* Prices may differ from that shown
As anyone that knows me, or even the kind people on here that read my waffles, I mean reviews, that I like to spend time in my kitchen doing a bit of cooking. So when I'm in my kitchen I try to make life in there as easy as possible so that I don't end up like that foul mouthed funny looking cook that appears on the television every so often. You know the one, the one with the funny face that has some strange growth around the chin and mouth... No, not Nigella, the other one, you know who I mean.
Anyway, a simple life in the kitchen means getting hold of things that are easy to use and come in handy, even if they may look as silly as a paper umbrella, but are still useful in the kitchen.
One strange thing that I have in my kitchen, amongst other things, apart from the wife and kids, although they're banned from the kitchen when the chef is at work, is from a company that is often seen advertising on the television, that company being JML. And no, JML is not an Airliner, it's really a company that makes some strange looking things, with some being even more stupid that this coalitions tax cuts and some being so idiotic that you wonder why the consumer boffins allow them to go on sale.
One particular item that I saw on the television, then spotted in my local pound stretcher, and, for some reason or another, maybe a mad moment or maybe I thought it was something else?, but I ended up buying this item.
That item from JML being something called the Worktop wonder, which isn't something that sits on your worktops in order for you to wonder what it is supposed to be used for, it is in fact a rather nice idea that can be very helpful when it comes to preparing a plate of fresh vegetables, and more.
* What does this worktop wonder look like..?
It's a sturdy plastic rectangular bin type container unit that is about 180mm long and about 325mm wide, being about 100mm deep and weighing in at a mere ¼ kg so it won't rip the front off your draws.
There is a green piece of plastic in the middle, which can be removed and used as a device to 'scrape' the food from the worktop and into the 'bin' itself.
It's a bit of a boring colour really, a sort of grey, although that's what the colour is supposed to be. Me, I'd call it a 'bottom of the toilet after a night out drinking and eating a dodgy kebab' colour. But the colour isn't that important as it's really designed to take scraps away from the preparation area of the kitchen.
On the top of the 'bin', on one side anyway, there is a long plastic section that sort of bends away, which is designed to hook onto the tops of cupboard doors or draws, trapping the worktop wonder in place.
* How do you use it then..?
You simply put in the triple A batteries... no, hang on, that's something else that's a wonder and has nothing to do with worktops.
To use this worktop wonder you simply take the 'bendy flap' section of the wonder and hook it over your cupboard door, making sure that the wonder is on the outside of the cupboards and not the inside as if you put it on the inside then your potato peelings will fall onto the floor.
So once you've hooked this onto the top of the door then you simply peel you fresh vegetables, or what ever you are doing on the worktop, and, once done, or even in the middle of the peeling, you push the peelings into the waiting worktop wonder.
To make it easier for you, and to save you searching around for anything to help you push the peelings into the wonder they even supply a plastic scraper to make it easier for you. This green plastic scraper is not just a scraper it is also a separator for the wonder in case you want to separate the waste food inside it. Even sliding the green scraper/separator into the worktop wonder is simple as there are letters 'A' on one side and 'B' on the other, which correspond with the letters on the worktop wonder, so you know which way it slides in. although the shape of it gives you a clue as to how this is done plus the fact that it can only go in one way really due to the shape of the thing.
* My opinion...
Firstly, it's not that I don't like to recycle food stuff, be it peelings from potatoes, carrots and the like, or the skins of bananas onions and oranges, as I do, but the fact that where I live is going through a stage where we have to put our waste food into a small green bin which sits inside the house, so I am more or less forced to recycle food or face a hefty fine from the local Gestapo... er, council. So this little useful bin helps in a great way and saves me having my food waste green bin on my worktops.
My green bin itself isn't a normal bin, it is a bin that has many air holes around it and can only be used with a bio-degradable bag that sits inside. The bin then has a hinged lid on the top with a little handle so that I can take it out to the main recycling bin outside.
Hang on, it's not my green recycling bin I'm meant to be writing about here is it, although if you want to know about my green bin then I can always tell you.
So when it comes to having something that helps me in my forced recycling regime then I'm all for it, even if it means buying from companies like JML... and to be honest this worktop wonder is not a bad idea at all, making my life that little easier in the kitchen when it comes to the cleaning process when preparing food.
The whole thing is made of a thin plastic, which is quite strong really, considering how thin it is, although it's not that thin that it will crack up when you drop half an apple into it, or a pear.
The plastic bend, or more the 'hook' thing on the top, which is designed to slot over the tops of kitchen drawers or cupboard doors, do a fine job in keeping the bin in one place so that I can scrape all the food stuff into the bin with ease, with it just being slightly lower than the chopping area. This is down to the fact that I have this hooked over the top drawer as this is the best place I have found for it as if I hooked it on the cupboard door I fond it to be a little too low and some of the 'waste' ends up on the floor, which means that the wife has some cleaning up to do after I've finished. (kidding).
As for actual use, well, it doesn't take a genius to use, it's just a matter of hooking it over some door or draw and away you go, peel away. You can either peel the peelings straight into this bin or, using the scraper, push them into it from your chopping board.
