Peasants on Payday Chapter 1/2

in Foodies Bee Hive4 months ago (edited)

This is my first post in the Foodies Beehive, and only my third with Hive, or any online blog. I’m excited to be able to use this platform to share my ideas, but by now I’ve realized that the inspiration I’ve gained and continue to gain from the community is and will forever be more valuable than I could ever hope to contribute. In the spirit of community, I would like to dedicate this post, and delegate all Hive, Tips, or other rewards associated with this post to @rameuris. Not only does her food look incredible, and a beautiful representation of her region and culture’s rich culinary history, but she seems to be, by all accounts, a lovely person. I greatly look forward to trying out her dishes! In the spirit of giving back, please feel free to like/reblog this, and follow @rameuris as she presents her food and adventures to us.

ALSO NOTE: I'm a dummy who didn't understand that reward delegation had to be done prior to posting. The rewards are split 50/50 Hive/HP, and I will send @rameuris all of the liquid Hive, and delegate the HP!

Hello friends! I’m excited to delve right into weekly posts with a recurring segment we like to call “Peasants on Payday”. One of the most aggravating things when I started cooking was seeing and hearing about all of the cool tools and gadgets and gizmos used by professionals, celebrity chefs, and your married friends who don’t have kids, and not having access to them myself. While, in all honestly, I have accumulated a collection of extremely handy kitchen items that have a wide range of uses and a low capacity for damage/regular wear and tear. That being said, I wanted to take you on a tour of our kitchen, and the tools I will be using throughout my posts.

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While there are certain things you certainly don’t want to buy at a thrift store (underwear, old retainers), thrift stores/secondhand stores/garage sales are amazing resource for finding very inexpensive kitchen tools, and if you’re lucky, something really great like a stand mixer, or fancy knife.

I do my best to outline a cheaper or more economy option if there is one. While you’ll see below that I have made several quality of life upgrades, theres no reason to let big corporations sell you unnecessary tools you don’t need. you dont need a milk frother

STAND MIXER
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This is probably my most used kitchen device. It can do about a million different things, and that’s if you don’t purchase anything extra (the price tag on the base model is ghastly enough). I use the paddle attachment for any mixing of any kind (creaming butter and sugar, mashing potatoes, making cake batter). I use the dough hook for kneading, as some breads we like require intense kneading sessions to heavily influence gluten development. The balloon whisk is great for making whipped cream, merengue, icing, and almond macaron dough.
Economy Option: A hand mixer can be your paddle and balloon whisk no problem. Without a dough hook attachment, kneading will have to be done by hand. In the absence of a hand mixer, or even electricity, there is nothing wrong with a wooden spoon. Sometimes, mixing something by hand is the best way to ensure everything is incorporated.

SPATULAS
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Who thought there could be so many spatulas? I’m sure there’s more, but I use my rubber spatula for folding and scraping the inside of the bowl. I use my fish spatula to gently get under classically hard (for me at least) to flip items (fish, eggs, pancakes). I use my regular flexible spatula for everything else (mostly scraping the bottom of my cast iron pans). Theres probably few others I would buy, with the exception of a size variation of these three.

GRABBERS, SCOOPERS, AND SHAKERS
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Theres a lot of “sludge” (Thaler/Sunstein) when it comes to the marketing of kitchen tools in your local grocery/department store. A lot of tools you certainly don’t need. That weird pasta ladle with the teeth and the hole in the middle? I get it, sure – but you don’t need it. You need a good ladle, a good metal whisk, and good tongs. And honestly, if you have something else you use that works in place of one or more of these, invest your kitchen tool money on something else. Stop buying weird avocado 3-in-1 tools. You have a knife, and hands. Note: I'll talk more about the microplane later

SPOONS
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I prefer wooden spoons. They’re something aesthetically rustic about them. Beyond fashion, they have plenty of function. They are absurdly inexpensive, easily maintained, wont melt against a hot pan, and has some heft behind them to scape the bottom of pots and pans. Treat yourself!

