At this time of year, many of us end up laden with things that, to put it one way, we wouldn’t have thought to buy for ourselves. Bejewelled washing-up gloves, anyone? And for those of us with more than an passing interest in food, there tends to be a kitchen gadget or two tucked alongside the gallons of celebrity perfume. I must admit, I am guilty of being more than enough kitchenware for myself – a fact made all too apparent during my recent move.
But of course, many kitchen gadgets have their place. Here’s a run-through of my latest acquisitions.
I know, I know. Many people would despair at the idea of such a single-use item taking up valuable kitchen space. But this is actually one I bought, for my boyfriend. I recognise that most people don’t have our bad, bad habit of a camembert-a-week, spiked with rosemary and brushed with white wine.
But for us, this is perfect. No camembert spilling over into the bottom of the oven, causing the house to stink for days (I once attempted a similar feat with an Époisses de Bourgogne. Let’s just say it ruined the rest of the cheese party). No wasteful use of tin foil. And the lid creates a wonderful steaming effect, really getting the flavours into the cheese, particularly the wine.
I know many people have already sung its praises, including the Holy Delia, but this is one of those items I don’t know how I’ve done without. I’ve got a food processor already, and although its fantastic for cakes, hollandaise sauce and the like, sometimes it seems it would be more hassle to clean it up afterwards than it would to do a task manually. Not so with this. It sits discreetly on the worktop, and takes approximately three seconds to wash up. I use it almost every day to make curry pastes, pestos, and salsas, or just to chop an onion if I can’t be bothered to do it by hand. I’d highly recommend it.
Ice cream machine
Not the greatest item for January, but for anyone who’s ever tried to make sorbets by hand, the machine is revelatory. If you are an ardent recipe reader like me, and have often dismayed when you reach the part that says ‘put mixture into ice cream machine’, then I recommend you just give up and get one. My boyfriend has just picked up Robin Weir’s epic tome on ice creams, sorbets and gelatos and I’m looking forward to having him make me many when I’m recovering from my tonsillectomy – especially the lemon and basil sorbet. Well, there has to be something to look forward to about an operation.