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Your Single Favorite Thing In Your Kitchen

It's been a sunny day, and *reasonably* springlike, so I'm feeling in the mood to *ac-centuate the positive.* So:

While doing prep for dinner today I realized how enthusiastically I love my cutting board. 18.5x31.5, edge grain maple. Scavenged by the Hub from a project, sanded and oiled, and presented to me. It has a "mole" which was a misfired guide hole on said project. Hub filled the hole with a stained dowel because he knows how much I love the oddly placed polka dot. The board is stained and scarred, with palpable dips in the surface after so much chopping. I love the thing. It makes me happy every day. (Yes, I know in the photo there is a significant amount of schmutz on the counter behind...what can I say? I was cooking, and I'm a messy cook!)

Do you have something in your kitchen that does the same for you, in the "I luuuurrrve this" way? Just one thing, mind you. Why do you love it? Think carefully. Pictures would be great.

Happy spring. Enjoy being in your kitchens with some favorite things!


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  1. My le Creuset 12 Qt. dutch oven.

    11 Replies
    1. re: Lenox637

      oh my... Twelve. Quarts. I think I'm getting goose bumps. What do you do with it? And in a fit of jealously and shallowness, I will also ask: what color is it? :-) Cay

      1. re: cayjohan

        Every thing from soup to osso bucco and back and forth. It is green, not my favorite color but a generous gift none the less. One of my favorites is to brown a small pork roast, a small beef roast and some hot and sweet sausage then de-glaze with a little red wine and add tomatoes(hand crushed) and simmer the day away.

        1. re: Lenox637

          Mine's orange. Best cooking tool I ever used, anywhere, period. Soups, stocks, stews, beans, roasts, braises, everything.

          I use mine at least three times a week. Amazing piece of gear, I can barely fit it into my fridge, but what a magnificent tool. And it will last till my grandchildren are long dead, I reckon.

          My desert island two-fer: chef's knife and my Le Creuset 12 qt. Dutch oven.

            1. re: Lenox637

              Mine's not that big, but it's probably my favorite along with my Global

              1. re: Soop

                No doubt. My Global chef's knife. Seeing how much I love it, my husband has bought me various other Global knives every Christmas for the past seven years, and I'm sure they're all very nice knives, but I still basically use my chef's knife for everything (except for slicing mushrooms, for which I swear by my discontinued Wusthof vegetable paring knife).

      2. re: Lenox637

        LC for me too, but my 5 qt. round dutch oven. Love it.

        1. re: Lenox637

          Oooh...I really, really want an LC dutch oven too. Right now, my favorite thing is my simple set of rubber spatulas. I love the way I can remove every smidgen of anything from bowls. When I watch the chef shows on TV, I get so annoyed when they leave so much stuff in the bowls.

          1. re: h2Bn

            If they're anything like me, they're saving that extra stuff in the bowls to lick. :)

            Here's a thought (I can't be the only person who does this)--do you have designated rubber spatulas for desserts vs. cooking with onions/garlic/etc.? I have "reserved" turquoise ones for desserts/custards/whipped cream as I've noticed the spatulas retain the smell of whatever we've cooked last. This was especially evident when we recently made cilantro paste for a recipe. Every other color in the drawer is fair game for making savory dishes.

            1. re: kattyeyes

              I do that. I have a silicone one that I reserve for baking; and a couple of cheap dollar-store spatulas for everything strong and pungent. I’ve even kept one that went rock hard for thick, pasty foods.

            2. re: h2Bn

              i feel the same way about the tv chefs leaving so much in the bowl or pan, even though i know it's for time's sake.

              and i love love love my williams-sonoma "spoonulas." they get everything out of anything, are heat resistant silicone, and wash up in the dishwashwer like new. i get them on sale and people love them as little gifts.

          2. My Chinese cleaver with the dragon. Sharp, light and pretttty.

            3 Replies
            1. re: billieboy

              That is a gorgeous and clever cleaver, billieboy. ;)

              I have to mull over my very favorite thing and get back to you, Cay. Fun post!

              1. re: billieboy

                Who makes this? Where do they sell it?

                1. re: RGC1982

                  I ask again, on behalf of RGC and myself.... who makes this? Where do they sell it?

              2. My stir crazy electric popcorn popper. I had one in college 25 years ago and my kids got me one this past Christmas. I love it more than all of the expensive things in my kitchen put together. I have popcorn for lunch a lot!

                1. My Scanpan roasting pan - beautiful, heavy and indestructible - you can do anything to it and it always washes up like new. Roasts like a dream.

                  1. my husband gave me an over-the-sink collander for christmas. I use it constantly! I'm a messy cook and often have a sink full of dishes just when it's time to drain the pasta or rince the mushrooms or whatever. This has folding arms that lay over the front and back of the sink so you don't need a clear flat surface in the sink in order to use it. It's rarely put away 'cause I useit so much.

