EVANSVILLE, Ind. — Each year before Christmas, we stop into Thyme in the Kitchen, our locally-owned kitchen store on Franklin Street, to find out what owner Marcia Jochem’s top 10 recommendations are for gadget gifting.
Her recommendations include items that are brand new this year, those that have been top sellers and some of her personal favorites.
Here are her picks for 2018, in no particular order.
Aimee Blume shows us step-by-step how to make Albondigas or Spanish meatballs
MaCabe Brown, Courier & Press
- Microplane Herb and Salad Chopper, $13.96 – This double-bladed rocking chopper makes salad a cinch. Toss your chunked veggies into a bowl and rock away to cut them into bite-size pieces in a snap. It can also be used on a chopping board to reduce herbs or shallots quickly to a mince. “People want to make a salad like they do at Subway,” said Marcia Jochem. “This cutter is super sharp and can be used in a stainless bowl or on a cutting board. It’s kind of a millennial thing; they want to chop their salads fast all in the bowl.”
- Chef’n Salad Dressing Mixer, $15 – $20 – “This is a brand-new design from Chef’n,” said Jochem. “We’ve had containers for measuring and mixing dressing for a long time, and they sell well. But this one has some big improvements. It’s made of glass instead of plastic so it’s easier to clean and doesn’t retain odors. To make the whisk spin you pull the handle rather than squeeze it, so even people with arthritis will find it easy to use.”
- Dreamfarm Chopula, $11.95 – Is it a spatula, or is it a chopper? It’s both. The brand new Chopula is a spatula that is thin enough to slip under the thinnest crepe, flexible enough to be bendable and scrape every corner of your skillet, and strong and sharp enough to chop ground meat. Just to put it over the top, the Chopula has an angled blade that rests up and away from your counter surface when you put it down, leaving it clean.
- Dreamfarm Garject Garlic Press, $19.95 – The age-old question of how best to peel your fresh garlic without making your fingers smelly has been answered. The Garject press is powerful enough to crush and press garlic without peeling first. When you open it after pressing, a lever pushes the crushed garlic off the surface and into your bowl, while the flick of a button ejects the remaining peels inside.
- Harold Imports and Corkcicle Reusable Straws, $5.50 – $10 – “Earth-friendly gifts are really big and getting bigger,” Jochem said. “The reusable straws have really been popular. These are made of stainless steel or silicone. The stainless are angled, and the silicone are bigger and good for smoothies or thicker drinks. We have collapsible straws coming soon. All of them are dishwasher safe and come with a brush to clean the inside.”
- Food Huggers, $11.50 – $17.50 –A second environmentally-sound product, food huggers are silicone “caps” you put right over the cut surface of fruit, vegetables or even open cans or jars. The edges are specially-designed to stretch and hug the outside of the item to form a tight seal and come in a number of sizes so there’s one for every veggie you might have around. “You’re not using plastic or foil that you’re going to throw away,” said Jochem. “They really work. The one for avocado really keeps it from turning brown and it keeps cut lemons fresh and juicy.”
- Euroscrubby, $4.95– “Every year a scrubbing or cleaning product comes out that is an improvement over the ones from the year before,” said Jochem. “The Euroscrubby is safe for nonstick pans, but it is really rough and scrubs off even melted-on cheese and such. This one’s a personal favorite of mine.”
- Joseph Joseph Nest Colanders, $12 – This set of two colanders nests together for easy storage, and the triangular shape means convenient corners for pouring. “I use the small one so much more than I thought I would,” said Jochem. “I use it for fruit and vegetables, the bigger one for pastas and greens. When you store them together, they stay stuck together.”
- Tallisman Bacon Bin, $14 – “I hold grease,” says the Bacon Bin, and it’s the perfect container for doing so. Made of silicon, it’s heat resistant and you can pour smoking cooking fat, bacon or otherwise, straight from the skillet into it… then you can throw it away once it solidifies or save it for cooking green beans later. Also, it’s cute, and kids love to push the soft little pig nose down. This one is a huge seller at Thyme in the Kitchen.
- Trudeau Mini Muffin Pan, $28 – This silicone muffin pan is 100 percent nonstick, a convenient size, has a sturdy metal edge for stability, and is good for a lot more than muffins. “Lots of appetizers can be made in this,” said Jochem. “It’s even good also for chocolate candies, they just pop out. People are really buying them up and telling me how many things they are using them for.”
If you go
Thyme in the Kitchen is located at 2308 W. Franklin St.
Monday – Friday 9 a.m., – 6 p.m.
Saturday – 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sundays until Christmas 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
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