I like it simple, and sometimes simple means having help. Certain gadgets or utensils can be just what you need for making easy party food a breeze. There are a lot of gadgets and utensils out there. Unfortunately, it's not so simple to know which ones are worth using.
Tools, tools, tools
People used to spend all day preparing basic meals. Without the aid of gadgets, it could be slow-going in the kitchen. Now there are entire aisles, even stores dedicated to kitchenware that's supposed to make our lives easier. I have seen such supposed time savers as a double-sided peanut butter and jelly spreader, and an autonomous saucier that does the stirring for you. Fun? Yes. Necessary? It's up to you.
You select easy party food recipes, or basic dinner fare, hoping to keep the work load light. It seems the next logical step is to pull out whatever kitchen gadgets can be of assistance.
As you fumble through the cabinets looking for the perfect tool, you may be asking yourself " is this making more work, not less?" After all, as much as we may love being creative in the kitchen, don't we all want more time to spend with family?
Less is more?
Having cabinets, counter tops and shelves overloaded with specialty gadgets may make you look or feel like a professional chef, but will they actually help you to perform like one? It depends on what you make, and how you like to function in the kitchen.
I will say, I have invested in certain gadgets I thought might be quite useful, only to find they were more work than the "old-fashioned"way.
Other times I have invested in what was supposed to be high quality utensils that didn't live up to their billing, while mainstream gadgets have proven indispensable.
So just how do you decide what is for you, and what isn't? Reading reviews can help. Polling friends is another avenue. I believe knowing what sort of cook you are is the best place to start.
Are you likely to pull out a special chopper when a great knife will do? Do you like the panache of using a special tool as your guests look on in awe? Or do you like the feel of mixing ingredients with your hands? I have a friend who dons plastic gloves to toss salad. Very low-tech, almost primal, but she knows her style!
A little help for finding help
You can't really go wrong with the basics. Here's a list from Epicurious of the simplest, most important tools. Much like choosing recipes, start with the basics, and work yourself up to the fancy.
You may already have the basics, and you know that you are a gadget lover. Here is a fun list of 10 awesome cooking gadgets that would be fun to have around, or would make great gifts for gadget-loving friends. It comes from hellogiggles.com
Looking to stock a second kitchen, or to help newlyweds set up theirs? Here's a list of 10 best kitchen gadgets under $50 from thisoldhouse.com
The next time you plan to assemble a banquet, or simply make easy party food, knowing you have the right tools to do the job is half the battle. Just make sure you have gadgets that fit your cooking style and will truly make the work easier.