The more time I spend in the kitchen, the longer my “must have” list gets. Unfortunately, since my graduate school loan repayment started, the shorter my “available funds” list gets and so I am relegated to re-naming my “must have” list as a “wishing upon a winning lottery ticket” list.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m super lucky. The previous owners of my house re-did the kitchen and while I might not have chosen black granite for the counters, I’m pretty lucky to have granite. I also have a super deep kitchen sink that is under-mounted which makes life a lot more convenient. And, thanks to a family that goes a little haywire for holidays and birthdays, I have a beautiful set of Crate and Barrel stoneware every day dishes that I love. They’re so pretty, it makes me happy to just see them. I also have the king of stand mixers – the Kitchenaid stand mixer. And I have the biggest one they make right before you get into industrial sizes. It weighs about 900 pounds but it’s a workhorse and I couldn’t live without it. Ok, I could live without it but I totally wouldn’t like it. And I have a crock pot with a removable crock which makes cleaning easy peasy and a very nice food processor which makes short work of chopping large quantities of …well…anything.
But there are a few things I’m lacking.
1. An Apron…a superhero apron
Now I have an apron. I used to be very proud of my apron because it was the very first thing I sewed on my sewing machine that wasn’t all straight lines (yeah, I make a mean throw pillow). I made it out of blue canvas so it’s pretty heavy-duty and no one seems to have realized that I sewed on one of the ties inside out except me. But after YEARS of use, it’s stained in a bad way. At this point I feel like we could give it to a starving child on the Sally Struthers “Feed the Children” commercials to suck on for a few weeks for sustenance. The only reason I haven’t boxed it up and sent it to Africa is because despite repeated washings, I’m worried it might be harboring e. coli.
I have taken the liberty of providing you with this helpful graphic of me in my apron…just so happens, the easiest picture to remove my head from was a New Year’s Eve picture so please ignore the festive head-gear. Also, my hair is not shorter on the left side – it’s behind my non-existent shoulder.
So, my friend Carrie-Anne found and posted this apron from Etsy on her blog. It’s THE PERFECT apron. Reportedly, Carrie-Anne actually owns this apron now but lacking photographic evidence, I’m still skeptical…jealous…and skeptical. Luckily she lives on the left coast so I’m pretty confident that we don’t host a lot of the same friends in our kitchens so maybe she won’t be upset with me for getting the same one some day when I can afford to buy stuff again. Actually, her husband bought her the wonder woman adult sized underoos I wanted so this would even the tables again. And no, I’m not upset she got my underoos before I did – I’m just jealous…and still lacking photographic evidence…skeptical. (Just kidding, please send picture of apron, pictures of panties not required). If I end up getting the underoos before the apron, I’m totally going to bake in them because I fancy myself a super hero in the kitchen. Once I have the underoos and the apron, I’ll totally need a cape, a spiffy crown and wonder woman’s stylish wrist cuffs but first things first.
2. Non-bacteria-infested pastry brushes.
I have pastry brushes but they’re the more old-fashioned bristle brush a-la a paint brush style. The bristles are starting to fall out so after I brush the tops of my breads with egg wash, I’m spending a considerable amount of time picking off bristles. If I’m in a huge hurry then I might leave them and chalk it up to “extra fiber” (you’ve been warned).
The bigger problem is that I’m never convinced the brushes are clean. I mean, I dip these things in egg and then just toss them into the dishwasher. How do I know that I’ve removed all the harmful bacteria from in between all those tiny little bristles? This is something my OCD side won’t completely let go of. Then I saw these beautiful silicone “brushes” that seem SO MUCH CLEANER-ABLE. So, yeah. Want.
3. Pasta rollers
I’ve been silently obsessed with the idea of making my own pasta for years. Since I do have a kitchen stand mixer it seems like a complete waste of potential to not own these pasta rollers. My mom has a manual pasta roller but she’s used it for arts and crafts and these things don’t look too terribly easy to clean so I’ve passed up her offer to let me have it for fear that I’d end up with clay decorations studding my pasta which might be pretty but is decidedly not appetizing.
4. Cast Iron
My grandmother rarely did anything in the kitchen without pulling out “Old Faithful” the cast iron skillet. The one you don’t use soap to clean because it’s been seasoned through years and years of use. And I think she’s had this same cast iron skillet for her entire married life. All my cookware is very un-iron. Stainless steel and teflon-coated-whatever can be awesome but if you’re going to fry something, you really want some old-fashioned cast iron. And, most of my cookware seems to have hard plastic handles which make them un-oven-safe and I have seen many a recipe that requires one to go from stove top to oven. So, I will continue to dream of owning a cast iron skillet to make grandma’s perfect fried cornbread which will only cooperate into little lacy edges in cast iron.
And, while we’re on the subject of cast iron, my DREAM cookware crock is this horrifyingly expensive enamel coated cast iron dish.
5. An iPad
I know you’re sitting there saying that an iPad isn’t kitchen equipment but I’d argue with you. I use so many on-line recipes that my laptop is constantly sitting on the kitchen counter shrouded in plastic wrap lest I spill something. An iPad would actually fit right on my recipe book stand and would be up off the counter safe from spills and I would be able to see the recipe online. Plus, I might be more inclined to overlook the other things my kitchen is lacking because I’d be busy trying to beat my grandmother’s score at the games Harbor Master and Flight Control and less busy trying to fry cornbread in a stainless steel skillet (Grandma and I are very competitive).
So, as soon as I win the lottery….