Monday, 28 March 2011

The Cook's Equipment

I've not cooked anything that interesting since the Guinness cake really, but I wanted to do one last wee update in March. I thought I'd take a look at a few culinary gifts that have been bestowed upon me by various colleagues, friends and family recently - both utensils and interesting foods...

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First of all, I'm going to give you a wee look at the pans and things I use for the vast majority of my cooking (up 'til now anyway).

You'll recognise my double handled Cook's Essentials pan from the vast majority of my blogs, and maybe the big blue mixing bowl from Joseph Joseph that I use for most of my baking. In fact the whole set is pretty excellent.

From outside to inside on the JJ set, there's a mixing bowl, a colander, a sieve, a smaller mixing bowl / pourer and four measuring cups.

Until this weekend I've been using some really scabby old pans as well - usually for things like rice, potatoes, pasta. All that stuff. Well, my dear mother decided that they weren't any good any more - rusting and burned as they were - so she bought me a set of Cook's Essentials pots.

They look absolutely cracking, and I'm sure they cook well too! I should be able to make caramel without burning it now!

Mum can't stop talking about how good the Cook's Essentials stuff is, so here's a sample plug, the sort of thing she says about them: "They're really well made, and they're just fantastic! And they come with a lifetime guarantee - you'll never have to buy a replacement!"

So there you have it. An endorsement from Mrs Punter.

Just to round off this section, I'll put a wee picture of my baking equipment as well - a ten inch springform tin, two nine inch cake tins with pop-out bottoms, a cupcake or muffin tray, and two loaf tins.

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Moving on then to some of the actual food that various lovely people have bestowed upon me - I shan't name names to avoid any embarrassment.

My store cupboard is looking more plush than usual and contains many more interesting bits and pieces than I'd usually buy.

I won't go into a whole lot of detail other than to pick out a couple of the more interesting ones.

So from left to right:

Bouillon powder, mushroom ketchup (looks like vinegar, used to add flavour to pie sauces and casseroles), anchovy sauce, cherry jam (I don't know if this is especially unusual, but I've certainly never had it before and it's delicious), saffron rub (a mixture of brown sugar, camellina seeds and saffron to use as a rub, dressing, or something along those lines), bacon (again, not unusual, but I don't buy it often), kaffir lime leaves, goose fat and vanilla sugar. A delicious selection to augment my diet with. Expect some tasty blogs in the not too far future.

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Thought I'd leave you on one novelty item that I have in the cupboard.

This is a little rice bowl made to look like a Chinaman / woman(?). An absolute novelty item, but that's okay. You've got to have something a wee bit different, right?

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Coming up:

- It's my privilege to have been asked to bake a cake for an occasion again (not going to say what yet - not spoil the surprise).
- As I've said above, I'll definitely be blogging a few more recipes in the near future incorporating some of the new ingredients! Eyes peeled...
- After my failed attempt to get people to comment last time, perhaps you might speak up this time? Maybe put a comment if you think there's any kitchen equipment I need to look into getting - or just a quirky item that's fun to use now and then... I promise to reply!

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