Sunday, 25 July 2010
What o.s. does it use? Windows Vista. WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!
Earlier this week on BBC Radio Newcastle a lady in her role of some sort of social maven came on and talked about the 5 most useless kitchen gadgets. While I cannot and will not presume to live her life and have her preferences, for her to say the pasta making machine is useless, is going to far. We used it weekly, everything from ravioli to regular pasta noodles come out if it and get cooked in under 3 minutes instead of the the usual 12 minutes. The pasta tastes better and is by a country mile superior to anything we have made with just a rolling pin and a knife. If you cook at home, really cook, you will come to love this device. Don't be put off by these weekend gourmets who are afraid of little bit of effort.
For the record, here are my top ten kitchen utensils.......
1- My extra large Jamie Oliver T fal "yes you can use metal on it" frying pan: We got this as a wedding present. When I say WE I mean me. I do the bulk of the cooking in the house and so it falls to me to figure out what's for supper most days. This frying pan has made more risotto and various forms of eggs than you can imagine. A day hasn't gone by when it hasn't been in use. It's done fish, it's toasted garam masala, it's sauted mushrooms, made bubble and squeak and even given birth to marinara sauce. If I could be accused of having an extra marital affair with anything, it's that frying pan.
2- The mortar and pestle: From dry to wet , that thing gets a work out every other day. Herbs and spices are crushed and blended. Pastes from olives and other things have come out of it, and incredibly, after years of constant use, I have yet to tire of bashing things in it. Some days I even take an extra minute to get a really good crush or pound out of it. You may ask me where the bodies are? They're in the mortar and pestle. Try it next time your neighbor, boss, person in authority etc... sends you over the edge. Saves you loads of time with a therapists.
3- The Cleaver: I learned to love the cleaver from now deceased ex father in law. He was a Chinese chef who used the cleaver like the all purpose device it is. He cut, he chopped, he cubed, he gathered and dropped things with it. He bashed garlic and gently but expertly cut chives and onions. Chickens were de-boned, fat was trimmed and lamb separated into all sorts of useful cuts. I learned that to make sure it stayed sharp you needed to do two things, keep it sharpened often and dry it after washing right away. I never did inherit his cleaver, that went to somebody else. But I learned to appreciate one of the best tools ever made for the kitchen.
4- My fry cook spatula: The long thing that you can press with, pick up things and push them aside . Not quite as versatile as the cleaver, it does however reach into pans and small ovens to gather up large amounts of things. I also use it to smash garlic when I don't use the cleaver in preparation.
5- Wooden spoons: All sizes all sorts.... they don't conduct heat!!!!!! Have yet to be burned off one. They don't melt and they don't above all else get used for anything else but cooking.
6- The assorted sized ladles: Handy to serve or to transfer things without tipping over the entire pot, they are metal, easy to wash and won't melt if I accidentally leave on the stove top.
7- The Pasta maker: This device has allowed us to make decent spaghetti, ravioli , lasagna and other types of noodles quickly and kept us busy working together. Pasta making can be a one person job, but it needn't be, When you do it with somebody you care for it's an opportunity for both of you to appreciate the food you make and have some pride in the end product. Like I said higher up, home made pasta cooks in three minutes not 12 .
8- My set of three massive cooking cauldrons: I got mine off various grans and aunts who've passed on or no longer cook in such quantities. They are useful for soups, cabbage rolls, sauces and blanching things en masse.
9- Our dough cutter: I say our, as my wife uses it in baking and I use it for everything else. It scrapes shmutz off the cutting board, clears grease and liquids quickly and of course cuts dough into the size balls you need.
10- Oh aye, my cutting boards.... have two, one for general work and a meat chopping block. Saves on table tops and shattered nerves. Wood only and clean them with a bit of lemon juice once in a while.
11- My wood cooking tongs: don't conduct heat and if you clean often, don't transfer flavours.
Clearly there's more, but where's the magimix you ask? I can tell you that no problem. It's in the closet collecting dust. Comes out for potato pancakes, that's it....... We also have a food mill and three hand operated meat grinders. Too much effort I hear you say? No, same effort, less noise, better food.
We love to cook and bake and it shows, instead of watching rubbish on telly, take an hour with your better half and cook or bake. Amazing what you'll discover what you can do.
Next time .... the baking top ten list ......