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RE: Single Purpose Gadgets (Follow-Up #20)

posted by: plllog on 07.30.2011 at 05:56 pm in Kitchens Forum

I'm so thrilled to read all of your responses!! I was sure I couldn't be alone. :) I can't make a family occasion without a minimum of two dozen people here. The whole group is more like four dozen, but there are subgroups where one can divide without leaving someone out. My friends come by the dozens too, though some of them can be seated by the half dozens. So, yeah, I guess I am a part time caterer (though compared to Worldmom and Rhome410, I'm a piker). That's how, in my planning stages, I got a lot of "why do you need four ovens?" questions. Gotta say, it works great! I could do fine for entertaining day with two large convection ovens and a warming drawer, but for daily life and the days of cooking prior, I prefer my gadgety ovens too: One normal large one, one half sized combi-steam, one half sized speed oven/MW/conv., and the warming drawer. :)

NatalieChantal, you can also make yoghurt in the oven if it has the proper low settings, and use your little cups, or ramekins, or custard dishes, or those little Pyrex bowls with covers, but that means giving up the oven for the duration. I totally get why you want the dedicated yogurt maker. :D

Rhome, there are all kinds of strawberry hullers. I love mine. Some are nippers, some are spoon shaped, some defy description. Mine works really well with no fuss, but I'm sure others work well too. With this one, you pull up the leaves (sepals?), stick the points in at the base of the stem, and slide them in while turning. Pull out, and the whole center comes out, leaving the top area of the berry pretty well untouched, with a little hole in the middle. I can do this with a pointy paring knife, but it's a lot easier with the huller. Which costs something like $3 at BB&B or similar.


Mcmjilly, gotta admit, I didn't even think of the food mill and mandoline as "one purpose". One is a fancy sieve and the other is a fancy knife. :)

Re using the knife for smashing the garlic, that's great for a clove or two, but I find it wearing for a head or two, and I do have recipes that require whole cloves. I used to mince garlic, but the OXO garlic press does a superior job of crushing the garlic and extracting the juice. That was an impulse buy that has paid for itself in time savings.

Re thyme, it's not so hard with a paring knife, the crux of the herb shears or even a thumbnail when the stems are stiff, but when they're tender it can be a nightmare. I've been known to think if they're that tender to figure they do no harm to the dish and just rip them up and throw them in. If the stems aren't determined to fall apart, you might try a wire stripper. :)

Circuspeanut, the picture looks a little like a canolli shell, but it's the silicone tube. They now make these in fun colors as well. Another great thing is it goes right in the DW, standing on one of the tines.


Natal, the big cube is something I don't have--you put your boiled egg, still warm, into a cube form, so you have a hardboiled egg that doesn't roll off the plate. I find that a bit creepy, but they're supposed to be popular in Japan. The little cubes are the ones you get from putting your egg through a wire egg slicer three times.

We had a simple one of these when I was a kid, and I always found the little cubes a delight. Additionally, if you don't over stir the yolk cubes stay intact instead of becoming an all over yellow tinge. I never found a simple one that worked well as an adult. You know how it goes. It looks just the same as the old kind, but is made cheaply by people (or robots) that don't care, and it's just not as good. I'm currently using the OXO, which is very fancy. It has pegs that form the egg platform, rather than just slats of the metal base. There's a grid that fits over the pegs. You do the first two passes as usual, slice, turn over a quarter turn, and slice again, but then there's a little protrusion on the grid thing that you push along which turns the whole platform. I used to be good at turning the egg for the third cut, but this is swell. The problem with this one is that even with the grid to lift out all the scraps, a lot of bits get lost in the lid and the pegs, and, if you're making egg salad for a dozen (a staple amongst the Jewish ladies since any dolt can make it kosher), you have to rinse it out partway through the task. I'd be happiest with a simple hardware store one, if it was actually made properly, but at least this one gives me the little cubes without squishing a whole bunch of egg in the hinge.


Katkatf, I don't have a zester, believe it or not!. I have a fork (from my college, now kitchen, set) with angular tines which does as well, but nowadays I use a Microplane. I received three as a housewarming gift. One has small holes and works great for zesting. It never gets the pith. The others are two sizes of ribbon graters.

MCMJilly, I think I get why you prefer your old grater. I still use mine for lots of things. But there's something to be said for ribbon graters too. For shredded cheese to make a sauce or top a casserole or pizza, one might want hardier thickness. OTOH, there's nothing like sharp cheddar ribbons to make turnip nachos. Regular shreds would be too heavy.