                      1. re: gloriousfood


                        Without this one, I wouldn't enjoy much of anything else!

                      2. My 1986 DLC-7 Super Pro Cuisinart. Has had several new bowls, lids, and tops over the years, but still worls like a charm.

                        1. My santoku knife. I had several other answers in mind, but I realized that this particular knife is something I use practically every day.

                          2 Replies
                          1. My Kitchenaid Pro stand mixer with its accoutrements. I make dough, batter, butter and whipped cream with ease. The pasta attachment has made me a fresh pasta-convert, and the meat grinder/sausage stuffer has been a lot of fun. And I try to find an excuse to use the ice cream maker as much as possible! Granted, one can find a way to do many of these things without the mixer, but I've found that it simplifies my life.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: bakinggirl

                              the pasta extruder or rollers? I've been trying to restrain myself from ordering the rollers.

                              1. re: buttertart

                                The roller/cutters. I highly recommend them!

                            2. The two hand-carved apple-wood mixing spoons made by my father.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: cuccubear

                                cuccubear, lucky you! I'm glad you treasure them! Cay

                                1. I am totallt in love with my new kitchen counters.

                                  1. I toast your nominee--the cutting board. For different reasons, and minus the outstanding history. . .

                                    Our kitchen has ONE workspot (it's a small kitchen), and the focal point is the humongous cutting board. After years of losing bits of chopped preparatory ingredients off the edges of inferior chopping surfaces, I found a hefty, albeit inexpensive 18" x 22" x 1 1/2" block. If our kitchen has a nucleus, that's it.

                                    Added bonus: I don't wish daily for higher counters.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: mamaciita

                                      The counter height improvement is a great bonus! I'm a long drink of water and that extra two inches of cutting board on the counter makes a great difference in the chopping fatigue! Cay

                                    2. My daughter when the two of us are in the kitchen.

                                      2 Replies
                                        1. The wood-fired pizza oven I built in the backyard. It's not technically in the kitchen, but it is the centerpiece of the outdoor kitchen I built, and my very favorite cooking tool! I think I'm going to take a picture of that thing and hang it on the wall next to photos of my other children, I love it so much. Labor was at least as painful, and much, much longer.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: modthyrth

                                            You did what no one else can- made me jealous! (I rent from a crabby man) Guess I have to say my molcajete, as salsa is a necessity in my kitchen & I prefer the texture ground to blender pureed. Love 2 see fotos tambien!

                                          2. My sentimental answer is my beautiful hand painted salt-and-pepper shakers, given to me by my grandmother, in shape of little birds, which sit on an equally beautiful matching saucer.

                                            My real answer is my magic bullet. it's not perfect, it is a flawed product, but ever since it was given to me last it's been used every day. The convenience of being able to make quick, cheap smoothies into a cup that I can cap and take on the go is just perfect for my lifestyle right now. I thank god for it.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: CoryKatherine

                                              I was thinking about getting a magic bullet or a mini cuisinart. What else do you do with your magic bullet. What are some of the flaws?

                                              1. re: CoryKatherine

                                                I was given a Magic Bullet a year ago and have yet to use it. Glad you have found a use for yours; it really is a lifestyle question. I just use my blender as I seem to need teh greater capacity. It does not at all replace a small food processor as Jacey is asking about.

                                              2. My favourite thing in the kitchen is my Great Aunt Aline's table. I remembered it from when I was little and when I was moving away to university I found it neglected in a corner of the loft of a barn on my Gran's farm. It's tongue and groove, worn from years of use and has small dotted lines all over it from when she used it as a pattern table.

                                                Since I have had it the table has made it through 15 years, three cities, countless dinners and parties, and 3 growing children. I have many fond memories but we've outgrown it, and can't really fit our family of 5 around it. I still love every last inch of it and all the memories it invokes, and always will.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: maplesugar

                                                  I'm guessing one of those three children will inherit the table.!What a lovely, homey legacy. Cay

                                                2. my pasta step. I am short..so my husband made a long/wide step just high enough for me to step up and make pasta... my shoulder's don't hurt for two days anymore. I love it! He put a strip of foam around the edges so I don't run my ankles into it and get bruised.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: melly

                                                    That is so thoughtful--I'm touched by unusual ways our men can say, "I love you." :)

                                                  2. my dishwasher. it was one of my wedding presents, and i'm so happy when i open it up with all those clean dishes, pots, pans, and sparkling glasses!

                                                    next: my set of henckel's knives.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                      Me too! Except in my case, the "dishwasher" is my mom doing the dishes after I've made dinner. Unfortunately, the dishwasher only seems to work once a year or so since I moved out of her house, but it's always such a lovely surprise to make dinner and NOT have to clean up after myself.

