Thursday, May 7, 2015

Things I Can't Do Without in My Kitchen, Part 8

If you were to ask me what the one thing is that I always in my freezer, I could answer that in a heartbeat...BUTTER!  At any one time, I have 8-10 pounds of butter in the freezer, all tucked nicely away in freezer Ziploc bags.  If you were to also ask me if I use unsalted or salted butter, the answer is just as fast...unsalted.  The shelf life isn't as long as salted butter, but if it's in the freezer, what does it matter?  Unsalted butter lacks two things...salt, and annatto, which adds color to the butter.  I think the lowest my butter inventory has ever gone was this past Christmas when I was down to 4 sticks in the freezer, not 40.  If butter's on sale for $2.00 a pound at my grocery store, and the limit is 2, I will ask the dairy manager if he can okay my taking 8 boxes...and I've never had a problem...I love butter, and it brings me much joy to see it in its glory in the freezer.  But, enough about butter and on to my other items.  My large red rubber spatula...oh my gosh, can I tell you how difficult it is to find a fairly stiff large spatula that can go through a lot of dough that's in the Kitchenaid?  I think I got it at an outlet mall, but now I honestly can't remember.  I should have bought 3 of them...don't know what I was thinking.  Not pictured, but still getting recognition is my very small heat resistant hard plastic spatula.   I use it to scramble my eggs and scrape the pan when I'm melting things like butter or a chocolate mixture.  It has held up for years and has served me well.  On to my wooden reamer.   This tool serves two purposes.  Yes, it reams juice from fruit and I use it alternately with my vintage glass reamer, but it's bigger purpose is to create the hole in the middle of my jam thumbprints before filling, using the handle end, of course.  It is the perfect size, and never sticks to the dough.  I have already featured the jam thumbprint (recipe #37), and if you get your hands on one, it will make that particular job much easier.   Last, but not least, are my two offset spatulas, large and small.  When I bought the large spatula, I thought long and hard before buying it.  No, it wasn't the expense, I simply questioned whether I would have any use for it.   That was answered with my very next baking venture, when I had to lift a rather large piece of cake from a pan to a plate.  Viola! and the project was done.  It has saved my baking hide many times over.  As far as my small offset, I think I have had it for 30 years.  If you do a fair amount of baking, and you only have a small flat metal spatula, run, don't walk, run, to the nearest Joann's, Michael's, etc. and treat yourself to this invaluable tool.  They are both so talented at getting under things that a flat metal would tear apart.  Well, there you have it...number 8 in a series of things I can't do without.


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