Blame Your Tools

This egg beater is from 1959. I bought it on Ebay in 2009. The company who made it is in the food services industry and makes “stainless steel equipment for harsh environments”.  My bowl of eggs does not present a particularly hostile setting, and yet it still performs majestically. So much so that is has moved into “My Top Five” – an elite category for kitchen tools.

If you are not having fun in the kitchen, blame your tools. If you are not cutting cross sections of leeks (and arranging them on marble and photographing them in indirect sunlight), or delighting in the fall of fine ginger zest into a pot of squash soup, maybe it’s your equipment.

Here are “My Top Five”

  1. My 12″ cast iron skillet that I never put away. (Actually my “french press” tied for #1)
  2. A peeler I was given as a stocking-stuffer fifteen years ago
  3. An egg flipper that I also use to stir things in the pan, whose silicone is melted and misshapen with over-use
  4. My chef’s knife that I sharpen with a steel blade which makes me feel very professional
  5. My egg beater, born well before I was and will expire well after I do

Because of my love of tools, I asked OXO* if they would give (to one of you) one of theirs. And they said yes. So they’re giving away the OXO Steel Chef’s Mandoline, a $100 “power tool” that they allowed me to test drive. And it is fierce!

Though manual, it is a seriously powerful machine, with thick, sturdy steel legs, a sleek steel back, and a stick-shift race-car feel. You can dial in the thickness of the slice, change blades and choose a julienne cutter that snaps into place with the twist of a wrist. It’s more mandoline that you might need, but once you start playing with it, not more than you want.

I created a big pile of leeks (slicing time: 20 seconds). It is smooth and sharp and there is something deeply satisfying and cathartic about holding onto a vegetable as you send it through the guillotine.

All of that then got cooked up, sausages were tossed in, so was “creamy” mustard and it became this…

Leeks with Sausage and Mustard (Click for recipe.)


This is the “machine”  that created it all. (OXO’s Steel Chef’s Mandoline)

Want it?  Win it!

All you have to do, is be a Sweet Beet subscriber. If you’re already an email subscriber, there’s nothing more to do.  If you’re not, then sign up (in the box, top right of every page), to get the posts via email and you’ll automatically be entered.

And please forward this post and promo to friends!

More details on the give-away here (including a short URL to the page, if you wish to Tweet or Facebook it to friends**.)

So what are your favorite tools??  What are your go-to gadgets and would-save-in-a-fire favorites? Any you think are highly over-rated?

Related Posts
Leeks with Sausage and Mustard (Recipe mentioned above)
January Lentil Stew (A good recipe for mandolines, or sharp knives)
What’s Leaching Into Your Food From Cast Iron? (As seen in “My Top Five”)

* Disclaimer:OXO is not an advertiser nor are they paying for promotion. I asked them to give one of their top products away simply because they make great products.
** Thank you dear messengers!  Greatly appreciated.

 

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  • http://www.zomppa.com Belinda @zomppa

    Funny, that looks like the eggbeater I grew up with! I love the peeler I bought from the peeler man at Union Square in NYC before he passed on. It’s the best peeler in the world and I wish I bought 10 of them.

    • Michelle

      It’s so interesting that you say that, b/c if there is one thing I regret, it’s not buying a peeler from him before he died last year … I must have passed him 100 times over the yrs in Union Sq and often thought, after watching him hawk his wares, “I should buy one. I’ll do it next time” And never did. Lesson: Never put off doing anything (incl buying a peeler) til tomorrow, b/c even if YOU are still around “tomorrow”, the man selling the peelers may not be ….

  • Sweeney

    I’m more or less obsessed with my microplane/zester/grater. I use it for every meal and for every taste from sweet to spicy. It’s especially marvelous for garlic b/c my chopping skills leave quite a bit to be desired…and usually a few large chunks of garlic in whatever I’m cooking.

    Love your blog!! You make it all seem so simple and that is SUPER encouraging for a newbie to the foodie world :)

    • Michelle

      Thank you Sweeney! I think the biggest thing I’ve learned about cooking is that the best creations come when you think not about doing it “right”, but allowing yourself to do it “wrong”.