                                                      If I have to pick an actual object, I'd say my spaetzle maker. I don't use it often, but always get excited when I decide to make spaetzle and pull it out. It makes me inexplicably happy.

                                                      Cay, aside from the single polka dot, your cutting board looks just like my parents'...complete with pot burn rings on the right side. :)

                                                    2. I really enjoy seeing my set of 9 baking pans come out of storage, that we will be using tomorrow when we make our annual "Casatielle" (Easter Bread). My mother is in charge, and my wife and daughter assist. I open the wine and watch it breathe (and sip occasionally so we know when it's ready to drink). Happy Easter to all "Chowhounds".

                                                      1. My $8 AccuSharp knife sharpener. I have no steel skills, and this things works at least as well as my expensive Chef's Choice electric knife sharpener, and probably takes less steel off with each sharpening. Another great find at Eastern Bakers Supply in Boston.


                                                        1. Another vote for the Le Creuset 12 qt dutch oven.

                                                          I LOVE that thing, it was my Christmas present last year - when I opened it the first thing I said was "OMG, it's the big one and it's red!"

                                                          I have a smaller round 5 qt that is also loved. I even wrote a ridiculous poem that my kids howled over.

                                                          I'm also inordinately fond of my 8 inch chefs knife...

                                                          1. I'm going with a whimsical addition to your thread: my chef pig recipe holder. He's attached to the hood above the stove and provides an easy way to look at the recipe while we're cooking/baking.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: kattyeyes

                                                              Love your chef pig, he's a lot cuter than my old Labatt 50 bottlecap with blue tack (poster putty used in university in place of tape) behind it :)

                                                            2. Hmmmm if I had to pick one, I would say the hood. I am lucky enough to have a commerical hood ( which needed to be installed because otherwise every time we cooked the smoke alarms would go off that were hooked up to the burgler alarm and the police would come). It allows me to cook without the kitchen getting smoky and ignite things like cognac in a pan with no fear : )

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: cassoulady

                                                                Now you have made me jealous. I am the one who sets the smoke alarms off all the time. You just can't seem to use an indoor grill or wok properly without doin so in this kitchen.

                                                              2. I love my stove. I have a commercial Garland range. It has 6 burners and a 24 " flattop griddle. It also has a very large oven. I can cook at hame just as I do in the restaurant.

                                                                10 Replies
                                                                1. re: bigfellow

                                                                  big fellow, do you live at my house?? I have a commerical garland range with six burners and two ovens..... are you hiding behind my curtains???

                                                                  1. re: cassoulady

                                                                    Booo! Yup, that's me... I just don't like domestic ranges, except for the Aga type.

                                                                    1. re: bigfellow

                                                                      my neighbor has an AGA but only makes english muffin pizza, what a waste!!!! does your garland have the the steel plate that heats up ( ie where two of the burners could be I just have a flat steel plate and the whole thing heats up). Is yours a new one or an older one?

                                                                      1. re: cassoulady

                                                                        >>>has an AGA but only makes english muffin pizza<<<<<



                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                          SERIOUSLY. What. A. Waste.

                                                                          My friend had a 6 burner AGA installed in her house (4 ovens as well) during renovations a few years ago, and she uses it a lot - less so for herself, but there's a group of us always going over for dinner parties, and that sucker gets dirtied up very nicely when we get going.

                                                                          I hate it when designer kitchens are installed because it's the thing to do, but then they don't get used.

                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                            It is very beautiful but poor aga does not get used, she just sits in the corner all alone crying, come cook with me.... I want to go in and steal it ( tough I guess I would need a crane or something).

                                                                            1. re: cassoulady

                                                                              Ask her if you can house-sit when she's gone on vacation and go cook up a storm! LOL

                                                                        2. re: cassoulady

                                                                          My Garland has 6 burners and a 2 foot griddle (i.e. a flat top). Mine is 12 years old.

                                                                          1. re: bigfellow

                                                                            same, with the broiler under the griddle part, right? Mine was bought from a restaurant in the 60s that was going out of business, so it is an oldy.

                                                                  2. My Shun knife.
                                                                    It's got competitors: my rice cooker, my new Cuisinart Green frying pan, those little 4 T size plastic angled measures by OXO (I have six of 'em!), my Le Creuset spoonulas, but when all is said and done,
                                                                    I LOVE MY SHUN KNIFE!
                                                                    And I forgot, my boiled egg cozies:

                                                                    1. I'm also having a love affair with my LC French ovens, an oval one (red) that's about 5 1/2 quarts, and a round one (blue) that's about 8 qts. Also, I'm in a fairly new relationship with a new copper 5 1/2 qt. brazier, and I think this will develop into true love within a very short time. So now I'm wondering -- is it possible to be madly in love with three pots simultaneously?

