I don’t particularly like raindrops (on roses or elsewhere), but I do appreciate rainbows. I’ll sneeze like a maniac if I get close to a kitten’s whiskers and I will scratch like a madwoman if I wear woolen mittens (yes, I’m allergic to both). I can appreciate a bright copper kettle, but I much prefer tri-ply stainless steel.
I don’t share a fondness for the favorite things from the famous Sound of Music song by the same name, but I do have a few of my own favorite things, especially in my kitchen. As I am working on edits for The Allergy-Free Pantry, I am realizing that there are a handful of tools I turn to over and again.
These are a few of my favorite things:
A large baking sheet – this is by far the single most useful baking pan anyone can own. The half-sheet size (13 inches by 18 inches) fits nicely in most home kitchen ovens, and it’s the ideal pan for making cookies, crackers, rolls, granola, English muffins, and even doubles as a pizza pan. (Hint: all of those recipes and many more will be in the book!)
Parchment paper – I honestly cannot live without parchment paper. I buy packages of 4 or 5 at a time so that I will never run out. Am I obsessed? Perhaps, but with good reasons. Parchment paper is a must in any allergen-free kitchen to help avoid contamination – it’s the simplest way to line my favorite large baking sheet. Parchment paper provides a non-stick surface for rolling out pie crusts, crackers, and flatbreads. It’s also ideal for wrapping just about any food – granola bars, ice cream sandwiches, chocolate chewy candies (again, all recipes will be in The Allergy-Free Pantry). I prefer the pre-cut flat half-sheets of parchment to the kind that comes in a roll – it’s just easier to work with.
A pastry roller or mini rolling pin – I discovered the little red roller pictured here about six years ago and I can’t stop finding ways to use it. It’s especially helpful when you need to roll something small (such as tortillas) or you need to roll right up to the lip of a pan (such as pizza).
What are your favorite kitchen tools?