      Throw away the rules and toss out the notion that cooking is hard and simply play. In life there are things you can really screw up. In the kitchen there is NOTHING that can not be “fixed” – usually with salt… or cheese .. or both :)

  • http://three-cookies.blogspot.com/ Three-Cookies

    There are no electrical items in your top 5! My mum had (and probably still has) one of those egg beaters. I’ve used it many times, is great. Works even if there is no electricity:)

    • Michelle

      Perhaps it’s my subconscious desire to know that I could, even during a power failure, still make meringues. Ok, I couldn’t cook them, but I could whip them, and play with the peaks …

  • Carol

    I have an egg beater that was my grandmother’s (I’m 69) and it’s part of my Thanksgiving pumpkin pie making ritual. A wire whisk has usurped it’s place (if not my heart) as an everyday tool.

  • http://www.thetableofpromise.blogspot.com The Table of Promise

    Waaaah. I already have it. Same brand and everything.
    It is a lovely machine though. And when you get in the mood to fry potato chips in lard or coconut oil, it will come in really super handy. I have recently been using it to try to take a stab at sweet potato chips. The mandolin works amazingly, the attempts at making sweet potato chips in the oven rather than in a laborous pot of hot oil however have failed.

  • http://www.healthyeatingforordinarypeople.com Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger)

    Oh, oh, pick me! I so badly want a mandoline! My top tools include an immersion blender, my kitchen aid mixer, and a fantastic julienne peeler I bought myself a little while back. It makes the prettiest julienned vegetables. I also LOVE my good chef’s knife. It gives me pleasure to use it. Great post topic.
    — Rivki @ Healthy Eating for Ordinary People

  • http://www.blondenak.blogspot.com Alicia

    I love my stoneware. I bake on nothing else. My pressure cooker/canner is fast becoming a well loved item. The garlic peeler (a little rubbery tube that you pop the garlic in) is definitely in my top 5.

  • Sara

    These pics are getting more and more lovely!

    • Michelle

      Thx! The warm “spring” light is helping …

  • FJW

    Five simple words for me: I – HEART – my – slow – cooker!

    • Michelle

      LOL. Do you have a t-shirt with this on it?

  • http://fresh-basil.com/ margaret

    Oh, my! Love the images. My Husband drools over Mandoline’s every time he sees one.

  • http://hudsondesign.us Allison Culbertson

    My favorite new kitchen item is an imusa lime squeezer – a handheld cast aluminum gadget in a pretty lime green color. Great for squeezing limes for salsas, marinades, margaritas, etc.. I so wish I had this back in my bartending days.

    I’ve been looking for a mandoline that can dice tomatoes. I’ve tried cheaper models and they haven’t worked – not sharp enough. How is this one on tomatoes?

    • Michelle

      Excellent question. I would think well b/c there is actually a cerated blade that you can slide in that should cut through the skin. But I will buy a tomato and put it to the test. Stay tuned …

  • Lacey

    I *want!* My favorite tool is my fuzzy logic rice cooker- I need to use it more often, because it never fails- perfect rice each time, even risotto. My mom prefers to use the stove and pan, which has always worked just fine for me, too, but I have a thing for gadgets! Plus, set the steel cut oatmeal at night, wake up to it perfectly cooked in the morning! Yay!

  • jMack

    You are too nice. I was on a quest for an egg beater several years ago (I’m older than yours), scouring antique stores but broke down and bought a new one – Ecko makes them. My #1 go to tool is an 8″ ceramic chef’s knife a friend brought from Japan (replacing my Henckels). #2, a sprurtle, for sentimental reasons. It’s a wooden stick that the Scottish use to stir porridge. While traveling and spurtle-hunting, I met a Scot, brought him home and married him!

    • Michelle

      Love it!! But what does a “spurtle” look like exactly and how is it different from a wooden spoon?? It sounds like something a Dr. Seuss character might use …or be named.