                                                                      1. My silver lined copper pots and pans. I swear I could cook over a match using them. And they've improved my biceps. But they pay an exacting price for their love - they are a royal PITA to keep clean.

                                                                        Wish I could say my knives but I still haven't found that life partner yet.

                                                                        1. My professional sized KitchenAid mixer. My little brother spent his very hard earned money to buy it for me for Christmas. He was about 19; I was 23. He was so proud of himself, and rightly so. He was smart enough to get me a refurbished pro-size instead of a standard home model. I love it when he calls and I have it working away.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: Vetter

                                                                            Oh, what a lovely gift. He sounds like a great brother, and pretty thoughtful when compared to the teenagers I've known.

                                                                          2. LOVE your cutting board Cay!
                                                                            We had a family cutting board that one of my uncles made in shop- it was shaped like a pig. We called it 'the pig' as in 'Dinner's ready, get the pig for me please' - and Mom would set the hot platter down on it in the center of the table.
                                                                            The Pig was very old. It was given to Mom as an engagement present, and it's still in use at my sister's house- so let's see..... maybe 53 years old? He's got burn marks, and gunk builds up in the hole that functions as it's curly Q tail so you gotta be careful with it.
                                                                            I often wish it was in my house, I love that damn pig.

                                                                            Anyway- my pick is my 9 year old Silpat. No quaint, heart warming past about it. I just love it. (And I call it Patty)

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Boccone Dolce

                                                                              LOL--I love that "the pig" has such a rich history and is still part of your family--you should ask your sister if you can share custody. ;) And that you named your Silpat "Patty" is too funny.

                                                                              1. re: Boccone Dolce

                                                                                Another "love the pig!" Boccone Dolce, my husband has a cutting board that his grandfather made as a little boy. It's shaped like a curled fish and so very used over, what? 90 years? that it seems almost like a shallow bowl! Completely useless for any application other than cheese, but the thing is just so marvelously and charmingly battered that we love it.

                                                                                Isn't is great how everyday things become enchanted through use and longevity?


                                                                              2. I moved a several months ago and I do miss my dishwaher, and the OP made me realize how much I like my big maple cutting board. I think my favorite thing(s) is my bit stone mortar and pestal. I don't use it every day, but for spices, marinades, rubs and sauces I love it. Maximizes flavor and gets a great consistency.

                                                                                1. Awesome topic. Right now I'm completely enamored with my 6qt. Crock Pot, a gift from my boyfriend this last Christmas. I've always wanted one, and this one has the removable stoneware that can be used to saute food on the stove. I wish I could find interesting savory recipes online that don't call for canned soup but I've had fun experimenting.

                                                                                  1. Tongs. Spring-loaded tongs- that fold when the tab is out, but with a pop on the hip extend.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: caviar_and_chitlins

                                                                                      Oooh good one! I feel so bad-ass when I flip them open just like that. It's not a smooth move if the tongs are drippy and it gets all over the tile, but for the most part it's a cool manuver.

                                                                                    2. My biggest splurge in our kitchen remodel was a commercial under the counter Hobart dishwasher. It has a two minute cycle!!! It will also accomodate almost every piece of kitchen equipment I own even the 12 quart Le Creuset pot. It is great for the big parties I have (30-40 for Chinese the day after Thanksgiving) and for my summer canning days. Since we don't have kids my husband worries about who will take care of cleaning out the house when we are gone. I tell him that who ever of our nieces and nephews does that for us gets the dishwasher. They will be lining up for the priveldge.

                                                                                      1. This isn't an easy question to answer because I have a lot of things in my kitchen that I could consider my favorite thing, but the only logical answer for me is the thing I use the most, my kitchen sink. As it's only two of us I rarely use the dishwasher. Last year we had some kitchen remodeling done and I had a big, deep beautiful Blanco Silgranit sink installed. Love it, love it, love it.

                                                                                        1. My off-brand stick blender. I use it almost every time I cook a meal.

                                                                                          1. Since I use it EVERY day, I'd have to say my Technivorm coffeemaker and iRoast2 coffee bean roaster.

                                                                                            1. What a GREAT topic, cay! After thinking really hard, I have to say it's something I don't use - it's more sentimental than anything.

                                                                                              It's my Grandma's set of Jeannette Jadeite Salt & Pepper Shakers. They always sat on the back of her stove, and after she died, Mom used them for awhile, but then asked if I wanted them. They don't "go" in my kitchen, but they belong there because they're Grandma's. (The Bake-O-Meter is something I found in an antique store - it has the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, so you KNOW it's good! <g>)

                                                                                              Otherwise, it would have to be either my Henckel or Sun santoku chef's knives. I use them all the time.

