There’s much to be said for the minimalist kitchen. Over the last few years, I’ve been trying to pare down my kitchen the the absolute essentials. In this time, I’ve learned that I can live without a garlic press, bread machine and mandolin grater. I cannot, however, live without sharp knives, good cutting boards and a vegetable peeler.
When it comes to “kitchen essentials”, I’ve been trying to invest in high quality tools that won’t die/melt/rust after a couple of years. My latest investment is a Gefu “Flotte Lotte” Food Mill.
A food mill? Is this really essential? Come on!
Such was my eternal debate for weeks before I took the plunge (life is hard, isn’t it?). But throughout those weeks, I kept finding myself wishing I had one. I had a big bag of apples from the orchard stored in the fridge that needed to be turned into applesauce. But what really pushed me over the edge was this minted pea and watercress soup that was delicious but a huge faff to prepare. This step was the culprit:
Set a sieve over a heatproof bowl and drain the soup through it. Put the solids caught in the sieve into a blender with a little of the soup liquid and purée. Push this mixture through the sieve into the bowl with the back of a ladle and repeat with any solids left in the sieve. Discard any bits that won’t pass through.
Straining and sieving and blending – why did I even make this soup? Oh right, cuz it sounded good and we had a big bag of watercress to use up from the orgasmic box and I don’t really like raw watercress.
So throughout those 20 minutes of pushing peas and soup matter through a sieve, I kept thinking “this would be a no brainer with a food mill”. Tim convinced me to go the extra mile on the Gefu, a German-made, stainless steal, dishwasher safe food mill whose only discernible flaw I’ve found is that the handle has holes in it which collects water in the dishwasher which then drips out in a somewhat unappetising way.
The food mill is awesome and for me, passes the “kitchen essential” test: namely, it’s enabling. I’m making some tasty food I couldn’t have made without it. For example:
So maybe the latter two items could have been made with a potato masher. The point is: I probably wouldn’t have bothered with either if I didn’t have an easy way to make nice smooth mush.
Why not use a blender?
My reason is lame: my blender broke a couple of weeks ago and I’m biding my time until my next trip to the States to treat myself to a Vitamix. Yes, a Vitamix costs more than my car, but I’m pretty sure it’s got a better engine and should last me a lifetime.
Besides, a blender couldn’t make perfectly creamy mashed potato and swede. This was yesterday’s lunch, made possible by my Gefu food mill and Vegan Dad’s recipe for homemade vegan sausages: