Relying On Tools|
I like to believe, despite the many boxes our friends packed and moved, that I am a minimalist about kitchen gadgets. A good knife, a solid whisk, a handful of wooden spoons, a few bowls, and a couple pots and pans are all a cook needs for most tasks. At least, that’s what I tell myself and anyone who asks.
It turns out that I take my gadgets for granted.
I can finally cook simple food in the kitchen: There are still drop cloths everywhere, but there is now a small work area next to our recently-uncovered refrigerator and stove. I was able to make a simple dinner of pan-seared sausage atop rice that had been cooked in Champagne and beef stock with carrots, celery, and onion.
The problem came the next night.
I had leftover rice, so I decided to fry up rice cakes and serve them atop a simple salad. When I’ve done this before, I’ve puréed some of the rice in my food processor to release the starch left in the grain — this is regular rice, not risotto rice, which hemorrhages starch into its cooking liquid. Where is the food processor? That I know: In an open box. But where are all its parts? I don’t know. I could combat the problem, I figured, by using my other trick: packing the rice into a circle mold. Where are my circle molds? I don’t know. Where is the large spatula I needed to flip the cakes? I don’t know. Where are my whisks so that I could make a vinaigrette? I don’t know: I used the “shake oil and acid in a bowl” approach. Where are my bowls so that I could dress the greens? I don’t know. (Though I did find a ginormous bowl that sufficed.)
I stressed and fumed and ranted as my rice cakes fell apart, all because I couldn’t find the gear that I quietly rely on in the kitchen. Maybe I’m not such a minimalist, after all.