Nifty kitchen aids and gadgets you never knew you needed!
1 Spice bomb – Made of stainless steel, this clever little ball gently infuses herbs and spices through small holes into sauces, stews, curries and casseroles without you having to fish out stalks and leaves after cooking. Simply lift the ball out after cooking (it attaches easily to the edge of the pot), discard the herbs and/or seeds and wash it, to use again and again.
2 Herb mill – Just like a salt or pepper grinder, the herb mill fits snugly into your hand. Pop a bunch of fresh herbs such as parsley, mint or coriander into the mill and watch as it uses hundreds of tiny scissors to cut the herbs without bruising or blemishing the leaves. Or opt for a multi-blade herb scissors to do the same job. Got leftover herbs? Store them in a herb keeper to help extend their freshness.
3 Wine decanter brush – With their narrow necks and wide bottoms, cleaning wine decanters can be a real pain. What you need is a wine decanter brush that can bend and reach all those hard-to-clean places, no matter the shape of the decanter. Or try stainless steel decanter cleaning beads to help clean out tannin residue. Simply pour the beads into the decanter, add a small amount of warm water and swirl the beads around the decanter to gently remove the stains. Simple as that!
4 Pasta drying tree – If you’re the kind of foodie that likes to make your own spaghetti, tagliatelle, fettuccine or linguine from scratch, then you need somewhere for your pasta to dry while you carry on rolling the rest, right? Enter the pasta drying tree (rack or stand) – the perfect place to keep your freshly rolled and cut pasta so that it doesn’t stick to itself. Most are easy to disassemble, with removable arms, for easy storage.
5 Salt keeper – Also known as a salt crock or salt pig, this handy ceramic or stoneware hooded vessel dates back to kitchens of old and is ideal for when you need a pinch of salt in a jiffy. Just reach your hand into the wide mouth and grab what you need. The salt stays fresh inside as the hood keeps dirt and moisture at bay. Measuring spoons also fit easily through the opening. Keep it on the kitchen countertop or near the stove. You’ll soon wonder how you ever lived without one!
6 Digital jug scale – Never know if you should use a scale or a jug to measure out ingredients? Now you can measure both with an all-in-one ‘jug scale’ that is designed to measure both liquid (in millilitres and fluid ounces) and dry ingredients (in grams, pounds/ounces), and display it for you on an LCD screen built into the handle. It’s a great space-saver, plus the jug/bowl detaches for easy cleaning.
7 Colour-changing egg timer – Pop this egg-shaped timer into the pot, along with your eggs, and watch it change colour as they cook to indicate soft, medium or hardboiled. What sets it apart from your typical egg timer is that it senses heat instead of using time to help you boil the perfect egg. Pair it with a handy egg topper, to precision cut around the top of the shell, for an all-round 10/10 boiled egg experience.
8 Cappuccino stencils – Offer up restaurant-style cappuccinos, hot chocolates and the like to family and friends by dusting them with beautiful patterns before serving. Anyone can use a cappuccino stencil, it’s that easy! You usually get several in a pack, from leaves, snowflakes and hearts, to swirls, faces, stars and more. You can even stencil onto pancakes and cakes with icing sugar.
All items mentioned are readily available locally at selected homeware retailers and/or online kitchen stores.