Sunday, November 18, 2007

The right tool for the job!

We are all food, all day long, chez BadCat. When the food part is done I get to clean, so I'll stretch the food out as long as possible. I love chestnut stuffing, but several years ago I almost cut my finger off making crosses in the chestnuts before roasting them. ER, stitches, Tetanus shot...the works. That put a damper on my Thanksgiving spirit. I haven't made the chestnut stuffing since that time...but wait! Look what we found at Chef Central! A handy Chestnutter, gadget of the month! Do you see those lovely chestnuts, already roasted and shelled? The Chestnutter cut the cross into the top of each nut without any fuss. The right tool for the job, eh? For years my husband has been making his great grandmother's pumpkin pie recipe, which requires cutting the pumpkin, cleaning it, steaming it, cutting off the rind, and straining it by pressing it through a sieve with a wooden spoon. Do you have any idea how long that took? Too we got this lovely strainer attachment for our Kitchen Aide. The right tool for the job!
Here it is, all set to go, with the cover off so you can appreciate the workings. This was my husbands suggested shot. He is an engineer. We put the cover back on because I am the home safety officer.
So fast and simple, no big deal! This was like an early holiday gift for the man! We can't believe it took us this long to buy one.
So this big pile of steamed pumpkin turned into this large bowl of creamy pumpkin puree in a jiffy. Now we cook it down very slowly, so it gets really thick, use the secret family recipe, make the crusts and bake the pies! Later this week I will show you how the engineer grinds wheat for flour, to make his special pie crusts. That involves more good tools!
So you shouldn't think I have forsaken Saigon, I promise the next chart and progress shots tomorrow. I will need an excuse to take a break from the dreaded cleaning...

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