Gadgets & Goodies: Mandolines
I have such a tiny kitchen that I am fanatical about keeping out useless tools. I like to think that one sharp paring knife can do the work of a hundred useless gadgets. But every now and then something sneaks in - received as a gift or left behind after a group dinner - and I change my tune. That\'s what happened with the mandoline.

March 2008
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A cheap, pistachio-green model made of plastic, it was absolutely the last thing I wanted. But my gadget-loving mother talked me into taking it, and I finally agreed to give it a try. Turns out Mom was right. I use my mandoline almost every day, for things like slicing carrots or cucumbers for kids\' lunches, making fennel salad or even peeling squash and potatoes before I slice them on the mandoline for making fried chips.

The great secret about mandolines: they don\'t need to be made of stainless steel and cost $150 to be a sharp asset to your kitchen. Kuhn Rikon, a Swiss kitchenware company, makes a mandoline for $20, and so do many others. Check out

- Larissa Phillips

Larissa Phillips is an award-winning writer, cooking instructor and food writer for and Dominion Parenting Media. Email her at