Archive for the ‘gadgets’Category



Well kiddies, it’s your parents’ favourite time of year…back to school.  Those days are far behind me but I still cherish a few fond memories of the beginning of any school year…shiny new Laurentian pencil crayons, all pointy and even; a complete compass set with a protractor that eventually ends up stuck in the suspended tile ceiling; if you’re lucky, you might get a fresh Adidas gym bag in royal blue or fire engine red.

Still a trouble-maker after all these years

Still a trouble-maker after all these years

One thing I didn’t particularly like was getting up early.  At around 7:20, the clock radio would wake me up with CFRW.  Hop in the shower and scrub down with a bar of Irish Spring.  Throw on a cream turtleneck, a gold velour vest and a pair of brown cords.  Then my sister and I would huddle in the dark dining room, slurping back half a grapefruit, munching on a bowl of Quaker Harvest Crunch or a toasted frozen waffle from a marathon waffle-making weekend, served with margarine and Beehive Golden Syrup.  Good times.  But breakfast is touted as the most important meal of the day and I fully support that notion.


Today, however, who makes the time to sit down and enjoy a balanced breakfast?  Knowing what I’m like without breakfast, I will always find a moment to eat something.  And smoothies are my favourite way to start the day.  I’ve been enjoying them for almost a year and have not grown weary of this perfect breakfast tipple thanks to their endless variations.  I won’t give you a recipe for them, but here’s what you’ll always find in my smoothies:

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09 2009

Ginger Grater

ginger grater

I picked up this handy little tool at Bowery Kitchen Supplies Inc., located in the Chelsea Market (appropriately, also home to the Food Network studios).  This store is a kitchen connoisseur’s dream offering great value on a multitude of products.  I can’t visit NYC without popping in to supplement my burgeoning stable of gadgets.  The now-defunct Bodum store (an oasis of shiny white and glass) was around the corner, so trips to this neighbourhood left me burdened with heavy bags and a packing nightmare.

 Fortunately, this compact ginger grater is easy to pack, made of white porcelain (did I mention my obsession with white china), and reasonable prices, satisfying all requirments when shopping abroad.  Williams-Sonoma has a similar model for about $15, but you can find the model pictured above for one-third the price at Chinese markets and other kitchen supply stores.

grated ginger

 Cooks Illustrated promoted this tool in their September, 2007 edition and I highly concur.  Metal graters, including my beloved Microplane Grater, tend to cut the fibrous root as part of the grating process, potentially leaving your dish a bit hairy.  The nubs on this ceramic board, however, tease the pulp out into a fluffy, glorious cloud and leave the fibres behind.  Any juices can be tipped, along with the pulp, into your preparation; simply discard the mass of fibres into your organics bin. 

Always one for multi-tasking, you’ll be relieved to know that this grater can be used for chocolate, hard cheeses and even cinnamon.  Just rinse the board under running water and it will wait patiently in your drawer or hanging from its hole, taking up no space at all thanks to its slim profile, until called into action.  This, dear reader, is my tool of the week.


06 2009