Ruth Garcia of San Jose uses matching plastic dowels to help her roll cookie dough, pie crust, and other foods that must be uniformly thick to bake evenly. Flanking the dough, they support the rolling pin, giving her full control. The transparent dowels, available at stores such as Tap Plastics, come in various diameters; Garcia's kit has 1/8- to 1/2-inch-thick pairs. They wash and store as easily as chopsticks - which triggered another idea: Why not use square plastic dowels to make uniform cuts in, but not all the way through, foods - coxcomb carrots and potatoes for roasting, radishes to fan in ice water? They cost about $1 per set. And you can use the square dowels with a rolling pin too.