Do you have a strawberry huller?
If you have young children, or just like berries, you need one. This pointed pincer tool deftly removes the leafy bits of the berry without sacrificing any of the flesh! I was probably throwing away $5 a week in strawberry tops that still had a decent amount of fruit on them prior.
Other little gizmos and gadgets we love:
+KUHN RIKON PEELERS. Ultra-sharp and the perfect palm-sized shape to really give you grip/control. [Ed. note: Per a Magpie comment on these, the Kuhn Rikon peelers are carbon steel, which rusts very easily. You need to wash and dry the peelers immediately after use. This is not a huge lift for us because we are already meticulous about doing this with our knives, but it might require some habit change if you are not in the rhythm of doing this while cooking! They also cannot be run through the dishwasher. These may be non-starters for some Magpies!)
+MAGNETIC MEASURING SPOONS. Above is not a prime example of the magic of this set, but you can nest them and they all stick together but they aren’t shackled to one another with one of those loops like most sets are. So you can just retrieve the size you want. Also LOVE that one side is narrow and one side is wide — the narrow actually fits into most spice jars.
+OXO SCALE. The pull-out screen is clutch when measuring large plates/platters/bowls.
+FELLOW COFFEE GRINDER. This has saved Mr. Magpie so much grief. He had been hand grinding for years (coffee nerd thing), but whenever we have guests, the hand grinder was such agony! This is very cleverly designed and well-regarded. I rarely make the coffee but had occasion to the other day and it was a cinch to use. Even a coffee ignorant person like me can do it, and it takes like five seconds. Plus, looks cool enough to leave out on the counter.
+THERMOPEN INSTANT READ THERMOMETER. We use this allll the time. Currently $20 off! A really good gift for any grill/protein enthusiast but I also use frequently for baking.
+SHUN KITCHEN SHEARS. We have two sets of these in our kitchen drawer and they’re in near-constant use. They are really strong/sturdy — have even used to cut through chicken bone before — and you can use the pointed ends as intended (as a screwdriver) or as I do — to pierce those damned air-tight tops on peanut butter and spices. There are so many other functions. Apparently also a bottle opener and nut cracker! The blades come apart easily for washing by hand (do not place in dishwasher or they will dull).
+SHUN “TOMATO” KNIFE. For some reason, we call this a tomato knife, but it’s labeled differently online. I know there are a few fellow enthusiasts of this style of knife. THE BEST for slicing bread, baked goods, pastries, and, yes, tomato without “squishing” the goods. It just slides right through, sort of like a serrated knife.
+WINE STOPPERS AND CHAMPAGNE STOPPERS. Inexpensive and so handy — the champagne ones by this specific brand (Fantes) really keep sparkling bubbly even a few days after opening. They are made in Italy and I’ve given them to so many people at this point tucked in with a bottle of wine/champagne. For some reason they are only sold in packs of 2 or 3 at the moment but trust me – you will be obsessed, too, and will happily gift the spare to a friend/hostess/neighbor/etc.
P.S. More kitchen favorites you might not have.