Excellent tools (continued)
Excellent Kitchen Tools (continued)
In an earlier post, I started telling you about some of my kitchen tools I especially liked. Some of them simply did as they promised. Others did the same, but were cute. Some were lifesavers when I was a young cook and learning my way. But, what they all had in common was they made the whole kitchen-cooking-cleaning up experience better. Funner. Easier.
But, alas, one of the tools I’ve already mentioned has had the audacity to die on me. My electric knife. You can read about it HERE. Yesterday, I was going to slice a London broil. An electric knife works well for this because you want thin, even, diagonal slices. It got the job done, but struggled. For 40 years that knife hasn’t given my any problems. I will miss it.
I am on a quest for a replacement.
So, which tools made the cut? There is no final cut. This is only what I think today. I’m fickle. Tomorrow, I may sing a different tune.
Now I can show you what I was looking for in the mail when my bras came. It’s a shame when something works well, is priced well, then they discontinue it or reduce the attachments from their original set. I’ve had three choppers that performed as promised. A Cuisinart Mini-Prep, their 3-cup food processor/juicer, which is no longer made. A metal, generic meat tenderizer. And, a Chef’n Chopper. I can only find the Chef’n Chopper today. Evidently, the rest have all been retired.
I paid about $25 for the Cuisinart. For over 30 years, it has worked great, and I’ve had no problems with it. I found one on EBay for $65 today. It’s not $65-and-used great.
So, I bought the Chef’n chopper. There were only two of us when I ordered it, it was a good size for us, it was only $20, and it seemed easier to clean. But, since I can put the Mini-Prep’s bowl, lid, and blade in the dishwasher, that was really just a lie I told myself so I could buy the Chef’n Chopper. That, and it’s cute. The handle folds over and fits around the center when not in use. To use, insert blade, add food, screw on lid, and pull handle like a lawnmower. For small amounts, chopped quick, it works nicely. I’ve even done chicken for enchiladas and it worked well. More of a shred, which is what I wanted. You can see it on Amazon HERE.
This last chopper is really a meat tenderizer. I Googled this thing because I didn’t want to get up and take a picture of it, thinking I’d just snag one off Images. I couldn’t find it. Maybe, it’s so old, they don’t make it any more. I picked mine up at a grocery store. If you see one, grab it. It does an excellent job at tenderizing a piece of beef, but it’s main fame for me is chopping nuts. Put up to a cup of nuts in a small-ish bowl and use this to chop them. So lovely. It all goes into the dishwasher. So easy.
A few really good Cookbooks
The Better Homes and Gardens red plaid cook book taught me the basics. Nothing fancy, but for a new bride who couldn’t boil water, it was a godsend. I had this until last year when I gave it to one of our daughters. You can find it HERE, but I’d check out a used book store for a cheaper price.
The Cooks Illlustrated magazines and website. I love reading these. This is like Alton Brown on your bookshelf. All the recipes I’ve used from them were a success and I learned the mechanics of what to do so I can use that on other dishes. You can find them at Costco, book stores, and HERE.
Kinetic Stays-Fresh-Longer containers
I bought my first over a year ago and am now a total convert. They have silver nano particles in the BPA-free plastic and food– I kid you not– stays fresh 3 & 4 times longer! I bought my first at TJMaxx and Amazon, which don’t seem to carry them now, but I found them HERE.
A Cast Iron skillet
Read this POST and you’ll know why I love these. Our youngest daughter has stolen two of mine.
A Silicone Spatula
I picked this up a couple of years ago at Tuesday Morning. I know I go on about liking pretty things. This is decidedly not pretty. But, it works. It’s small and perfect for a non-stick pan. I especially like the way the silicone surface scoops close to the pan surface, leaving no drips and trails of food behind. I once used it to scoop off excessive grout when making a mosaic birdbath– which didn’t turn out, BTW– it doesn’t do so well with grout. Eggs are good, grout–not so much.
Since I can’t turn back the clock or redesign my wrinkles, then using pretty makes me feel pretty. Pretty tools makes everything better. Frank Lloyd Wright said, ‘form and function are one.’ It’s got to work, pretty or not. We all have to do our job, we’re not an ornament in life eating bon-bons, but can’t it look lovely, too?
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