What would you say that your most important kitchen tool is?
C- I’m going with standing mixer. I didn’t have one until about a year ago and can’t believe how much it improved my baking. No matter what red velvet snobs may say, a standing mixer is the way to go...always.
A- Standing mixer all the way. My second year of college, I moved into an on-campus apartment with a kitchen... I was excited at the prospect of baking since living in the dorms my first year meant zero baking, leaving me helpless when I was stressed out about finals. But, I didn’t have a car so I wasn’t able to bring my standing mixer from home so I resorted to hand mixing which gave me some buff arms but was a pain in the ass. Creaming butter by hand? No way....
I’d call over a guy friend to do it for me--telling him that if he didn’t cream it nice and smooth, there’d be no cookies for him. SO effective.... Boys want their cookies and most I know can’t make their own.
When I finally moved off campus and got my parents to let me make the 8 hour drive from San Francisco to San Diego, I brought down my standing mixer and I’ve never looked back. Now, I’ve dived into making macarons and let me tell you, don’t even think about whipping those egg whites without a standing mixer... not gonna happen. And personally, I think hand mixers are bad for your wrists and can possibly lead to arthritis. When I took the standing mixer with me to college, I bought my mom a new one and forbade her from ever using a hand mixer... no arthritis please.
C- Things I didn’t understand in college...how effective cookie-bribes are. If only I could go back in time.
I am absolute rubbish at whipping things with a whisk and most hand mixers seem about as powerful as my own arm. They make such a sad little noise. Mixers are like motorcycles...you don’t want a sad little whine, you want a full-throat-ed roar.
What about your favorite?
A- I’m gonna have to go with gas stove. In college, all the apartments were furnished with electric stoves with coils which I really didn’t like, but it wasn’t even really the stove top that bothered me. Maybe it was just those university bought stoves but the ovens NEVER baked anything evenly. Even if I baked my cookies one pan at a time or rotated the pans halfway through the baking time, some would always be more well done than the others and it drove me crazy.
I remember my mom calling me to ask how a recipe turned out and I would never know because the oven screwed up my chance to really evaluate the finished product. I even had one oven my junior year where it’d overheat and cause the fire alarm to go off. I had to leave the oven door slightly ajar to prevent “overheating”. It’s an oven... how is that even possible?
Coming home during college breaks, I baked so much because my parents have this amazing gas stove and that oven has never failed me. So, if you have a choice, gas stoves!
C- I was torn between two here. I really love my chef’s knife. It has the heft to flatten, dice and slice. Also, to scare away home invaders. The second is a medium sized whisk that’s silicone coated. You don’t realize how nice a no-stick whisk is until you have one. I don’t usually use the gimmicky kitchen tools. You can do most everything with a good knife and some stirring apparatus (whisk/fork depending on resistance needed).
Most embarrassing cooking FAIL?
C- I exploded a key lime pie once.
A- I tried this double chocolate chip cookie recipe and, after baking, it literally looked like poo. AND, the person I wanted to give the cookies to was standing right next to me. *hangs head in shame*