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New Uses for Traditional Kitchen Gadgets

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Cutting hard boiled eggs into perfectly even, round slices is not my forte; for that I use my trusty egg slicer. This gadget has been around since before I was a kid, and it was only used to slice eggs for egg salad. But now I like to use it to slice mushrooms and strawberries. Give it a try.

My four sided cheese grater does just what its name implies, but now I dig it out of storage more frequently and use it to grate potatoes and onions for omelets and quiches. Does a nice job on carrots too, if you are making a carrot cake. And it is perfect for shredding zucchini to make fritters or zucchini cake.

A micro plane zester is a relatively new gadget in the kitchen when you consider how long egg slicers and cheese graters have been around. It makes quick work out of zesting citrus fruits, of course, but it is a whiz at mincing -- and I mean mincing -- garlic. Just rub the whole clove over the grater and in seconds you have what you need. Works for shallots too. Need finely grated chocolate? The micro plane to the rescue!

I've always used melon baller for making perfect round balls of cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon for a summer fruit salad until I discovered that it is the right attack tool when removing those stubborn pits from apricots, peaches and nectarines.

And my old fashioned black cast iron skillet? I put it on the grill empty and get it smoking hot. In go fish fillets or scallops for a nice sear with no sticking on both sides and no fish breaking apart and falling through the grill top.

Kitchen gadgets come and go but only the tried and true are new again.

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