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Kitchen Tools I Never Had

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    Posted: 23 November 2012 at 07:34
Feather's thread on thermometers got me to thinking how, spoiled with are when it comes to kitchen tools. We have kitchens full of aids that, while making the job easier, actually are unnecessary. Yet we think we'd be lost without them.  
 
I can create a long list of tools and appliances that were not in my home growing up. For instance, although she got a blender later in life (my sister bought it for her, actually), Mom made a lot of meals without the help of electricity.
 
No food processor. No toaster oven. No microwaver. No stand mixer. No coffee machine. No pop-up toaster (ours was manual---you had to toast one side, open the side doors to flip the toast, and close the doors). No deep fat fryer.
 
There were no electric skillets; no slow-cookers, no pannini press type griddles.
 
We didn't even have an electric hand mixer. Mom beat things in a bowl, with a wooden spoon. She didn't even use a whisk. In fact, I wonder, in hindsight, if she knew what a whisk was?
 
The only cooking thermometer in our house was the one built-in to the stove. There were no timers, no scales.
 
I won't even bother with the gadgets she didn't find necessary. Suffice it to say her entire "collection" of them shared the same drawer as the flatware. She had a vegetable peeler, and a melon baller, and.....I can't recall any others.
 
What about everyone else. Can you list the "essential" tools and appliances you use today that didn't appear in your childhood kitchen?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Feather Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 November 2012 at 09:19

We never had one of these scoops for scooping cookie dough--so they all turn out the same size--I love it.

And Grandma had a hand crank eggbeater--which she taught me only to crank forward, or I'd unbeat the eggs. (ha ha) I don't have one of those.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 November 2012 at 09:29
Stove! Stove! Luxury! We warmed our food, jabbed onto a stick, over a stinking steam grate in a gutter in the ghetto me and my 27 fatherless siblings...

I kid.

Thick bottomed pans(not counting cast iron), plastics (teflon, silicone implements, ziplok bags,cheap plastic storage containers.)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Feather Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 November 2012 at 09:38
Originally posted by Rod Franklin Rod Franklin wrote:

Stove! Stove! Luxury! We warmed our food, jabbed onto a stick, over a stinking steam grate in a gutter in the ghetto me and my 27 fatherless siblings...

 
LOLLOLLOL

That reminds me, I want to get a tripod, so I can cook some skewered hunks of venison over the next wood fire we make outside. Why does it taste SO much BETTER when it's cooked outside? It's tough and smokey and we gnaw off pieces of it and end up smelling like the campfire--oh the good old days.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 November 2012 at 09:41
Oddly enough, Feather, Friend Wife and I were discussing that as we thought about the gadgets we never had.
 
Technically that device is called a disher, and there are 40 numbered sizes of them. The numbers refer to the part of a quart each serves. So, for instance, a #1 would actually be a quart size. A #40 would be 1/40th of a quart.
 
I've never seen one larger than a cup size, though. And I imagine anything bigger would be awkward to handle.
 
As you've discovered, they are perfect for portion control.
 
Not counting the ones we use for catering, we have six we use on a regular basis.
 
Growing up, we had none. Later on, before I know about the various sizes, I bought an "ice cream" scoop, which I used for portion-controlling hamburgers.
 
BTW, ladles are also used, professionally, for portion control of liquids. They, too, come in sizes kup to a quart. Here, again, I have five or six sizes of them. Mom didn't have a ladle of any kind.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Feather Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 November 2012 at 09:55
I have never heard the term disher......good to know.
The one I have is about 3-4 tablespoons in size.

My mother never had a cell phone and up until recently, I didn't either. So I turned off the landline, and today I've lost my phone--I CANNOT FIND IT!! I've emailed my friends to call me---maybe if I hear it I will find it. In the mean time we are cut off from contact with society--except here on FOTW of course. I've already searched the bedroom, the bathroom, the other bedroom, the kitchen, the family room, checked the upstairs and downstairs phone chargers--THREE TIMES. I give up. Call me. ha ha ha If you use your cell phone to talk about food--it becomes a kitchen appliance/tool.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 November 2012 at 11:06
Brook.
Great thread.   
Neither Nonna Margherite or Mom Eva ever had an electric pot or pan. No electric cookingware whatsoever or  electric pressure type cookers.
 
