My first ever top 5 post was on the Kitchen Gadgets I thought I might need. Since writing that in January I have actually acquired 2 of them – a microplane and a salad spinner. Thank you to everyone who recommended them as I love both. This weeks Top 5 is about things I actually own – my favourite utensils. The rules are: it has to be a manual device and it has to have a kitchen gardening related use so as much as I love my food processor and my eggbeater they were ineligible- the food processor because it electric and the eggbeater because we don’t yet have any chooks.
So what did make my Top 5? These indispensible items did:
1. Spoons – Where would we be without the good old wooden spoon? Or without a serving spoon? A slotted spoon? A soup ladle? Spoons are incredibly useful when you think about it. How cool is it that Simply Self-Sufficiency makes her own?
2. Graters – I use graters a lot, my current favourite being my newly purchased microplane, but I also use conventional graters as well as a small plastic one my mum got for me in Vietnam which produces those longs shreds of carrot. Really useful. The main things I use graters for is: zest, cheese, carrot, ginger and garlic (when making curry if I’ve got the grater out for the ginger I just grate the garlic cloves as well). Given there are very few meals that I cook that don’t use zest, cheese, carrot, ginger or garlic I find that I use a grater most days.
3. Juicer – I love my little silver juicer. Yes I know I could strain lemon pips out with my hands like Jamie Oliver but it gets juice all over them and then you’ve got to wash them and that involves getting the water temperature right (or be left with cold and clammy hands) and all in all it just seems so much easier to just get out the juicer and get on with it. I use it for all types of citrus and I like citrus, my usual salad dressing uses lemon juice as its acid, so I use my juicer a lot.
4. Strainers – I am a big fan of strainers and colanders. I love how useful they can be. Anything boiled goes in the colander. Any stocks go through the strainer. I find the fine mesh ones the best for straining things like stock (although I’m not super particular about getting every little impurity out). Teas go through the little one, so does gravy which I seem incapable of making without lumps in it.
5. Garlic press – Garlic presses seem a little bit out of fashion at the moment. There was a time when every recipe you read called for crushed garlic but now its more likely to be chopped. I do actually chop a lot of my garlic and indeed grate it as I mentioned above, but where a really good solid garlic press comes into its own is when you’ve got lots of tiny little garlic cloves. I do find I often grow garlic heads with a fair few small cloves (although this year WILL be different….) and rather than skinning them completely, which is really fiddly if they’re small, I just top and tail them and put them in the press with the skin on. You have to have a really good solid press to do this – it would break a lot of the flimsier presses but if you’ve got a decent press it should work fine and give you lovely crushed garlic without having to peel the cloves. As Jamie would say Result!
And that is this weeks Top 5. Have I made any glaring omissions? What would you not be without in your kitchen? Already I’m thinking maybe I should have included my morter pestle and my….and my…..and my…..
While you’re in the mood for Top 5s head on over to see what the New Good Life has for us this week.