That's the old just right thing. I was fine when I just had the one box grater, but I'm glad to have the microplanes too. :) And each of my five whisks has a particular use, though I could pare it down to three if I really wanted to. :) (Y'all are going to ask, so here 'tis: One spring whisk, one spring whisk with center loop, one basket or whip style, one heavy ball whisk, one light weight plastic ball whisk which isn't as good for heavy tasks but doesn't scratch the pots.)

Mama_goose, I know what you mean about the meatballs. I usually just use my hands. I put a lot of veg in them and they have to be compacted anyway. I do use a food scoop for poultry balls, the kind with the lever which expels the ball. I don't have the patience to coddle along the poultry mix so that it stays round. :)


clipped on: 07.31.2011 at 04:34 pm    last updated on: 07.31.2011 at 04:34 pm

'Invisible' Island Overhang Supports

posted by: lisaslists2000 on 12.17.2009 at 04:45 am in Kitchens Forum

I have searched the forums and google unsuccessfully. I am looking for a previous post where there was a link to a site that sold "invisible" supports for island overhangs. I am using cabinets for the back of my island where there is seating, and they are Ikea and full face doors, so can't use corbels. Does anyone remember this post or have any suggestions?


support links in replies
clipped on: 02.02.2010 at 10:04 pm    last updated on: 02.02.2010 at 10:05 pm

Looking for medium-light aqua blue that isn't shocking

posted by: eks6426 on 01.06.2010 at 04:28 pm in Kitchens Forum

I have this image of a medium-light aqua blue wall color in my head but I'm having trouble finding the right actual paint color.

I will have warm white cabinets, lighter granite with some carmel and grey tones and then walnut colored floors.

I want the walls to be the aqua but it needs to be a more subtle version...not like the bottom of a pool. I think it needs to have a decent amount of grey to tone it down. Can anyone make any paint color selections. I have the Benj. Moore and Sherwin Williams paint decks.



BM glass slipper
clipped on: 01.07.2010 at 08:36 pm    last updated on: 01.07.2010 at 08:37 pm

Help with in cabinet lighting

posted by: padola07 on 12.29.2009 at 02:58 pm in Kitchens Forum

I have 2 glass front cabinets flanking my sink and I will like to illuminate them occasionally mostly to show off my kitchen after its done.

Here's my questions and concerns
- What kind of cabinet lights do you use? puck? plug-in? hardwire?

- Is there a way to light up all the shelves besides have a light source at every shelf

- Do you want to have the in-cabinet light on the same switch as the under cabinet?

Any insight will be helpful.


clipped on: 12.29.2009 at 11:57 pm    last updated on: 12.29.2009 at 11:57 pm

Farmhouse sink placement

posted by: jbrodie on 09.11.2008 at 01:57 am in Kitchens Forum

Looking at pictures, I have noticed that some farmhouse sinks stick out farther than others. Some are set back almost flush with the stone, while others poke out a bit more. Does anyone know what the two ways of installing them are called? I want to make sure I tell the cabinet people (or my contractor?) the way I like it using the correct terminology so that there are no mistakes.

Thank you!



read responses - very helpful
clipped on: 12.15.2009 at 11:32 pm    last updated on: 12.15.2009 at 11:34 pm

Finished Kitchen~White, Marble, Soapstone

posted by: katieob on 12.04.2009 at 02:57 pm in Kitchens Forum

Hi all.

A huge thank you to everybody on this forum who helped graciously with advice, photos, experience & info. What an incredible resource this is. Shout outs to Erikanh & marthavila for hood help, willowdecor for tile, all the stoners, and many more.

We moved in last week-bottom trim on fridge & dw are still missing, excuse the messy bottoms.

I'll be happy to provide details if anyone wants them.

Thanks for looking!





Marble Close Up


Soapstone Close Up



clipped on: 12.13.2009 at 12:25 am    last updated on: 12.13.2009 at 12:25 am

Finished Kitchen creamy white, lacanche, calacatta

posted by: tearose21 on 07.13.2009 at 07:37 pm in Kitchens Forum

Posted earlier but pictures were too small. Hope this works.




latches on beaded inset cabs
clipped on: 12.12.2009 at 11:49 pm    last updated on: 12.12.2009 at 11:50 pm

99% Finished Kitchen--creamy white w/soapstone

posted by: jbrodie on 03.01.2009 at 06:59 pm in Kitchens Forum

Finally! Our kitchen is finished! I never thought the day would come, and boy am I enjoying it. I owe so much to this forum. I can't tell you how much you all helped me. Thank you!!! I hope I can help others in return.

