no, i am not fond of brown paper packages tied up with string. because i can't ever get the damn string off without scissors, and i can never find the damn scissors when i need them.
I didn’t watch Hell’s Kitchen last night, so don’t tell me what happened.
however, today i want to share with you a few of my favorite kitchen-related things:
Suede oven mitts
A weird thing to get excited about, i know. But trust me, these babies are fantastic. They don’t conduct heat at all and they’re honestly and truly machine washable. At first i tried to be really careful not to get any food on them because, well, they’re suede. and i kept thinking about how in the early 80s my mom worked for a leather goods clothes store in Paris and she would try like hell not to stain her suede pants. but when you’re reaching into a 450 degree oven, that’s kind of hard not to do. And i was very skeptical about tossing them in the wash. But no, they didn't dry hard as a rock, as you’d think. They came out just as floppy and fantastic as they did when they went in, albeit a whole lot cleaner. I originally gave two of these to the boy for Christmas and upon opening the box, he said, “Oh. Oven mitts”, and he too was skeptical, until he used them. I have since given some to my dad and to my friend Charles and they too had the same initial impression, but since then love them.
I love these bags! And they’re really roomy. However, the baggers at my local Publix cannot make heads or tails of them. They seem perplexed when i ask them to use my bags instead of their plastic. Mrs B says it’s because at Grocery Bagging School, baggers are taught not to bag certain grocery items together; but they’re my damn bags and i want them filled. I think it’s because we live in the ‘burbs and "environmentally friendly" hasn’t caught on here like it has in my parents’ Northern California neighborhood where complete strangers walk up to you while you’re strolling down the street, get in your face, and demand that you put your cigarette out (this happened to my aunt more than once. Her response was to blow smoke right in their faces. I’m an avid non-smoker but i totally sided with her on this). I think i’m going to get my dad some of these bags for Christmas, although i might go with the smaller Acme bags from this site for him.
Lock & Lock
They sell these at the Super H. actually, i would never have bought any had Mrs B not bought some first and raved about how wonderful they were. So i bought one in a good size (enough for 2 cups worth of fruit salad) and the boy just didn’t understand. he said he couldn't warrant paying that much for a tupperware-type container, he’d just rather stick with Gladware, and what makes them so great anyway? Then he took it to work one day loaded with fruit salad and somehow during the morning it fell right smack onto the floor and he was amazed that the lid didn't come flying off. Since then, he’s a convert. And we have many Lock Locks in many sizes (we call them Lock Locks. Lock AND Lock is just too darn long to spit out. Yeah, i’m lazy).
Cuisinart coffee maker
Another weird thing to get excited about, i know. But you would understand if you knew the track record the boy and i have with coffee makers. We have gone through so many of them over the years (approximately 8 or so), and they all failed. Most of the ones we’ve had in the past leaked water all over the place, or had great design yet when you went to pour a cup, you would get coffee all over the counter instead of in your cup. We had years of horrible coffee makers, and some of them were really pricey. Finally we plopped down some of our Macy's store credit from registering there for our wedding and got the Cuisinart one in the link above; we have not had an issue with it since. If i don’t have to think about how horrible my coffee maker is, then it’s a good day.
Nigella Lawson’s whisk
Years ago i was watching Nigella Bites on the Style Channel and i saw her using a tiny whisk, so i spent a good few hours one day searching for a similar whisk on the innernets and found one on some French website. I used it for years and then one day it wasn't in the kitchen drawer anymore... so i asked the boy where it was and he said it was in his knife bag, that he’d been using it at work. I couldn't remember where i originally bought it, but saw that Nigella now has her own line of kitchen stuff out there and makes her own whisk with a molded plastic handle, so i bought one to replace the one that was pilfered. This thing is great because it gets rid of ALL lumps. And sometimes you just don't need to haul out the big whisk to whisk up a couple of egg yolks for custard. Ya know?
I have more loves, and i could spend the rest of the morning yammering on about them, but i won’t. cos that would be boring.
What are some of your favorite indispensable kitchen-related gear?