Gift for a Serious Cook: a Good Mandoline

I love my kitchen gadgets and tools! My Mom used to joke that she wanted to have “every kitchen gadget known to man,” and I may have been influenced by that. A little. Actually, a lot. You can see lots of Mom’s gadgets and dishes on display in the her kitchen below with the two of us in the late 80s.  In fact, I just noticed that the wooden corn scraper I wrote about a couple of weeks ago is hanging on the top right edge of the photo.

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One of my favorite gadgets is the mandoline slicer I inherited from Mom.  Even after she was an invalid and much too ill to cook (or even stand), she was adamant that she’d be back in the kitchen one day and was still putting serious cooking tools on her Christmas list.

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Mom cried when she opened this Matfer mandoline that she had been wanting. It was Dad’s big gift to her on what turned out to be her last Christmas with us. She was never able to use this high-end slicer imported from France, but she had Dad put it on display in the kitchen. I have always wondered if it was a symbol of hope to Mom, or something that made her sad, or even perhaps that she knew she wouldn’t be using it and that it would end up in my kitchen as a beloved instrument involved in making marvelous meals. My Dad gave me this mandoline soon after Mom died in September of 2000, and I think of her every time we use it.

The Grill-Meister is actually the food slicer here at Glover Gardens.  The mandoline is so sharp that I’m actually a little afraid of it. Here he is in action, slicing potatoes for me.

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You can slice a lot of vegetables, really fast, with a good mandoline
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Look how perfectly even those potatoes are sliced

The Matfer mandoline is completely adjustable, so you can get any thickness you want. Did I say that I love this tool? It is super-functional and professional-grade, and the nostalgia factor is high, since it belonged to my Mom.

So in these last few days before Christmas – or if you are reading this in the future – here’s a tip from me: a very good mandoline is a very good gift for a serious cook, at Christmas or any time. If do you buy a mandoline, get a solid metal one and make sure it is adjustable – we also have a cheapo little plastic one that isn’t, and it is not worth the $15 it cost. The Grill-Meister says, “if you buy a good mandoline, it will last a lifetime”. And beyond…thanks, Mom!

If you’re interested, here is the Matfer on Amazon. I’m sure there are other really good ones.

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The current model available on Amazon (photo from Amazon)

Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens

 

 

7 thoughts on “Gift for a Serious Cook: a Good Mandoline

      1. I like to use the mandoline for super thin slices of cucumbers, onions, mushrooms, radishes, potatoes etc. Works great for slicing cabbage for slaw. My mandoline also has vertical blades for cutting strips, which is great for making hash browns. It’s so easy to clean up too as long as it’s rinsed off right away. I wouldn’t want to get too lazy and lose my knife skills though.

      2. Good point! I really like chopping with a knife – it is a stress reliever. I hadn’t thought of using the mandoline for anything as small as mushrooms or radishes and will give it a try.

  1. Investing in a mandoline was one the best things I ever did for myself. My husband cooks more than I do these days (I’m better at baking, and he’s better at cooking, hence the division of labor), so he was pleased to receive it when I moved myself and my kitchen gadgets in.

    1. Love it! A combined set of kitchen tools rocks. The Grill-Meister and I had the same experience…and I don’t think he would mind me telling you that the dinky little plastic mandoline was his, pre-K (pre-Kim).

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