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Scotch tape and other handy essentials in the kitchen drawer..

Found that having scotch tape in the kitchen drawer has worked wonders for a myriad of different things from sealing up the box of crackers to wrapping up fresh bread from their cellophane wrapper.
Pennies for the tulips in the vase to make them stand up longer.
Loved to know what your fav essentials are in the kitchen drawer?

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  1. I must admit "Scotch" Tape was never a go-to in my kit. Masking (and better yet painting tape) as well as duct tape, is. My Chinese cleaver is also a major item.

    Funny, but I do find a pen (pencil) and paper, oddly enough, an item I do walk away to find.

    Great question!

    1. rubber bands - i use them to close open bags of ingredients or snacks. the entire thing gets sealed in a zipper bag anyway, but the rubber band prevents spillage inside the bag.

      sharpie or other marking pen + scotch (or masking) tape - for labeling/dating bags & containers that go into the freezer.

      box cutter/utility knife.

      regular scissors so i don't use my good shears to open things.

      11 Replies
      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        Oh oh I do that too. I use rubber bands so often that it is not unusual for find one around my wrist at any given time.

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          +me for the rubber bands...and now I use 2 large paper clips to reseal my flat nori sheets (that say Sushi Nori on the package but I eat one sheet a day as a snack...LOL...love the stuff!)...their package is not resealable!

          1. re: Val

            +1 only eating nori straight. You toast yours first or eat it staight outa the pack?

            1. re: Quine

              straight outta the pack--it's the flat sheet with perforations...tee hee...I did see a Bittman video where he lays it out...and then toasts it...I think he brushed oil on it...cute! Seriously, though...last month, I bought a package of nori snacks, Korean I'm sure and they Rocked.The.House. as far as taste/texture, just like potato chips!...but the second ingredient is palm oil...awwww, not so healthy....so I now love the Sushi Nori sheets.

              1. re: Val

                If you're worried about the palm oil, you can get plain nori sheets, brush them with a little sesame oil, sprinkle with salt (or any other dry flavorings) and then pass them lightly over an electric burner on medium high heat. Obviously, you wouldn't want to do this with a gas flame, but I believe the same effect could be achieved using a hot skillet.

                1. re: soypower

                  Thank you soypower...might try it out... and I was wrong...the seaweed snacks were a Thai product not Korean, Tao Kae Noi (the spicy hot variety)....

                  1. re: Val

                    Val, refresh my memory, do you have a Whole Foods or TJ's nearby? both carry packages of Korean toasted nori snacks - WF has the Sea's Gift brand, and TJ's is in-house.

                    my only issue is with the packaging, it's pretty wasteful.

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      Yes, I have WF ... and I like the Sea's Gift but as you say very wasteful packaging and 99 cents for one serving=pretty expensive. I've been buying Blue Dragon Sushi Nori sheets at World Market for $2.99!!!! I think there are 10 sheets in each package so lasts me 10 days!!! Asian market offers a cannister of individually wrapped nori snacks, I forget the price but that packaging is a little wasteful also--the brand is Kabuto, I think. Thanks, though!

                      1. re: Val

                        ouch, 99 cents? Sea's Gift is only 79 cents here...or even 69 when on sale. they just released larger packages of it too - each one contains 2 servings, same as the TJ's.

                        but i'm with you on those economical and eco-friendly larger packages of large nori sheets...i occasionally brush the sheet with a dab of sesame oil and run it over the gas burner for a few seconds to crisp it up. yum.

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              +1 for Rubber bands. When I open my brick of Tillamook Vintage White Cheddar (Northwest), I wrap the exposed end with clear food film and secure it with a rubber band that probably came off a bunch of asparagus, so I know it's food safe. PS the cheese stays fresh this way, all the way to the other end.

            2. I have a claw hammer just for stone crab claws. You mean that's not how it got it's name?Crude, yes, but when guests arrive and see it on the table, they smile.

              1. I have an old, scratched pair of reading glasses in a drawer in the kitchen. So if the usual ones aren't on top of my head, I have a backup. I'm old, ya know?!?

                1. Plastic closure tabs from bread bags - good for sealing open produce and frozen vegetable bags. Not in the drawer though - I clip them onto the dish drainer rack.