 
Grandmom Margherite┬┤s 
Citrus Squeezer.
 
Margherite┬┤s Rolling Pin
and Antique Wooden Spoons.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Microwaves were developed after Nonna passed on as well. Eva And I have electric mixers, blenders and I have a Food Processor and a Thermo-Mix by Vorwerk used by Chefs for vanguard appetisers; several electrical mixers, and 2 stand up ones very common here; one is quite large and the other a medium size and of course several pasta machines as Nonna inherited me with numerous cool toys.
 
Eva never used a whisk either howver fab and I love all her cookie cutters and have her antique egg beater. I have Nona's pasta and pizza rolling Pins and Eva's.  My Nonna had given me tiellas or cazulas and a lemon or citrus squeezer. I just photographed & posted.  
 
I have never had a pressure cooker, nor a toaster ( I use broiler ), nor any electric frying skillets, nor any electric pots of any kind.
 
Mediterranean cuisine, which is mostly what I prepare when I do cook; the dishes have a genre all their own about vessels. Paelleras, cazuelas, tiellas, large stock pots, Cast Aluminum bean  
pot, French cookware, copper pots and A TO Z OVENWARE FOR ROASTS.  
 
 
Have nice wkend and great thread compliments.
 
Kindest.
Mare.   
 
 
Volamos a Mediterraneo, un paraiso que conquista su gente u su cocina.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 November 2012 at 16:01
Interestingly, Marg, other than the KitchenAide attachment I've never seen a powered pasta maker in action.
 
Even the chefs I know prefer the manual, hand-cranked pasta machines. They insist the powered types overheat the dough.
 
If you compare my childhood kitchen with my current one, Mom would probably wonder if I was opening an appliance store. Power tools include: A hand mixer, a stand mixer, a food processor, a blender, and even an electric can opener. Pop-up toaster, of course. I even have a waffle iron, stuck away in one of the closets. Hardly use it, but it's there if I need it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Melissa Mead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 November 2012 at 16:30
I love my stick blender, and we never had those while I was growing up. I just barely remember when we got our microwave. I don't know what I'd do without one. We really enjoy our rice cooker, too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Feather Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 November 2012 at 16:33
I FOUND MY PHONE--it was in the car......some people are clueless--ME!

well, I have too much stuff and it's time to sort it out and get rid of what I don't use.

I have two blenders--same model and brand Oster--I Bought one for ron and one for me.....now we have two. I have two food processors, one he bought for himself and one for me...now we have two and funny enough they are both working but broken in the same places.
A Roaster. A Kitchen Aid with grinding and stuffer attachments, coffee maker, hand mixer, his hand mixer, a pizza oven, a toaster, two full drawers of utensils/large for cooking in addition to three sets of eating utensils and one drawer just for knives, a taco shaper fryer, a tortilla bowl shaper fryer, a bowl from a restaurant big enough for rising 10 loaves of bread (I DO NOT NEED THIS), enough pots and pans for 3 peoples homes (which will be good when my son leaves so he'll have some), a popcorn kettle, cookie cutters and candy and cake decorating supplies. I'm certain I need to downsize.

What are the chances I'll bake a layer cake using three sizes of cake pans--and tower them high? How about never again! Or bake 10 loaves of bread? Why? If nothing else, you've reminded me that there is a time for cleaning out the cabinets, the pantries, the separate pantries and the basement shelves---even for my kitchen stuff.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Feather Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 November 2012 at 16:35
Originally posted by Melissa Mead Melissa Mead wrote:

I love my stick blender, and we never had those while I was growing up. I just barely remember when we got our microwave. I don't know what I'd do without one. We really enjoy our rice cooker, too.


