cheap help and top lists

I have a post on kitchen safety forthcoming, but while making dinner I realized I just had to show the cheap easy assistant I picked up last week.

four dollar assistantYup. It is a four dollar pepper mill. I grew up using freshly ground black pepper long before it was fashionable. We weren’t foodies either. It was just how one did pepper. Years ago E and I were gifted a salt and pepper mill set. I’ve been dancing it between table and stove ever since. I don’t know why it took me until last week to buy a four dollar spice mill so I can have pepper at the stove whenever I want, without a silly dance to the table.

All cooks, whether home or professional chefs, have little tools and quirks they prefer that make their lives easier. I do not believe you need a gadget or gizmo for every single item you prepare, but there are some tools I will not cook without, and others that make life much easier and allow me to spend less time in the kitchen.

Sharp knives are top on my list (6″ chef, paring, small serrated), along with good tools for measuring and weighing, and a wooden spoon with a handle that’s just the right length; but let me not deny that a second pepper mill and an easy to open container for coarse kosher salt also rank up there.

What items on your list?

In the coming weeks I’ll put together my full list — the things I have found that as a home cook who doesn’t want to spend hours in preparation I must have, and things I won’t let in the door.

Next week, however, I hope to have finished my post on kitchen safety. It’s the holiday season and the best advice I can offer at any time of year is to slow down, tie loose bits up, and sharpen all of your knives, especially if you have little ones about!

Reader interactions

2 Replies to “cheap help and top lists”

  1. I am with you on the easy-to-open salt container. I keep it in the open shelving right above my prep area and reach for it all the time.

    I have a tiny foldable colander that was given to me as a gift. It seemed frivolous at the time, but I use it often for rinsing berries, small tomatoes, and other little bits of fruits and veggies. I could live without it, but I like having it. A good scoop/spatula is another item for me. And a wooden spoon.

    1. My most useful kitchen tool? My husband. ;-)

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