What’s your favourite kitchen tool?

Sometimes we make wonderful things out of a few simple fresh ingredients: a double-decker pear and Gruyère sandwich. Leftover cooked chicken makes a re-appearance the next day for lunch, tossed with some crispy lettuce and juicy tomato slices. Or a throw-together pasta with the stub of cheese you have in your fridge and a generous squeeze of citrus. Since we can make do with just a few, what kitchen tools could we make without?

Gastronomica is a fantastically whimsical food blog with an edge like a serrated knife, and I came across their funky post about kitchen utensil temporary tattoos. Those girls sure have connections, in and out of the kitchen. Which led me to wonder … tattoos are for life, right? They say something about what’s important to you–either in the inking moment or perhaps for a lifetime. Maybe it’s because I’m young that I find it hard to imagine what old and wrinkly will actually be like, but I better like that tattoo enough when it’s bended into the folds of my skin!

So while I wouldn’t go so far as getting my favourite ingredients etched forever on my forearm (though Chuck Hughes can vicariously carry my love for shellfish right there), I can say that if I had to choose one kitchen tool to carry with me from now to the end of time, it’d be a grater. With a grater, you can spread out taste. That zingy lemon? It’s in the zest, which you won’t get to unless you reach for your microplane. Or how about carrots that can carry the salad dressing in your salad? I love carrots that are grated in heaps on top of a salad, drizzled by dressing right over top, and you got yourself the vegetable equivalent of an olive oil bread dip. Now if you had to use one kitchen tool for the rest of your life, wouldn’t you want one that lets you savour every bite possible?

Tonight, I used my grater to make lemon spaghetti, tossed in a very fine snowfall of Parmesan. And the assembly didn’t even require a kitchen knife–fancy that!

How about you? What kitchen tool can’t you go without?

Lemon spaghetti recipe, adapted from Food Network

  • 1 cup spaghetti
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/3 cup sliced olives
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon za’atar (optional) or 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Cook pasta until doneness desired is reached — taste the noodles and you’ll know. Add salt to season the past just before it’s ready.
  • Drain the pasta, but leave some of the pasta water to help the sauce bind to the noodles.
  • Combine the Parmesan, spices, and lemon juice into the pasta. Toss well. Add the olives and toss again.
  • Serve hot.
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