Saturday, March 15, 2014

Weekend Cooking; Four Favorite Cooking Tools

I love working in my kitchen which is small but looks out on the whole room so I feel open to the room.  I can easily watch tele or listen to music as I cook.  Last night as I soaked and slow cooked two bags of garbanzo beans to freeze I went through a drawer that I thought needed reorganize over Spring Break.  This thought turned into what else could I clean out from my kitchen drawers to declutter.  Probably a lot.  These items are top on my keep list:

1. My mortar and pestle;  This is a cool tool my mom bought for me in Mexico about 15 years ago.  I make guacamole in it, grind spices down, smash garlic, and I recently used it as a serving bowl which I'd never done before.  I like that it takes my muscles to make something happen. My mother-in-law has a very similar one and hers is worn down to smoothness.  Mine still has a ways to go.

2. My immersion blender:  Many years back my grandmother and i watched a lot Food Network especially Emeril.  One day on his show he used an immersion blender and my grandmother said "You need one of those!"  and she literally sent me out to buy one.  I still have that exact same one and I love it.  It is a Braun and apparently it was made to last-as good cooking tools should be.  Mine has a few cracks and dents in it as it is about 15 years old and at some point I will have to buy a new one-my hope is that I can find the same one and it will last another 15-20 years.  If you are still using a blender to puree soup, I beg of you, give this a try. You'll never go back to that blender mess again.  It takes me a few seconds to rinse off this bad boy!

3. Misto oil mister;  In my forever quest to be green this is a newer tool that I can't live without.  I found it on sale at a local store and hoped that it would work.  Lo and behold, it does and I will never buy another spray can of Pam- like substance again.  Who knows what's in those aerosol cans anyway? (chemicals I can't pronounce, of course) Previously I had a love/hate relationship with aerosol oil cans before my Misto (Mr. Wonderful) and did at least buy the olive oil one as you just need one in the cupboard for making cupcakes or muffins with cups, cake pans, or waffle iron, but no more.  This little baby is a keeper!

4. Apple Slicer;  I love this simple tool.  My family groans every time I talk about it though.  I once took it camping with us which they still find hilarious!  I mean, really, it makes them downright giggle at the mere mention of this fantastic tool.  We never bought any apples on that Michigan vacation so they acted as if I'd dragged the kitchen sink with me instead of this portable tool.  Crazy funny.  I still love it.  And when we load up the car this summer for a trip to Yellowstone guess what will be in my food box...(yes, the apple slicer, hopefully we'll buy apples but if not it is a cheap way to make them groan and then they'll have to tell the story...)  I can't wait.

What tools can you not live without in your kitchen?

My toaster and my crockpot are huge on the list also and I've never even considered taking them camping! Oh and my Lodge cast iron skillets.

This post is linked to Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking meme. Click her link to find many other food-related posts.  Happy weekend.  As I'm finished writing this it has started to snow outside.  I'm on Spring Break.


jama said...

Fun post -- I have all those tools except the first one, and I love guacamole. I also love my toaster and crockpot and couldn't live without my microwave :).

Joy said...

We were pleased with our Misto for awhile, but then it clogged up and we couldn't get it clean. We tried another and it ended up with the same problem. It didn't feel "green" to buy a new one every few months, so we went back to cans (but I did switch to an Olive Oil one that I get at Whole Foods). Maybe they've improved -- that was a few years ago -- I hope you have better luck!

I use my bread machine two or three times a week.

Oh, and here's a tool that I don't use often, but is an absolute must -- a grippy rubber pad for opening stuck jars.

Joy's Book Blog

JoAnn said...

I've been wanting to get a Misto, but keep putting it off after hearing complaints similar to Joy's. Hopefully they've improved.

Laurie C said...

I'm a new immersion blender convert, and now my husband is too. I've been coveting a mortar and pestle, but realistically I'd have to do a major kitchen clear-out before adding something else that would need to be right to hand to get used. I like the raised handles of your apple slicer, and think that would make it even easier to use than the one I have. I never heard of the Mr. Misto, but will keep it in mind. We use a fair amount of Pam!

Beth F said...

I had same problem as Joy, so I gave up on my Mistos. I love my immersion blender! I don't have an apple corer -- slice my apples by hand. Now I'm curious about that gadget.

(Diane) bookchickdi said...

I love your mortar and pestle, it's fantastic.