                  Chopsticks - stirring, makeshift trivet or drying rack for glassware, testing heat of oil for frying

                  Binder clips - the large ones that are black with silvery arms - have many uses: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5106...

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: greygarious

                    +me for the twisty ties too...for frozen fruits and veggies, I sometimes use rubber bands BUT they usually snap/deteriorate (from the freeze, I think)...twistie ties work better for frozen stuff!

                    1. re: greygarious

                      +1 on the plastic bread closer thingies and binder clips.
                      +1 on the Sharpie. Just added one to a utensil drawer about 2 wks ago and have had several "why didn't I think of this earlier?" moments since then.
                      Gotta try the chopstick tricks. I'm all about MacGyvering (I know, I'm dating myself) stuff in my kitchen if I haven't forked (ha) over the money for a certain tool/unitasker yet.

                      Great thread!

                    2. Velcro to hold up the lid on the garbage container on the back of the sink cabinet door. Mine would not stay up by itself. Velcro on lid and matching piece on door solved the problem.

                      1. Stapler - I prefer to staple open packets of spices, frozen vegetables, etc.

                        1. scissors obviously.
                          latex gloves - my latest new 'find' for rubbing pastry or cookie dough by hand - no crumbs under my nails.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: smartie

                            +1 on the gloves... started using one when I am seeding/handling hot peppers after enduring a particularly annoying episode of afterburn finger pain from the pepper oils.

                          2. many items already mentioned can be found in our kitchen drawers. A couple of items I've yet to see mentioned are painters tape. I use this for label making when putting items in plastic containers that are going into the freezer. Easy to write on and comes off without effort or residue. Grandma's secret spot remover for quick removal of stains on your cloths. Krazy glue to close a knife wound quickly and Band Aids. Luckely the Krazy glue has not had to be used often.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: scubadoo97

                              oh boy the super glue came in handy one night while drinking with a friend of ours who had come back from South Africa with Kudu Jerky, We were all drinking and he was cutting a piece of the jerky off that was too hard and cut his finger. None of us were fit to drive, so a trick I learned at the armory and sword shop I had worked at years earlier proved to be a valuable asset. glue it up. It worked perfectly and ended up not leaving a scar. however they say super glue has toxins in it that surgical glue doesn't but he didn't die, he was okay and it healed up nicely. lol.

                            2. Paint brushes. Good for everything from cleaning out the spice grinder or the toaster to basting

                              1. Pliers for removing fish bones and opening stubborn bottles & jars. My go-to tool is an oyster knife. Yesterday, I split garlic cloves off the head and opened packages with it. I use a ruler to measure pastry and as office clips to hold my parchment paper sheets on cardboard.

                                Ditto on the Scotch tape, rubber bands & sharpie pens. How could anyone keep house without paper and pencil? Mandatory for jotting notes, shopping lists, etc.

                                I also have a drawer full of corks, even after "upholstering" a wall with them. What else goes on the bottom of the ice pick? (which is used to loosen the cleanser that glumped together when it got wet)

                                Now I'll have to go look to see what other treasure lurk in those drawers...........

                                1. Needle nosed pliers for removing pesky bones from fish.

                                  1. Binder clips to close bags or hold thermometers on pots.

                                    I have a set of food-safe silicone bands that I love and use for all kinds of things in place of kitchen twine.

                                    I was a graphic designer in another life, so I have some of my old reliable tools around. I keep a metal straight-edge, an x-acto and a self-healing cutting mat in my kitchen for measuring and cutting precise slices of whatever I need. They ended up there for an unfortunate lattice pie experiment (can't make a crust to save my life) and they stayed.

                                    Sharpies and tape, but everyone's got those.

                                    1. wow...loving all your replies!

                                      1. Superglue.

                                        For quick sealing of those annoying little cuts, pricks and scrapes on them fingers of mine. A dab of superglue is much quicker and less cumbersome than a bulky band-aid.

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                          Years ago, I broke a plate and put it in the plastic garbage bag and as I was taking it to the trash can, I was swinging the bag and the broken ceramic plate sliced my leg by my leg/knee with such surgical precision and it was about a half inch deep, that the only logical thing to do was to seal that bad boy shut with super glue and I have a hair line scar but it healed beautifully!
                                          love love love Superglue!

