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Friday, January 15, 2010

My New Favorite

This is the my new favorite cooking implement.  I've been turning pancakes (and other things, with varying success) with my trusty Ekco spatula AKA pancake turner for, ummmm, wow! Thirty-two years! And while it's still doing its job, I recently considered that I've had it an awful long time and should probably have something to replace it should I need to. I mean, I have a second of just about every other cooking implement- I have two ladles- different sizes, but they do the same job.  I have only one potato masher, but I also have a ricer, and I also have a food mill.  I have two slotted spoons (one plastic, one metal), two perforated spoons (one plastic, one metal).  When my hand-held mixer finally broke (Sunbeam- twenty bucks new some time in the early eighties) I decided to replace it with an old-fashioned egg-beater- you know the kind where you hold the handle with one hand and wind the beater with the other - thinking that woman-powered instead of electrical would probably be a good way to go going forward. Its double is my 525 watt Kitchenaid stand mixer, who is named Big Bertha.  (Steve actually uses Big Bertha more than I do these days, and I must say, he does make beautiful yeast doughs that are a joy to work with, but I digress.) I have two sets of tongs- one long one for fishing stuff out of a large pot of boiling water (usually pasta) and a shorter, nylon-tipped one for the non-stick pan.   But I did not have a second pancake turner, and if I finally broke it, I would be in a world of culinary hurt.

Enter my Lamson Sharp turner.  I've been eyeing them for awhile, but you know- at $25 plus, they are awful darn expensive for what they are. Still, last December when we were ordering a gaufrette iron for Steve's sister for Christmas, I tacked a Lamson Sharp on the order for me.  Call it a Christmas present for myself, I just wanted one darn it.

Oh what a world of difference!! I would liken the change in my cooking that a Lamson Sharp has made to the difference a Brazilian wax made in Gwyneth Paltrow's sex life (really! I read it somewhere!).  How so, you query? I'm not sure what kinds of reasons Gwyneth would give, but I'll try to give you mine.

For starters, the balance in your hand.  Then there's the slightly angled edge and the tiny fillip of a curve at the tip that makes turning stuff over sooooo much easier. I no longer chase frying eggs around the pan.   Then there's the open spaces in it that drain off whatever liquid you're cooking something in so that all you pick up is the gnocchi or fish or crab cakes or home fries.  Then there's the very sharp edge that helps you finish cutting stuff up in the pan that you didn't quite get cut on the board.   Chopping up half-frozen bulk sausage while it's frying in the pan for sawmill gravy is a breeze. 

I can't say enough good thing about this stupid implement.  I'm just sorry that it took me so long to buy one. Yeah, the price put me off, but as Jimmy Dean once said, you get what you pay for.  This was worth it.


Cottage Smallholder said...

Hi Paula,
What a fantastic article about a simple fish slice, as we call them at this end of the Atlantic pond :-)

Tell me one thing: it looks like a metal device in your photos - is it? and if so do you really use it on your non-stick cookware?

We love writers who can make the most mundane item interesting. Welcome to that flaky group!

Best wishes,

Paula said...

Danny- you're right- it is metal, and I don't use it on the non-stick pan. You remind me that I do have a nylon pancake turner, but as I only use the non-stick for omeletes anymore, which get dumped out of the pan, I'd forgotten all about it. It's not a particularly good utensil anyway, because it's on the thick side, so getting things up with it has always been a bit of a chore. But maybe that's why it was so forgettable.