Kitchen gadgetry

In general, I don’t really get geeky for gadgets, but over the years I’ve collected various bits of specialised kitchen equipment that I now wouldn’t do without. Having just moved hemispheres and then across the breadth of the continent, I’m a little light on in the batterie de cuisine department while I wait for my lovely things to arrive from London.

When we got to London we bought a cheap fying pan, a large pasta pot, a cleaver type knife and chopping board and that was pretty much it for the first six months. Fast forward 5 years of course, and my can’t-live-without implements had multiplied. Arriving in Sydney has repeated the London scenario: although this time we have a very flash non-stick pan (thanks Mum), a large pasta type pot on loan (thanks Mark), a cleaver type knife and a chopping board. And that’s about it. I exaggerate slightly, because we do have a few useful bits and bobs salvaged from the packing boxes of our old pre-London life, stored away for nearly 6 years as well as some beautiful wedding presents.

Setting up all over again has been an interesting exercise in re-learning what is essential and what is nice decoration. I’d say that, when push comes to shove, the above four items are essential, but would also add to the must-have list:

grater

colander

stove top espresso & djezva (for hot milk)

wooden or plastic stirrer

baking tray (any size)

The things that I would put on my list of can-live-without-but-would-really-prefer-not-to are:

mandoline for finely slicing veggies – get one, you’ll discover uses you never thought of!

stick blender – not a regular jug blender, I find them too messy and faffy

muffin trays – I make a LOT of muffins and feel bereft without my much used tray in the cupboard

small food processor – for pesto, chopping garlic, chilli & ginger for curry, various excellent uses

roasting tin

salad spinner

I’d really like to know what your must have and nice to have implements are. I know lots of you are living with cramped and/or shared kitchen quarters (Shared Table’s sister, I’m talking about you!).

So, what is it you really, really can’t live without? A microwave? A toasted sandwich maker? A cheese slicer? And what would you put on your birthday wish list?

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6 Responses to Kitchen gadgetry

  1. Francesca says:

    Oh my! Given that my life is in boxes at the moment I totally understand. I am itching to unpack all my bits and pieces in my new kitchen.

  2. Anzacdaygirl says:

    I agree with your list. I completely agree about the muffin pan. I would add a mixing bowl – glass … and also an apron. I feel weird cooking without one. Does your wooden stirrer mean spoon or flat? I like to have both. I would also add my food processor which I now love – thanks to my family who gave it to me. It took me a while to get into it because I didn’t have recipes that made use of a food processor. This all changed when I discovered Belinda Jeffrey’s baking book. Her recipes for cakes and slices are fab and always work and because she uses a food processor in all her recipes, I have learned how terrific it is. You never have to get butter under your finger nails when rubbing it into the flour. I am a complete convert and wouldn’t like to live without it. It goes without saying, that I could of course live without it, if I had to. I travelled the world when young with a cup, a tablespoon and an Edmonds cookbook – OMG Shared Table, you forgot the Edmonds, or can you live without it??

    • What is it with Crawford women and butter under their nails?! See Sue’s comment below.

      You’re right, I also feel weird cooking without an apron. I have an old chef-type one (long, white, ties round the waist) but it’s not the same as the over the head type.

      I am holding out getting a food processor because I’m contemplating getting the all-in-one Thermomix, but they’re very very pricey!

      I just travelled the world with a wooden stirrer (flat), dried chilli and black pepper its own grinder. The Edmonds will be arriving very soon :)

  3. There seems to be something about the Crawford women and a phobia of getting butter under their nails because my Aunty Sue says –

    “Not really into kitchen gadgetry and only acquired a food processor a couple of years ago but boy do they make life easier, love it. Don’t do butter under the finger nails, it’s either kitchen gloves or mash the butter with forks or the new beaut FP. Can’t live without a muffin pan, wooden spoon or mixing bowl and my 20 favourite recipes.”

  4. Anzacdaygirl says:

    I have heard about the Thermomix from a couple of colleagues who speak about them with awe.

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