I have never been much of a gadget person. Men love gadgets and have to have every imaginable tool to do the tiniest thing. I've always just made do with a few basic tools though sometimes I have wished some of my tasks were easier.
I do appreciate sharp knives and was terribly disappointed to learn that the man who sharpened my knives was no longer in business. My knives got duller and duller as the holidays neared but I have never been satisfied with any sharpener I've tried. I told Barry I really wanted a good knife sharpener for Christmas but he went one better. He gave me a set of Wusthof Knives and a sharpener.
I believe these knives are a definite step up from my old Chicago cutlery. Not only are my new knives incredibly sharp, they make any task so easy and enjoyable. When shopping for knives, get the best you can afford and take good care of them. It is important to hold different knives and see which feel better, more balanced and appropriately sized for your hand. Wash knives by hand; never put them in the dishwasher as that can dull them, get rust on them, or injure some unsuspecting person unloading the dishwasher. Store your knives properly, don't just throw them in a drawer. Some people like the knife blocks but others claim blocks can harbor germs. I intend to look for a magnetic bar to hold mine.
Three basic knives do the job for me. A paring knife for cutting or peeling fruits and vegetables or any other light task is your main work horse. A bread knife with a serrated edge will cut breads, cakes or even roasts with that crusty surface. A cook's knife is a nice large knife for chopping, mincing and cutting up large vegetables, fruits and meats. A new knife can make all the difference in making cooking a more pleasant task.
My husband also gave me my first food processor. Now I know some of you may be laughing at me right now but I never wanted one until recently. I guess I finally got tired of doing certain things the hard way. However, I have not yet used my food processor so my judgement on whether it is truly worth the storage space will have to wait. I was going to use it yesterday but it was more complicated than I'd anticipated so I will have to watch the DVD first. Since I was already cooking, I didn't have time to stop and watch a 50 minute DVD. I am very excited about using it though as I think it will be easier to make salsas and cut up large quantities of fruits and vegetables. I may even start making bread. So I hope to have a review on food processors soon.