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Essential Kitchen Tools

Updated on July 26, 2011

must haves in the kitchen

My mother did not enjoy cooking. She let me cook my own meals starting when I was eight. Fortunately, her mother, my grandmother was living with us and she showed me what to do.

Over the years, I have developed and am still developing a cooking style that matches our (my wife and I) food choices.

For day to day meals, I prefer to keep things simple with salads, soups, stir fires and stews being our usual fare.

There are a few kitchen tools that I would not do without and tools that can make great gifts, although men, do not buy your wife a kitchen appliance for your anniversary, Christmas or her birthday. These, kitchen tools, you buy because they make cooking so much easier.

I had a bread maker for a few years but it got dropped in one of our moves and has not yet been replaced. It is near the top of the list of the items that I will purchase after I have finished redesigning the garden. I think that day will come.

I have recently discovered but not yet tried a way to make bread in a slow cooker something that I will soon attempt, if it works, you will hear about it.

My favourite use of the bread maker besides making organic whole wheat bread was making organic whole wheat pizza crust.

At the top of the list is the slow cooker. The one we have is getting old and I do want a bigger one. This machine ahs served us well for the past seven years. As my knowledge of what meals can be prepared in the slow cooker grows so does my appreciation for this wonder tool.

Yesterday, I made a stew with water chestnuts, broccoli, carrots and diced beef. I marinated the beef and water chestnuts in soy sauce for three hours before adding them to the slow cooker and then cooked the whole meal in the soy sauce. It was delicious.

Speaking of cookbooks, they are a must, well the information they contain is. I can get recipes from many sources but a good cookbook gives me more than a recipe. I like to read about past and present cultural traditions that surround the food I am considering.

I find cooking rice to be fairly simple but my rice cooker has made it even easier. Put the water, rice a dash of sea salt into the cooker, press the button and go about your business until it is ready. Light and fluffy rice for stir fries or other uses is all set to be scooped unto the plate. Make a little extra for the nights when you have little time to prepare a meal from scratch, which brings us to another vital kitchen tool the storage container.

Containers come in a huge variety of sizes and shapes, many can be placed into a microwave and kept in a freezer.

The local Dollarama sells a good selection of quality containers and just for a buck. What a great way to prepare ahead, make lunches and save some money.

The blender is great for making blender soup and smoothies and many other items. We have had ours for about six years and just recently lost the lid. The lid is vital, otherwise things can get very messy. I am making do with a plastic bowl but am looking for a new blender lid.

Great breakfast smoothies can be made in minutes and provide all the zip you need to get your day started.

Speaking of zip, there is one item that I use every day and that is my French press for making coffee. It may be more work than other makers but it makes a superior cup of coffee and that is what matter. This is the third one that we have had over 25 years and is the first task each morning. If I could only keep one kitchen tool, this one would be a contender.

rice cooker

a must for easy rice cooking, Bob Ewing photo
a must for easy rice cooking, Bob Ewing photo

slow cooker

An  essential, this slow cooker is much used but much appreciated. photo Bob Ewing
An essential, this slow cooker is much used but much appreciated. photo Bob Ewing

can't start the day without it

without this the rest of the day is just not the same.
without this the rest of the day is just not the same.

Kitchen Essentials

My kitchen would be incomplete without?

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Comments

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  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

    My rice cooker get much use, thanks for dropping by.

  • profile image

    Gardenatrix 

    8 years ago

    I could not survive without my rice maker. I consider myself a relatively good cook but - short of risotto and baked rice - I am pretty much terrible at rice making. ;-)

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    10 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks for the visit, give it a try.

  • Lady Guinevere profile image

    Debra Allen 

    10 years ago from West By God

    Ha! I had to learn in Home Ec class because us kids weren't allowed in the kitchen only to clean up and do the dishes. I love you Chesnut/Beef slow cooker recipe and I must try it some day!

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    10 years ago from New Brunswick

    Both my grandmothers were seriosu cooks and I learned much from them about making soup and stews especially. It was amazing what they could turn into a meal. I have done well during lean times thanks to their teahcings.

  • Chef Jeff profile image

    Chef Jeff 

    10 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

    You know,Bob, I remember my mom and grandma cooked a lot, I remember helping grandma make her cole slaw, make her home-made beer, and can a lot of things for her basement cupboard. She was big on making sure she had enough canned food on hand in case of any emergency.

    She and her ancestors were from what was called in those days Bohemia, which is now the Czech republic, and food was often confiscated by the local officials to feed the Austrian troops who were stationed in the area.

    But it was her love for cooking that impressed me the most. She was big on Czech dishes, carp, pork, lots of gravies and vegetables, mostly foods that would be considered too fat, too caloric for today's ideal diet.

    Yet we grew up neither fat nor hungry, and always happy. I guess as kids between chores and playing we burned off a lot of calories.

    I like your hubs on cooking, which I had hoped to write more of myself, but I have become sidelined by politics as our elections draw closer.

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