Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Tools...serious and otherwise
Some things are really "musts" if you get serious about cooking creatively. If you are cooking for one or two, you really need to check out stuff that will make this task easier!
I have two big marble slabs that are the best things on earth for rolling out pastry, since they stay cool. You can get one pretty cheaply (usually around 6 bucks) at home-supply stores like Lowe's and Home Depot, instead of buying one thru one of those fancy-schmanzy kitchen-equipment places.
I got a marble rolling-pin recently, but am saving it to cold-press linen, altho that might land in the "use it in the kitchen" soon. I've found that I just don't weave with linen much, preferring the linen-cotton blends. The temptation to use it in the kitchen is just too, too much. I have a wonderful old wooden pin that I love...next best thing. I got mine from amazon.com
A small food processor is also a great thing for doing small amts of foods. The big one is kind of overkill and a lot more cleaning-effort involved. My little "Black and Decker" is old as the hills, but, I think it's still available. Pretty much a one-note pony, but it will do the job on most stuff.
If you are a coffee-lover, a burr-grinder is the nicest thing you can do for yourself! They don't generate heat while grinding, meaning that the oils in the coffee-beans aren't affected. I got the "Kitchen Aid" for the "cute factor......it's made to look like the classic Kitchen Aid mixers!
At some point, a conversation about pasta makers. I have the attachment for my KA mixer, but have yet to try it. I ended up with a lot of packaged pasta and am trying to use it up. Just about there!!!
Oh, yeah, if you feel like it and have the funds, a Kitchen Aid stand mixer is the ultimate treat for you and your kitchen! I am devoted to mine! I had gotten a GE knockoff ages ago, but NOTHING comes up to the Kitchen Aid!!!
Lastly, a Krupps egg-cooker! If you love soft-boiled or poached eggs, and want them perfect every time without having to hover, these are wonderful little gadgets!
I try to stick with Krups and Black and Decker. Krups' customer service amazed me a couple of years ago when I realized that the carafe from my little 4-cup drip-brewer was MIA following a move. They had made this up about 20 years ago for a "Gevalia" promotion, and I despaired of replacing it, as I did not see anything CLOSE to that model on their website. I called them nevertheless and asked, and, much to my delight and astonishment, they said that, oh, yes, they still provided the parts for that model! This is HIGHLY unusual, to me, anyway, having had companies respond differently about models of their products that were as little as five years out of production. Any company that supports anything they ever sold HAS to be terrific. I've had similar service with Black and Decker.