I love buying new toys, but hate clutter. Some people will never be happy. I have come to peace with my dilemma, and the following things have helped:
1) a ban on single-purpose items. This means no waffle iron (sniff), no mandoline, and no lemon zester.
3) moving from a large, 4-bedroom house to a small, 2-bedroom inner-city apartment. We will attempt to cram all of the Stuff I couldn't live without into our new home tomorrow. And I'm starting to worry about just how much I need to throw out. Again.
4) living without said Stuff (which I could not live without) for almost three months during the transition between countries. There are some things I miss terribly, but for the most part, I can't remember what's in the boxes...
I'm also learning that there is so much you can do without much extra effort at all, which makes the once-needed gadget redundant. I'm even thinking of ditching the microwave in favour of much-needed bench space!
So, I use a sharp knife instead of a lemon zester, a sharp knife instead of a mandoline, and steam or hot water instead of a microwave. I haven't found a solution for the waffle iron, but it's nice to know there is one thing restaurants can do that I can't!
Use a sharp knife to remove thin strips of zest. Avoid the white pith by staying close to the surface of the lemon.
Cut into thin strips lengthwise.
Cut into the tiniest cubes ever by slicing in the opposite direction. Please be careful of fingers!
Give it a few extra chops for good measure. I love the slightly bigger pieces of zest, they seem to hold that beautiful, citrusy flavor better than thin, flimsy zest. And the colour is gorgeous!
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