I have not one but three small, fine mesh strainers in my kitchen. They look small and rather twee, sitting in a jar next to the more substantial tools, but I use them all the time. Here's my latest favorite use for these tiny strainers: Poached eggs.
A small mesh strainer is the perfect tool for lifting a poached egg out of its hot water bath. It cups the delicate egg and lets all the water drain away. In this function it is much better than a slotted spoon.
You can also use a small mesh strainer to lower the raw egg into the water, and even leave it in there with the egg to keep it in a neater, rounder shape.
Poached eggs are pretty hot around here (here's a roundup of tips, guides and good ideas for poached eggs) — so my little strainer is in use all the time. I also use it for cocktails, straining loose leaf tea, and sifting powdered sugar over cakes.
You can find these little strainers at any kitchen supply shop. I think I bought all of mine for just a few dollars apiece. This one is a little more more expensive, but I am linking it here just to show you the size of mine:
• Cuisipro Stainless-Steel 3-Inch Strainer, $6.99 at Amazon
(Images: Faith Durand)