I love a good kitchen gadget. Or, perhaps more accurately, I love shopping for kitchen gadgets.
Maybe it was the hours spent wandering around Lakeland with my mum or the trips to the utensil treasure trove in Papyrus on Byres Road when I was wee, but for some reason I find delight in row upon row of kitchen contraptions.
If you’re a member of my family, it’s likely at one point or another I’ve bought you one for a birthday or Christmas: a ‘Spudnik’ potato masher, a rabbit-shaped jelly mould or Mezzaluna knife à la Nigella Lawson are just a few examples.
And it works both ways. I was delighted to unwrap an ice shaver for Christmas last year and a cocktail maker set, complete with mixing spoon, for my 30th. A mini blender, perfect for making curry pastes and dicing…um…lots of small things, was another favourite (until I dropped and broke it when washing up; don’t worry, it was quickly replaced with a larger, more robust, version).
I’ve recently had to stop adding to my collection because my kitchen cupboards are so full it’s almost impossible to open them without something falling out. Biscuit cutters of all shapes and sizes may rain down on anyone who looks in the cupboard above the sink, and I don’t dare venture into the Tupperware tomb anymore.
It’s true that some of the purchases have gone largely unused, only ever unearthed during rummages for the knife sharpener, but there are some things I really wouldn’t want to live without. The tea bag caddy really has become an essential (if you use one, you’ll know what I mean).
And it’s nice to know I’m not the only person who loves accessorising their kitchen. Standing in the Scottish Design Galleries, it’s wonderful to hear the exclamations of joy and surprise when a fellow enthusiast spots the Lakeland Clam Shell dish drainer perched in the centre of the galleries.
Some people have a passion for inspiring fashion design, beautiful furniture or impressive architecture but many of us are equally impressed by ingenious kitchenware.
Scott Jarvie's clever bit of design includes movable cutlery pots which can be placed within the drainer or on the perimeter to free up space. The clam-like prongs can also be used to hang cups and glasses, so there’s no need to precariously balance your favourite mug on the edge of the sink.
Spikes in the middle of the rack allow dishes to be stacked in any direction; particularly handy if you have odd shaped kitchen gadgets to fit alongside the usual plates and bowls.
Based in Glasgow, creative and practical designer Scott Jarvie has even considered what happens to the water that drains from your pots and pans. The dish drainer has two ‘settings’ controlled by differently sized detachable silicone feet which allow water to either funnel through a spout and into your sink or be retained in the rack.
It’s much more exciting than my very ordinary wire dish rack. Perhaps it’s time to reconsider my self-imposed ban on buying kitchen gadgets, just one more time.
Jenny is the Media Officer at V&A Dundee.