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       Volume I - July 16, 2010

Keeping it Compact:
Ideas for the "Space-aly Impaired"

by Alice Osborne

Here’s something you’ll probably never hear from a cook: “I have plenty of kitchen storage room.” Lack of space doesn’t keep most of us from adding to our stash of tools and gadgets, though. The trick is to look for products that collapse or fold to ease the space crunch. If you’re like so many of us—space-aly impaired, you might like these ideas:

Colanders usually take up lots of cabinet space, but this silicone one from Oxo's Good Grips line collapses to fit in a drawer. The 7-1/2-inch-diameter colander drains, of course, but it also has a metal tab that fits nicely over the edge of a saucepan so you can blanch vegetables. It costs $20 and is available at

This collapsible cake cover from Antique Gadgets is made of plastic with a foldable steel frame, so it can slip in a cabinet or drawer when not in use. It costs $10, and you can buy it at

Cookie bakers will appreciate these nonstick stackable cooling racks, which make the most of limited counter space by going vertical. The racks are about 16x10 inches and can also be used singly. The three-tier set is $11 from

When counter space is at a premium, finding a spot to rest a saucepan lid when cooking can be a challenge (mine usually end up in the already-crowded sink). That’s why I like these Intensa pans from Fissler: They have stay-cool melamine handles that double as lid holders, positioning the lids so that the condensation drips back into the pot. These stainless-steel pans come in eight sizes, ranging from a 1.5-quart saucepan (shown, $145) to a 6.9-quart stew pot ($240). You can buy the Intensa line at

A mandoline makes quick work of slicing and cutting vegetables into julienne, but its awkward size can make it tough to store. This Zyliss Easy Slice 2 folds in half to a compact 7-3/4 x 4-1/2 x 2 inches. To switch among four slicing thicknesses, ranging from 1 mm to 6 mm, you turn a knob that raises or lowers the cutting platform, so there are no separate blades to remove or insert (or lose).

The julienne setting produced nicely uniform zucchini sticks, and I found that the blade excelled at a range of foods, from soft tomatoes to tough fennel. It comes with a food holder to protect your knuckles and fingers from the blade. The lightweight plastic mandoline retails for $35, and you can find a list of stores at

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