Christmas come-a early this year. Errr…I mean Hanukkah come-a early this year? Unfortunately, that just doesn’t have the same ring to it. Either way, Santa or Hanukkah Harry made a visit and brought me presents!!!
Fiiiiine…I went and picked them up myself and technically I paid for all of them with my culinary school tuition. DETAILS. Let’s just say I was looking forward to picking up my tool kit a heck of a lot more than my uniform. I also have convinced myself that these are sort of the accessories to my outfit. I will carry my knife roll with the same love I have for my Marc Jacobs. Heh.
When I enrolled in school, I knew that I would be receiving my own knife set but I didn’t realize that there was a whole other slew of items that would be mine mine mine and I could take them back and forth from school as I pleased. Included in my duffel bag were almost 50 items, about a third of which I already had in some form or another. I thought I’d share a few of the tools I was most excited about receiving, some of which I’ve been meaning to get myself and some others that are really a “nice to have.”
1. Oven thermometer and candy/frying thermometer
While definitely not a necessity, these two thermometers can make a world of difference when you’re in the kitchen pretty often and I’ve definitely been meaning to get my own. I learned the other day that at-home ovens can often be up to 50 degrees off of what the temperature may read. Nuts! You would notice the biggest effect when you’re baking…everything should be precise. This is why I seldom bake – a total lack of patience and precision.
2. Kitchen scale
So on one of the few occasions I decided to bake, I chose to make salted caramel french macarons. Other than being waaaaay overly ambitious, almost every recipe I looked at reported their measurements by weight. Again, this goes to the whole exact science thing, especially when it comes to the infamously finicky macarons. Just in case you’re wondering, mine grew “feet” but had some cracks on the top. For those who are curious.
3. Peltex spatula
Normally I would have just called this a fish spatula which is what every other cooking supply store I’ve been to calls it. But no noo, the woman at J.B. Prince specified that everyone calls it a peltex spatula. That seems like an aggressive statement. We make a lot of seafood up in here (we even catch alot of it ourselves!) and this spatula is great for really delicate, flaky fish.
4. Fishbone tweezers
This isn’t really something most people would need but like I said, our freezer is chock full of fish we’ve caught recently. I like to say “we” because I put forth a valiant effort but in reality, this usually means Tim, his dad or brother catch the fish. And not that I’m pointing any fingers or anything but filleting a fish on a moving boat is not the easiest thing in the world. Hence, a few bones left in the fillets. Removing those bones with your fingertips is no easy feat either. Hence, the tweezers! And no, do not use your regular tweezers. Ew. Spend $5 and get the real deal.
5. Bench scraper
I saved my favorite for last because I can not emphasize enough how much I love this little thing. SO underrated. Scoop up your chopped veggies, fruit, herbs, nuts, anything. Clean your cutting board or work surface. Cut and divide up your dough. The minute I start cooking, I usually pull this guy out. It seems trivial but trust me, ITS NOT. Also, its like $8.
So these are my few favorites from what I received in my goodie bag today. Obviously I’m not very hard to please. In other news, I have another kitchen trail tomorrow at North End Grill down in Tribeca…I’ll keep you posted on how it goes!