmas? A snail made of silicone. Cute, eh?
Here's the side view.
But wait, there's more. Pull on the back and hey presto, suddenly you have a funnel.
Cute and useful too. I can't wait to use this. In the meantime, if ever you happen to visit me and find me chortling as I cook, you'll understand why. Maybe if there was more sending of kitsch gifts across borders there might be a little more international harmony. It couldn't hurt.
How about you? Do you have friends who send you silly or even embarrassing gifts? Do you have any favourite kitchen gadgets? Something you wouldn't be without in the kitchen? Or do you prefer to leave the cooking to someone else?
They are so cute and useful as well :) I am not really a gadget person and don't have anything as nice as those just the usual that I pick up when needed although I have a friend who sees something and must have it you should see all the gadgets in their drawer :)
Hi Helen, it's lovely to see you here.ReplyDelete
I admit I wasn't a gadget person till this gift swapping started. Until then my favourite 'gadget' was my lemon zester. I remember feeling very decadent, buying something for such a specific single use but as I use it so very often it's been a great investment. The trouble with these wonderful gifts is that I'm running out of space - maybe like your friend. Maybe I'll have to remodel the kitchen.
Love these, Annie! That snail gives me a giggle and who could fail to smile at the duck whisk? And her maj delivering ice-cream deliciousness? What could be better? You know you've inspired me to do a post on some of the cute things nice people (including your good self) have given me over the years. Always looking for inspiration!ReplyDelete
That should be a lovely post, Anna. I've decided there's no reason you can't smile in the kitchen. In fact it's a great place for some humour!Delete
These are GORGEOUS, Annie! I love the sound of the egg timer, especially.ReplyDelete
I always look at the gadgets in the kitchen store and think I'll buy them one day, but never do. My best gadget is my olive pitter. My mother-in-law puts it to fantastic use whenever she visits and makes Greek Olive Bread. YUM.
Barbara, I'm so glad you enjoyed them. The egg timer is a real gem, believe me. I definitely know what you mean with the olive pitter. Mine broke from over use. Possibly because we had a glut of cherries one year and I was pitting kilos of them for cherry clafoutis. It died in a good cause.ReplyDelete
Love them all Annie! I love gadgets and have quite a collection--and not just in the kitchen. People tend to give me rooster and chicken inspired gadgets for my country kitchen.ReplyDelete
Kandy, I've seen photos of some of your chicken-themed kitchen goodies. So great for a farmhouse kitchen. They look wonderful!Delete
Oh, I love these, Annie! My favourite is the whisk. I want one!ReplyDelete
After staying with Barb DeLeo once, and loving that olive pipper she mentions, I bought one as soon as I got home. Now we buy unpitted olives and take the pips out ourselves. When kids cook with me, it's always their favourite task. :)
Rachel, how clever of you to give the kids the slow tasks and make it fun!Delete
If I ever see the whisk on sale I'll buy several and you can have one. I wonder if they're available in Australia?
Oh, I'm so glad you shared your kitchen gadgets with us, Annie! I love the Ice Queen. And I HAVE to get me an egg timer that sings when the eggs are ready -- I swear my life will not be complete until I've found one. :-)ReplyDelete
Also thinking I need a lemon zester and an olive pipper too. Guess who'll be hitting the kitchen shops when her next book is in? ;-)
Michelle, that can be your treat for getting the book in - some kitchen shopping. Make sure, though, that you look out for the fun stuff. In the meantime, if you have trouble finding the egg timer, you can come over for brekkie one day and I'll boil some eggs.Delete
These items are all brilliant! I wish you had pictures of the gifts you've sent your friend too.ReplyDelete
If I had that whisk I'd be finding something to whisk every day.
Claire, you know I never thought about keeping a photo of the things I sent to the UK. I'll have to start! In the meantime, if you see anything wonderful during the year that might fit the bill, don't forget to let me know. I need to buy these things when I see them.ReplyDelete
Hi Annie! OMG I LOVE your gadgets. I need to get me one of those egg timers!! I don't have any particular favorite gadgets- although I do have one of those stove top italian coffee makers that makes me feel very continental every morning when I use it!ReplyDelete
Louisa, I'm thrilled you love them. Me too! I'll have to see if I can source the egg timers here. I suspect there'd be a good market for them. Yes, I can see how the Italian coffee maker would make you feel very continental. How chic!Delete
Oh, Annie, love the Ice Queen. I do have gadgets but they're not very funky or exciting. I can see I'm going to have to start over. Will be a great collection to start.ReplyDelete
Sue, I was surprised to find the Ice Queen worked so well. As I said, it outlasted several sturdier looking implements. Maybe we just have particularly hard ice cream!Delete
These are the best gadgets ever. Mine are so boring.ReplyDelete
Hi Mary! Actually, I don't usually buy 'interesting' gadgets. These are all gifts from my friend. I suppose it's easier to buy fun things when it's a gift, isn't it?Delete
I love your gadgets. I have a great whisk envy. I'm afraid to go looking for one though as I'm sure my husband and I would buy too many things.ReplyDelete
Hi Kaelee. I'm chuckling at your great whisk envy. Maybe you should tell your husband and he could buy one as a gift?ReplyDelete
Annie ~ He is worse than me in the kitchen stores as he's the cook book reader in the household and does the main cooking most of the time. I just help with the prep work. I would love to find a duck whisk. Maybe I can ask for it for my birthday as we draw names in my family for birthdays. I do want a piping bag so they would be found together.Delete
That egg timer sounds great, certainly would take the timing and guess work out of boiling eggs.ReplyDelete
All of the gadgets sound great.
As for me, other than the baking stuff, I can't think of anythng that I can't do without. However, after years of study, I now taking the opportunity to start buying the useful kitchen appliances like food processors and stick blenders that I've been surviving without since I left home. As a result, I don't think that I've had a chance to truly determine what I can't survive without.