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Old 04-30-2002, 11:06 AM   #1
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Kitchen Gadgets...Yes or No?

This is what I often look like after a visit to a kitchen store and being tempted to buy a new gadget - which does not work!

My youngest daughter recently set up home (on a small scale as a law student) and realised she loves food but never watched Mom in the kitchen. So now I'm writing what may turn out to be a book for her - a beginners book. Not many formal recipes, but "how to's", like how to make a cream soup and then suggestions for various flavours, etc. and encouragement to adapt her own taste.

I started off with her kitchen - amongst others, gadgets. What do young people need when they start cooking? What's really necessary? what works and what doesn't? Example: no garlic press gives me the result that a sharp and strong bladed knife gives when "creaming" garlic with some salt. And can you use an egg cutter for mushrooms? Etc. etc.
Would members like to join in and tell about their favourite gadgets, and the not-so-favourite ones? Practical tips in the kitchen will also help. And we'll all be helping each other:D :D

It could be fun

Greetings

Maws:)

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Old 04-30-2002, 12:40 PM   #2
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Hi maws!

Yes, this could be useful and fun.

I don't really care for a garlic press because I like to use my knife. I don't feel like I loose as much of the garlic this way.

Things I think a beginner kitchen should have (especially if they are interested in cooking):

- a wire whisk with a big handle (not one of those skinny handles)
- a rubber scraper that can withstand higher temperatures
- a scale for measuring weights (you can get one for around $10.00)
- a pair of restaurant tongs
- assortment of wooden utensils
- an assortment of different size bowls
- a set of small bowls to prepare ingredients (mis en place) before making
- a stainless or vinyl bar to hang frequently used utensils on
- the obvious, a few knives, measuring cups and spoons
- and since they've become popular, a couple nice stones, might as well start out getting them seasoned!! (I will not make any suggestions on brands here - this has caused full-scale riots on other boards)

I'll keep thinking and I'm sure more people will give suggestions.
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Old 04-30-2002, 01:12 PM   #3
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One thing I love and she might like it too is a Smart Chopper. I use it constantly along with my George Foreman grill.

My grandson is starting pre-law/government in the fall but he will be eating either in the restaurants on campus or God knows where because he can't cook worth a tinker's damn.

I think a coffee maker would also be a neat thing to have, supposing she drinks coffee. Nix to the instant stuff.
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Old 04-30-2002, 03:03 PM   #4
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don't forget a cutting board. A small plastic type would probably work for her...the kind you can chop just a few veggies, and onion...the use to carry to pan and scrap into the pan. I find I use the small one more than I do my plexiglass or wooden one.
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Old 04-30-2002, 03:50 PM   #5
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I see the Kitchen Elf has a few knives in her list; I go with a REAL KNIFE. Doesn't have to be one of the big names, but a real chef knife (6" for smaller girls, 8"+ for everyone else) and a steel will be the ultimate of useful items.
AND:
Strange as this one might sound, give it a try: Toaster Oven.
I have taken to baking potatoes, roasting Chickens (split in half and laid adjacent), and the ever popular Pizza - topping of personal choice.
Without being too large, running on regular voltage and wattage, some can be hung under a counter, take less room than most Microwaves, Clean easily, cook enough for one (and sometimes two) and the number one reason: really will cook food - without making it glow in the dark ( I do not have a Microwave in my kitchen???)
Probably one of the most obvious, yet easily overlooked Dorm-Room, small apartment appliances.
Finally,
David
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Old 04-30-2002, 04:41 PM   #6
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definately the 8" knife Finally. (even though I'm only 5' tall????) LOL

(and about the no-name brand of knives - I had a friend who ordered the Ginzu knives when they were popular and she LOVED them and they really did stay sharp!!! LOL - I guess a yard sale is the only place you'll find them now :D

Any smaller and you can't chop herbs and stuff. One of my favorite knives though I got from a Japanese lady about 27 years ago. I still use it almost every day. It's a square shaped blade that is about 2" wide, which is perfect for chopping then scooping things up. I have never seen another one like it other than the one she had.

I definately don't blame you for not having a microwave. If it wasn't for my son I wouldn't have any use for one. I at least can feel fairly safe with him cooking his own (hahaha) frozen foods and stuff.
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Old 04-30-2002, 06:17 PM   #7
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What ? No microwave? How does one melt butter or warm up a cup of lukewarm coffee or tea? Next you'll tell me that some people actually attempt to cook food in a microwave, and expect it to taste good! Yes, I cook the Marie Callendar frozen dinners in a conventional oven! Toaster ovens are great, and probably just perfect for your daughter elf. I had a vintage Chambers wall oven in the money pit house I bought years ago...never could find anyone to repair the darned thing (until the week I sold the house! ) ...and used a toaster oven for 6 years.... the large size...baked bread and pies in it!
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Old 05-01-2002, 09:58 AM   #8
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Hi Everyone - Thanks for all the tips and ideas so far. I'm keeping them and will work through them with Nicola (remembering her budget!)
We are leaving on holiday tomorrow and I'll be looking forward to chatting with you all on our return. Don't think I'll get to a computer, we will mainly be in "the bundus" or as the Australians would say, the outback - in two lovely game parks and then a few days with my daughter in Natal.

So - see you all and have great and interesting chats - we'll catch up.
Love - Maws:)
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Old 05-24-2002, 09:06 AM   #9
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gadgets......

Thanx everone for your great suggestions for a newcomer's kitchen. I've passed them on to Nicola, and we will start her kitchen (and cooking?) on a high note thanx to all of you. Great talking to you again.
Maws:)
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Old 05-27-2002, 03:07 PM   #10
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Keep us posted maws!! Glad we could help a little. :)
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