Monday, December 26, 2005

Got One of These?

It's not a soap dish (unless you use Motel 6 soap exclusively; too small).
This is a Japanese ginger grater. One of those wacky, single-purpose gadgets we acquire because of their cuteness, because of their brilliance, because we're hopeless gadget collectors, and there's a huge stash of brilliant but seldom-used gadgets in the lower cabinet, down there in the bin behind the rice cooker.
I may even be a more hopeless gadget collector than most, because I've got two ginger graters. The other one is made from ugly, yellow-tinted aluminum, and I find it too metallic-feeling in my hands (nothing technical, just an esthetics judgment), but boy does it have sharp teeth — it gets the job done.
I got this approachable-looking, white ceramic grater second. Actually, because it has less sharp teeth, I can scrub a knob of ginger against those teeth almost to the last molecule of ginger, without hurting my fingers.
Are you following? If you've never used one, here's the drill: Peel a chunk of ginger, and then furiously rub it back and forth (or up and down) over those bumps. Most of the stringiness of the ginger remains in a clump in your fingers, and the tender meat of the root purees into that pretty little device. A quick swipe with the fingertip clears most of the pulp off the teeth and into your dish.
So. I fetched this little beauty out of the bin behind the rice cooker yesterday, because we were warming up a batch of lump crabmeat that would be flavored with ginger and garlic. Once having rubbed the ginger into submission, I thought (oh, darn, you're way ahead of me here!) "Why not see how this baby works on a clove of garlic?"
Perfect. Just peel the paper off the clove. You don't even have to trim off the crusty little root end, because you will hold that end in your fingers and begin by rubbing the pointy, sun-facing tip of the garlic. You'll be able to puree nearly the entire clove before your fingers start bumping into those smooth, little white teeth.
And now it's no longer a wacky, single-purpose gadget. I might store it in a more accessible place from now on.


ilva said...

So now I know what to buy next, starving kids or not, thanks CC! (They might not thank you, but i do, and they will be grateful(get the bad pun?) in the end!

Sam said...

may be you will be able to sit it on top of the tripod for accessible storage

b'gina said...

That's much more finger-friendly than my flat ceramic one. That baby has sharp teeth. You really have to have a lot of ginger between you and those spikes to keep from grating yourself.

So, do you remember where you got it?

b'gina said...

Meant to say, I looove the new banner. Lots of colors. Mmmmm, tasty.

cookiecrumb said...

Ilva: Grate!
Sam: I'll just put a little Velcro on the bottom.
b'gina: I guess they come in all grades of evilness. I got this one at a hardware store in SF's Japantown, the one with all the kitchenwares in the basement.

Greg said...

Just when I thought I had every gadget known to man or woman kind. Ya had to show me this. You know I need one now.

Mona said...

That ginger thing looks awesome..I love ginger and would love to find something like that near me. Got any favorite SF Italian places ? I'm headed there tomorrow before a flight and am desperate for a place recommended by fellow foodies:)

Shauna said...

Ooh! Now I want one!

cookiecrumb said...

Mona: I like this place. Haven't been there for a few years, but I can't imagine how it could deteriorate:
Pane e Vino
Regional Italian Cuisine
1715 Union Street
San Francisco , CA 94123
(415) 441-2111
Monday - Thursday
Lunch, 11:30am-2:30pm
Dinner, 5pm-10pm
Friday - Saturday, 11:30am-10pm
Sunday, 5pm-10pm
Pane e Vino serves regional Italian-style cuisine, featuring fresh grilled fish and meats, thin crusted pizzas and pasta dishes exceptionally flavorful with fresh ingredients.
Greg: Wait, Mona and Shauna too? You don't have this?? Go. Shop. Acquire. :D

Anonymous said...

Certainly a worthwhile blog, and now I've got to find myself this ginger grater, as I'm an avid ginger & garlic eater. Thanks for sharing!!!!

cookiecrumb said...

Mr/Ms Anonymous: (Yes, I'm up, awake, hanging out on the Web, Dorian Gray-like)... yeah, it's a pretty cool tool.
Thanks for the compliment! Come back.

KathyF said...

They make garlic graters too. I got one in Provence, but I don't like what it does to garlic. I prefer to mince it with a small knife.

Now if I could only find a ring mold...

cookiecrumb said...

Garlic grater. Hm. I wonder if my miniature nutmeg grater is at all like that. (But I'd hate what the garlic does to the nutmeg!)