Decluttering,  Organization

The Gadget Bucket

This is what I call my “gadget bucket.” It contains the majority of tools I use when preparing food. It has become overgrown, so in the name of simplicity I am thinning it out today.

Here are all of the items spread out so they can be seen better:



This hodgepodge contains:

2 metal spatulas
2 sets of tongs
hand mixer
hand grater
2 wire whisks
3 wooden spoons
plastic slotted spoon
2 plastic dipping spoons
manual can opener
potato masher
singer beater from electric mixer (location of mate: unknown)
chef’s knife
boning knife
2 older tv knives
newer tv knife

Way too many gadgets for a single mom with a single kid. Let’s see what I can thin out:

There! I managed to pare down 7 items from that bucket. One spatula, the lone beater, a pair of tongs, one of the older TV knives, the boning knife, one plastic dipper spoon, and the smaller of the two whisks will be placed in the storage container out in my building.

I kept two of the TV knives, one old and one new because they have different degrees of serration and depending upon what I am cutting sometimes I prefer one or the other. The beater will be kept because I know I have the mate and the mixer stashed somewhere, despite the fact that I may use it once every couple of years.

One of the whisks went into storage, though I was ambivalent about that. I tend to use one whisk or the other depending upon the job but feel it is silly to have two of them. In fact the only reason I own two is because you had to buy a 2-pack at Sam’s club (I got these in the restaurant supply section).

I never use the boning knife – got it and several paring knifes as a bonus when I bought my latest set of TV knives. Why did I buy a new set of TV knives when I had several older TV knives already? I don’t know offhand – I guess because of the one-piece metal construction and the heavier overall guage of the metal – I am abusive to these knives so I may have just wanted spares, though honestly I have yet to destroy a single TV knife despite using them to even cut down small trees in place of a handsaw (I have bent one however). If you ever want an excellent all-around knife you can use and abuse, invest in a set of TV knives. They run around $40 dollars and are well worth every penny!

I have owned three sets – the first set was lost in the divorce, the second and thrid sets are going strong (why did I think I needed 2 sets?).

I kept out my favorite set of tongs and stashed the other set. Eventually I may feel safe enough to permanently let go of these items but for now storage it is…

One day I am in hopes of getting a wall-mount knife magnet to get those up and out of the way, then perhaps I will figure out another method of storing my gadgets besides that bucket!

For those who are curious, I have used a manual can opener for years for several reasons:
1) it doesn’t take up as much storage space,
2) it has an incredibly long warranty, and won’t break down and need replacing near as often as an electric can opener will (if it ever breaks down),
3) it cost a LOT less than an electric can opener,
4) it does not use electricity like an electric can opener (every little bit helps),
5) it doesn’t take any longer to open a can manually than it does with an electric can opener
6) it is quieter than an electric can opener
7) it is just plain classier to have a well-built manual can opener than those darn electric gadgets wasting space, electricity and money.

I have always used a manual grater. I have never owned a food processor, though once I was given a salad shooter (I hated it). This particular grater was inherited when my parents passed away.

The potato masher is the same way. It came from my parents. My mother had 2 but one disappeared over the years. When I got older she started using an electric mixer to make our mashed potatoes. I remember the noise, the mess as it splattered everything, always having to clean up after it, wiping off the machine and washing those infernal beaters (which were never together when you wanted them so dinner was always late) – and the potatoes never had the occasional chunk that makes homemade mashed potatoes so special.

I looked long and hard to replace the hand mixer that my mother used to have. I assume she tossed her old one when she bought the electric mixer, but I have fond memories of making cakes and dream whip using that handy little device! It was quieter, it never broke down, you don’t have to plug it in and you never have to worry about losing a beater? Hence my manual mixer. If I ever locate my electric one and both beaters to freecycle it will go – I detest that useless messy thing!

As you can tell, I have a preference for manual devices instead of electric gadgets. After years of watching things break right before the novelty wears off I have learned my lesson. Planned obsolescence and breakdowns can kiss my grits!