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What Are Your 'Kitchen Essentials?'


Jenn - So Lael, recently you shared with us your top 10 essential items for the kitchen.

Lael – I did

Jenn – It was a great list.  I got to thinking, we have some sophisticated listeners on Utah Public Radio, and maybe they have a lot of those items.  So what about a list, maybe just a top 5, of some essential tools that you may not have in your kitchen.  Well let’s jump in and see.

Lael – Alright alright let’s give it a go.

Jenn- So my number 5, is a butter crock. 

Lael- A butter crock huh?

Jenn- You know what that is?

Lael- I do, I actually just gave one to the thrift store, but tell our listeners, what is a butter crock?

Jenn- A butter crock is usually a ceramic item, that usually comes in two pieces.  One holds water and it’s the base.  The other has a cup within it that you put the butter into, smash it into, and then it clings and you flip the other one, put it into the water and it seals the bottom of that bowl with the butter. 

Lael- To keep it fresh

Jenn- Yes, then you can keep that butter on the counter anytime.  It’s fresh and room temperature so it’s soft and spreadable. 

Lael- Yeah

Jenn- Yeah.  Alright so our number 4, my number 4 at least.  Everybody’s got mixing bowls.  I’m not as sure if people have mixing bowls with a rubber base.  So you’ll see different kinds out there, silver or metal bowls that have a rubber base on the bottom, or other materials that have a ring on the bottom that kind of help it stay stable.  I just find that when I have to pull out any mixing bowl that doesn’t have a base like that, I find it annoying to try to mix things in, so it’s just an easier tool to use.  

Lael- I completely agree with that, when I have a bowl that doesn’t have a rubber base, I end up hugging it and getting a line of batter on my shirt usually, so it does make you look more professional to not have a line of batter on your shirt.

Jenn- Alright so my number 3 is parchment paper

Lael- Ooh

Jenn- Do you use parchment paper?

Lael- I love parchment paper, and it did take me a while to discover it. 

Jenn- Really?

Lael- Yes

Jenn- Okay so how do you use it most often?

Lael- Well I use it pretty much every time I have to do anything on the cookie sheet., just to avoid washing the cookie sheet.  And then things don’t stick and you don’t have to use the pan spray, which tends to turn the bottom of your cookies brown, before the cookies are done. 

Jenn- And it makes it harder to clean, the pan spray, so you’re saving your cookie sheets a lot that way.  You’re also able to use parchment paper in other ways.  Well of course cookies is one on a flat tray, but then if you line a baking pan with it, brownies you can lift them out easier, and cut nice lines.  You can take parchment paper, load it with some vegetables, some fish, wrap that into a little packet, cook that and it keeps a little bundle, and it steams the fish nicely in there.  Parchment paper is one of those beautiful things. 

Lael- Yeah, I would just advise, some stores sell them flat and pre-cut, don’t buy those.  Just buy the roll, because where are you going to store the flat parchment paper?

Jenn- Good Point.  Number 2, bendable cutting boards or flexible cutting boards.  My sister came to my house one time, and she went to get a cutting board to use and cut something up, and she saw my flexible cutting boards.  And I also have a really nice wood cutting board that I use for breads and stuff, but she said “Oh I have to get you some real cutting boards,” and I was like, “You don’t know about these?!”  I use my wood cutting board for bread, but everything else on the flexible.  The vegetables that you need to pour into the soup, you can cut them up, put them in, what do you like about them? 

Lael- They’re easier to wash, you can throw them in the dishwasher, and really a wood cutting board you might keep a long time, these bendable ones, they kind of use up, and you discard them and you buy some more but hey that’s fine with me, that’s sanitary.  

Jenn- It is much more sanitary, the meats that you’re cutting, it’s much easier to get those really clean in the dishwasher. 

Lael- Yep

Jenn- Yep.  My number 1, for essential tools you may not have, is sharp knives. 

Lael- Oh I love it!

Jenn- Everyone has knives, but do they have sharp knives?

Lael- My husband’s favorite, and he worked as a sous chef, were from a restaurant supply store.  And because they’re workhorses, and he can easily straighten them, sharpen them, and so the point is they don’t need to be really expensive, because there are some really expensive knives out there.  You don’t need to go too crazy, but you do need to have one that can be sharpened, and you have to know how to sharpen it.  So if you don’t know how to sharpen it, get on Youtube, make sure it’s the right material, and get a sharp knife. 

Jenn- Perfect, so those are our top 5, thanks for joining me.

Lael- Absolutely