Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Stuff the Turkey, Then the Stockings If You Know a Cook, There's No Trouble Finding a Perfect Gift

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Stuff the Turkey, Then the Stockings If You Know a Cook, There's No Trouble Finding a Perfect Gift

Article excerpt

Looking for stocking stuffers for that cooking enthusiast?

We asked Peter McNamara, a Boston-area culinary expert - who has tested the best and the worst of products - to lead a kitchen gadget treasure hunt. After scouring a half dozen stores, we came up with a list of simple, but helpful tools.

Store managers and owners offered some of their bestsellers as well as their personal favorites. While we tried to gravitate toward the less-expensive gadgets, we couldn't resist a few splurges. Here's a wish-list, in no particular order. Almost all of these items can be found in any good cooking or kitchen-supply store. ACEA garlic "madeline." $8.95. A must-have: Mince or slice garlic without using knife and fingers. (One customer approached us and said, "it's the best thing I ever bought for my kitchen.") Stainless tea infuser. $4.95. Crate & Barrel. Grabs loose tea right from the can; it looks like a mini open-fire popcorn popper. Cedar Fresh Jarpop - "World's easiest jar opener." $2.99. Kitchen Arts. Buy two, one to hold the bottom of the jar on the counter, the other for opening. Hand-held wooden citrus squeezer. $8.50. Williams-Sonoma. Easy, hassle-free. Wooden tongs. $5.They're not just for toast, you can use them to turn steak, bacon, and other things. Magnet on back lets you keep them handy. AMCO measuring spoons. $9. Stainless steel. Is a tablespoon really a tablespoon? Tests indicate that many measuring spoons are not consistent. These are laboratory accurate. Oxo's "Good Grips" can opener ($10) and vegetable peeler ($6). Not only do their thick rubber handles make for easy gripping, but the products' overall performance is a cut above. Dishwasher safe. "The Original Pop-Up Sponges." $9.50 for package of 12. Williams-Sonoma. Super absorbent, can withstand bleach, and you can throw them in the washer or dishwasher. Acu-rite Instant chef's thermometer. $7.95. Crate & Barrel. An absolute must. Bodum round kitchen timer. $9.95. Crate & Barrel. …

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