Grandparent Diary: Bumpy Knives!

Gadgets galore! Enter any kitchenware store and utensils ranging from apple corers and avocado peelers to citrus zesters and zingers and every letter in-between bombard you. There’s a slicer, dicer, shaper, picker, or grinder for every fruit, vegetable, meat, or cheese. Seeing a “peanut butter and jelly spreader” years ago, I wondered how any of us had ever made a successful sandwich without one.

I do have my favorite essentials: an ice cream scoop, a garlic press, and a carrot peeler. Add a couple sharp knives and I’m set. (Ok, add the food processor too).

Then there are what my eldest grandson dubbed “bumpy knives.” Also known as crinkle knives, they give vegetables ridges, and are often used to make French fries. I first discovered these knives when my eldest son, then about 5, ate over his friend Mitchell’s house. His mother, Robin, used this knife, making vegetable eating so much more fun. Robin bought me such a knife that has been used for countless vegetable platters, often delivered to the kids while they were doing homework before dinner.

When the grands were big enough to start helping in the kitchen, they’ve used my bumpy knife, so of course I bought them each their own. They love helping make salads and eating while they cut. They prefer cutting cucumbers and apples as carrots, as I’ve been told, “fly all over.”

Anticipating some summer visits, I wanted to get a couple more of these “perfect for little hands” knives. I was in NYC last week and couldn’t find any after searching several stores. Fortunately my local Bed & Bath still carries them; I bought two in red to prevent arguments about who has which color. When I went to pay, the cashier tried to convince me to buy a new gadget—a hamburger stuffer—a contraption that presses ground meat around whatever you want inside. Only $9.99.   I declined.

What’s your favorite kitchen gadget?

 

Busy with the Bumpy Knives

Busy with the Bumpy Knives

 

 

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About cyclingrandma

I was a journalist (Danbury News-Times, Ct), before becoming a teacher, and continue to write for professional journals. I have written several study guides for Penguin Books and write for Education Update, a newspaper based in New York City. (www.educationupdate.com). I’ve interviewed many authors, college presidents, and scientists. I wrote “The Kentucky Derby’s Forgotten Jockeys” for Smithsonian Magazine's website, www.smithsonian.com. (April, 2009). Two essays have been published in book anthologies; one for Wisdom of Our Mothers, (Familia Books) and the other in “College Search and Parent Rescue: Essay for Parents by Parents of College-Going Students.” (St. Martin’s Press). I was a middle school Language Arts teacher for more than 10 years and have just completed a five year grant position under No Child Left Behind in Newark, NJ public schools. I have three children, two daughters-in law, and six grandchildren. I'm an avid cyclist, knitter, cook, and reader. I love theater, museums, and yoga.
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38 Responses to Grandparent Diary: Bumpy Knives!

  1. mercyn620 says:

    I went years without a salad spinner. Received one as a gift and now cannot live without it!

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  2. Yes, that’s a good one too.

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  3. My newest favourite is a pair of herb snipper scissors — many blades layered together with tiny gaps in between each layer so that a bunch of herbs can be chopped easily! Love it.

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  4. Sweet! Love chopped herbs.

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  5. Drjcwash says:

    My new favorite gadget for the summer is a little more expensive but it is a Spiralizer for spiral cutting and making shoestring and vegetable “noodles” for pasta dishes, stir-fries and salads. http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/paderno-sprializer/?pkey=ctools-healthy-living

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  6. I like the pastry blender. Good for tuna and egg salad.A cousin of mine once said she missed a potato baker. My mother couldn’t live without it. I had one and it didn’t make any sense. Took up room in the cupboard, hard to clean; baking potatoes on a pan in the oven works just fine.

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  7. ShimonZ says:

    This post finally convinced me that I’m out of it. Never heard of those bumpy knives. Would love to see them in action. Thanks for the introduction to many kitchen aids. They do sound wonderful. I think I stopped looking after the food processor… but it’s all fascinating!

