Tool Time: These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

It’s time to tackle another area of interest for the Practical Cook–kitchen tools. As any hobbyist will attest, no hobby is quite as fun without the accompanying stuff. Going forward, we’ll cover everything from knives to pans to prep bowls, but today it’s about the little things. Those workaday, reasonably priced gadgets that you just can’t live without. In honor of my two kids, who challenge my practicality and adore The Sound of Music, cue the theme music.

Okay, first I should say that as of this posting, I’m not sponsored or endorsed by anyone. These opinions are strictly those of the Practical Cook.

can opener

Oxo Good Grips Can Opener

First up, the OXO Good Grips Can Opener. Available anywhere housewares are sold, and reasonably priced.

Why this specific can opener? Because the Practical Cook is left-handed, and does not appreciate can openers with anything less than vise-like gripping power. Of course, there are always electric models, but for price and counter space, OXO wins every time.

OXO Vegetable Peeler

OXO Good Grips Swivel Vegetable Peeler

Next in line, the OXO Good Grips Swivel Peeler. (Now, gentle reader, you can see why I prefaced this with the fact that I don’t work for OXO or the OXO marketing department. I simply like to get a grip in the kitchen. Veggies and children are plenty slippery without slinging the gadgets, too.)

This particular favorite is so indispensable, the Practical Cook’s kitchen is stocked with two of them. Why, you say? Because then someone else can help you peel. That is practical.

I met the veggie peeler of my dreams years ago on the day I was asked to peel 50 pounds of potatoes for an emergency potato salad order for a catering gig at my coffeehouse job.

Does it even bear explaining why I am so attached to this item? One forms strong opinions around pound #20 of such a job.

parchment paper

Last but far from least, the Practical Cook salutes the unsung hero of kitchen multi-tasking, parchment paper. The close cousin of wax paper, parchment will thrill the heart of whomever is on KP duty that day.

Parchment paper featured prominently in the low-mess factor of the Rustic Tart this week. It additionally provided a sling to aid safe delivery to a festive serving platter. It wrapped the leftover goat cheese with the right amount of coverage and breathability. And it’s so very inexpensive to use.

What are some of your favorite kitchen tools in the small but mighty category? Write, Tweet, post on Facebook, or comment here. The Practical Cook looks forward to hearing from you (and has been known to eavesdrop at work, in her car, etc. for future post ideas).

Coming up next, The Practical Cook unveils the mystery of the 4-square shopping list method, complete with testimonials from 4-square converts.

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6 Comments

Filed under Kitchen Philosophy, Kitchen Tool Talk

6 responses to “Tool Time: These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

  1. Kelly

    Okay, I use my melon baller all the time. Wha? Why? How? You might be muttering these things, but I assure you it is one of the best ways to scoop the core out of pears and apples (after slicing in half) before slicing into convenient slices for one’s children with no front teeth to bite into said fruits. a few drops of lemon juice and a little water in the baggie, then drain and they will be photogenic until lunch time. I also can’t live without my silicon spoonula for everything from baking batters, stir frying, getting things like refried beans out of cans, and spreading frosting. Last, but not least, I got an attachment for my kitchen aid mixer which is a beater with rubber blades on the edges and it has made me love it for baking again. It catches all those bits on the walls and in the dimple in the bottom that used to keep all my butter/sugar down there, or make me stop and scrape all the time, which just annoys me.

  2. hi,
    i really like your blog! here are a few of mine (favorite things):
    — electric kettle (not just for tea or coffee. i use it whenever i want boiling water -fast! like when i’m making rice, pasta, corn-on-the-cob, etc., etc..)
    — microplane graters, various size. *perfect* for cheese, hash browns, lemon zest, garlic, ginger, onions, etc., etc..
    — salt pig. handy, and just plain cool.
    — olive oil dispenser. i buy extra virgin in bulk, and dispense it in a lovely stainless steel number.

    someday i hope to have a cooking blog as cool as yours!
    best,
    tony toth
    arlington, va

    • The Practical Cook

      Thanks Tony! Love your off-books uses for the electric kettle. What exactly is a salt pig? (Because it sounds awesome, and I think I want one.)

      • a salt pig is a ceramic container with a mouth wide enough to accommodate your hand. it sits on the counter filled with salt (i use kosher for the texture), close to where you season your foods. in addition to being handy, it helps me enjoy some of the *tactile* pleasures of food-prep/cooking/eating. oink..

      • The Practical Cook

        A ceramic pig puts my utilitarian honeycomb salt jar to shame! Oink indeed!

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