The recent replier ZenSojourner, a 36-inch long screed on her decades-long gadget spree, wins the prize. A metal thing to rid hands of onion smell, a ceramic disc that is supposed to keep milk from scorching, a mango corer, a hamburger press and special brushes to clean the inside of the garbage disposal. That last one wins the prize, but there are at least a dozen other contenders on her list. Mango corer?
I accumulate gadgets reluctantly and am quick to purge what isn't being used. I just got rid of a little carton-of-eggs-shaped mold for making Jello Easter eggs. (Hey, it's fun if you have kids.) And the oversize cake dome that takes up half the space in the biggest cabinet in the kitchen? Its days are numbered.
But I still have some pretty useless stuff. Just not useless enough to deaccession. Take, for instance, the graded measuring cups. Why do I need a 1/4 cup and 1/3 cup measure?
And then there's stuff that other people find useless that I find indispensable. Tiny whisks — got four of them. Pastry brushes: got two. Cheese knife. Cookie press — doesn't get much use, but when you need one, nothing else does the job. Ditto the steampunky glass dropper — you don't think you need it until a recipe calls for two drops of something super-pungent like mint extract, anise flavoring or habanero oil.
What's the most useless gadget in your kitchen? And what about the things other people find useless that you can't do without?