                                                                                              1. I was debating between my cork screw ( a sperm whale's tooth w/ wrought iron screw) or my beer bottle opener (old mahogany handled), but after deep contemplation and much thought, I've decided it must be my wife. She keeps me well supplied with all my pleasures.

                                                                                                1. I am torn between 2 items.

                                                                                                  For everyday use it is my wooden spoon of around 15 years. Perfectly seasoned, seems made for my hand, and just feels good- channeling back to the cooking spoons of my youth.

                                                                                                  In terms of sentiment it is the counter top board made by my grandfather. It is just over 3 feet wide and deep enough to cover the counter from backsplash to front edge, plus it has lips front and back. It is well seasoned. Perfect for making pasta or pastry doughs and rolling out any dough items,

                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: torty

                                                                                                    That just plain crazy solidity of the big thick cutting board is why I kept coming back to that as my favorite (although I have to say: you all have some pretty cool things!). There's just something about the earthiness of using a cutting board that, even if you prep veg 24 hours a day, it's probably going to outlast you out of sheer thickness! Cool gift from your grandfather. Cay

                                                                                                    1. re: torty

                                                                                                      Ahhhh...wooden spoons. Another good choice. I have been collecting antique (but usable!) hard wood wooden spoons for about 20 years now....but there are always a few that I come back to time and again as the ones that are "just right" for what I need to use them for. So I know whereof you speak, torty. :-)

                                                                                                    2. Not near as sentimental as other choices (although we have an amazing aluminum saute pan which makes the best omelettes, but it passed to my brother not me), but the V-slicer (a poor man's mandoline) is my favourite kitchen tool. Fast, even slices, quick perfect dice, instant slaw - it's so versatile, cleans and packs away easily, and does so many things.

                                                                                                      1. My carbon steel wok! I cook everything in it.

                                                                                                        1. While it's not technically "in" my kitchen I love my Big Green Egg.
                                                                                                          The greatest thing ever. Every time I use it I'm happy.

                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: Fritter

                                                                                                            I had to look that up--I had never seen or heard of a Big Green Egg. Neato. It's like one of those similar looking charcoal Weber grills on steroids--that BGE looks serious!

                                                                                                            1. re: Fritter

                                                                                                              fritter, did you see the recent thread involving paella? one link was to a "ceramic cooker" grill (like yours?) and had recipes.... http://www.nakedwhiz.com/paella/paell...

                                                                                                              and from naked whiz's home page, this link for big green egg recipes: http://www.nakedwhiz.com/WiseOneRecip...
                                                                                                              (also links to green egg forums: http://www.nakedwhiz.com/ceramiclinks... ).
                                                                                                              and look at all these annual "eggtoberfest" cookbooks: http://www.nakedwhiz.com/cookbooks.htm

                                                                                                              btw, all hounds, the second link i note (for big green egg recipes) merits a look for you even if you don't have a big green egg. lots of rubs, marinades, and meat cut charts, casseroles, etc.

                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                In point of fact I'm the one that posted the link on the other thread. :)
                                                                                                                The BGE is the single most outstanding cooking product I have ever used. I love it.
                                                                                                                I don't believe I have ever felt that way about another product.
                                                                                                                I used to make Paella on the stove top. Paella on the BGE takes it to another whole level.
                                                                                                                Don't even get me started about a 24 hour slow burn for pulled pig!

                                                                                                                1. re: Fritter

                                                                                                                  You should start a BGE thread. I would be very interested to learn more.

                                                                                                                  1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                    There are a few on CH already. I'll leave a link to one. When you look at thread with a product like this there is usually a lot of emotional posts based on price. A large BGE here with the nest and all the goodies is about $900. A lot less than some of the gas grills I have owned.
                                                                                                                    If you like BBQ, Pizza, Paella or steak the BGE is life altering.
                                                                                                                    You can also find a ton of info at the naked whiz or the BGE forums.



                                                                                                                    1. re: Fritter

                                                                                                                      Thank you kindly, I'll check 'em out.

                                                                                                                  2. re: Fritter

                                                                                                                    fritter, funny! well, i thank you for that! you see how memorable that paella post was!!! ;-).

                                                                                                              2. I was reading this thread orally to my wife and she immediately responded that mine must be my Hoyang cast iron frying pan. She is, of course, right. This is no ordinary cast iron pan, but a thing of beauty. I bought it at the factory in Norway 30 years ago and it not only cooks superbly but has a beautiful mahogany handle w/ a brass knob on the end that keeps the handle from getting hot, but is removable for when I want to throw the pan into a hot oven.
                                                                                                                "Truth is beauty and beauty is truth.
                                                                                                                That is all ye need to know."

                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                  Keg, that sounds interesting. Do you have a photo of this magic pan?

