In May 2008 I went to New York on a business trip for four nights, leaving my son, James, who was one, for the first time. I arrived at my hotel on Third Avenue feeling slightly homesick, missing him, and it was only when I left my hotel on the first morning and saw the Bridge Kitchenware store directly opposite that I cheered up, planning a trip there as soon as my day’s meetings were finished.
From the moment I entered the shop, I was in kitchen heaven – every inch was covered in pans, utensils, bakeware, tableware, gadgets – you name it, they had it. And then I saw it – a bright yellow, single-handled lemon squeezer, new to the store, and certainly new to me. I knew I had to have it. The colour was cheery, the fact that I’d never seen one before was compelling, plus I was back in New York (I lived there for a few months after university), and therefore had to shop shop shop while I had the chance (!) so I bought one, packed it in my case and brought it home. And here I am, four and a half years on, still using it, still loving it.
It is, quite simply, the perfect lemon squeezer and therefore easily qualifies as a Hero Gadget for all busy mums. Just slice your lemon in half, pop it in, and er, squeeze – yes, one handed! The pips get trapped, the juice flows straight into your mixing bowl/saucepan/food processor, and you can get on with the next task.
And there you have it, a kitchen gadget with a story. Sadly, I discover that Bridge Kitchenware is no longer trading in Manhattan, but whenever I pull out my yellow lemon squeezer I am transported back to being on my own in the Big Apple, not being a mummy for four days, happily browsing kitchenware without a care in the world.