My mom has a fairly extensive collection of potato mashers in her house. None of them are ever used, although with a healthy dose of Irish ancestry, she loves potatoes beyond any other food. She prefers to use a hand-mixer when making mashed potatoes, but her interest in old potato mashers persists. The one shown here is actually a delightful bike rack and has nothing to do with my mom's collection other than being probably the coolest potato-masher-bike-rack I've ever seen.
I was considering the other day my own kitchen gadget preferences. I've been through a lot of garlic presses, finally landing on my favorite (designed by my friend Willy Loor--thanks Willy! Lovely photo here from the OXO website). But that was more about finding a preferred tool than a collector-type interest.
Of all the gadgets I enjoy using the most in my kitchen, it's probably a whisk. I always get a child-like thrill when I need to "whisk" a particular part of a recipe. Pastry blenders are similarly delightful. I once tried to hand whisk egg whites like the pros and about lost a limb in my efforts. It's not personal proficiency that makes these things fun. I just like the way these wiry devices look, and how they come in so many forms.
I've polled on this site about the quantities of gadgets people have, but what I'd love to know is which of them people collect or particularly enjoy using. Does it have something to do with personal history? Enjoyment of the food you prepare with the tool? Pure aesthetic satisfaction? Ahh, the questions that keep a person up at night. Ok, this probably isn't one of them, but if you feel like sharing a story about your gadget-of-choice, comment away! I would be a happy reader.