Like any cook, I have my favorite tools. While I’m not a minimalist in the kitchen, I think a cook needs a certain amount of tools and no more. Some of the tools in my gift guide have been in our kitchen for more than 20 years like the Foley Food Mill purchased by my husband before I met him. The Immersion Blender is a recent acquisition and no less valuable; I often wonder why I didn’t buy it sooner.
DeLonghi Immersion Blender with Accessories
We’ve had this immersion blender for about 2 years. It’s actually a kit that includes a whisk, a small food processor attachment, medium and large chopper, and a extra large cup for making smoothies. When making creamy soups, I will grab the immersion blender and puree the soup right in the pan instead of transferring it to my blender with potential for mess along the way. I also use the immersion blender for making some of the recipes included in Sarah Smith’s Nourished Cooking cookbook.
This food mill is perfect for getting the skins and seeds out of applesauce and tomato sauce. We’ve had my husband’s food mill for over 20 years.
All Clad 8 quart stock pot
For my husband and I, this is the stock pot, perfect for oven and stove top. Everything heats evenly, and if, ahem, I burn the flour and butter a little while making the sauce for mac and cheese, it cleans right up.
12-inch Lodge Cast Iron Pan
When I found my first Lodge Cast Iron Pan at my local Goodwill, a 3 1/2 inch cast iron skillet perfect for making fried eggs and poached eggs, I was hooked. Then I found the 12-inch and never looked back. I loved cooking so many things in this pan! As long as you clean the pan properly and season it, you’ll get lots of years of use out of it. My friend Heather of Real: The Kitchen and Beyond will give you the 411 on taking care of your new cast iron pan since it could become a family heirloom.
Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer
For about 17 years, I had the regular Kitchen Aid mixer; I received it as a wedding present. I used it constantly for making bread, cookies, and other goodies. However, as our family grew, we found that the smaller mixer had its limits. So..when Kohl’s had a fantastic sale on the Kitchen Aid Professional Series Mixers a few years ago, I sold my original KA at a garage sale and bought this one. I’ve never looked back. All I need is to purchase a second bowl. Oh, and that new Beater Blade which mixes and scrapes the side of the bowl at the same time. A little elf told me I was getting one for Christmas.
Henckel’s 8-inch Chef Knife
If I were marooned on desert island, this is the knife, no, only kitchen tool I would bring along. I love cutting with this knife; I feel like I’m channeling Julia Child when I do. And no, I don’t talk like her. The 8-inch blade is also great for scooping up chopped veggies and tossing them into the cast iron pan.
I love my wooden spoon that I found at Reading China and Glass a few years ago. The scoop part of the spoon is about 2 1/2″ across, wider than regular wooden spoons. The one I found on Amazon is pretty close to my beloved spoon. I prefer my spoons to have 12-inch handles unless I’m mixing something in our huge copper pot.
What are your favorite must-have kitchen tools?