Hope I'm not putting too many pictures!





soap stone

Quick description (feel free to contact me if you have questions)
-Soapstone: Julia
-Cabinets: Custom, inset/flush shaker style with single bead (waiting to see if we get some issues resolved before I recommend the cabinet maker)
-Bookcase and desk tops: walnut
-Sharp microwave oven drawer (love it!)
-GE fridge
-Shaw 30 inch apron sink
-Wolf range top
-Thermador double ovens
-Vent-a-hood hood
-Dal tile
-potfiller: Newport Brass
-hot/cold faucet Newport Brass
-Main faucet: Mico
-Door to garage: one panel painted with chalkboard! The kids love this and it's fun to put messages to guests, each other, holiday wishes, etc.
-Pull out baskets (love these...I keep bread in one and potatoes, onions, etc. in the other)
-Wine shelf--love it!
-Bar stools from Sturbridge Yankee Workshop (love these and they were so reasonable!)
-What would I do differently? More than 12 inch overhang on seating area of island (maybe 14-16 inch). And I might skip the bead board in the backs of the bookshelfs and glass cabs.

Happy kitchen designing to all! Thank you again!


clipped on: 03.24.2009 at 07:34 pm    last updated on: 03.24.2009 at 07:35 pm

1930 Spanish kitchen...98% complete! Photos.

posted by: yesdear on 08.23.2008 at 04:27 pm in Kitchens Forum

Hi GWers, DW and I have marveled at the beautiful work others have shown here. We were very grateful for the nice comments on our preview photo posted a couple of weeks ago.

And now...the range went in yesterday with the help of 5 burly guys and suddenly we are 98% done. Only some touch-up painting and installation of the DW panel, spice cab door and glass for the glass-front cabinet left to go.

When we are at 100% I'll post a gallery including "before" (yuk) and in-progress. I'll also include the new laundry area, at the extreme far end of these photos. For now, see below for shots of the kitchen. We made a few concessions to modernity, e.g., sacrificing the butler's pantry for 5 more feet of galley length and opening up the arch in the foreground--it used to be a narrow mahogany swinging door. Yet we wanted a kitchen worthy of our grand old Spanish Colonial Revival home. We think she is happy! Details at the very bottom.







Range - CornuFe in basic black.

Frig - Liebherr 60" built-in.

DW - Miele Optima with panel front. Panel is still at the paint shop.

Cabinets - locally made face-frame of birch with inset panel & bead detail on doors, melamine interiors, Blumotion hinges and all the internal bells & whistles.

Countertops - Brazilian Black soapstone, not oiled yet, with radiused corners and eased edge. Runnels by the sink. Mahogany top on the beadboard hutch.

Sinks - Rohl Shaws original 30" apron and 15" undermount prep with ISE Evolution disposers.

Faucets - Kohler Vinnata (K-690, K-691)in brushed nickel.

Cab hardware - "Duluth" 6" pulls and 1.25" knobs in brushed nickel from Restoration Hardware.

Appliance pulls - Top Knobs 12" pulls in BN. The DW will have one mounted horizontally--also serves as towel rack!

Floors - Original 1930 tongue-in-groove fir, sanded, repaired and refinished after removing 2 layers of linoleum.

Windows - Custom arched 3-lite pull casement, based on a ~1930 design I saw in the neighborhood.

Lighting - Schoolhouse Electric, all fluorescent GU24 except the pendants (too small for GU24 bulbs). Different ceiling mounts in kitchen, pantry and laundry.

Hood - Best PIK 45 with custom arched drywall enclosure and remote switch.

Tile Mural - our little secret! (JK, it's from Tierra y Fuego in San Diego.)

Backsplash - custom 2.5 x 5" Chardonnay color handmade subway by Ken Mason.

Paint - all BM, Country Lane green accent, Ivory White wall base color, Lemon Chiffon on cabs and trim.

Our CKD is Dana Jones, "The Kitchen Consultant," in Long Beach, CA. Our vision + Dana's creativity and attention to detail (this is Version 7 of the plan!) + our GC Bob Kaplan's superb and flexible execution = a nice result. We are well over time but pretty darn close to budget. We learned a LOT here. Hope you like it!


clipped on: 03.17.2009 at 12:55 am    last updated on: 03.17.2009 at 12:55 am