Wednesday, September 5, 2007

New Favorite Thing

Favorites…we all have them. Remember playing the “favorites” game as a child? Name your favorite color, song, cake, movie, or vacation. I still love doing it. What a great way to get to know someone, in a childish sort of way.

Being a kitchen keeper and spending a large percentage of my time there, I have lots of favorite kitchen items. Things I cannot live without. Things I’ve learned about over the last forty years that save me time, money, and energy. I have learned to buy good quality, once, and then it isn’t necessary to replace them over and over. No plastic measuring cups and spoons for me. I don’t even like plastic handles. Here’s a short list of a few favorite kitchen things. I’d like to know about yours,too.

Rubber spatula – who can cook without one? Anyone can, but isn’t it awfully messy? I like to be thrifty in the kitchen, not wasting that precious batter, dough, or sauce. I must have my collection of rubber spatulas to survive. They can be purchased in many forms now and most are heat resistant. I like them soft and pliable not big and stiff. Scraping the last streak of batter from the bowl really saves on clean up time. Just doesn’t’ seem right to wash it down the drain and you can level, stir, fold, mix, and scrape all with one utensil. (sometimes)

Long handled measuring spoons – how nice it is to be able to reach the bottom of a container, as the supply gets low. Trying to fit your fingers in the soda box isn’t fun. I’m always on the look out for convenient measuring utensils while shopping. I can spot stainless steel cooking utensils from the front door of any shop. Just last month I found three stainless steel spoons with 6” handles!!! They are in one/fourth, one/third, and one/half cup sizes. I was so very pleased with my junk shop find. Ecko makes them.

Flexible cutting mat – Have you seen these? They come in different colors or clear so people can keep the uses separate; one color for raw meats, another for fresh veggies and fruit. These folding cutting boards are just the greatest thing. After chopping or slicing your “whatever’s” you can fold the mat into a funnel shape for pouring and not spill one thing. They are easy to find now in many stores.
Super thin paper plates – you know, the cheap ones that soak up the sauce? They are a real time saver in the kitchen. I keep several in my baking cabinet conveniently stored under my (stainless steel) mixing bowls. When measuring messy ingredients such as flour or brown sugar I set my measuring cup on a paper plate, fill, level off, and then pour the remainder back in the canister. This is so much faster than trying not to spill on the cabinet. I also use them as a tiny funnel for many things such as filling salt and pepper shakers. They fold easily to a little point. Use them to catch grated cheese or to dredge small amounts of meat or other food for frying, then toss away the mess. If I am just measuring dry ingredients I use them over and over. What an economical way to keep the counter clean!

Handi-Stir – Ok, it’s a whisk. My newest most favorite thing. Rada Cutlery, a knife company many of us know about, makes this little whisk. The traditional loopy whisk is a must in the kitchen but this one is perfect for stirring and heating sauces, etc. It lies on the bottom of the pan and instead of one wire touching there is an entire coil of wire touching. If you don’t have Rada knives and other kitchen utensils, you are missing out. They are inexpensive and the best I’ve found. I don’t spend hundreds of dollars on cutlery and I’ll dare anyone to compare. I LOVE these products. Just make sure you buy the knife sharpener in addition to the knives. Rada is a fundraiser type organization. You may have seen booths with their products at craft malls and flea markets. I buy from a local church ladies group.


Brin said...

Hi J & T!

Rada? I've never heard of them. Hate to think I'm missing out on something wonderful AND affordable! I'll look into this... thanks for the suggestion! Great post!


Brin said...

By the way, my ginger is sprouting! It looks like spring in that pot. So excited! The things I'm learning from you will stay with me for life. Thank you for that!

Catherine said...

Your list has some great items on it. Many of these are my favorite kitchen utensils also. I received a Wusthoff Santoku knife for Christmas last year and it is a cutting dream. I'm going to check out the Rada knives.

A Woman Who is: said...

Oh, I am interested in those knives too, especially the wisk. Thanks for all the interesting helpful tips.