I wanted to reach out to new cooks and people who have never cooked before to let them know there are some things you just can’t do without when you are just getting going in the kitchen. The first thing you need is the WANT to do it. The next thing you need is a RECIPE you want to try, hopefully you will find those here. And finally, the TOOLS to help you on your way to either a Good Meal, or Biscuits for breakfast, or something as simple as Scrambled Eggs.
I have numbered the items on the picture above, so I guess we’ll start with #1
The Lifter, you use it for lifting things into and out of the pan, or for flipping pancakes or fish over. Your best bet when it comes to one of these is to make sure that it will not scratch your pots and pans. So many of the pots and pans today have the non-stick coating and you do not want to scratch that, or your food will start to stick, making clean-up much harder.
The Masher, you would use it to mash potatoes, or turnip, or it can also be used to breakup ground meat when you are trying to fry it off in a pan. Note that the masher does have metal at its head, I do have another one that is also like the lifter above and will not scratch the pots and pans, but as I usually do my potatoes in a regular pot without non stick coating, then I use the metal one. I just find that I like how it feels in my hands better than the other one.
The Peeler, this is used to peel carrots or potatoes. It can also be used to peel apples, pears, and even get shavings of cheese off a block of Parmesan. Make sure you get one that feels comfortable in your hand, in fact, when it comes to all these tools, make sure that it fits comfortably in your hand that it is not too big or too small. There are different sizes in almost all of the tools I am showing you, so make sure it fits you.
The Paring knife, it is used mainly for peeling fruits and vegetables, but it is also used for making small cuts, like if you are trying to get smaller florets off a head of broccoli or cauliflower. Make sure your knives stay sharp, take them a least once a year to get sharpened properly, a dull knife is what slips and cuts you.
The Chef’s knife, it is used to cut almost everything. When buying a chef’s knife make sure you get one that has a nice balance in your hand (do you see the square piece that is at the bottom of the blade that comes between the blade and handle, you should be able to balance your knife at that point on one of your fingers, if it’s too heavy on either side, don’t buy that one.) A well-balanced knife is going to make everything you do easier and less stressful on your hands, this knife should also go in for sharpening properly at least once a year.
Wooden spoons, the tool that got broken over my backside many times, LOL. It’s original use, is supposed to be for stirring things and moving stuff around in the pan, but in our house when I was growing up it was used to threaten us with for good behaviour. I know it’s now illegal to use these on your kids, but a good smack with a wooden spoon never did me any harm and it sure smartened me up in a hurry. I never had to use one on my kids, the threat was enough.
The Whisk, one of the most useful tools in the kitchen. It can whip up some cream for your dessert, or it can whisk flour into butter for making sauces, or it can be used to mix things together to make a drink, the uses are endless with this one, truly one of my favourites.
The Spatula, again one of the most useful tools, it can be used to scrape out pans, or to scramble eggs, flip things over in the pan, mix batter so that everything is incorporated or to scrape down a bowl while mixing. I really can’t say enough about this one, except again, make sure it feels good in your hand before you buy it.
The Can Opener, it can be used to open any size or shape of can, and you can also use it to open those hard plastic casings that those evil toy manufacturer’s pack everything in. Sorry it can’t help with the two thousand twist ties that accompany the toys but oh well, you have to have something to do on Christmas afternoon.
Tongs, your second pair of hands in the kitchen, when you are trying not to touch anything with your mucky hands, the tongs do it for you. They can also be used to cook with, for stir frying things and moving them quickly around the pan, for the non stick pans, I have a pair with the silicone heads, so I don’t scratch the pans.
So there you have it, the 10 things that I definitely would not be without. Now you may find that your mothers or mother in-laws have a different idea of what tools they need to have, these are my go tos and I have several of most of them.
I have an explanation to give you for why I am not providing pictures of the Maple Pork loin that I was going to give you for the recipe today. When I pulled the pork loins out of the freezer and defrosted them in the fridge, I found that both of them had small holes in the packaging and the meat had gone bad, so I will provide the recipe for you, but unfortunately no pictures today. As for us, we are having leftovers for tonight.
MAPLE PORK TENDERLOIN
- 2 lbs Pork Tenderloin
- 1/2 Cup Maple Syrup
- 2 Tbsp ea. Soy Sauce, Ketchup and Dijon Mustard
- 1 large Orange, zested and juiced
- 1 tsp ea. curry powder, coriander, garlic, and thyme
- 2 splashes Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp Corn Starch
- Place pork into a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray
- In a bowl mix all other ingredients and pour over pork
- Set oven to 350
- Roast pork for 40 minutes or until slightly pink in the middle
- Remove pork from the pan and set aside, foil covered to rest.
- Mix cornstarch with a small amount of water, and whisk into the remaining sauce in pan.
- Put the pan on a burner on the stove, and turn to medium heat.
- Slowly bring it to the boil and allow it to start to thicken slightly.
- Remove from heat.
- Slice pork into half-inch pieces
- Serve on a bed of rice with your favourite vegetables alongside
- Pour sauce over rice and meat.
This is one of my family’s favourite dishes. The first time I made this, even my daughter, who hates pork, dove in and went for it (she didn’t know what it was until after, but she loved it until I told her what it was.) I love to be able to bring you pictures of the dishes being made, but I really couldn’t do anything about this one.
I hope you try this recipe, and if you do, please let me know what you think, I would love to hear whether or not your family loved it. Also, if you have any comments about any of the posts I write, please feel free to let me know exactly what you think, even if you don’t like the way I write or the blog itself, let me know. I need the good with the bad or how can I make it what you want to see.
Take care for now and I will talk to you on Tuesday.