Like a lot of women, I spend a fair amount of time in the kitchen. It’s probably my favourite room in the house. I’m a simple soul and am happiest on a Sunday morning prepping the veg for lunch as I listen to Radio 4. One of the reasons I am happy is because I have some brilliant kitchen gadgets to help me get things done quickly, efficiently and safely. Not the type that gather dust at the back of the cupboard, the ones we reach for time and time again. You may well have some of these in your kitchen so if you’d like to share with your fellow A&G readers, please use the comments section below this article. Thank you.
1 Zeal Silicone Non-Scratch Spatula Spoon. The Aga Lady, Sarah Whitaker, (don’t miss her really interesting article – Ten Top Aga Tricks You Wish You’ll Already Knew ) recommended this to me and it is so useful. Flat ended, it’s specially designed so that it’s perfect for scraping without scratching your cookware. Odour, stain and heat resistant. Non stick. Dishwasher proof. Firm handle with loop for easy storage. From £9 depending on which of the eight colours you prefer.
2 There are knives and there are knives. You won’t believe quite how sharp this particular knife is. Called a tomato knife and with a rather unattractive plastic handle, it is one of my prize possessions! It will cut any vegetable (I use a mandolin for potatoes though – see below) or fruit, let alone a tomato, so finely that you have the thinnest slices. I find myself using this knife over and over and over again. Victorinox £6.50 each. More info
3 I often use citrus zest / peel in both sweet and savoury recipes and this sturdy lemon zester gets the job done without any fuss. For example, in what has proved to be a very popular side dish – French Beans and Mangetout with toasted hazelnuts and orange…. yum. £6.29 from Amazon. More info
4 Joseph Joseph folio chopping board set £38.20. The different colour coded boards prevent cross contamination; so blue for fish, green for veg etc. I have had my set for at least four years and would not be without them. Just bung them in the dishwasher. Choose from White, Graphite or Silver and larger size boards are also available. More info
5 I realise these have been around for years but I don’t think I could live without my e-cloths. The general purpose ones work wonders when it comes to keeping surfaces clean and when dampened with water, make short work of removing even stubborn/greasy marks. Machine washable 300 times. Not cheap but the knock off versions are nowhere near as good as the real thing…
Likewise the e-cloth deep clean mop (£19.20) which keeps your kitchen floor hygienic without using chemical cleaners.
6 Chefs rings. A great way to serve rice or make individual Dauphinoises. I also use mine for my recipe. £8.69 for set of two. These particular ones are great quality and very easy to use. They can be popped in a frying pan as when using them for recipes such as my Prawn & Salmon Burgers with Spicy Mayo and are happy in the dishwasher too.
7 Equipment doesn’t have to be expensive to be invaluable. I have been using my Ikea roasting tins (two sizes – one £9 and the other £7) for a decade. Yes, I know you won’t believe me but it’s true. They are still as shiny as new. Absolutely fabulous.
8 No, I haven’t gone mad (yet). Clothes pegs (either wooden or plastic) are excellent closures ie to stop an opened bag of peas from spilling out into your freezer. £4.16 for 36. Buy now
9 I use this OXO Good Grips handheld mandolin to evenly finely slice red onion (adds a crunch and colour to any salad for example) or potatoes for an indulgent Dauphinoise. Over the last year or two it has proved a durable piece of kit, it’s comfortable to use and the blade is still nice and sharp. £16. More info
One of the reasons we set up Annabel & Grace online magazine in 2012 was to share all those tried and tested recommendations for useful new products that we find out about when chatting with our girlfriends. This sort of information is invaluable as it’s all about someone like you passing on really useful knowledge. It’s only our opinion of course but you can see our choices here.