MIXING BOWLS
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These are fancy, probably fancier than we would normally purchase for ourselves, these were a wedding present. These; however, the quality of life upgrade I didn’t know I needed. I recommend (not necessarily) mixing bowls that come in various sizes and have lids. Obviously any appropriately sized mixing bowl will do but having ones that stack together saves so much space. Having multiples of varying sizes with lids give you a lot of prepare-ahead freedom.

CAST IRON
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Need a $500 USD adonized steel-bottom pan, to distribute heat evenly, and be oven safe? Nope, you need a $20 cast iron pan. A lot of people find these very intimidating, due to their tendency to be less than forgiving with rust. However, with just some soap, water, and steel wool, you can strip away the rust and season (seal) your cast iron back to perfection. It’s the ultimate, cheap, oven-safe, even heat pan.

KNIFE
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I will always, always, always prefer having one $100 knife that I take care of, sharpen, and hone over having a $100 block of 10 knives. I would absolutely rather have $100 of craftmanship in my hand at one time than $10 of craftmanship. Knife sharpeners aren’t expensive (this one was a gift and has more heft to it than necessary to keep a knife sharp), honing rods (that long metal rod that comes with your knife block, that everyone thinks sharpens your knife, which it does not) are not expensive, and whetstones, while not incredibly necessary, are not expensive.

CUTTING BOARD
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I like having my BooS Block (pictured underneath the stand mixer), it was something I always wanted, but couldn’t justify the expense. It was another thing in my kitchen that was a gift at some point. If you couldn’t tell by now, I’m incredibly easy to shop for around the holidays. I have about 6 different cutting boards in total, but really all you need is a good wooden board (that you maintain very, very well), and a plastic one for cutting anything dangerous to eat raw.

GRATER
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I recommend every kitchen has a box grater. Incredibly cheap, and I use all four sides of it. If you have a microplane, I find it very useful for zesting citrus, grating ginger or garlic, or cinnamon sticks. Another upgrade you certainly do not need in your kitchen.

MEASURING
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I detest anything that isn’t just a plain metal measuring cup. However, to each their own. My wife had bright pink plastic ones when we met…I think they’re in a box somewhere…or maybe the bin…

THERMOMETER
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I use a $10 analog thermometer to ensure meat (and sometimes bread) has come to my desired temperature for taste, texture, and safety. I would absolutely love one of those $100 instant read digital thermometers, but they aren’t necessary. You don’t need one, but if any of my family members read this and are curious what to get me for my birthday…

BAKING
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Just some baking essentials. I almost always use cupcake wrappers, parchment paper, or some sort of fat to reduce sticking. If someone gets you really nice baking sheets as a wedding present, cool. Otherwise, I don’t see the need to spend any significant amount of money of these. And honestly, I was baking and cooling muffins and cakes just fine with a cooling rack (although I do recommend using one). Note: It took taking these pictures to realize I haven't made cupcakes or muffins in a long time, and it may be time to replace my tins.

ALL THE FORGOTTEN THINGS...
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Have some shears, they’re great. Durable and not as gross as your kitchen scissors. I also keep a small roll of twine in the back of the cupboard that I use 1-3 times per year. And my food was fine before I started using it, it’s just nice when you’re putting in a lot of herbs into a broth or liquid that you want to remove later (rosemary/thyme leaves, bayleaf, orange peel, etc).

A mandolin makes your life a lot easier if you need to slice a large amount of something that you want to be as uniform as possible. Another quality-of-life upgrade. You don’t need this, but if you come across one and have the capital, it’s a handy little tool that doesn’t take up too much space.

I like having two colanders. I use the large white one to drain or rinse large potatoes, vegetables, fruits, while I often use the smaller one as a sieve.

THE CAPTAIN AND THE CONCLUSION
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Our dog (pictured here at the beach this weekend), going by "Captain" here, would like to thank you for coming on our tour! We look forward to having you back for the first official post. Please follow for more, and remember, all rewards from this post go directly to @rameuris!

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