Oh I love my stick blender too--mostly for making soap though.

And we have two microwave/convection ovens that can be used for dehydrating--one is at least 25 years old. It's excess here.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 November 2012 at 18:28
I think we all have so much stuff we forget some of it.
 
Yeah, I have a stick blender. And a dehydrator. And a yogurt maker. Three---count 'em three---crockpots, which I never use except to keep food warm at parties. There's the stand-alone butane burner. And the warming trays. And the electric skillet. And.......
 
You do not want to enter the hazard zones that hold my various gadgets and gismos---some of which serve no known purpose.
 
Knives? Mom made do with two. For my collection, we can coun't down from the 10" chef's knife, or up from the 3' paring knife. There were 12 or 13, last time I checked. I must be one of only three home-cooks in the world who own, and use, a scimetar (sp). And that doesn't include Friend's Wife set, which we put together for her cuz I got tired of her using mine.
 
How many of you have one of those clamp-on devices that French green beans? Or a spaetzle maker?
 
It's incredible that somebody who grow up without a whisk in the house now has 9 of them, in different sizes, materials and configurations.
 
I don't even want to look at all the baking equipment. Not just muffin tins, and molds for various cakes and breads, and more loaf pans than anyone has a right to. I've even got a special pan for making slider buns.
 
Lawdy, lawd. Where did it all come from?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Melissa Mead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 November 2012 at 18:56
We have a bread maker. I love it, but I really need more kitchen space to be able to use it.

(The house is <1,000 sq ft. My husband and I have to take turns in the kitchen.)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 November 2012 at 20:03
Brook. I have several pasta making machines as we have two residencies. None are electric. I had never stated that I Had an electric pasta maker. I have an electric icecream maker in Italia that I use for sorbete. Intresting how collective mankind can tend to be. Mare.
Volamos a Mediterraneo, un paraiso que conquista su gente u su cocina.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hoser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 November 2012 at 00:47
Well now that I think about it...Mom had a set of old Guardian Service iron pots and she got them by going to the movies LOL. The Michigan theater in downtown Muskegon gave away a different pot each month I guess...but I vividly remember that's how they were acquired.


No fancy-schamcey non-stick stuff...that's what bacon grease is for, dammit!

I guess the only luxury Mom had was an electric Sunbeam mixer....I sure am glad she had one because we ate a lot of great baked goods when we were kids.
Go ahead...play with your food!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 November 2012 at 01:01
Hoser. My dear friend Maria in Miami has numerous iron pots similar to one in photo. She prepares her dynamic black beans in her's and Arroz Con Moro, rice with beans in another. This heavy metal pot is very commonly used in Latin Caribbean cuisines in Miami. Margi.   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hoser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 November 2012 at 01:24
Originally posted by Margi Cintrano Margi Cintrano wrote:

Hoser. My dear friend Maria in Miami has numerous iron pots similar to one in photo. She prepares her dynamic black beans in her's and Arroz Con Moro, rice with beans in another. This heavy metal pot is very commonly used in Latin Caribbean cuisines in Miami. Margi.   

They are great old pots Margi...as you can see by the oddly shaped ears on the pots, they had an interchangeable handle that you could move from pot to pot as needed.
Go ahead...play with your food!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 November 2012 at 01:29
Hoser. Yes they are great pots. What do use your's for? Amazing that the Cubans and Dominicans prepare their beans and rice in them and still are . I have one and use for beans.. Mare.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 November 2012 at 05:35
Question, Dave: Are those pots actually iron? I seem to remember them as cast aluminum. But at my age......
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 November 2012 at 06:00
Brook,
This one is cast aluminum from Food Services Warehouse, and the same model at Amazon.
They are predominately manufactured in Columbia and Miami for Latin American cuisines.
Volamos a Mediterraneo, un paraiso que conquista su gente u su cocina.
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