Friday, October 10, 2014

Essential Tools- Part Three

I'm back on the subject of essential tools in the kitchen.

Apart from yourself that is.

And you know, most of these things are relatively inexpensive.

I've tried a lot of different tater mashers over the years, and this one, well, let me just say, it's been my workhorse.  I've got a lovely little ricer I use from time to time, I've had a couple of other mashers, but this is the one that I've been using for 'mmnble' over 30 years.
The slotted skimmer, I think is a must have if you're making jam or soups or need to skim stuff off of the top of anything you're cooking.  And as you can see from the handle, it's had a close encounter or three with hot stuff, as in I've rested it on the side of a hot pan or two.  The next spoon over is a slotted one.  I had to replace my older one not too long ago, a loss I'm still mourning cause this one has an Ergonmic handle which means my small hands have trouble holding onto the sucker.

And here are my whisks.  I have to admit to liking the flat whisks the best.  But that second whisk in from the left, I think I've had forever, but does need to be replaced.  However, it's great for doing that final whip on mashed potatoes.   And the third one from the left, well, I think it's time it hit the garbage can.  It's rusted and really, not all that great.   I'm going to keep the flat whisks though.  I think I need one more, a little larger this time. 
I've worn this one down to the rust, as you can see, but it has been a very good whisk for me.

When I was reorganizing my pantry a few weeks ago, I found these canisters in a big box store, and started buying them to help organize my shelves.  One major benefit, they keep the bugs out.    And they stack.  So far, I'm quite happy with them.  I do need more though.  I've got quite a good selection of gluten free flours now, and it would be nice to put the flours in these containers, instead of inside a double layer of ziploc bags.

I do also have wooden cutting boards, which I oil and clean regularly,and I love. But, I have to admit, I use these plastic cutting sheets most.  They don't dull the knives, I can put them through the dishwasher, which helps to sanitize them.  I like the fact that I can cut meat on one, veggies on another, they can fold enough that I can dump whatever I've been cutting into the pot easily.  And, they are inexpensive enough to replace when you, umm, accidentally melt one, or cut through a sheet.   Which reminds me, I need to replace the blue one, it kinda has a hole in it.

From the left:  A friend gave me the scissors, and I use them, a lot.  They come apart easily, and go through the dishwasher beautifully.   I also have a couple of measuring shot type glasses.  Both will measure milliliters, which I can convert to deciliters for cooking.  I also picked up some different sized scoops awhile back, and found that they are great for filling mini cupcake liners or cupcakes.  I can be much more precise in portioning out my batter now.  I also believe in funnels.  This one has been hanging around my kitchen for a long time, and is invaluable.
I also love my silicone pastry brush.  I had one of the old fashioned bristle ones for years, but got tired of picking the bristles out of my food, so I invested in this one, and wondered why I hadn't done that a long time ago.

And last but not least in this segment.   I love, love, love my JarKey .   Mine is the one on the left, but I keep a few on hand, they make a great little gift, and I give them away from time to time.  They were invented by my cousin's husband to help his mother open jars.  Well, all I can say is this, I haven't struggled, fought with or cussed out a bottle since I got mine.  All it does is break the seal, just that, but then you can open the pickle jar without engaging in major warfare or banging the lid with a large mallet to break the seal.   Or banging the whole schmozzle upside down on the counter, and risking breaking the jar or worse. 

Well, that's it for this post.

I have more toys that I think can become essential in the kitchen, but just remember the most essential tool, is yourself. 
Sidsel Munkholm - Author
Sidsel Munkholm - Author

Sid loves to cook, feed people and have fun in the kitchen. She shares her successes and the involuntary offerings she sometimes gives the kitchen goddess as well. And she's still looking for the mythical fairy to help her clean the kitchen after a marathon cooking session. Currently working on a cookbook showcasing the recipes from her Danish heritage.

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