There are four low-tech things I do in the kitchen that save bits of time and make me feel happy.

Find out what these Low-Tech Kitchen Gadgets are after the jump…

Share your favorite low-tech kitchen gadgets with us (and also tell us if you are on Team Jacinda or Team Jaime when it comes to butter bells) in the comments. You could win that Kokka double gauze pictured up there on the left.

Four Low-Tech Kitchen “Gadgets” I Love

1. Butter Bell
I love my butter bell. Jacinda is not so much a fan. If you don’t know what it is, it’s a place to store butter NOT in the refrigerator, so you always have soft butter ready to go. You put the butter in the “bell” shaped thing (seen sitting on top here) and in the canister part you put a tiny bit of cold water. You turn the bell upside down and sit it in the canister. Butter keeps for a long time, and when you’re baking you always have softened butter ready. I also love being able to spread it on a muffin without muffin crumbles falling everywhere. However, if you get any crumbs or junk from your knife up in your butter bell, your butter will go rancid pretty fast. Here’s a nice white one on Amazon for $9.99.

2. Parmesan Shaker Full of Flour
I love this and keep it on the counter all the time. It’s a little confusing at first and you may find your husband has covered his delicious bowl of pasta with a light dusting of flour accidentally, but it’s worth it. So now whenever I have to roll out dough or cookies, I shake out a perfect amount of evenly distributed flour. Try it, I guarantee you’ll be thrilled. You can get a parmesan shaker at most kitchen shops or here on Amazon for $3.25.

3. Kidney Bean Pie Weights
If you are part of our Prudent Baby Facebook group, you’ve seen the picture of my eggplant-tomato-mushroom tart from the other night. The eggplant may have been a disaster, but the crust was amazing and it occured to me to share with you this pie weight trick. Pie weights keep pastry crusts from rising and flaking when they are baked. There is no need to own special pie weights. Well, maybe if you are a fancy schmancy baker for some reason I don’t understand, but for the rest of us some dried beans will work fine. I use these kidney beans because that’s what I had the first time I did it, but it doesn’t matter. So make your pie or tart crust, cover it in foil or parchment paper or whatever the recipe calls for, then fill with dried beans. After you remove the beans from your baked pie shell, keep them in a vase or tupperware or whatever, and re-use over and over.

4. Salt Dish
I also think salt cellars are awesome, but my mom picked this little dish up for me in Kenya last month. It has a turtle on the bottom (we have a turtle too). I was so excited – perfect size to hold my salt by the stove. Maybe you don’t think the five seconds it takes to shake salt into your hand and then toss it into your dish is a big deal, but I like not having to do that. Instead I just pinch it from the bowl and toss onto the food. It also feels kinda fancy, and little chances to feel fancy are rare and good.

So, tell us about some low-tech kitchen geniusness you adore…

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