                                                                                                                  1. re: cayjohan

                                                                                                                    Not yet and I'm not sure I'll have time as I am flying to Las Vegas after school on Thurs where Scargod (who is flying out too) and I will embark on a chow raodtrip/adventure. I'm buying my bro's pampered garage kept desert driven little red Miata and Scargod and I are taking 10 days to take a southernly chow trip via Albuquerque, Austin (where we both have children) New Orleans, Savannah where I have an old friend and then north along the east coast back to car hell icy-salty roaded New England. Check our sites for postings.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                      This site? Will you be doing Keg and Scar's Excellent Adventure? Sounds like a blast - please let us know where to tune in! Cay

                                                                                                                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                          Jealous!!! But it is 70 degrees in CT right now...

                                                                                                                2. The art on my walls.

                                                                                                                  1. Well, I wouldn't think of it as really my *favorite* thing, but a refrigerator makes daily meals a whole lot easier and more interesting than they would otherwise be!! I guess what I get the most pleasure from, though, would be all my houseplants on the windowsills. This is the only house I've lived in with room for more than a few small pots on one windowsill; some didn't even have that.

                                                                                                                    1. Chopper Hopper - so simple and so handy!!!!

                                                                                                                      1. COMPANY... All things in the kitchen are personal choices.Old,new,sentimental etc all used, equally important with no sacred cows.The next step up is company.
                                                                                                                        Husband,friends,all ages welcome add an element things and stuff don't have

                                                                                                                        1. My portable ice maker without a doubt. I rarely drink anything but ice water. The fridge doesn't have an ice maker and I could never keep enough trays full in the freezer. This machine works great!

                                                                                                                          1. Just outside the kitchen door, my 28 year old Warm Morning gas grill. It has seen me through many power outages. I think it's on its third or fourth burner and it desperately needs some replacement parts but it still gets the job done. Mr.BR keeps trying to get me to replace it but anything that can survive 28 years on the Oregon coast deserves to keeps its place on my deck. It will make a fitting urn for my cremains.

                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                            1. re: BeefeaterRocks

                                                                                                                              Currently, my popcorn machine. Makes amazing popcorn and keeps the neighborhood kids happy at Halloween. I also use it for fund raising events at my daycare... the aroma wafts through the entire building and people come all eight floors for their fix.

                                                                                                                            2. My great grandmother used to carry water from the well, my grandmother used to chop wood for the stove, and my mom remembers having to pay attention to the amount of ice left in the icebox.

                                                                                                                              I often forget that my favorite things in the kitchen are a sink with plumbing, a temperature controlled range, and a refrigerator - that makes ice instead of using it.

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                                                                                                                              1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                                                My dad grew up with an outhouse.... So I can understand that we are so spoiled we take things like running water for granted.

                                                                                                                              2. I love my grapefruit spoon. Never seen one until I moved in with my SO. Just thought about how handy it was as I scooped chokes out of artichokes for dinner. Also love my Cambro containers for bulk that look sharp on the shelves and keep the beetles out of my bulk goods.

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                                                                                                                                1. re: corneygirl

                                                                                                                                  I have thought about this subject for a couple days now and I have sat in kitchen and looked around asking myself what is my favorite thing in my kitchen.

                                                                                                                                  I love my kitchen aid mixer, my cast iron collection, my bread pans, my hudge fridge and freezer...they are restaurant size.

                                                                                                                                  But I have to say my all time favorite thing in my kitchen is my IPOD Docking station and my IPOD ....I could not create half the dishes I do without my music!

                                                                                                                                2. I love my santoku knife.

                                                                                                                                  1. my kyocera ceramic knife. It glides through anything, and makes prep a breeze. I made a 30+ ingredient "simple" thai inspired stirfry last night, and the ease with which i blew through my ginger, many many peppers, onions, green beens, garlic, etc made me want to do a super complicated recipe tonight just to use it even more!

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                                                                                                                                    1. re: kubasd

                                                                                                                                      My wife doesn't do much cooking, but occasionally needs a smaller knife to cut up lemons, or whatever. I bought her a small ceramic knife in a sheath from Williams Sonoma a few years back. She's kind of proud of "her" knife in my knife drawer near all MY knives.

                                                                                                                                    2. When we renovated our beach house we installed a waist high cooking fireplace in the kitchen. We had special grates made that fold down after the fire is ready and you want to place the food for grilling . We grill pizza, steaks ,fish, chops, veggies and the occasional pineapple on hardwood indoors 12 months a year. And it doesnt hurt that it is a source of warmth in a power failure and looks terrific. Sentimentally it is the 12 piece china spice set including a salt mill with wooden lid that came with my Paternal Great Grandmother from Ireland over 100 years ago.

