Kitchen Tools

It is often said that it is a poor carpenter who complains of his tools - but then, we are not doing carpentry work here, are we?

Then again, is was our dearly departed Scotty who often said, "The rrright tool for the rrright job!". He was a practical man after my own heart.

I will assume that you already know about a good collection of heavy bottomed stainless steel pots of a variety of sizes, with pot lids that actually fit properly, as well as a similar set of wider sauce pans that may or may not have properly fitting covers. At least one slotted spoon, an array of wooden spoons and a collection of various kinds of spatulas, knives, spoons and forks, at least one pair of tongs, colanders, strainers, can opener and "church key", a baster and roasting pan, at least one.

What you do already have in your kitchen will undoubtedly already fill a good number of pages if listed, surprising even yourself.

EVERY kitchen has small "junk drawer", so list the contents of that also. This is all the stuff your mom, and probably your grandmother had, and used regularly. Let us not forget the collection of well seasoned cast iron skillets of all sizes, and the little butter pots, at least one "double boiler" (to the French, a Baine Marie), an assortment of whisks. Spring form baking pans. Old style Corning Ware, actually made from pyroceram (you can't hardly get this no more, since for some inexplicable reason they are not made no more: what is called "Corning ware" is now simply stoneware). Any "Le Creuset" fry pans you can lay your hands on; these are wonderful, but rather expensive. Amazingly, they still exist!

Avoid ANYTHING that is "Made in China". This crap is so bad, that you most often have to open the box and look at some hidden microscopic adhesive tag to know that it is true. Do not make the mistake (if you are even old enough to do so) that the once resplendant Chinese culture is anything like it is now, nor that it has anything to do with current Japanese culture. China, as the US, is now a land of criminals; that will be its ultimate economic downfall.

Unless you have just landed from some other planet, you already have a good basis of tools for any good kitchen, some of which which remind you of your grandma, because she used it - including that four sided grater that grated hard cheeses for pasta, and grated potatoes down to her old knuckles for your potato pancakes, sliced them for scalloped potatoes.

The list is amazingly long, and I am not going to recreate what you youself can easily itemize yourself.

The appropriate babblings, hommages, and obeisences to the obvious having been done, we can move on to more ancient, modern and esoteric items for our modern US International Kitchen, where TSC has a number of opinions based on experience with some of these items. Some of TSC's opinions are less than gracious.

   Esoteric/Mundane Cordless Stuff

   A large copper bowl and ballon whisk for merangues
	   when you need the very best
   wine bottle opener
   garlic press
   small nutmeg grater
   egg slicer
   cheese server
   cheese "garrot"
   food mill
   mezzaluna with matching wooden bowl
   small mortar and pestle for spices, herbs, salts and sugars
   large mortar and pestle for pestos and Thai curry pastes
   molcajete and tejolote (Basalt!)
   a comal, or good sized iron griddle
   fender mallet
   needle nose pliers
   awl or ice pick
   poultry shears
   meat/poultry "hack saw"
   propane torch
   zesters, one or twp from Microplane
   spabhetti claw
   heavy, sharp cleaver
   pizza cutter
   mandoline (Bron)
   good spätzle maker
   good pasta maker
   bamboo green tea whisk
   bamboo skewers
   collection of bamboo chopsticks (Chinese, Japanese and Korean styles)
   small number of large "cooking chopsticks"
   at least one bamboo steamer, better, 3-4 of them
   an oven thermometer
   thermometers for your refrigerators (36°F) and freezers ()
   modern meat thermometer
   candy thermometer
   one double boiler, at least, if one, a quart+ size
   set of good sharp knives
   set of strainers
   set of funnels
   set of whisks
   set of measuring spoons and cups, at least one
   foot ruler with English and metric
   good kitchen scale measuring up to 5-10 pounds
   hand citrus juicer
   large wooden salad bowl - go for teak wood

   kitchen twine
   kitchen parchment
   aluminum foil
   plastic wrap
   waxed paper

	Not so cordless devices

   good electric knife sharpener (EdgeCraft)
   K-5 mixer, with all the attachments you need
   rotary beater hand held mixer
   large food proccessor
   small food proccessor
   good blender
   good immersion blender (more labor serving than you might imagine)
   microwave oven, at least one
   convection oven, dessicator
   spice grinder (Sumeet)
   food grinder
   rice maker (magnetic induction, Zojirushi, made in Japan, not China)
   good bread maker (Zojurushi)
   slow cooker, at least one
   deep fryer, with thermostat
   electric fry pan (at least one)

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September 29, 2007
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