Wednesday 9 March 2011

Rachel's Little Helpers...

A slightly different post today. I thought you might like to see some of the thingsI find essential in my home kitchen...things I'd be lost without! The first is my gas hob...for years I struggled with slow to react, so inconsistent. Finally, when we built our new kitchen (9 years ago - wow!) I got my dream. Gas hob and electric oven...perfection!
Cranberry isn't essential! Any colour will do...but I now wonder what I ever did without my Kitchenaid mixer! So versatile, so strong and SO beautiful!

Cups. These were a wonderful present, and are collapsible which makes them so easy to wash & store. I have other sets too. Indispensable for all those amazing American & Australian baking recipes...

My fantastic and enormously heavy granite pestle & mortar. I use it for so many things....from crushing large quantities of garlic & ginger for curries to pounding spices to breaking up hazelnuts or almonds.Looks beautiful enough to leave on display but is SO functional too.

Pyrex. The name makes me think of my grandma...and I'm sure she found it as useful as I still do. Bowls, of course. But my measuring jug is one of the things I use most often. For measuring milk when making muffins & scones and for melting chocolate or butter in the microwave...a great product.

Measuring spoons. Again, I have many sets. How did I ever do without these? Just so important for accurate measuring of raising agents and flavourings..and I love the tactile feel of them too.

Finally, my offset spatula. I have lots of these and they're something I use all the time in my work kitchen too. So useful in so many ways...loosening biscuits & cookies from baking sheets, smoothing the top of cake & brownie mixture, running around the edges of cakes before turning out...and indispensable for decorating cakes, swirling frosting, spreading jam. If you're serious about baking, you NEED at least one of these!

So that's my list - did I leave any of your favourites out? I'd love to know!

Happy Wednesday xoxo


  1. OK let's start by saying the thing I loved most there was the brownie looking cupcakes. I am trying to diet. I am hungry. It's very sad.

    But hey what about a Cuisinart? I use mine more than my Kitchen Aid. Don't have a mortar and pestle but all you described doing in it, I do in the Cuisinart. Plus all my cookie doughs.

    I have many measuring cups too and some that are the interim sizes, 2/3 cup, 3/4 cup, 1.5 cup, 2 cups. Lazy girl loves those. Any recipe that has weights is my preference tho. Love my scale. Easier, less to wash. The illusion of even more perfect perfection. Virgo!

    So many kitchen gadgets, all wonderful. How did people live with just a fireplace, a spoon and one chipped bowl.

  2. Nancy...I KNEW I'd forget something very important! You're so right, my food processor (mine's a Magimix) is definitely essential. But I do find I need the mortar too...because the texture is better for somethings I find, too precise & mashed in the processor! Still need them BOTH!! Thanks for setting me straight. Will post about those 'brownie looking cupcakes' next I promise!! xo Rachel

  3. Loved visiting your kitchen and seeing the things you love and use every day! Chuckled at the Pyrex pitcher. It is made by the Corning Glass company which is located in upstate NY dear to where I grew up. They have a marvelous museum of glass there (along with those lovely lakes in the Finger Lakes Region!) a person should see. All this from kitchen implements! Ha! Can't wait to see all you bake for Easter! Love and hugs, Sherry xx

  4. Rachel,
    Such a wonderful post! I don't have the gas stove, mine is electric, but would LOVE one! I have to agree with the necessity of all your items and I too, find them indispensable! I got my first mortar and pestle in Florida, when I went for my birthday. Brought it on the plane in my hand bag. lol. The other things I can't live without in the kitchen are my mechanical scale, oven gloves, and my trusty timer. Love the timer and couldn't live without it. Set it and go! Great post sweetie. Loved seeing all kitchen gadgets! Happy baking! xo

  5. Rosinda, you're so right about the timer! But the funny thing is that I've been baking for so long now that I invariably get up to check the oven just as the timer goes off! I seem to have a timer in my brain! But I still use it to double check. x

  6. Love this post Rachel. Fun to see what is essential to our friends. For me it's all of the items mentioned plus my microplane,whisks, a really good cast iron skillet and set of sharp knives. Also love my All Clad skillet. I would love to have a gas stove. I grew up with one just like our friend SB and it was the best!!!
    Hard to keep heat adjusted on electric (we are unanimous on that).

  7. I think everyone has added the things I thought of .. my add and weigh scales, definitely Kitchen Aid although I ended up with black. I really really wanted the lime green one to match the kitchen but hey ho...
    Without doubt the bestest best thing in my kitchen though is Agnes the AGA. I couldn't cope without her and she does all the cooking, (FANTASTIC meringues) hot water and lots of the ironing.
    Thank you for this post kitchens all over the place with the same essential.

  8. Love, Love LOVE this post!! How the same we are---so far away and so many of the same wonderful kitchen things we crave and use. My kitchenaid has been around FOREVER and I love it. I use a Cuisinart as well ( like Nancy ) quite often. I also love my flour sifter, my microplanes which get used several times per week, my wooden spoons and spatulas which are wonderful for getting every bit out of a bowl and I have a set of 'rubber bottomed' bowls which are great for non-slip work-outs on slippery counterspaces. Hmmmmmm, what else? I love my mini popover pans for making bouchons and my rolling pin because I make a lot of pies. I Know there's more!! So fun---I was really missing your postings!!

  9. Great post, you have all ticked the boxes I would have too! I also have a mini whisk that I seem to use a lot. My Kitchenaid is pink and is called 'Bender', I love him.
    Ray, your blog is alwasy so informative and interesting. I don't read many others, I have little time, but some of them are soooo superficial and 'cute' and wordy and have so much style over substance. I think yours is the best! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


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