      • jMack

        It’s like a miniature pastry rolling pin: long, with a swollen middle and tapered end. The other end, the “handle”, is usually topped with a carved thistle. The Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championship is held annually in Scotland. My Scottish hubby say it is like the Oscars – they even roll out a tartan carpet. But he is always pulling my leg…

  • Autumn

    My favorite tool is my “granny fork”. It’s a three-tined steel fork, very narrow, with an old bone handle (about the same size as a regular dinner fork)… but the tines are sharp and pointed, the handle is smooth, the steel is dark and well-used, the weight feels good in my hand, and there’s nothing better to use to pierce something delicate to flip in a pan (like bacon) or test for done-ness. Like your egg-beater, it was born well before me (hence “granny fork”) and will be around much longer. I must, however, give credit to my mom for discovering it’s usefulness, coming up with such an endearing name, and instilling the love of the old steel fork in me. She owns and wields (ahem) THREE granny forks. :)

  • Michele

    I love gadgets. I have two: 1. My cast iron grill/griddle. Worth every penny! and 2. my mandoline. I purchased a cheap plastic one but use it just about every day. The new Oxo one is calling my name!!

  • http://blog.breakawaytrainingonline.com Julie

    I have to say I love my cast iron cookware, along with my vitamix blender and steamer basket. Three things I use almost everyday.

    • Michelle

      I too have deep affection for my steamer basket — i dont own a microwave and often heat things up by placing them in my steamer basket and letting them heat there!

  • Pam

    Your leeks are transcendentally beautiful. May I discuss use of that pic with you?
    Pam

    • Michelle

      Thank you! Email me– thesweetbeet at gmail dot com and we can discuss…

  • Angelina

    I’ve gotten funny looks from people when I’ve said this before, but I’ll add a vote for the rubbery-tube garlic peeler–much easier in my opinion than smashing it with a knife or, god forbid, peeling it with your fingers. I also adore my Kitchenaid mixer more than I ever thought I would–without it, there is no way that I’d be making bread (and sometimes cookies and other confections) several times a month. As for “save your money” kitchen gadgets: 1) the double-sided Williams and Sonoma grapefruit knife (anyone know of anything that DOES work? I’ve pretty much given up on grapefruits bc they’re too much of a hassle) 2) an enamel coated garlic press–stick with stainless, because they inevitably flake.

    • fifty

      Yes! The rubber tube thing is the best peeler. But – I’ll add more. I bought a package deal at the local Home and Garden Show that included the tube garlic peeler, a small brush (like a little basting brush), and a small ceramic plate (had a glossy coating) with a circular pattern of small ceramic spikes all over the central surface. After peeling, one just rubs the garlic over the plate spikes. It easily grinds up into crushed garlic and then the brush is used to whisk it off the plate.

      This is the best, simplest, and easiest, garlic processor system I’ve ever used. It’s great! And the tube peeler (silicone?) is the first step.

      • Angelina

        Oooooh, it sounds great! I’ll have to check that out–thanks for the tip!

  • http://www.sharonfiffer.com Sharon

    I am a cook–but also a writer of mysteries about a picker/collector and one of my heroine’s favorite collections is “kitchenalia,” all of which she uses in her own kitchen. This is based on truth–I too have a terrific cast-iron pan, a museum quality mixer that does the trick and best of all, my mother’s gigantic soup pot in which she made all of her soups to feed the factory boys at the EZ Way Inn, the tavern she ran with my dad for 35 years. That pan is about more than soup–it is the history of soup. I would love to work with that mandoline– although I can hear my mother, Nellie’s voice in my ear, “What’s the matter with you? Ain’t you got a good knife?”

    • Michelle

      Nellie was a wise woman. I too am a bit of a minimalist and to be totally honest I have never owned a food processor (though I have a blender) or a mandoline until this one came into my life! Like Nellie, my knife worked perfectly well. Sometimes it’s not until something lands in your lap that you realize how many bandaids you’ve gone through while insisting that knives work perfectly well for everything…

  • http://lauramychal.com Laura

    I like a food processor, a blender, and a coffee a.k.a spice grinder! Electricity has magical powers in the kitchen for me, transforming everyday items into gourmet meals. I’m excited for my dehydrator to come so I can make raw delicacies!

    • Michelle

      Do send us a report once you get your dehydrator — I’ve been curious about them for a while and sometimes wonder if they merit a spot in the family …

  • http://www.mommysnest.com MommyLisa

    Wait – what if I am an email subscriber I am automatically entered???? OMG I so want to win this one! I have been drooling over mandolin’s for years, but never had the disposable cash to get a really good one and refuse to buy a cheap one.

