Monday, October 04, 2010

My favorite kitchen items

You know in cooking magazines how they interview famous people or celebrity chefs and ask them what their five favorite kitchen items are? I love that. I love reading what they pick and making snap judgments on whether they are (in the case of the famous people at least) serious cooks or not. "Ha! They picked a strainer? How boring!"

You will note that no one has asked me this question before. Nope, I am not famous. I have written a few journal articles and long reports. A dissertation about 9 years ago. But nothing that you would have picked up and enjoyed for light reading.

Given this, I may as well preempt the question and go ahead and tell you what my favorite kitchen items are. I am sticking with small items, not appliances, because yes, my Professional Kitchen Aid mixer is near the top of the list. But I don't know anyone whose Kitchen Aid isn't at the top!

#5 - Bamboo utensils. I have had all types. Wooden, plastic, rubberized, silicone, but nothing beats bamboo. Wooden splinters. After awhile so done silicone. Plastic gets hot and melts. Yes, bamboo will burn, but plastic also scrapes. When reaching my utensils I nearly always go to the bamboo ones.

#4 - Stainless Steel Nesting Bowls. Ok, mine aren't All Clad, but they are thick and heavy duty. Not wimpy stainless steel bowls! Love them. #3 - ok, no amateur / home cook / chef isn't going to throw a good knife into the mix. Mine is the Henckels Twin 8" Chef knife.

#2 - Long before I had kids I thought griddles were silly. Who needs a big old pan when you have a good skillet? This was also before I had a nice gas stove too. Now I have a nice gas stove and two kids who gobble up pancakes (with chocolate chips in them) and the All Clad griddle is my Sunday morning time saver.

#1 - My baby. The one that prompted this post as I lovingly scrubbed her this evening making sure to remove all the sticky residue... my Flame colored 7 quart Le Creuset Dutch Oven. I don't know what it is about Le Creuset - must be the colors - same thing happens in the Target dollar aisles - but the colors beckon me. I want another - in Cassis.
Invariably AB comes in and asks me what I am blogging about. I told him. So now here are his 5 favorite kitchen items. (His are in no particular order, because he listed them off for me and took off. So they are appearing in the order I uploaded them.)
Immersion Blender - We don't have this one, but we have a nice one with all the attachments. Great for quick BBQ sauce or puree'ing just about anything in the kitchen.
A good cutting board with a trench for the juices. Carve away and the juices collect for sauces and not all over the counter!
A mortar and pestle. Yes, we have like three of these. And big heavy ones too. And you know what? AB uses them all. I am quite positive that he has spice mixes in at least two right now. He also added in a spice grinder ( aka coffee grinder) - but that is just about the same thing and he only gets five choices.
A mandolin. My mom bought AB his mandolin - this brand actually - with the agreement that he would not cut himself. Guess what he did the first night? He was watching for his fingers and forgot about the heel of his hand. We all learned a lesson that evening and the mandolin has taken no more victims. Of course, I avoid the thing like the plague because it scares me.
As I said above, every cook has their favorite knife. For AB it is the 10" carver with fork. Great knife.
What are your favorite kitchen items?


RAB said...

Love this post!

Here's my 5:
1. Mini chopper/food processor
2. Kitchen scale (one scale that I actually like!)
3. Baking stone (makes great pizza and cookies!)
4. Salad spinner
5. Immersion blender (old one died - on the look out for a new one)

Jo said...

My 5:
1.My DULL knife. It's an old bread knife that has the 'teeth' worn down. I can peel veggies super fast without worry but it wont cut anything else. lol. I wont part with it. oddly enough, my mom has a similar knife in her kitchen.
2.Magic Bullet! Love it.
3.Pampered chef stoneware baking sheet.
4. Crockpot
5. Tongs. I use to poke the crap out of my meats..not anymore.