Think back on your biggest culinary boo-boo. The Thanksgiving that you’d like to forget, but no one in the family will let you. Maybe you forgot to add salt to the pie crust, or put everything on the table and sat down to eat only to realize, 15 minutes later, that the dinner rolls were turning to charcoal in the oven.
Or, maybe, the evening before Thanksgiving you were in the middle of preparing a side dish in advance and realized you didn’t have a key ingredient or tool that you needed. You have enough kitchen experience that you can substitute or find other ways to “make do,” but even the best chefs have “those” days when the kitchen can seem more like an enemy than a friend.
The best way to handle those days, especially when coupled with the added stress of a holiday, is to be prepared. Having the right tools can be a lifesaver in those last hectic moments before everyone comes to the table, faces—and taste buds—expectant.
Cooking is often about the simple things. Before you worry about buying the right food processor or set of knives, make sure you have the necessary smaller items first—or that you’ve replaced the damaged or inefficient smaller items:
These are just some of the simple items you can pick up that will help you realize your full potential in the kitchen. These tools will form the basis for your food preparation going forward, and without them you may be hard-pressed (oh, you’ll probably want a chef’s press as well) to build the practical arsenal you need as the family chef who bowls over family, friends, and other guests at your table.
With your basic tools in place, one of the first things you’ll want to consider is a professional set of knives. Knife options are seemingly endless. But, begin your research with our CHEFS Mix blogs on how to choose the right knives for you, which start here with a look at some essential knives and goes on to look at specialty knives, how to keep your knives sharp, choosing the right cutting board, and an in-depth look at my personal favorite, the Wusthof Gourmet 8-inch Ridge Chef’s Knife.
A quality food processor can make short work out of many Thanksgiving preparation tasks. From salad creation to pie crust mixing to making smoothies out of the leftovers (Pumpkin smoothie anyone?), food processors make much of your Thanksgiving dinner prep easy.
A couple of other items you will need are: a turkey baster, turkey lifters (for removing the turkey from the roasting pan), a turkey platter, and a gravy boat.
Categories: Tips & Advice