All hail my indispensable kitchen companions
In an age where the Thermomix reigns supreme, I could quite possibly be the solitary voice in the wilderness valiantly championing kitchen implements that don't require electricity to function. But while your magic machine may slice, dice, cook, bake bread and make soup for you, I'd rather cling to my archaic ways. And it's not just because I'm stubborn, but also because I cherish the sanctity of performing my tasks by hand, and imagine—perhaps unrealistically, but I'll never know, will I—that the food tastes immeasurably better. Herewith my indispensable companions in the kitchen, which are as vital to my culinary adventures as Tonto is to the Lone Ranger.
More than just an implement to open bags of chips, a good pair of scissors will go a long way towards championing your bid to becoming the next Masterchef. Your scissors will save you time chopping pesky herbs, while concurrently acting as an effective knife replacement for cutting spring onions and other vegetables as well as trimming fat off meat, and snipping off bacon edges to prevent them from curling.
Ah, tongs. If you could have a third arm, you'd want it to be a pair of tongs. Not only can it do so much more, it also has the added merit—like Robocop—of withstanding extreme heat. To wit: use your tongs to turn meat in the oven, pick up ice cubes, toss the salad, retrieve objects from places your hands refuse to venture, and cook, toss, and serve freshly cooked pasta.
Flexible chopping board
Make the flexible plastic chopping board your new best friend. It's lightweight and easy to wash, and also doubles as a funnel, thereby guaranteeing minimum spillage in the crucial transfer of chopped ingredients from board to frying pan.
Useful for so much more than just spreading icing on the cake, the spatula—and make it silicon, thanks—will also ensure you never waste any more food that you're cooking. Not only will it scrape out every last drop of sambal from the blender, it will also leave not a drop of soup in the pot in which it was just cooked.
Before you raise your eyebrows, understand that the egg slicer, like the oft-mocked bidet, has many hidden uses. With its assistance, you'll enjoy perfectly sliced hard-boiled eggs henceforth, and also suddenly acquire the skill to efficaciously cut mushrooms, soft fruits like kiwi and strawberries, olives, and soft cheese with not a modicum of fuss or injury incurred.
Like the Plain Jane who's begging to be loved, your ice trays will work doubly hard for you once you deign to show them some attention. Fill them with leftover wine, homemade stock, or juice, and store them in freezer bags once frozen to be called upon for duty at any given time.
Sure, it conjures images of little old ladies in terry-towelling robes, but the crockpot—whilst not glamorous—is abundantly useful, especially when schedules are a consideration. You'll save time (just pop everything in and leave it to work its magic), electricity, reduce wastage (transform less desirable cuts of meat and vegetables into soup/stew ingredients), and boost your health (less oil used = healthy tickers), all without even breaking a sweat.
With the exception of the singularly unprepossessing crockpot, most of the utensils you own should also look good. With that in mind, you should make a beeline pronto to Joseph and Joseph for their handsome and immensely useful kitchen tools.
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- Image: iStock
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