I watched “Julie & Julia” last night, a great inspirational movie for foodies who blog and bloggers who eat (I consider myself more the latter than the former, but that could change).
I was puttering around in my kitchen today and wondering if I could ever actually tackle the all-day cooking extravaganza (ordeal?) that is Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon, and whether that amazing mortar and pestle of hers would do anything to improve my cooking. Hm, maybe I should read her book first before I buy any more kitchen gadgets, since I have so many.
In the meantime, here are a few of those gadgets that have made my cooking life a little easier. This is not a free-advertising blog so I’m not going to include links to where you can buy these things, but with a little Googling of the words in bold, I’m sure you can find them.
First are Trudeau Silicone Multi-Use Tie Wraps. I found mine in a kitchen store so technically they’re a kitchen tool (safe for use with food), but I use them mostly for securing the charging cords for all my many, many electronic gadgets (have I mentioned how much I love gadgets?). They can also be used to close bags, truss chickens, secure a bouquet garni, and the like.
Next is my latest cool thing, a Stainless Steel Butter Slicer. I don’t like how the butter melts in the summer when it’s out on the counter, but also don’t like trying to carve off a pat from a well-chilled stick. This tool divides the whole stick into perfect pats in a flash.
Another handy silicone tool is the Fusionbrands Poach Pod. I enjoy a poached egg, but have never made anything but egg drop soup trying to cook them the traditional way. I’ve never even seen that done so I’m not sure I believe it can be done. Anyway, these little pods take away all the guesswork and make perfect eggs every time.
I have a couple of clever measuring tools that I don’t use a lot, but are very handy when I need them. The first is an Arrow Measuring Glass that is graduated in ounces, milliliters, teaspoons and tablespoons. It’s just helpful to be able to measure out the right amount all at once (especially when you’re doubling or tripling recipes and don’t want to lose track of how many Tbs or tsp you are supposed to add).
The other measuring device I like is the Mario Batali Measuring Prep Bowl Set. These are everything the name implies: measuring cups and prep bowls in one.
For short- or long-term food storage, I don’t think you can beat Snapware Glasslock Glass Storage Containers. Airtight containers go from fridge to freezer to microwave, and they don’t retain any food odors the way plastic can. I use them every day.
And finally, going back to silicone again, I just love these two tools, which I also use nearly every day. Two-part spatulas with removable heads can get pretty nasty in the pocket where the handle fits into the head, and I am happy not to have to worry about that with a one-piece unit. Both the spatula and the spoon are sturdy enough for heavy stirring, but of course they’re easy on the cookware. These are made by Orka and were a gift from my lovely and amazing foodie-chef-goddess sister. 🙂
Maybe I will buy Julia’s book and try one or two of the easier recipes. I’m sure I have enough gadgets to get the job done.