I find cooking very therapeutic and rewarding – you get immediate results (okay, sometimes half a day with the slow cooker) from your work, and you get to eat too. I’ve also learned that investing in kitchen tools matters. Although we don’t need the fancy equipment, we could use quality basic tools, especially those who cook regularly. Here’s my (wish)list:
Knife. A really good one. Since I’m skinny, for the longest time I thought that the reason I struggled when cutting certain meats or vegetables was because I was a weakling. Turns out that wasn’t it. I only found out when I was cooking at my friend’s place, and she’d bought this new knife. The slicing was effortless. A good chef knife is about 8-10 inches and really sharp. Remember to sharpen it from time to time (either buy the tools for that, or have it sharpened properly elsewhere).
Cutting board. Before, my mom had “cutting boards” that looked similar to plastic placemats. I thought they were neat but they got wrecked easily. She then bought a nice, hefty wooden board, which is supposedly good for the knife, but now looks a bit grimy (possibly due to improper washing). Now we have a new rubber cutting board, and so far it looks pretty clean and durable, and has a grip on the counter so it doesn’t slide around. Maybe this will turn out better than the wooden board. But definitely no more of the cheap, plastic-y kind.
Peeler. Dull peeler = inefficient peeling = terrible looking potato/apple. A sharp peeler will not only save time but also help peel the vegetable/fruit without shredding it to a misshapen lump.
Cheese grater. I prefer the hand-held kind to the box grater because it’s easier to clean, and you can place it on top of a bowl while grating. It’s cheaper to grate your own (better flavor too) rather than buying the grated cheese.
Colander and strainer/sieve. Some might find them redundant, but I have different uses for them. The colander is good for bigger volumes, while the strainer/sieve can be used to drain water from smaller volumes, or smaller pieces of food. Sometimes it’s easier to scoop the food out of the pot using the strainer, so that you can reuse the water.
Whisk. Aside from baking, you can use it to beat eggs and mix sauces and soups more evenly.
Tongs/tweezers. They’re very useful for flipping pieces of meat. Tweezers are supposedly handy for smaller pieces of food that require more delicate handling.
Sometimes we may be scrimping on the wrong things – kitchen tools would be one of them. Don’t hesitate to spend a bit more for quality, it will save you time and make cooking effortless and rewarding.