This largely uninteresting, somewhat scary looking kitchen tool is a Mandolin.
Colloquially known in some circles by another versions' trademark name of V-Slicer, so named for the 'V' shape formed by it's blades, sold by infomercial for many long years.
This tool will elevate your food prep to new heights of speed and yield.
Here's the number of slices I get from one medium sized tomato...
And I did that in literally five seconds. Are you with me yet?
I didn't much listen when the guy on the infomercial said 'it dices, it slices, it turns one potato into a mountain of fries..', coz I was sitting there thinking 'who'd wanna do that...'. But that was in my good ole, bad ole days when I didn't understand what a difference prepping food at home could make to my overstretched budget.
This thing has turned me into a salad and sandwich, pickle and relish, food preparation machine. I can slice enough potatoes for an enormous potato bake in under two minutes. Do you know how exciting that is for my family??? Well, they don't get out much, it's true.
And it doesn't clutter up my bench.
Please follow safety directions though...these things are devilishly sharp and can be merciless to careless users.
I got mine for just $10 in Woolworths. That was three years ago and it's still going strong. It has two settings for slicing thick or thin, and two settings for chipping and dicing. More expensive ones do more, and may last longer, but $70 for one of those wasn't in my budget that week.
Get one. Honestly, if you're jumping on this food prep ahead bandwagon, it's an absolute must.