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                                                                                                                                      1. re: capeanne

                                                                                                                                        I'd love to hear more about your kitchen fireplace. Is it as simple as it sounds so far? What materials? I suppose you have a good exhaust fan / hood to deal with the smoke....

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Steve

                                                                                                                                          It is a basic fireplace with bricks on the inside intended to withstand very high temps. No hood necessary as it vents to the chimney .Think fireplace built waist high like we all have in living rooms at floor level for ambiance ...the grates make it special and the way it is designed it has open space at bottom ( recessed ) for wood and tool storage...we got the idea from eating pizza at Al Forno in Providence RI and used their mason. Think it is a position advantage ( no stooping ) and we surrounded it in stone ( marble ) with a granite shelf in front to hold condiments etc and installed glass doors for the occasional wet wood phenomenon. We are here every weekend and grill Fri sat and Sun...PLUS no pots pans or oven to clean !!!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: capeanne

                                                                                                                                            How often do you have to clean your chimney? I'd worry about grease build-up.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                              since we grille at most 3 nites a week we do Chimney Cleaner every 9 months ...and with lean meats , pizza and veggies it isnt so bad...ribeyes and pork chops being the worst offenders

                                                                                                                                              1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                                and actually when I think about this thing that I think is so wonderful I also think it is exactly what our forefathers had to cook...and the only thing....so like not quite so novel but back to basics?????

                                                                                                                                            2. re: Steve

                                                                                                                                              Steve I do think the interior brick heat tolerance is important as the only way to cook like this is to let the wood go to embers ( one hour usually) so you need alot of high heat and fat wood ( kindling sticks ) to get there..It has to roar before it embers....

                                                                                                                                          2. Me. For a period of time I lost my desire to cook, so I'd either bring in take out, make simple meals or eat out, none of which was satisfying. Eventually my will to cook returned and though I have a lot of great appliances and gadgets that I love, I will never under estimate my own value in the kitchen. In a sense I have found a new level of self sufficiency and self expression that I had not realized before.

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                                                                                                                                            1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                                                                                                                                              That's great--welcome back! And good point, what would our kitchens be without us? ;)

                                                                                                                                            2. It's a simple, thin, wooden cross between a spoon and spatula, with slots. It is even split. My husband had it when we got married. I haven't seen anything exactly like it since. It's thinner than a regular spatula in width and thinner than a wooden spoon in thickness. Just right. Probably cost $1-4.

                                                                                                                                              1. Santoku knife, I use it for EVERYTHING. Seriously, I barely need another knife...

                                                                                                                                                1. I've also got a scavenged maple cutting board. It was being discarded by contractors renovating another apartment in the brownstone I was living in maybe 12 years ago now. I sanded it and keep it oiled, and it's been great.

                                                                                                                                                  Hard to pick a favorite thing in my kitchen. I enjoy the ritual of making stock, so maybe it's my 13 quart hammered copper, tin lined stockpot, at least until I find a good deal on a bigger one. It's the one on the right in the photo at the top of this blog entry--


                                                                                                                                                  1. My super-charged turbo 400 watt Braun immersion blender. Wow it's awesome. I make things just so that I can use it. It makes mayo and emulsifed vinaigrette really quick. And it's been great making food for my now one year old daughter. It technically belongs to DH, but he rarely uses it. Gosh I love that thing...

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                                                                                                                                                    1. re: srr

                                                                                                                                                      What's the most 'challenging' thing you've made with this? (I mean it's not an ice crusher or up to bread dough is there.)

                                                                                                                                                    2. My 3/4 foot-wide stone grinder. too heavy to lift up, it sits on the floor and I use a metre long thick wooden mallet with it. 4 generations old, this grinder is designe dlike new mortar and pestle's but is a larger version.
                                                                                                                                                      Use it to make everything from fresh chutneys, to mashing herbs and spices for curries, crushing fresh ginger for morning tea, grinding black pepper and cumin and preparing crushed nuts for cakes and cookies

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                                                                                                                                                          1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                                                                            Haven't got a pic of mine, this gives you an idea, but ours is bigger and doesn't have the foot. The pestle is made from seasoned wood and as we use it on the floor, its a much longer baton. Picture a stone-age style tool. a huge bowl carved out of stone (lots of nicks and cuts from multiple bashings). It has 2 inch thick walls.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: waytob

                                                                                                                                                              Oh man... this is like crack for my 'really retro kitchen' thread:

                                                                                                                                                              I would love one of those. Som tum for 12!

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                                                                              Pic loading didn't work, will try to figure it out

                                                                                                                                                          2. my electric tea kettle. so fast!

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                                                                                                                                                            1. re: katydid13

                                                                                                                                                              Yes, I use my Russell Hobbs electric kettle for tea nearly every day, no problems.
                                                                                                                                                              Love my Wustof Santoku chef knife.

