As we enter the big baking and cooking season, Songbird asks:
1) Do you have a food processor? Can you recommend it? Which is to say, do you actually use it?
Although I enjoy fancy gadgets as much as anyone else who loves to cook, I have never owned a food processer. Between the KitchenAid mixer, its attachments, and the blender, I've never felt the need for one.
2) And if so, do you use the fancy things on it? (Mine came with a mini-blender (used a lot and long ago broken) and these scary disks you used to julienne things (used once).)
I would, if I had them!
3) Do you use a standing mixer? Or one of the hand-held varieties?(And isn't that color delightfully retro?)
My cherished KitchenAid mixer, which looks exactly like the beautiful blue one in Songbird's picture except that it is white, is about twenty years old and going strong. Of the three attachments shown in Songbird's picture, the dough hook gets the most frequent workouts at our house. The Scientist loves to make bread with the KitchenAid. I often use the impressive-looking shredder cone attachments (sold separately) for grating lots of cheese or veggies. After the little hand-held mixer that predated our marriage finally died a couple of years ago, I got a three-speed KitchenAid hand-held, which works like a little champ and does everything I need it to do.
4) How about a blender? Do you have one? Use it much?
Yes, mostly to make pesto--or this soup (adapted from Mariquita Farm), which is a great way to use up carrots:
Carrot and Cumin Soup
1 large onion, chopped
5 or 6 carrots, thinly sliced
3 T. olive or canola oil
1 tsp. ground cumin (or maybe just a little more, not too much)
1 tsp. salt
4 cups water or stock
Cook onion in oil until soft. Add carrots and seasonings and cook for a minute. Add water or stock and simmer for about 25-30 minutes, until very soft. Puree in blender (be careful!). While the soup cooks, toast about 1/4 c. chopped pecans in a 350 degree oven for about six or seven minutes--just until they darken slightly--and toss with a little melted butter. Sprinkle them on top of soup when serving. This makes about four big soup-bowl-size servings.
5) Finally, what old-fashioned, non-electric kitchen tool do you enjoy using the most?
I use a good old-fashioned balloon whisk for sauces or gravy, at least once a week. I don't know what I would do without it.
Bonus: Is there a kitchen appliance or utensil you ONLY use at Thanksgiving or some other holiday? If so, what is it?
I had to think about this for a while! All I could come up with, is the cheesecloth that I oil and use to cover and baste the Thanksgiving turkey!
P.S. I'm home taking it easy after dealing with some medical stuff, and won't be cooking or baking next week. Waaah!
How many people do you know who would be sad about that?