Kitchen Stories. Gadgets I Can't live Without .

Kitchen utensils
Kitchen utensils

While cooking up a storm in my kitchen this morning, I got to thinking about various gadgets and utensils that I use everyday.

Some, I just couldn't live without, first and foremost, my small, multi-task blender, It chops onions, herbs, nuts and can even grind coffee, although, I haven’t tried grinding coffee in it.

Braun multi hand blender
Braun multi hand blender

Through the years, I have owned a number of state – of – the art, expensive mixers, albeit they look cool, sat on your kitchen worktops, where they act as dust harbours, but, washing them after use, takes longer than it took to cook the whole meal!

This Braun, is used, washed and put away, in minutes, and that’s another of its good points, it takes so little space in the cupboard.

It chops onions, herbs, nuts and can even grind coffee, although, I haven’t tried grinding coffee in it yet.

Braun MQ537 Multiquick Hand Blender, Black

Keep things simple, that’s my motto, save time, I need to be on the beach!

Kitchen knives, don’t we all have a pile of them, usually blunt, and only tend to use two or three?

My daughter’s boyfriend, a very good cook, I might add, educated me on the wisdom of buying decent knives.

I had a very motley collection; most were acquired for free, stuck on the sides of mayonnaise jars, others, bought for peanuts in the supermarket, all rubbish.

It drove him to near madness when ever he cooked in my kitchen.

To surprise him, I bought some quality knives, he was over the moon!

Fissler 4 piece kitchen knife set
Fissler 4 piece kitchen knife set
There are some impressive looking wooden-handled knives out there, but, thinking of the dishwasher, I went for plastic.

 I bought the Fissler, I was initially shocked at the price, but haven’t regretted it; they are about ten years old now, as good and as sharp as the day I bought them.

I can’t tell you about the joy of slicing a tomato, without it exploding all over me, or slicing through crusty bread as if it were butter!

I would never have believed, the difference, and ease, a good kitchen knife makes!

Fissler 4-piece Kitchen Knife Set with Magnetic Block and Japanese Knives

Again, with my salt and pepper mills, I had to waste money on cheap rubbish, ones that gave up the ghost after a few months, or a posh Perspex, acrylic set, that cracked and yellowed after no time, before it got through to me, buy quality.

I did a bit of research and decided on Peugeot, yes, the same Peugeot that make the cars!

Peugeot chateuaneuf pepper mill
Peugeot chateuaneuf pepper mill 

I went for chateuaneuf, very classy, and at thirty cm, a good size, no needing to fill them every two minutes.

The feature I love best about these mills, is the option for fine or course ground, I have them both set to course, is there anything more aromatic than course ground black pepper?

I’m not sure which is best, the taste or the smell.

They have one drawback, and then only if you have atrocious eyesight, as I do.

The letters S and P, to differentiate between each mill, are very small; I overcame this, by winding a rubber band around the salt mill, that, I can see!

 Problem solved!

 If I forget to remove it, when we have guests to dinner, I always have to explain about the rubber band.

They have a lifetime guarantee too, I can’t see me needing it though, they will out live me!

Peugeot 20378 Chateauneuf U'Select 9.5 Inch Pepper Mill, Black Matte

Peugeot 20385 Chateauneuf u Select 9.5 Inch Salt Mill, Black Matte

I must tell you about my saucepans, I use mainly five or six, of various sizes, I have had them for thirty years, since buying these, I have not had to buy anything else, except for the odd non-stick frying pan.

Before buying these Italian Lagostina pans, I used horrible aluminium, use once and throw away, everything stuck to them, did save on washing up!

A couple of the pans are missing their lids, one my son’s favourite pastimes, when about two years old, was to throw things in the rubbish bin, as he was always playing with the pans, I can only conclude that’s where the lids went, how else could you lose a pan lid?

Lagostina Paola Rossi  Stainless steel saucepans
Lagostina Paola Rossi
 Stainless steel saucepans

Last but not least, for today anyway, is my Alessi press filter cafetiere.

As with food mixers, I have had any amount of flashy coffee machines, hell to clean and make coffee that can not be classed as hot, warm or tepid maybe, but not hot.

I discovered that the French cafetieres are the simplest and the quickest, and, by the way, make a great cup of coffee.

 What else would you expect where the French and coffee are concerned?

I have had a few; care is needed when washing the glass jug, especially when you have a ceramic kitchen sink!

Here, I can say, you really don’t need to spend a lot of money, but, I just adore anything made by the Italian company, Alessi, so, I splashed out!

I take extra care when washing the jug, but, all parts, with this Alessi cafeteria, even down to seals and screws are replaceable.

Alessi Press Filter Coffee Maker
Alessi Press Filter Coffee Maker

Sometimes, you just wish things would wear out, I have my heart set on some splendid, French Le Creuset saucepans, I have no need for them at all, I just love the look of them, they are wonderful to cook with, by all accounts and are made from cast iron.

 My Lagostina have lots more years left in them, even if I did have the Le Creuset, where would I put them?

I would need to re-do my whole kitchen, these beautiful, colourful pans, deserve to be on display, not shoved in a cupboard, and I just don't have that sort of kitchen.

Le Creuset 7 piece Stainless Steel & Enameled Cast Iron Cookware Set
Le Creuset 7 piece Stainless Steel & Enameled Cast Iron Cookware Set

If my children are reading this, Le Creuset pans are on my wishlist, you can buy them here!!

Le Creuset 7-Piece Stainless Steel and Enameled Cast Iron Cookware Set, Cerise (Cherry Red)

MGG (My Greek God); you can supply the new kitchen!

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