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Kitchen gadgets

Warning: this post is for foodies only, because it includes unadulterated kitchen gadget lust.

Yesterday, I got the chance to use the Cooks' Warehouse gift certificate that lexmaniac gave me for my birthday, and I had quite a lot of fun. Mind you, turning me loose in a kitchen gadget store is rather like giving a drug addict access to a pharmacy, but I did manage to limit myself to the following:

I know that the Coeur a la Creme mold is a single-purpose indulgence, but I've wanted one for so long, and I was tremendously excited that they had one in stock. I'm also beaming about the cheese knife. We do like our cheese, and it will be nice not to have to peel cheese slices off the blade (often breaking them in the process).

My remaining desired kitchen tools include a bagel slicer (I don't like the guillotine kind: they mush the bagels), a popcorn popper (I'm tired of microwave popcorn: I miss the real stuff, and I've heard good things about the Whirley Pop), a plastic squeeze bottle (to keep simple syrup handy), an Asian meat cleaver, a mezzaluna (with bowl), an F. Dick offset serrated knife, a really good knife sharpener, possibly an Ulu, a pie chain, a pressure cooker, and a Kershaw Shun santoku knife (I want a full-on knife class before I get that, though. The edge is seriously sharp, and I don't want to remove a finger). Someday in the distant future, I may eventually replace my Henckels with best-quality Wusthof or MAC.

I'll admit that some of these things are single-purpose, but it's not like I'm going out and buying dust collectors like Hummel figurines or something. Nope, this stuff isn't decorative: no matter how tarted-up cooking gets, these things are technically in the service of a basic human function. I'll admit that I like the gourmet trappings, the sensual hedonism of a perfectly prepared and composed plate, but I'm also drawn to the homey appeal of basic comfort food.

Hmm, that last paragraph sounds a little defensive. Right. Just because I have an Amazon wish list entirely dedicated to cooking doesn't mean I have a problem ... :) What can I say? I'm passionate about it.

Need house with large kitchen. Have deep-seated urge to cook wonderful things and feed people.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 9th, 2006 03:27 am (UTC)
Hmm, that last paragraph sounds a little defensive. Right. Just because I have an Amazon wish list entirely dedicated to cooking doesn't mean I have a problem ... :) What can I say? I'm passionate about it.

That is a really great idea!

Here is something I've been needing. I want to get rid of the cheap one I have. http://tinyurl.com/fl4un
Aug. 9th, 2006 04:16 am (UTC)
I really love the idea of mandolines, but I have a friend who's a pro and who is far more graceful than I am. The steel wool gloves or whatever protection she was supposed to be wearing weren't where they were supposed to be, or someone else was wearing them, or something ... anyway, she wasn't wearing them and was pressed for time -- the dinner crowd was coming into the restaurant -- and nipped the tip of her finger off with one of those. They're neat, but I'm afraid of sacrificing body parts to them. :)
Aug. 9th, 2006 12:12 pm (UTC)
I did something similar to my index finger, it was a terrrible gash. It has taken ages for it to fade. I thought I was going to lose part of my finger for awhile. I did this with a with a French chef's knife. I already have a mandolin that isn't as sharp and I have almost had accidents because of that. So a dull blade and bad equipment could be dangerous too. I've also grated my knuckles a time or too. So I think it is more a matter of safety precautions and I will be very cautious.
Aug. 9th, 2006 06:23 pm (UTC)
I always wanted to have one of those huge open plan kitchens leading out to a herb garden with all the condiments, pots and pans (copper) etc that you can dream of.. and of course a wine cellar. Ha Ha I know that won't happen but I enjoyed your post as it seems you are growing closer...
I enjoy reading about food and foodie-things very much even though I am by no means an excellent cook. I read cookbooks and collect them quite voraciously which means I ought to be an extraordinary cook. Are you by chance watching Hells Kitchen? I like how they talk about cultivating a pallet. I think I have acheived this especially as I ate very well as a child, mostly kids now are drowning out their taste buds with overly chemical/sweet and salted foods.
I like other countries attitudes to eating and food. I think food can be not only incredibly sexy but a real life-giving experience in the process and making and consuming of food and it is this production that we should value more, rather than the consumption alone (ie; stuffing our faces) because how we eat is how we digest and how we take from the food and it's all so connected it's fascinating. Thanks for this post.
Aug. 9th, 2006 10:50 pm (UTC)
I dream of such a kitchen, and an herb garden, too. Wine cellars are becoming the new "in" addition for a house, but I think we'll get by just fine with our wine fridge for now.

I enjoy reading cookbooks for pleasure. I haven't tuned in to Hell's Kitchen; seeing a professional abuse and berate underlings isn't something that appeals to me. I prefer the friendly instructional tone of some of the Food Network's programming.

However, I can agree with the importance of educating one's palate, and certainly concur with your point about the process being an important part of the consumption.

I only know a little bit about the Slow Food movement (I first heard about it back in '99 or so), but I think I'd like to subscribe to their magazine once we get a permanent residence. They seem to have an appreciation for the natural origination and preparation of food.
Aug. 10th, 2006 12:55 am (UTC)
I've always wanted to mandoline since Nigella always chops with it. I dunno - looks fun. Some great purchases going on!
Aug. 10th, 2006 01:15 am (UTC)
Hey, you! Good to see ya. As for Nigella, she makes just about everything look fun, bless her little hedonistic heart. :)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )


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