5 things every kitchen needs
-Francine Segan, BettyConfidential.com
Even though I've written four cookbooks and countless articles on food, I only have a few tools in my kitchen. I'm just not a gadgets gal. Here are my must-have basics that I think every cook needs:
1. Long wooden spoon. A conductor's got his baton; I've got my spoon. It used to be that my family didn't need to ask, "What's for dinner?" They could tell by looking at me as I was usually wearing little blobs of it. Now, my spoon is so long it keeps me out of harms way.
2. A 3 or 4-inch serrated paring knife. I don't know about you, but those big fancy knives the chefs use on TV scare me. They might be fine to brandish at a burglar, but I'm terrified that with one slip there goes my pinkie.
I find the short size fits nicely in the hand and can cut just about everything. Just be sure to keep them sharp. For big hunks of meat, I ask my butcher to do the cutting. After all, his pinkies aren't as cute as mine.
3. Spatula. A spatula isn't just for flipping pancakes. It's great to turn over anything, from foods cooking under the broiler to things boiling in a pot. Ekco makes a particularly good one that's thin enough to get under all sorts of foods, but not so floppy that stuff slips off onto the floor.
4. Whisk. A good whisk is great for whipping up everything from cake to omelets. Plus it's one of the only cool professional-looking tools that isn't dangerous to use! Perfect for all the young wanna-be chefs in your house.
5. CD player. OK, so it isn't exactly a traditional cooking tool, but I can't make dinner without it. Cooking can be boring so I play books on tape or music while I mince and mash.