Friday, November 21, 2008

Kitchen Equipment Advice

Songbird over at RevGal is freaking out about Thanksgiving (with pretty good reason, I must add), and so she's doing a survey. About kitchen equipment.

Honey, you've come to the right place.

1) Do you have a food processor? Can you recommend it? Which is to say, do you actually use it? I have 2 - both Cuisineart brand.

My first was a little tiny one, just one chopping blade and one speed (though it does go both directions.) I got that one to make baby food, for which it was completely successful, and I do use it for little things occasionally - not more than once a week.

And then I have the big one - my brother found me a used one in total mint condition, all the blades. I use it at least twice a week, and sometimes a lot more, chopping vegetables, grating cheese, making bread crumbs, crushing ice.

I use them both enough to keep them both out on the counter all the time.

And this is a pretty good time of year to buy one, incidentally - lots of competition. If one had tons of time, I would say try Craigslist or your congregation, since lots of people have bought them and never use them and will, like, GIVE them to you. But time is short for Songbird.

2) And if so, do you use the fancy things on it? I use all the blades, some more than others. But I found it pretty much impossible to store the blade assemblies safely UNTIL I HAD THIS BRILLIANT IDEA:

magnetic knife bar
mounted vertically on the wall, back in the corner where the kid can't reach them
it really works.

3) Do you use a standing mixer? Or one of the hand-held varieties?

I have that very one, except in white. We call it The Riding Mixer. I never baked until I had it. I LOVE it. I would say I use it 3 to 5 times a month, lots more this time of year.

4) How about a blender? Do you have one? Use it much?
I have one (also found by my brother, King of the Refurbished Appliance) but I have never used it.

5) Finally, what old-fashioned, non-electric kitchen tool do you enjoy using the most? I adore my Lodge cast-iron pans, my heatproof silicone spatulas, and my flexible 'brownie spatula'. Oh! And my bench knife. But I think the most convenient kitchen tool is my instant-read thermometers (I have 2) that I use nearly every day. YOU NEED one of these for Thanksgiving, I think, more than other specialized kitchen thing.

I got all this stuff (not the cast iron, but all the gadgets I mentioned above,) from the King Arthur catalog, but nothing on the website now looks like the ones I have.

Bonus: Is there a kitchen appliance or utensil you ONLY use at Thanksgiving or some other holiday? If so, what is it?
Eric's family passed on their electric bunwarmer. We use it for biscuits on Christmas. Exclusively.


Unknown said...

Electric bunwarmer--isn't that the thing I have in my car? :-)

betsy said...

Yeah - that thing I'm always turning on my accident when I'm reaching for my cupholder!

I take photos. said...

I like these questions :) I was asked similar questions with an obvious snobbish angle in a survey soon after I bought some expensive cookware.
1.I have a food processor, but I used it so little, that I didn't bring it to Sarajevo (any time saved over a knife/grater is lost in the time it takes to clean)
2. When I used it, I used the various blades
3. I have the big Kitchenaid with the bowl that goes up and down...I use it sometimes multiple times a day!
4. Blender I use at least a few times a week (grind coffee, chop nuts, grind oats and make dog food)
5.Like you, my cast iron skillets in a close race with just good knives.