Essential Kitchen Equipment

30 Days of Vitamix - Say hello to Red!

I like red for so many reasons. It's lucky. It's life. It can pull me out of blue. It's the color of World AIDS Day, the color of Women's Heart Health. And it's just plain sexeh.

Meet Red

There's my early Xmas/Birthday present: a Pro Series Vitamix in Candy Apple Red. I'm calling her "Red." She's strong. Powerful. Occasionally loud. Gets the job done. I think we're going to be good friends. I hope she'll last half as long as my old handmixer did. (see Ode to a Handmixer.) That little Black & Decker handmixer, bought my first year of law school just died. I mean, like last week. The Waring anniversary blender a couple weeks ago. I thought I could make do with the food processor but I'm telling you, I'm a fool in love.


There's Red. She's a beauty, isn't she?


As I registered her, I saw something about an affiliate program. Well, stay tuned on that.


I'm starting a new series here: "30 Days of Vitamix". I'll be including posts on using the Vitamix. I'll cover techniques, ingredients to know, tips, and recipes, including some healthy and some boozy inspirations. Frozen Negroni anyone?  Here's a taste of just some of the things we'll be writing about soon.



Vitamix Collage

Thanks to my wonderful husband for this terrific gift! A great addition to the family!

Aprons inspire - Kitchenwares, Chef Scelfo & Yours Truly in the Boston Globe

How excited was I when none other than @SchmattaHari herself asked me if I'd like to share my opinion on aprons? Pretty darned excited. First of all it's Jill Radsken, smart, funny journalist and owner of the best twitter handle ever. Second, "share my opinion" are probably my three favorite words, maybe even as exciting as "dinner is served." Seriously, though. I'm now on the same page of the  The Boston Globe  with one of the best chefs in town, Chef Michael Scelfo, AND my favorite and most loyal sponsor, KitchenWares -- on the same page! 



Aprons inspire a jump-start in the kitchen - Food & dining - The Boston Globe.

Feels good. Now I better get a fancy new apron, don't you think?

Inexpensive kitchen tool you'll use every day. Essential Kitchen Equipment: Bench Scrapers

Essential Kitchen Equipment is an occasional series on items I think every well-run kitchen should have. Essential Kitchen Equipment posts are not about the latest gadget. I’m talking about maybe a dozen or so simple items you must have to make your kitchen hum.

Of course one could spend endless amounts on all sorts of fancy equipment and gadgets. Most of those will not make you a better cook, these will:

 Bench and Bowl Scrapers

This was my introduction to this now indispensible kitchen tool. These are so inexpensive and make cooking more efficient. Once you get one, you'll wonder what took you so long.

I was visiting my sister and watching her chef husband in the kitchen. He pulled this out and moved something, dough I think from point A to point B. Then scraped the counter or bowl with it. This was one of those proverbial light bulb moments. An epiphany for me. "WAIT. WHAT IS THAT?!"

He laughed. "It's a bench scraper, want it? Here." Rinsed, dried and handed it over to me. "I get them all the time at culinary shows." 

This one with a rounded edge I use to scrape dough from a bowl. I also use it to ferry items from cutting board to pot or bowl. You can see the edge is slightly beveled. I think John gave this to me maybe 15 years ago.



I probably use it, or one of these, at least once a day.




Whether a bench (straight-edged) or bowl (rounded) scraper  - these tools are something every kitchen should have. Endlessly useful - you will find yourself reaching for these over and over again.



I use this straight-edged bench scraper to:

  • ferry chopped vegetables from cutting board to pot.
  • portion dough.
  • scrape counter after bread kneading.

These little guys I picked up from Kitchenwares. They're cute and also useful when you have say, crushed spices or peppercorns you need to scoop up. Pinching is not efficient. Here you can easily lift mashed or minced garlic or shallot, spices, any little items without losing bits to the side of your hand or knife.



Do you use bench scrapers? What other equipment do you consider essential?