Friday, January 17, 2014

Favorite Friday

I've decided to start a feature called Favorite Friday, to showcase some of my and my friends' favorite things, so you can find some cool and interesting stuff!  It won't be regular right away since I need to get my blog back on course after the 21DSD, but I did want to post this tonight instead of my Day 12 musings (those will come tomorrow!) for a change of pace.  So here goes - some of my favorite not so average kitchen things!

My mom recently bought this for me and at first I was like "Oh it's another one use thing that does something I can already do."  I'm against buys that only have one use, it's a waste of money and frequently impractical.  For an example of a stupid kitchen buy:

The "Banana Slicer."
Seriously?? WHY on Earth would you buy something this stupid?  A) you can use a knife, even a butter knife, to slice a banana, and B) this has only one, very specific use and only if your banana fits in the stupid thing a.k.a. it's a total waste of your money.  I follow Alton Brown's theory that - with very rare exception - you shouldn't buy a kitchen utensil/device/gadget/whatever if it can only perform one task.  Further, don't buy a device that can do something that you can accomplish better with your basic kitchen tools.  So with this garlic thing, I was skeptical.  

But it works on garlic, ginger, small firm peppers - and it minces them really easily.  If you keep turning it, you'll get a result like if you used a garlic press, but with zero waste and easier clean up.  So it's like a better garlic press.  It's phenomenal and super easy to use and clean.  I really hate getting that sticky garlic residue on my fingers and knife when I'm mincing and have more stuff to chop after so this does add convenience.  I also hate the waste that happens when I use a garlic press.  So do you absolutely need it?  Nah.  But if you are mincing garlic/ginger on a regular basis (like me) it's pretty nice. 

It does take up a little space, but if you want to stick to a healthier diet that is woefully void of pasta, noodles, and curly fries, meet your new best friend:

I've already talked about this and used it here so check it out.  This baby can lead to so many recipes that there is actually a blog dedicated to spiralizer recipes.  I can't make this stuff up. 

Flirty Aprons

I have three, I admit, and it might be turning into an addiction.  But when you're cooking a lot you're likely going to get splattered with something eventually (one time I sloshed a bunch of boiling hot butter on me...) so having an apron is pretty important when you're kitchen-ing.  But having a CUTE apron is more fun.  These all have pockets too should you need them.  And for the bustier gals *coughmecough* they do cover you pretty darn good.

Pretty sure we can all agree on this assessment.  Way cuter.  It's ok to be feminine!  But, if that's not how you roll and you want a clean, utilitarian sort of look, this might just fit the bill:

Alton Brown being awesome as usual.
You can get this beast here.  I'll probably get one for P soon.  And one for me, not for cooking but for painting in.  Either way, having a good, thick apron is important unless you have some clothes you like grease stains on or blood (I once sliced the tip off a finger, see below) or whatever.

A Mandolin Slicer

I have a love-hate relationship with this slicer.  Basically if you know anything about mandolins you know they are a VERY DANGEROUS kitchen tool.  The slicing blade is extremely sharp and if you're not paying attention you can and will amputate something. And then you'll end up like this:

Yup, that's me. Yup I sliced the tip off my long finger a.k.a. my middle finger.  I've had kidney stones and the pain from this was on par.  I had to have surgery to graft skin onto my finger tip, lots of follow-ups for various continuing treatments, physical therapy, and now I have a finger tip that, while my surgeon was amazing and made it look really good, does not feel good.  The nerve damage will take a year and a half to heal, if it heals at all.  It's no fun if I whack my finger on something, sometimes it's hard to carry heavy things when I need a firm grip, I hate cutting my nails because just the pressure of the nail clipper on my finger feels awful, to name just a few un-fun things.  That being said I used my mandolin improperly - without the safety features.  I couldn't get the safety handle to work the first time I used it so I said to hell with it and did it like professional chefs do - sans a safety of any kind.  And this is what happened.  Did I mention that I'm exceptionally clumsy and accident prone?  Yeah.

I finally got around to using my mandolin again for Thanksgiving.  This time, I took the time to figure out the safety handle, and it worked beautifully.

Mine is black instead of this fun red color but I love it.  I can't wait to use it more because the results were great, and the safety features definitely do keep amateurs like me SAFE.  My sister got me cut-resistant gloves for Christmas just as an extra precaution.  I haven't tested them out yet, but I'm pretty sure P wishes I wore them 24/7.

Lastly, My All Time Favorite Kitchen Thing

A sharp chef's knife.  Buy yourself one and bask in the wonderfulness that is being able to prepare foods with ease.  You won't regret it.  There are different price points, I'd start with a cheaper one (not dirt cheap you know just not in the triple digits) until you get an idea of what weight you prefer, what kind of grip you prefer (there's wood, resin, squishy stuff, all sorts), how big a grip you prefer (if you're a guy you'd probably prefer Wusthof over Shun knives for example).  And never ever ever ever ever dish wash your knives.  Just don't do it!!! 

No comments:

Post a Comment