Here are a few photos from the trip:
Eating dried crickets. Supposedly they were sour cream and onion flavored, but I just tasted crunchiness. This kid won't eat cooked carrots, but he's game to try crickets. I don't get it.
I'm sure you're saying, "Yes, Marna, that's a lovely travelogue, but what does this have to do with kitchen gadgets?" Well, I'm getting to that.
The first night we were there, my mom presented me with a few items she picked up for me at some local kitchen store. While I definitely appreciated the sentiment, in my head I was thinking, "I am NOT a gadget person." Really, mom, cannoli forms? The things I buy tend to be multi-purpose items, as I can't stand rummaging around in a drawer full of unused gadgets to get to the one or two that I actually use. Mom offered to take me to the store, in case there was something else I wanted instead, and I readily agreed. While I don't generally buy gadgets, I do like nosing around kitchen supply stores. So much kitchen-y stuff! And spices! And dishes! And....All of it!
So, we went down to Tuma Cookery, in Tubac, Arizona (the little shopping plaza is pictured above). It was a lovely store, with an impressive variety of items. I am sad that I didn't buy one of their mole spice mixes, but I did come home with a great gadget that I've already used a number of times since we came back. I actually did get a couple of other items, too, that we had been needing, including a jar opener, which I have also used. The leaf stripper, however, has changed my life! Okay, maybe not changed my life, but it has definitely made some tedious tasks much less so. It's a Chef'n Kale, Chard, Collard Greens and Herb Stripper. An accurate, if inelegant, name for this tool.
Here's some video of me using it (my son took the video from my phone, so it's not the greatest quality):
Y'all, it's awesome! It just zips off thyme leaves like nothing, and pulling the leaves off of kale is super easy now! Since my youngest son likes kale chips, I'll be more inclined to make them now. Before, it was such a pain to pull all the leaves off the stems, but now I don't even mind it! So awesome!! Plus, it doesn't take up much room in my drawer. There is no down side to this product! Like I said, I am not a gadget person, but when I do find something that I think will help people in the kitchen, I will spread the good news! Get yourselves one of these little gems! Oh, and I did keep the cannoli forms...What can I say? I'm weak. :-)