                                          1. re: Beach Chick

                                            ... Also if you gash yourself silly butchering something in the kitchen and you need a way to stop bleeding profusely, apply some of the tobacco from a cigarette. It'll sting like a b!tch, but it'll plug up the gusher of blood pronto.

                                          2. re: ipsedixit

                                            I love the superglue idea, since I frequently nick myself. Gross question maybe, but do you stop the bleeding first, or just apply it, and then the bleeding stops?

                                            1. re: heidip732

                                              Wipe, wash the area, dry it and then a judicious dose of superglue does the trick.

                                          3. Clothes pins. I got tired of spending big bucks for clips to close packages of cookies and crackers. Then their uses kept expanding. They're great for improvising a holder for a thermometer on the side of a pan. They hold non-clingy plastic wrap and waxed paper in place over bowls. They hold stuffed chicken--well, pretty much stuffed anything--together and when done, the wood clothes pins are a bit roasted, but, hey, you can throw them away. They're cheap!

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: gfr1111

                                              yes I use clothes pins too, my husband works in the film industry and they use them there, he has an abundance of them, even though we don't use them for laundry we use them in the kitchen.

                                            2. I have a coaster made of that grippy shelf liner material (http://bit.ly/9oKBXZ). I use it to open stubborn jar lids. I think Alton Brown wants you to use it for shelling garlic cloves too.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: pdxgastro

                                                those jar grippers are terrific. my mom has always kept one in the kitchen drawer, and for some bizarre reason, one day when i was a toddler and she was struggling with a jar, i opened the drawer & pulled out the gripper, handed it to her, and said "mizz it with the palace." to this day, everyone in my family calls that thing a palace, and we all know that its purpose is to "mizz" jars.


                                                1. re: pdxgastro

                                                  They also work great underneath a cutting board to keep it from sliding on the counter while slicing and dicing - but then again, so does a damp paper towel.

                                                2. I have a myriad of the bread ties but the plastic ones not the metal things that drive me nuts on trying to figure out which way they go.

                                                  1. I have the usual rubber bands, masking tape and twisities. I add medium and fine point Sharpies, a box cutter, cheap needle nose plyers, denture cleaning tablets for cleaning vases, dental floss for cutting big blocks of cheese and such. Oh, and a few wooden clothes pins too. Note pads and pens are always on the counter for capturing recipes as they evolve.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: meatn3

                                                      ooh ooh dental floss for cheese cutting... sweet! I started making a list halfway down this thread! Clothes pins (had 'em but they've disappeared/broke/been repurposed outside the kitchen.

                                                    2. I have a lot of the usuals mention here - masking tape, sharpies, clothes pins and binder clips, rubber bands, utility knife... I also keep a small calculator in the stuff-drawer to help with scaling recipes and with calculating calories (when I'm in counting mode).

                                                      1. I don't have a grease screen, so to keep sizzling fat inside my saute pan (such as when cooking bacon) I just lay a large sheet of heavy printer paper over the top. It lets out the steam but stops the grease from spraying everywhere. My stove is electric, so don't try this with a gas burner!

                                                        1. Taking a quick look....screw driver, pliers, hammer, scissors, band-aids, scotch tape, pencil, journal, freezer pen, rubber bands, string, shot glass, disposable gloves, plastic drinking straws, wooden skewers, chewing gum, trash collection schedule, labels, sticky notes, assorted paper clips and tacks. Man, that's were the glue gun went!

                                                          1. medical hemostats for pulling fish bones!

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                                                              boy, if you see a hemostat in California, it's used for something other than pulling fish bones!
                                                              ; )

                                                            2. I'm surprised not to see wooden spring-type clothespins mentioned yet. I use them to close up just about anything that isn't glass or hard plastic. Those are what I miss the most when I can't find any.

                                                              Also different kinds of scissors- kitchen/poultry shears, regular office supply-type scissors, gotta have the scissors.

                                                              You can use both on the nori, too, :-)

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. Matches to light the candle that I keep on the sill above the sink. It gets lit when I'm chopping onions.