Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Tooled Up for Food

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  • wendyf,

    Gasping here! And drooling. The Thermomix looks wonderful. A rice cooker is doable - I have enough Flybuys. Had discarded the idea but I'm talked into it. I gave away the iron frying pan - it was kind of wrist-breaking to lift it. But I have a small Ranzware pan that I use for toasting nuts and seeds, and also for frying eggs. I think it might have been the down market version of Le Creuset. Not that we could buy Le C back in the 50's

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 88 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

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    OK so here are a few of our favourite things:
    First is this teapot, it’s a recent addition, like the steam/convection/microwave oven underneath (which BTW does and amazing job defrosting). We don’t drink much tea but it was too pretty to walk past.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

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    In the same vein as the teapot was this small copper pot. I know I really won't use it that much but it makes me happy to have it. The copper ladle is a souvenir from our visit to Hampton Court Palace. It can be used but it's mostly about the memory.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

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    We decided we needed a proper thermometer after becoming addicted to "Good Eats". Alton Brown showed us why knowing the internal temperature of the meat is the best way to avoid dry roasts. It's made a huge difference the ease of making a juicy pork roast.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

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    As far as gadgets go it's hard to get simpler than a bit of wood, but over the years we've tried lots of different wooden spoons, untill we discovered these. The shape is perfect for stirring and getting into the corners of pots and pans. It also is just somehow "right" in the way that some objects just have the right proportions. We have three in the drawer at the moment :).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

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    These may look simple but there is nothing simple about a tool made by a laser! These microplanes (badly) photographed on my workbench are very very sharp, laser cut metal makes for very sharp cutting surfaces. They excell at grating parmesan and knuckles. The one on the left is used for rough shaping wood - hence the photo on my workbench.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Yes, that's the meat thermometer I've got. Transformative, in a good way.

    Bucolic in the backblocks… • Since Jan 2008 • 269 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Ross Mason,

    a decent fucking egg beater!

    My folks have one of those, and it is indeed the Bomb. I haven’t needed any kind of blender since the whiz-stick, though, with multiple attachments. It takes up less space than a hand beater. I love how rinsing takes about 2 seconds, just stick it in water and whiz it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    As far as gadgets go it’s hard to get simpler than a bit of wood

    Nothing beats a good piece 'a hickory.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

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    Here are three of our knives, a global, that we routinely fight over who gets to use, the middle one is usually our sharpest and used for slicing roasts or raw salmon and the left one is the first real knife I ever bought. It's over 25 years old, not quite as nice in the hand as the global but it has served me very well for decades now.

    The cutting boards were bought in Davis, California, on Earth Day 1996. Earth day is when all the hippies come out and play in Davis, selling all sorts of crafts and home made foods, all sold on comletely recyclable plates, with wooden cutlery. The food is all vegetarian, which I didn't realise untill I tried a hot dog - it is not a food that should ever be vegetarian. The cutting boards had to come home with us to NZ, they are both beautiful and practical.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

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    Here's my "more power" gadget, complete with pasta rolling attachment.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    The two most useless things in my kitchen: Coffee tamper (I just use the back of the teaspoon that I'm ladling the coffee in with), and wok (electric stove, admittedly many would argue that it's the stove that is useless)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

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    And finally for those of you who love old things … here is a genuine 1970s fondue set, with original forks! In the height of fashionable colourways. Somehow I snaffled this when I left home 30+ years ago and it has stayed with me ever since – melted cheese mmmmm
    Oh and in the background is the pepper grinder we literally spent years trying to find.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis, in reply to Bart Janssen,

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    Got one, not as a wedding present thank goodness
    Two family cooking items the first is a marmite/casserole made by my mother in the 70s pottery craze which makes food that just doesn’t taste the same made in anything else
    And a chopping board I made when first married from an old Kauri kitchen bench from the family farm that was ripped out in 1946
    It has so much use that it has a loverly natural bowl shape but like Russell I was no wood worker so it is not a perfect square

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 578 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    So have Global knives bought advertising here yet?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Tinakori,

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    I can’t remember who it was, but to the person in the food/equipment session a couple of weeks ago who recommended the steel frying pans from the Dunedin engineering firm (Southern Engineering, perhaps?), thank you very much. Our cast iron ones have been relegated to the second team. Very good at both frying and simmering for risotto/sauce and, as recommended, the handle doesn’t get hot. It is much lighter than the cast iron versions we have used for so long. Very cheap at $30 for the one in the picture.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2013 • 118 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

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    I've got one of these 1940 sunbeam mixers in the garage (complete with juicer). My mother used it for about 50 years. I think it still works but haven't checked for a few years. My daughter wanted to throw it out but one day someone will want to rescue it.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3227 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I have a microwave oven with no turntable.

    Free to a good home - obviously won't cook too well, but you could use it for science experiments (AT OWN RISK).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    So have Global knives bought advertising here yet?

    They would be welcome. But, then, why would they bother?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Rich - all good recycle centres have both turntables and glass tops - if you want to keep the thing going?
    I've bought 2 of each for dying microwaves...

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Brown, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Microplanes! Brilliant.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2013 • 137 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Islander,

    Really? It's the glass I need and I understood they were all different and impossible to buy.

    I have a better one, but if I had a glass top I could sell it working.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Nora Leggs,

    Back on the stock pot..... Russell you'll be very glad of it when you make pasta for a crowd.
    It also doubles as a storage container (maybe for other essential gadgets) in between bouts of making stock, pasta for a crowd etc.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2011 • 2700 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Nah, they’re around: if you want, send me a diagram/photo -and because these things cost basically nothing & I’ll cheerfully send it to you for the postage-

    I need the underside configeration-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Hilary Stace,

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    My mother still has a Kenwood Chef mixer, similar to this one, from my folks' wedding day in 1970. And last I checked, it was still operational.

    Believe it or not, the latest versions haven't changed much since.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5442 posts Report Reply

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