From Garden to Kitchen

Every gardener ultimately ends up in the kitchen.  Whether you’re slicing and dicing, seeding and simmering, one way or another you and your vegetables will hit this room prior to consumption.  And as any busy domestic engineer knows, the easier and quicker the job can be performed, the more time there is for enjoying the fruits of your labors.  And I am all about enjoying the fruits of my labors!

Here are a few things I’ve found to make the business of food prep easier and more sustainable (meaning I’m likely to do it again).  First and foremost is a tomato/food strainer and sauce maker.  We’re Italian around these parts (okay, in my household–not Central FL) and we like our tomato sauce and while a food processor/blender does facilitate the ease of puree, it doesn’t account for the seeding process; a process that can reduce your fingers to a soggy mess.  But a strainer solves that problem by separating the pulp and juice from the seeds and skins!

glass-herb-keeperWow.  Sign me up. And while you’re preparing that sauce, you’ll need fresh herbs.  Now I’ve come to learn some tricks to keeping my cut herbs fresh, namely immersing their stems in water while wrapping a moist cloth around their leaves, but this Herb Keeper does the job and looks good in the process!  Water on the bottom, protection at the top–ingenious. Speaking of herbs, another little handy helper is a coffee grinder by Krups.  Yes, it’s meant for grinding coffee beans but it can also serve as herb grinder for creating those secret spices you’re known for by setting the blades to fine.  In seconds, your herbs are refined and ready to use!

A cute gadget the kids will surely adore is this strawberry huller.  I don’t know about you, but son cuts half the strawberry off when he’s trying to remove the greens!  With this tool he’ll be able to enjoy more of his fruit sacrificing less of it to the compost Gods.  A good thing.

food dehydratorAnd for those of you keeping it raw, how about a food dehydrator?  Maintains the power of enzymes without sacrificing any of the flavor–a must when following the tenets of a raw diet.  No headaches and no excessive heat, this model makes for easy and healthy.  And for you meat-eater types, it will produce some mean jerky snacks (permitted food for my family only on camping trips!).  We gotta live, right?

So next time you’re in the market for a garden helper in the kitchen (and your child isn’t available), try one of these.  They do wonders!


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