Clockwise from left: silicone tongs,
zester/grater, dough whisk,
offset spatula, silicone spatula,and silicone brush
I cannot say the same for a few other utensils in my kitchen.
Looking through my cupboards, drawers and hanging rail at all my gadgets for an article I was writing (it's for Don't Call Me Chef, this first one for 2011, and it will out in print on Jan 3), I noticed a few things that shouldn't be there. Now, I am not a hoarder – it just takes me a while to get rid of something. So out went the mechanically challenged ice cream scoop, the flimsy whisk and the stained Asian cloth coffee/tea strainer. I found an ugly little plastic basin, a rubber spatula without the handle (so basically, just the scraping part; useless) and some random lid (no idea what for). I put a Mason jar with a rusty lid with the rest of the discards, then decided to throw away only the top and keep the bottle.
|Large stainless steel deep skillet|
I do get new tools now and then, and there will probably be a few more additions this year. I admit, I am sometimes simply drawn to how pretty they look (for the Don't Call Me Chef article, my new – and pretty – ravioli mould and my old hand-cranked pasta machine are featured). But I make a lot of practical purchases too and I use these gadgets all the time. Like the white bowl at the top, my essential tools can be seen in these pictures.
Good rolling pins are essential, and I made two really good ones myself by sawing a thick wooden curtain rod into 75cm and 25cm lengths. I use the longer one for rolling out large pieces of dough and pastry (like the pasta dough The Thymes will feature this Monday – it's part of a pictorial guide on making pasta/ravioli without gadgets) and the shorter one for smaller items like chapatti and tortilla.
Oh, I forgot to put in a picture of my very useful work surface, but practically every picture appearing on Monday shows it. It is a marble top and it was the top of a side-table that belonged to an aunt of mine. I'm glad she didn't want that piece of furniture anymore. I use it for all my kneading and rolling out pastry, and it's so easy to clean. That plastic pastry scrapper below works hand in hand with it, and both of them omit the need to add too much extra flour to doughs and pastries.
People who know me know I am hopeless at deep-frying, and they may scold me for not using the candy/deep-fry thermometer that I obviously own. I only use it in candy-making. Perhaps one day I will try putting it in a pot of oil too.
|Top three: Rolling pins. Bottom row, from left: Candy/deep-fry thermometer; digital scale;|
and plastic pastry scraper
HAPPY NEW YEAR!