~Kitchen Gadgets I Treasure With My Life~
( How in the world did I ever survive without them!)
As I was whipping up yet another batch of pesto today , with the endless supply of basil growing in my garden this year, I started thinking about how cooking has become so easy for me and more enjoyable over the last few years.
When John and I first started cooking together, I noticed right away that there was a big difference between “OLD SCHOOL” and the “LUXURY ” of using modern equipment.
I would be in the kitchen doing the prep work, and John would catch me laboring for what seemed like eternity chopping, slicing , dicing, and grinding my way through a recipe, and on more than one occasion he would have to remind me that we do own modern appliances that would make my life alot easier, and leave me with more time for relaxing, and enjoying life in general.
One appliance in particular that has changed my life, is the spice grinder. As much as the mortar and pestle are great for certain things, I do not think that anyone other than an ancient Aztec housewife would use one for everything. We buy most of our spices in the whole form, and find that roasting them first, and grinding them really takes the flavor to another galaxy . The problem I have encountered over the last 5 years, is that these small appliances are not living up to the challenge I put them through on a regular basis, and they keep breaking in a variety of ways. So each year I step it up and spend a few more dollars to get a better one , only to be sadly disappointed less than a year later when a part or piece breaks off , forcing me to go back to “OLD SCHOOL.”
Toronto to the rescue! We were on our regular jaunt to “The Big Smoke” (nick name for T.O.) , running around in a shopping frenzy, when we came upon a small gadget store . I found the answer to my spice grinding issue . The Cuisinart Spice and Nut Grinder. It has a stainless steel removable bowl, and all you have to do is put your spices in the bowl, place the bowl on the machine, and give it a slight turn to lock into place, then drop the lid on top and press. It has a powerful motor and the stainless steel is sturdy. I really can’t tell you how excited I was to find this. I hope I haven’t built up my expectations about this great device, and it will make it past the one year test in my kitchen. If an appliance makes it more than one year around here, it’s a winner~
I made a couple of different Indian spice mixes earlier this year by grinding the whole spices in a coffee grinder I bought for that purpose. So far, so good and I paid ridiculously little for it, but I haven’t used it that often yet. What a different it makes to grind your own spices – no comparing the flavour and aroma!
You are right about the difference it makes grinding whole spices. Some things like cinnamon and star anise are kind of hard so should probably be put in a mortar and pestle first to break them up . I have 500 ml canning jars that I use for my spices (which I have 2 drawers full ) I really like making my own spice mixes so they are ready to go too . Thanks for stopping by the blog by the way 🙂