Celebrating in the kitchen

15 Jan

Let’s talk about Christmas. Or Xmas. Or the secular winter holiday we celebrate around the gaudily lit pagan fertility symbol.

Whatever. This is not a political or religious blog.

When asked what I really wanted to receive this year, pretty much everything had to do with the kitchen (you know, where I belong). I’m happy to report that the bounty was mighty.

Let us start with the new star of my kitchen: the SodaStream.
My taller half and I fell in love with this little beast in Italy, at the home of my friend, Alice. (You can read about that chapter of our trip here.) It’s ingenious: an appliance that takes plain water and fizzes it up without electricity or sodium. You can use it to make soda or just way-cheap Perrier, depending on your preferences. Our SodaStream came with sample flavors, but we’ve only tried one so far. (Pro tip: do not add the flavoring and then fizz it up as much as usual. Big explosion will ensue.) We received the bugger on December 26. As of five days ago, we already emptied our air canister. Sad. But let that be a testament to our love of the machine.

I now call this the “beverage station.”

Next: knives.

Bwah ha ha! Until now, we have chopped with 3/4 of a set I bought from IKEA for $4 nearly five years ago. One went missing when we moved out of the old apartment. No, I don’t know how a person loses a really big knife. I probably don’t want to know. Anyway, my mother found this colorful set of paring knives from Target (don’t know the brand) as well as this colorful chopper from Tomodachi. They are adorable, yes, but they’re also pretty awesome. In fact, I may actually return to mincing garlic by hand again. Sorry, press, but you’ve been overshadowed by a mighty, colorful blade. Plus, if I need to shank someone, I can do it in style.

Another fun little gizmo I received: an emulsifier from Chef’n.

I haven’t used this guy yet. Honestly, it took me a week to figure it out. I swear I’m not stupid. I do intend to give it a whirl soon, though.

From my taller half’s mother, I received three wonderful culinary treats. Up first is my new love, Dreena Burton’s Eat, Drink and Be Vegan.

Yes, I’ve already written an entire post on the book, but I need to reiterate how much I’m enjoying it. I have my eyes on a dessert recipe that I can’t wait to whip up and share. I just need some more time. I’m coming for you, cupcakes!

To sweeten the pot, she also gave me this handy flour container.

I have not put it to use yet, but I need to. I recall a day years ago, when my taller half and I were occupying our first love nest and he was on the phone with his mother. Suddenly, I began crying. He checked on me only to discover that in the middle of making a batch of cookies, I had discovered worms in the flour. I’ve kept it in the freezer ever since. That was devastating.

Anyway, the third gift from her is my new friend, the Misto.

It’s love. This thing works so, so well, and it’s a much better option than the chemically enhanced, aerosol spray oil I usually use. Plus, it helped me roast up some supa-crisp broccoli this week:

Gimme an M, gimme an I, gimme an . . . sorry, flashbacks. Anyway, yay for the Misto.

The fun does not end there. The third mother in my life (i.e. Dad’s girlfriend) gave us this amazingly gorgeous gift basket:

Vegan homemade treats! English toffee, fudge (that didn’t make it past the 26th), hot chocolate mixes, and – our mutual favorite – chocolate peppermint bark. Yum! There are also a few fun goodies in there, including the cute dish/towel set and some seasonal candies. Thank you!

One other kitchen treat that is all for my taller half: homemade cheese from my uncle and aunt.

Yes, my uncle made cheese. Isn’t that neat? It’s white and sorta Cheddar-y. The man approves.

Did you receive any great kitchen gadgets and gizmos for the December festivities? Do share!

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One Response to “Celebrating in the kitchen”

  1. Lindsay@cookveganlover January 15, 2011 at 12:25 pm #

    I love my soda stream! we have had one for just about a year and I love making seltzer.

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