    MEEEE! Pick MEEE! ;)

    • Michelle

      Yes! All you have to do is be a subscriber and you’re in …

  • http://browniecooks.blogspot.com/ Chris

    Aren’t french presses the best? Everytime my husband has to be at work before I get up and we, thus, need to resort to the electric coffee maker, I swear my day is never as bright… but, alas, I am distracted. My top 5, you ask? My cast iron is easily number 1, as well. It must be 15″ and cooks everything to perfection. I think number 2 is my dough hook extension on my kitchen aid stand mixer. Ever since I discovered how to use it, I have essentially stopped buying bread and our house or freezer are never without loaves of my homemade multigrain molasses bread! Hmm, number 3 would have to be my metal tongs. Thank you Food Network for introducing me to these–what did I do before I had you?? Number 4 is my wooden top mobile island. It holds small appliances, doubles as a cutting board and with its barrage of bowls and pots underneath, provides hours of entertainment for my toddler as I “attempt” to create masterpieces in my kitchen. And lastly, number 5 is *gasp* my microwave! It is a love/hate relationship due to my slight uneasiness of the idea of using micro-waves, rather than actual heat, to warm up your food, but its ability to provide near-instant warm soup or porridge when you have a crying hungry little man afoot is truly invaluable…

    • Michelle

      Ah yes, the tongs…..love those too. Btw, if any of you are thinking of buying them, don’t buy the ones that have an auto “close” to stayed shut in the drawer – for some reason they have a tendency to pinch your hand when you’re using them. So my tongs would be #6…

  • elisa.b

    Ooh! Pick me, pick me! Pretty please. :) I’ve been wanting a mandoline for ages. I just subscribed to Sweet Beet. Thanks for the great giveaway.

  • kate

    The two items I reach for most are my global knife and my microplane…can’t live or cook without them! And I do have the peeler from the guy in Union Square. He mesmorized by children with his sales pitch. Now they peel apples and potatoes with his ware.

  • http://katzinn.com meezermom

    Oh my this is hard – I too have all kinds of gadgets. Some I use all the time and several others I use more infrequently but would never part with. I’m just sitting here nodding yes, yes, yes to nearly everything already mentioned. I agree there is nothing as good as cast iron pans. I was given a couple very expensive steel clad, copper bottomed ones, and still prefer the cast iron!
    The stainless steel do look cool hanging from my pot rack though.
    But I’m going with my wooden utensil collection – spoons, spatulas, forks, pasta scoops, stirring sticks, etc, I love using these everyday, especially my newest additions to the collection made of bamboo. I prefer using wood rather than metal or plastic types.
    I have a small antique kitchen tool collection which includes an egg beater very similar to the one in the picture. Even if the electricity doesn’t go off – I love the idea of using less of it and more muscle power!

  • Linda

    My current obsession is ferretting out vintage kitchen tools at estate sales. And when I say ‘vintage’, I simply mean American-made and not originating in China. Try and find something NOT made in China anymore. It’s not easy. I broke down and paid a premium price for a Rosle slotted spoon and returned it the next day when I discovered its Chinese origins imprinted in tiny letters at its base. Once the venerable European kitchen sources start succumbing to economy over quality, I figure it’s all over. I still have the Copco, stainless steel, plastic-handles implements my mother gave when I got my first apartment—all American made and available at the supermarket for next to nothing. I guess it’s a sign of the times and I don’t want to come off as a jingoistic, flag-waver, but quality was better way back when

  • Shaz

    What a fun post! I love reading these comments. I love my hand immersion blender, microplane, and tiny, mini-whisk (awesome for making salad dressing, mixing hot cocoa, or sauces!) Also, my best advise to anyone getting married is to register for all the Le Creuset you can! It is truly a pleasure to cook with.

  • laura

    I recently bought from OXO a very basic version of this give-away (just one blade and 3 thickness settings) but it became an instant favorite. All the OXO tools are so easy for me to use, I have a tremor that can make cooking a challenge sometimes. Now I can shave my fennel extra thin for salad and peppers are so perfectly sliced.
    BTW – I love your blog. You inspire me and increase my confidence at the same time. I made biscotti!

    • Michelle

      Impressive! I’ve never even made biscotti!

  • Agent Scully

    Wow, I would just love to own this. I have a major crush on OXO products. About a year ago I went crazy at all my plastic kitchen stuff and tossed it away (not really; I donated it all) and replaced most of my utensils with stainless steel OXO products. I’m still in the process of Operation Grandma (this is what I call my “getting back to basics” project of replacing plastic and teflon with steel, cast iron and copper) and this would be just perfect, as I have a sad plastic mandoline that is begging for replacement.

