I believe very strongly in being able to do things with a minimal amount of equipment, but there are a few things I still sigh for… I really need to start trolling yard sales…
- An electric mixer. Be it stand or hand, goodness gracious I need one. My baking options are sorely limited because I don’t have the arm power to cream butter and sugar by hand! This is my number 1 longing!
- Loaf pans. Why don’t I have any?! I think my roommates always had them. I’ve had to make banana bread in a round cake tin for the past four years.
- Muffin/cupcake tins. I have one 6-cup that I received in college (thanks, Paula!) but would like a larger one that holds a dozen. Call me silly but I worry about the quickbread dough sitting out while one batch is baking — I don’t want my babies to be tough because of excess gluten formation!
- Nesting stainless steel bowls. Right now I have one mixing bowl, which is actually a beautiful basket-weave ceramic serving bowl I got at an outlet for $1. It is also currently serving as “fruit bowl no. 2” due to our massive produce purchases of late… I did have a big plastic popcorn bowl I was using as a mixing bowl but that has been living at Jarlos’s for, oh, six months now. I suspect I have to pay ransom to get it back 😉
- Food processer. I hear these make life easy.
- Blender. My mom has the king of blenders, and we love it so much that she brings the blender to parties at other friends’ homes to mix up post-feast smoothies. No joke.
- Mandoline. I tried slicing beets thinly a few weeks ago. In one word: laughable.
While I’m at it, here are some of my favorite kitchen things:
- Mini spatulas (and spatulas in general). This little buddy (actually a “mini spoonula” due to the curved spoon shape) gets all the good stuff out of my cans, packages, etc. Especially recommend for those frugalistas out there.
- Good knives. Really all you need is a chef’s knife and a paring knife. I have a huge Chinese cleaver that I left in Iowa and kind of miss.
- A way to sharpen your knives. Whetstone or sharpening stick, both are great. I don’t trust a chef who doesn’t keep their knives sharp.
- Pyrex measuring cup. The old favorite for liquids and microwaving.
- An 8″ frying pan. Perfect for eggs, my favorite food.
Things I don’t think you need:
- Rice cooker. Just learn to make it on the stove, unless you eat a lot of rice. Although Rowena recently posted about how much she loves hers for quick meals — there definitely are other things you can make in a rice cooker. 🙂
And off the top of my head, a few wishful splurges:
- Any of these books. Oh, Bittman.
- Heritage bundt pan. I love bundt cakes and this one’s graceful lines take the cake (haha)
- Silpat silicon liners. Nonstick to the rescue.
- A Le Cruset Dutch Oven. A definite investment piece, but a useful workhorse.
- Vic Firth Gourmet pepper grinders. The former timpanist for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, he built his own percussion empire selling drumsticks, and eventually expanded into turning wood for some gorgeous, gorgeous pepper mills. My mill is still going strong, but when it kicks the bucket, I’d love to have a VFG in my kitchen.
How about you? What are some things you can’t live without, some things you dream of, and some things you think are silly? I’d love to hear!