In all of our kitchens, we have cupboards, shelves, counters, pantries, and drawers filled with tools and equipment that we feel are essential to successful cooking. Some get used more than others (bread maker, anyone?).
From smokers, pasta rollers, egg slicers, and lean mean grilling machines, to grandma's cast iron pan and a $90 pepper mill, what tool or small appliance is a must-have in your kitchen and why?
Is it practical? Does it have sentimental value? Was it in an incredible bargain?
This is an incredibly hard list for me to narrow down because I have so many tools that I use for different purposes. I wouldn't give up my jar-lifter or rasp, but I don't use those everyday. If I had choose my most used/ most practical tools, two stand out: my Kitchen Aid and my turning knives (I have three).
The Kitchen Aid isn't essential, but certainly is a time saver when it comes to kneading dough, whipping meringues or creaming butter. I guess that's why they call it a 'kitchen aid'. Turning knives - or birds beak knives because of the curved tip - are meant for 'turning' vegetables (tourné in French) into barrel-shaped oblong pieces. I use them for so many other purposes though and that's why they are my favourite tool. I use one to cut around the inside of baking pans to ensure my cakes and tarts don't stick to the sides, cut the browned ends off vegetables, remove stems and cores from tomatoes, poke carrots to see if they are tender, peel apples or use anywhere else a little blade is required. At $6 a piece, the price is right. Like I said, I have three.
I have one more favourite in the kitchen and this applies especially to bakers: parchment paper. Not wax paper, butcher paper, or aluminum foil but the one and only parchment paper. The other papers have their uses, but if you want to guarantee non-sticking, use parchment paper to line cake pans or baking sheets.
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