Everyone has kitchen tools that they didn’t know they would really like until they actually used them. There are certain tools that make a dull job easy or quick or just plain do the job more efficiently. I cook quite a bit and have certain tools that I really like. One knife works best for mushrooms, a serrated knife cuts bread or tomatoes and then there is my favorite knife that I use for everything else. We have sharpened it so often that it is getting to be bowed in the center of the blade. I thought that I might write about some tools that I have found effective, efficient and easy to use. I didn’t know how much I would use them when I first purchased them, but they have become almost necessities.
I don’t play music with my mandolin, although I remember thinking about that the first time I heard someone talk about using one on a cooking show. They slice food into even pieces of various thicknesses. They can fit over a bowl, or have flip-down legs to use on a counter or over a plate. Generally, various blades are included that will cut different shapes. It is possible to make a julienne cut, french fries, or even crinkle-cut vegetables. A mandolin makes short work of what would otherwise be a tiresome job. And everything looks perfect. They are tricky and you do have to always be careful of your fingers since the blades have to be quite sharp to slice through the vegetables or fruit. I can’t stress that enough. I learned by losing fingernails rather than the tips of my fingers. Mandolins come with a device that will hold the foods instead of using your fingers. The mandolin can be adjusted to yield different slice thicknesses. They are not inexpensive, but a good mandolin is worth it in time saved and in the appearance of the slices.
The second tool that I use almost every day is a mister. It is designed to spray olive oil on to salads. I put regular cooking oil inside and use it instead of an aerosol spray to prevent food sticking. It cost about the equivalent of three aerosol cans. I use it to keep bread and cakes from sticking as well as in casseroles and pans on the stove. I wash most of it at the top of the dishwasher and use soap and water to spray through the nozzle to keep it clean. I am sure that it would work well with olive oil but have never bothered with that. I was very pleased with how well it worked.
The third tool that I use, surprises me. I often want orange zest and find it expensive in the spice row. I have tried all of the different graters that I had on hand. I finally invested in a long-handled zester. It works even better than I thought it would. When I have an orange, I simply rub the skin of a washed and dried orange along the sharp edges before I eat it. I put the zest into a zip lock bag into the freezer and use it whenever I want. The orange zest gives a real zing to lots of foods. This tool works really well.
Another tool that I prefer to use, is a peeler. When I was young we peeled apples and potatoes with either a knife or a long-handled skinny thing that never worked well, and was a pain if you had to peel very many. When I first encountered these peelers, I knew they were the best ever. They make quick work and your hands don’t get tired. Knives almost always peel off a thick slice of the apple or potato. These peel-off just a thin layer of skin and work quickly. They can be found in lots of different stores and last a long time so long as you are sure that they are dried well after they are washed.
There are other tools that I use often in the kitchen, but these are the ones that surprised me by their ease of use. I am on my second mandolin, my third peeler and am considering getting a second oil mister to us with olive oil. I keep the zester in the plastic sleeve that it came with and am careful that it is clean and dry before I put it away. If you have thought about buying any of these tools, I would say do it, you will be pleased. Besides these tools, one more thing that can help you in making your food more suitable to your body is the food intolerance test. Do you ever feel like you have any Food intolerance symptoms? Then going through this test is going to be quite beneficial for you.