Posted by: jacksterja | 9 October, 2006

Go go gadget arms

When I was a kid I was totally addicted to the Inspector Gadget cartoon show. I loved it to the point that if my mum told me that I wasn’t getting any dinner if I didn’t come to the table and stop watching Inspector Gadget there would have been no competition – Gadget would win every time.
I’m a little older and (arguably) wiser now, but I find that I still have a fascination with gadgets. I don’t pretend to be any great inventor or designer (despite my whinge about mobile phone chargers a while back), but I have managed to retain a fascination and great amount of respect for inventors and designers when they do a good job.
There are some fantastic things out there, Dyson vacuum cleaners spring to mind as a beautiful fusion between function and form (doing both exceptionally), my LG fuzzy logic washing machine (top loader but with no agitator) is another, and my Fisher and Paykel double dish drawer dishwasher (dishwashers?) is another. Great ideas, well executed, intuitive to use and they just do a good job! What more can you ask for?

But I guess what really gets me every time is a really good gadget. An honest-to-god gadget that is really designed for a very specific job…preferably one that is something you’ve never thought could be done better before, but once you’ve tried it, you can never go back.

I think the best recent example I’ve come across is the Microplane. If you’ve read this blog before, you’ll realise that I fancy myself as a bit of a cook. So I’m sure it won’t surprise you that the first gadget I discuss is a kitchen one (given the abundance of kitchen gadgets in general too). So my favourite gadget at the moment is the microplane. Essentially it’s just a grater. It’s really not that much more expensive than a regular grater, however, trust me on this, it’s truly in its own little category. If the story on the packaging is to be believed, it came about when some woman was baking and happened to go into her husband’s shed and found some tool then (of course) tried it out on her lemon rind. Well, great story and all, but the thing is amazing. I’m a huge fan of grating fresh grana padano (it’s a type of cheese, kind of like parmesan but better, in case you’re wondering) on top of my pasta dishes. The only down-side used to be that the stuff starts out roughly the consistency of a lump of concrete. But never fear, the microplane is here! No effort at all and the grana padano goes from concrete to feathery slivers of finely grated fresh flavour with barely the flick of a wrist!

I also love the weird feathering tool that my hairdresser uses to give my hair a bit of a “choppy” look at the end. And the ceramic hair straightener (love that one!). Just quietly I love my Braun epilator and extra-long battery life electric toothbrush. And especially at the moment I’m loving being one of the clan-MP3. Another kitchen gadget that I’m finding great is my adjustable measuring thingy (yes, that’s the official term). It is kind of a spoon attached to a magnet (so it can hang on the fridge) and it has an adjustable lever thing and markings, so you can use the one gadget for anything between a teaspoon and a cup when you’re cooking. And it’s purple.

So cheers to the gadget! And may there be many more!


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