Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Kitchen gadget worth having: Lemon reamer


In the universe of fancy gadgets that are supposed to make cooking easier, this simple tool is one of my favorites. Even though it only has one single purpose—getting all the juice out a lemon—this little baby is totally worth its drawer space. And I love the way it looks. Just a humble hand tool made of wood.

(Check it out. I got granite countertops! I LOVE them.)
It’s small (only about 6 inches long), easy to clean (just a quick rinse, a brief air dry, and then back into the drawer), and I use it all the time. Really. At least three times a week. And you can probably get one for about five bucks.

Maybe I’m weird, but I use a lot of lemons when I cook. Most dishes need some form of acid, and my fallbacks are lemon juice, vinegars, or tomatoes (or some combination). I like lime juice too, but the flavor has a little more personality so it’s not quite as versatile as lemon. Plus, lemons keep FOREVER, which means I always have a couple on hand. In fact, they seem to get juicier after they’ve aged in the fridge for several days. UNLIKE limes, which start to turn brown and hard faster than I can use them up. (Yes, you can use the reamer for juicing limes too, but for some reason it seems to work better on lemons.)

Anyway, one of the basic things about me is that I hate to waste ANYthing, so I love that the reamer gets ALL the juice out of the lemon and leaves just a hull of rind. Squeezing it with your hand does not even compare. The reamer will get you twice the juice—that means you’ll use half the lemons!

While we’re on the subject, do you know the trick to get more juice from your lemons? Before you cut the lemon in half, roll it back and forth on the counter. Put some pressure on it, but don’t smoosh it. This will sort of break up some of the fibers inside the lemon and free up the juice. Try it!

If you're worried about keeping the lemon seeds out of the juice, I find that a mini strainer works very well. You just squeeze the juice right over the strainer and it catches the seeds. TV chefs are always saying that they juice the lemon in their palm and catch the seeds, but when I try this, the seeds just slip right out of my hand. I guess that’s another kitchen gadget worth having: a mini strainer. It’s also good for straining loose tea. Or dusting a cake with powdered sugar. And other things that I’m sure I’m forgetting.

I guess I’m just a girl that likes a good old-fashioned, low-tech solution.



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