14 January 2011

Top Twenty ...

Illustration from Cinderella - Charles Perrault

While others may be listing their New Years resolutions, I have been pondering the evolution of cooking and kitchenware. I got this book  for Christmas and have been so engrossed in reading it! Last evening over dinner, Silent Bob and I were talking about all the incredibly important kitchen inventions that have made life easier and more efficient for cooks and chefs world-wide ... and safer for everyone who eats. I kiddingly said we should make a Top Twenty list, so we started one ... please add your thoughts in the 'comments' section. Oh, and know that these are not in any order of import ... just as we thought of them.

So, here we go ...

1. Stove (in all its manifestations) - Making the move from the fireplace must have been earth-shattering for cooks of the nineteenth century!

2. Wire whisk - This girl can't imagine trying to make meringue without one!

3. Tempered steel knives - They sure beat rocks and lesser metals!

4. Non-stick cookware - Oh man, do I love my non-stick wok and fry pans!

5. Dishwasher - I still remember getting my first dishwasher and feeling like I'd hit Lotto! The time for clean-up was SOOOO drastically reduced!

6. Standard measuring utensils - As a cook who wants to pass on recipes, I want them to come out for others as they come out for me ... these tools sure help in that department!

7. Mesh strainers - These sure beat using cheesecloth, which is a b*^#! to clean!

8. Microplane - I don't know what I ever did without the one I have! Thank-you, Sprout Kate!

9. Silicone spatulas - No more degenerating spatulas because you forgot and stirred the tomato sauce or custard with your cheap rubber spatulas!

10. Tupperware (in all its manifestations) - Thank-you, Mr or Mrs. Tupper for figuring out nesting leftover keepers!

11. Cherry/olive pitting tools - Nothing says, 'Tedium'  like making a cherry pie without one of these little tools! The world is a better place because of them ... and my shirts and fingers have been saved those stains!

12. Ziploc bags - Everything is easier with these bags in your drawer! Marinating, tenderizing meat, saving leftovers, storing bug-prone staples ... life is easier with Ziploc!

13. Rings/lids/and jars - Canning equipment sure makes saving and storing food safely a cinch ... and no more dealing with melting wax for sealing!

14.  Refrigerators - Having an icebox, fridge, whatever right in the kitchen sure makes life easier for storage and food safety!

15. Pastry bags with attachments - Pretty food is just such an aesthetic joy!

16. 17. 18. 19. 20  .... and here is where we stopped ... so what do YOU think? We await your comments so that we can argue over them a bit  (rather, have scintillating dinner conversation over their merits!).

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Pssst! One year ago today :  A Treat ...


  1. I've read that book, so interesting. I would add, rolling pins, canning jars and a whistling tea kettle. My my, we are surrounded by comforts and conveniences aren't we?

  2. @ Audra ... with you there on whistling teapots! How many teapots did I ruin over the years, by walking away from the stove ?!?

  3. love it!... what about the toaster... and also the sandwich toaster... BINGO!!!

  4. @ Dom ... never even synapsed the toaster! Excellent invention!

  5. Food processors and electric choppers, blenders, and mixers of all sorts. Talk about tedium without these. I'm not sure mince would even be in my vocabulary without electricity!

  6. For me, a food scale changed my baking life! :) And your #8, how did we live without a mircroplane grater???

  7. @ Kay - A food scale! Excellent tool especially when doing conversions from standard to metric or vice versa!

  8. Electric mixer, pasta maker and pastry blender top would be on my list. I also agree with the other comments that the food scale was a rather nifty invention, too.

  9. I love my pepper mill. Use it 100 times a day. ( slight exaggeration ) Did any one mention the food mill? Love that too!! Great post it was a lot of fun. GO PATS!!!!!

  10. I love my wok, have to have for all the stir fry dish!

  11. Sprout Sara16/1/11 8:02 PM

    I'm really surprised you didn't say corkscrew...

  12. @ Sprout Sara - Bwaaahhhhh! how COULD I forget!?!

  13. I love my electric hand blender. It makes soups and sauces in mere seconds. And I TOTALLY agree with you on the dishwasher. I can't imagine living without one. Great list!

  14. Hmmm...great question. My top 20 would have to include:

    Long chopsticks that I use to fish stuff out of hot/wet/icky places, or just to fish the bay leaves out of soup.

    Induction cooktop. Oh. My. Safer than gas, fast, hot, responsive to my every whim.

    I'd have to say carbon steel knives. I know, I know, not fashionable, but those are the ones I always reach for.

    Salad spinner.

    What a great list. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  15. @ Kate - You know? Everytime I check in here there are more and more super additions to the list! Yes! Salad spinners!


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