    Thank you for the opportunity!

    • Michelle

      I love it – Operation Grandma. That is outstanding.

  • Abbi

    My new favorite kitchen gadget is (1) my cast iron skillet. I’ve had it forever, but never used it much because I was intimidated. You inspired me to use it reg w/ your post on cast iron. Now I use it all the time! :) The next in line are my (2) Henkels. I love my (3) silicone spatulas, especially the spoon shaped one. For an easy meal, I always turn to my (4) crock-pot. I also have a well seasoned (5) baking stone that is perfect for pizzas, cookies, or even biscuits. I would loooove to have that mandolin. As much as I cook, I cannot seem to get better at slicing.

    • Michelle

      I may have to get OXO to give 10 of these away … there are far too many “needy” recipients …

  • Barbara

    Although I try to stay away from electrical kitchen helpers, # 1 on my list is my KitchenAid stand mixer, followed by an inherited Foley ricer, which makes the BEST mashed potatoes (my 3 year old granddaughter loves turning the handle and doing the hard work), next would be my 3 favorite very sharp knives, #4 is a group of 5 stainless steel whisks in sizes for every job, and last would be my grandmother’s ancient wooden rolling pin. You just can’t produce your best results without sturdy, sharp (when necessary), easy to clean tools. Ask any carpenter, plumber, mechanic, etc.

  • http://www.jonathandavidtaylor.com Jonathan David Taylor

    My current favorite kitchen gadgets are my stainless steel Italian stovetop espresso maker and a Bodum milk frothing device (not the electronic wand, God forbid). After traveling in Italy with my wife, I resolved to ditch the electronic espresso and coffee instruments and learn to make a damn fine cappuccino at home. Over a year later, I have arrived. Great care is required, but in seven minutes I can have ready a pair of excellent cappuccinos using little buy my bare hands (and a stove).

    I would recommend ditching aluminum stovetop espresso makers, as they corrode over time. And, while I at first broke the glass on about three Bodum milk frothers, I now just converted a French press and use the milk plunger.

    • Michelle

      This is so great — so two Qs for you .. 1) is there any wisdom/tricks you can impart re using the stove top espresso maker? and 2) to make frothy milk w the french press you just add hot milk and plunge it up and down til it froths? i love that idea! i have a battery operated mixing wand and cant stand the thing.

      • http://www.jonathandavidtaylor.com Jonathan David Taylor

        Michelle, you are amazing. You should come to LA one of these days and drink cappuccinos with me and my wife in our garden.

        To give a long-winded answer to your questions, here is the best I have figured out:

        Stovetop espresso
        1. Fill the water as high as possible without it seeping into the grounds (and I always use cold, filtered water).
        2. It is crucial to not pack your freshly ground espresso. I just spoon it in, and then level it out.
        3. I always heat the espresso on medium high.
        4. Once it begins to gurgle, the percolation is nearing its end. Each maker is a bit different, but one wants to be quite careful to take it off the heat before the espresso boils, which makes it, as Ralph Wiggum says, “taste like burning.”

        Insofar as milk goes, I heat my milk in a cast iron enamel pot, stirring occasionally on low. Once it goes from steaming very lightly to steaming a bit more and has a light sweet smell, in my opinion it is ready for a frothing.

        I have used a French Press before, but the device I have modified can be found at . I have broken a number of the glass components (my wife would grin right now) and now just use the frother plunger with my French Press glass. But, if you are using your French Press, just make sure it is quite clean from grounds lingering in the wire mesh. Try to plunge quickly and mostly below the surface of the milk. Typically I plunge with furious control until my arm muscles hurt a bit.

        To make the cappuccino, I pour the espresso into pre-warmed ceramic. Using a spoon to block the foam, I pour the milk. Then I scoop the foam with care, and place it atop the milk and espresso mixture. I am a purist and like the entire top of my cappuccino to be white unadulterated foam (far better for sprinkling with turbinado sugar and eating with a spoon).

        • Michelle

          You are a master! And what a wonderful invitation! The thought of drinking coffee created at the hands of a pro like you is tempting to say the least. I was actually just in LA last week! So it will have to be next trip! Though sadly my trips to your fine town are not all that frequent. In what part of LA are you and your garden, and your espresso pot?

