Four kitchen items I never knew I wanted

I’ve been spending some time trying to clear out stuff from my house. The other day we went through all the spices, and (believe it or not) I actually threw some out. (Sorry I don’t have a “before” picture. I didn’t think of taking a photo until the process was already well underway.) I know I will not use coriander, or savory, or fennel. I’ve had those spices for many years and have never used them. It’s hard for me to throw away things that I think are “perfectly good.” But I’m tired of having so much Stuff, and I’ve decided that if it can’t be reasonably given away or sold, I would rather throw it out than keep it. It’s not that I want to fill up the landfill, but I also don’t want to fill my house with Stuff I won’t use.

As much as I’m working towards getting rid of Stuff, I am not a complete minimalist. There are many things that I’m keeping, in fact, that might seem surprising. Like the things on this list, for example.

Four kitchen items I never knew I wanted:

1. A kitchen brush. I call this a “pastry brush” but really I have no idea if that’s the correct name for it. I use it to brush oil on fish, to spread melted butter on cinnamon twist dough, and a myriad of other similar uses. Before I had this brush, I used the back of a spoon for these kinds of tasks, and it worked just fine. But I find the brush makes these tasks easier and faster. It doesn’t take up much space, and so I’ve decided to keep it. I did discard the other, plasticky versions of the brush that I never really liked, but I’m keeping this one. Do I sound defensive? Well, I guess I am. I know that I don’t need this item, but I still want it. So I’m keeping it. So there. 😀

2. An egg-timer. Not just a regular kitchen timer, but this specialized timer for eggs. It’s shaped like an egg. You put it in the water with the eggs when you make soft- or hard-boiled eggs, and it slowly changes color with the heat. By looking at it, you can easily tell when the eggs are done. I love it. And I’m keeping it, even though I don’t need it.

3. This handy-dandy bottle opening thingie. And uh, that’s the technical term for it. 🙂 This things has little teeth inside, and when you put in on top of a bottle or jar it grips the cover and makes it easy to open. It’s hard to explain, I guess, but it’s awesome. I never knew it existed until I saw it in the store. But now that I have it, I love it!

4. A French Press. It makes coffee. Those who know me, know that I don’t drink coffee. I’ve never drank coffee, I don’t like the flavor. Heck, I don’t even like coffee-flavored ice cream. But I do have guests! It’s easy to use and doesn’t take a ton of space. And the French Press makes good coffee. At least, that’s what I hear. I really wouldn’t know.

What about you? Do you have any kitchen items that you didn’t know you wanted but can’t live without?

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15 Responses to Four kitchen items I never knew I wanted

  1. Cyndel says:


    I found your blog through The Non-Consumer Advocate blog. I loved The Happiness Project and started some of her suggestions in my own life as well.

    The main kitchen gadget I didn’t know I needed, but can’t live without is an orange peeler. It’s the simplest gadget ever, but I HATE getting orange peel stuck in my nails if I just use my fingers. I love it so much that now I have two.

    I just might need to write a blog post about this as well. Would you mind if I linked back to you?

  2. Kayla says:

    I LOVE my egg timer! I always grew up with one, so I would not be able to make eggs right without it! My mother-in-law hadn’t even heard of it!

  3. Katy says:

    I seem to make perfectly good hard boiled eggs by turning the water of as soon as it boils and letting it sit with the lid on. I let it sit for awhile, (that is until I suddenly remember that I’m making eggs) and then put the pan in the sink and run cold water over them.

    The method has yet to let me down. 😀


    • That sounds great for hard-boiled eggs, but what about soft boiled? Or medium-boiled? Or when the kids are hungry and want their hard-boiled eggs as soon as possible?

      I *need* my egg timer. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 😀

  4. psmflowerlady/Tammy says:

    Garlic press, ice cream scoop and the little silicone wisky thing that I use to wisk in my t-fal skillet. And I just ordered a corn remover thingey – I’ve seen them work (taking the kernals off the cob) and after freezing 10 dozen ears of corn and cutting it off the old way, I caved. I at least know they work and I’ll definitely use one.
    Today, we semi-cleaned our garage. I took a load of “stuff” to Goodwill and just posted a bunch of stuff on Freecycle. So, YES, I agree, it feels great getting rid of stuff!

    • Oh, of course, the garlic press! To be perfectly honest, I gave mine away. I use minced garlic from a jar. It’s faster and easier and by the time the garlic is cooked, I can’t tell the difference at all. I console myself with a reminder that it comes in a glass jar, which is both re-usable and recyclable.

  5. I never knew about the egg timer. I need one of those!
    This past week we spent time rearranging our kitchen (which flows into our living rm which then flows into our bedrm- we have a small house). I’m doing the opposite of you. I just pulled out my wedding china that has been in storage for 14yrs and putting amongst the everyday dishes in our tiny kitchen. I figured if it gets chipped I need to get over it- it’s beautiful and I love seeing it every day. Right now I’m having a cup of coffee out of a lovely china cup. So for now, I can’t do without my wedding china!

    • I love that you are using that wedding china! Good for you!

      I don’t think that’s the opposite of me — I think it’s the same. You are focused on using the things that bring you joy. Inspirational. Have a cup for me, too. (Well, if it was me, I’d be drinking tea instead of coffee, LOL.)

  6. Pingback: 4 Must Have Kitchen Items

  7. my cherry pitter! i never knew what i was missing until i tried one out at my aunt’s house. i love it so much, i even wrote a blog post about other uses for it.

    i also love my ice cream scoop, my food scale and my fruit bowl that my grandma made in her ceramics class.

    my dream is to have a spice drawer.

  8. Laura says:

    I’m trying to figure out how I ever survived without my kitchen tongs. I use them every day for something. I also really love the OXO mango splitter. Seems like a useless gadget, but because of it we all eat a lot more mango. And I love my measuring cup that you can read from the top.

    I’ve got to have one of those egg timers! I can make hard-boiled eggs (use the same method as Katy), but never can get the soft-boiled ones right for the girls.

    We de-cluttered and sorted through stuff this past weekend for an upcoming yard sale, and only two items came from the kitchen: a tea pot and a blue dish I’m not sure what to do with (or why I have it). That I want and use everything else in the kitchen is a very good feeling.

  9. Cyndel says:

    I just posted a picture of the orange peeler! It’s so simple that I wish I had an orange to demonstrate using the peeler. I try to only buy oranges in the winter though, so it’ll still be a few months before I can actually use it again.

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