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3 Most Excellent Kitchen Tools


7   3 Most Excellent Kitchen Tools


I told you recently that I was going to tell you about some of my favorite kitchen tools, but got all sidetracked with my bras coming in the mail from Amazon. Well, I just remembered I never told you.

I was going to tell you my top 7. But, I kept thinking of more things I liked and it just got to be too much for one day. I’m only going to tell you about 2 or 3 today.

The first time I married was in 1974. I was 19. A mere baby, from today’s perspective.

Things were very proper in my family back then. There was no watching TV at the dinner table. No elbows on the table, napkins went in your lap, and there was no cussing, drinking, smoking, or running around. Betty charged you a quarter for saying ‘ain’t’ and would wash your mouth out with bar soap for swearing.

Betty & Tom are still quite proper, but sadly, their offspring are a little less so. We are known to take the occasional sip and there was some running around from a certain ex of mine. The poor will-not-be-named-but-we-all-know-who-he-is fellow had zipper trouble. It just couldn’t stay up. The zipper that is. Well, both, if you must know.

In the south, in the 70s, it was common to have multiple wedding showers for the bride and groom. I don’t even remember how many were given for me now– at least, four. A bride could have a kitchen shower, a linen shower, a lingerie shower, a miscellaneous shower, even a garden shower– which often included the groom.

The people who hosted these showers were friends of the family or a cousin or an aunt. It’s considered poor taste to give yourself a shower. You should take one before you go, but you should never give one for yourself.

The shower guests would later become the wedding guests, but these showers took place in the months prior to the wedding date. Different guests were invited to different showers.

You didn’t include all the wedding guests on the shower guest lists because there were two basic groups invited to the wedding. Those distant and those close and it had nothing to do with mileage. If you were close to anyone in the wedding party– bride, groom, parents, siblings– you could be– and damn well expected to be– invited to a shower as well. If you were some random person they felt obligated to invite, but not socially or blood close, you were on the distant list and only received the wedding invitation.

So, those lucky enough to be close knew they were going to have to spring for two gifts. The shower gift had to be in the designated shower department and then, later, they’d send a proper wedding gift after receiving the official engraved wedding invitation.

Betty & Tom set up card tables and cleared the ping pong table in our rec room. Remember That 70s Show? Life really looked a lot like that.

But, back to my story . . . Betty & Tom spread out all the loot in the basement. It looked like a little department store. Then, there was an open house or something, I forget what they called it. All the people who had been invited to the different showers were invited to come to the house on a Sunday afternoon to eat petit fours and look over all the gifts.

Why am I telling you this? Because some of the stuff I got at that kitchen shower I still use today. It’s been that good.

An electric knife We had neighbors I babysat for. Theirs were the only kids I babysat because I didn’t like kids. I was 14 and their kids were okay. But, I wasn’t ever going to make my own. Not on purpose. Not by choice. There was no way that baby could come out without it hurting like hell. And who needs that? And the mess– then and later? (Until I had mine, who were perfect, so I gave kids another chance. But, by then, I was in my 30s. It’s okay to wait.) Marion (the neighbor) gave me this electric knife. It’s got a really long cord, which is helpful. It’s a simple, two bladed operation that works. It’s never let me down. I’ve cut meats, Styrofoam, memory foam, cakes, anything not too firm for years with no trouble. It’s not a chainsaw. So I like it.


Electric knife in full







Electric Knife name




A cutting board We all need a good cutting board or two or three. I have six. This one is my go-to because it’s the perfect size. It has a little indention for a cheese knife, which is what it was really designed to do– serve cheese. You’ll see it in the Smoothies with Balls  post. If you do any amount of cooking, you need at least two cutting boards. One for meat and one for plants. A third one is nice to reserve for chicken– so there’s no cross contamination. I always squirt bleach cleaner on my cutting boards after meats to cut down bacteria. But, I like this cutting board. It’s a good size and it’s cute.


Susan Bosscawen178


A McCoy mixing bowl Thanks to my poor packing, my favorite mixing bowl was dropped and broke into a million pieces when moving, so I can only show you the replacement. But it’s the same kind and my favorite. There’s a huge warehouse in town called Sleepy Poet’s. All these antique dealers have their little area and sell stuff. Some of it’s old, some of it’s cute, some of it’s junk. But, they’ve got lots of it and you can find anything from Waterford crystal to mason jars. I found my replacement McCoy there. Love love love it. BTW? Ann Burrell uses one for a trash bowl on her show Secrets of a Restaurant Chef. 

McCoy bowls






McCoy base










Before I go, I must tell you about the best wedding I ever went to. About 6 years ago, my guy and I were trying to decide what date would work to get married. We had eight kids and grand-kids between us and trying to find a date when we all were free was almost impossible. We decided on the second Saturday in July, because someone had something on all the other weekends. We chose noon because one grandchild had a friend’s birthday party at four o’clock, so we needed to wrap this affair up early.

We found a wonderful restaurant in a quaint old house that had a front porch. My daughter and I dropped by and in 30 minutes, the owner/chef had everything settled. I gave her the number of guests, a broad idea of food, wine, and cake. (Please, include some cherry pie, as my guy doesn’t like cake.) She took care of everything. This was just a simple affair.

That Saturday, we showed up at 11 o’clock, the preacher made us legal and by 3 o’clock we were on our way to the beach. Simply better, easier, lovelier.

Life won’t always work out like you might think. Sometimes we’re dealt a hand of cards that are hard to play. But, I, for one, can tell you, love and laughter can surprise you at any age.


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