There are very few kitchen gadgets I will ever insist you get. In general, I don’t like gadgets; I think most are pointless and just take up space in your cabinets.
That said, every mom should have a mandoline.
A mandoline is a huge time saver for chopping almost any vegetable, with the added bonus of making them uniform and perfect every time. It’s also very small and flat, so it doesn’t take up much space.
The down side of a mandoline? It’s sharp. Very sharp. Do not be a cheap mom like me and try to slice every last bit of sweet potato. Let it go (or your finger will go instead.)
Anyhow, I’ve been using mine a lot lately to make homemade chips. A mandoline allows you to slice up a potato in ten seconds, so I can throw ‘em in the oven right before lunch or dinner with no planning or forethought.
We like sweet potato chips the best. But Russets and Yukon Golds are good too. I don’t even bother to peel the potatoes first. They’re sliced so thin, you can’t even tell. BE CAREFUL WITH THE SALT — go lightly as the potatoes shrink up a lot in the oven, so the salt has less surface area to cover in the end.