A long time ago I got an idea to write a post about my favorite tools in the kitchen, but it slipped my mind until my mom took this photo of me cooking on Easter. This is a neat way to talk about my cooking style and I’d love to hear about your favorite items, too!
- Dutch Oven– My oval, blue, enameled cast iron Le Creuset “French Oven” was a gift from Ed’s mom for my birthday years ago. I use it for so many different recipes almost every day. I like to cook bacon in it, as I’m doing in the picture above, because it keeps the grease from splattering all over the place. Tonight, I made arroz con pollo in it, and I use it for roasted chicken, pork roast, pot roast, stew, soup, macaroni and cheese, paella, pasta sauce, meatballs, scalloped potatoes, casseroles, and many more recipes that I can’t think of right now. So many of my recipes begin “In a large Dutch oven…” I love that it can go in the oven or on the stove top, and that I can pop the lid on and stick in the fridge, then put it right in the oven to warm up. I’d love to get another bigger one sometime in the future, but I know this one will always be my favorite.
- Chef’s Knife– Back when we first started dating, Ed gave me a set of Wüsthof knives. I use the big chef’s knife everyday. Whether it’s mincing garlic, chopping onions or herbs, slicing carrots, cutting up a chicken, or even slicing homemade pizza. In a pinch, I’ve even used it to peel apples (when the paring knife was dirty) and it’s great for slicing through tough winter squash or pumpkin. It’s also top choice for serving cake or ice cream cake. I used to be afraid to use such a big knife, but I’ve never cut myself with it (now I probably will) although I’ve come close and chopped my fingernail right off once, but that was back in the days when I actually had nice, long nails!
- Large Mixing Bowl– I have a few big bowls, but I use the same stainless steel one all the time. I use it to make salads, mix dough and let it rise, mix pancake, cake, brownie batter, marinate meats, or even fill it with water and use it to speed up the thawing process when I’ve forgotten to take something out of the freezer. I don’t remember where I got this bowl but I’ve had it for a long time and use it all the time.
- Wooden Spoons– It seems like every cook knows the value of wooden spoons. I’ve got quite a few of them and I’m constantly using them all day long. I think I could probably get by in the kitchen if they were the only utensil I had. In the photo above, I’m using one to stir scrambled eggs.
- Homemade Apron– I think for a lot of women, the apron is a symbol of oppression, of being stuck in a kitchen. However, I think aprons are beautiful and they remind me of my family’s matriarchs. To me, aprons symbolize self-sufficiency and taking care of your family, and I wear mine as much for the pretty style as for function. I made my apron about a year ago, and I’m eyeing patterns from MaryJane’s Farm Stitching Room for future creations.
There are other things I love, too, like a great big cutting board, tongs, pie pans, a scallop baking dish, or my great-grandmother’s biscuit cutter, but the five above are my favorites. I’d love to hear about your favorites! Either leave a comment or write a post, but don’t forget to leave a link here!