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Dec 5, 2009 04:13 AM

What are some of the unusual useful tools that you have around?

What are some of the unusual useful tools that you have around?

Here in Canada there is a company called Lee Valley Tools. They make and sell fine tools for the woodworker, gardener and even somethings for the kitchen. They do about 70% of their business by mail order. I saw this kitchen tool first in this years Christmas catalogue. It is a Spirtle.
A Spurtle is a Scottish porridge (oatmeal) stirrer. By tradition, when the spirtle stands upright on its own, then the porridge is done.
I knew that just for sheer nostalgia alone I had to have one. Plus I eat a lot of porridge. It arrived last week and I used it for the first time this morning. To my delight it actually works better than advertised. It is also spelled as spirtle.

What are some of the unusual useful tools in your kitchen?

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  1. A larding needle, that double as a trussing needle and general hole maker.

    1. I think my pierogie maker (or pierogie form) would be the most unusual thing in my kitchen. Kinda like a ravioli form, just bigger.

      1. The items I have been asked the most about (therefore I conclude they are unusual) are

        Baguette pans & my matfer lame
        Cannoli molds
        Chocolate dipping tools
        Pasta Chitarra
        Spaetzle Maker
        Tortilla press
        Cheese Knives, slicers and wires
        Salt Plate
        Crab and shrimp zipper
        Propane Torch
        Needle Nose pliers

        Strangely a lot of people question me about a dough hook and have never seen one.

        1. An airplane radial engine intake valve that I use to pound meat.

          1 Reply
          1. re: kimmieokc

            *lol* Kimmie, I like your answer best so far! :)

            Growing up, my dad always buying my mom kitchen gadgets, and my mom was always throwing tupperware and pampered chef parties, so we ended up with soooo many weird trinkets in our kitchen, most of them rarely used. Now that us kids are grown and have places of our own, I'll occasionally get "care packages" from my mom full of our kitchen gadgets when she goes through and decides to get rid of stuff she never uses, mostly in harvest gold, avocado, and brick orange plastic.
            Which is funny because my cooking philosophy these days runs more along the lines of, "if I can't do it with my chef's knife or paring knife, it doesn't need to be done." (I'm no stickler though- one thing I still love is this wavy vegetable cutter that I always use for carrots and zucchini out of childhood nostalgia)

          2. Thanks for the link to that spurtle. I love wood but in my kitchen I'm replacing everything with silicone a bit at a time. I have a silicone spurtle that's flatter than that and very, very useful.

            Since it was just Thanksgiving here I have to mention my turkey lacers. Those small metal skewers meant for lacing up the bird are in constant use at my house. I hold one between the pads of my thumb and index fingers and rotate it to drill holes in egg shells before I cook them. I also just used them in a similar way to drill holes in crisp cookies to hang them on my kitchen Christmas tree. They puncture plastic wrap for various applications and help me open packages. They clean out tiny crevices and fish out the lid that slips in the can. They free dried bits from garlic presses and alligator choppers. I probably do a half dozen other things with them They're essential in my kitchen and the more scarce they become the more I hoard them when I can find them.