Thursday, August 22, 2013

Funny thing.....

Funny thing, you open this post up and you get a blank page. It has nothing on it. Zilch, nada, a white screen.

I think that a trick to making good food from scratch is having the right tools. Unlike food that is a never ending expenditure, good tools are bought once and kept a lifetime if you buy quality. It is a gradual process. Remember, it doesn't have to happen one day. Hit a few estate sales and moving sales. We have an aging population and people move into assisted living. This doesn't mean you have to fill your kitchen. There are a few tools that can make your kitchen life easy.

10 things I can't live without in the kitchen

1) a good paring knife that fits YOUR hand comfortably.

2) a good butcher knife

3) a meat grinder. --either a metal one like our grandmothers used, or an attach,emt to a kitchen aid mixer.

4) a micro plane.

5) a good graduated set of mixing bowls

6) a good colander, my go to one is a stainless steel one that has a handle on it.

7) a slow cooker.

8) a food processor.

9) a meat thermometer that has a probe. The probe goes on your meat, and the base unit stays outside the oven.

10) a few good pans: large and small frying pans, stockpot, and a 3-4 quart steamer pot.

This list doesn't include the small everyday tools like can opener, spatulas, potato peeler etc; but , rather, the things that you buy once in your lifetime. If you take care of the,they will last you your lifetime.
I did have to replace my food processor, because the plastic cover broke and there were no replacement parts.someone called that planned obsolete.

A couple of good knives that balance in YOUR hand are essential. The wrong knife can cause you to cut yourself.

A meat grinder will save the cost of it many times over. The kind our grandmothers used are an inexpensive investment. In fact, my husband sold one the other day to a sausage maker.He said he couldn't get the right kind of a chop with the big industrial ones.

A micro plane grates cheese really fine for melting and grates Parmesan cheese-- or other hard cheeses.
Fresh hard cheese is a much better alternative to buying it on a box that probably has chemicals to keep it from clumping.

Mixing bowls and a good colander is a no Brainer. Using the colander to defat your meat is a good idea. When making any baked bakery product, you need to mix your wet ingredients and dry ingredients separately. And gently fold together. AT least,that works best with quick breads and pancakes etc. you don't want to develop the gluten and make it tough.

The slow cooker can be your best friend in the kitchen. You can make everything from appetizers to desert on it and pretty much load it and forget it. There is something very therapeutic about coming home from a hard day and having
Dinner done !

A good food processor is indispensable in the kitchen. Grate your own cheese, make pizza crust, breadcrumbs, chop meat, throw together a cake or brownies, chop veggies for salsa. The list could go on and on. It saves time and money.

I can't live without a probe thermometer. I wish I could find a better quality one than the one I have. It takes almost no time to put a chicken or roast on the oven and program the thermometer and walk away to do other thongs around the house. It buzzes at you when it's done and continues to take the temperature of the food you are cooking.
I usually back it up with an instant read thermometer.

It goes without saying, that a few good pans will service you well. Besides thenobvious, A large frying pan and a large stockpot will make stock and help you to batch cook. A steamer pot does veggies and and more.

Investing in a few good tools can set you up for a lifetime. It doesn't have to happen overnight;one thing at a time.

My sister told me one time that she couldn't afford to buy a K-Mart dress. It took me a while to understand such a profound statement. I was 20 at the time. You are much better off buying quality and buying classic styles that will last. I guess she was saying less is more.

Thanks for stopping by.

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