          • http://www.jonathandavidtaylor.com Jonathan David Taylor

            Michelle, we live in Burbank, so just over the hills from downtown.

            And you are quite welcome in our house and budding garden. In fact, you might as well just come over for brunch, as it is my favorite meal, and weather is typically most glorious in the morning.

          • Michelle

            You are so kind! Will let you know when I next get out that way …

  • http://www.cleareyedsky.com Liz

    Order of importance depends on the day, of course:
    French press, Wuesthof knives: chef’s and santoku, and my cheap bread knife, slow cooker, garlic peeler, salad spinner, bamboo mixing spoons, cutting boards, and a batter bowl with a lid. And measuring cups & spoons. Oh, and my new love is my popcorn popper. Geesh. Too difficult to narrow down!

    • Michelle

      ok wait, so bamboo mixing spoons? are those just wooden spoons but bamboo? and the batter bowl with a lid? what is the lid for?

      • http://www.cleareyedsky.com Liz

        Yes, they’re like the wooden spoons, but they’re bamboo.
        I use the lid when I make sourdough and the dough has to sit on the counter for a few days. I also use it when allowing the dough for yeast bread to rise. Of course, I don’t put it on all the way, but I like using the lid. It seems to keep the dough from drying out so much.

  • http://www.emmymadeinjapan.blogspot.com emmy

    Oh man, that egg beater of yours is dreamy; steel and red enamel. I imagine he’d have a smashing breakfast playdate with my beloved juicer
    http://lonetreedrivein.blogspot.com/2010/07/say-hello-to-my-little-friend.html
    Makes me wonder when consumer expectations shifted from lasting quality to ‘good enough’?

    • Michelle

      They’re even color matched! What a gorgeous juicer … I think consumers DO want quality and beautiful products, and when we’re given an option to buy them we do (or we go to Ebay to find them), but there is just SO much low cost, disposable stuff out there that these kinds of gems get lost in the clutter.

  • Dawn

    My favorite is a lemonade maker. However, it broke last year and they don’t make it anymore. It was just perfect for the kid’s lemonade stand in the summer, or really for everyday!

    • Michelle

      Wait – a lemonade maker at a lemonade stand?! Was this like, squeeze your own lemon with our lemonade maker and we’ll add the water and sugar?

  • Kim Nichols

    Hands down — cast iron skillets. My sweetheart bought me 2 Lodge skillets for Christmas a few years ago — true love is the gift of ugly skillets :) I sear in them, saute, fry and bake. Heck, I’ve even been known to heat fishsticks in them (guilty pleasure, discuss amongst yourselves…) Second place goes to my beloved KitchenAid stand mixer…breadmaking is a pleasure, as is mixing meatloaf because I don’t have to touch raw meat! LOVE this blog — already shared with a few food-happy pals!

  • Rebecca

    I love your blog…so interesting, informative & original.

    We just looking looking at this very Mandoline yesterday. I made zucchini lasagna & it would’ve come in handy!

    One of my recent favorite purchases was a grill pan – absolutely love it. Also, I love my digital kitchen scale, rice steamer & countertop convection oven!

    • Michelle

      How do you use your grill pan?

      • Rebecca

        Of course for home made burgers, but I especially like it for marinated flank steak! Speaking of burgers, I’m going to try my hand at grinding my own with the meat grinder that attached to my Kitchen Aid mixer. So, that could soon become a favorite:). I also need to try the attachments to my Cuisinart Food Processor to see if they will slice up Jerusalem Artichoke for has browns!

  • Cherie H.

    My favorite kitchen tools are my cast iron skillets and cast iron grill pan. I cook almost everything in them!!! Another great classic tool that is also beautiful is my mortar and pestle. I always use it to mash garlic and coarse sea salt as a base for salad dressings and lots of other creations, too!

  • Marcee …… ILLINOIS

    These fantastic oldies-but-really-goody egg whippers, etc. …… work! As a very fortunate owner of two …. one belonging to my grandma, the other given to me from my sweet mom-in-law. Love the fact they are easy to clean. Look great hanging in a kitchen! Lucky me ….. I inherited lots of other cute/practical gadgets also. No time/space in naming them all. Mandolines really rock!!
    Postings (+ your overall blog Michelle) = groovy/fun reads!

