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Favorite kitchen essentials

Swim goggles: wear when cutting onions to avoid eye irritation and
tearing(the only thing that really works)

Filet glove (hunting and fishing supplies): wear when using a
mandoline or super-slicer type gadget to make sure you don't lose the
tips of your fingers.

Thin flexible plastic cutting surfaces (several): These are fantastic.
they look like plastic placemats.  After you chop your veggies, just
fold up the mat into a cone and pour vegetables into pot or bowl.
When you are done cooking, throw them in the dishwasher. I like to
have several on hand so a clean one is always available.

Soft paintbrush: use to sweep out all the spices you've ground up in
your coffee grinder.

Chinese cooking chopsticks: These are long and sturdy and the two are
tied together with a string at the top (leave the string there).  I
use these for all my stove top cooking -- they are safe for nonstick
surfaces, good for stirring, and grabbing a single spaghetti noodle to
test if it's done yet.  I just throw them in the top rack of the
dishwasher when I'm done.  I have several pairs.

Silicone (?) Exopat sheets: these are nonstick liners for oven pans. I
find them better even than the nonstick coating on oven pans.  Unlike
parchment paper, they are reusable.  To wash, throw in the dishwasher
(my dishwasher has a swing down rack on one side, I keep it up and
just slide the sheet in with the rack holding it vertical).  If you
have any old rusty battered baking pans, these sheets will make the
pan useful once again.  Downside is that they are kinda expensive.

6-cup plastic measuring container: Great for soups that call for 3
cups, 4 cups, 6 cups water.  Hard to find (my housemate broke the
handle on mine and now I can't find a replacement greater than 4 cups
:-( )

So, what are your favorite kitchen essentials?

Michelle Dick             artemis@xxxxxxxxx              East Palo Alto, CA