5.31.2012

The top five kitchen gadgets I'm lusting over

Something routine happened tonight.

While I was making dinner (nothing fancy here folks, tempeh stir fry) I did what I do every time I make a rice dish, but swear I'm never going to do again.

I half-burned it and made it stick to the pan.

Don't we feel bad for Chubby Vegan Dad and Pearyn now? I'm a much, much better baker. There's something to be said about throwing something in an oven and being able to leave it there for a block of time.

Now, because I have a little bit of pride left, I'm going to go ahead and contribute my inability to cook rice partially on my own impatience when it comes to watching over it, but mainly due to the pots we use to cook said rice dishes in.

Don't get me wrong, they're gorgeous pans, shiny, stainless steel, ridiculously expensive pans that Chubby Vegan Dad picked out (because at the time he did all the cooking) because they were his dream pans. And well, while Chubby Vegan Dad might be able to handle this caliber of pan without completely ruining it, this Chubby Vegan Mom cannot.

With me working from home and tending to most of the household duties (cleaning, cooking, making sure the child doesn't maim herself, although Chubby Vegan Dad almost always does the dishes), I've decided that if I'm going to be spending all this time in the kitchen I should be able to purchase all the ridiculous kitchen gadgets I've been lusting over.

Starting with brand-new, spanking, not stainless steel, won't make the bottom look like crap pans! The problem with my taste in pans is that I have a serious crush on copper. It's heavy duty, looks like it belongs in a professional kitchen and isn't impossible to keep clean. Unfortunately, copper cookware is lacking one of the really, really big check marks I do have when it comes to new pans - hard anodized, won't let rice stick to it as easily, insides. So lucky me, after a bit of perusing, I've found the best of all worlds. I've fallen madly in love with this Anolon 11-piece bronze cookware set, because it's almost coppery but it's not as easy to screw up. Sigh, who knew I'd get so excited over pots and pans?

And speaking of new pans, we wouldn't dare get rid of Chubby Vegan Dad's fancy pant pots and pans, so I'll need somewhere fabulous to store my awesome collection. I've had my eye on one of those nifty pan racks for ages now, mainly because I love the idea of how much space they free up. Also because I think they make your kitchen look all sorts of grown up and sophisticated. Of course I fell madly in love with a copper one, which would probably look less than stellar with my bronze cookware I've decided on, but this was just love at first sight (minus the hefty price tag).

I'm also terribly afraid of these devices as I feel like I could never understand how to properly install one, which would then result in not only a heavy rack falling on my head, but lots of pots and pans and probably half the ceiling as well.

In addition to my love of copper, there's also another handy kitchen accessory I've been infatuated with since science class in high school. A big ole, giant, takes up the whole counter, is so heavy you have to lift it with like 8 arms, mortar and pestle. I'm not talking about a tiny one for the faint of heart either, I'm talking about a seriously big bowl that could do some serious damage to some herbs, graham crackers or whatever else my heart desires to smash up. It's not healthy, and I'm not sure I could ever use it enough to constitute spending money on it, but darn it I just want to carry around my mortar and pestle and have people wonder.

I found my next kitchen accessory when we were over at my parents house for a Sunday hang-out day. I'm pretty sure my dad and husband were in the living room drinking coffee and trading baseball names like they were ESPN sports anchors or something, meanwhile I was wandering around the kitchen looking for something to eat. (I do that a lot lately).

While shoving something bite-size in my mouth, I got sucked into a cooking segment on QVC that showed these silicone plates with a tiny little mandolin (that had a guard on it so you wouldn't cut your finger off). It was a microwave chip maker. Seriously? Microwavable chips in like five minutes tops? Don't mind if I do! The best part is you don't even have to make the traditional potato variety, you can basically make whatever chip your heart desires. From beets to carrots to parsnips and heck, maybe even an apple, you can crank out these bad boys just in time for the big game your father and husband are talking about! Or, you can just make them and shove them all in your mouth before you leave the kitchen. At any rate, I feel like I need to own this gadget on the now.

And last, and honestly, kind of least, the last kitchen gadget I find myself kind-of, sort-of wanting, is the illustrious KitchenAid 5-Quart Stand Mixer. People think I'm crazy when I say this. How could I NOT want an elusive KitchenAid stand mixer? It makes life so much easier for bakers (and butchers and candle stick makers?) and allows you hands-free mixing while you can move onto some other menial task. Truthfully, I thought I really needed one for a long time too ... and then I used one at our family Christmas cookie bake-off and decided I didn't need it so much. I think the concept is great and I understand why a lot of people lust after these things, but for me, it just didn't do it. I don't like following recipes (I know, I know, something that is supposedly hard to do in baking), I like throwing in some ingredients and mixing them until they FEEL right. This means stirring that annoying cookie dough with my giant wooden spoon until my hand feels like it might fall off. Or, this means whipping up my cake batter until I find the right fluffy meets pourable mixture. When I just pour things off into the stand mixer, I have to measure things out and follow instructions, because I don't get a very good feel for the texture of whatever I'm blending.

I know, I'm crazy, but it's just the way I bake. So why on Earth do I want one of these things then? Because I'm dying to make some homemade whipped cream from a cold can of coconut milk. I want to mix together weird, science-like ingredients to make vegan marshmallows (both recipes I attempted but fell short on because my poor hand mixer just didn't have the spinning power. I'm probably not going to run out and spend all my money on a stand mixer to complete these two tasks, but if one fell in my lap I'd be OK with it too.

I realize my list might seem a bit pricey, you're probably wondering how I plan to afford it or when I became so snobby in my kitchen purchases. The truth is, I'm incredibly, incredibly cheap (I prefer to say frugal, but my husband insists cheap), so I probably won't be getting most of these kitchen gadgets for quite some time. Or, like my frugal self, I'll purchase a cheap version of them, have them break and then ultimately blow more money on the real versions, eventually.

A Chubby Vegan Mom can dream though ... right?

What kitchen accessories are you lusting for?

2 comments:

  1. We have been saving up for a Vitamix forever! I've read that it's a must have for any vegan or vegetarian. They don't come cheap though, but I've heard they are well worth the money. We could use some new pans too but can never seem to decide on the right size or set!

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  2. I have the microwave chip maker, and, let me tell you, it's one of the best things I've ever purchased. I love making sweet potato chips and topping them with this chipotle spice (It comes in a pepper grinder). Amazing.

    I've been lusting after a red Blendtec blender for some time now. My blender is terrible, and almost as old as I am.

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