The Very Best Gadget

Many kitchens are full of single purpose, occasional use gadgets that tend to reside in the dark corners of cupboards and drawers. They are forgotten about until you look for something else and then . . . there it is. You use it once or twice and then back it goes into hiding. Oftentimes, the gadget is flimsy, rattles loudly, shakes then falls apart. Maybe it is difficult to clean or complicated to setup and in the end you don’t save any time. Perhaps it is large and takes up too much storage space. Whatever the reason, these items can end up as clutter.

There is, however, one gadget worth owning: the Vidalia Chop Wizard. It’s sturdy, well designed, and easy to clean; just use a toothbrush. A little effort produces a gigantic result. This gadget truly saves time and makes the task of chopping much easier. It chops or dices onions, peppers, celery, zucchini, carrots, tomatoes, apples, and other firm vegetables and fruits (nuts and eggs too) into perfect little cubes of uniform size. This uniformity makes your creations look as if you are a talented professional chef who has superb knife skills.

This gadget seems more like a toy than a utilitarian workhorse. It’s FUN to use! You put pieces of the fruit or vegetable on the cutting surface, then slam the top down and it makes this very satisfying loud “womp” sound, and then – abracadabra! The thing just got chopped as if by magic. These little moments of perfection where everything is just right, even for fleeting half second, are quite precious and add so much delight to life.

My little friend Katie, age 6, loved to help me in the kitchen. I taught her how to use the Chop Wizard. She would stand on the stool next to me and cut up vegetables, place them on the grid, and with both hands and the full force of her tiny body slam the top down. Wham! And then she would get a very smug and satisfied look on her face that was cute beyond words.

Efficient as this gadget is, it does take a bit of practice to get the hang of it. It works best when the pieces are extra-large bite size. It helps to stand on a footstool to get additional leverage. This would be the perfect gift for a cook who has everything, including a cupboard full of single purpose, occasional use gadgets.  Take a look . . . www.chopwizard .com, $27.95, including shipping.  Or, for $32.95 get the Chop Wizard Pro Max that also slices potatoes into fries.

Do you have a favorite time-saving gadget? If so, I’d love to hear about it.