It can hold quite a bit of peelings, although that does depend on how much you peel of your spuds, and when it is full it is so easy to empty, being a matter of tipping the contents away, in my case into my little green bin which in turn goes into the larger green recycling bin that is outside in my garden.
As I said, there is the scraper that comes with this, which is really designed for splitting the bin in half, so to speak as it slots in some grooves that are moulded into the inside of the bin.
And to be honest I do tend to use this scraper for other little jobs around he kitchen, mainly when it comes to getting the nastiness from the bottom of a pan that has been on the heat for a little too long. This scraped works quite well in getting under the softened mess after a good soak in hot soapy water, (there's always trouble when the wife tries her luck in the kitchen, and the fire department are always on standby).
What more can I say about this little bin of plastic that hold onto your waste?
Well, there's not a lot more to say about it really. It is designed to help you out in the kitchen when it come to preparing your vegetables and the like, and that is exactly what it does do, it helps out, sort of.
I do have to mention that you do have to make sure that the handles on your draw fronts, or cupboard doors are lower than the depth of this plastic body as some handles may just get in the way when this is hooked over the drawer/door.
For instance, I can't use it on the worktop in a part of the utility room in my house, (although I may be exaggerating when I say utility room, it's more a phone box sized part of the house that happens to have a water supply, a worktop and a couple of plug sockets). But in this room the cupboard doors and drawer fronts have strange handles on them that are quite large, so when it comes to trying to slot this over the edges the handles get in the way so that the worktop wonder doesn't sit properly.
So do check that your handles just in case.
* So, the cost of this device that makes moving your scraping from the chopping area to the bin..?
It's a low low price of about a fiver, which, even if it looks like a lidless box with a bent end, is good value for money for the time saving alone.
* Would I recommend this worktop wonder..?
Yes I would.
I'm not really a JML buyer as I find a lot of there things, shall we say, more silly than useful, but once in a while they do come out with something that is quite useful indeed, and this is one of those items.
I love gadgets and anything that looks a bit tacky but is probably a good idea. I can usually find a use for everything in places like Lakeland and whenever their new brochure arrives through my door, I happily spend ages reading it from cover to cover deciding what I think I might need and deciding what I definitely need, whether it is for home or for the allotment, the choices out there are huge.
With having an allotment I am lucky enough to grow my own fruit and vegetables and during the time we have had the allotment we have had a lot of success with everything we have planted. This means I get to spend a lot of time in my kitchen using the things I have grown, preparing them to eat and over that time I have bought a slow cooker, preserving jars and so on, all little things here and there which has made life easier. Add to that the fact I like to recycle as much as humanly possible and that includes food waste, for which I have compost bin to make my own compost.
Peeling fruit and vegetables at anytime I find quite a messy task, whether it is potato peel or onion skin I have yet to master the art of getting it all in the plastic bag I have skillfully hanged off the dustpan where I have collected it all once I have finished. Instead I always find bits here and there which have managed to escape and it really winds me up, so when a colleague of mine announced she had found a solution to this problem and had purchased a product which at £6.99 would make my life less stressful, I thanked for her for the sarcasm and took home the item which she had so beautifully wrapped.
JML is a company similar to Lakeland who market and sell all kinds of devices, products and solutions to your everyday problem, whether it is food preparation, beauty, cleaning or baking, there is a solution or product for almost everything you can think of. The product that was purchased for me is called the 'JML Worktop wonder' and I did stifle a laugh when I opened the package to see the box and yes it would probably solve my problem. The blurb which markets the product states:
"With Worktop Wonder from JML, you can finally clear away peelings, crumbs and bits from your kitchen counters without any falling on the floor. Just hook it onto your kitchen draws or cupboards, then use the scraper to clear off waste so Worktop Wonder can catch it all. No mess, no fuss!"
So already it sounds promising and inside the box there is what looks like a loaf baking tin, only this is made of plastic and it is grey in colour and a bright green coloured piece of plastic which is known as The Scraper. To look at there is nothing exciting about it but it is useful, on one side there is a lip which you use to hand on your drawer in the kitchen, in my case it would be my cutlery draw and once it is hanged on the drawer, the drawer itself closes really easily and properly meaning no loose peel or food item would end up in the drawer instead of in this product or on the floor, which I found impressive. Then inside the Worktop Wonder, which is about 6-7cm in depth and around 10-12cm wide at a rough guess there is an option to use a divider to separate your waste, though this divider also acts as a scraper to guide your waste into the actual product. I have never used the scraper (which is bright green) as the divider as I find it a really useful tool, especially for crumbs and smaller items such as garlic peel. For me the scraper is one of the most useful tools, even if I am not using it for this product, I always keep the scraper handy to be used on other objects and items in and around the kitchen.
So for me this product is an absolute treasure and it is something I use all the time, no matter how big the meal is that I am preparing, whether it is a soup, some chips, a stew or a full blown roast, this item is used constantly and because it takes up so little space, I store it in my glass cupboard out of the way, though the box does say that you can use it to house utensils which are too big for your drawer. So for £6.99 this is a total bargain and something that is used everyday in my home and as a piece of kitchenware, for me it is brilliant.