Kitchen toolkit

Looking at other food blogger’s pages about what they use in the kitchen is not only really interesting, it is a chance to learn from one another. One of the reasons I love to blog is so that I can share my knowledge and help others to learn. It’s in my DNA to teach!

It has to be said that I don’t have hundreds of kitchen tools, or for that matter expensive ones, but those that I do have I use every single day and without them my work in the kitchen would be much harder. If you are new to the kitchen,  then digging these things out of your kitchen cupboard would certainly be a good place to start. So, here is my guide to my essential kitchen tools –

  1. An apron!! Or in my case, several for when one is in the wash. In order to be an efficient cook, you need to be a clean and tidy cook. It is the first thing I do when I enter the kitchen to start a meal or to bake. I open my drawer and choose my apron.
  2. A wooden chopping board – when cooking from scratch every day you need a reliable surface to prepare your vegetables on. When you buy a wooden chopping board it has to large and heavy in order to stand up to the daily hammering it is going to receive. Before using your board it is a good idea to oil your board with olive oil to help prevent the wood from drying out.  At first you may need to lay a cloth underneath to prevent it wobbling, but in time it will level off.
  3.  A chopping knife – I use a large chopping knife and I have used it for a long time, therefore it is comfortable and easy for me to use. However, a knife is only any good if it is held properly. Hold the knife handle close to the blade so giving you plenty of leverage to chop your food, and more importantly prevent you from hurting yourself.
  4. A stick blender – when making sauces and soups you will need a heavy duty stick blender with a stainless steel shaft. I have a Dualit stick blender, which although may cost you in the region of £80, it is worth every penny and more!! I use mine 3-4 times per week when I make fresh sauces and soups.
  5. A heavy based saucepan – hands down it has to be Le Creuset with their 3 ply stainless steel saucepan. I have an 18cm/2.8L pan which is capable of everything I throw at it, without exception. Again it may cost you in the region of £80, but it is money well spent.

Any good kitchen toolkit wouldn’t be complete without some trustworthy cookbooks. I know that I wouldn’t be able to survive on a daily basis without the guidance and advice given in the cookbooks I have listed below. These are the type of people I aspire to being. Amazing cooks, recipe writers and developers and people who put health at the heart of their cookery.
My number one spot has to go to a cook who know everything about cookery, and anything she doesn’t know probably isn’t worth knowing. Her presence has faded in recent years, but her cook book is still going strong in my kitchen. My other choices are just as well used, although they are rather a different style to that of Delia’s. In all of these choices I never tire of flicking through the recipes, each time finding a new one that I haven’t yet tried. I’m sure you will do the same.

  1. Delia Smith’s, ‘Complete Cookery Course’. It was first published in 1971!! There is just everything you need to know in this book, soups, vegetarian, using pulses, cakes, biscuits and even how to make your own wedding cake!!
  2.  Sarah Britton’s, ‘My New Roots’, a fantastic acknowledgement to those of us leading a vegetarian and vegan lifestyle. Her recipes are quirky, but delicious.
  3. Yotam Ottolenghi’s,  ‘Plenty More’. I fist came across Yotam Ottolenghi when a good friend and fantastic cook urged me to try his ‘Cauliflower Cake’, I did and from there on in fell in love with his middle eastern cuisine, with a twist.