  • http://febrilemuse-infectious-disease.blogspot.com CM Doran

    Your picture of the leeks on marble remind me of some lovely photos of veggies as seen through MRI machine…I would love this machine…already got your RSS feed but did email as you said. Thanks for writing and celebrating food and all it’s loveliness.

  • http://febrilemuse-infectious-disease.blogspot.com CM Doran

    oh….my favorite…a Pampered Chef bambo spoon…now missing…I looked for days, and suspect fowl, er foul, play!

  • Rebecca

    Uh oh…I think you’ve created a monster! I just picked up today’s Food Section of the L.A. Times & found an article about the joys of grinding your own flour. Does anyone have a flour mill? The closest I have come is using a coffee grinder for flax & amaranth, which works well & saves money. After removing wheat from my diet, I discovered a whole world of alternative grains that I now cook & bake with regularly. I am going to look into a hand grinder & see what’s available.
    By the way, where can I purchase retro kitchen tools like the above egg beaters?

    • Michelle

      I can’t help recommend a grain grinder since the only one I’ve ever used was a pretty big one on a farm!

      As for retro kitchen gadgets best place I’ve found is http://www.retrokitchen.com – there is a product section on the right and egg beaters would be under “utensils”. (FYI – this site is really an agregator for ebay’s vintage kitchen tools so you could go straight to ebay)

  • http://tamdoll.blogspot.com Tammy

    Love my cast iron skillet, it’s heavy as heck, but I will keep it forever. And, my Kitchen Aid mixer is another favorite – I won it about a year after I got married 20 yrs ago and I use it constantly – I make bread every few days and (even though I could use the workout) it makes the task very easy and saves time!

  • Beth

    My circa 1904 bread bucket is tops on my list of favs. I make fours loaves at a time (I could do more) and it does the first kneading with its large dough hook and allows me the easy second knead but oh so satisfying knead as well! Runner up is my collection of 12 cast iron pans as they are used daily (and look great hanging on my kitchen fireplace) No microwaves for me, thank you! :)

    • Michelle

      Twelve?! I’m not even sure I could name 12 shapes or sizes of pots! That is impressive. And I would like to come to your house for dinner …. :)

      • Beth

        Come on up, girl; we’re in the beautiful hudson valley just an hour north of Gotham.

  • Caitlin

    I, too, cannot imagine life without the cast iron frying pan that has a favored spot on the front burner.

  • Lisa

    That reminds me of my great-aunt’s eggbeater. I wonder what happened to it–just seeing your picture made me smile with wonderful memories.

  • fifty

    My favorite tools -

    Crockpot. Yes, yes, yes! Just remember to add veggies at appropriate times. Like carrots first, potatoes later, and things like corn and peas just before serving (they’le cook fine and cool the food down enough for serving).

    The hand can opener (okay, okay, I do use some canned stuff – like tuna, baked beans, soup, and dog food) that cuts just below the can rim instead of just inside the top. No sharp edges or peeled tiny bits of metal.

    As others have said, the KitchenAid. Wow. What electronic tool has more versatility, strength, and reliability? Makes me glad I don’t have to use the old Mixmaster my mom did.

    My wok. So perfect for making veggies. My kids eat all the veggies I make. And I’m actually not very good at stir frying (afraid to use high enough heat), but my family still likes my veggies!

    The microwave. What else heats stuff up with so little energy used? Gas stoves emit pollutants, electric stoves cost a lot, but the microwave, tho with some minuses, is not just used for convenience foods.

    My no-stick big pot. I know it’s not PC. But I used cast iron for years and gave it up because the cookware was so heavy, the flakes of over burned “coating” going into my food started to bother me, and some foods (like tomato stuff) acquired an awful taste and color if food was left in them, even for short periods. But this non-stick pot allowed me to stir fry meat and/or veggies right in the pot and then add the stew or soup stuff later. From what I’ve read of PTFE (I think that’s it), it’s in hundreds of articles we use, not just non-stick pans. Things like carpets, water repellents, furniture, etc. Also, the biggest risk is for the workers making it. Little, even no, PTFE winds up in food if the pan is used correctly. So I think the pollution and worker exposure is important, and may make me use cast iron again, but not now.