                                                                                                                                                              But, what I really love is my Berndes 7 qt dutch oven -- non stick (not teflon) have used it for years and just bought a second one so I can use them both at the same time. A bit hard to find; the store where I bought mine closed a few years ago and I finally found this one on line for about $123 including shipping. I make tomato sauce in this.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                                                I am making chicken stock in mine at this very moment!

                                                                                                                                                            2. other than the dishwasher (a no brainer), TWO THINGS...
                                                                                                                                                              A gas stove/oven (how can anyone cook on an electric range?), and my KitchenAid mixer.

                                                                                                                                                                1. It's a tie between two things I cannot do without and use nearly every day:
                                                                                                                                                                  Entrant #1: OXO Good Grips Swivel Peeler - it FLIES through all my peeling jobs like it was greased and, it is easy on the hands.
                                                                                                                                                                  Entrant #2: Chantal Stainless 1.3-Quart Classic Teakettle - with a two-note train whistle to let me know things are Really boiling out there, it can be heard no matter where I am in the house, plus its large opening lets me really get in there when it's time to clean. (I HATE teakettles with no other opening than the spout...I KNOW something's going on in there.)

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                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mcsheridan

                                                                                                                                                                    The OXO Good Grips peeler is one of my favorites, too. Back when Lechter's was still open (kitchen supply chain), they used to leave demo peelers out and fresh carrots, so you could give it a try in the store. It DOES blissfully fly through peeling jobs with absolutely no effort. I used to HATE peeling vegetables as a child (peeling anything seemed to take FOREVER then), but we just had those crappy old school metal peelers back in the day. Everyone should have an OXO Good Grips! They actually make peeling kinda fun.

                                                                                                                                                                    Re your last sentence--I totally agree!

                                                                                                                                                                  2. My cutting board from Cowellcarpentry.com. It is a work of art made from hard maple and framed in dark walnut. I was originally afraid to use it, it's so pretty. I give them as gifts now.

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                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ChardonnayQueen

                                                                                                                                                                      i'd hate to cut on that board, as well. it is beautifully made.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. I have a new favorite item. My new stereo with an ipod connection. I'm getting modern!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. Not wanting to wade through all 140 posts, I hope I'm not being redundant...my husband cleaning up after I cook...my favorite kitchen "thing".

                                                                                                                                                                        1. My new Cuisinart Elite 16-cup food processor. This thing rocks! Powerful motor, 3 different-sized, nesting work bowls with measure lines along the sides, locking no-leak blade, a gasket seal around the lid, a single adjustable slicing blade... I'm spending the morning chopping, shredding, grating, pureeing, generally cooking up a storm.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. I have an old cast iron skillet. It has been handed down through at lest three generations of the family, possibly four. I use it almost everyday. Love the idea of the continuity that this same skillet has been responsibly for feeding many wonderful meals to some wonderful people.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. Can't narrow it down to one...
                                                                                                                                                                              1. My husband...he's a great cook!
                                                                                                                                                                              2. & 3. VitaMix and pressure cooker (not in any particular order) we use both nearly every day.

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                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: lgss

                                                                                                                                                                                Do you make hot soup in your VitaMix? We used to! I also used to tease my old boyfriend (who bought it) that he spent more on that mixer than some people spend on their first cars! ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                                                                  We make hot chocolate in ours. For soup, we make it in the pressure cooker and puree it in the VitaMix. We have an old one with two metal "pitchers", one with a spout and one without. We had the base reconditioned not too long ago.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh!!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                I just got a silpat, I LOVE IT SO MUCH! IT SOLVES ALL MY PROBLEMS!

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                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: AngelSanctuary

                                                                                                                                                                                  I like to use parchment paper some times and hate the rolled up ones, really hard to get them to flatten out. I found out that you can order flat ones that fit perfectly in half sheet pans -- from King Arthur Flour. From the container store, I found the right size plastic box to keep them in.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. I am not sure if this counts, but my very favorite thing is my little herb/vegetable garden on my back porch (just outside the kitchen) - every time I go out to pick some herbs or a tomato, it makes me so happy!

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                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: EmBrooks

                                                                                                                                                                                    The garden window in our kitchen also belongs on my list. We currently have lots of basil and a few hot pepper plants.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. The first time I ever saw (or used) a flattened teaspoon, was at a ritzy restaurant in San Diego called The Winesellar Brasserie. They gave it to you to use with many of their desserts. I marveled at how effortless it was for me to scrape up the melted vanilla bean ice cream swirling around with balsamic vinegar that was mixed in with the red strawberries that I just sliced with that same spoon! There wasn't a drop left. Today, I have my own flattened silver spoon that I use to scrape seeds out of melons, spread icing on cakes and make pbj's. It's definitely a novelty.