I don’t use a lot of kitchen gadgets. I have a couple appliances which I use regularly — like the ancient rice cooker and my big stand mixer — but otherwise, when I need to chop things I get out a knife, and when I need to stir things, I get out a whisk. Most gadgets just seem to take up too much room in the drawer or be too finicky to clean easily. For a long time I even resisted buying a cherry pitter, but that five dollar purchase has more than paid for itself and the cherry pitter doesn’t get in my way the fifty weeks of the year I don’t use it.
I can’t remember now who gave us the salad dressing mixer and garlic chopper — whether it was Santa or my brother-in-law (who are not much different in my sons’ eyes) — but these two gadgets have been immediately, happily adopted by my sons. Ben just loves a gadget, and Eli thinks they make the kitchen more “modern.” I am happy that these two (small, easy to clean) devices have the boys back in the kitchen, experimenting with various combinations of ingredients and inventing new dressings each day. Last night, Eli mashed raspberries into his vinaigrette (yes, I even bought terribly unseasonal berries to support his dressing habit; tomorrow we’ll try pomegranate juice). The only problem now is the boys’ competition to use the dressing mixer every day — and the volume of dressing they are producing. But these are not problems I’m going to complain about too much, yet. For now, I like having these young scientists back in the kitchen with me.