This time of year, we start going through our kitchen drawers and cabinets, taking an inventory of all sorts of the utensils and equipment we might need for holiday cooking.
It used to be that rubber spatulas needed to be replaced periodically because a cook inevitably stuck one in a hot frying pan and melted part of it off. OK, that was me.
In 21st century cooking, spatulas last forever because they’re made of silicone and you can almost set them on fire before before they become disfigured.
Recently, I came across several interesting new items you might consider adding to that utility drawer or, in my case, the big orange pitcher on the kitchen counter next to the stove.
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You’ll find these first three are made by Taylor Kitchen and available at Amazon and Sur La Table.
▪ Slow Cooker Thermometer — Features a classic probe supported by a braided wire for consistent internal temperature monitoring. Digital screen shows temperatures in both fahrenheit and celsius. Includes a magnetic back and flip-out stand. Cost: $14.99.
▪ TEMPerfect Butter Tray — Color-changing material tracks the temperature change of butter to notify you when room temperature is met. Holds 8 tablespoons or 1 stick of butter. Includes a tablespoon guide and convenient carrying handles. Top-rack dishwasher safe. Cost: $12.99.
▪ TEMPerfect Dairy Container — Color-changing material tracks the temperature of dairy or other liquids to signal when they come to room temperature. Measurement markings in 1/4-, 1/3-, and 1/2-cup increments to 2 cups. Pour spout for mess-free directional pouring. Top-rack dishwasher safe. Cost: $12.99.
Check Bed, Bath & Beyond and other kitchen retailers for these two new gadgets:
▪ OXO Good Grips Squeeze & Pour Silicone Measuring Cup — Flexible and microwave-safe to heat and pour ingredients. The specialized honeycomb pattern protects your hands by dissipating heat and a simple squeeze forms a precise pour spout. Cost: Mini/$4.99, 1-cup/$7.99, 2-cup/$9.99.
▪ OXO Good Grips Baker’s Dusting Wand — Twist, scoop and dust. Evenly, neatly sprinkles flour, powdered sugar and spices. Half of the wand is perforated for even distribution and the other is solid so you can neatly rest it on countertops. Perfect for sprinkling powdered sugar over baked goods, or cinnamon and cocoa over hot drinks during the holiday season. Cost: $9.99.