Working in the kitchen means getting familiar with a host of tools specifically designed for use in that particular room. You should get to know your kitchen utensils for what they are designed to do as well as what they are most definitely not designed to do. While you’re at it, take a moment to learn how to deal with a situation in which your essential kitchen tool goes missing. Nothing says pathetic loser more than some guy standing around with a corked wine bottle who is at a loss as how to get his precious liquor because he can’t locate where he put the corkscrew the last time he got loaded.
A peeler is absolutely one of the most necessary of all kitchen tools because the plain and simple fact is that a knife just won’t cut it. Literally. Peelings tend to be way too thin for a knife to effectively slide beneath and so using a thick blade results in losing much of the valuable food you want to get at. Not to mention that peeling with a knife can be downright dangerous. Look for a peeler that is able to swivel so that you can slide gracefully along the contours. A knife can’t do that.
Many people go without whisk. They labor under the misapprehension that either they won’t ever make any food that requires a whisk or they can engage an electric beating device that will work just as well. Here’s the thing: you control the power of the whisk. This helps to avoid the inevitable mess of liquefied food flying all around the kitchen or flour exploding all over your face. Think you’ll never use whisk? If you do any baking requiring the addition of eggs or want to enjoy a quick dessert of instant pudding or just need to thin out some sauce, you can use a whisk. The kind that balloons out provides expanded use.
Even if you don’t eat melon or don’t consume the fruit in such a way that requires a delicate spoon, you might want to make the investment in this kitchen tool. A melon baller can be used to scoop out the underside of mushrooms, scoop out healthier portions of ice cream and measure out just the right amount of spices or hot sauce to make bland foods arrive at a state of perfection.
Any kitchen in which a large number of items are prepared on the stovetop needs a pair of tongs. You will immediately notice the difference if you are currently poking into food with a fork to turn them over. Every time you poke into meat, you are allowing some of the delicious juices to escape and with them goes the flavor. Once you start gently squeezing tongs into a piece of meat and turning it over instead of constantly poking new holes into you, you will question whether you ever really tasted the meat you cooked before. Here’s a tip: avoid tongs with plastic pinchers. Go for metal tongs with the thinnest and sharpest edges you can find. Otherwise you will curse like a French nurse whenever you try to pick up something thin and narrow.
I don’t normally like to give advice on making it easier to get alcohol into your body, so consider this tip only as it relates to use wine in your cooking. If you’ve lost your corkscrew or simply don’t have one, all you need to stop looking like a big pathetic loser is a sturdy type of metal hook that you can screw into the cork. Then get anything in the kitchen that can pass for a large wooden spoon and slip it through the hook so that you can pull forcefully straight upward.
Rolling Pin Blues
Time was that no kitchen could be found without a rolling pin. You know…that thing you see women chasing around with in order to hit their husbands in old comics strips? If you are rolling out your own pizza dough or pie crust or anything that needs to be flattened and you don’t have a rolling pin, just grab the biggest can of fruit or veggies in your pantry, turn it on its side and start rolling.