Thursday, June 3, 2010

day trippin'


As the summer approaches my mind turns to summer essentials- the things that help to celebrate the bounty of the land. When I think of summer cooking my idea is to head outdoors and hit the road. Whether visiting rustic cabins, beach cottages or campground tents, the right cooking tools can make all the difference. Here is a list of some of the tools the will make a perfect travel kit for the makeshift kitchen. These tools are my must haves for any time or place.

1. Heavy Metals
Chefs knife- Don' t leave home with out this. A good knife is the single most important tool. I truly don't need anything else when it comes down to it. Without a good knife life is a slow misery. It is.

Metal Spatula- If you have ever had to flip pancakes with a soft, limp plastic or rubber spatula and did not grind your teeth in frustration, you are a far more patient person than I. ONLY metal spatulas will get the flipping job done with any degree of control. What about non-stick cookware? Just flip carefully.

Tongs- Another kitchen must-have for turning pieces of food in a pan or on the grill. It can handle hot temps and leave you cool!

Kitchen Shears- I love these little cuties for snipping herbs, trimming pie crusts, cutting grape stems, and other endless uses. I keep them in my back pocket when I take country walks to clip wildflowers for the table.

2. What good is a boat with out a paddle?

Wooden Spatulas- I just cannot cook with out these. To me they are the perfect tool for stirring things inside a pot. I have a stash of them in my home kitchen and always bring them on any cooking vacation.

Rubber Spatulas- I like the small ones that can fit into a mustard or mayo jar. Perfect for wiping out a bowl of batter or getting the last drop out of a pot. Perfect!

Spider- These can be found in Chinatown for about $5 - they come in all sizes. I use them for scooping vegetables out of the blanching pot or for cooked pasta when I want to reserve the cooking liquid. This tool is so efficient that once you use it you are hooked.

Wisk- gotta have it for scrambled eggs. Love it for taking the lumps out of a gravy or sauce, particularly mayonaise based sauces.
3. Infinite Zest
Zester- How did we ever live with out it? When this carpenters tool hit the American kitchen the universe shifted in a minor but persceptible way. It never met a citrus fruit it could not master and it does some seriuos work on a block of aged hard cheese.
Mandolin- These mini-mandolins are another Chinatown staple. Perfect for quick thin slices of vegetables to go into salads. Watch your fingers and use the hand guard.

4.Pound for Pound

Mortar and Pestle- I got this one at Ikea and it is grand! Heavy and solid, I can smash ginger and garlic cloves by hand to make a paste. Smashes up whole spices and nuts too.

Pepper Mill- this is the first kitchen tool I ever encountered. My parents had one they brought home from a trip to France. To me as a child it was the essence of sophistication and glamor. Now as a cook it is the source of freshly cracked pepper. Mills come in all sizes and colors of wood. I love the classic shape of this one.

5. Not essentials but nice to have

Instant read Thermometer, Corkscrew (what am I saying? That's essential!), vegetable peeler, serrated bread knife, reamer, fine mesh strainer

Ok, time to hit the road and get cooking!

1 comment:

  1. It really nice model that I saw in ur blogs.
    It good to see ur blogs...

    Kitchen Equipment


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