When you've had a kitchen with every gadget, starting out again is an adventure. My goal after leaving my husband was to hold off buying new kitchen tools until I needed them. This has worked out well until today, Thanksgiving day. The stores were closed so I had to improvise after discovering some important tools I needed but didn't have.
For fun I'm sharing how I improvised to get through the day. At the end I'll challenge myself on whether I need to buy the missing kitchen tools and please, feel free to chime in with your stories and ideas.
Do Ovens Still Come with a Broiler Pan?
For years a broiler pan came with your oven so I didn't take one when I left Arizona. Ovens are different sizes so it made sense that manufacturers provided a broiler pan that fit their oven perfectly. But my assumption that my new house/oven would come with a broiler pan was … wrong!
Why didn't I realize this earlier? Most of the time I use the oven for baking. Cooking is done mostly in the microwave, using my Instant Pot or the stove top. When I bought my Breville countertop “Smart Oven” it came with it's own broiler pan. That's when I discovered I had no broiler pan for the oven but didn't think it was important enough to buy, LOL.
Guess it's time to buy a broiler pan. Here are the most important features I wanted and my top picks below. There was bias in my research (here are all the pans on Amazon). As I never like being nickel-and-dimed, I skipped the brands that used to provide broiler pans free with their stoves.
- Non-stick surfaces for easy cleaning.
- A rack that makes it easy for oils to drain without getting clogged.
- Deep enough to hold all the water/oil that drains from a turkey (my baking dish filled to the brim).
- Handles that make it easy to lift the broiler pan out of the oven (the Farberware handles below don't get as hot as the pan).
- Made from steel to last a lifetime although I thought about disposable pans but then you need space to store them.
Range Kleen BP106X 2 PC Porcelain Broil and Bake Pan 12.75 Inch by 8.5 Inch,BlackFarberware Bakeware Nonstick Steel Roaster with Flat Rack, 11-Inch x 15-Inch, GrayCirculon Nonstick Roasting Pan / Roaster with Rack – 17 Inch x 13 Inch, Gray
How Do I Mash the Potatoes?
My granddaughter loves mashed potatoes so that was her contribution to our Thanksgiving dinner. Everything was going fine until it was time to mash the potatoes. Another search through the kitchen confirmed there was no potato masher so she used a whisk which worked pretty well.
No, I don't have a mixer or a food processor as so far, I haven't needed them. Now that I know we'll be having mashed potatoes more often, it is time to buy a potato masher so here are the ones I found and liked.
Draining the Pan & No Turkey Baster
Funny how we grow up learning how kitchen tools do one thing and nothing else. My turkey (up top) did fine without any basting so no wonder I never felt like I needed a turkey baster … and I was wrong!
Turns out a turkey baster is also needed when the bird while cooking, sheds enough water and oil to fill the pan to the brim. There I was with a beautiful turkey that I was afraid to pick up for fear of getting burned if this water spilled. When I didn't find the necessary baster, I pulled out my smallest measuring cup and scooped the fluid out cup by cup but it was really messy.
So yes, it's time to buy a turkey baster and here are my top picks.
Do Kitchen Tools Include Trivets?
Do you remember your first solo home? My first purchases included pots and pans, plus a vacuum. Beyond this I have no idea when we bought things, except a new fangled microwave in 1979. At first we only used the microwave to defrost food as we often forgot to take things out of the freezer before leaving for work.
Trivets are one of those things we collect without giving them much thought. Some are gifts while others souvenirs from places we visited on vacation, like my Nantucket trivet. We only needed 5 trivets for Thanksgiving dinner (turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and 2 veggies) but only found two and had to improvise with pot holders.
Usually I search for products on Amazon, Home Depot and a few other websites that offer the best selection. What I found on Amazon was pretty boring (see above) and I was surprised that more than half their trivets were made from silicon which I didn't want.
While I love supporting artists at local fairs, that isn't going to happen this year. Where do I go online for more creative home decor? Etsy is the ideal place to shop unless you first want to surf Pinterest for ideas. My life is pretty busy so as soon as I discover something missing in my house, I find and buy it. Today I ordered the three trivets below plus the one above (will add a photo of them once they all arrive, LOL).