I know many couples who started out with all brand new kitchen cookware, utensils, tools, etc. I was not one of these. Most of what we had were hand-me-downs that other people had long since gotten their wear out of, or yard sale items, or Dollar Store items. So – I didn’t exactly have top of the line cookware starting out. But I learned along the way, what tools/cookware were indispensible for me and what cheapo items worked just fine.
As far as tools are concerned – here’s my opinion. (And it’s just that – you may have a whole different set of favorites!)
(In no particular order) I adore my:
1. Oxo brand scrapers. (I think it may actually be called a silicone spatula, but I call it a scraper!) I cannot tell you how yucky and frustrating it is to have your scraper melt or warp when you use it to try to saute. (YES, I know you aren’t supposed to use it saute, but sometimes you just have to grab something to prevent a catastrophe!! haha!) I’ve had this Oxo scraper since we married eight years ago and it looks and performs like it is brand new. I wish I had a whole set, but I make do with one.
2. Pampered Chef stoneware – any piece will do – but having the pizza stone first, I’m probably partial to it. You can rewarm day-old pizza on it, and it will be nice and crispy again! WOW – that’s a miracle! Same goes for rewarming calzones, or sandwiches. We love it and use it regularly!! It’s also great for cooking biscuits on it or canned cinnamon rolls. Great, great, great kitchen tool – well worth the up front cost!
4. A two-cup measuring cup that you can look into or look at sideways and tell the measurement. I have an OXO one and another brand. I have no preference, but I use these ALL THE TIME and I enjoy being able to read it more easily.
5. Pampered Chef smooth-edge can opener. Yes, I know any old can opener will work, but I love the fact that this one cuts easily and leaves a clean edge. For the longest time, we’ve had an electric one and I. HATE. IT. Hard to clean it up, hard to use, and for some reason (probably mischief) Andy leaves the lid dangling from the magnet after he’s used it. That alone makes this kitchen helper worth it! :) This one is worth it’s price tag, although $20 was hard to swallow for a can opener, I tell ya!
I use cheap spatulas, cheap pizza cutter, whisk, cheese grater, veggie peeler, etc. with no difficulty. Good meals and time with family isn’t a result of fancy cookware and expensive utensils. I know many women who have these things and never make time to cook. Cooking with love – as cheesy as it may sound, is definitely key to making family time special. But if we can have a few niceties on hand to make cooking easier then I’m all for it!
What’s your “can’t live without” kitchen utensil?