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    • Yes, I think if aliens landed here they’d be amused at all the little gadgets we seem not be able to live without. (or if my grandmothers were here to witness all the new stuff.)

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  8. My friend is a gourmet cook , or foodie, as we call it these days. She has every gadget out there, including those used for making fancy pastries. Me, I’m lucky if I can find a potato peeler that hadn’t gotten thrown out by mistake the last time it was used! I do salivate at the local kitchen store at the mall. It’s called Sur La Table.

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  9. I used to have a hand-operated chopping contraption that chopped onions, potatoes, apples in 3-5 chops. A boyfriend at the time, tried to chop ice with it and broke it. GRRRRR. I was never able to find anything like it again. 😦
    Diana xo

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  10. Reflections says:

    In recent years I have spent as little time as possible in the kitchen preparing meals. The Crock-Pot and microwave are the tools I use most.

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  11. I hardly microwave and use my crock pot once a year to make corned beef. Just never got into it. Same with pressure cooker- given to me by a friend and I hardly use it. Too heavy to haul out.

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  12. Those children are darling!

    My favorite kitchen gadget is an old-time one–my melon baller, esp. now that you can get watermelon without seeds)

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  13. HI Lisa,

    You are way ahead of me. I never made it to the food processor. Old fashioned knives, peeler, ice cream scoop. I went wild once and bought a brush to put melted butter on naan bread, but I don’t remember where I put it. I do have a rice cooker that is like a crock pot, which I often fill with ingredients and leave for a couple of hours to cook, and it’s a wonderful way to have a dinner of soup or chili or a vegetarian stew waiting for you when you come in from the garden, or home from wherever.

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  14. Can’t do without my kitchen scissors. And now my son has wandered off to open a paint tin with them, and I don’t know if I’ll ever see them again. Help!

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  15. My family cannot live without the industrialstrength blender – don’t know the brand but it grinds ice on par with a sno cone. For me – i agree with ma, the pastry fork thing – it’s more like a mini multi blade mezaluna. I love my french rolling pin, something about the thin length the dark wood – all very theraputic to use and finally, by frosting spreaders. No. You cannot use a butter knife!

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    • Those blenders– Matt bought one, I call it the helicopter. I’m afraid of it. And it weighs a ton. That’s why you look so great- working out carrying the thing. Yes, a rolling pin and a large plastic board to roll out dough.

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  16. The gadget that gets used most is the carrot peeler. I use it for lots of things, like making vegetable strips for salads and slicing Daicon radishes into twisty shapes.

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  17. One of the best– and simplest.

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  18. I absolutely love kitchen gadgets! My Dad did too. My favorite knife is my 8″ slicer. Can’t live without a vegetable peeler. Yes, a garlic press is essential. I have a lemon press that I first saw in Mexico many years back. It squeezes half a lemon and leaves it turned inside out. My steamer basket (the cheap kind) is essential. I’m using the heck out of my salad spinner lately. And having a fruit/ protein smoothie for breakfast every day lately, I must have my smoothie blender. I believe it’s a Hamilton Beach one, that has the blades integrated into the cup. And it’s usually less than $15! I picked up one of those crinkle cutters a few years back to cut soap. I make soap in a long log and then cut it into bars. Once in a while it’s fun to have the cut wavy.

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  19. Wow, cool that you make soap. I’d like to know what to do with all the little pieces when the soap is too small to use. I should have added a grapefruit knife.

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  20. Rice cooker and blender. Not much of a gadget person. I did a post though, on the death of a basting brush my niece gave me. So sad.

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  21. I so love your grandma stories, Lisa! So lovely. Now, I feel like I NEED one of these knives! My favorite gadget would probably be my onion glasses! My son got them for me years ago, in pink (a color I generally do not wear!) and while the seal is finally failing, I haven’t had the heart to get new ones. I also love my Nutribullet. Best smoothies ever!

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  22. Pingback: Baby Carrots? Not for Me! | cyclingrandma

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