My mother, although multi-talented, had an aversion to the kitchen and has often said that I learned to cook at an early age “out of self-defense.” When she made chicken à l'orange by smearing a chicken with powdered Tang, I quickly developed a necessary passion for creating tasty things to eat. Somewhere in the family photograph album is a picture of me at the stove, age ten, happily stirring marinara sauce.

I developed a lifelong fascination with food; good food. There was even a foray of working as a chef’s assistant at a French restaurant during my mid twenties, just for fun. I had always loved watching Julia Child and knew that Mastering the Art of French Cooking was to be revered. It wasn’t until I read her biography (long before the Julie & Julia movie) that I really became fascinated with her work. From that book, I decided to prepare her recipe for mayonnaise.

Upon tasting it, I wept. . . .

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Here's a Great Deal for You

Kitchen equipment: A subject near and dear to my heart. I really enjoy having the right equipment but don’t go in for the fancy-schmancy, name-brand items that one finds at high-end shops. Those items look impressive which is all fine and dandy if you’re into “kitchen porn.”

Having worked in professional kitchens, I prefer to obtain basic equipment at restaurant-supply establishments. These items are meant to be durable; to be rambunctiously slammed around in a fast-paced kitchen. They’re cost effective; after all, that line of chefs will need two or three dozen frying pans hanging around.

Occasionally, I’ve come across some exceptional deals online that are really too good to pass up and I feel I must pass on to you. A few months ago, I was in the market for a saucier – a large, rounded-bottomed saucepan that enables efficient whisking.

I found this one at J.C. Penney of all places. It's a large, 3-quart size, has a glass-and-metal lid (that’s a nice feature), an extra, riveted handle, and three-ply, stainless steel with an aluminum core.

Are you ready for this? It was only $39.99.

I read the reviews and they were all good. I looked at the specs and it appeared to be pretty heavy. Both handles are metal, so it can go in the oven as well. Comparable items sold for $100 - $200 bucks. Apprehensively, I ordered it and it turned out to be a fantastic piece of equipment.

You can order it here.