8 Cool kitchen tools

I’ll start out online looking for a new wireless mouse but will find my way to the cast iron skillet or the no-drip oil dispenser or the cute milk bottle. I’ll buy the cast iron skillet, vacillate over the oil dispenser and forego the new mouse as a compromise.   I am a kitchen nazi (bajaari in Madras tamil), a hoarder of spoons, a dabba fanatic, a crazy collector of all things vintage and kitchen and a greedy kitchen-tool buyer. I am always on the lookout for that new nifty little tool that’ll peel the sambar onions for me. It is always the sambar onions. In pursuit of that elusive tool, I have amassed easily the largest amount of clutter that my tiny kitchen can hold. But I haven’t yet found the one that’ll peel sambar onions for me. Here’s a list of some of my favourite kitchen tools. My absolute must-haves are my knife and pressure cookers. I’ve not listed the staples here. I am not the one who’ll buy a yogurt maker or bread machine. I am not a fan of super-specialized gadgets. The tools I have listed here are a bit more diverse yet really good at some very specific tasks. Double blade Mincing (rocking) knife – I love to use this to chop up greens and herbs. I bunch up my greens and go over them once with my rocking knife, turn 90 degree and chop again, turn – chop, turn – chop and it’s done. What I really love is that I don’t have to be holding the greens but I can still chop them real fine. You could easily use this knife to chop or mince onions, garlic or nuts too. These knives are extremely sharp. So be extra careful while washing them. Popcorn maker that I never make popcorn in but roast nuts in all the time – I bought this one at an exhibition (its called Smartpop), the kind where there are these stalls that sell vegetable choppers and roti makers and they do such impressive demos, it takes all your will power to not buy them. I bought it for just under 1000 bucks if I remember correctly. You can air fry small vathals, fryums and nuts in them. Jagan likes to roast a big batch of almonds in them. He lets them cool down before transferring them into a jar....

Jayanthi Who? Why?

An absentminded, recipe-jotting, over-ambitious, slightly creative, totally unorganized, working mom of 2 wild things, I love to cook. I am Jayanthi. When cooking for family (especially my joint-family –  don’t get me started on this one), there is always at-least one person who doesn’t like the dish, one who doesn’t like it the way I’ve done it and another who’s just not in the mood for eating (usually my son).  So the food better be good (I had to somehow work in the title somewhere)! It’s a wonder that I even muster the courage to cook every morning in this hostile territory. I envy all those other bloggers whose families always finish off their cakes and then they’d make a second one. It’s like those cutesy Karan Johar movies.  It’s never that way at our house. My family is too honest, bigoted and picky or I just don’t cook that great or both. But for readers who think this blog is a “cooking gone wrong/worst dishes ever” kind of thing, I’ll have to tell you this. I am not a great cook, but I am good and I am learning every day. This blog is my OrdinaryHomes journal that will chronicle my kitchen exploits, home-organizing efforts and joint-family life. I work full-time although I do doze off sometimes and what with my little ones, I do not get to cook as often or as much as I’d like to. When I do cook, it’s amidst a riot, my 1 year old son sitting atop the counter and cooking his own special curry and my 3 year old daughter emptying the salt packet on the floor. My husband works from home most days and is well, mostly working. He does help with the kids (I have to say this or he wouldn’t call out for me when they’re acting up!). I live with my husband, kids and in-laws in Chennai.  I enjoy shopping for our kitchen (not my kitchen, joint family remember) more than for my wardrobe. I like to make lists, plan menus and parties, buy gifts, decorate the house and all the other cool Martha Stewarty things. I can’t finish a sentence without a Tamil cinema reference, a bit like Sowkar Janaki in “Yethir Neechal”. This is how we talk among friends and we’ve got so used to it that it’s tough to talk any other way, which may...
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