A New Kitchen Toy

I have already confessed that I am a sucker for almost any kitchen gadget I see. I have a drawer-full of anything from a strawberry huller to a cherry pitter and then there’s that nifty watermelon slicer. Believe it or not, I really do use my gadgets!

The one kitchen tool that I have resisted buying for all these years is a potato ricer. I just didn’t see any reason why I couldn’t mash potatoes with my trusty old-fashioned potato masher. After all, I don’t even make mashed potatoes but a few times each year. Plus, a potato ricer would just take up room in my already crowded kitchen toy drawer!

Well, as of a few days ago, I am now the proud owner of a ricer, and it’s all Lidia Bastianich’s fault! Lidia has a cooking show that my husband and I like to watch because her specialty is Italian food. Last week she was making a dish that called for mashed potatoes, and after she boiled the potatoes, she used a ricer instead of mashing them – yes instead of mashing them! She just stirred in some butter and liquid and they were done.

My first thought was I will order one! My husband’s first thought was, “What a perfect Mother’s Day gift! I will order one for Becky!” I typed in “ricers” on Amazon and was blown away at how many different ricers there were. I finally found one I thought I would order, but decided to think about it a bit. As it turns out, Bob was also viewing ricers on Amazon and was just as confused. He decided to leave selecting a ricer to me. I finally picked one in the mid-price range and clicked “Buy now”.

My new ricer has been delivered! My first impression – I didn’t know it would be that big! It will have to have its own drawer. It didn’t come with any instructions, so I decided to google it, which would have been a better idea to do BEFORE I bought one! Anyway, it turns out there are more things you can do with a ricer than make little potato pellets, and if you are ricing potatoes, you don’t have to peel them because the skins will end up in the ricer while the potatoes go in the bowl.

You can also use a ricer to squeeze all the water out of frozen spinach that has been thawed. This is huge because if you have ever made a dip or any other dish that calls for frozen spinach, you know that if you don’t get all the water out, you will have a watery dip or casserole.

If you are making an egg salad, put your hard-boiled eggs through the ricer; no need to spend your time cutting the eggs into small pieces.

A fresh tomato sauce recipe usually calls for peeled and seeded tomatoes. This is a perfect job for a ricer. When you put a tomato through a ricer, the juice and pulp will go into your bowl, but not the skin of the tomato.

You can squeeze citrus fruit to make juice, “mince” large amounts of garlic, make baby food, and get that pumpkin or those sweet potatoes ready to make a pie. I honestly don’t know how I survived all these years in the kitchen without a potato ricer!

Now for the disclaimer: I haven’t actually used my new toy yet. I hope it lives up to all my expectations. If it doesn’t, or I get tired of it, I will do what my mother used to do – pass it on to someone who will give it a good home.

– Becky Lynn is a writer for EllisDownHome.com. She and her husband Bob enjoy spending time with their 8 grandchildren and traveling. Becky loves cranking up the music and heading to the kitchen to try out new recipes or cook for an upcoming party. She is passionate about continuing to be a life-long learner!


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