My Kitchen Essentials

 

I recently wrote a brief piece on the things to think about if you are planning on building or renovating a kitchen for the lovely people of  McMullin Design and this got me thinking about that things I actually use in my kitchen.

 

There are certain things I couldn’t do without and that I use so regularly they usually live on the counter top rather than in a cupboard, here is a list of a few of these things:

Cast Iron Skillet

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My skillet lives on the cooker, it never gets put away. I have had it for years and have seasoned it several times so it is still as good as new. It is my go to pan for crisply fried eggs, a well seared steak or duck breast. I love that this pan can go in to the oven, it is great for frittata and tarte tatin, however I have on a few occasions scalded my hand by forgetting that metal handles are very hot when they come out of the oven.

Microplane
I once dedicated a whole post to my microplane so great is my love for this simple item. I use it to grate chilled butter and lard for pastry, zesting citrus fruit, and grating everything from cheese to garlic.

Silcom Pastry Brush
All I will say about this is that you will appreciate never having to remove an errant bristle from the top of a beautifully egg washed pie every again.

Digital Scales

Credit: Victoria Owens

I was old school in my choice of scales before I was gifted my digital scales and I have to say I don’t think I would go back, I much prefer the precision of this to spending five minutes trying to figure out exactly where the dial is pointing on an old fashioned weighing scales.

 
Cup Measures

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I love the ease of using cup measures, there is something deeply satisfying about plunging a cup measure in to a bag of flour and then levelling the top with a knife, it makes me feel like a proper baker.

 
Measuring Spoons
I have excellent spoon measures and the best thing about them is that they are more pointed than rounded so the teaspoon actually fits in to even the narrowest of spice jars, this may seem like a small thing but not being able to easily get a teaspoon of cumin out of a Sharwood’s jar was a definite source of frustration for me.

 
A Wooden Spoon and a Balloon Whisk

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It is old fashioned, scorched and stained but I love my wooden spoon. Back in the days when I couldn’t afford an electric mixer I managed to make many elaborate deserts and cakes with just a balloon whisk and my wooden spoon although I did once lose a spoon and a plastic bowl to a particularly solid piece of butter, somehow in my attempt to soften the butter I put the spoon through the bottom of the bowl snapping the handle as it went. The balloon whisk I use for sauces, custards and on days when I feel in the need of a workout I still use it to whisk egg whites

 

Sugar thermometer

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I never knew I need this so much until my Mum bought it for me, my chips have never been crisper and I have used it for everything from donuts to rosehip jelly to orange curd to jam.

These are just a few of my kitchen essentials, what one thing can’t you cook without?

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