Although I love cooking, I also love any gadget that makes it easier or quicker. So when I saw a strawberry huller online last week, I was intrigued.  Between the jam and the bags of  berries that I freeze every summer, I spend a lot of time over the sink hulling strawberries with a little sharp knife.  I searched around, discovered that the huller was carried at Bed Bath & Beyond and headed over there on my way down to Northfield to get strawberries. I faced the wall of kitchen gadgets and finally found it, a steal at $7.99 if it made the hulling process easier!  Here’s a quick look at how it works:

And it does work, however, not better than my little sharp knife. After all these years I’m pretty fast, transferring the hulled berry to a bowl while picking up the next strawberry with the hand holding the knife.  With the huller, I ended up having to add an extra step of pushing the button to “dump” the stem and sometimes having to pull twisted stem out of the berry.  After the first batch of jam, I went back to the knife.  It does make a very nice uniform hole if you want to fill the strawberries with something but for a big project, it’s not helpful.  Oh well.

This means that my cherry tomato slicer is still my favorite summertime gadget. I usually have tons of cherry tomatoes every year and the little slicer quickly and easily slices the little tomatoes into four bits.  Did I mention it’s fast?  And easy?  At this time of year I use it almost every day.

What’s your favorite summer gadget?

32 thoughts on “Slice-o-matic”

  1. I have several vegetable peelers with swiveling blades. Not sure I would consider them gadgets, but I love them. They are easy to use by both right and left-handed people, don’t take up much space, and are easy to clean.

    Despite the fact that you’ll find garlic in virtually everything I cook, my garlic press rarely gets used anymore. It’s just easier to finely mince it with a sharp chef’s knife.

    I have a neighbor friend who swears by her spiralizer. I’ve looked into them and can’t for the life of me see how I can justify taking up that much space with a device that I probably wouldn’t use all that much, and which I imagine is difficult to clean. Give me a good set of sharp knives, a food processor and a blender, and I’m good to go.

    That said, I’ve bought a fair amount of kitchen gadgets over the years that have gotten little or no use before they were disposed of one way or another. I’m sticking with the basics from here on in.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I got spiralizer last year (and 2 cookbooks to go with it!) but I wouldn’t swear by it. It’s just another fun toy to me. And yes, I did get rid of 2 other cookbooks when these 2 new cookbooks came into the house!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. It’s probably lack of imagination on my part, but I’m having a hard time envisioning what I’d do with it. I’d probably need to see a demo at the State Fair.


        1. A spiralizer makes ersatz vegetable noodles among other things, which are its main selling point to those folks with an aversion, justified or not, to gluten. The veggie “noodles” are, in my opinion, superior to the gluten-free offerings but nowhere comparable to proper durum wheat ones.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I wrote a very clever , very clever, response to pj but we refused it.
    Sitting on deck in clean air. Rain dripping off eaves around me

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I have a gadget called a Cherry Chomper. It’s a cherry pitter with a whimsical face. I do like it for when I buy bing cherries. It’s not so useful, though, for the little nanking cherries I grow. They are too small, and there doesn’t seem to be any easy way to pit them.


  3. Last weekend I made spanakoppita, Greek spinach cheese pie. It is always a treat made with freshly picked spinach from our garden. It calls for 2 lbs. of spinach leaves that have to be finely chopped. The food processor is my favorite gadget for that job (along with the kitchen scale to weigh the leaves.) When we were penniless grad students with no food processor I used to chop the spinach by hand. My, was that tedious.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I like a simple apple slicer/divider, the kind that cores and divides into 8 pieces, with just a single downward push. (IF you position it right.) I will have to say I’m tempted by that Grape & Tomato Slicer above, VS… kind of the same idea but smaller.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Kitchen gadgets: I lust but resist. Mostly. Something I give in. Every so often. Then there is She Who Must Be Obeyed. She buys gadgets which immediately serve her purpose. To hand tastefully on the wall. Protruding artfully or draped elegantly from a colorful container. My purchased gadgets will 1) end up in her design, which I do not notice so I cannot find them when I want them. 2) They disappear from the drawer, rejected for their lack of design qualities.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I have great hopes for a new tablet I purchased for doing my regulatory board work on the go. I need our wonderful tech guy to set it up for me on Monday. It is hard to draft letters and policy on my phone.


  7. Nectarine Cherry Crisp

    2 cup packed brown sugar
    2 cup all-purpose flour
    1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
    1 cup butter
    4 cups thickly sliced fresh nectarines
    2 c. fresh and pitted cherries

    Preheat oven to 375F (190C). Butter a13x 9-inch baking dish. Mix together sugar, flour, and spices in a medium-size bowl, and cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

    Spread nectarines in prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with crumb mixture.
    Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until fruit is soft and crumbs are browned.

    You can halve the recipe and put it in an 8 inch square pan.


  8. Cherry Apricot Crisp


    2lbs pitted and sliced fresh apricots
    3/4 lb pitted fresh cherries
    2T sugar
    1 1/2 T quick cooking tapioca
    Place in a 6 cup capacity baking dish

    mix together:

    1 c. white flour
    1/2 c. brown sugar
    1/2 c. + 2 T. butter

    Place topping on top of the fruit. Preheat oven to 400. Bake for 45 minutes until top is browned and fruit is bubbling.


  9. OT – For no other reason than I can’t resist:
    by Maggie Smith
    Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
    Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
    in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
    a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
    I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
    fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
    estimate, though I keep this from my children.
    For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
    For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
    sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
    is at least half terrible, and for every kind
    stranger, there is one who would break you,
    though I keep this from my children. I am trying
    to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
    walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
    about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
    right? You could make this place beautiful.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. A friend of mine is participating in a week-long graduate level seminar where Maggie Smith is the instructor. She posted this in anticipation of the week’s learning.


  10. In any season, my favorite gadget is Richard, my Robostir. Put a little butter in a skillet and throw in some onion and garlic, and let it slowly caramelize under Richard’s watchful eye. It’s the foundation of many tasty dishes. Also good for stirring pudding.

    Liked by 1 person

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